The True North Collective Podcast


October 1, 2019

Welcome to the TRUE NORTH COLLECTIVE PODCAST: SEASON 2! With co-hosts Rachel Bellotti and Jenell Riesner, this is a gathering of un-sugar-coated conversations celebrating the untold stories of everyday people fearlessly finding and living their true north. 

In our search to discover and live from our TRUE NORTH, we have met so many interesting, courageous people from all walks of life, doing all sorts of amazing things to live life in their unique way. Stories from all over the world. Stories with heart. Stories with grit. Stories with plot twists. Stories going untold – until now. This season, we continue to connect with and celebrate these untold stories of everyday people who are fearlessly living their true north and inspiring each of us to do the same.

Today, we talk with Danielle Thornton (also known as Audah), owner of Starana, an end of life doula, wellness care doula, reiki practitioner,  somatic bodyworker, and yoga and meditation teacher. In this episode, we dig into all things death – the misconceptions, the universalities, the unknowns, the fears, and the beauty of it. We unpack growing old, honoring the wisdom of elders, and how we can use the life transitions in front of us to prepare for the ultimate transition in this life. Plus some fart jokes for brevity!

*note: this episode includes explicit language appropriate for those ages 16+



  1. Create the boxes you want to live in so that you are living in the realities of your choice versus the boxes created by society or the world.
  2. Closing your heart to pain means you also close your heart to joy and love and connection. When we resist pain, we are practicing closing our hearts to ALL aspects of life – the painful aspects AND the beautiful aspects. Practicing death is a form of learning how to soften, to not resist, to allow what is to be as it is. “He who wants the rose must learn to respect the thorn.” – yogi tea bag quote
  3. Honoring and integrating the wisdom of elders is a gap in our society. In our youth and vanity-obsessed culture, we have become afraid of elders because they represent our mortality, and when we disregard them, we miss out on BIG INSIGHTS and understandings around who we are as humans and what’s important and where we’ve been and where we could be going as a culture and as individuals.


  • [1:00] being a Highly Sensitive Person
  • [2:44] breaking out of boxes + creating the box you want to live in
  • [5:45] Friday the 13th
  • [9:22] Introducing Danielle!
  • [16:22] brushes with death 
  • [20:00] learning from those who are dying + practicing death ahead of time through yoga, meditation + breathwork 
  • [28:00] coping with “loss” as a death doula
  • [35:00] talking to those you love about their death 
  • [41:00] losing a job + relationship in the same year…major transitions can be powerful gateways to practice death – the final transition in this life
  • [47:22] what happens when you die?
  • [58:00] integrating the wisdom from elders in a youth + vanity obsessed culture 
  • [1:07:00] loneliness + loss of a sense of purpose as we age + aren’t producing at the level that is seen as a valuable contribution to society
  • [1:20:00] death + fart jokes
  • [1:21:30] living your TRUE NORTH + what it means to be me
  • [1:24:45] Contact Danielle via or via email