Phenomenal Women: Dara McKinley

While I was creating my new course, Happily Ever After: A (Self) Love Story (juicy details on that to follow!), I decided that I needed to find out what makes some of the women whom I admire feel their most abundant, walk the world their radiant best. And because we're all in a community of supportive sisters, it seemed only right that I share their inspiring, hilarious, and often resonant responses with you. Every few weeks, I will introduce you to someone whose work and spirit have been life-changing for me, and hopefully you'll find yourself touched and motivated, too.


The tag line for Dara McKinley’s business is "Empowering Modern Goddesshood." Isn’t that delicious?  I’ll admit, I have the attention span of a cricket when it comes to learning something new, but when Dara is teaching I can’t help but listen. I have been lucky enough to be a student at her live workshops, and now she has an incredible program called The Goddess Process that you can enjoy from anywhere. If you are a goddess (and I know you are, otherwise you wouldn’t be here!), then Dara is a true gem and your natural teacher.

JW: How would you describe your spiritual practice?

DM: I’m the type of person who feels extremely off-center without frequent communication with the divine and unconditional loving kindness. So I am a huge fan of prayer, meditation, and visualizations. I also love Tarot. Though if I had to sum up the heart of my spiritual “practice” these days, it is this: I keep my heart open by blessing the f#&k out of everything and anything my mind judges as wrong or scary. When I succumb to judgment and fear, it’s my own heart that takes the beating. I think living a life surrendered to the divine is a beautiful thing and the only true place where fearlessness exists.

JW: Who have been your greatest influences?

DM: I love Marianne Williamson, Riane Eisler, and Anne Lamott. Besides being phenomenal spiritual teachers, they all take the gifts of their spiritual perspectives into the realms of politics, economics, and public policy. I obviously think is it amazing and essential for women to individually reclaim their feminine power— it’s my line of work— but until feminine power is respected and revered on the political level, feminine freedom will be on the defense. These women dare to speak for the feminine side of the political equation, and I think that is incredibly hot.

JW: What is the most magical thing that has ever happened to you?

DM: I had this really auspicious week when I was 29 years old. I had just finished a three week cleanse where I lost 15 pounds. I met my super awesome husband, and I inherited enough money to pay for graduate school. The cleanse ending, the first date with my man, and the inheritance arriving all occurred in the same week. I would pinch myself in the mornings.

JW: What movie do you watch when you need a good cry?

DM: Whale Rider.