We had the good fortune of connecting with Dena Joy Drotar and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dena Joy, we’d love to hear more about your end-goal, professionally.
The end goal….No regrets! My beautiful Grandmother at the end of her life was so sad that she hadn’t done all of the things that she wanted to do. When I asked her what those things were, they were simple things…seeing the fall colors on the East Coast, getting a facial, spending Christmas in Hawaii. It absolutely broke my heart because those desires were so doable. We, as her family, could have definitely made all of those things possible for her but she never told anyone of her desires until she could no longer walk and was dying in bed. She was a radiant beauty. Everyone loved her, and here she was so regretful. I vowed that I would not die that way. Maybe I can’t do and be and have everything that I ever dreamed about but I can work to make a difference in the world and I can learn to love myself deeply so that my relationships, my home and my businesses can be meaningful, rich, and profound. At the end of my career, I would like to have created wonderful stage shows that are transformative and have the ability to open people’s minds and hearts to the beauty of diversity, the power of emotions, and magnificence of LIFE! I would also love to have opened a transformative healing center for women, where they can practice radical self-care. A place of beauty where they can dance, heal and come home to themselves.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Change the World…..Love Yourself! It all starts there. Years ago, that came to me as something to bring to the world. Then I realized NO, that is MY lesson in this life. Whether it is in my healing, writing, producing, or performing, I am proud to be able to hold space for people to grow into loving themselves and caring for themselves in radically loving ways. I started my adult life as a people-pleaser. I didn’t have a clear direction or dream. As I began to learn to love myself…ALL of myself…I slowly began to dream and to connect to the Divine in order to co-create a beautiful life to share with others. Was it easy? No way….the hardest part was learning that my power was in my vulnerability…in my ability to be messy. That was extremely difficult because I grew up being very hard on myself, trying to be perfect. I overcame those difficulties by being patient with myself and having the courage to reach out to others. Taking one step at a time and knowing that I was not alone. I’ve learned to trust my instincts, I’ve learned to LISTEN and not block others’ ideas. I say yes when my gut says yes and am not afraid any longer of saying, “Hell No!” if something feels wrong. I want you all to know that love is possible, that love can change the world and that it all begins with YOU!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
These would be some of my favorite things to do IF everything was open and IF the sky (and more) was the limit! Let’s start where Route 66 ends…at Santa Monica Pier. I would rent bicycles for both of us to ride along the sand to Venice Beach, check out the muscle men, and keep riding to Redondo for Mai Tais at Tony’s. Then we’d ride back to Santa Monica and go to the top of the Shangri-La Hotel to watch the sun set and partake of their interesting cocktails and truffle fries. For dinner True Foods for a healthy delicious repast! We’d HAVE to get Mani Pedi’s at Zumanity on Main Street in Santa Monica and then shop for crystals at the Aura shop, where we would have sound healings with Heather. We could stay at the Proper Hotel, look at the expansive view, and pull tarot cards and giggle in our ritzy room. The next morning we would walk to Tartine on 20th St for sweet scones and Cappuccinos. Then back to the hotel for sun and swimming. At night we would go to Hillstone’s on Wilshire for Thai Salad and Ribs, and later walk along the beach barefoot, toes in the water. I would also love to take my bestie on the Graffitti Art tour https://laarttours.com in downtown LA followed by a brunch of Heirloom corn pancakes at Guerrilla Tacos. On another day we’d go to the The Scent Bar on Beverly Blvd to pick out the perfect yummy perfume followed by Tagliolini Limone at Angellini Osteria. The following Day we would hike in Temescal Canyon and then buy sushi to picnic at Gladstones and watch the Sunset. Then off we would go on a trip to Silverlake to dine at Casita Del Campo, an awesome Mexican restaurant that opened in 1962 with a real tree growing in the dining room. At night you can go downstairs to the Cavern Club Theater and catch a colorful campy show…AND you can even bring your cocktails downstairs! We would HAVE to go the Broad Museum and then catch a Broadway show at the Music Center. There’s so much more to see and taste in this amazing City of Angels but that will be for the next trip!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My Mama deserves a BIG shout out! She is a powerful international educator and lover of life! Thank you Mama for believing in me and being such an awesome inspiration. My brother , who has always lived outside the box, taught me to think bigger and to have FUN along the way, while his wife, Shannon, reminds us all that WE are the BEST. I am also grateful to my Dad for teaching me about the will to LIVE, Barbara for modeling fierce loving with laughter and grace and to those lovable nieces and nephew. I don’t want to forget all of my Sacred Sisters, my teachers, and friends along the way, who walk with me on this journey called life. Finally, a thank you to my love, Brent Robert, for coming back into my life, reminding me of who I am.
Dana Patrick Headshot in Blue and Headshot in Maroon Ben Bertucci Pilates Photo