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What is a Good Life? #44
Living A Connected Life with Danielle Donnelly Smyth
On the 44th episode of the What is a Good Life? podcast, I am delighted to welcome Danielle Donnelly Smyth as our guest. Danielle is an astrologer, yoga and meditation guide, energy healing practitioner and teacher, and served as one of my early guides in exploring spirituality.
In this episode, Danielle shares her journey of living a connected life - whether it’s bridging her dreaming and waking worlds, the conscious with the sub-conscious, or connecting and navigating enlightened moments and the mundane aspects of life. She also discusses the importance of cultivating consciousness within her life, while acknowledging the challenges and struggles that may entail.
Our conversation delves into spiritual and existential meanderings, exploring questions about the purpose of existence, acceptance within not finding answers, the role of suffering in awakening, the sense of separation presently in the world, and the significance of astrology in mapping and making sense of her own interpretation of life.
If you’re eager to explore consciousness and ponder the meaning of existence without being explicitly provided with answers, this conversation is for you. While the breadth of topics, tools, and experiences covered will offer you ample material for contemplation on how you can interpret existence and your own good life.
The weekly clip from the podcast (4 mins), my weekly reflection (2 mins), the full podcast (64 mins), and the weekly questions all follow below.
1. Weekly Clip from the Podcast
2. My weekly reflection
I consider myself very fortunate to have a good number of friends whom I'll intermittently meet for coffees or jump on a Zoom call to ponder what the hell this life and existence are all about. They are not friends whom I'll be in touch with day to day, but when we do catch up, there is next to no small talk, and we just dive straight into various existential meanderings.
Getting completely lost for a few hours before returning to regular life and engaging with people on the topics that most people talk about. Admittedly, for me, I don’t engage in general chit-chat all that much these days, but I am also not perpetually ruminating on topics like free will, why we exist at all, what happens after this life, etc... well, depending on the week you catch me 😬😬
I always find it strange when people say that because you will never know, it could be a waste of time, or that there are more important things to think about. And then I see the same people think nothing of me saying I fell into a YouTube or Netflix rabbit hole one evening.
I find it a bit unfortunate that we don’t meander and muse more regularly through some of the topics Danielle and I discuss in this episode. For starters, I can imagine a number of benefits to people exploring topics where there aren’t clear-cut and simple answers.
Resting and wrestling with these themes, embracing the uncertainty of it all, going so far out and wide with our discussions might soften the attachment we have or the desire we have for being right all the time. Zooming so far out from the day-to-day discussions might alleviate some of the tension around our binary way of judging things in life and the fearful ideological separation that is so prevalent in society today.
The very act of going on an exploration and not finding an answer, intellectually at least, can broaden our perspectives. We can continually find out more about ourselves in that journey as we see our own understandings develop, what it does to our acceptance of our own limitations, and the humility that explicitly not knowing brings to our day-to-day engagements with ourselves and relationships with others.
While these kinds of conversations often bring the much-needed foil to our intense focus on our own individual melodramas. The movement between the micro to the macro offers us new perspectives while neither extricating ourselves from, or diminishing, the experience of the minutiae of our individual lives. It allows for both views to exist simultaneously: our lives are deeply important and also somewhat irrelevant. It allows me to strike the balance of really paying attention in my life while not taking myself or life too seriously either.
If you’d like to work with me to awaken your own self-inquiry, message me here to a arrange a free 30-minute 1-on-1 consultation
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3. Full Episode - Living A Connected Life with Danielle Donnelly Smyth - What is a Good Life? #44
4. This week’s Questions
Have you ever questioned how and why we have come to exist? And for whatever answer you have, asked why once more?
In what realms of your life, your thoughts, your beliefs, do you feel most connected and disconnected?
I am a Coach based in Berlin, via Dublin, Ireland. I left behind a 15-year career in Capital Markets after I became extremely curious around answering some of the bigger questions in life. I started this project in 2021, for which I’ve now interviewed over 170 people, to provide people with the space to reflect on their own lives and to create content that would spark people’s own inquiry into this question. I am also trying to share more genuine expressions of the human experience, beyond the facades we typically project.