Christina Dunbar is Goddess of the Week!

"We are mirrors for each other, and when we’re in a group we can hold up the light to someone’s darkness. When one woman claims her power, the women around her do the same. When one woman breaks through her fears, the others feel bold enough to do the same. It’s really powerful stuff."

-- Christina Dunbar, founder of The Power Goddess

Christina Dunbar is on a mission to heal what she calls this 'blanket of shame' that has been covering the Light of a woman's true nature. As the founder of The Power Goddess, Christina is pioneering a movement to help women awaken to their beauty, embrace their sensuality, honor their sexuality, and recognize their Divine gifts. As a transformational coach and workshop facilitator, she helps women get unstuck in all areas of their life. Christina's presence alone has the power to clear away obstacles that are in the way of a woman recognizing herself as a Goddess. You can feel that deep in Christina’s core, she is rooting for every woman to claim herself as the beloved Goddess that she already is.Tabby Biddle: You express on your website: “My mission in life is to heal this ‘blanket of shame’ that has been covering the bold, bright Light that is in a woman’s true nature.” Tell me more about this blanket of shame.Christina Dunbar: Shame is something that’s coming up big time for the women I work with. It’s something that I feel is in the collective conscious—a wound that needs healing. Why is it there? There are so many reasons. Women are taught to be ashamed of their bodies if they’re not a size 2. They’re taught to divorce their sexual desires from their Spirit. They’re taught that their body’s smells and functions should be covered up and are somehow wrong. And then, there is this history of abuse against women. This verbal, mental, and sexual abuse that attacks a woman’s very Spirit. These forms of abuse happen in large and small ways. My body has been dissected and grabbed by men, in ways that feel shameful. My sister was in an abusive relationship. This is in our history and these feelings of shame that come from being a woman—this is what I am here to heal.Through my work, I have realized that there is this blanket of shame that keeps women stuck. Relationship issues, money problems, lack of sensuality or desire, a disconnection from creativity—these are all second chakra issues. When the second chakra is blocked, shame is the emotion that is coming up. The second chakra is that beautiful space right below the belly button. It is the sacred space that holds our ovaries, our womb. It is the place of sensuality and creativity. We’re so disconnected from the very place that holds power for us. Once we heal the wounds of shame, our life opens up to us because we’re coming from a place of confidence and worth. That makes all the difference in creating what we want.Tabby: Your business is called The Power Goddess. How did you first connect with the Goddess?Christina: I had an example of real-life Goddesses as I was growing up. My mom had this circle of friends—women of all different backgrounds and different accents and different shapes and sizes. They would get together and share stories and drink wine and eat good food. As I got older I became part of this tribe and I fell in love with them. I realized that they had been together through marriages, divorces, deaths, and babies—all those cycles of life.Later on in life, when my father passed, I was in a Yoga class and I just started crying. I came home to journal and I started writing about how I was meant to work with women and uplift women and all this stuff was coming to me, but I didn’t even know what it meant or looked like. At the time, I had been gifted with many Goddess books, friends had nicknamed me “Goddess,” and even strangers would greet me with “Hello Goddess.” So I began to look through the books and read about some of the myths and I just fell in love. I got more tuned into Feminine energy and earth energy and nature. Joseph Campbell, who was my father’s hero, became my hero. He talks a lot about this Feminine energy, about life, and honoring your bliss. I resonated with certain Goddesses and I realized they were the ones that had traits I needed to strengthen in my own life. The Goddesses represent different forms of energy, and I get to choose which energy is needed in a certain phase of my life.Tabby: You lead a group called The Goddess Collective, LA. What inspired you to lead this group?Christina: When the opportunity came along to be the branch leader of The Goddess Collective in Los Angeles—there are others around the country -- I said “Absolutely!” I know the power of being in the right circle of women, and by “right” I mean that I had a very strong intention of attracting a certain kind of woman for this group. She’s got a light inside. She may feel lost at times, yet she knows she’s meant for something big. She supports her growth and she supports the women around her. She uplifts others and sees their light. That’s what we’ve created at The Goddess Collective. This is a place for conscious women in business to come together in support and be in community.

One of the key missing factors for today’s busy woman is having a feminine community that she can lean on. We are mirrors for each other, and when we’re in a group we can hold up the light to someone’s darkness. I see feminine community as an essential component for women’s health, sanity, and it helps the ladies manifest quicker. The Goddesses in this group are literally creating their dreams at lightening speed. It’s so beautiful to watch. I am honored to be a part of it.

Tabby: One of the major gifts you offer women when you work with them is to help them look at the shadow emotions. Why is this so important for women?Christina: We’re taught at a very early age that the very things that are natural to us—expressing all emotions, listening to our feelings, saying how we feel—are wrong. As women especially, we’re taught to hold our anger in, to put our grief away, and to smile and just “be quiet.” This is dangerous for us. What happens is we experience a “negative” emotion in response to a painful experience and we hold that emotion in. Emotion is just energy in motion.  It needs to move, to flow. Our body stays healthy when we allow ALL emotions to flow. When we have an experience that causes us to wail in grief or scream in anger or sob in pain, we would heal much quicker if we allowed this natural process to occur.

"Each and every emotion has a message for us, it has a purpose. Our emotions are a gift."

Women are only experiencing some of their power, because they’re distancing themselves from their anger and grief. They would be much better off diving into the power of those emotions. When energy is repressed it builds up and becomes your enemy. It rules your life silently and without your awareness or consent. When you consciously open up to your shadow emotions, you can heal and learn. Anger can be used as fuel to get you out of a situation that is unhealthy or no longer working for you. With a few tweaks, anger can be turned into passion. You can then use that passion to birth a piece of art, or a business, or a book—whatever your soul is longing for.Tabby: One thing I love about you and your work is that you are so willing and able to help women in the space of anger and grief. How have you gotten to this place within yourself?Christina: I found my anger when my beautiful father passed. I had never allowed myself to feel that before…and it was powerful. It showed me the places in my life where I was unhappy (there were many). It showed where in my life I had been trapped by my own fears (there were lots of those, too). And it showed me that I had strength inside of myself. I felt more whole and balanced. Yes, there’s sweetness in me and there’s also a Lioness within—who will fight to protect my Spirit, guard my dreams, and create my destiny.Tabby: You have said: “The lost art of sharing stories has caused women to hide in their pain and feel alone in their experiences.” Tell me more about this.Christina: I’m a storyteller. Any chance I get, I share stories that are full of laughter and triumph and sadness too. When I’m speaking to women, I share my truth through my story. My life is a beautiful, dramatic, and poignant story. So is yours. We all have one, and the gift of your story should be shared because it can illuminate the way, it can inspire, and teach, and heal.

When one woman hears another woman share her story, she realizes “Oh, I’m not alone in that suffering. I’m not the only one.” It takes away some of the judgment she has for her past or current situation because she sees that others have been there, too. That’s healing.

When you can open up and share how you overcame something, or how you found your way, you’re teaching another. You are inspiring them with your story. We can all do that. One day, I’d like to create a story circle, where women come and share their deepest stories.Tabby: Speaking of women sharing their stories, you do a lot of work with women around claiming their voice. Why is this so important to you?Christina: Because I lost my voice for so long. I wasn’t super aware of it until my father passed away. That was a turning point for me. I began to see how precious life is—how beautiful, mysterious, and short. When he passed, I realized that life was meant to be lived full out. That really made me take inventory of what my reality was—and I wasn’t happy with it. Then I did the deep inner work to realize that my voice was shut down.After my father passed, I was constantly wondering—Why can’t I speak out more? What is it about my voice that I am afraid of? Then I went in deep and realized that I was not feeling worthy of speaking my message. I was not feeling connected to my passion and purpose. I was not feeling clear. It’s very hard to speak when you are not coming from a place of clarity. When there is a lot of confusion and doubt in your life, your voice shuts down. And that’s where I was at that time. I realized that I needed to get clearer about what I wanted to bring forth in the world. Then that clarity—finding my passions, finding my purpose, realizing that I was worthy enough to live that kind of life—helped me find my voice again.Tabby: How did you get that clarity?Christina: I was in a space of such grief when my father passed. You know when you are in that space you attract more of that darkness. Well, I was hit by a car—rear-ended. It happened literally right in front of my house. I was coming home from getting groceries. So this woman gets out of the car and she happens to be Russian (my parents are from Russia) and she happens to have my mom’s name. She was freaking out that she hit me, and I actually was calming her down [laugh]. Instinctively I knew that I had attracted this energy and that I was meant to be hit by the car.Prior to that, I had been going to a chiropractor. Weeks before the accident I had been checking into doing more bodywork, and I had found a woman that I wanted to work with. So the day after the accident, I decided not to go to my chiropractor, but instead do some bodywork. I began to connect with my body. When you move your body and get out of your head and move energy, you will connect with all sorts of things. It helped me get more clarity. It helped me release a lot of the anger I held around my father’s death. Before that time, I had never been able to tap into anger. It was not a feeling I let myself feel before. I began to feel my anger and release my anger—moving my body a lot—and I found my voice.Tabby: You mentioned earlier when the second chakra is blocked, shame is the emotion that is coming up. What are some ways women can unblock the second chakra?Christina: I would say the quickest way to go in there and deal with that shame, guilt, and anger is to give yourself time and permission to feel it. What happens is that most of the time we are shoving away these feelings. We are shoving away the powerful feelings that come with being frustrated with your life. That may bring up anger, or if you look a little bit deeper, you may realize you are feeling ashamed or not worthy. You may realize that you are lacking confidence to go and create some of the beautiful things that you desire deeply. So the quickest way is to really give yourself that time and space to feel without thinking. What I mean by that is that we are taught to go in there and try to fix things or figure it out, now. The most healing thing you can do is not try to fix it, not try to figure it out—just allow your body to feel what it wants to feel.What happens is that when you release these emotions, you will get answers. You will find clarity. Tears actually carry out toxins. So it’s like you are cleansing your body. If you allow yourself to wail or sob in grief, not only are you vocally cleansing and tuning your body, you are also allowing those tears to flow and you are clearing out junk. You’re going to get answers because you’re going to be in a different place afterwards.Tabby: You self-published a Goddess book. Tell me about the book.Christina: That Goddess coffee-table book was one of my first projects that I birthed around the Goddess. It was at a time when I was feeling low in my life and unhappy. I just actually wanted something for myself to get back in tune with the power that I held inside. I knew I had the power inside to change my life, but I wasn’t connected with it. It was like a lightning bolt shot through me: I want to create this book and it’s going to be 7 meditations for each and every morning, and 7 nightly meditations. The meditations are simply reminders of the power that we as women hold inside. The book is so simple, but women really loved it. I think because of its simplicity and its beauty and its truth.Tabby: How do you feel more women claiming themselves as Goddesses could change the world?Christina: First of all, I know one thing: That we as women have this power where we change the people around us. Men actually follow our lead. Can you imagine if women start to embrace the power that they hold inside, and they start to embrace their feelings and their body—how not only will the home you live in change (the kids take your lead too), but when you go out into the community, what a difference you can make there? Can you imagine if women embrace their beautiful roundness, their flesh, their ability to birth not only babies, but breathe life into books and businesses, or whatever your soul is calling you to do? If women do this, they are being a reflection for other women to show them how powerful they are, how beautiful they are. And then of course this spills out into the world. It’s beautiful and powerful.Tabby: You and your sister are creating a non-profit for women who have been in abusive situations, called “Stand Up and Speak Your Truth.” Can you tell me more about this?Christina: First of all I want to say that for women abuse comes in many forms. There are small and large forms of abuse, but they all take a toll on us in a deep way because we as women take in experiences in our body. We have this ability to nurture and then the flip side of that is that we also take in.I’ve seen so many forms of abuse on women. We see the stories of women who have been abused in a physical way – we maybe see the black eye or the bruises, and we think to ourself, Wow, that’s big. And then there are also those forms of abuse that we as women go through in daily ways that we are maybe not so aware of. For instance, I’ve heard countless women tell me that when they are at work, they feel like that can’t speak up. They feel like they are in a witch trial. The guys at the work gang up on them or make fun of them. Then there are these forms of abuse where a man feels like he can just grab your body if he wants to – inappropriately – or touch you, or call you bitch. Somehow cross that boundary with the body. So these are all other forms, but equally important forms of abuse.My sister and I wanted to give a voice to the women that feel this abuse. So “Stand Up and Speak Your Truth” is really about women knowing that first of all, no matter what kind of abuse you’ve been through, you have support. And it’s okay to share your stories. Speaking your truth is all about letting go of some of that shame that we as women feel—that sadness, that isolation that we feel when we hide our stories. So “Stand Up and Speak Your Truth” is about forming community and healing some of that shame through our stories and through our support and through our love.Tabby: You also do a lot of work with women around sensuality and helping them overcome shame around their body, their sexuality, or their desires. What have you had to overcome in your own life around sensuality?Christina: So much. My battle with my body began at a very early age. I was studying very seriously to become a ballerina and ballerinas have a very certain kind of body type. I’ll never forget this—I was in class one day—I was about 14—and I was studying with a private Russian teacher. I was studying the Russian technique, which is very strict. My teacher’s friend (which happened to be a man) was in the room and he was watching. He pulled my teacher aside and whispered something to her, and I felt very uncomfortable because he was just staring me down and I knew he was saying something about me, or my body. I was in a leotard and tights, and I felt so exposed. I was 14. That’s just about the time your body is beginning to blossom, so there was all this new stuff coming up for me. So anyway, he whispered something to my teacher and she came up to me after class and she said that her friend said my boobs are getting bigger and we’ve got to do something about that because that doesn’t look right for a ballerina.I tried starving myself for a week. That wasn’t working for me because I like food too much. I started to tape down my boobs. It really became this thing: Oh my gosh, what are we going to do about my boobs?Tabby: Then what happened?Christina: I quit ballet not longer after that. The minute I quit ballet, my body was free. Literally overnight, I grew these boobs and I grew these hips. So my body became this whole other thing. I decided a few years later that I was going to move to Hollywood and start acting. When I moved to Hollywood, I actually became part of a Burlesque group. Burlesque is that very sexy, jazzy style of dance where it’s all about flaunting your body and being okay with it. You are supposed to be voluptuous. That’s a good thing for Burlesque.I started to think, I can actually use my body in this way and I feel good, I feel pretty, and I feel sensual. I can move my hips and that’s okay. So this whole other thing opened up to me, which is when I started to fall in love with the body that I have.Tabby: And the acting?Christina: Well then I moved into acting in Hollywood. I was in a really weird place where I just lost myself because I came across as this very sexy kind of young, innocent girl—and I played off of that a lot because I thought I was supposed to in Hollywood. Of course there are all these images commercially that we are bombarded with. It’s like you as a woman don’t know which way to go—it’s like What’s sexy? What’s slutty? Where is the balance? It’s really such a journey.So moving into Hollywood it became this thing where men were looking at my body in a certain way. They were touching my body in a certain way. There were a lot of overstepped boundaries, and I started to really become ashamed—not knowing how to honor my body, and feel sensual and beautiful without “using it” to get an audition. For some women using their body can even involve marrying that man that has the money, and then you give away a piece of your soul. There’s this balance that we as women are trying to find where we are finding our power, our creativity—where we are realizing that we can bring in money through our passions and gifts. That’s all second chakra stuff.Tabby: There are many different Goddesses coming from different cultures and also so many different qualities and energies to a Goddess. Is there a particular Goddess who you connect with?Christina: Yes. I resonate with Goddess Pele. The reason I love the Goddesses is that I feel like you begin to choose the ones where maybe you need to find some power in her. For me, for instance, I began to resonate with Goddess Pele because I for so long had not felt my anger. It was in fact my anger that helped me bring closure around my dad’s death. Through that experience, I thought: Okay, anger is a cool thing. Let me investigate this more. And I connected with Goddess Pele, who is passionate and fiery and powerful. And there’s some anger there. But anger can be channeled as passion to change the things in your life that aren’t working and that you are unhappy with. There were situations in my life that I was unhappy with, so I thought instead of going into victim mode, let me just channel Goddess Pele and step into my power and then take it from there. She really helped me do that.Tabby: Where do you feel your potential is taking you?Christina: I know something for sure and that is that my mission is to heal this blanket of shame that women feel that keeps them separated from their greatness. And I feel this collective energy with the women I come into contact with—and I feel that the more we can talk about this shame the more we heal it. The more we come together in community I feel that this could be done in a big way—reaching many many women. I feel like there is a need for this to be felt and experienced in this big way where all of us women across the planet feel this space of community where we feel connected. I definitely feel like there is something in this that is bigger than me. It’s not about me. It’s like I’m just the channel to share this message in the biggest way that I as Christina know how.Tabby: If you had a loudspeaker that every woman around the world could hear, what message would you want to impart?Christina: You are not alone in any of your grief or sadness. There are women that understand what you are going through, that have been what you’ve been through, and it’s okay. Sometimes we feel like we’re not enough. You are enough. It’s okay to allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling and know that you are so beautiful in your uniqueness, your story, your past. Whatever you’ve been through is gorgeous. I just want women to know that they have this Light to connect to, and I don’t want anyone to ever feel like they have to be in shame for any experience that they’ve lived through in this lifetime.

To learn more about Christina and her coaching, visit www.thepowergoddess.com.

To find out about Christina's 6-month intimate coaching circle launching on May 1 -- Your Body, Business, Brilliance Breakthrough -- click here.

Tabby Biddle, M.S. Ed., is a writer, writing coach, and Goddess workshop leader dedicated to amplifying the voices of women changemakers. She is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post on issues affecting women and girls, and works with women on writing their non-fiction book. Tabby’s work has been featured by the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, NPR, Current TV, Gaiam and other popular online media.  She lives in Santa Monica, CA with her husband.