dana dana dana

about dana
linked in

Group Workshops

In order to excel in our current positions, advance in our careers and take care of ourselves—inside and out, it is essential to develop an array of attitudes and practices that keep us focused yet open to learning, deeply motivated, connected to others, and creative and resilient especially when inevitable challenges arise. Opening Eyes workshops help participants address and shift stress areas both complex and simple (but derailing none-the-less) including: connecting what one does in work and life with what one truly cares about (identifying key values and motivators); employing communication 'musts' including conscientious speaking and listening and body language; collaborating effectively with an array of personalities (bosses to peers, clients to family and friends); and, developing practices to maximize both professional and personal responsibilities and desires.

As author of Transforming Lives $40 at a Time, Women + Microfinance: Upending the Status Quo, Dana also presents a workshop on the power of microfinance to alleviate poverty from the perspective of those manifesting wealth inside and out—the microentrepreneurs themselves. Through their success stories and her own three and a half year journey from dream to published author to national speaker to coach, Dana shares seven keys essential to realizing significant goals and meaning in our lives.

Workshops and teleclasses may include readings, written reflections, discussion, interactive practices, and always, concrete action steps. Topics, dates and times are initiated both by Opening Eyes and by request and are tailored to the group's needs. Please email dewhitaker@openingeyes.net or call Dana at 510.919.2944 to make a workshop request from the list below or to discuss a tailored workshop to meet the needs of your group.


Current Workshops and Adventures

Senses Retreat
Click to download a pdf of the flyer

Group Workshop Topics:

It Takes Conscious Values to Create True Value—Personally and Professionally

Are you conscious of your values? What values do you live by—personally and professionally? Are they serving you? How about your company—people, product and profit, do they mirror your desired values? Whether you're aware of it or not, your words and actions are manifestations of the values you hold. In this workshop, learn how to identify your own and your company's key values and how to keep them front and center in order to create true value: connectedness, happiness, impact, and healthy bottom line to be proud of.

People aren't always awful. Sometimes, they're maybe even just a little bit wonderful. Here are 21 pictures to remind you of that fact.

7-Keys to Living a Passion-Fueled Life

What does it take to move from mere surviving to thriving? Exhausted to energized? Bored to excited? Anxious to calm? Unclear to focused? Sad to happy? In essence what does it take to live a passion-fueled life, moment by moment, day by day, year by year? It takes: vision, action, self-care, learning, connecting, virtuous attitudes and sharing.

Join coach Dana on a journey exploring and activating the 7-keys necessary to creating the personal and professional life YOU want to live.


  • At each session, we'll delve into one of the 7 keys using various modalities including journaling, art, movement, visualization and group discussion
  • We'll engage in a range of exercises, practicing and fine-tuning them between sessions to align with and activate your unique self
  • We'll read and discuss pertinent, provocative articles and poems
  • We'll develop, declare and chart personal/professional goals
  • In a safe, supportive environment, we'll share questions, doubts, baby-steps and leaps forward into a passion-fueled life


  • You'll connect with your inner desires, values and strengths in order to identify and pursue concrete, practical, perhaps before-unimaginable goals that matter to YOU!
  • You'll become equipped with essential tools—from attitudes to action—to maximize your resilience when confronted with life's inevitable bumps
  • You'll develop insights and processes to let go of things that hold you back and add things that enhance who you are which will help forward what you want to do
  • You'll develop a new group of supporters
  • You'll be activated versus enervated by life since you'll be conscious of YOU!

Career/Life Integration is about Time Commitments, Not Time Management

Where do your days go? Do you ever end a day, a week or even a month in a blur, struggling to recall what you accomplished and what zapped your time and energy? Whether you're a budding entrepreneur, seasoned executive or juggling work and family responsibilities, being balanced is essential for your health, your happiness and your ability to consistently do those 'its' well. In this workshop you will learn how to become focused on a daily, even moment by moment basis so that you may (re)energize yourself and (re)direct your precious time and energy towards that which is truly important and impactful for you and the life you want live.

"I am impressed that Dana gave us one concrete 'tool' to do in such a short period of time. I really liked her worksheets. "
   —Participant, U.C. Berkeley, Center for Public Health
      Practice, School of Public Health

Four Communication 'Musts' for Effective Collaboration with Clients and Colleagues

Learn how to build essential rapport in order to obtain results that all parties will be satisfied with. How? 1) Self-reflection. 2) Authentic listening, observing and speaking. 3) Developing shared clarity of each party's 5W's + How. 4) Commitment to satisfying everyone's needs. Your communication (speaking and listening) determines the degree to which you can truly connect with others, set clear boundaries, and achieve the results you desire. This workshop is for you if you want to replace frustration and stress with efficient, self—and other-honoring communication, with results!

Mind, Emotions and Body—Activating All of You; It's Essential to Living a Full Versus a Fractured Life

What emotions flare up when your body aches? What do you say to and about yourself when you make a mistake—especially when witnessed by others? Whether you realize it or not, your body affects your emotions, which affects the language you use about yourself, about others and about the possibilities for your life. We are often unconscious of the constant interplay between these three components of ourselves. In this three-part workshop/talk—which may be presented in a three-part series or all at once—you will explore the ways you hold your body, the stories you tell yourself and the emotions that hold you captive and stuck or set you free to be the person you want to be—personally and professionally.

Developing and Delivering an Awesome Speech

Learn how to connect. With your topic. Point to scintillating point. With your audience. And, how to practice and present for maximum poise and impact.

Experience the Power of Microfinance from the Microentrepreneurs' Perspective & Learn from These Experts What It Takes to Activate Daring, Meaningful Change

Using her book of photographs and stories (based on interviews), Transforming Lives $40 at a Time, Women + Microfinance: Upending the Status Quo, Dana offers a dynamic presentation and/or workshop on the power of microfinance to alleviate poverty—both inside and out—and the essential ingredients that microentrepreneurs use—which we can all use—to drive meaningful professional and personal change. Through thought-provoking conversation and self-reflection you will explore how your attitudes and actions can align with these practices towards building your own purpose-filled life. Tailored to your audience and venue, Dana's presentation/workshop is ideal not only for you, but also for building relationships around a global theme with clients, colleagues, club members and friends.

SOUL PORTRAITS Workshop: Seeing yourself eye-to-eye

Engage in an enriching day of self-reflection and creative expression. First you will explore your (and/or your group's) deepest values and goals. Next, you'll learn how to manipulate your camera—perspective, focus, speed, light, shadow—in order to move beyond mere content to create moods and messages in your photographs. We'll then head outdoors where, using nature as a metaphor of your values and goals, you'll play with the multi-faceted wonders of your camera to shoot expressions of you. Finally, you'll download your favorite photos, and after learning some key editing techniques—cropping, color, tone—and the purposes they serve to produce intended results, you'll edit, print, share and receive two soul portraits!


  • identify key values and goals to propel your life fully forward, both personally and professionally
  • activate your creativity
  • develop your photographic eye to keenly observe the world and your reflection in it
  • using a camera and photo editing, learn to go beyond mere content in order to create photographs imbued with mood(s) and meaning