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

 

 

 

Spiritual Bliss with a 21st Century Twist.

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As seen in INTENT.COM, published June 13th 2016. written by Diane Danvers Simmons

Spirituality in Stilettos celebrates the beauty, strength and style of a women’s spiritual bliss grounded in the 21st century with an irresistible twist!

Spirituality is truly a big word for spirit … the truth and joy of who we are and Stilettos remind us that we live in the 21st century with all of its mixed messages and noise. Most of us yearn for clarity, balance and connection but we don’t have a year to eat in Italy, pray in India and fall in love in Bali to find ourselves. We need to keep our feet on the ground, but allow our spirits to soar. You have both, be enlightened and embrace the power of mind, body spirit unity: all while hugging a tree, wearing a pair of stilettos and drinking a glass of wine in a sexy red dress.

Finding your spiritual bliss. This doesn’t mean you have to box yourself in, become holier than thou and give up everything else. In essence, it means you have the ability to expand beyond your physical self; We’re multi dimensional beings, made up of layers of conscious and unconscious experiences and roles all stored in our mind, bodies and soul. Only by approaching life as a whole in all of our glorious shades of perfect and imperfect color can we be our original, exceptional, sexy self …we wear many shoes, so be kind and forgiving with yourselves. Spirituality in Stilettos means different things to different people, so be different and be your own judge.

Follow your bliss. First, there is no secret timeline when it comes to Spiritual bliss. Spirituality is our own journey, whatever that may be. I just ask that you choose yours and not someone else’s. I do encourage you to let the fear creep in, face it, but don’t let it stunt you.

Embrace your childlike wonder, be curious, creative and answers will flow. Bliss comes from what your spirit needs, not textbooks, so when you feel doubt. I want to remind you to ask yourself a simple question. “Who has the right to judge your journey?”

Spirituality is limitless …just like you. It’s abundant energy stemming from our heart, which sees all possibilities. It’s our guiding compass that helps us make sense of the world and how we can live our best life in it. It enables us to cultivate who we are with clarity, the infinite wisdom that unleashes our unique gifts, talents and compassion into the world. When our spirit soars it radiates an irresistible energy, a magnet that draws another closer. It’s a gift for us to share.

Spirituality in style- doesn’t let a label define us. It’s the outward expression of whom we are inside. It’s the dress that makes us feel beautiful, the old sweater that say’s I’m comfortable wrapped in my own skin. It’s the fire in our eyes, the glow of our skin and the confidence in our stride. Let your style reflect how you project yourselves to the world. Stop comparing yourself to another, value and take pride in your own style and truth.

Spiritual connection is a lot to process. What we take for granted is our breath; without it we do not exist so take a deep one, and expand your thinking. Take time daily to sink into the quietness, to clear the clutter in our minds and reenergize. Connecting our mind, body and spirit enables us to remember our desires and what’s important to us, not what others expect. By connecting to our core we can make better sense of our place in the world and handle situations and people. It isn’t about being perfect; it’s about being aware.

Spirituality In Stilettos in the 21st century is smart but not always easy to wrap our minds around…and it’s not something that solves all of life’s ups and downs, but it enables us to have faith and hope. Faith in yourself, hope in living in your dreams.

Whatever yours are, I encourage you to allow yourself to be open to the gifts or challenges you’ll face. Once you block out the fear, let your spirit in, trust your intuition, accept and Own your own course, Feel the difference and joy it can bring to your life…then you’ll be truly Living it … and you’ll be ready to strut down the runway of life dressed in your own truth and style.

Diane Danvers-Simmons is a passionate, visionary global citizen who offers solutions to inspire women to embrace their core values and live life by their own definition with wit & wisdom. Through inspired Spirituality in Stilettos programming, uplifting Made by Survivors jewelry, impactful documentaries, and speaking engagements, Diane creates 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.

Giving from the heart – Feel it !

 

 

Enjoy our latest video for CFMC and remember the power of “Giving from your Heart” and the difference you can make in an-others life. It was such a joy to interview a woman, namely, Bertie Elliott, who lives in her truth and whose generosity shines a light on so many.

Thank you

Diane

Spirituality in Stilettos – Sexy Style & Support, Engineered by Science!

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Own it – Founder Dolly Singh and her “Thesis” Team of experts, engineer the world’s first comfortable, high performance Stiletto …finally someone who understands our pain!

Feel it – Sexy Stylish shoes that feel and look good, as they support your mind, body and “soul,” literally … throughout the day.

Live it – Step up and strut down the runway of life dressed in your own style with confidence, stability and sass…no pain and plenty to gain! 

The Dream team of fashion, science and anatomy will take us all a little higher later in 2015 /early 2016 …..sometimes it really does take rocket science to take us a step further!

                              Spirituality in Stilettos salutes the virtues science! 

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Own it Feel it Live it! 

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 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!

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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

Leading Parallel Lives: Are A Mother & Daughter Really Walking on Different Paths

Celebrating her 16th birthday together in Scotland!

 

She’s in the last stage of puberty; I’m menopausal.

She’s experiencing the throes of first love; I’ve been thrown by love.

She’s finding herself; I’m rediscovering myself.

Two perspectives, one special relationship,

and, to top it all, she’s stealing my clothes, shoes, and jewelry.

The differences and similarities are uncanny, and more than enough to test any good woman on either end of the spectrum. While she’s bent over in pain, hugging a hot water bottle and sobbing over her cracked baby eggcup, I’m pulling off my clothes, stepping into a cold shower and weeping over the heel she just broke on my new red stilettos.

Celebrating her 16th birthday together in Scotland!

Celebrating my daughter’s 16th birthday together in Scotland!

Tissues, self-help books, exercise, journals, chick flicks, wine and chocolate are all imperative at this time for both of us, and that’s just the starter kit. Round two: meditation and yoga, both of us lying on our backs with our legs in the air, to get the blood back into our brains, calm the nerves, and give us a whole new perspective on any situation. A cup of tea helps to seal the euphoric moment.

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!

Both of us are coping with a set of new dynamics as women. I’ve had to own up to my choices, respect that she’s becoming a young woman, and she’s now more than just my daughter. She’s learning to respect me as a woman with feelings, desires and dreams, too. Both of us are stepping into uncharted territory, even if my stilettos are more worn out than hers! She looks to the stars and thinks, “The world is my oyster.” Meanwhile, I’m thinking, ‘Enough of the oyster, now where’s the damn pearl?’ The truth is, I have a treasure chest of pearls, glistening with wisdom, many of which I will pass on to her. But the true beauty of living life now lies in the fact that there are so many more pearls waiting for both of us to discover!

 

OWN YOUR POWER!

We both need to conjure up the power of “S” as in my “Spirituality in Stilettos” workshops : Spiritual, strong, sensitive, soulful, sassy, smart, and ultimately support. And by support, I don’t mean a good bra, even though that is critical in my case.

Food and Exercise are  a hot topic ,as she’s working to stay in shape, and I’m working to keep my shape. Daily desserts are banned; however, the chocolate stash remains sacred.

THE POWER OF SISTERHOOD

Teaching her about my four friend categories.

As she works out the good from the bad, I’ve thrown out the bad and I’m focusing on the good.Friendships are as important as the water we drink, and time with your real “sisterhood” of friends is immensely important. I’m trying to teach her my approach to the four friend categories:

The friend who’ll have your back and carry you home after the party, whether you’re happy, sad, mad, or simply unable to string two words together.

The friend who is so much fun at the party, but just can’t help herself and doesn’t understand that it’s simply not cool to try and steal your boyfriend.

The friend who’s only being nice to you because she wants to be seen at the party and gossip about you later.

The friend you met on vacation, with whom you solved world peace over wine or lemonade, and wish lived nearby so she could come to the party.

Celebrating Natalie's 19th in London with my #1 High school friends,Mary's daughter & Cousin Caroline.

Celebrating Natalie’s 19th in London with my #1 High school friends,Mary’s daughter & Cousin Caroline.

Take care of number 1, enjoy, but beware of number 2, don’t waste your time on number 3, and see if you can cultivate number 4, even from a distance!

FEEL IT– ASKING THE SAME QUESTIONS AT 48 AND AT 18

She’s learning to love beyond herself and I’m learning the power of loving myself. We all want and need love, and it comes with the same breathless, heart-thumping excitement whether we’re 18 or 48. However, with a bit of wit and wisdom, hopefully by 48, we’re better at telling the scoundrel from the prince and feeling confident in our intuition. “Love,” however is another article unto itself!

She’s preparing to leave the coop. I’m not sure where to start without her in my coop. She tests the boundaries with a razor-sharp tongue that has the answer to everything, while I choose my battles, knowing that neither of us has all the answers.

I wouldn’t have believed at 16 or 18 that I’d be looking at my life three decades later and asking the same questions: What do I do next? Who are the friends with whom I want to spend time? Does this person fulfill my idea of loving bliss? I’d thought it would all be smooth sailing at this point, with no major life decisions to be made. Truth is, I’m once again at the helm, choosing to change and expand my reality. I’ve shed the pressure of ‘I should’ and am once again embracing the optimism of, ‘I can’!

LIVE IT – WITH WIT & WISDOM:

We are both boundless, inquisitive women,learning to embrace and be present in each new chapter in our lives, as she heads into round one of womanhood and I’ve lost count of which one I’m entering!

What I’ve realized in witnessing my daughter’s parallel life is that I’m among the lucky ones, as I head into a new chapter in my life. We see the world with all of its glorious shades of color. We know we deserve to be recognized for who we are, not for who and what people think we should be. We’re pushing the boundaries and testing the waters, just like we did in our teens.

As mothers we are the guides, nurturers and role models for our girls. We need to trust our instincts, show humility with grace and strength, remembering that we are the teachers. Love, mistakes, and especially forgiveness, don’t make us weak; they make us human and strong.

21 and wearing my necklace,earrings,shoes and jacket!

21 and wearing my necklace,earrings,shoes and jacket!

For the mothers of teenage girls, here’s the good news:Her 20’s will restore your faith in the precious mother-daughter bond.

For mothers of teenage girls, here’s the good news: Her 20’s will restore your faith in the precious mother-daughter bond. On the road my daughter and I have traveled together, we’ve formed a loving connection and trust that no one can break it. As we both learn to Own, Feel and Live our own journeys, it’s great to know that along the way, we’ll also be sharing a glass of wine, a box of chocolates, conversations and memories that will endure in our hearts forever.

I’ll conclude by saying that, I believe that God does have plan for each of us and God certainly does have a sense of humor … and so should we!

P.S.- Warning for mothers of teenage boys…Here’s my number on tip, buy a well trained sheep dog!

Thank you for reading my story and please share with friends,mothers and brothers!

Diane xo

 

 

Women in Film, Owning it,Feeling it,Living it!

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Last weekend I had the honor of moderating “The Women in Film” Panel discussion at the Carmel International Film Festival. In the process I felt reignited by the candid, lively, insightful conversations we had, as well as the laughter and wine shared with four exceptionally talented, accomplished, beautiful women who are “Owning it” in the Film industry. The Power of “F” in Film- Fearless, Focused, Far reaching & authentically Female …These women are totally Fabulous!

Five women with very different backgrounds,but, like minded in our approach to life, career and love of sharing stories represented this Panel: Cathryn Michon, Independent production co,”Surprise Hits,” director, writer and comedic actress. Bonnie Arnold, Big Studio film producer in nearly every genre.Currently Dream Works Animation “How To Train Your Dragon 1 & 2, previously Disney, Sony. Lauren Selig, Financier, Film Fund mgr,producer,exec producer, former President of IndieFlix, Philanthropist. Vivienne De Courcy, Screen writer and director of her first feature film “Dare to be Wild,”after a 20 year career as a Bond Lawyer.Myself, Diane Danvers Simmons, advertising, marketing, PR, Independent film and founder/spokesperson for my company, Own it,Feel it,Live it  and my Spirituality in Stilettos empowerment forums.

The Women In Film luncheon took place on the main stage of the Sunset Center hosted by Co Founder Erin Clark. Almost 200 people attended including festival filmmakers, producers, industry professionals, patrons, board members, and film lovers…please read on.

Media overview: The moderated Panel Discussion was the highlight of the program. High achieving women in film discussed their perspective on gender issues, women’s roles in film, financing, and support through relationship building. While the opinions varied, it was clearly obvious that each of the five women have worked very hard to get where they are and they enjoy their work. Their perseverance has allowed them to focus their energy, creativity and philanthropy on their projects of choice. Coverage by JoAnna Daum / Social Media Center Team — with moderator Diane Danvers Simmons.

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Some of the key discussion points:

1]Our consensus is simple, the issue is not male vs. female, it’s common sense, business sense and equality! Lets face it, if 50% of the world is female and 52% of the movie going audience is also female, should ‘t we be producing more films with women in front of and behind the camera?

2] Perception vs. Reality : Sometimes we need to re frame expressions. Multi -tasking: is it a negative or a positive? Yes, women multi- task, they always have, but that’s because they’re Multi-dimensional, multi-faceted individuals. We’re capable of sharing the human experience, and in turn telling the human story on many levels.I do believe that’s a skill and talent needed to make a great movie.

3] Mindset: One’s mindset and attitude to work and life is the clincher. None of the women accepted the premise that they’re less capable or valuable than the next person, male or female, they go after their dreams with conviction and passion.They don’t live inside the box,and they certainly don’t allow gender differences or issues cloud their vision. Each focused on moving forward with courage, trust, perseverance and possibility where others may see road blocks. I finish with the message that we are proud to be women, we are different than men, and we don’t need to replicate being male to be successful. We need to value who we are, recognize our unique talents, find our voice and follow our dreams with grace. We should build relationships that support each other rather than tear us apart.We need to acknowledge and discuss the statistics, but not dwell in them.With so many sound bites today it can only behoove us to take the time to share our own experiences, to acknowledge that it takes more than an idea, that ones mindset and actions are the tipping point. We need to lead by example, mentor, seek out solutions and encourage women to take the “Fear” out of following their dreams.

As Vivienne’s movie title puts it so eloquently ….Dare To Be Wild!…

I will sign off by thanking Erin Clark who is the Co Founder and heart of the CIFF  and by saying to all women, Own it, Feel it, Live it with Wit and Wisdom….Diane Danvers Simmons

Viv, taking be wild to a whole new level!

Viv, “Owning it” and  taking “Dare To Be Wild” to a whole new level!