Every Darling Dinner serves as a reminder of what is good and necessary in this life: intention, honesty and community. We never tire of hearing these personal recounts of nights crowded around the table, diving into delicious cuisine, and finding a familiar voice amongst those we might have never had the chance to meet otherwise.

From attendee Kayla Sampson:

I have always loved everything that Darling represents. A few years ago one of my best friends bought me my first issue for my birthday and it was love at first sight. There is a realness that resonates in every piece of Darling work that is put out. Their words are always filled with a refreshing authenticity which is so necessary in our world today.

Darling Dinners are an interactive way to experience the authenticity and realness that the Darling movement represents. The structure of the evening is so simple with just two elements, food and conversation. The outcome, however, is something very profound and beautiful.

Under stringed market lights in the prettiest loft I’ve ever seen, I shared a meal with a group of strangers and yet, by the end of the night, I felt as though I was amongst friends. There is something so beautiful and powerful about the act of gathering together around a full table. We enjoyed the most amazing spread of fall themed dishes paired with perfect wines all prepared by the ever so talented Theresa Pollard.

I shared a meal with a group of strangers and yet, by the end of the night, I felt as though I was amongst friends.

As we enjoyed this amazing meal we began our table topics for the evening by going around the table answering the following two questions:

Q1. Our thoughts are some of our most powerful tools, yet all too often we use them in ways that set us back. How can we change our thoughts to be actively using them as a mantra, to help us become who we want to be? 

Q2. We can’t throw away our past, but we can move forward. How can we take the lessons we’ve learned from our failures, mistakes and triumphs, and integrate them wisely into our futures?

The girls began to dive in to these questions and I was so stunned and blessed by the absolute sincerity of their responses. Within moments any barriers that we walked into the room with had lost their power over us as we put our guards down and talked “real talk.” We openly shared stories, memories and beliefs. Immediately, I began to feel a sense of true community. These beautiful women each had a unique perspective on the questions asked and yet there were so many common themes in the responses. We came to a joint conclusion that comparison is truly the thief of joy and that our past does not define our future.

… so often we settle for small talk as though that is all we have time for …

I left this night feeling so encouraged knowing that I am not alone. Up and down the table, I heard familiar stories of pains I had personally experienced and challenges that I could so relate to. After a slew of encouraging words and inspirational stories, I felt so inspired and filled with hope. We live in such a fast paced society, a busy realm that so often feels like one big blur. I feel like so often we settle for small talk as though that is all we have time for, constantly rushing on to the next thing.

This night was a reminder to me of the importance of slowing down, being present and truly investing in the people that are in your life in this current season and Darling Dinners give you an opportunity to do just that.

Haven’t been to a dinner yet? Check our events calendar here to see how you can sign up for the next one!

Photography by Esther Lee

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