If I could give 2012 a theme, it would be the year that universal love came and got me. Or, more accurately, this is the year that I finally desired to know this great love.
I believe universal love is a energetic river in which all life exists. As humans, we all have the option of being channels for it, or not.
As I am soaking up every drop I can learn about the phenomena of love, I was coincidentally asked to write about it for an incredibly special effort.
Business philanthropy coach Erin Giles, gathered up 60 incredible folks to write about love, knowledge, or freedom. Then she compiled the essays into a book called End Sex Trafficking Day, that you can buy for $20 on Amazon. All proceeds go to the Not For Sale Campaign, an organization working to put an end to modern slavery.
I know, what a great idea, right? Erin is the epitome of genius heart. Talk about the desires of one woman.
The book is AMAZING. It is packed with incredible words. I am over-the-moon honored to be in it.
The triple-win happens when you purchase the book:
1) The money is donated.
2) You receive the love, knowledge, and freedom inspirations of special thinkers (like Danielle LaPorte, Seth Godin, Alexandra Frazen and ME!)
3) You empower the efforts of philanthropic genius’.
Win-win-win (I LOVE triple wins!)
So there you have it, sisters: PLEASE BUY THIS BOOK, and may all humans be channels for the river of love.
I am fascinated with the intersection of divine self-love and restoring health to the world.
When I was a little girl and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would often say, “I want to be a biologist and save the world from global warming.” Up until today, I would remember this answer and think how adorably off I was compared to how my life is actually unfolding. A scientist? End global warming? How cute.
As I write this, it is 75 degrees in Seattle and it is October. Summer is still here. As a Seattleite who pines for every drop of sunshine, I find today’s rays totally depressing. The world has known these days were coming for over 30 years and very little has been done to stop it.
Today I feel very close to that little girl’s dream. First, I see that I wasn’t so far off when I said I wanted to be a biologist. As a feminine essence junkie, I revere nature’s logic. Second, I wanted to heal our greatest physical feminine source -> Mother Earth. It seems that I am right on track with my young dream.
In the face of global warming and all the many other severe problems of the world, hopelessness threatens me. However, I take refuge in one powerful phenomena that is creating radical change -> the desires of women.
And this brings us to one of two hells. Those of you saying “HELL YES!” and those of you wondering “How the HELL are the desires of women going to make a difference in this over-the-top-outrageous mess?”
First, let’s get clear on the definition of desire. I am not referring to a “sexual urge.” I am referring to your deepest hunger, otherwise known as your soul’s deepest truth. It is what you are called to move towards and to create.
Today, women are just returning to the importance of their soul’s deepest longing. For the last 5,500 years women have been living within a legacy that oppresses their desire. Today, this legacy leaves most Western women with an unconscious adversarial relationship to their core yearnings. Though Western women have established freedom on so many levels, we are just beginning to break free of all that binds our internal world. It is no small feat. It is scary, messy, and complicated (but mostly it is exciting and completely awesome.)
Am I saying that all women desire the world to be a just and healthy place?
Am I saying that all we have to do is desire it and “abracadabra” it will be?
What I am saying is that there is an enormous unleashed potential in the side of humanity called woman. And as a feminine essence junkie, I know that women have a profound creative ability to restore health to whatever they love. I also know this ability is rooted in sisterhood (belonging), emotional truth (desire), and personal power (divine self-love).
This is one of the many reasons that Mama Gena’s tagline says “Women are the greatest untapped resource.” This is also why my footer says “Emotionally Brilliant People Heal The World”. Emotionally brilliant people love their deepest desires.
As it turns out, I am not the only visionary who sees that the desires of women are swinging some huge changes. Sisters, put your feet up and soak up these truly liberating links:
Check out this power packed TED Talk about the GLOBAL desire for leaders who think like women: The Athena Doctrine.
Spiritual Queen Marianne Williamson is ending the separation between spirituality and politics (thank you, Goddess) and is organizing SISTER GIANT.
Movement leader Rochelle Schieck wrote this incredible piece about seeking the divine feminine in Israel. YES, the feminine CAN bring heaven to earth (more about this in future posts.)
Finally, and for poetry’s sake, check out this racy piece by Mama Gena (you have been warned) on the powerful riot that is happening in the world.
OK, time to change gears and offer some quick updates. Yes, this is my new site (yay!!!).
On The Goddess Process front: thanks to the divine guidance of Tali Edut, I have a new spring launch date. It initially felt far, far away but now feels just right.
Some of you may have noticed that 2012 has been kind of tough for me. Interestingly, I have experienced the most internal upheaval just as I was about to write The Goddess Process section on self-love. Though I am not out of dark waters yet, all that I am going through is ensuring that my words on self-love come from a very deep place.
Much more to come …
Last week I took a scary swim into the waters of despair. Despair had been looming over me like a dark cloud for a good month and then, with just the right convergence of many factors, into it I sank. I cried for two days straight (and I consider myself lucky that it only lasted that long.)
You know me though (or are getting to know me) … super spiritual, I am. Thus, like all emotions, I regard the experience of despair as sacred and divine. Here are ten ways to get divinely down and dirty with despair:
1) Pay close and loving attention to your body … your actual physical experience. Unlike the torrential downpour of “what if’s” that come with despair, your immediate sensations have the goods for what is actually going on. For me, my feet, pelvis and chest were the true land of my suffering.
2) Read Intuitive Self Healing by Marie Manucherhri to understand what the different areas of our bodies stand for. As a former oncology nurse, she is an amazing and modern teacher of the human energy system.
3) I also read Feelings Buried Alive Never Die by Karol K. Truman. I know, such a dramatic title, though you can’t deny it gets to the point. On a recommendation from Marie, I’ve had this book for a few years and never read it. As I wrestled with my feelings this past month I dug it up. It has this script in it which I found very powerful and an excellent reference point for healing. The script uses the word “God” a few times which isn’t a word I relate to, so I replaced it with “universe” or “universal” and the script still flowed beautifully.
4) Email/call your dearest friends and ask them to love you up. If I could star this one I would. I don’t know what the hell that is, but when someone who you have a bond with reminds you that you are not broken and that it is all going to be OK, that is the best stuff ever. Mama Gena says “community is immunity.” For many during a despairing bout, our ego tells us to handle it all alone or that we suck if we can’t, thus, the inclination to hole up is pretty huge. Reaching out to the people who will tell you they love you and it’s all going to be OK is divine gold. Those simple words have taken me very far.
5) The most physically painful thing I ever did was birth my son sans drugs. I poured my Goddesshood all over that experience. With every contraction I repeated “this is divine.” It’s a bold move to say “this is divine” when things feel so undivine, but if you can say it (and believe it) you may render your relentless ego speechless.
6) Light a candle in honor of all things you don’t understand. So much of my despair was coming from a young part of my psyche that struggled with things she couldn’t understand back then. Add that to all the things I currently don’t understand and well, sometimes all we need to do is honor that basic truth -> so much of life is incomprehensible. Honoring it helps.
7) Write a love letter to your soul. Havi Brook’s often talks about a part of herself called “Slightly Wiser Me” that she journals with and helps her find the truth of a situation. Even when we are so mega confused and despairing, we all have a “Slightly Wiser Me “inside us that we can talk to. I’ve been journaling with her a lot and she’s been super loving … and wise.
8) Genius Havi also created a Monster Manual & Colouring book. I just bought it.
9) Click on a Deva card at Hiro Boga’s site. Do her meditation beforehand. I LOVE these cards. They have provided me so much comfort and insight.
Sigh. I hope this is helpful.
On a lighter note, take a good last look around my site as I am changing things up and retiring the name “VOLVER.” Though I will certainly miss all of its meanings, I will not miss people mispronouncing it. I am also two-thirds of the way done with The Goddess Process, which next to my kids and marriage, is undoubtedly my most epic creation. My VOLVER facebook page is closed and my new awesome page is here.
Today is Feminism’s Birthday!!!
I found out last night while reading Chalice and The Blade by Riane Eisler. She notes that on July 19th, 1948 in Seneca Falls NY, the first convention in recorded history “was held for the express purpose of launching women’s collective struggle against subordination and degradation.”
Elizabeth Cady Stanton lit the match with this pivotal statement. “Among the many important questions which have been brought before the public, there is none that more vitally affects the human family than that which is technically called ‘Woman’s Rights.’”
In the western world, the fire blazes bright. Thank you, Elizabeth and to all the women who dared to stand, and continue to stand, for women’s liberation.
All the goodness we want for the world is rooted in the actualization of women. (Yes, it’s true.)
Speaking of the actualization of women … I am writing and researching my voluptuous tail off . Sisters, The Goddess Process is coming.
In the meantime and on this incredibly special day, I leave you with this soul-surrendering video from spiritual siren Sera Beak. May all women and men live from the depths of their souls.
Self-love is not a pedi. Bummer, right?
I do love my pedis. Very much, in fact. And don’t get me wrong, women who know the sacred power of receiving pleasure and cultivating beauty are the kind of sisters I like to hang with. BUT, the truth is that you can be a rock star at pleasure and beauty but still doubt, judge, fear, and …. hate yourself …. often.
What is self-love? I think it’s our relationship to our selves and when I use “selves” I mean the many diverse and often contradictory emotions and aspects of our being. On a very basic level, self-love means developing a loving relationship with a wild cast of characters, aka negative beliefs. It’s a daunting task at first, though once you realize all the isolation and confusion these unattended beliefs create, self-love seems like a much better option.
Awareness is the first step to getting anywhere on the self-love road. Notice when you are captured by a negative belief. Fear, criticism, frustration, impatience, judgement, doubt, aggression … whether aimed at yourself or others, these are all issues of self-love.
I am being put to the self-love test. I messed up my lower back three days ago and have been bedridden since. Naturally, I’ve had a few impatient and frustrated moments being in pain and stuck in bed. Louise Hay in her book You Can Heal Your Life, says lower back pain has to do with money and I can’t deny I put a lot of pressure on myself to make money. Although my man is a great provider, I was raised in a blue collar family and these messages ring loud: “WORK HARD.” “EARN YOUR WAY.” “BE INDEPENDENT.” “SURVIVE.” Despite my comfortable situation, I have this belief that I must bust my ass and earn my own money, or I might not make it.
It helps to give a neg belief a fun name, so I named this one the “Blue Collar Bully” (BCB). Her voice looms large in my being. Especially now, when I am completely out of the game and can’t even make dinner to “earn” my keep.
After three frustrating days in bed unable to move, I decided to pour rightfulness all over my lower back pain by writing a list of all the many blessings of my situation … and there were many (having time to write this post is one of them). Then the BCB and I had a long overdue conversation.
As it turns out, she’s quite vulnerable and afraid. She’s mainly afraid I’ll be a “loser” (her words). When I asked her to define “loser” she said it was someone who is unable to create what they deeply desire. We then examined the lives of some people we knew who died without conjuring their deepest desires. Sure enough, their lives seemed void of awareness and self-love. We also talked about how much we loved these people and how hard it was to witness their unhappiness. I assured her I was on a different path to becoming me and that she could chill. We hugged and I thanked her for looking out for me. No lie, she was so appreciative that we finally talked.
I am not saying this is “the” path to self-love. It’s one that feels relevant and practical to me. I have no doubt there are many paths. Whatever your intervention, feeling peaceful, open, and/or loving are great barometers. And hey, if a pedi is what calms your demons down, I bow to you.
I also don’t think I will wake-up tomorrow cured, but I don’t think I will wake up frustrated and harassed by my psyche either … or at least this aspect of it. And if I am, we will sit down and talk it over, again.
It’s been a wee bit since I’ve clicked “publish” and I gotta tell ya … taking a break has been divine (I highly recommend completely checking out.) The truth be told, I am not a blogger. I do LOVE to share and communicate, and this blog is an awesome way to do just that, so I will keep … blogging. This and many other realizations have happened since Taft’s departure. Losing someone I care about has brought me to the essence of my life and clarity feels glued to my heart.
Prior to Taft leaving, I’d been trying to name this “thing” I have brewing inside me. A BIG project to bring to women that includes practically everything I know … but I needed a name first and for months I was coming up empty.
I knew that participants would find it super meaningful and healing … like therapy, but it wasn’t therapy. They would also feel a profound clarity and confidence to become their greatest self … like coaching, but it wasn’t coaching. My brow strained as I thought and thought. What’s the name? What’s the name? Coapy? Theroaching? I know, embarrassing. I was that desperate.
After Taft’s funeral, I tended to his mom for a few days. Upon arriving home from the trenches of shock and despair, I laid down a lot. I didn’t nap. I just laid there, unable to move, staring at the ceiling, there was nothing to do. It felt like every cell in my body was waving a white flag. It was eerily peaceful.
During one of these flat-on-my-back moments I realized the power of this stripped down spot and I asked: What’s the name?
“The Goddess Process” instantly appeared in my mind.
(I am quite aware that some of you are thinking “duh.”. That was my next thought.)
So there it is. Sometime in 2012 you will hear and maybe dip into the wildly restorative waters of “The Goddess Process” (perhaps even see a new website.). I have an amazing project midwife and we are working hard.
Fabulousness cometh …
Three weeks ago my 13-year-old nephew was caught in an avalanche while skiing. He hit a tree and died immediately. So while I am usually an upbeat “all things are possible” kind of chick, grief weighs heavy on my being.
As I ponder motherhood and creativity, death and loss cast their shadow and I can’t help but think of Pele, The Fire Goddess who creates the Big Island of Hawaii. She is the spirit of the volcano and all locals revere her power.
Regular tourists know to never take her babies- the beautiful black lava rocks that are abundantly found on the island. Boxes of rocks are returned to the island each year from tourists who have dared to snatch a small souvenir, only to encounter severe strokes of bad luck once back home.
Four years ago, I visited the Big Island with my hubby, baby girl and mother. After going for a hike on the beach, my mom returned with an assortment of shells and … black rocks. “Look at these beautiful black rocks,” she beamed. I immediately told her of Pele’s legend and told her to put them back. “I am not superstitious” she scoffed. “I love the earth and the earth loves me. Pele is happy I have her rocks.”
A few days later we met up with more family and traveled to the actual site of the volcano. One evening I stayed at the hotel with my little one and the rest of the family went to hike the volcano at night, when the land is abundant with the orange glow of lava. A few hours later, I heard cars pull up and in walked my mom … her arm in a cast. She tripped and fell on the lava rock and broke her first bone ever.
Two days later, on our way to the airport, we planned to stop at our original hotel so my mom could return the rocks. Feeling pressed for time, my husband (half jokingly) said to my mom, “Hey Victoria, I’ll slow down and you just throw them out the window.” My mom replied back, “You will stop this car. I will not put them back unceremoniously.” We pulled over, and with a humble apology to Pele she returned the rocks.
Our feminine ability to create life turns us into suicidal killers. We would kill for our baby’s safety and if they cross over before we do, we would want to go with them (though my sister-in-law says she never had that thought … I am not that reasonable.)
Something is always dying so something else can be born. When we become mothers, our youthful freedom dies. When we create new ideas, we kill off outdated ones. When we decide to create, all distractions and deterrents must die.
Creativity kills. Death creates. Always.
As many of you have already heard, six weeks ago, my thirteen year old nephew died in an avalanche while skiing in Colorado. He hit a tree and died instantly. He was the son of my husband’s sister Louise with whom I am very close. His name was Taft MacKenzie Conlin.
Shortly after the accident and very rattled, I called one of my intuitive friends for some divine counsel. She said that she heard children who died young are really angels who come to earth for a human experience. This picture was given out to all (1200) funeral attendees. It was taken last year and definitely seems to affirm this angel theory. Additionally, he was mighty angelic in his look. Perfect face with huge blue eyes.
His mom and I were on a walk a few days after the funeral, talking about the angel theory and had a small giggle at the fact that Taft was such a little devil. At his funeral his uncle described Taft as ” … equal parts sweetness and mischief. If it burned, blew up, went fast or could be broken, there was Taft, right in the middle, leading the charge- pop guns, potato guns, squirt guns, real guns, you name it.”
I remember the first time I visited Taft’s family in Colorado. Taft was about three and we spent the weekend at his house. Though David’s family is beyond lovely, I was super PMS and pissy. It was a rough weekend and I was eager to return home. Just as we were about to leave, I was putting the last few things in the car. I walked back to the house for one more bag and there stood Taft, pointing a garden hose at me. I stared down at him and growled, “Don’t you dare.” With irreverent glee, he doused me. I was astonished … and drenched.
The last time I saw him was this past Christmas. He played with my five year old daughter and her friend for hours. I listened to non-stop squeals of joy as they wrestled him, chased him and he tossed them in the air.
Equal parts sweetness and mischief.
I am praying (and like, I don’t pray) that his sister, mom and dad are receiving tons of support (and I believe they are.) As many of us might imagine, the emotional pain of losing a child makes the physical pain of childbirth seem like a day at the spa.
I am leveled by Taft’s departure.
Dearest Little Goddess,
Being that your mama is all about “returning a fiercely loving feminine legacy” I certainly think about empowering your womanhood … a lot.
Since you are only five “and a half” and thus, have much more pressing matters on your mind, I’ve decided to write to you about some of my big “aha” moments and maybe one day down the road, you will read them (and maybe even dig them.)
There is so much to write, but today I want to simply tell you about motherhood and sisterhood. I was recently interviewed by an amazing woman for her “Maybe Baby” e-course and I adorably start off my interview by saying that motherhood “annihilated” me. Though the people who speak embellishmentese understand what I mean, some amazing folks emailed me desiring elaboration.
First, let me distinguish between you and motherhood.
You were hands down one of the most amazing things to ever arrive into my life. I was blown open with a fierce love when I held you for the first time. Till this day, I watch you in complete wonder. And you were born on the eve of the “pink moon” which in hindsight was the most auspicious wink from the universe of all the wisdom you would bring.
Essentially there was something about being the mother of a young child that felt so off for me. I felt a constant craving I couldn’t put my finger on. For the first year and a half, it was a riddle that teased me at every turn and I wrestled with it, and demanded it reveal itself. It eventually did.
What I finally came to realize was that I was missing a strong female community. Not too long ago and for thousands of years, women raised children together. It’s only in the last century that most modern women shifted into raising their kids with their partners. My DNA was craving the old paradigm.
My situation was an extreme case of how not to do it because I had recently moved to Seattle where I didn’t have deep roots. Couple this with my “I can do it myself”-ness (AKA an inability to receive) and I created a breeding ground of isolation.
Not developing/maintaining strong and supportive female relationships was my biggest “mistake.” When the torrential rains of motherhood hit: sleep deprivation, hormones and the pressure that every modern woman juggles, affirming sisterhood gets you through. It makes the first wildly demanding years of motherhood doable.
SO, what I mean by “annihilated” is that motherhood destroyed my illusion that I was an independent being who could do it all by myself. Realizing this truth has been one of the best things that ever happened to me.
Today, I could write pages about all that separates women from each other, but I’ll save that for another time. Know that I am on it. Also know that as soon as I realized what I was missing, I did an immediate course correct and have been soaking up sisterly love ever since.
There it is, love. For these reasons, if you should one day choose to become a parent, one of my biggest desires for you is that you feel fueled by the support of a loving female community. Yes, this is true for every aspect of life - when you have a pack of loving women behind you, you can do anything.
“The Goddess Process is the hottest thing to hit this town … ever” Fran Buchanan, Seattle, WA
“You make me fiercely proud to be a woman. The way you weave incredibly important messages about the feminine WITH your brand of humour, wit and light is beyond magnificent.” Tanya Geisler
“It’s hard to get the ying and yang right. Nice to see it done so beautifully. It’s kinda perfect.” M.K. Seattle, WA
“The essence of The Goddess Process just oozes out of every pore of your body and it is mind blowing.” M.L. Seattle WA
“The entire experience was one of the most joyous, loving, free-spirited, luscious, deeply soul-nourishing, inspiring, bonding experiences I’ve ever had, ANYWHERE or at any time” Christine Hansen
“This experience opens my heart to feel love in a whole new way.” F.B. Seattle, WA
“Dara McKinley is pure genius and light.” K.P. Seattle, WA
“Wow, I am blown away by the experience of this workshop. It has placed me on a feminine path that is all me AND all woman. I am over the moon grateful for the opportunity to return to this truth.” D.I. Seattle, WA
“I am grateful for the wisdom that emerged, the full body insights about my feminine essence and the opportunity to set “security” on fire. Thank you for so beautifully sharing your purpose and light.” Jennifer Lucero-Earl
“The Goddess Process is outstanding!” Heather Smith, Seattle, WA
“I learned things about being a woman in this modern world I didn’t know, I didn’t know. Your workshop was deeply transformational and I am grateful.” Lauren Harkness
“I am thrilled to be part of this group. I left the class with a glow, a buzz. a bright inspiration … this is GOOOOOD stuff.” Nityia Przewlocki
“… this experience, it’s impossible to convey in words. I have taken lots of classes and done lots of “work” in this subject area, but none of them hit home quite the way this retreat did.” M.T., Los Angeles
“The course was life-changing … I’ve learned to harness the positive and discovered so much of it, that there just isn’t room for the negative anymore.” T.F., Seattle, WA
“It is more powerful ~ and significantly more enjoyable ~ than years of therapy. It has enabled me to find pleasure in all the nooks and crannies of my daily life.” Richelle Nielson, Seattle, WA
“I am still vibrating in the most amazing way thanks to the truly extraordinary and transformational week which I WILL NEVER forget.”Christine Hansen
“This circle of women lift me up like nothing else … The changes in my life, my body, my relationships, and my sense of myself are deep and I know they will last.” Michele Lisenbury
- One Thing That Can Heal The World
- Ten Ways to Get Divinely Down & Dirty With Despair
- Self-Love is Not a Pedi
- A Letter to my Daughter: Motherhood & Sisterhood
- An Arsenal of Feminine Power … Feeling Beautiful
- The Sexual Limits of a Sex Positive World
- A World of Heroes
- Radical News, Sisters: You Are Emotional and Sensitive
- The Worst Thing You Could Say to a Sister … and the Best
- How To Keep Your Woman
- Getting Right on Wrong
- Vitamin See