I’m honored to be asked back to be the key note speaker for “Hartnell College’s 2018 Women’s Empowerment Conference”.
Today, more than ever, it is important for us women to band together and remind each other that we have everything we need inside ourselves.
My goal during this keynote is to share three simple steps, “Own it Feel it Live it,” to help women reconnect and rebalance their mind, body, and spirit. In this way, we can all tap into our core for a deeper feeling of self, clarity, and growth to be able to pursue a happier, healthier, more fulfilled life. By taking care of ourselves and supporting each other, we can advance the lives of women both near and far.
There’s so much talk about women’s equality: but the truth is, it doesn’t matter how many policies are put in place, how many women have gone before us, if we don’t take the time to value who we are and what we have to offer the world with conviction and pride, if we don’t take a leadership role in our own life, nothing will change.
You are fabulous warriors of femininity, intelligence, love and intuition…. so don’t let insecurities, namely fear or another persons projected fear, block your brilliance. Ladies, may I suggest, you Own your Power, Feel your Spirit and Live your Life by your own definition, on your terms!
Value exactly who you are: Stop limiting yourself with your beliefs. Women are integral to every aspect of evolution. We’re the nurturers, the teachers, the glue that holds everything together. It’s these very qualities that are so important in business, in a global society, that’s more cognizant of how we impact humanity and Mother Nature. Who better to build relationships and lead and share their passion for change? And let’s face it…humanity would be extinct without us…literally.
Mindset is the key to everything; so take charge, Own it and Feel the difference it makes in your life! First throw out old beliefs that no longer serve you, they stunt growth. Our minds have a way of ruling our actions. If you think you’re incapable, you will be, if you think something is impossible it becomes so. Perception becomes our reality so we need to shift our mindset from being set in stone, to being full of possibilities. BeMindful!
Mindfulness; is being fully aware, which we achieve by tapping into our spirit, not just our rational or irrational mind, but also our senses, emotions and body. Create the space and silence needed each day to center and connect to your true source of knowledge… YOU. When mind, body and spirit flow seamlessly in unity, we become whole again. What we think, feel and do functions from a place of stability and truth Our value and purpose becomes clear and we become proactive in our life instead of reactive.
The secret to success; is to have a fresh perspective of the traits of what being a Woman truly is. Change your mindset, change your world, here’s what it means to me. Keep these thoughts near by as a constant reminder of your brilliance.
Worthy. I am worthy: Look in the mirror, into your eyes and say each day …I AM WORTHY, I have everything I need right here inside me. Own what you think, feel and do and celebrate each milestone.
Make your worth your reality.
Original. I am unique:There is no one like you on the planet. Choosing to live in your truth, sharing your God given talents instead of succumbing to the fear of it is one of life’s great success stories you can achieve.
Multi – Dimensional: Embrace the breath and depth of the female experience, the failures, triumphs, and unexpected. All these experiences enhance and expand the richness of our worldly knowledge, capabilities and compassion needed in the world today.
Advocate for myself: I am my own fiercest advocate. Self-advocacy and believing in oneself first and foremost requires investing and actually having a relationship with yourself. Trust the wisdom of female intuition, ask for what you need and know that if you don’t have all the answers, you have the resources to find them. Most importantly, being an advocate for yourself is being kind to yourself – nourishing your emotional, physical and social wellbeing.
Find the right fit; make your own footprint!
Narrator : I am the author of my life. Live life by your own definition, not someone else’s. Life is a journey, and we are strong when we take the lessons of the past to live more deeply in the present and to more fully trust in our intentions for the future. When we’re in touch with our spirit, our truth, we see our whole story before us and we get to actively participate in our life with confidence, joy and the strength and freedom to change course if the right opportunity or chance arises. When we remain true to our dreams and know that we have everything we need within us we can live fearlessly and be the person we were always meant to be.
When we honor the many chapters we navigate, think of ourselves as worthy, respect our differences and understand we each have something to contribute, then there is equality …but equality starts from within!
“Now strut down the life’s runway dressed in your own truth and style Ladies…love Diane!”
Written by Diane Danvers Simmons, “All rights reserved Diane Danvers Simmons 2016- 2017”
Diane Danvers-Simmons is a passionate, visionary global citizen who wakes up each day crafting programs and solutions to inspire women to embrace their core values and live life by their own definition with wit & wisdom. With this motivation, she founded and continues to drive her own company, Own it, Feel it, Live it. Through inspired Spirituality in Stilettos programming, uplifting Made by Survivors jewelry production of her own design, impactful documentaries, and purposeful speaking engagements, Diane works each day to create experiences and brands to raise awareness, uplift souls, inspire action, empower and connect people from all walks of life on one universal journey for a brighter, more enlightened future. For more information visit www.ownitfeelitliveit.com.
What is it with age ladies? I feel the same as I did in my 20’s, younger than my 30’s and just catching up to my 40’s, as I stride through life happy in my yoga toned body and a fine pair stilettos. I don’t feel the need to admit my age or even “act” my age …whatever that means. With all of my so called confidence intact, I even celebrated 50 as the big 0, hoping people would presume I meant 40, or even 35 in perfect light. It wasn’t until I was on celebration number 4 in England that I discovered everyone thought I meant the big Orgasm … no wonder everyone wanted to join in the celebration!
‘’Aging is out of your control, How you handle it though, is in your hands”
Quoted by; Diane Von Furstenberg …at 70, she’s gorgeous, smart, stylish, strong and creator of one of my favorites and perfect at any age … the Wrap dress!
Thank god for 2016/2017, as more gorgeous women inside and out such as Halle Berry turned 50, Susan Sarandon 70, Julianne Moore 56, just to name a few. All are example’s of women whose spirits and energy seem to shine brighter with each year as they take on new roles and expand their horizons.
In our age obsessed world it’s so refreshing to see these beautiful accomplished women adorning our screens, stages, magazines, social media and most importantly making a difference.
What do all of these women have in common, besides admirers galore, a great pair of shoes and their own undeniable style?
First off, we all know the physical guidelines for a healthy life: eat healthy natural food, drink lots of water, exercise, get a good nights sleep and don’t smoke …
What I’m referring to however is a much deeper resource that we all have at our finger-tips and total control over. The secret ingredient which keeps us luminous and youthful, is from within. Spiritual bliss is timeless, ageless and priceless … just like you.
The celebs I referred to do not let age define them. They know who they are and aren’t ashamed to OWN IT. None of them have tried to fit into a box. They each have and continue to live in their own truth and style …whether it’s Halle Berry feeling blessed turning 50 and honoring her stunning body clothed in sheer white lace, or Susan Sarandon’s fierce independence and activism, or Julianne Moore’s silky red locks, luminous green eyes, grace and humor.
They’re not only attractive because of how they’ve nourished their skin and bodies, they are conscious women who draw upon their god given talent and energy to be all they can be. They’ve embraced the phases of modern womanhood, nurturing their careers, relationships and immersing themselves in the gift of motherhood, while becoming activists for issues and causes bigger than themselves.
Here are three of the pillars to a vibrant youthful existence at any age:
Own it – Perception is Reality.
The true essence of youth and beauty: is mind, body and spirit working in unity, enabling you to approach life as whole being rather than a fragmented, frustrated one. Because you are what you think, feel and do… if you think your old- you are, if you feel old- you are and If you act old –you are.
Don’t limit yourself because of a number or because you have this preconceived idea that you can’t do or learn something new as you age, I learned to surf at 55!
Feel it- Playfulness: Why should kids have all the fun?
A fresh outlook, a new perspective, is how a child views the world. A youthful point of view isn’t stuck in what should be, but open to what can be. Youthful is playful, what more endearing than someone who’s playful, with a big heart, infinite wisdom and is flexible not just because they do yoga, but because they are willing to take a few risks and be spontaneous. A curious, enthusiastic spirit and mind that’s open to new possibilities with child like wonder and creativity IS BETTER THAN ANY YOUTH PILL!
Live it – Purpose is Connection:Connection to your true sprit and what you came here to do, to the people you love,community and to something much bigger than yourself.
Doing things for good feels good, and is good for you because each of us wants to feel relevant, useful and needed in this world. Share your unique talents, your wealth of knowledge and life experience to make a difference in the world. Having real meaning in your life is what really makes us happy.
Stay connected to life long friends and family but also be open to new relationships of every age, race and color. And NO, Face book is not a substitute for human contact, a touch or a smile.
Ultimately, Shift your mindset to one of gratitude for this blessing called life at every age. With an open heart and mind, a little give and take, love and compassion for self and others, an undeniable faith in who you are and what you came here to do, you pretty much have the keys to a vibrant, sassy life worth living!
Own it, Feel it, Live it by Your Own Definition with Wit & Wisdom!Diane xo
Now more that ever we need to teach girls to own their power, feel their spirits and live life in their own truth . Only by sharing the stories we all need to hear now, celebrating each other and coming together can we raise women up.
I’m so proud to be part of a movement and a community which recognizes the importance of educating and instilling confidence in young women, so they can go out into the world empowered, bold and brave, united in one universal heartbeat for a more balanced, enlightened, global community.
Getting the BEING back in our DOING for a more fulfilling, happier work, life, balance.
As published on Intent.com 2/23/17
Whoever invented the TO DO list had a great concept, however, knowing the multi-taskers we are, I’m sure it was a woman, but none the less, I bet, she or he didn’t expect our modern day society to take ‘TO DO” to a whole new stratosphere.
Every day we witness women silently drowning in their “To Do Lists”. Beyond this it appears we’ve become a society which is living under a mindset or more bluntly put, the misconception, that constantly “Doing” is the way to justify our existence: to prove to the world and ourselves that our lives are valuable, that we matter and have relevance. Or should we be asking our self, is it an easy way to avoid the things we don’t want to face and deal with.
As a toddler I was fondly called Dodo by my family, not because I was fascinated by poop or had some special agenda to prove my existence, but because I wanted to explore and do many things for myself and fully experience what was before me at that very moment. In other words, to be fully engaged just as every free spirited toddler is, not at a scheduled time, but to be fully engaged right then and there in the moment. However, as people grow into adulthood so many feel the need to show the world what good “DOERS” they are for some sort of affirmation and to be known for what they DO rather than who they are and the depth of what they’re contributing.
Work, life balance is critical: in other words balancing BEING with your DOING is critical to your success as a “Human Being” on this planet. The majority of American defines success as our careers, but in essence, success is how you approach and live your life in totality as a “whole being” rather than a fragmented one.
Creating a sense of life balance is fundamental to a feeling of overall success and happiness. Balance is achieved with the right blend of BEING versus DOING toward career, community, family and your self.
So how do we practice introducing a little more balance and real connection in our lives so we can become present in our DOING instead of lost in our BEING.
Seven Steps back to being present in your doing
Nurture yourself: it’s not self indulgent it’s self-respect! Think of it as the vehicle, which is going to enable you to be more present, happier and the best for everyone around you.
Throw out the guilt or blame if you don’t get your to do list completed in your self imposed timeline. Step by step find you’re way to treating yourself kindly.
Breathe and find time to go to a place that brings you peace and wraps you in the beauty of mother nature if you can. Breathe to clear the clutter in your mind and reconnect on a level that doesn’t have to have all the answers …just allows you to feel and connect to mind, body and spirit.
Take time daily for you and quiet your mind through meditation, yoga or simply over the ritual of a cup of tea so you can get back to your core, and have a relationship with your most trusted source of knowledge – YOU
Be present in the moment so you can benefit by being engaged in the moment, the experience and continue to learn, grow, flourish and not only enjoy what your doing, but feel the passion in BEING in what your doing.
Add the play back into your life: Work hard, play hard, one feeds the other, just make sure you add a good nights rest to the mix!
Do and be what you love: Give yourself the time and space to find what you love and do it!
I whole heartily believe whether you choose take one or all the aforementioned steps, one of the most important foundations for us all is to be connected to family and friends. Not the toxic ones, but the ones that you can laugh and share your ups and downs with, who know and love you for all your flaws, through the good, bad and mundane. The people who will be your support group when you stop just DOING and are willing to just BE.
Ultimately, remember DOING doesn’t always give us time to DO what we really want or need to DO at a deeper soul level. Living from our soul is what makes our life really worth living, so get back to BEING so you can enjoy what you love DOING!
One of the things I love doing is writing, so I hope you’ve enjoyed “being” in this article with me!
You might also like:
Spirituality in Stilettos: Spirituality Bliss with a 21st Century Twist, by Diane…
Congratulations, to all the smart, gorgeous ladies who made the choice to take a couple of hours out of their busy lives to disconnect from all the madness and reconnect to themselves, in beautiful Carmel Valley!
Every workshop I host is different, but the one thing I’m happy to say remains constant is: whenever a group of women comes together and they are open to looking at their lives through a new lens – even if it’s still a pretty dirty one – there is always a beautiful sense of support and unity.
The afternoon we shared amounted to more than our written reflections or the conversations we engaged in. The true reflection and connection came from the silence, the moments when each woman took the time to look into their hearts both through their own eyes and then in the eyes of another.
In truth, no one really knew what to expect, and that’s the beauty… being open to the unexpected and challenging yourself to look at things in a different way. The outcome I hope for all of you is a simple shift in mindset. A shift from “should I” to “I should, I can and I will.” This mindset has the power to liberate us and free us up for what is yet to come.
I will finish by repeating the saying I shared as we celebrated our afternoon over a delicious glass of wine –
‘When you know and trust yourself on a deeper level and allow yourself to be seen, you will have more clarity, honesty and freedom in your life – and freedom is something we all desire and need!’
By Diane Danvers Simmons. Published in Wellness.com 2016
“Never say Never” is one of life’s truths I’ve come to relish. I’m proud to share that on a recent adventure I plucked up the courage to learn to surf with four fellow surfing virgins. Forget “the 40 year old virgin”, we were all “the 45 plus virgins”, willing and able to happily admit temporary insanity and conquer some major fears on the shores of Todos Santos!
Even though I’m pretty fit and able, I wasn’t feeling that bold or a 100% willing. I was terrified surveying the crashing waves, as I recollected the time I was tumbled and smashed on the ocean floor …but that’sanother story. I had fought my way into the confines of an ill-fitted wetsuit without putting my back out, so, at least I needed to honor that feat and listen to the instructors spanglish.
Fear is like a rip tide pulling us further and further away from all of life’s miracles. The key is to welcome it, own it, and give oneself permission to feel the emotions that surface. I’m not recommending being reckless, but I am sharing how we can dive in and ride the waves of fear back to vibrancy.
FEELS A LOT LIKE YOGA ON A BOARD TO ME!
Loosen up and see the humor in life. We’d already completed our daily practice of yoga, which on one hand meant we were already in the zone, but on the other hand the thought of doing yoga on a surf board was a little daunting…This is the moment I questioned my sanity, but felt comforted by the bond I shared with my fellow angels. Endless humor alleviated much of anxiety that had taken residence in my mind, as we shamelessly practiced our surfing skills on the sand.
Don’t face the fear alone. I thought I was ready but alas, rational fear crept into my mind! After a few fearless strides, I did a 180-degree turn and began to peel off my wetsuit, much to my instructors (Julio) horror. His reaction was instantaneous, kind, but persistent and encouraging. Julio didn’t make me feel stupid and most importantly he didn’t let me give into my fear of being pummeled on the ocean bed. Instead he promised to stay close and guide me, with sister surfer angles cheering me on. Knowing I wasn’t alone or judged got me back on board … literally!
Let go by connecting to your inner child.The excitement and curiosity of youth was building inside, as I paddled out on my board into the unknown. I felt like a child being pushed high into the air on an endless swing, with the nose of the board rising high, crashing over the breaking waves. Soaked in the infinite joy, presence and wonder of childhood play, I let go of the fear as my spirit soared and I lost myself in the thrill of the spill.
Self- trust, being present in the moment. “Stay near Julio!!”OMG here I go again, upward dog…lunge… warrior pose with arms spread eagle …’‘ALLALUJA, I’m up and alive, being carried by the energy of the waves… You can go now Julio!”
I wasn’t walking on water yet, but I was part of it. Time stood still, as I connected to the rhythm of nature in tune with all of my natural instincts. I trusted the strength and wisdom of my own body in the ever-changing moment. I went back out time and again, knowing each time would be different. I felt exhilarated and energized as the waves washed away the stresses of everyday life and the feeling of limitless possibilities replaced them.
The benefits of activities that reignite personal awareness. Whether it’s surfing or any other physical activity engaging in something out of your comfort zone, it reignites our own personal awareness. It expands our consciousness giving us renewed validation of what we can accomplish when we choose to live in the moment, understand our fear and use it as a tool to experience growth.
I’ll finish by saying this, “By changing my perspective, I now understand why surfers become addicted to the spirit of the surf. It’s truly a spiritual experience to feel at one with Mother Nature, connected to the energy and power of the waves and wind, to feel part of something much bigger than you.”
Only one person can stop you and that’s you! Make the choice to welcome your fear home, embrace it, and then let it go so you can LIVE each day as an adventure.
Now go out, have an adventure and embrace your inner child!
There’s that moment in time when you hear someone thank you in an emotional tribute and your initial response is “wow”, is she really talking about me? Naturally, it’s followed by tears, which you silently try to wipe away as black lines of mascara run down your face. It’s a moment of affirmation, when you realize that sharing your own stories, however big or small and just being there to listen and answer questions from your own life perspective really does make a difference in someone else’s life.
I’m referring to Mentorship …I’d just returned from a weekend at the awe-inspiring, mind expanding Nantucket Project, where one of the many subjects discussed was how soon artificial intelligence will become ubiquitous in our everyday lives and is certain to replace many activities which exist today.
However, as I witness Priscilla, a young women I’ve been lucky enough to mentor for the past few years stand in front of an audience of 300 women and share her story with raw honesty, dignity and strength, I’m reminded that nothing is more integral to humanity than human interaction and emotion.
Think about it for a moment …could a robot mentor a young woman, give her a real hug and be there emotionally for her?
Witnessing Priscilla, I felt like a proud parent, as she demonstrated strength of character, not just by displaying her resiliency, perseverance and determination, but most importantly by acknowledging her vulnerability.
She reminded the audience that having a strong mentor who could provide guidance, empathize with her journey, and understood first hand,what it means to be an immigrant was a true source of inspiration. The comparison struck a cord within me and is why I believe the Universe, God, and or the Angels, had lead me to become Priscilla’s mentor.
It’s clear Artificial intelligence will become part of our everyday world. However, sitting in the room with like minded women who care about assisting and educating young women, I can’t help but think that the human spirit and emotion, the invisible cord that binds us, is one that technology/artificial intelligence will never truly understand or replace.
The wisdom of the human spirit is a universal gift for each of us to hold onto, even more now as we navigate the chaos of our world. It’s the thread that unites people from all walks of life.
We each impact each other daily and it doesn’t matter if you mentor one or one hundred young people in your lifetime, the opportunity to connect and build a relationship with someone you probably wouldn’t have otherwise known, someone who you can help rise up, is priceless!
Thanks to organizations such a WELI and Hartnell college who understand the need for investment in young people through mentorship programs. Foundations which match those willing with young women who not only want a better life for themselves but also for generations to come…they are the ones who will pay it forward, they are the ones who will help us have balance and humanity in our world.
Own it, Feel it, Live it with love, compassion and humanity!