Forgiveness: Buzzkill or Badass?

Prior to June 2012, I was among the millions of folks who would rather get a root canal then forgive. Before that fateful month, when anyone ever suggested the idea to me my inner teenager would roll her eyes and quietly scowl “wow, you really don’t understand.

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“Forgive?”

Today the tables have turned and now I am the one suggesting forgiveness and receiving the incredulous looks. When I mention the “forgive” word, people act like I just handed them a sock that was stuck in the washer for 10 years. Every muscle on their face contorts and says “ew.”

Why is this forgiveness thing such a buzzkill?

Forgiveness is often defined as pardoning an offense, but the truth is that pardoning is just part of the forgiveness equation, and more often then not, pardoning is the result of the forgiveness process. Forgiveness’ true definition is that which heals betrayal.

Betrayal is intense, right? Google defines betrayal as “…the breaking or violation of a presumptive contract, trust, or confidence that produces moral and psychological conflict…”

All true, but I don’t really feel it.

So here’s my really-real definition: Betrayal arises when someone or something you trusted fails you, often without any notice, leaving you up against a dark void of loss that your mind fervently struggles to compute.

And if that isn’t hard enough, betrayal almost always paves the way for divine rupture (“How could God let this happen to me?”) and self-aggression (“There must be something wrong with me that this happened/I let this happen.”)

The world of betrayal is super intense and life seems to betray us often.

So as trite as the word “forgiveness” is for so many, it’s true definition is designed to tackle a world of immense confusion, incomprehensibility, and emotional suffering. Thus, this can only mean that forgiveness is…a total badass.

In June 2012, I read something on forgiveness that framed it in a way that I was able to get. I had been carrying the pain of a major betrayal for way too long and it seemed that forgiveness could help. Since I still had no clue how to forgive I said a little prayer that bascially declared I was willing to be shown. And shown I was.

I imagine you are now wondering “OK, So how do I it?” There is no exact prescription as it all depends on the person and their unique situation. However, the numero uno essential ingredient is desire.

This post invites you to answer two Q’s:

1) Do you cringe, wince, bubble with anger, flush with shame, and/or fill with fear when recalling certain events of the past?
2) Do you desire to heal them and feel peaceful again?

Often the answer to Q number 2 is “no” or “no, not now” and that’s legit.

If the answer to Q number 2 is “yes”, no need to rush out and “do” anything. Just let yourself marinate in the “yes”. It’s a major declaration and the universe is listening.

So today, to the disbelief of my inner teenager, I am a forgiveness guide. Being that I have always been a junkie for emotional health, the divine, and all things magical, it makes perfect sense that I have arrived to this point.

One piece of the ever dynamic Goddess Process Live course is to invite participants to begin a serious contemplation on forgiveness. Then any Goddess Process Live grads who decide it’s time to lighten their emotional load are invited to do a Forgiveness & Freedom 4-week follow-up course that journey’s participants down the river of forgiveness in face-to-face soul-sisterhood. It’s hot.

I will be writing more about this topic in the future, though if you’re ready to heal a betrayal now, The Goddess Process Live is where to start and it delivers in spades. The next course is September 26-28, 2014 in Seattle, WA (click here to register!)

xoxo
D

“Dara’s spirituality is so alive, you can almost see it, taste it and smell it. By the end of the Goddess Process, I had a very real sense of my own feminine strength and wisdom, which I realized I had lost somewhere along my spiritual path. How silly to think I could’ve carried on much further without it. Dara was the perfect muse to help me re-birth it back into the world.” Rev. Allison Anton, Author of True Healing

September 5, 2014

BIG, AWESOME, ANNOUNCEMENT: Introducing Carissa Morris

I’m verklempt.

It’s a huge moment in the rise of The Goddess Process. I have contracted with the most phenomenal facilitator. I can hardly believe 1) that this day has finally come and 2) how incredible this woman is.

Without further ado: I present to you the WORLD’s very FIRST Goddess Process Facilitator: The ever-evolutionary Carissa Morris!!! Read on and see why I am beaming with pride:

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1) Describe your path to becoming a Goddess Process facilitator?

The first Nia class I ever took was taught by Dara and the minute it started I knew I was in the right place. In front of me was a strong, tall woman (it’s rare to see a woman my size leading a fitness class) leading us in a spiritual and athletic dance movement class.

I knew there was something special about Dara and I proceeded to soak up whatever passions and guidance she doled out. From her first retreat in Mexico, which was magical, to taking the Mama Gena’s Mastery Course at the School of Womanly Arts, to the current version of Dara’s teachings, The Goddess Process.

I’ve taken Dara’s courses multiple times and never tired of their profound wisdom. I remember thinking “I want to teach this some day!!” and here I am, teaching this genius material to anyone who’s genius enough to sign up. ;-)

As someone who is trained as a coach and therapist, who’s work has a strong spiritual leaning, and who is constantly and continuously committed to the raising up of the feminine, I am the perfect goddess for this job. And I am SO honored that Dara saw that in me.

2) What does feminine power mean to you?
Intuition, inner knowing, gut feeling. There are so many different names for it, but I think intuition is at the core of feminine power. Feminine power is both soft and fierce. That’s the magic of it. It’s impenetrable, yet surrendering. Obstacles and issues melt away in the face of pure feminine power.

3) If you had the ear of every woman in the world for one sacred minute, what would you want them to know?
Your feelings are right. Your desires are holy. The emotions you are experiencing are there for a reason. Your power lies in the honoring of ALL your feelings, desires, and emotions.

4) If you could spend 24 hours with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be an why?
Dr. Martin Luther King. Whenever I hear his speeches, I cry. I’m not much of a crier, so the fact that I burst in to tears when I hear him speak gives me an indication that he is/was a direct messenger of the divine. Also I think he embodied the divine feminine in such an elegant way – nonviolence, power, compassion, change, courage, grace, love, and forgiveness. He epitomized ‘power from within’ versus ‘power over’.

5) What gets you most excited about being a Goddess Process Facilitator?
Being able to deliver such profound information in such a sacred setting. Flexing my priestess muscles. Changing lives with the information that has changed mine. Being a part of re-enthroning the feminine in our world!! I can’t think of anything better or more important.

*****

Do you see why I’m in love???

Carissa is getting right to work with re-enthroning the feminine for twelve very special women Sept 26-28th in Seattle WA. I’ve had the privilege of being facilitated by Carissa I know firsthand that she delivers the goods with grace and power.

“The Goddess Process is a deep dive into everything that we should honor in being a beautiful Goddess of this compassionate planet.  Every female I know should take this class and realize their true gifts and once and for all, claim their brilliance!”  - Trina Gadsden, Photographer

“As a healer and witch who has lived and breathed all things Spiritual and Goddess for years- I thought I had the feminine essence allll figured out,  I thought I had my Inner Goddess down.  That is until I arrived at the Goddess Process.  Through the course of the weekend I learned that I had been working with my Inner Goddess via a masculine approach- thinking, willing and efforting to connect with her.  Learning that the way to really listen to her (which is listening to the Divine) is through my emotions, my body, my impulses, and my visions changed everything.  My feminine nature doesn’t make sense because “making sense” is of the mind, the ego.  From this course I allowed myself the spaciousness of not making sense –  and in so doing, walked away from the course feeling validated and divine in the wild, cooky, visionary, unnameable and unwilling to conform woman that I am!  I feel for the first time I have tools to get my ego/mind on board to manifest my Goddess Destiny!” - Lauren Herold, Healer

Click the image below to secure your sacred spot!

xoxxoox
D
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August 26, 2014

Dearest Seattle, It’s been really real…

Dearest Seattle,

Our time is drawing to a close and if I had to sum up our twelve year relationship I would have to say it was really real.

Not that I don’t always play hard, but goddess-oh-goddess, your cool-wet-dark-self was deceptively intense and set quite the transformational stage.

I arrived here at 31, a buddhist psychotherapist, Nia teacher, full of gusto, big dreams…and a good dose of arrogance. I am leaving at 43, The Goddess Process creator, forgiveness guide (yes, it’s true), mother, wife, divine servant…and happily humbled.

As my departure approaches, I am taking inventory of all that I am going to miss about you…which is a lot. You are an amazing city and I am so honored that I was able to plant deep roots here.

Thank you for all the amazing people and things you sent my way. I kiss the earth in gratitude for every single encounter.

I celebrate some of them below. From eco-fashion to soul workers, professional organizers to Tarot readers, I vividly see how blessed I was to live here.

And a super special thank you for The Goddess Process. I truly couldn’t have created her without you. She is our love child and will continue to shine the brightest of lights in Seattle after I depart.

I will come visit often and like many healthy relationships, I think the distance is going to do us right.

I love you,
Dara

Allison Nelson Seattle: The Space ShamanAllison Nelson of The Space Shaman. Oh. My. Goddess. The Space Shaman, AKA The incredibly divine Ms. Allison Nelson, AKA The Organizational Maniac. The latter title is what hooked me one day while scanning a bulletin board on Capitol Hill. It was love at first organization. You know all that stuff –  those piles, that room, that closet, the basement, the garage, the shelving unit, your filing cabinet – she knows what to do with all that stuff. She creates systems for it and helps you process any burdensome emotional attachments (“But my aunt in Missouri made it for me….”). She helps whatever needs to go, go and whatever needs to stay, stay. I’ve been working with her for over 10 years now and every time she leaves my house, I feel like I just spent a day at the spa.

 images-1Annie Huntley of Dotted Line Jewels. The divine works through Ms. Huntley in many ways . The most obvious are her one-of-a-kind “Hot & Holy” jewelry pieces. Annie has been resurrecting the goddess in her adornments for years and to know the depths and heights of this woman is to love her creations all the more.  I am super blessed to own many of her pieces and even more blessed to know her spirit.

Unknown-2Breanne Boland. In addition to being my design production genius, Breanne is a content strategist, UX writer, and overall usability nerd. She loves to travel, both within and without of Seattle, adventures she chronicles in her blog, Deviation Obligatoire. She’s always working on a novel, a craft, or on bringing something else to life that wasn’t there before.

CherieClaire2Cherie Claire of Belle Femme. Belle Femme is the genius of Cherie Claire and it’s where cosmetology meets the cosmos. Truly, Cherie gets IT and brings IT into every treatment. Surrounded by the deep lull of bells, energetically enhanced stones, and the delicious scents of her organic products, you are in for a beauty experience that touches your skin and your soul. If you seek a meaningful experience while doing the sacred work of self-care, Cherie delivers in spades. If you live in Seattle or are passing through, definitely gift yourself the Belle Femme experience.

Jennifer_Cropped-150x150Jennifer Lucero-Earle of The Embodied Tarot. I hesitate to even tell you about Jennifer because I secretly want her all to myself! If you’re ever needing some divine intervention, Jennifer has an uncanny ability to translate the mystery of Tarot into clear and masterful guidance. She’s also an incredible movement teacher. You can score one of her Tarot readings from anywhere in the world, and if you are in or passing through Seattle -> move with her. Your body will thank you.

JulieHSJulie Wray of Olivine. Julie is a genius of scent, self-love, and an amazing friend. I don’t consider myself a perfume person but Julie’s creations have me hooked as they are truly as mystical as the names. “Full Regalia” was my first love, but now “More Than The Stars” is my new fav. Check out her amazing blog and recent interview with Every Mother Counts Founder Christy Turlington (!)

Lauren and CedarLauren Herold. A few years back when I was in the pit of despair I would drown my sorrows in chocolate smoothies from a local haunt called “The Herbalist.” Lauren was my “bartender” and our karmic connection unfolded. Her herbal prescriptions were key to the recovery of my emotional health. Our conversations illuminated worlds beyond my conception. Lauren is a gifted healer of the earth and soul, if you or someone you know needs intuitive help, she will deliver and then some.

Unknown-1Prairie Underground! So I can thank (or blame) Julie Wray for this obsession: I am a nut for Prairie Underground. CONFESSION: The dark days of winter created a little bit of an online shopping addiction, and it came with some guilt about all the stuff that is made abroad. Ta da! My guilt was swept away the day I met the creativity of Davora Linder and Camilla Eckersley. I now wear clothing that is made from organic cotton, in the USA, and is total work of art. They put out four collections a year of 30+ pieces each (how do they do that?!?!) My source is the amazing team over at Show Pony. I am a member of their Prairie Club and get to preview and pre-order upcoming collections (which I highly recommend.)

Unknown-1Randee Fox, Nia Technique Trainer. Ten of my twelve years in Seattle were spent teaching The Nia Technique and movement maven Randee Fox was one of my very first Nia friendships. Today she is one of Seattle’s first Nia Trainers (meaning she teaches a week long training that will leave you madly in love with the miracle of your body in addition to training you how to teach The Nia Technique.) Her Sammamish studio is my favorite place in the world to dance Nia. If you want an amazing relationship with your body from the inside-out and a movement practice that is deep and fun, Randee is your woman.

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Tali Edut of Astrostyle. Did you know we have one of Astrotwins living right here in Seattle? Ms.Tali Edut truly brings “the stars down to earth” and with a slew of hot media appearances she and her sister, Ophi, are bringing them (back) to the mainstream. Drenched in depth, graciousness, and style, they channel the cosmos with tremendous practicality and relatability. My reading with Tali dramatically changed my life for the better. Get on her list and be connected to the heavens.

Unknown-2Dr. Tamara Cullen of Naturopathic Family Medicine. During my (many) low moments in Seattle, I would write gratitude lists to help get me through and Dr. Cullen’s amazing clinic would always show up at the top. Dr. Cullen radiates compassion and expertise. My kids LOVED going to the doctor and I loved the care my family received. Her entire clinic team reflects her mastery and nurturing gifts.

 

Dr. MiaoDr. Weiqun Miao of East Asian Well Being.  So many people ask me how I recovered from adrenal fatigue in just one year and Dr. Miao is how. Originally from China and trained in Traditional Chinese Acupuncture AND Western Medicine she loves a hard case. I saw her religiously for nine months. Her compassion, conviction, and skill got me through one of the darkest spells of my life. Her office is in Bellevue and I arrived there in half the time it would take me to go to Ballard or to find a parking spot on Capitol Hill. Run, don’t walk, to Dr. Miao.

 

August 3, 2014

How to Make Your Anger Divine

Oh anger, you’re just something else, aren’t you? Honest, real, and protective at best. Righteous, rageful, and destructive at worst.

The human condition is programmed for anger. When you were a baby you fiercely cried and when you were a toddler you freaked. As an adult if you or a loved one were violated tomorrow, you would experience anger. No one is exempt.

So we’re all left with the intense job of figuring out how to “manage” our anger…in a society that shames it.

I feel like I’ve tried every way under the sun to pacify my own anger. From self-medicating to meditating, therapizing to expressing, and everything in between.

After twenty somethin’ years of experiencing and studying my anger, I vividly see:

  • how ineffective the path of anger generally is
  • my anger is here to stay. It’s truly part of my design in this life.

Since suppressing and expressing anger have proven to be dead end roads, I would like to propose this alternative: how about making anger divine?

Here’s an example of how it works:

I was about to board a plane and I was feeling depleted. If I am ignoring something that is bothering me, feeling tired is when the truth always surfaces. So as I am sitting there waiting for my section to be called, angry thoughts of a recent event began to bubble.

In a moment of intuition I knew I had a choice – I could spend the next few hours on the plane swirling in anger or I could figure out a way to make it sacred.

So I whipped out a piece of paper and at the very top I wrote “THIS IS DIVINE”, (so when the inevitable shame about my anger arose I would remember that it was holy.)

I then scanned my body for where I was feeling the anger and I noticed my lower back felt clenched.

I then imagined what these sensations would say if they could speak, and whatever popped up in my head I wrote down on the paper.

I kept going with this recipe: I felt and wrote, and felt and wrote, as the anger moved through different areas of my body.

I did this for an hour, through a handful of tender and weepy moments, until my body felt sublimely, utterly, and completely peaceful.

On my piece of paper however, it was pretty ugly. Mean. Vicious. Harsh. All sorts of terrible words were sprawled across the page with underlines, capitalizations, and exclamations.

Though within all the ugliness it was also full of beauty. It was beautiful because it was honored. It was beautiful because it was safe. It was beautiful because it wasn’t inside me anymore, eating away at me. It was beautiful because it wasn’t directed toward anyone. That dark ball of anger was perfectly content to be in the loving arms of that piece of paper.

Then upon arriving home, I offered up the paper via a simple ritual.

In my backyard I have a special place for burning things (metal paint can with some sand in it.) I crumpled the paper, lit a match, and recited “Please show me the way to a peace” over and over as I brought flame and paper together and watched it burn.

I ended the ritual with the Making Miracles visualization for myself and the perceived source of my anger.

Here is a re-cap in eight easy steps:

  1. I was aware that angry thoughts were bubbling in my head (awareness is huge)
  2. I took out a piece of paper and wrote “THIS IS DIVINE” at the top
  3. I felt my body
  4. I imagined what the sensations in my body would say if they could speak
  5. I wrote down whatever came to my imagination
  6. I did steps 3,4, & 5 until I felt completely peaceful
  7. I then burned the paper while reciting “Please show me the way to peace”
  8. I ended by doing an unconditional loving-kindness meditation for myself and the perceived source of my anger

Rinse & repeat, as needed.

If you feel inspired to check this ritual out, do it exactly as I did the first time. Then based on how it feels when your done you can modify it.

And yes, you can do this process for ANY emotion and I highly recommend it.

If you try it yourself, please let me know how it goes. AND/OR if the idea of making your emotional world holy, sacred, and divine sounds like something you would love to rock, the next Goddess Process Live class is coming up: July 25-27th.

xox
D

July 8, 2014

Seeing and Believing

I am a lover of duality. This means I believe understanding the seemingly opposing forces of the universe is quite useful. For this reason, one of the first things The Goddess Process teaches is what the feminine essence and the masculine essence are.

After five years of teaching this wisdom I know how provocative distinguishing the masculine and feminine can be for some folks. I hear things like: “why do we have to define the masculine and feminine, aren’t we all just humans who want to survive and love?” Or, “I feel like this just puts men and women in a box.” Or, the woman who rocks her masculine side goes on the defense.

So in order to get my for-good-not-evil points across, I give many reminders that we all have both essences, and emphasize that being aware of how these energies play out, within us and in the world, gives us the opportunity to synchronize them. When these energies synch, beautiful things happen.

Here is one of my favorite real-world applications:

We all have loved ones we like to support, right? So say a loved one is experiencing a loss or some emotional turmoil that is impossible to bypass. Two of the most amazing things you can offer this person are:

1) An invitation to pour out their grief.
2) And when they are done tell them, “I see you.”

“I see you” is pure sunshine for the soul. Those three little words mean that their experience is honored exactly as it is. That beyond the details of all perceived turmoil, their unique unfoldment is in divine process. “I see you” shoots a love arrow into the heart of the feminine essence.

Then let’s say you know someone who is contemplating a big leap and they are wondering if they can “do it”? If they have what it takes? If they’re good enough? If  they’ll succeed? Two of the most amazing things you can offer this person are:

1) An invitation to pour out their doubts and fears.
2) And when they are done tell them, “Whatever you decide, I believe in you.”

“I believe in you” is pure sunshine for the inner administrator. It means that you trust your loved ones ability to discern and achieve. It means when they succeed, be it tomorrow or ten years from now, they will have you to celebrate with. “I believe in you” shoots a love arrow into the heart of the masculine essence.

So as a general guideline, if it’s an emotional purge and you had to choose one sentence, tell the loved one that you see them. If it’s fear and doubt, and you had just one sentence to offer, tell your loved one that you believe in them. And yes, telling all loved one’s that you see them AND believe in them is a total-being home run.

xo
Dara

Speaking of seeing and believing, the next Goddess Process Live course is July 25-27th (click here to read more and register).

And some truly wonderful women are seeing and believing in me these days. Here are some very kind words from my latest Goddess Process Live class:

Dara is a genius. She has synthesized so much powerful information in a way that is truly more than the sum of its parts. Her vision for reconnecting women with their innate goddesshood, and healing the feminine legacy is nothing short of revolutionary. She has clearly walked the path that she is teaching and delivers the information in a way that’s concise, beautiful, and full of magic.” – Carissa Morris, Seattle, WA.

I have loved, loved, loved, The Goddess Process. Thank you for inviting me to join. It has been such an incredibly beautiful experience for me. I feel truly blessed. [The course] helped me to reconnect to the divine. It feels so freeing to let go and trust. It is so powerful and important.” – Kathleen L., Seattle, WA

I knew, even before experiencing the course, that I would love The Goddess Process. What I didn’t know was how much the course would ripple out into all areas of my life. During the first session we were asked to take a vacation from self-selected masculine practices. I chose “thinking” and “planning.” I deeply wanted to shift to a place of being and receiving and those two ways of being proved to be quite the barrier. This intention and commitment instigated the most blissful five weeks where I learned to slow down, be in relationship with everything around me and openly express gratitude for the beauty I saw and experienced. Instead of planning, I learned to yield and follow the energy of each moment. Instead of spiraling out into over-thinking, I treated myself, and others, with uncompromising presence and compassion. I allowed myself to become unguarded enough to feel supported and seen by a sisterhood that wanted to shower me with love and adoration. It made me, in essence, a happier person. I am still basking in that afterglow. All women and men who want to become happier beings should take this course. The Goddess Process is an experience of awakening to a profound state of feminine presence and connection that will leave you transformed. I am not the women I was when I started the course and am so wildly excited about the divine woman I am becoming.” ~ Jennifer Lucero-Earle, Seattle, WA The Embodied Tarot

Taking Dara’s most recent class  -The Goddess Process – helped me to deeply appreciate and explore the intimacy with my feminine core. Dara taught me how to draw from my feminine core to create, surrender, forgive and live in loving kindness with myself and others. She is a masterful teacher and integrated important content of her book with practical exercises for the group to explore in the process. Her skill to create an intimate yet engaging atmosphere of the class invited us to depth learning.  I am very excited and grateful at the same time for Dara’s commitment to women’s well being and “The Goddess Process! and wish that her knowledge and teachings continues to rock women’s worlds!~ Dr. Liliana Sacarin, Seattle, WA

June 17, 2014

Re-establishing the Priestesshood

This one is dedicated to my teacher Sao.

Of all the exciting and cool things happening with the current rise of feminine power, this is one of my favorites: The priestesshood is being re-established.

Miriam-Webster defines priestess as, “a woman who leads or performs religious ceremonies in some religions”.

Ummmmm, kind of.

Sort of.

Though, not really.

A priestess is a woman who helps others connect to the divine so that they can heal and/or actualize their soul’s unique path.

Typically, she will use ceremony to accomplish this task, but it is unlikely she will represent a religion. When it comes to connecting to the divine she is a polygamist, and knows on a deep level that her personal relationship with spirit trumps any organized path to it.

These days, there are a lot of sisters helping to heal and actualize others that do not call themselves “priestess”. They are the life coaches, therapists, tarot readers, naturopaths, artists, intuitives, energy healers, astrologists, and social workers, to name a few. Deep down inside I sense these women know, even if it’s on a subconscious level, that they are priestesses. I verbally refer to these sisters as “priestess” every chance I get, and I am always met with twinkling eyes that say “yep.”

My divine feminine awakening happened seven years ago and ever since, my mind and heart magnetize and synthesize all the wildly awesome sides of feminine spirituality. This has led me to finally see, own, and celebrate that:

  • I have an uncanny ability to grasp the mystical
  • My desire to serve and create health is white hot
  • I am obsessed with the nature of nature

These are all marks of a priestess, they have been present in my being from the day I was born, and they are all extremely valuable qualities in today’s culture.

Growing up in the Irish-Catholic Bronx, I heard about priests, but you had to be a dude and represent dogma (and thank you goddess, not being the former protected me from the latter.) Back then, the only option I saw for spiritually called women was to become a nun. Had I ever had the slightest inclination to join the convent, I would have lasted negative 10 seconds. Fifteen years ago, when I felt a lot of pressure to choose a career path, had “priestess” been a menu option, I would have been spared multiple panic attacks.

So it’s thrilling, and kind of scary, though mostly thrilling, to finally say that I AM A PRIESTESS.

And I am beyond grateful that I was born in a time where it is finally OK to be that again.

Speaking of the priestesshood – May’s Goddess Process Live course is in session (yay!!!)!

If you missed that one, I have great news: my intuition has guided me to bring The Goddess Process Live experience to a weekend format July 25-27th, 2014. If you feel called to be one of twelve special women and experience the cultural oasis that is The Goddess Process click here for details and to secure one of the ten remaining sacred spots:

May 12, 2014

GeM Love

One of the most important facets of The Goddess Process is the experience of unconditional loving-kindness. I originally discovered unconditional loving-kindness back in my Buddhist days, and in indigenous cultures it is known as the love of The Great Mother.

The capacity for unconditional loving-kindness resides in every individual, and like the words say – it unconditionally loves one’s entire experience. Yep, this means there is NOTHING it doesn’t love. It’s the great cosmic YES that eradicates fear and all the B.S. that comes with it. Thoughts like “But how am I going make that happen?” are replaced with an indomitable trust.

So I love, love, love, this love. Remembering it has gotten me through some major doozies, as well as had my back when I have dared to leap big. If you’re interested in a dose of it’s magic, I serve it up here.

My one and only tiny issue with it is that I think saying “unconditional loving-kindness” is a mouthful. A beautiful mouthful. A glorious mouthful. A magical mouthful. (I mean seriously, will you look at the amazingness of those three words?!?!?). But it’s a mouthful nevertheless (nine syllables, people!).

So when something I say a lot is a mouthful I like to come up with a new phrase for it. Some sacred slang. I did that a few years back with “being seen and loved” (six syllables), which is a critical feminine essence nutrient. So I re-termed it “Vitamin See”. Today there is a beautiful tribe of women who use the term “Vitamin See” often.

Just before bed, during the most recent Goddess Process retreat in Mexico, I realized my desire for some unconditional loving-kindness shorthand, (cuz U.L.K. wasn’t gonna do it for me.)  I blew out my bedside candle and as my head hit the pillow “Gem Love” entered my mind.

Hmmmmmm, “Gem Love?” I tossed it around. Unconditional loving-kindness is the path to some huge treasures. I liked that. But what sealed the deal is that Gem Love seemed like an acronym for Great Mother and I LOVED that.

So GeM Love it is. You read it here first:)

Speaking of which, if you reside in Seattle and are desiring to rock the grace-filled world of GeM Love, look no further. A Goddess Process Live course, facilitated by yours truly, begins May 14th (full moon!). It’s an incredible process, that you do with incredible women, that will leave you feeling …. incredible. Register below to secure your sacred spot:

WHAT: The Goddess Process Live with Dara McKinley

WHO: You, me, and 11 other bold women who want to experience the magic of this special course.

WHEN: Wednesday May 14, 21, 28, June 4, 11, from 6-9pm.

WHERE: Roosevelt neighborhood, Seattle, WA

WHY: Because you’re a goddess (yes, you!).

COST: $525 with two sliding scale options (see dropdown). Pick what works for you, submit payment, and you are registered!

SOLD OUT

But all is not lost. The Goddess Process will be happening again! Subscribe to my mailing list (bright blue box on the right) to be in the know!

xoxooxox
D

April 20, 2014

Seasonal Affective Disorder and Sisterhood

I live in Seattle, the land of Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.), and I have it.

Last summer, in order to recover from a severe bout of adrenal fatigue (yep, I have that, too), I moved to a warm and dry climate and ate super healthy food. After a month of warm weather and clean eating, I experienced a vitality that I hadn’t felt since I moved to Seattle 11 years prior. For the first time in a very long time, everything was doable and easy.

I returned to Seattle with the hope that if I kept up the healthy eating regimen I would be okay. But come the third week in October, the cold, dark, damp of the Pacific Northwest tackled me. My thoughts became foggy, my energy disappeared, and I felt constantly cold. It was nothing compared to healing from adrenal burnout, but it still sucked.

Now that spring has arrived, I am slowly recovering and have a change of residence in the works (thank you, goddess). But I know a lot of sisters who experience S.A.D. and are in no position to move. Since I specialize in women’s emotional health, the following is for all the ladies who struggle with the winter blues.

The conventional medical treatments for S.A.D. are:

• Antidepressants

If you are open to them and can handle them, they work well.

• Light therapy

This helps also, but not as well as real rays. Plus, I find sitting in front of a lightbulb while its pouring rain outside, pretty depressing also.

The Pacific Northwest’s cultural solution is:

• Caffeine and sugar

Evidenced by the preponderance of coffee shops all over Seattle. Again, effective but not very healthy.

For those of us into natural and healthy remedies:

• Exercise

This works great and whenever I wonder how in the world I spent twelve years of my life with S.A.D., I can blame teaching dance fitness three times a week for the first 10 years.

And there is one more natural remedy that I want to officially put on the table:

• Oxytocin

This is the hormone that is produced when we feel truly connected to others.

You can google oxytocin and read about it’s many awesome sources and effects, but from the divine feminine perspective, the source of Oxytocin I want to bring to awareness is the hit we get from being truly seen.

I call being seen “Vitamin See” because it’s an essential nutrient to humanity’s health.

This is a no-brainer for some and a major-brainer for many. Too many, in my opinion. Thus, getting Vitamin See back on the pedestal is one of my missions in life.

Vitamin See is one of the huge reasons you choose and love your close girlfriends. The chemistry between you and these women is dosing you with oxytocin. It feels awesome and the positive effects are enduring and natural.

So for all you S.A.D. sisters, put this one in your coping basket and get with people who fill your Vitamin See tank. I know when you are in the S.A.D. hole it can be hard to come out, but make the call, the date and/or the visit happen.

It will help you whistle a happy tune for days after.

If you are curious about knowing and owning the experience of Vitamin See, I’ve got the goods:

This article was originally posted on Elephant Journal.

Love,
D

April 4, 2014

TGP Live in Seattle!

I am delighted to announce the very first Goddess Process Live 5-week course in Seattle! It begins Wednesday May 14th and runs for 5 Wednesday evenings from 6-9pm. Check out this video and if it speaks to you I would love to have you in the upcoming class. Registration details are below.

WHAT: The Goddess Process Live with Dara McKinley

WHO: You, me, and 11 other bold women who want to experience the magic of this special course.

WHEN: Wednesday May 14, 21, 28, June 4, 11, from 6-9pm.

WHERE: Roosevelt neighborhood, Seattle, WA

WHY: Because you’re a goddess (yes, you!).

COST: $525 with two sliding scale options if needed (see dropdown). Pick what works for you, submit payment, and you are registered!

SOLD OUT

But all is not lost. The Goddess Process will be happening again! Subscribe to my mailing list (bright blue box on the right) to be in the know!

Love,
Dara

March 26, 2014

Phase 2

coconutI recently returned from teaching The Goddess Process in Mexico and it was a special time on many levels.

The retreat was held at the spectaculor Haramara Retreat which was The Goddess Processes’ place of birth five years ago. It was sacred to return to the original spot where I first invited a group of courageous women to dip into the healing waters of their feminine essence.

This recent retreat also fulfilled my desire to co-facilitate with the ultra-divine Rochelle Schieck, who coincidentally also birthed her own genius five years back: a feminine-freedom movement experience called Qoya. As I imagined, Qoya and The Goddess Process were soul-sisters and they created magic together. Qoya

Though above all for me, specialness ensued because it was the first time in two years that I left my creative cave and presented The Goddess Process to a group. My legs (metaphorically speaking) were quite wobbly, but I held faith that The Goddess Process would do her thing even if I felt rusty. And I was right. She rose up like a big beautiful blaze of love and enveloped all of us in the sublime spaciousness of feminine power.

It was the exhale of all exhales.

That special week in Mexico was just what I needed in order to move forward with spunk-in-my-step and raise up Phase 2 of The Goddess Process, AKA the really-real Goddess Process, AKA The Goddess Process Live.

haramaraThe Goddess Process Live is when a trained facilitator brings a small group of women together to experience The Goddess Process. When The Goddess Process meets up with a pack of willing sisters, a very ancient, healing and ultra powerful aspect of womanity is resurrected and everything begins to feel …unconditionally right.  This rightfulness elicits words and experiences like this:

“Dara McKinley takes you to the depths of your divinity as she lovingly guides the Goddess Process. My time with her and the retreat she created opened a portal for me to connect with my essence in ways that will forever propel my life forward in more and more beautiful ways. The community she gathers is beyond amazing.  Like a rainbow streaking across the sky of your heart she unlocks and unleashes colors and creativity from your feminine core.  To have had my life rocked by such a powerful and gentle wave called Dara is a gift I will treasure immensely.” -  Julia Ball: stylist, boutique owner, designer

“I want to start out by saying I miss our time together in Mexico so much I get weepy just thinking about it. It hasn’t been very often in my life where all the stars aligned perfectly. Our time together was magical. To me at least, we were an absolute perfect mix of personalities and temperaments. I adored listening to everyone’s stories, both the good and the not so good. I can’t remember a week in my life – I mean my entire life – where I felt so adored and appreciated by so many people all at once. When I was so happy to spend time with ALL the people around me. When I felt stress free. Liberated. Happy.”  - Lisa S: Intuitive healer, Mother extraordinaireInfinity Pool

Mother Goddess Dara embodies the earth mother. She is not only physically beautiful, she exudes warm and caring. Being new to the Goddess Process, I was a little leery about what to expect. Dara’s open and truthful way of speaking and acting allowed me to take in the information without judgement. Dara is very approachable and honest about her thoughts and feelings. It was refreshing to learn from someone who is able to put her ego aside and give fully from her heart. Dara is a true mother, giving freely of information and teachings and I hope to learn more from her in the future!” – Ann Trombley, MSPT Owner of Trailmaster Coaching and Physical Therapy, Olympian, Author, Coach and Student!

I want every woman to feel this.

Phase 2 is the ultimate “why” behind everything I have done over the past five years in the realm of feminine power.

So that is where this ship is headed and I am busy preparing for the trip.

More very soon…..

LOVE,
Dara

P.S. Are you a sister who deeply cares about the environment? Child poverty? The future of humanity??? If yes, then I MUST tell you about Marianne Williamson. Check out this compelling interview where she discusses her radical (in the most amazing way ever) congressional campaign.

March 9, 2014