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!

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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 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

 

 

The Gift of a Child…Feel it !

 

“THERE ARE TWO GIFTS                                                                                                                                                                                WE  SHOULD GIVE OUR CHILDREN;                                                                                                                                                  ONE IS ROOTS, AND                                                                                                                                                                                        THE OTHER IS WINGS.”….

These simple gifts of love empower our children to  go out into the World and LIVE IT, with confidence, passion and the freedom to explore the beauty of all of life’s possibilities.

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Today, we celebrate the 21st birthday of my beautiful daughter, Natalie, whose wings continue to carry her to far off lands and many an adventure!….right now in South Africa!

 

Feeling it – Moving Madness…

There are many words to describe this self inflicted act of madness: insanity, exhaustion, chaos, boxes, tape, dust, dirt, meat, wine and dementia are just a few!

Insanity, because that’s your constant state of mind and being. Exhaustion, because how many more boxes can you pack and unpack? Chaos, because your whole existence is in the boxes wrapped in sickly brown tape. Dirt, because the sexy smokey-eyed look has spread across your entire face. Dust, because it invades every orifice. And dementia… where are my undies?

Survival is maintained with hearty beef sandwiches, crisps, chocolate, a strong cup of tea to keep you awake during the day followed by whatever alcoholic beverage a good friend brings to ease the restlessness at night.

Moving is a bittersweet experience of which I suggest focusing on the sweet, while allowing yourself to feel the bitter. So shed a tear or two as you retrace the footprints of the past.The first card your child made for you, a place of solitude or celebration for pictures that prove you really did have (a few) bad hair years!

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A few things you learn in the process…

1] Your friends who have compassion, stamina and good organizational skills.
2] You could have your own “Hoarders” reality show!
3} How important a good chiropractor and a bath is.
4] How you really don’t care how disheveled you look in the finest of restaurants.
5] Why we pay the exhorbidant moving company fees for burly men to move the wrong furniture to the wrong place (even when we color-coded-sticky-noted it!)

The truth is moving really is the ultimate cleanse. It’s time to let go and move on, a time of new beginnings.

Ultimately, the most important things to remember when moving – beside your underwear and your very confused Golden pleaser (Golden Retriever) – is a sense of humor, the understanding that the memories with family and friends make the home and will stay with you forever (unless the dementia kicks in early of course), a shoe rack for your stilettos (new or old – but always fabulous) and finally, breathe, just breathe!

I close by saying … through all the madness the one thing I know for sure, as Oprah would say, is that this really is insignificant in the bigger scheme of things and the crazy world in which we live. I’m blessed and feel immense gratitude to have a new beautiful roof over my head, freedom to live life by my own definition and most of all, love.
Own it, Feel it, Live your life with Wit & Wisdom !

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