59: Forgiveness and Feminine Power with Dara McKinley

Welcome to the Emerging Women podcast, where we hear from brilliant women leaders creating big change in the world.

I’m your host, Chantal Pierrat.

Today’s guest is my longtime friend Dara McKinley.

Dara is a thought leader in the divine feminine, an entrepreneur, and a modern spiritual guide in the art of forgiveness.

She holds a graduate degree from Naropa University in Boulder and formerly ran a successful private counseling practice.

Twelve years ago, Dara suffered a painful betrayal by a business partner that left her questioning herself. She asked the Divine Mother for answers and received an answer that simply said: Forgive.

At first, she was reluctant. But she began to research the art of forgiveness, ultimately developing a finely-tuned practice of forgiveness that allowed her to reclaim her personal power.

And, she says … you can learn how to forgive, too.

“I define forgiveness as a spiritual experience that heals betrayal,” Dara says in today’s podcast. (7:00) What’s more, she says, mastering the art of forgiveness is key to unlocking your divine feminine power.

“Some not-so-obvious indicators that you may be in need of forgiveness are being very judgmental of others, being very judgmental of yourself, insomnia that has you worried in the middle of the night, and chronic anxiety.” (7:21)

Dara advises doing the “wince test.”

“Think of something in your life that when people bring it up or you think about it – just makes you wince inside,” she says. This is the area where you need to explore forgiveness.

Here are some fantastic quotes from my podcast interview with Dara:

  • “Forgiveness is not a tool; it’s foundational. Because the path to the feminine rise is going to involve loss and failure.” (10:08)
  • “The transformational process of forgiveness leaves you in such a stronger place than you ever could have imagined.” (10:45)
  • “The definition of betrayal is when someone or something you trusted fails you.” (16:08)
  • “Now, I use the word betrayal in my course to talk about anything that would benefit from forgiveness even if what failed you was yourself.” (16:41)
  • “Forgiveness is a function of universal love, and universal love operates even when there is no understanding and no empathy, universal love can still be accessed and applied.” (22:26)
  • “One of my big goals with this work is to evolve and create a working definition for forgiveness from pardoning offenses and ceasing anger to forgiveness is a spiritual experience that heals betrayal, that heals when what you trusted … fails.” (24:24)
  • “If forgiveness has your back then you’re invincible because no matter where you trip and fall and stumble, you’re going to be able to move forward in a really quick way.” (33:15)

 

In today’s podcast, Dara and I talk about one of the most challenging opportunities: self-forgiveness.

“Sometimes you need to forgive the aspect of yourself that gives you a hard time.” (8:37)

It never occurred to me when we started talking about this that the thing that I would pick to test this course would be myself. When I realized I was going to forgive myself, I feel like I struck gold.

Self-forgiveness goes way beyond having compassion for oneself.

It is:

A clearing out of what is holding us back. And an act of surrender and a letting go of that which does not serve us.

Self-forgiveness is an all-powerful gateway to personal power.

It takes openness, empathy, vulnerability, and receptivity – all inherently feminine strengths.

The truth is: We all have someone or something to forgive – perhaps even ourselves.

It’s not just about forgiveness. It’s about healing ourselves, others and the planet. And creating a future where empathy, vulnerability, and true feminine strength reign supreme.

It’s all a part of the Emerging Women ethos, so let’s jump right into this unique and fascinating conversation. Welcome to “Forgiveness and Feminine Power” with my friend Dara McKinley.


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Chelsea Brookshire

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Chelsea has over 10 years of experience in administrative and executive support. After her years of working in the legal and oil and gas industry, Chelsea has made it her passion to fill her life with creativity and incorporates that into everything she does. Her position at Emerging Women allows her to expand on that creativity and assist with empowering women around the world. She is a native of Colorado and enjoys spending time with her husband, bonus son, family, and friends. In her free time she loves painting, refurbishing furniture, and all things creative.

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For over 13 years, Nicole has been a producer and connector in the field of personal and professional growth and transformation, creating diverse content, life-changing curriculum, and exquisite live and online experiences. She loves to unite and facilitate people in their work to live more good, true, and beautiful lives. She’s honored to bring this diverse expertise to Emerging Women. For the past two years she has been the lead producer for Emerging Women Live, and now is bringing her extensive production, coaching and facilitation skills to EW’s Power Circles. Nicole works in private practice as a Certified Integral Master Coach™, through her company, Unabashedly You, and has worked with hundreds of women (and men) individually and as a group facilitator. She also creates programs and interviews fascinating teachers and wellness experts in her role as U.S. Content Producer for Conscious Life. She is the co-founder of Core Integral, an educational company offering a comprehensive and accessible approach to learning integral theory. Prior to this work, she owned a large and lively restaurant and brewery in Pennsylvania. She has studied extensively and worked alongside Ken Wilber (Integral Theory), Daniel Brown, PhD (Tibetan Buddhism, Self-Development, Attachment, and Positive Psychology), and Sofia Diaz (Hatha Yoga and Feminine Embodiment). She holds a Masters Degree from Lehigh University. She regularly delights in the sunshine and mountains of Colorado with her two dogs and her partner Clint, and is a new mama to her daughter Truly Golden.

Chantal Pierrat

Chantal Pierrat

Founder & CEO

Chantal’s mission is to increase women’s leadership across the globe. After earning an MBA from the University of Colorado, Chantal left a career in medical device manufacturing in search of work that would align her dedication to transformative leadership with her passion for living an inspired, impactful life. In September 2012, she founded Emerging Women, a global leadership and media platform that serves over 70,000 women worldwide and has advanced women’s leadership within Fortune 500 companies such as HP, Oracle and more. Chantal’s ultimate vision is to weave feminine leadership and authenticity into businesses, and to create a world where women have a strong voice in the shaping of our future. Prior to Emerging Women, for over a decade, Chantal served on the executive team as the VP of Sales and Marketing for Sounds True, a multimedia publishing company focused on spirituality, personal growth, and holistic living. Chantal is a sought after speaker delivering keynotes at The Grace Hopper Celebration, Wisdom 2.0, and many other stages where women’s leadership is critical to the conversation. When she is not dancing or working to empower women around the world, Chantal enjoys family time with her husband and two sons in Boulder, CO.