A Number Doesn’t Define You …You Do!

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Published on Dr Laura April 2017

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!

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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

 

 

We Are Human BEINGS Not Human DOERS

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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!

Love Diane.

You might also like:
Spirituality in Stilettos: Spirituality Bliss with a 21st Century Twist, by Diane…

Spirituality on a Surfboard: Overcoming the Waves of Fear!

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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’s another 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!

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.IMG_3233

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!

Diane xo

 

 

 

Spirituality in Stilettos at the Sunset Cultural Center Carmel

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FullSizeRender-3Special thanks to the Sunset Cultural Center, Carmel, for inviting me to  be a keynote speaker as part of the Healing Arts Series. The series mission is to foster community vitality through education and enrichment programs such as, Spirituality in Stilettos – Own it Feel it Live it (OFL), for better wellness in our everyday lives.

Heartfelt thanks, to over 65 people who filled the room ready to open their minds, and hearts to connect, and support each other as they listened to the value of paying attention to the details of their lives through three simple steps, OFL, to reconnect, rebalance and reignite mind, body, and spirit. It was so rewarding and inspirational to watch people be open to new ways of thinking, go within, embrace the philosophy of mind, body, spirit unity, laugh, cry and  to share their experiences as the evening unfolded with the entire group.

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Forums such as these reinforce my belief in the importance and power of human connection, to self, each other and the difference we can make when we come together to support each other in  personal growth and empowerment. My hope is to help people expand with love, trust, and compassion, rather than be held hostage by fear.

Genuine Connection and Community is key to our own wellbeing and the wellbeing of mankind!!

Immense gratitude to my friends and family who continue to push and support me on my journey with SIS/ OFL…you know who you are and I love you !!

FullSizeRender-2OWN IT, FEEL IT, LIVE IT, with WIT &WISDOM !

 

The Mother & Daughter Connection, a unique retreat on the Hudson…Feel it!

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Mothers and Daughters Connect on the Hudson.

The fun, healthy, juicy ways to reconnect,explore, exercise and eat!

SHARE IT!

This “treat” is designed to enhance the very special love and sometimes delicate bond that we share with our daughters.
Over Four days and three nights, mothers and daughters will have the time to slow down, honor and deepen their relationships as they share parts of themselves often hidden in the fabric of everyday life. Most importantly; through exploration, nourishment, new experiences, and lots of laughter, they’ll reinforce their bond, create traditions and priceless memories that will stand the test of time.

Dishing the Deliciousness of Life

Our Retreat will be held in the beautiful indoor& outdoor environments of the Hudson valley.
We create a safe haven, where mothers & daughters can take the time to re invest in themselves. They will be reminded that our health and happiness cannot be separated from what we eat, what we feel, what we think and what we do.

Own it, time for:iStock_000027073815_Medium

• Exploration of mind body spirit unity for health and happiness.
• The fun, healthy, juicy ways to connect, explore, exercise and eat!
• Investment in yourself, to reignite and regain your life balance.
• Own your choices.

Feel it, through:
• Delicious farm to table cuisine.
• Yoga, meditation & hiking in nature & bodhi studios.
• Nutrition counseling – practical, delicious, sustainable choices.
• Hands on fun cooking and juicing classes, visit to farmers market.
• Pampering – specialized massage/bodywork at the areas number one spa.
• Private reception at “2 Note botanical perfumery & skin care”.

iStock_000011175153_SmallLive it, by:
• Creating your own life flow and nutrition plan that will enhance and improve your every day life.
• Strengthening your relationship with each other through a shared and better understanding of mindful health, nutrition and total well-being.
• Embracing what it is to be present and compassionate, as you step into each new life chapter together and face all of life’s thrill and spills.
• Live your life with Wit & Wisdom!

Hosts -Diane Danvers Simmons, founder & spokesperson for, Own it Feel it live it & Spirituality in Stilettos and her daughter, Natalie Simmons, with Erika Laurion, Nutritionist and Health Chef.

Special summer introductory rate; $1000 per person, all inclusive – accommodation, 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners, juicing, exclusive of alcoholic beverages and transportation.

Maximum attendees 14 [7 mother & daughter pairs], sign up now for a unique mother & daughter experience, to create the memories that will stay in your hearts forever.
Exclusive Retreat Dates; August14th, thru 17th.

Accommodation– 26 Warren B&B and Westcott House, both located in the heart of historic Hudson, NY. An artistic, vibrant, foodie, community, surrounded by the natural beauty of the Hudson Valley.

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Detailed Information, availability, and to reserve your,

Mother &  Daughter Connection on the Hudson” treat, please contact Diane@ownitfeelitliveit.com

Spirituality in Stilettos, “Treat” with Diane Danvers Simmons & Dawn’s Dream Winery

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There are no coincidences …It’s just up to us to be present, take notice & act!

 Dawn and I met at a fund raiser for “Rising International” at her wine tasting room in Carmel by the Sea. A serendipitous meeting that lead to friendship, as we each shared our vision to help women over a glass of wine.

Our vision is like the perfect pairing of wine and food … I’m passionate about creating a movement of positive change and growth for all women and Dawn is passionate about supporting businesses and foundations, through her winery,  whose mission includes empowering women.

Could there be a more harmonious meeting of the minds? We don’t think so, and we’re excited about sharing the power of this experience with you!

Dawn and I are always looking for enjoyable new ways to help women attain dynamic levels of growth in the pursuit of balanced, for-filling, happy lifestyles. Therefore, I’m thrilled to announce that I’m teaming up with Dawn’s Dream Winery to offer a unique Spirituality in Stilettos experience, where women can switch off the daily chatter, by being immersed in the serenity and beauty of Carmel and Carmel Valley.

 Spirituality in Stilettos 

      Own your Power, Feel your Spirit, Live your Life with Wit and Wisdom.

In this fast-paced media driven world, we hunger for truth, balance, clarity, and authentic growth, with the desire for spiritual and human connection. But how do we get there?

writing in our Own it, Feel it,Live It Journal, soothes the soul!

writing in our Own it, Feel it,Live It Journal, soothes the soul!

 

By Giving women an opportunity to explore, connect, and rediscover the value and joy of investing in themselves, Spirituality in Stilettos (SIS) workshops highlight the power of mind, body, spirit unity to promote total well-being for a happier, healthier life. SIS is a multidimensional approach blending the best of East and West to help women nourish and enrich their everyday lives while remaining grounded in their own truth and style.

 Spirituality in Stilettos Workshops – June 26th & 27th.

with Diane Danvers Simmons & Dawn’s Dream Winery

 Friday, June 26th, 6pm-8pm – Wine ReceptionDawnLogo1

Kick-off those worn out shoes for a reception early Friday evening, June 26th, at Dawn’s Dream Winery, where you’ll have the opportunity to meet Diane Danvers Simmons in person while enjoying delectable wine-tasting flights and sumptuous appetizers during an Introduction and Info session. This reception will feature lots of camaraderie and some interactive exercises intended to prepare you for the Spirituality in Stilettos workshop.

Saturday, June 27th, 10:00am-4:30pm – Spirituality in Stilettos Full-Day Session & Activities

 Balancing & Connecting Mind, Body, & Spirit,

in the Modern World with Wit & Wisdom.

One dish, one discussion, one dance at a time with a nice glass of wine

 Amid the splendor of the Galante Ranch & Winery in Carmel Valley, a full day Spirituality in Stilettos workshop begins! Overlooking the lush vineyards and surrounding grandeur of the mountains, a number of empowering sessions and activities are planned.

Diane created her Spirituality in Stilettos workshops to be held in beautiful indoor & outdoor environments so that a safe haven can be created, affording women the time to reinvest in themselves. In this way, women will be reminded that health and happiness cannot be separated from what we eat, what we feel, what we do, and what we think at any phase of life. The series flows into three parts, all of which bring the essence of Own it, Feel It, Live It to incandescent life through fun, insightful activities in mother nature, unique interactive exercises, journaling, yoga, meditation, sensory awareness, and discussion … along with some surprises!

iStock_000027073815_MediumA delicious  farm-to-table lunch will be served to nourish and enliven the senses.The day’s workshop will conclude with Dawn hosting a personal wine-tasting in the peaceful coolness of the wine caves.4:30-5:00pm drive back to Carmel is scheduled to follow.

This is an event you won’t want to miss, Ladies — An affirming and enlightening opportunity to explore the strengths of a multi-dimensional approach to life. and demonstrate what a powerful difference can be made when we come together and support each other in a common goal.IMG_2053

Cost for this unique experience is, $425 per person. Includes transportation on 06/27/15 to and from the Ranch, lunch, beverages, wine tastings and full SIS day program.

This magical event of fine food, wine, and spiritual wit & wisdom is sure to sell-out quickly, so e–mail diane@ownitfeeelitliveit.com to make your reservations or call 775 287 3679, as soon as possible.

For more information about Diane Danvers Simmons and her wonderful work with Own It, Feel It, Live It, please visit her official website at www.ownitfeelitliveit.com.

Additionally you can also contact Maegan WarehamAt Dawn’s Dream Winery – Sales & Event Manager(831) 659-2649

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Spiritual Shuffle in the Sand, Owning it!

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Boxing Our Way Out of Life’s Boxes.

As the poetic champion, Muhammad Ali would say “float like a butterfly sting like a bee”…I’m not sure if he would  describe us in such eloquent fashion, but we certainly gave it a try.

“We can’t be brave without fear” Muhammad Ali.

I’ve never understood the benefits of boxing until my recent trip to Todos Santos. Admittedly, I was on a gorgeous beach surrounded by my fellow Angels wearing our latest accessory, an enormous pair of bright blue padded boxing gloves. Our first lesson in boxing was with non other than Ramiro Reducindo Radilla, the 2003 Pan American gold medalist. Only the best for the Angels- thank you Erica!

Eva’s right hook!

I  don’t think any of us knew what to expect, after all, isn’t boxing about throwing punches to weaken and knockout  your opponent ? The furthest thing from loving kindness and spiritual bliss.However, I have to admit, we did leave on a powerful, spiritual high!

Ramiro, the boxer,wasn’t just my opponent, instead, he became my teacher disguised as well padded punch bag with a cheeky grin! I learned that boxing is much more than a cardio work out of skill, strength, speed, reflexes and endurance …which sounds pretty amazing in of itself. Boxing in a strange way is literally, “Own it, Feel it, Live it “on steroids. It’s a true challenge , combining the ultimate of mind, body and spirit awareness and participation.

With arms flexed at a 45 degree angle, I practiced the four basic punches in boxing; the jab, cross hook and upper cut. Leading with my left hand, instead of my pre wired right hand, I shuffled ( just like Ali in my own mind) the one-two-combo  … This isn’t just exercise for the body, people, it’s exercise for the mind.

One, two combo shuffle!

As you can see from the picture Ramiro is a giant compared to me, but that made the challenge even more enticing, as we danced and  sparred  to the beat of one, two, three. The more I leaned into the punch, the more he back away, and then more I advanced again. I felt agile, powerful, and strong.I was in the moment, at one with myself and my opponent as the onlookers dissipated into the sand.

The Angels and I were literally bouncing Pogo sticks, fueled by an adrenalin high that made each of us feel invincible, evident by the smiles on our faces. Our  boxing experience was unbelievably empowering and symbolic in many ways.We Owned it, by stepping out of our boxes and I do believe we strenghened our wings that day, toward becoming Guardian Angels….

Boxing is mind, body, spirit unity in action, so get ready for some spiritual shuffling in my workshops!

Spirituality on the Sea of Cortez – Swimming with the Seals!

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If you’ve never been on a small bus with 10 women, just  think back to a school bus trip or ask Franchesco.I can honestly say, it doesn’t matter if a member of the female race is  5 or 45 …we always manage to cover every topic of conversation at a decibel level , that could put 200 bagpipers to shame .

 

Having a Whale of a time!

Having a Whale of a time!

Two boats, 5 guides, four crew, a chef , ugly life jackets, bikinis, sunscreen and we were ready to, Own it ,Feel it and definitely Live it, on yet another Eco adventure. This time to the rugged islands of the  Sea of Cortez.

First stop – Swimming with the Seals … not my first choice of mammal to swim with, in-fact the thought had never popped into my consciousness before, non the less, it was part of our exploration, of self and nature.

Harmless looking!

Harmless looking!

 

Sergio instructed us on the virtues of swimming with the seals.In one breathe he enticed us by describing the playful charms of a seal pup and  in the next, he put the fear of God in us, as he coached us on what to do, and not to do, if confronted by a 16 foot male.

That’s when I asked, “why can’t we be content with just snorkeling?!”

The next feat was to once again struggle into the confines of the tightest wet suit we could endure…beautiful new ones, but still tight enough to embarrass any good woman and I won’t tell you what Sergio suggested we do to warm them up!

 

Dressed and ready to Swim with the Seals!

Really happy I’m alive and singing!

Wearing Snorkel masks, flippers and wet suits to keep us intact, we all felt like seasoned experts, comical, but it’s amazing how a good outfit can make you feel. One by one, the brave Seal Angels began to dive and flop into the Sea of Cortez.

I was still questioning if I really needed to add this to my list of accomplishments, was I doing this because everyone else was {ego},or because I wanted to? I didn’t relish the idea of  being nipped by a pup, having bubbles blown in my face by a mother seal, or being annihilated  by a whacking great sea lion, however, I was curious.We were playing in their territory, so we needed to respect their law of engagement.

My anxiety dissipated when I witnessed the seals welcome us, just as any good golden retriever would.I was in awe and inspired to dive right into the acrobatics in that moment, lead by our fearless guides who dived deep into the turquoise waters, gracefully spinning like mermaids in rhythm and sync with the seals.

I didn’t dive deep, but I did become part of the show, the spectator behind a mask. I was awe struck, allowing the real performers to come to me. The seals were watching me, watching them, as they playfully swam under and around me …it really was like playing with puppy dogs! Luckily no sea lions took an interest in me, but even so I was out of the waters in record time.

Diving deep!

Diving deep!

I’m truly happy  I swam with the seals, even for a short while. I allowed myself to feel uncomfortable, but I didn’t allow it to immobilize me. I asked myself “What am I afraid of, when will I get another opportunity like this?” After all,I wasn’t alone, I had people close by who knew these waters and it’s wild life. This wasn’t about failure or success, let’s face the seals weren’t judging me and nor were my fellow Seal Angels.This was an incredible chance to connect with another species, in a way that I wouldn’t be able to anywhere else. I didn’t have to be brave and take the lead, instead it was a chance to tread water, be the observer and trust in the unknown, those around me and my own instincts.I simply allowed myself to be totally present and look at this adventure through different lenses.

And this my friends happen before Lunch … more to come!

I bet Charlie’s Angels never swam with Seals!

Own it and Feel what it’s like to really Live it NOW!

 

 Disclaimers-

No guides, Seals or wild life were intimidated or harmed on our adventure.

No sporting apparel or equipment company has offered to endorse, supply or photograph us.

Photographs courtesy of Anja and my I phone.

Alas, still no make-up , hair stylist , or stylist of any description assisted us.

 

 

Spirituality in the Snow…Thank you Snow Angels!

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Nothing is more rewarding than when a story inspires a spontaneous, healthy, happy  gathering in New York!

After being transported back to the shores of Todos Santos with“Spirituality on a Surfboard,” our detox Chef extraodinaire Erika, was inspired to pull her i phone from it’s docking station and reach out to the New York Angel contingent. Clearly the text invite was exactly what every homebound, snow engulfed Angel needed, as the response “YES” instantly flooded her phone screen!

Within hours the fearless warriors were over dressed in full snow gear regalia, snow boots,goggles and bobble hats. Shoveling their  way out of the confines of forced air residences. The Angels were ready and eager for an expedition in the snow drifts of New York. Ok, a walk, but it’s still adventurous!

Googles and a pole - I'm ready for any challenge!

Goggles and a pole – I’m ready for any challenge!

 

After all, the Angels, are well trained athlete’s, thanks to hiking the beaches of Todos Santos, climbing rock faced dusty mountains and swimming with Sea lions in the Sea of Cortez!! Yes, that story will follow.

The Snow Angels embraced the snow with the playful curosity of a child, the same curiosity that enables one to relish,enjoy and be present in the moment.

 

 

It feels so good to be a Kid!

It feels so good to be a Kid!

 

You can tell by the beautiful smiles on their faces that they loved every minute, they had a blast.They felt refreshed and healthy, as evident by the glowing cheeks that would put Snow White to shame. It was time enjoyed together, sharing and connecting to yet another of mother natures glorious seasons.

They sealed the day with the ritual of Afternoon Tea, a fine British tradition and fruit salad, a Californian one I do believe. In the warmth of Erika’s home they continued to talk up yet another storm about life, the weather and subjects protected by the sanctity of  “The Sisterhood of Snow Angels.”

Thank you Erika for instigating a breakout and for sharing the picture!

 

Any Snow Angel’s imprint in a moment of sheer playfulness remains in the care of mother nature! OWN IT, FEEL IT,LIVE IT !

Snow Angel meets a snow child!

Snow Angel meets a snow child!

 

Disclaimers –

No strangers were taken out in the snow ball fight.

No snow ploughs, ski poles or snow dogs were used to make this endeavor easier.

Hair and make-up was unnecessary in this activity and clothing was very necessary, even without a sponsor or stylist!

Spirituality on a Surf board…never say never !!

FEELS A LOT LIKE  YOGA ON A BOARD TO ME!

Looking at the pre surf shot we really could of been Charlie’s Angels… but, alas, we weren’t, instead with adrenaline pumping through our  veins we were four eager women and an italian man named KiKi, praying to our Angels to keep us alive for yet another chance to escape with nature !

I have to say, I’m pretty proud to be one of the four surf virgins, forget “the 40 year old virgin”, we were all “the 45 plus year old virgins”, willing and able to happily admit temporary insanity and conquer some big fears on the shores of Todos Santos!

To be honest, I wasn’t feeling that bold or a 100% willing, even though I’m pretty able.I was actually terrified looking out at the crashing waves,as I remembered the time I was tumbled and smashed on the bed of the ocean on my honeymoon…but that’s another story. I had just 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. As you can see by the pictures below, Pedro did his best to demonstrate  the art of surfing!

Really…cobra pose , followed by upward dog!

Really…cobra pose , followed by upward dog!

 

Then jump, lunge and warrior two?

Then jump, lunge and warrior two?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t know if Pedro realized, but we’d already completed our daily  practice of yoga and meditation,which on one hand meant we were already in the zone, but on the other hand ( forgoing all of the good karma and Oms) 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 the laughter that continuously flowed and the bond with my fellow angels as we practiced our maneuvers on the sand, totally oblivious to the stares of nearby spectators!

Ok …I'm done with all this listening ..let's go girls!

Ok …I’m done with all this listening ..let’s go girls!

 

Owning it, went to Fearing it, in an instant! After a few fearless strides, I did a 180 degree turn and began to peel my hard earned suit off my body…much to my own surprise, let alone my  personal instructors horror. His reaction was instantaneous, persistent and encouraging. He didn’t make me feel stupid and he didn’t let me give into my fear of being pummeled by the ocean or whacked unconscious by the surf board. Instead he promised to swim out with me and stay close by. Knowing he wasn’t  going to abandon me got me back on board … literally!

The excitement was building inside, warming my belly, as I lay on the board and began to paddle out into the unknown. I felt like a child being pushed high into the air on an endless swing, as the nose of the board rose up and crashed over the breaking waves.In that moment I let go of the fear and got lost in the thrill of the spill ,as I screamed with laughter while the ocean spray cooled my face.I wasn’t walking on water yet, but I was part of it. Time stood still,I was completely present, connected to my natural instincts and the strength of my own body in the ever-changing moment.

Here’s your wave…turn your board and start paddling !!”

Stay near by Julio !!” OMG, upward dog…lunge… warrior pose with arms spread eagle …’‘OMG, I’m up and alive, I’m being carried by the energy of the waves… I’m alive… You can go now Julio!”

the lunge….and I can fly to if I want!

the lunge….and I can fly to if I want!

As my feet touched the safety of the sand I was DONE!! I felt healthy and refreshed, plus my hair was styling with all the salt needed for a great beach look !

I have to say with humility… Thank god for my persistent guardian angel instructor, along with my sister surfer angels and the angel support team lead by Erica juicing on the sand ! We were in this together and  I needed to be able to stand tall, to fly free on the waves and to be able to say I CAN, instead of I could.

I went back out again and again, and each time was different. I felt exhilarated and energized as the waves washed away the stress’s of everyday life. I rose, I flew, I lunged ,I tumbled, yet ultimately I was flooded with euphoria, as I stood in disbelief and rode the magic wave all the way to shore!

IMG_3233

Anja gliding over the wave !

I now understand why surfers become addicted to the spirit of the surf.It is 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 yourself. What I realized in those moments is that riding a wave is not just about FEELING IT, it’s about being PRESENT and LIVING IT ! -it’s ultimate FREEDOM, CONNECTION, JOY, A EUPHORIC HIGH.

With all that said, No … I won’t be surfing back in the cold waters of Carmel, but I will surf again in warmer climates with a Guardian Angel instructor close at hand !

Feeling invisible…where to next surfer angels?

Feeling invisible…where to next surfer angels?

I’ll finish by saying, only one person can stop you and that’s you … so  never say never, Own it, by trusting yourself, step out your box and allow yourself to Feel it and most of all Live it, NOW. Trust yourself and shout out I CAN!

Thanks to fellow surfer Angels, Annie, Eva, Anja and of couse Ki Ki, you are all fearless and awesome! Special kudos and thanks go to Chris and Erica for  enthusiactically capturing our every emotion.

No makeup artists, hairdressers or wardrobe professionals were in sight. No photographic retouching… much to our chagrin. No surf instructors or wildlife were harmed on our surf adventure :) !

Look out for the next adventure, “Spirituality at the Sea of Cortez ” this coming Wednesday !

Own it, Feel it, Live It … and you’ll love it ! Diane x