A Few Words About Resistance


Graffiti in San Francisco

Do you ever wonder if you’re normal, or worry that you’re not?

Does it ever feel like everyone else has uncovered a crucial piece of the Puzzle of Life, but that somehow, this piece will never be made known to you, because you are inherently and fatally flawed in some way?

Luckily, there is a simple, totally objective way to determine how normal you really are:

Step #1: Read this post and take note of the journaling exercise it suggests.

Step #2: React to the prescribed activity in one of the following ways:

a) With violent, full-body resistance! Examples of this reaction include declaring with force that this exercise, in no way, applies to you whatsoever and/or dismissing the author as a total lunatic. (Bonus points for both.)

b) With coolness, mild curiosity, and a vague, fleeting “I should do this… someday” thought. (Note: this is also resistance). Examples of this reaction include ‘getting it!’ on a purely intellectual level, seeing the value of the journaling exercise in an abstract concept kind of way, and even feeling really excited about the exercise but then… not writing down a solitary word.

If these steps apply to you in any way,

Congratulate yourself for being normal. Resistance = Totally Natural. I love it! Then:

Step #3: Read the follow-up post and let some of the core concepts sink in.

Step #4: React to the follow-up post in one of the following ways:

a) Listing 1,001 logical, bulletproof reasons about why these posts supremely, superly-duperly do not apply to you. At all. Whatsoever. Bonus points for scoffing in disgust and/or swiftly hitting the “delete” button in your inbox. Bam!

b) Hedging: Accepting the possibility that these posts might have something valuable or insightful to offer, but then lamenting that you are currently too busy, too stressed, too out of paper and pens, too wanting to buy the perfect journal before you write anything down, and too preoccupied with planning the menu for next year’s Christmas dinner to actually do the writing exercise now. So sorry– my hands are tied! Ahem.

c) Deciding that you are too overweight and too far gone for a stupid journal entry to make a difference, anyway.

d) Confirming internally that you’re not overweight enough to merit worrying about your weight or doing some silly journaling exercise in the first place.  “This is for people who are morbidly obese. That’s totally not me.”

e) Realizing with triumph that the author of these posts is not at her all-time thinnest, and therefore dismissing her ideas as crap. If that journaling exercise worked so well, then why does she still weigh more than 100lbs? AM I RIGHT??! Huh??!

f) Discovering with bitterness that the author of these posts might, in fact, already weigh less than you could even dream about weighing yourself… and therefore dismissing her ideas as crap. Why does *she* care about her weight, anyway? God, I would kill to look like her! We obviously have nothing in common. She can’t help me.

If any of the above scenarios resonate with you, even in the slightest,

Congratulate yourself wholeheartedly for being completely and utterly normal. Hello, Resistance! What a relief!

Resistance is a tricky beast, my dear– one that continually eludes capture and avoids being slain. In contrast to issues that truly have no relevance or personal connection to you, Resistance can easily be identified by the telltale energetic charge it carries within your psyche. Denying something takes energy: that’s a charge. Likewise, suppressing something takes energy. Ignoring something takes energy. Justifying something takes energy. Rationalizing or explaining something away takes energy. Pretending that something doesn’t apply to you (when it does) takes energy. Projecting onto other people takes energy. (In contrast, things that really, honestly, cross-your-heart don’t relate to you simply don’t relate, without you having to push, pull, or otherwise expend energy to fashion them into a desired shape. You simply report on these things, like a meteorologist reports on today’s weather. “Is it raining outside?” “Yup.” No charge of resistance, see?)  

You might have experienced some Resistance when reading my two previous posts (which are here and here, in case you resisted clicking on the links I inserted earlier in this post. Heh.) This Resistance might have been directed outward– wondering why I’m posting these sorts of essays now and longing for the amusing, easily digestible tales I used to post. (I just want to read about cats and rainbows, OK? Is that too much to ask?) Or, this Resistance might have been directed inward, my words landing close to home and more than a little too close for comfort. Yikes, I don’t even want to go there. That’s okay, too.

Resistance seems to make so much darn sense most of the time, especially when it comes to exploring intimate and personal topics such as our bodies and what they weigh. Gulp. Resistance cautions us: Wait. Why would we put ourselves out there? Why would we risk being hurt? How can we know for sure that this Dana girl knows what she’s talking about? How can we guarantee that this journaling exercise even works? We’ve all been burned before– over-trusting, over-sharing, over-laying-our-hearts-on-the-line and over-having-them-crushed-by-people-we-thought-would-never-hurt-us. We’ve tried so many things. We’ve been disappointed so many times. And why should this so-called “journaling exercise” be any different?

I get it.

Listen. If a part of you connects with what I’ve been saying about weight (even a small, timid part of you), but another (BIG) part of you feels resistant, worried, overwhelmed, or even scared about moving in the direction of a more intuitive, self-exploratory, non-dieting approach to your body, please be gentle with yourself. There is no need to make yourself wrong for feeling a totally normal emotion, and that’s all Resistance is. First of all, you’re not the only person who feels this way or has ever felt this way. You’re normal, remember? Hooray! And secondly, it might be helpful to know that I had my own experiences feeling eleventeen hundred shades of resistance when I started this conscious weight loss journey, too. (You can read about my “Oh sh*t!” moment here.)

Anyway. As promised, we will start exploring some simple ways to re-train and re-program our core (but limiting) beliefs about weight loss in the next post. I just wanted to take the time to reassure you in the off-chance that you were maybe experiencing some Resistance. (Totally normal!) In the meantime, gently and lovingly check in with your intuition and ask yourself with the utmost kindness,

  • Am I experiencing resistance to these concepts, or is there genuinely no energetic charge for me around my weight or body? (Note: Either option is totally fine– just don’t go forcing issues upon yourself if you don’t already have them, please.)
  • If I am feeling resistant, can I accept and forgive myself for feeling this way?
  • If I am feeling resistant, where in my body does the resistance reside? Can I describe its location, shape, color, temperature, smell, relative weight, or other properties?
  • Can I become curious about my resistance?
  • Can I open myself up… perhaps… to a different perspective?
  • What would support me in exploring a different perspective? How can I open myself up?

Until next time, xo. 🙂

Dana profile

Checking in from AZ


Hey there!

This post is meant to be a quick and off-the-cuff love note to you. Marty and I are in Tucson right now, staying at a mildly disgusting motel while we search for an endearing suite to call home for the next few months. We have seen so many places between November and now– San Diego, Orlando, Calgary, Mukilteo, Bellingham, Port Townsend, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, the California Coastline, Joshua Tree National Park, and now Tucson. Whew! I’m feeling more than a little road-weary and definitely ready to ground for a while.

Also: My heart has been crying out to me daily, persistently, urgently, practically non-stop, telling me to Get Going! with my coaching business already. It’s time! I have a zillion and one things to say, a million and one posts to write, a billion and one videos to record, and yet Le Internet has not been so cooperative, especially when we’ve been living out of the back of our van in the middle of nowhere, USA. That’s okay. I’ll be totally ready when The Internet is ready. It’s only a matter of time now…

I love and appreciate you, dear reader. Yes, YOU. And I want to offer you everything that’s been bubbling beneath the surface for a long, long time.

I want to speak with you, dear reader. Yes, YOU. All I’m waiting for is a steady internet connection, and then we can fly together! Thanks to the magic of Skype!

In the meantime, here are some things I’ve been pondering lately. If you’ve been thinking about the same sorts of things, let’s set up a time to talk, okay? You can email me (dana DOT m DOT machacek AT gmail DOT com) and I’ll let you know as soon as I have the internet up and running. There will be no cost, no expectations, and no set ‘program’ to follow when we chat. I just want (and need) to flow. And I want you (yes, YOU) to be a part of that flow. Sound good? Okay. Does any of this resonate:

  • Does your inner critic have a lot to say about your body and physical appearance? Do you believe you have to wait to do certain exciting things in your life (i.e. get promoted, fall in love, finally publish that book you’ve been working on, have fun, etc.) until you’ve lost a certain amount of weight? Let’s talk.
  • Are you totally bogged down in diet/weight loss information– lists of foods that are “allowed” and “good for you”, counting calories/grams/exercise minutes/miles, etc.? Would you rather take a more intuitive approach to food, weight, and body image? Let’s talk.
  • Are you running out of willpower, self-discipline, and self-control when it comes to dieting, eating right, or being healthy? Are you looking for another way? Let’s talk.
  • Do you sense that your weight issues might have a substantial emotional component to them? Are you an emotional eater? Does your physical body act as a protective buffer or boundary of sorts against certain people, situations, or places? Let’s talk.
  • Do you feel a little dumb or superficial even thinking about losing weight? After all, aren’t there more important things to deal with (like fostering world peace and discovering a cure for cancer?) If a part of you wants to lose weight but another part of you feels like a traitor to women’s rights for even thinking about it, let’s talk.

Here’s the scoop: I’m just getting started on this “weight loss coaching” journey, so I’d love to offer a free session (or perhaps free sessions) to women who are struggling with their weight, who have tried dieting in the past, and who are looking for a completely new approach to their bodies and weight issues. 30-45 minutes sound good? You can set up a free session with me via e-mail, even if you’ve been a coaching client of mine in the past– the free part is open to everyone. 🙂 I’ll ask you to complete a short intake questionnaire before we set up a time to Skype, just so I can tailor our session to your specific needs and wants. Skype works best for me, and right now we are in the Arizona Time Zone. If you live across the world but still want to talk, we can also do “sessions” via e-mail, or I can record a video for you to watch. Or we can coordinate a time via the world clock! Let’s do this, sister! dana DOT m DOT machacek AT gmail DOT com. Do eet. I can’t wait! xoxo

Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt

In case it isn’t obvious, I haven’t posted here in months. And months. (And months!) It’s not that I didn’t have anything to say– I did. It’s not that I couldn’t find the time to post– I could.

The thing is… I was being bullied into keeping my mouth shut. Yes, bullied! SHE told me that my ideas weren’t original, profound, or immaculate enough to merit a push of the publish button. SHE said that I could either be humorous or helpful, sarcastic or spiritual, but that I could never, ever, EVER be an offbeat mixture of the two. (After all, that would be blasphemous!)

Don't even try to pose for a romantic photo with your beloved husband, only to be photobombed by a hairless Sphynx cat. That just isn't done!

Don’t even think about posing for a romantic photo with your beloved husband in poor lighting, only to be photo-bombed by a hairless Sphynx cat. Things like that just aren’t done!

SHE is Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt, and for a while– up until this very moment, in fact– I believed everything she said. And so the writing stopped. My voice dried up like a California raisin, dusty and uncertain, and Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt stood watch, ensuring that nothing suspect (i.e. helpful and entertaining) got posted here “accidentally” in the meantime.


Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt, retro glasses and bindi intact (gauzy head scarf optional.)

Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt, retro glasses and bindi intact (gauzy head scarf optional.)

Spoiler alert: Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt is technically still me, only she’s the version of me who insists that everything self help-related be delivered in syrupy packets, swirling cursive, and/or sanitized affirmations.

“Reach for the stars!”, she will sing, her voice vanilla-scented and tinkling like the most delicate of bells. “Dream big and stay in school!”

Regular Me resists this flowery, woo-woo voodoo– fiercely. Pointedly. Aggressively. Still, though– Regular Me is drawn inexplicably towards things like crystals, tarot cards, and universal magic, and yet equally, viciously terrified of being sucked into a vortex of patchouli and tie-dye, never to return.

I say affirmations to myself in the mirror and worry that Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt is peering over my shoulder, secretly setting a honey-kissed trap and plotting to steal my sense of humor forever. I complete a morning energy medicine routine and fear that she will swallow me whole! “Do you like the Law of Attraction?”, I imagine her coaxing me, her inquiry deceptively innocuous. “If so, pay the toll: NOTHING FUNNY CAN BE WRITTEN FROM THIS DAY FORWARD, FOREVER AND EVER, SO HELP YOU GODDESS.” Yeesh!

Only serious and serene starfish photos allowed!

Only serious and serene starfish photos allowed from now on! (PS: Those aren’t my hands.)

want to talk about how awesome my abundance altar is, but not if I have to weave daisy chains through my peasant-inspired pleats to do so. (Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt would love that.)

I’m practically itching to tell you everything I’ve learned about tapping and energy medicine lately, but certainly not if I have to deliver my words in a solemn, earnest tone, delicately touching my heart chakra (you know, to keep the channels open.)

There’s so, so much to show and so, so much to tell, but honestly? I can’t bear to share any of it if I have to do it, Magick Faery Goddess Wind Chimes-style. That’s just not my style… most of the time, anyway. Heh.

So here’s what I propose:

I’m going to learn, and I’m going to share what I’ve learned here.

Sometimes, you might have to refrain from guffawing at your computer screen while you are at the office, reading my posts while you are supposed to be working. (That’s how outrageous and hilarious they might be!)

At other times, Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt might have her way with me, and I’ll serenely impart some nuggets of universal wisdom to you, perhaps causing you to touch your heart chakra involuntarily (you know, to keep the channels open).

Word to the wise: green is the color of the heart chakra. In case you were wondering...

Word to the wise: green is the color of the heart chakra. In case you were wondering…

Either way, I’m tired of not writing and tired of not saying all of the things that need to be said. Sound cool? Excellent.

I’ve missed you!

How you been since February?



Are You There, Margaret? It’s Me: God

This is an intensely personal post for me– not in the awkward Overshare kind of way, but in the I Don’t Usually Reveal This Softer, Sensitive Side Of Me in Public kind of way. Religion and spirituality are hot button and often controversial topics already– better left untouched and/or unspoken– but when you add in layers of guilt and shame from years of being taught certain things but feeling differently in your own heart, you’ve got a regular recipe for electrocution. Shazam!! I’ll be talking about spirituality today! I don’t mind if you tune out for this particular post if spirituality isn’t your thing. Maybe check out some pictures of baby animals instead? Otherwise, I appreciate you reading this with an open mind and heart. xo!


Many of you know that I grew up in a Very Catholic Family. My grandfather was actually one of the first laypeople in our city to be permitted to read aloud from the Bible during mass, and his vocabulary is still a virtual stream of direct quotes from the Best-Selling Book Of All Time. (Well, it’s more like verses from the Gospels intermingled with frustrated strings of profanity, “And Jesus said… What in hell’s name do you think you’re doing??! Jesus Christ!!! I’m trying to quote from the Bible, for god’s sake!!” Quite a character, my grandpa is). 🙂

I attended Catholic schools from Kindergarten all the way to Grade 12. We were given crosses to hang on our walls and religious pendants to wear around our necks, and we underwent most of the church’s sacraments as a class, en masse: First Communion in Grade 2, First Reconciliation in Grade 4, Confirmation in Grade 6, and regular doses of mass during junior high and high school. Passing grades in Religious Studies courses were a prerequisite for matriculation in high school, and of course it was assumed (if not outwardly required) that we all went to church every Sunday with our families.

Because nothing says "I love you, Jesus" more than puffy sleeves, crimped hair, and a total of 2 front teeth

For the most part, things in my Catholic life were fine. I enjoyed hearing about the parables (when they were paraphrased by a teacher who was a particularly great storyteller, mind you), and I threw myself wholeheartedly into the task of making macaroni crafts at Sunday School while the adults in the congregation listened to reading upon reading from the Bible upstairs. Look, ma! It’s a spaghetti rendition of the Prodigal Son! It wasn’t until I started asking my teachers in school certain questions that everything became a little… disjointed.

What do you mean, there were no women disciples? How do you know that for sure? [asked in Grade 6 when our Waste-Some-Time assignment was to draw a picture of our favourite disciple.]

What do you mean, “love the sinner, hate the sin”? Didn’t Jesus say something about doing unto ‘the least of his brethren…’ and thereby doing unto Him?” [asked in Grade 10 when a close– and gay– friend was being discriminated against via Silver Bullet verses from the Bible]

What do you mean, we can’t ask questions about premarital sex during this supposed “Family Life” unit? Don’t Catholic schoolgirls have a very high rate of teenage pregnancies? Didn’t my own, Catholic-school mother give birth to me when she was only 16 years old?? Shouldn’t we be doing something about this or talking about something else besides the epididymis? [asked every time the boring old anatomy diagrams were whipped out and flashed to our perturbed class for all of 10 seconds in “Sex Ed” before the teacher would faint from discomfort and embarrassment.]


In my young heart and soul, I felt that the overall message of Catholicism was Love: Love your neighbours, love yourself, love this earth, love each other, love everything about this wonderful life. Love your enemies! Love people regardless of their gender, race, age, sexual orientation, ability, or even their (non-Catholic) religion! Love love love love love!!

The overall theme of what was taught to me in school, however, seemed to be more like Jesus or Go To Church. Period. Like Nike says, Just Do It. Somehow, the simplicity of the word Love got lost in translation: verses of the Bible were used as ammunition against people who were “different”, being a good Catholic was reduced to having perfect attendance at church, and I received a stern talking to from the nun who taught me Grade 11 Religious Studies when I somehow scored higher on the “Buddhism” test than I did on the “Catholicism” quiz during the World Religions unit. Don’t go on becoming no godforsaken Buddhist now, y’hear? Those quizzes on other religions were just thrown into the curriculum to add a semblance of diversity to our program. The only true way is through Jesus. And Church. (But especially through Jesus Church.)

Sadly, over time I developed a skeptical crust over my otherwise open heart to protect myself from The Catholics (and The Christians, and anybody who was going to throw Bible verses at me as part of their persuasive artillery). I wasn’t buying it anymore. Alas. What started out as an honest yearning on my part to just stick to the lesson of Love became a hardened resistance to the people in my life who, unlike myself, had managed to find this Love through organized religion. I felt like my parents had been duped by the Church, and I was wholly embarrassed by the over-zealousness of my Bible-thumping grandpa. I stopped going to church altogether and started secretly judging the people who did go. I was enlightened. I knew better. I didn’t need no stinking Bible, I didn’t need no corrupted church, and I certainly didn’t need no virgin priest telling me what to do or how many Hail Marys to recite.

I’m ashamed to admit that I felt this way for a very long time. I had been brought up a certain way– Catholic– with the best of intentions, but the mere mention of the word “Bible” got me all defensive, and anybody who wanted to push my buttons for whatever sadistic reason needed only to utter the name “Jesus”. (Naturally, this all caused me to feel extremely guilty and ashamed of myself– the one lesson that definitely had stuck with me throughout Sunday School was that Guilt Was The Go-To Feeling for everything. Guilt was like the Robin Hood brand of emotions: All-Purpose.)

But something was missing.

When I met Marty, I was surprised to discover that he was an intensely spiritual person. (Wasn’t spirituality for the uneducated masses?) Having grown up in the Czech Republic during the Communist period, however, Marty knew practically nothing about Jesus, or the Bible, or even the parables I reluctantly admitted to liking. There are literally hundreds upon hundreds of Catholic churches in Prague, but nobody had been allowed to practice their religion openly when Marty grew up… so Marty, bless his commie heart, grew up naturally being drawn to the loosely spiritual practice of Love.

From (Old, Communist) Statue Park in Budapest

Marty’s respect and genuine love for other people– even The Catholics and The Christians and The People Who Quoted The Bible– opened my eyes again. Through him, I realized that my resistance to my religious upbringing had completely missed the point and defeated the purpose: I had become exactly like the people I had judgednarrow-minded and dogmatic– just in a different way.

So I opened myself up to spirituality again. I embraced God wherever I found Him– in other people, in animals, in nature, in delicious meals, in synchronicity, and in life’s tougher lessons. Today, I call myself spiritual but still shy away from the term religious. For better or for worse, I use the word Universe interchangeably with the word God. I do not read (or, I’ll admit it– respond very well to) the Bible, but I accept that millions of other people do. That’s okay. To me, being a spiritual being does not have to involve attending church or studying any particular sacred text, line by line. Instead, spirituality requires a commitment to Love and an openness of the heart and soul. That’s it– all you need is Love.

Whenever I feel like I am out of balance or losing my way, inevitably it is because I have closed myself off from the channel of Love. I have judged others or have felt judged myself. I have suffered from a lack of self-love. I have prioritized only one aspect of my health without loving my whole self: diet and nutrition plus exercise plus mental health plus sexuality plus being social plus my spiritual health. All in all, spirituality has found me again, but it looks nothing like the spirituality of my childhood and youth. That’s okay, though– it’s all good.