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Wellness leader, mindful movement teacher and creator of Alive With Dani, Dani Parker, shares 3 ways to create space for yourself.

Hey go-getters!
Do you ever feel uncomfortable taking up space?
If you said yes, then I have some good news for you:
A) You are completely normal
B) This collab video is perfect for you!

Many of you know my story that I started ComePlum as a business after a quarter-life crisis, two years into my professional career where I just felt BLEH. I was anxious, depressed, and uninspired. I took time away from San Francisco and spent a couple of months at home, taking up space to ask myself the question, “What makes me feel alive?” And it took me a few weeks and moments to unearth that making pretty things and loving people well is what I wanted to do with my time.

It’s incredible that I am surrounded by women who have such unique stories yet with similar plot twists. Dani Parker is a remarkable star among them. She goes into her life pivot as well as gives us practical ways that we can create space to ask ourselves those essential questions as well.

I’m pumped to share this with you because the world needs us all to shine our brightness (read on to get this reference!)

 

A COMEPLUM CHAT WITH DANI PARKER

 

Praise: Hey everybody! I’m here with my friend Dani and I brought her in here because I’ve taken her class called Come Alive where it’s just like “Is it exercise?” “Is it therapy?” “Is it all of the above?! So we were just chatting about different things and she had such insights! I want her to share with you, but first…

Can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about you?

Dani: Yes! As Praise mentioned, my name is Dani and I am in the wellness space. I am a wellness leader and teach yoga, fitness and now focus primarily on a class that I created called Come Alive, which is sort of a fusion of all of the things that have helped me heal on my journey and also all the things that helped me feel big and alive in my own space. It’s also something that I want to share and offer to others too, so that’s what I focus on now.

I support the fitness and well-being program at an amazing women’s space called The Assembly in San Francisco and work with a lot of amazing brands in SF as well, so, I’m excited to be here!

Praise: Oh, wonderful! Well, thank you for being so truthful about your story. You were telling me that you started this class because you had to learn how to take up space for yourself. Can you tell us a little bit about your backstory with that and then also how we, as modern women, can take up space to come alive?

Dani: Yes, I can! I grew up in the ballet world, always leaving school early to go to this professional ballet program. I was involved in until I was 18 and those are really formative years of your life, especially as a young woman, and I was a very type-A, striving perfectionist. I think over those years, I just learned to get by and to excel and that success came from making myself literally as physically and energetically as small as I could be while still appearing strong and appearing like I had it all together.

I have scoliosis, so when I was growing up, I really saw that as one of my biggest flaws. Especially in the dance world; that I wasn’t fully ever fully aligned or something was never fully quite right with me.

I carried that with me for a long time in the way I showed up in my dance career, the way I showed up in my relationships, the way I strive for perfection and saw that as the key to other people seeing me as a successful woman. It wasn’t until I several years ago when I quit my job in tech and was teaching full-time and I fully blew out a disc in my spine. But you learn how you learn, and for me it was the hard way when it forced me to fully stop. I had to stop teaching as much. I had to stop doing.

It forced me to sit just with myself and really it gave me no option but to sit with who I am and figure out what that means to me and how to take up space in a way that’s not even always doing, but just embodying that space. It was probably one of the most challenging experiences of my life, but one of the most shaping as well. It definitely led me to create this Come Alive class, which I’m really passionate about now. So I guess it was a gift as well!

Praise: Oh, that is so good. I feel that! We were talking about wherever there are other humans, somehow we get it into our mind that “We are not enough” and actually to get over that is to do the opposite. Instead of shrinking back, we should go big. Sometimes we need a reminder of how to take up that space!

One point that I thought was really insightful is sometimes even calendaring:
I am going to take up this space for myself here.

Can you tell us more about that?

Dani: Yeah! For me, in thinking about how I’ve created this class and also how I’m now bringing it out into beyond just a class: how do we learn to take up space not only for ourselves in our own realm but in the world and in our gifts and with others?

I kind of look at taking up space in three layers in that way.

 

1. Be Vulnerable

The first layer is always how do I take up space and create space for myself?

For me, a lot of that circles around vulnerability. I’ve always kind of pinned my achievements and my value to what I’m doing, how much I can do, how well I can do it and if other people seeing me do it and all of that. That’s exhausting! So what I’m learning now is the value of, as you said, calendaring space in my day and being really intentional with my energy.

Creating space, for me, is a really vulnerable experience. Just being in space. Creating space to be with myself and get to know myself better. Get to know who I am and what’s working for me and also what I’m ready to let go of. What’s not working for me.

You need space to do those things. And you can’t be creative if your life is crammed with all of the things all the time.

So, creating space, as vulnerable as it can be for a lot of achievers and go-getters etc., it’s probably one of the top most important things to showing up in the world. First, create space for yourself to just be and to be with yourself and really get to know yourself. That’s probably most important as a base layer.

Praise: Totally. I know for me, that looks like I have to, at least weekly, take time off. I’m gonna go on a hike by myself. I don’t have to be productive. I don’t have to create everything. But your mind just cannot be on all the time like that. So making the space to just “Ahhh!” and just be.

The magic of it is, if you want to go far, you need to take a few steps in order to do that. But then once you’ve taken those steps, you can actually put things out into the world. Isn’t that the second way to take up space?

2. Have Courage

Dani: Yes! As far as taking the space for yourself, you have to have a full cup in order to offer to others. I’d say once you can create that space for yourself, then nothing we do is ever for ourselves. If you’re here on this planet and believe you have a purpose, it’s not just for yourself. I always think about that second layer of stepping out into the world from that space that you created takes a lot of courage.

When I first started teaching Come Alive, I had already been teaching fitness, yoga and lots of embodiment practices for several years. But starting to teach Come Alive, in the first six months that I started teaching it, I would come home every single day and be like “What am I doing?” because it’s a really vulnerable experience to put something out there and it takes a lot of courage.

When you believe something so deeply and you have sat with yourself and created the space to know who you are and know why you’re here and know what your gifts are, putting that out into the world takes courage. I had to tell myself a lot “Okay, I am scared and that’s okay. I’m gonna do it anyway and it’s going to evolve.”

We were talking about how it’s still hard for me to think about expanding and doing the next thing because I need to have all of it perfected! I have to know exactly what it is and what it looks like! But you’re never going to know until you start putting it out there and doing it. So having the courage to just step forward and being okay with the evolution and being okay with the stuff that doesn’t work out. All of that is okay and it’s all a part of the larger success of taking up space and showing up.

Praise: Totally. Leaping even before you feel 100%. Being brave and courageous enough.

Dani: Taking up space before you know. You don’t have to know 100% of where it’s going in order to take up space. You’ve got to show up and see sometimes.

Praise: Totally, totally. But one of the best parts is that when you put that out there, it’s not just your thing. You’re sharing it with the world! And doing it with other people actually makes it more fun. What I’ve seen when I do things like this (collaborate with other people) that’s how I know I’ll be able to do in the long run

How has community played a part in this journey of yours?

 

3. Be In Community

Dani: I’d say community is the third biggest factor and kind of the top layer of all of this. It’s like you learn how to create space for yourself, which is really important knowing who you are and getting in touch with your truths and your purpose. Then you can show up authentically with courage as you put that out into the world. As you put it out into the world, you’re going to touch other people’s lives in some way. Some people are going to love it and some people, it might trigger something and it might not be for them in that moment, and all of that is perfect.

I think when you’re putting yourself out there in community, it can be really to feel like you’re taking up too much space. Of you’re being too big or too bright or too powerful. When I was younger, I used to try and just keep everything in a box and make sure that everyone liked what I was putting out there.

At a certain point, if you really want to show up in a way that’s authentic, meaningful, and impactful, you have to be willing to take up space and shine your light as bright as it shines.

Trust that you’re not taking up anyone else space. There’s room for everyone. In fact, when you’re shining your light and you are fully stepping into who you are, (even when it’s messy) you are giving other’s permission to do the same. You are giving that permission for someone else who needs that message, you are shining a light on that for them.

That’s probably been one of my biggest lessons and still is today. It’s okay to take up space. It’s okay to do that with other people. In fact, it’s maybe one of the most impactful things you can do for others.

Praise: Totally! Because when you take up space, you’re not taking away space from other people. There’s enough space for all of us to be fully who we are. Take up all your space, girl!

Dani: Take up the space!

Praise: I will take up all of my space! And the world will be a more beautiful place because of it!

Dani: Yeah! You shine your light so that others can see it and allow others to shine theirs and then we bombard the whole world with our light.

Praise: Oh my gosh, it’s gonna be bright!

Dani: It’s gonna be real bright!

Praise: I like it! How can people find you online and even in person?

Dani: You can find me online. My website is AliveWithDani.com. And my Instagram is @alivewithdani. Definitely reach out to me if you have feedback or questions or want to get in touch, you can find me there!

You can also find me in person. I teach regularly at The Assembly, where my regular Come Alive classes are, as well as yoga. And then I teach at Love Story Yoga as well, both in The Mission. I’m also all over the city teaching all the time, everywhere, with different brands and pop-ups. You can stay in touch with where I’ll be with those popups on my website and on my Instagram as well.

*editors note: this was filmed before the Shelter In Place order in San Francisco and Dani has shifted her classes online and has also updated her offerings. Check out her the Alive With Dani virtual studio, offering:
    • Come Alive (mindful fitness class)
    • Alive in Flow (vinyasa yoga class)
    • Alive & Restore (gentle flow and restorative yoga

As well as her teachings through The Assembly Anywhere and Love Story Yoga.

 

Praise: Yeah, so you’ll see me maybe in class with you too! Yelling. Taking up space. Or doing a downward dog. All the things, all together! Thank you for sharing that with all of us!

Dani: Thank you!

Praise: Okay, bye!


Want more helpful tips from other talented entrepreneurial women? Visit the ComePlum blog for more tips and resources from other female entrepreneurs. 

Wellness leader, mindful movement teacher and creator of Alive With Dani, Dani Parker, shares 3 ways to create space for yourself.

Hey go-getters!
Do you ever feel uncomfortable taking up space?
If you said yes, then I have some good news for you:
A) You are completely normal
B) This collab video is perfect for you!

Many of you know my story that I started ComePlum as a business after a quarter-life crisis, two years into my professional career where I just felt BLEH. I was anxious, depressed, and uninspired. I took time away from San Francisco and spent a couple of months at home, taking up space to ask myself the question, “What makes me feel alive?” And it took me a few weeks and moments to unearth that making pretty things and loving people well is what I wanted to do with my time.

It’s incredible that I am surrounded by women who have such unique stories yet with similar plot twists. Dani Parker is a remarkable star among them. She goes into her life pivot as well as gives us practical ways that we can create space to ask ourselves those essential questions as well.

I’m pumped to share this with you because the world needs us all to shine our brightness (read on to get this reference!)

 

A COMEPLUM CHAT WITH DANI PARKER

 

Praise: Hey everybody! I’m here with my friend Dani and I brought her in here because I’ve taken her class called Come Alive where it’s just like “Is it exercise?” “Is it therapy?” “Is it all of the above?! So we were just chatting about different things and she had such insights! I want her to share with you, but first…

Can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about you?

Dani: Yes! As Praise mentioned, my name is Dani and I am in the wellness space. I am a wellness leader and teach yoga, fitness and now focus primarily on a class that I created called Come Alive, which is sort of a fusion of all of the things that have helped me heal on my journey and also all the things that helped me feel big and alive in my own space. It’s also something that I want to share and offer to others too, so that’s what I focus on now.

I support the fitness and well-being program at an amazing women’s space called The Assembly in San Francisco and work with a lot of amazing brands in SF as well, so, I’m excited to be here!

Praise: Oh, wonderful! Well, thank you for being so truthful about your story. You were telling me that you started this class because you had to learn how to take up space for yourself. Can you tell us a little bit about your backstory with that and then also how we, as modern women, can take up space to come alive?

Dani: Yes, I can! I grew up in the ballet world, always leaving school early to go to this professional ballet program. I was involved in until I was 18 and those are really formative years of your life, especially as a young woman, and I was a very type-A, striving perfectionist. I think over those years, I just learned to get by and to excel and that success came from making myself literally as physically and energetically as small as I could be while still appearing strong and appearing like I had it all together.

I have scoliosis, so when I was growing up, I really saw that as one of my biggest flaws. Especially in the dance world; that I wasn’t fully ever fully aligned or something was never fully quite right with me.

I carried that with me for a long time in the way I showed up in my dance career, the way I showed up in my relationships, the way I strive for perfection and saw that as the key to other people seeing me as a successful woman. It wasn’t until I several years ago when I quit my job in tech and was teaching full-time and I fully blew out a disc in my spine. But you learn how you learn, and for me it was the hard way when it forced me to fully stop. I had to stop teaching as much. I had to stop doing.

It forced me to sit just with myself and really it gave me no option but to sit with who I am and figure out what that means to me and how to take up space in a way that’s not even always doing, but just embodying that space. It was probably one of the most challenging experiences of my life, but one of the most shaping as well. It definitely led me to create this Come Alive class, which I’m really passionate about now. So I guess it was a gift as well!

Praise: Oh, that is so good. I feel that! We were talking about wherever there are other humans, somehow we get it into our mind that “We are not enough” and actually to get over that is to do the opposite. Instead of shrinking back, we should go big. Sometimes we need a reminder of how to take up that space!

One point that I thought was really insightful is sometimes even calendaring:
I am going to take up this space for myself here.

Can you tell us more about that?

Dani: Yeah! For me, in thinking about how I’ve created this class and also how I’m now bringing it out into beyond just a class: how do we learn to take up space not only for ourselves in our own realm but in the world and in our gifts and with others?

I kind of look at taking up space in three layers in that way.

 

1. Be Vulnerable

The first layer is always how do I take up space and create space for myself?

For me, a lot of that circles around vulnerability. I’ve always kind of pinned my achievements and my value to what I’m doing, how much I can do, how well I can do it and if other people seeing me do it and all of that. That’s exhausting! So what I’m learning now is the value of, as you said, calendaring space in my day and being really intentional with my energy.

Creating space, for me, is a really vulnerable experience. Just being in space. Creating space to be with myself and get to know myself better. Get to know who I am and what’s working for me and also what I’m ready to let go of. What’s not working for me.

You need space to do those things. And you can’t be creative if your life is crammed with all of the things all the time.

So, creating space, as vulnerable as it can be for a lot of achievers and go-getters etc., it’s probably one of the top most important things to showing up in the world. First, create space for yourself to just be and to be with yourself and really get to know yourself. That’s probably most important as a base layer.

Praise: Totally. I know for me, that looks like I have to, at least weekly, take time off. I’m gonna go on a hike by myself. I don’t have to be productive. I don’t have to create everything. But your mind just cannot be on all the time like that. So making the space to just “Ahhh!” and just be.

The magic of it is, if you want to go far, you need to take a few steps in order to do that. But then once you’ve taken those steps, you can actually put things out into the world. Isn’t that the second way to take up space?

2. Have Courage

Dani: Yes! As far as taking the space for yourself, you have to have a full cup in order to offer to others. I’d say once you can create that space for yourself, then nothing we do is ever for ourselves. If you’re here on this planet and believe you have a purpose, it’s not just for yourself. I always think about that second layer of stepping out into the world from that space that you created takes a lot of courage.

When I first started teaching Come Alive, I had already been teaching fitness, yoga and lots of embodiment practices for several years. But starting to teach Come Alive, in the first six months that I started teaching it, I would come home every single day and be like “What am I doing?” because it’s a really vulnerable experience to put something out there and it takes a lot of courage.

When you believe something so deeply and you have sat with yourself and created the space to know who you are and know why you’re here and know what your gifts are, putting that out into the world takes courage. I had to tell myself a lot “Okay, I am scared and that’s okay. I’m gonna do it anyway and it’s going to evolve.”

We were talking about how it’s still hard for me to think about expanding and doing the next thing because I need to have all of it perfected! I have to know exactly what it is and what it looks like! But you’re never going to know until you start putting it out there and doing it. So having the courage to just step forward and being okay with the evolution and being okay with the stuff that doesn’t work out. All of that is okay and it’s all a part of the larger success of taking up space and showing up.

Praise: Totally. Leaping even before you feel 100%. Being brave and courageous enough.

Dani: Taking up space before you know. You don’t have to know 100% of where it’s going in order to take up space. You’ve got to show up and see sometimes.

Praise: Totally, totally. But one of the best parts is that when you put that out there, it’s not just your thing. You’re sharing it with the world! And doing it with other people actually makes it more fun. What I’ve seen when I do things like this (collaborate with other people) that’s how I know I’ll be able to do in the long run

How has community played a part in this journey of yours?

 

3. Be In Community

Dani: I’d say community is the third biggest factor and kind of the top layer of all of this. It’s like you learn how to create space for yourself, which is really important knowing who you are and getting in touch with your truths and your purpose. Then you can show up authentically with courage as you put that out into the world. As you put it out into the world, you’re going to touch other people’s lives in some way. Some people are going to love it and some people, it might trigger something and it might not be for them in that moment, and all of that is perfect.

I think when you’re putting yourself out there in community, it can be really to feel like you’re taking up too much space. Of you’re being too big or too bright or too powerful. When I was younger, I used to try and just keep everything in a box and make sure that everyone liked what I was putting out there.

At a certain point, if you really want to show up in a way that’s authentic, meaningful, and impactful, you have to be willing to take up space and shine your light as bright as it shines.

Trust that you’re not taking up anyone else space. There’s room for everyone. In fact, when you’re shining your light and you are fully stepping into who you are, (even when it’s messy) you are giving other’s permission to do the same. You are giving that permission for someone else who needs that message, you are shining a light on that for them.

That’s probably been one of my biggest lessons and still is today. It’s okay to take up space. It’s okay to do that with other people. In fact, it’s maybe one of the most impactful things you can do for others.

Praise: Totally! Because when you take up space, you’re not taking away space from other people. There’s enough space for all of us to be fully who we are. Take up all your space, girl!

Dani: Take up the space!

Praise: I will take up all of my space! And the world will be a more beautiful place because of it!

Dani: Yeah! You shine your light so that others can see it and allow others to shine theirs and then we bombard the whole world with our light.

Praise: Oh my gosh, it’s gonna be bright!

Dani: It’s gonna be real bright!

Praise: I like it! How can people find you online and even in person?

Dani: You can find me online. My website is AliveWithDani.com. And my Instagram is @alivewithdani. Definitely reach out to me if you have feedback or questions or want to get in touch, you can find me there!

You can also find me in person. I teach regularly at The Assembly, where my regular Come Alive classes are, as well as yoga. And then I teach at Love Story Yoga as well, both in The Mission. I’m also all over the city teaching all the time, everywhere, with different brands and pop-ups. You can stay in touch with where I’ll be with those popups on my website and on my Instagram as well.

*editors note: this was filmed before the Shelter In Place order in San Francisco and Dani has shifted her classes online and has also updated her offerings. Check out her the Alive With Dani virtual studio, offering:
    • Come Alive (mindful fitness class)
    • Alive in Flow (vinyasa yoga class)
    • Alive & Restore (gentle flow and restorative yoga

As well as her teachings through The Assembly Anywhere and Love Story Yoga.

 

Praise: Yeah, so you’ll see me maybe in class with you too! Yelling. Taking up space. Or doing a downward dog. All the things, all together! Thank you for sharing that with all of us!

Dani: Thank you!

Praise: Okay, bye!


Want more helpful tips from other talented entrepreneurial women? Visit the ComePlum blog for more tips and resources from other female entrepreneurs. 

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