Life By Your Design.

Experiencing life from the soul’s point of view is what drives and sustains me. I’ve made it my mission to revere soul through the enormous gift of the senses. They offer nourishment and sanctuary to my body, yet also deliver the wonder needed to be continually engaged by life.

My own journey has taught me that enlightenment is not a destination – it’s a philosophy of living. It means cultivating a fully considered and continually evolving life, then luxuriating in its everyday resolutions … with passion.

Honoring the wisdom of my senses has required an unwavering faith in their ability to orchestrate my decisions. My soul yearned to be seduced by an honest connection to the Divine. I call that grace. When I surrendered to being impassioned and replete with soul, grace saturated my life.

I strive to live there every day.

We’re joined to each other by our collective craving for beauty, serenity, and meaning. My senses are my refuge, my way into those cravings. They’re a tangible connection to a union with my self, my family, and my surroundings.

I’ve always been a mind-body-soul seeker, but my refuge wasn’t always assured. In my early 20s, I was usually mired in a stack of self-help books that either explained how to chase my toddlers while smiling or how to lock the door and have a bath to engender balance. I was continually searching outside myself for answers. I was an overwhelmed, exhausted, single mother so deeply entrenched in caring for others that I’d forgotten to nourish the innately essential me. I’d fallen away from the wisdom of my senses.

So I began to revisit my physical self through my love of movement. I realized it was the one thing I instinctively trusted for safe exploration of my soul. My senses awakened in soul. I discovered that the human body demands refuge within itself for authentic exploration. Physical connection to the outside world is the soul’s yearning to reengage the senses. Doing this became the driving force behind my sojourn back to me. That revelation changed the direction of my life.

I pledged my faith in the wisdom of my senses to unearth my passionate human soul … and I’ve never looked back.

What’s meaningful to me is cultivating a deeply authentic and passionate life of sensual harmony.

 

View my original interview with LifeByMe.

 

It’s A New Moon… Dream. Desire. Trust. Go.

The moon is chock full of fabulous energy. Use it.

 

Consider the moon for a moment…tides shift because of it, women menstruate on its cycle, wine tastes differently when harvested with the moon, and even scientists are trying to mine moon energy to use on our dying planet. So, if you’re already open to the idea of manifesting new pleasures and dreams into your life…set your intention and let it grow. The new moon is about renewal, birth, re-birth, dreaming and growth. You don’t need to get all witchy-woo-woo, chant at crystals and wear Birkenstocks, in fact, please don’t. You simply need to surrender your grip on the ever pushing ego. What do you have to lose? Simply suspend disbelief long enough to dedicate a wish/dream/desire to the mysterious unseen forces that for abSOULutely certain exist in this world…and let go.

The dark side of the moon creates a fertile new ground to manifest a new direction in your life. Take a few moments to breathe deeply, easily and without strain, until you have some clarity of mind, then write your intention*. The written word carries more power – it just does. By the way, you have a full reign to write as many moon intentions as you would like. When ink has touched page and you’ve put your pen down, take another deep breathe. Exhale fully. Then release any worry, judgement or expectations around your intentions. Trust that your soul seeks to blossom toward the light and toward your greatest good. So after you’ve planted your new moon seed(s), step out of the way and watch them grow. Dream big. Live long & prosper. (Not a trekkie, big bro is though. Couldn’t help myself.)

* A word to the wise…be careful what you ask for, you just might get it! Be sincere, be succinct.

 

Here are your simple steps. Go.

  1. Close your eyes + allow your REAL wish/dream/desire to bubble up. Not the one(s) you want, but the one(s) your soul needs.
  2. Open eyes, inhale, grab pen, exhale, write. Always write your intention in the present positive.
  3. Finish. Put the pen down. Trust the universe, it’s conspiring in your favor.
  4. Place your paper somewhere private + safe. Step away.
  5. Carry on with your day.
  6. Smile.

 

Miss Representation is political.

So is misrepresentation. Actually, in this country, everything is political. At least it should be. To be political is to be civic. To be civic is to be of or pertaining to citizens. Citizens represent this country from every angle…mommy bloggers, student editors, professional speechwriters and the increasingly powerful media. If the average American is spending anywhere from 6:47min to 10:33min a day engaging with some type of media (be it internet, television or their Twitter feed) isn’t that a cause for concern that currently women are not being represented with equal cognizance within that media.

Equality…Hmm.

So where/how is this media misrepresentation formulated and why does it thrive at an unequal rate toward female citizens? Here’s the other side of the etymological equation…politic is also to be shrewd, tactful and contrived. Ah-hah. For women, this is where the current media agenda got heinously lost in translation. I’m not going to point out the easy offenders because frankly…I don’t have all day. The negative messages might at least seem less consuming if there were an equal amount of positive ones. A poignant and wonderfully simple quote by Jennifer Siebel Newsom states “If you can’t see it…You can’t be it.”  Yes, a word play borrowed from the Founder & President of Children’s Defense Fund, Marian Wright Edelman, who said “You can’t be what you can’t see.” Either way…you get my drift, right?! How can little girls dream of being leaders if our own media continues to treat the highest ranking females in our country as targets for derogatory fodder? One step further…how does the everyday woman in this country even stand a chance at capturing an equal moment for an equal voice?

“Media creates consciousness.” -Jane Fonda

Yes, what I’m saying is…women are being erroneously and devastatingly misrepresented on a daily basis. And our children are watching that by the ever-increasing hour. There is a sellable obsession with the female appearance that equally infuriates and intrigues the media. And NO, it’s not dealt with by capturing stories and reporting positive messages  which advocate for women by somehow celebrating BOTH beauty and intellect. It’s a one-way content barage of misdirected, misinformed and misrepresented media. And it needs to stop. Now.

Hmm…Equality my ass.

Here’s a little something to provoke your Monday morning into action…imagine the shoe (ahem…stiletto) being placed on the other foot? Imagine coming home tonight and turning on your bonafide nightly news and hearing something like this:

“The congressman, Mr. OldWhiteMalePolitician, was wearing a yellow tie today. That fact, coupled with his obvious visit to the dentist for a teeth whitening over the weekend, makes it hard for us to think that although he spent two years drafting this bill, it could possibly have any intellectual and political merit. Really America, let’s not even discuss his hair. Comb over or bed head? He looks exhausted. How can we trust his intellect with these types of missteps? Did he finagle his Harvard Law degree by batting his eyelashes? What was he thinking?

Women make up 51% of the U.S. population, but only comprise 17% of Congress. You wonder why?

Reactions anyone?  (comment below…it’s your civic right.)

 

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/Karin_McDermott/status/125961802851958784″]

 

 

91 Million Girls Are Waiting.

Have you ever been hungry for knowledge?        I mean really hungry?

This question became the pondering ah-hah-moment that linked my desire for learning to the palpable reality of what education looks like for the majority of our global sisters. With staggering statistics such as “out of the world’s 130 million out-of-school youth, 70 percent are girls,” it’s obvious that any additional family money beyond what is needed for food is not being put toward educating the girls in the house. Unbelievable right? That’s 91 million girls who want to go to school today, but nobody will let them. The truth should shake you. It did me.

I went to school. Did you?

When did you stop going to school?

Were you in the 1st Grade? The 5th grade? When?

Were you ever told that going to school was not available to you? Yeah, neither was I. Clearly it was a different country, a different birthright and a different time, but when my parents were struggling…I went to school. In fact, they never gave it a second thought…neither did I. Beyond the fact that I was lucky and privileged enough to be born in a country where a certain level of education was my right, my parents also inherently knew that education would offer me the chance to do anything, be anything, dream anything. And I did. I was hungry to become something, someday. I craved to live a life where I could somehow make a difference. But I also had no clue how privileged I was to actually have a support system behind me that would assure it would happen. So as much as I naturally yearned for learning, growing and becoming, the only real hunger I experienced was when I succumbed to the latest fad diet. It didn’t last and I didn’t need it. Not the same for education. Education needs to be at the forefront of our priorities. Feed that hunger and generations will be nourished.

This young woman was literally hungry for knowledge. And incredibly brave. Click, link, watch, then continue reading. Then take action.

Hungry now? Me too.

Anita’s story allowed me to reminisce and realize the sheer unknowing awe of my experience at the time in comparison to hers. I was blessed and beyond lucky to attend an all-girls school. Yep, all girls, all the time. Could Anita even imagine such a place exists? A place where girls sit in circles, told they are worth the effort, and being educated together. I hope so. She deserves it. All girls deserve it. Because of her courage and steadfast belief in the power of education, the girls in her village can dream of school as an option. Santa Catalina School was my home away from home during high school. It was like one big sleep over but with homework added…and it lasted for four years. What girl wouldn’t love that? And by the way I wasn’t “sent away” because I was unruly and incorrigible, but rather because my parents’ selflessly sent their daughter far away from them so she could be educated, well-read and empowHERed. Anita chose to defy her family, starve herself, take a government course and learn apiculture just for the attempt at a chance to be educated.

So let me ask you again…How hungry are you?

More importantly…Are you willing to feed the minds + lives of others? 

There is a viral and amazing idea that started today, and you can join it… The Girl Effect Blogging Campaign. Write something, share your thoughts or simply upload a video with a headline like “Change The World: One Girl At A Time” …and spread the love. Compassion has an urgency behind it. The time is now. Do something. I promise by the end of the day you’ll feel like a renewed and uplifted person. How could you not?! That “I’m being of service” energy will ripple across oceans, climb mountains, walk into villages and change lives…it’s called The Girl Effect. And it starts with YOU.

I would love to hear your thoughts, your inspiration, your ideas. Comment below + let’s keep the conversation going.

Moms Matter.

“In honor of your mother and mothers around the globe, Women ONE2ONE  invites you to submit a Six-Word Memoir on Why Moms Matter. Together, we’ll raise awareness about mothers who overcome extreme obstacles and inspire the world for Mother’s Day.” – one.org

Advocating unconditionally nurtures compassionately conscious children. -SoultreeDirt  (mum of Connor & Colin)

I actually wrote this last year, but came across it just recently, and yes, it still reads true. (originally penned on 30 April 2010)

New Moon Manifest.

The moon is chock full of fabulous energy.  Percolate on this for a moment…tides shift because of it, women menstruate on its cycle, wine tastes differently when harvested with the moon, and even scientists are trying to mine moon energy to use on our dying planet. So, if you are already open to the idea if manifesting new pleasures and dreams into your life…set your intention and let it establish roots. The new moon is about renewal, birth, re-birth, dreaming and growth. If you aren’t quite sure about all this witchy-woo-woo-mumbo-jumbo stuff, well, that’s okay but ask your self “what do I have to lose?” Then try. Just suspend disbelief long enough to dedicate a wish to the mysterious unseen forces that for certain exist in this world…and surrender. This dark side of the moon creates a fertile new ground to manifest a new direction in your life. Take a few moments to breathe deeply, easily and without strain, until you have some clarity of mind, then write your intention*. The written word carries more power – it just does. By the way, you have a full reign to write as many New Moon intentions as you would like. When ink has touched page and you’ve put your pen down, take another deep breathe. Exhale fully. Then release any worry, judgement or expectations around your intentions. Trust that your soul seeks to blossom toward the light and toward your greatest good. So after you’ve planted your New Moon seed(s), step out of the way and watch them grow. Dream big. Live long & prosper.

* A word to the wise…be careful what you ask for, you just might get it! Be sincere, be succinct. Write your intention in the present positive. Go.

Iambic Woman.

“The poet Billy Collins once laughingly observed that all babies are born with a knowledge of poetry, because the lub-dub of the mother’s heart is in iambic meter. Then, Collins said, life slowly starts to choke the poetry out of us. It may be true with music, too.” The da-DUM of a human heartbeat is the most common example of this rhythm. Patterns of poetry. Natural poetry…actually about as close as it gets to pure sound in my book of harmony. Music, lyrics, emotions, flow. It’s in the beauty of the combination of sound and the written word being heard that brings comfort to the words being phrased.

Here’s a random meandering: Interesting to note that this was common with the Italians because they purposely chose words for the beauty of their sound and the flow of their phrasing. So words commonly had feminine endings, and thus it followed that the melodious vowel sound would lilt off the tongue and make even a terse phrase fell like a poem. Gotta love those italians. And gotta love the beauty of poetry created around the mesmerizing female in all its forms. Fantastico!!!

I LOVE guiding women's wellness retreats! Give your SELF a treat…and join us!

Paint the world with your body-loving feminine power…

discover YOU through Your Body Beloved program & retreats.

Women are daily bombarded with messages from the media that our bodies are not enough. Dispatches from the body itself remind us that hormones, illness, and stress are taking their toll on “women of a certain age.” Consequently, we are left feeling dissatisfied with the functionality and beauty of the bodies we will inhabit for the rest of our lives. Underneath this habitual physical fault-finding and its consequences on women’s self-esteem is a collective yearning to stop this heartbreaking cycle. It’s time to develop a more loving relationship with our own physicality.

The Female Body – all ages, shapes, and sizes – is the most exquisite manifestation of creative power on the planet. Period.

This is why Lynn Darnton, Caroline MacNeill Hall and Karin McDermott – well-respected executive coaches, leadership advisors, and teachers – created Your Body Beloved™, a program that transforms dissatisfaction and dis-ease into enduring love and gratitude. It’s a vital and audacious conviction… and it’s about time!

Your Body Beloved™ is a 4-month program, bookended by two weekend retreats, which will restore you to a loving relationship with your body. The program includes experiential learning in a community of peers, group coaching, reading and journaling exercises, breath and movement sessions, and homework assignments—nurturing practices all focused on deepening your love affair with you.

Body + Love = YourBodyBeloved

Soultree Philosophy 101

Soultree philosophy 101 video: Karin (SoultreeDirt) discussing Soultree Philosophy, the importance of recognizing beauty from within and ultimately finding peace through both personal serenity and advocating for a global consciousness. Love yourself luxuriously. Seek honesty. Live passionately. Spread peace. Nurture each other. Share wisdom. Blossom. Be.

Dirt’s Soultree Transformation