Q & A's
Q&A with Cynthia Daddona, Author of Diary of A Modern Day Goddess
What exactly is a "modern-day goddess®"?
To me a modern-day goddess is a woman who is in touch with her feminine, spiritual and joyful self. She is a woman of courage, who listens to her intuition, creates an authentic life and makes a difference in the world by her very presence.
Why did you choose the name modern-day goddess?
I know some may say, who am I to call myself a goddess? But I use the term in a lighthearted humorous way, the same way Bette Midler named herself the Divine Miss M. I selected the name modern-day goddess as a reminder for myself and all women to honor, respect and nurture our divine selves.
Why the crown on your head?
On my book cover and media tour, I wear a wreath and flowers on my head to remind me to lighten up about life and keep me in touch with my clown chakra. Basically, I believe all women are modern-day goddesses who may just be stuck with negative messages they’ve collected throughout life. When you wear a crown on your head, you can’t do it without tapping into good feelings about yourself. So, I recommend everyone give it a try – men and women. I’ve received so many requests from so many people wanting their own goddess crowns, I’ve designed some which you can find in my goddess store, complete with certificates. Along with my book, they make a great gift for yourself, friends and loved ones.
What inspired you to write Diary of a Modern-Day Goddess?
I wrote it because I am an everyday woman with a never-ending quest to be completely in touch with my feminine spirit, inner soul and inner comic. But I wasn’t always like that. One day I started to notice that a lot of people, myself included, were getting too serious about enlightenment. I had reached a point where I read so many self-help books, I was exhausted from helping myself. It was then I realized, a big part of enlightenment is about lightening up about life.
Being a modern-day goddess also includes life challenges. What is one that you overcame and how?
Like most people on the enlightened path, I had a major experience I call a cosmic kick in the pants. I was in a motorcycle accident that shattered my writing wrist. That experience changed everything because it made me realize my life could have ended without my having achieved my dreams. From that I learned to nurture myself in a way I never had before, to listen to my intuition and to commit 110% to helping others lighten up about life. Looking back, in my book I now call this event my "lucky break." And my message for people is not to wait until a major illness or accident to listen to your intuition to change your life.
How can people put more humor, laughter and lightheartedness into their day?
By looking for the life lesson, spending time with your inner self through meditation or whatever nurtures your soul and having a sense of humor about life. For example, if something happens in your life that you think you might laugh at later, why not save time and laugh now? It can bring you back to a more resourceful state. When you are feeling laugh deficient, respectful humor can be very liberating.
With all her cosmic responsibilities, what does a goddess do to relax?
I’ve tried lots of things, which I write about in my book. But I follow a few essentials. I do yoga, which keeps me fit and centered, even if the first time I tried it I got my legs stuck in the lotus position. I meditate for at least 15 minutes a day, which gives me a sense of my inner self, inner peace and lightheartedness in the midst of everyday life. I started meditating because I was feeling burnt out from a things-to-do list that looked like a volume of War and Peace. I also love to read – a habit my father introduced me to at a young age. And of course laughing with others is important. To me it’s a successful day if I laughed or made at least one other person laugh.
What kind of man wants to date or marry a goddess?
First, I want to clear up the misconception that a goddess is a high maintenance princess. On the contrary, she is very much into taking responsibility for her own life and happiness. And most men do want to be with a woman who is in touch with her feminine essence – which translates into a woman who is confident, joyful and intuitive, who communicates with integrity, who is good to herself and others and in touch with her inner spirit. When a man and a woman both feel good about themselves and communicate their love to on another on a consistent basis, they can create a balanced and harmonious relationship that can be long lasting.
What does a goddess want in a man?
A goddess really appreciates a conscious male, which I wrote about in my book. A conscious male is in touch with his inner essence, spirit and power in a balanced way. This is quite attractive to a goddess. Why? Because he has the basics, such as love, trust, respect, tenderness, honesty, kindness, communication, the ability to keep his word and the capacity to make us laugh even when our hormones dip so low that even we don’t want to be around ourselves. Basically, we want men who will do the dishes with us and love, adore and cherish us for the goddesses that we are.
What is the benefit of raising little girls as goddesses?
We have a great opportunity to raise a whole new generation of little girls who will grow into intuitive women with a strong sense of self-esteem and courage. By example, we can teach them to spend quiet time with their inner self, to nurture their body, mind and spirit and to celebrate their feminine nature. We can raise little girls to value commitment, kindness and laughter, to be good communicators, to discover what brings them joy and to learn they make a difference in the world by their very presence. I also believe in the philosophy of Girls Inc., whose mission is to raise girls to be "strong, smart and bold." While the organization is national, I feel blessed to have a wonderful chapter here in Santa Barbara, California. I’ve enjoyed giving my support to an organization that feels the same way I do about nurturing our next generation of girls into young goddesses!
Do you think society is moving in the direction of placing more value on balanced living and celebrating the feminine spirit?
I think there is definitely a shift happening in our society. People are realizing the need to balance their lives by slowing down and going within, instead of always being on the go like a warrior conquering the external world. According to authors Paul H. Ray and Sherry Ruth Anderson, who wrote the book The Cultural Creatives, there are now 50 million people who place a high value on a lifestyle of spirituality, sacred living and the female point of view. And I think part of that sacredness can also include the way I use lightheartedness and laughter in my book as a tool to teach inner wisdom.
What modern-day goddesses do you identify with the most and why?
There are many women. To name a few famous ones – Goldie Hawn, who is great at expressing joy and who has created her own meditation room where she spends time in daily; Oprah, who is a master at inspiring and entertaining us with her wisdom, interviews and humor; Bette Midler for her courageous humor; and Carol Burnett for demonstrating what good clean laughing fun is all about. All these women are in touch with their inner spirit, have discovered their "genius" gifts and use them to make a difference in other people’s lives. And in the book world, we have Positive & Affirmative Thinking Authors Catherine Ponder and Florence Scovel Shinn, whose books taught me that words, thoughts and prayer can be a powerful force in creating the divine plan of our lives. But a modern-day goddess doesn’t have to be famous – she can be your best friend, mother, sister, teacher, grandmother, etc. Some of my girlfriends are modern-day goddesses, and my grandmother Lucy, who passed on, still inspires me today. Remember as women, we can also be a goddess inspiration to ourselves!
Becoming a writer wasn’t an easy task for you. Tell us why.
Well, I grew up in an Italian-American family, with grandparents who migrated here from Italy. Thus, we didn’t have a very good command of the English language, but we were good storytellers. However, in 10th grade I was singled out for butchering the English language and was handed a Basic English workbook to study. I felt embarrassed but persevered and kept diaries along the way. Eventually, I got a degree in Broadcasting and Journalism. While in college I worked as a news reporter for an ABC affiliate in Florida and found I cried over the bad news because I was too sensitive. Eventually, I became a freelance lifestyle and entertainment journalist while pursuing improv, acting and stand-up comedy. After my performance training, I decided to use humor to go to a deeper level by inspiring and teaching others how to lighten up about enlightenment. In 1999 I then co-founded the Santa Barbara Humor Society, where I worked on my book, Diary of A Modern Day Goddess, for two years before it was published. Several years after its publication, I used my experience as a lifestyle journalist, video producer, author and performer and created another website called RomancingTheTable.com which celebrates life, love, food, travel and women’s wisdom. I believe experiencing quality time at the table, eating healthy and delicious food, whether solo or with those you love, can be another way to nurture one’s soul. A true modern-day goddess culinary goddess experience!
What advice do you have for writers?
Learn your craft, go to writers conferences, enter contests and join or create a writers group because it will keep you writing and write what makes your heart sing. And remember to affirm and visualize your success to manifest what you desire.
What is your final message to listeners, readers, and viewers?
That you too can create a life filled with lightheartedness, grace, ease and abundance. It’s all in my book, Diary of A Modern Day Goddess. It happened to me; it can happen to you.
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Q&A with Cynthia Daddona, Award-Winning, On-Camera Personality, Lifestyle Journalist, Author and Host of RomancingTheTable.com
Tell us about RomancingTheTable and what inspired you to create RomancingTheTable.com®?
RomancingTheTable® includes a website, blog, videos, and radio podcasts, which I host as a way to offer key ingredients that nurture and delight the palette, heart, body, mind and soul. RomancingTheTable.com celebrates life, love, food, travel and wisdom through its videos, stories, tips and recipes. It is also a recommended website on the New York Times’ About.com website.
Several factors contributed to creating RomancingTheTable®. I was inspired when I visited the Mediterranean and observed how the locals celebrate life each day by savoring times around the table. I enjoyed participating in this everyday tradition of quality “table time,” which they share with friends and/or family while eating healthy and delicious cuisine. This experience, along with my being an American-Italian-Greek, is why my work often includes a Mediterranean twist.
When I returned home to America from my travels to the Mediterranean, it seemed to me that in our fast paced society, consistent and positive “table time” was decreasing. I felt it was important to help reverse this trend. I have found that sharing food at the table can be a universal language that creates connection between people, and it can have a positive effect on our overall health and well being. Quality “table time” is a tradition our ancestors did regularly and something we can benefit from today, regardless of our heritage. As part of my efforts, I am now on the Culinary Advisory Board for the Mediterranean Foods Alliance – a group whose efforts help educate the public about the benefits and pleasures of eating Mediterranean cuisines, one of the healthiest cuisines in the world.
Tell us a little more about yourself and why you enjoy your work?
I am an award-winning, on-camera personality, producer, author and lifestyle journalist. I especially enjoy covering topics on life, love, food, home, travel, arts/entertainment and well being, I find great joy in discovering ways to have a better life, applying them to my own life and then sharing this knowledge with audiences. In my personal life, I am an everyday women searching for solutions for living a more joyful and grace-filled life while making a difference in the world. This is the topic of my international book, Diary of a Modern-Day Goddess, which has helped so many women around the world have a better outer life by creating a better inner life. (The book is published by HCI, which also publishes the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul series.) I define a modern-day goddess as a woman in touch with her joyful, lighthearted and soulful self. I believe experiencing quality time at the table and eating healthy, delicious food, whether solo or with those you love, can be another way to nurture one’s soul – a true modern-day-goddess culinary experience!
I am originally from Connecticut and have learned a great deal from where I live now in Santa Barbara, California – a Mediterranean-like town at the forefront of healthy living and the organic food movement. I am 48 years old and married for the first time only four years ago, after finding true love. True love happened to me when I consistently applied my book’s simple manifestation tips, self-nurturing techniques and inspired actions that can help everyone attract their heart’s desires.
Tell us how you discovered your passion for celebrating healthy and delicious food at the table?
Prior to getting married, I began cooking creatively out of necessity when I learned I had a wheat-gluten allergy. From this I soon discovered I had a talent to adapt and create delicious and healthy recipes. I also enjoyed setting a beautiful table to share with others. Just like Julia Childs, who became even more interested in food and cooking when she married, I did too. When I met my husband, I began researching the Mediterranean cuisine, culture and lifestyles of our heritages. My American-Greek husband Jim is a documentary filmmaker who also loves to eat! Lucky for him I love to cook. Besides, what does one feed a Greek god, but food of his heritage! In addition, when Jim and I traveled to the Mediterranean for one of his documentaries, I took a cooking class in Italy on the Amalfi coast. The next year, I took another cooking class on the romantic Greek island of Santorini, Greece — where we were also married. Together, we turned our romantic, culinary-travel journey into A Greek Islands Destination Cooking Class (DVD), which I hosted and co-produced was selected at the #1 NY Times About.com culinary travel DVD. Next I followed up with Crete – Under the Grecian Sun, A Romantic Culinary-Travel Journey with The Goddess and the Greek, which explores the beautiful Greek island of Crete which was the birthplace of the world famous Mediterranean Diet study that showed Cretan villagers’ farm-to-table cuisine and lifestyle were one of the healthiest and longevity producing ways-of-life in the world. At home, we continue to celebrate our love and romance by taking turns planning our weekly date nights that often include home-cooked, Mediterranean meals made with love. You can find some of my recipes at RomancingTheTable.com.
OTHER POSSIBLE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS:
What inspired you to create RomancingTheTable®.com?
Describe the power of the table and why consistent “table time” is so important?
What are your tips for creating more positive times around the table?
What inspired you to write your book Diary of a Modern Day Goddess®?
How do you define a Modern Day Goddess®?
From where do you draw your wisdom?
You have a daily practice of meditating, praying, saying affirmations, gentle stretching and being in nature. How have these practices helped you in your life?
You have also had great success creating and using vision boards for manifesting one’s dreams, which you teach in workshops and is also in your book. Tell us more?
What inspired you to host and produce Crete – Under the Grecian Sun, A Romantic Culinary-Travel Journey with The Goddess and the Greek on the Greek island of Crete?
You and your husband call yourselves The Goddess and the Greek® OR The Goddess and the Geek®. How did this come about?
How has the longevity enhancing Mediterranean Diet and lifestyle helped you and your husband live a happier and healthier life?
What inspired you to host and co-produce the #1 New York Times’ About.com culinary-travel DVD, A Greek Islands Destination Cooking Class that was filmed in Santorini, Greece?
Why did you choose to have a destination wedding in Santorini, Greece?
How can one live a more loving and romantic life?
How did you manifest true love and how can others do the same?
Can you explain your weekly date nights?
What are the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet?
Can you explain your passion for Mediterranean home cooking and where you find inspiration to create your recipes?
How do you create a happy home?
What can people do to live a healthier and greener (non-toxic) life at home and when traveling?
What do you do as an individual and as a couple on a daily basis to live a positive and healthy lifestyle?
What have been the benefits of living this way?
If you could leave us with one tip to have a happier and healthier life what would it be?