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October Writing Practice: Follow Those Spiritual Breadcrumbs!

October 2nd, 2023 — 2:09pm

Just halfway through my first season of creating Women’s Writing Circles and my life is already richer, deeper, and way more interesting! What we do in these circles is simple, I read a poem and we write together for a short amount of time. Then one by one we read. It takes courage for sure, but, the gifts are worth it — discovering who we are by writing our way through,  brought to light in a circle of safe listening. It’s an honor to facilitate these circles.

There’s no better way to get a feel for what the practice is than to try it. So I would like to share with you a short poem and video so that you can try this on your own (or with a friend or two). If you watch the video, I will give you brief instructions on how the practice works. If reading is more your thing than watching, simple instructions are below.

The next round of Women’s Writing Circles begins mid January, both on zoom and in my home in Berkeley. Find out more at Or feel free to email me for more info.

Follow those spiritual breadcrumbs …  you never know what will turn up!

May you meet yourself with curiosity, kindness and love.



October Writing Practice

What you’ll need:

A pen


Set your timer to twelve minutes or have a clock handy

Read the poem below out loud.

Choose one of the following jump off lines from the poem:

•Everywhere you turn there is an entrance

•Everyone is connected

 Or an Alternate line: Here’s what I want to say

Read the poem aloud one more time, then begin writing. Pen doesn’t leave the page. Keep your belly soft. Say yes to what arises. If you’re stuck use the line, Here’s what I want to say… and keep writing.

When the time is done. Put the pen down. A few deep breaths. And read your piece aloud to yourself.

Take a few moments to feel what lines you wrote resonate in any way. Surprise. Laughter. Anger. Grief. All of it is a portal into knowing ourselves better. It’s all part of the human stew and it’s all good.

“An Entrance” –  Malina Morning

If you want to give thanks

but this time not to the labyrinth

of cause and effect–

Give thanks to the plain sweetness of a day

when it’s as if everywhere you turn

there is an entrance–

When it’s as if even the air is a door–

And your child is a door

afloat on invisible hinges.

“The world is a house,” he says,

over lunch as if to give you a clue–

And before the words dissolve

above his plate of eggs and rice

you suddenly see how we are in it–

How everywhere the air

is holding hands with the air–

How everyone is connected

to everyone else by breathing.

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Women’s Writing Circles Begin Mid-September!

August 12th, 2023 — 4:04pm

Friends, some news! In mid-September, I will begin offering once-a-week women’s writing circles — one in my home in Berkeley and another on Zoom. 


Women’s Writing Circles offer a simple and beautiful process to meet our true selves on the page: I read a poem, we take a line of poetry as our inspirational prompt, then we write, ten minutes with pen and paper, pen doesn’t leave the page. We write, we read, we listen, we don’t comment, we simply support, and we move on to the next prompt. That’s it. This practice is as simple as it is deep, offering us a safe and loving space to meet our authentic selves in a community of supportive, soulful women.


Once-a-week online evening class begin Thursday, September 14, 6:30 to 8:00 pm PST, and once-a-week in-person classes in my Berkeley home start Friday, September 15, 10 am to noon PST. Classes run for 8 weeks. I keep classes intentionally intimate, currently accepting no more than eight people per class. Both classes are currently half full.


This process lets you know yourself more intimately and deeply with open arms. It brings your truth home. It’s freeing. In my own life, it has increased my capacity for kindness and joy, and has shown me how to live with greater understanding, less judgment, and deeper appreciation for what it means to be human. It is an honor for me to know people more deeply through their stories. Deep bow to my dear friend and teacher, Laurie Wagner, for teaching me this Wild Writing practice.

Open Invitation:

You don’t need to be a writer or want to be a writer to join. You simply write (and that’s what writers do anyway). No labels, no categories, but an open invitation to be who you are. 

Does this resonate?

Happy to answer any questions! Message me, or email me for more info: More info also at

Love, Dayna

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Women’s Writing Groups Starting in September!

April 19th, 2023 — 2:45pm

Dear friends,

Beginning in September, I will be teaching two women’s circle writing groups. One will be at my home in Berkeley, the other over zoom. The technique we use is brilliant and simple: I read a poem, we take a line from the poem and begin to write, pen doesn’t leave the page. It’s a practice that is as simple as it is deep, one that helps you hear your inner voice, learn what you value most in yourself and others, and experience the joy and freedom that comes from your abundant creativity!

This class is structured to bypass our inner critic (we do not evaluate each other’s writing, for example, we witness it), so we can experience the freedom of expression, and, the joy of meeting ourselves on the page! You don’t need to be a writer, call yourself a writer, or aspire to be a writer to grow from this work.

I’ve got some openings in both my in-person class and over zoom. I keep classes intentionally intimate, no more than eight people per class. We will meet once a week for an hour and a half starting mid September and classes will run for eight weeks. Classes in my home will be one morning per week, zoom class will be in the evening.

If you’re interested, feel free to reach out to me at

Image Credit: Plataresca

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Many Moons Ago, in a small Swiss Town…

September 8th, 2022 — 10:05am

Once upon a time, many moons ago, I lived in Fribourg, a small town in Switzerland with my then boyfriend, a lovely man who was a professor of mathematics and philosophy at the University. We met while I was doing my graduate work in the states. My father had just died after a long and tormented illness. I felt gutted and lost, so I moved halfway across the world to try to heal my broken heart.

It was an extraordinary experience. I woke up in the morning hearing cowbells tinkling in the distance. I went to my very first farmers market and learned that olives did not just come in cans but in dozens of varieties. I ate triple-cream cheeses and rich chocolates and fell in love with both. I went to concerts given by his younger sister, a gifted pianist. We went to Zürich where I met Federico Fellini, a friend of his uncle’s, at the premiere of his film, “And the Ship Sails On”. I went to Christmas midnight mass in Einsielden, a tiny town where his family had lived for generations, and saw priests wearing golden vestments, gently swinging thuribles filled with frankincense and myrrh. After, we walked back to his parent’s home, through the cemetery where generations of his relatives were buried while snow gently fell. I continued my studies in French, and by the time I left I was dreaming in that beautiful language.

One morning a few months later, I woke up and thought, this place is magical, but it’s not my home. So I left and moved back to New York. But I never forgot the beauty of that place, or the kind humans who gave me a few months of solace and peace.

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Tune In for My Interview on July 27, 1 PM PDT Shift Network Intuitive Medicine Summit

July 26th, 2022 — 9:06pm

I’ve been interviewed by the fabulous Lisa Bonnice for The Shift Network’s upcoming Intuitive Medicine Summit! . My small contribution to their stellar lineup is to discuss the role of intuition in healing eating imbalances, and learning to trust your intuition so you can live your authentic life (it’s precious! And it’s the only one you’ve got!) My segment airs Wednesday, 7/27 at 1PM PDT.

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Loving Your Good Enough Body-Part II

July 11th, 2021 — 11:38am

Here’s a link to my interview with the fabulous Nick Mattos for The Shift Network’s Transforming Your Health Summit!

This interview is part of the Transform Your Health Summit a free online event. For more information, please visit This recording is a copyright of The Shift Network. All rights reserved.

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Loving Your Good Enough Body

June 24th, 2021 — 1:01pm

Pretty darned happy to be presenting at The Shift Network’s upcoming Transform Your Health Summit! I’ll be speaking with the wonderful Nick Mattos on Loving Your Good Enough Body (for real folks, no time better than now). The Summit runs June 28 to July 2. My session is on June 29 at 1 pm. Here’s the info, but check out the other speakers including John Douillard, Bernadette Pleasant, Abiola Abrams and others. Did I mention it’s free? Such a deal!!

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Happy Tenth Anniversary Ravenous!!

May 11th, 2021 — 3:30pm

Happy tenth anniversary to Ravenous!! What a joy you were to write! Though I had teachers tell me to write what I know, that never seemed to interest me. Instead, I write to discover who I am, and what my purpose is in this gorgeous and difficult world.

While our souls may be immortal, our bodies are not – they are the beautiful, vulnerable vessels with which we navigate the lessons of this world. Ravenous may have started as a journey to lose weight, but it taught me much more. I learned that kindness, with regard to the body, (and pretty much everything else), is essential; that the habit of judgment can be softened; that there is no such a thing as perfection; and that regardless of our shapes or sizes, our bodies, and ourselves, without exception, are worthy of our respect, kindness, and Love. The journey continues.

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Ravenous: An Interview

August 26th, 2020 — 4:34pm

I was recently interviewed on a radio show and sent her this Q&A from the book’s press kit. There’s a lot of sturdy info here on finding a healthy weight and maintaining it. It’s been a long journey and I’m proud to say the nuggets of insight in here still hold true for me. Perhaps they will be useful for you too.

An interview with Dayna Macy
author of Ravenous: A Food Lover’s Journey from Obsession to Freedom

1. Why did you write Ravenous?

I wanted to learn to eat in a way that would bring my body into balance and health.

2. So how did you do that?

As a food writer, I know a lot about food. And as a longtime yoga practitioner, I know a lot about yoga. But this knowledge did not translate into weight loss. I kept gaining weight steadily, year after year. It was not until I replaced the very American notions of diet and willpower with the idea of eating as a “practice” that things began to shift.

3. How do you approach eating now?

I measure my food. I weigh it, and then I record it in a journal. This is not unique – there are different weight loss programs that use this method. The difference for me is that I see that what lies beneath are some profound questions: “what is enough?” “Can I learn be satisfied with less?” And finally, “what does it really mean to be nourished?”

This is awareness that comes from the inside out, helped along by the practice of measuring. This is not typically what one thinks of as a diet, which is a word I never use.

4. Why don’t you use the word diet?

Words are important, and for me, a diet is something that you go on, which means it’s also something you go off. Like flipping a switch– you’re either on a diet or you’re not. And that all or nothing approach isn’t real life. It’s based on some misguided idea of perfection — if I eat only this and not that I’m going to win. But life is not a game. You don’t win or lose. It’s a journey.

5. In your book, you write that, “One needs limits to be free”. That sounds contradictory. Can you explain what you mean?

We live in a culture that disdains limits. We don’t like to be told “no”. But this is also a mixed message. More is better when it comes to many things, so the typical portion size in America is pretty gigantic. But we’re also told that fat is bad and that you are more valuable as a person if you are thin. It’s hard to be moderate in a culture that lauds excess, offers cheap processed food filled with fat, salt and sugar that’s been engineered to be addictive, and then tells you that you have to be skinny to be worthy.

Many of us think that freedom can be found in having whatever we want when we want. I know I used to. But now I see that with food, drawing boundaries around what and how much I eat keeps me healthy. And, as an added bonus, I appreciate my food more too.

6. What has most affected what and how you eat?

My yoga practice. If you practice yoga for a while, you begin to realize that the body is really quite eloquent in expressing its true needs. Yoga forces you to slow down and teaches you to pay attention – to the physical body, and to your breath. So I learned to pay attention to myself around food.

The foods I cover in the first section of my book– chocolate, sausage, cheese and olives – are trigger foods for me. All I know is “I want that and I want that now!” Yoga though, helps me take a step back, and see that I’m in that state, and to just take a moment and pause. When I can do that, I have a greater chance of avoiding overeating.

7. So if you know that you have a problem with certain “trigger” foods, why did you spend so much time working with food artisans who specialize in those foods?

The foods that I cover in the beginning of the book have had a visceral hold on me since childhood. I wanted to delve more deeply into these foods to see if I could unlock their hold on me. They became a springboard for examining the roles these foods played in my childhood. It turned out that every one of these were my comfort foods, foods that felt like an embrace, like love. They steadied me during my chaotic childhood.

What I learned is that these foods are not love. They’re food. One is not a substitute for the other. This realization is allowing me to create a different relationship with them. I can occasionally eat them and just enjoy them for what they are — delicious food — and not a lover, a mother, or a long-lost friend.

8. How did you feel when the nutrition professor you interviewed in your book called you “fat?”

Dr. Linda Bacon is a writer whose work I admire and trust. I asked her if I was fat, because I have been dancing around that word for years. But when she said, “Yes, you’re fat,” I both wanted to smack her and simultaneously burst out laughing. She was right, and dragging the “f” word out of the closet was incredibly liberating.

9. How was it liberating?

It was the start of what I call, “clear seeing,” which forms the basis for true transformation. Change that comes from deep within cannot begin from a state of illusion.

I want to be clear. I make no judgment of who should lose weight. These are individual choices and I have a lot of respect and admiration for what is called “fat acceptance”. Everyone has the fundamental right to be proud of their body and the skin their in. But I felt uncomfortable in mine. My excess weight showed up in joint pain, in my yoga practice – it tired me and started wearing me down.

10. How much weight did you actually lose?

About thirty pounds.

11. What surprised you the most in the course of writing your book?

I became less romantic about food, but much more grateful for it. And I learned that it’s easier to lose weight than our judgment about weight.

I thought the journey I was going on was only about food, but as my eating issues have become quieter, I realize how much time I’ve spent fretting about my body, and that there are so many other interesting things to pay attention to! I needed to go on this journey because I need my body to be healthy, but I need it to be healthy not only because I want to feel and look better, but because there’s so much more I want to do in the world.

12. The subtitle of your book is “A Food Lover’s Journey from Obsession to Freedom.” So are you free from your obsession with food?

I’d say I’m freer, but I’m not fully free. I’m a work in progress.

And for me, freedom does not mean reaching a certain weight. Freedom also means letting go of the idea of perfection.

13. What is it you hope readers take away from “Ravenous”?

A: I now wear a size 12 or 14. In other words, I’m a typical American woman. And I like my body. I may not love my belly that still looks pregnant, but it’s this same belly that carried my twin boys, and how miraculous is that? I don’t yearn to be a size 6, because my body would not get there without doing some serious violence to it. And that’s a non-starter.

I want people to know that when it comes to finding a balanced relationship with food and reaching a healthy weight, struggle may be part of the journey but doesn’t need to define it. This is not a battle and your body is not the enemy. Your body, mind, and spirit are all equal partners.

I want people to know that habits can change, slowly over time. Have patience, and take the long view.

But mostly, be grateful for your body, no matter what your size. Our bodies are only on temporary loan to us, and we need to take care of them because they are the vehicles with which we move through our lives. Be grateful right now for the skin you’re in. There is no time to waste.

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Chocolate Chip Loaf with Cinnamon Swirl

April 27th, 2020 — 12:13pm

An easy and comforting, home-spun breakfast bread or dessert.

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 tablespoons butter softened
2/3 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk or yogurt
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Cinnamon Sugar:
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon for cinnamon sugar
In a third bowl, mix together butter and sugar. Add eggs, mix well. Add in vanilla. Mix well.
Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir until just combined. Add the buttermilk or yogurt and stir until combined. Do not over mix. Fold in chocolate chips.
Spoon 1/2 the batter into a loaf pan that has been coated with oil. Spoon the cinnamon sugar evenly over the batter. Spoon the remaining batter to cover.
Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean . Remove from oven and let cool. Enjoy!

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