Spirituality & Style: The Foundation for Confidence

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by Diane Danvers Simmons, 

Published on HuffingtonPost.com & GalTime.com July 2016.

Give a girl a pair of shoes and she can conquer the world.  Marilyn Monroe

Spirituality in Stilettos  celebrates a women’s spiritual bliss grounded in her own Truth and style !

 Maybe Style isn’t the first word that comes to mind when talking about spirituality, but the secret is that the two are not mutually exclusive; actually together they are a harmonious powerful duo. After all Spirituality is just a big word for the truth and joy of whom we are.

Embracing our spiritual bliss doesn’t mean we have to give up everything we love about style and fashion. In essence, style is the infinite expression of our creativity, our own unique way we present ourselves to the world. The truth we often forget is, style and spirituality have been intertwined since the beginning of time. They are a distinct hallmark of ceremonies, traditions and cultural expression.

Liberate yourself and honor your own Spiritual Style by embracing the following:

Own it – Spirituality and Style is the outward expression of our inner self.

Style gives people a perspective of who we are through our actions and appearance, our reflection for the world to view, an expression of our creative flair. Style gives us the chance to be curious and explore what suits not just our body and situation but our life and all the options open to us.

Think about it for a moment. When we go into a meeting or out on a date, we take time to think about how we want to present ourselves to the world. WHY, because to often we only get one chance at a first impression and we want to ensure it’s a good one. Our outward demeanor is an indicator of our inward expression. It’s not the totality of who we are, but it does give others a clue as to who we are.

Feel it– Spiritual style exudes Confidence:

Each of our unique qualities and style, so take ownership and pride in them and show them to the world. Style is the gauge and companion of our every mood and action. A chosen Style makes a statement without even having to open our mouth. It says I’m comfortable in my skin and with my choices. I know what and how I feel right now.

I’m willing to own my choices, tap into my heart and share who I am and what I have to offer the world…even if it’s not your taste.

It’s the dress that makes us feel beautiful with a pair of stilettos that scream I’m ready to conquer the world. Our favorite pair of jeans and big comfy sweater that says I’m relaxed in my own skin.

Live it -Don’t let a label define you!

Ask yourself, could the label on the garment or the shoe be your name …NO, unless you’re lucky enough to be Donna Karan or Diane Von Furstenberg! A label does not define us, it is not the be and end all of our existence. We give the label life and validity by how you wear it. When you find a designer, a style that highlights all your gorgeous qualities and makes you feel fabulous …then you have style and spirituality working in harmony, it Your label. Stop comparing yourself to another, value and take pride in your own style and truth and trust that others will see and accept you for you, not a label.

Style has a language of it’s own that goes beyond geographical borders

Style has a language that goes beyond the constraints of the spoken word. Style acknowledges and respects diversity and individuality.

Spirituality doesn’t have a dress code. It offers us a free pass to pay attention to the details in our life, to have fun with your own creativity and express yourself the way you want and feel for the occasion. Remember you can’t please all of the people all the time, so please yourself!

Ultimately, it’s the fire in your eyes, smile on your face, a positive attitude and the energy in your stride that are the best foundation for any outfit and attitude shows the world you’re willing and ready to….Strut down the runway of life dressed in your own truth and style and live life by your own definition.

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.http://i0.wp.com/galtime.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Diane-headshot.png

The power and importance of supporting all women.

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This past weekend I was privileged to be able to mentor young women at CSUMB, as part of WELI, the Women’s Education & Leadership institute, career development program. .

I’m continually inspired by the beauty and powerful resilience of a women’s spirit, but saddened by the cruelty, hardship and unfair discrimination many endure. Even when others would of given up, these capable young women are positive and motivated to learn and step beyond the boundaries life has dealt them.

Success to them is much bigger than simply themselves, it’s the chance to make a difference in someone else’s life, in their community, a chance to reach out and touch someone else’s soul to break the cycle of poverty and abuse. These young women don’t live stuck in the past, instead they are hungry to learn , driven to make a difference and willing to go to school, work one or two jobs, all while caring for family members.

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GHGH GIRLS

When you think of heroes, think of these young women.They are the individuals who want to be the change we all want to be and see in the world, authentic souls who speak from a place of knowing.

The women I spent time with are Owning it in the most powerful way possible. I say to them …you are special, you can and you will succeed because you have everything right here inside of you…all they need is someone to take their hand and guide them so they have the tools to move forward.

Where there are programs that support women such as, WELI, The Women’s Fund, Rising International, Made by Survivors, there is HOPE, and where there is HOPE , there is a place for Women to Rise up..

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WOMAN’S FUND, WOMAN’S ECONOMIC INITIATIVE

I will finish with this thought…if we can make a difference, even if it’s just one person, one action at a time and give a girl, a woman a chance…we give our communities and the World a chance for a brighter future and in turn we too will feel the joy and expansion that comes from helping another.

Now, Own it, Feel it, Live it!

 

International Women’s Day 2015 – Make it Happen!

Own it, Feel it, Live it !

Today around the World we recognize and celebrate International Women’s Day!

The theme for all women in 2015 is simple #MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Take the time to think about what you truly want, so you can Make it happen,in your own life and those of others by encouraging effective, positive action, for advancing and recognizing all  women.

Be proud, stand tall and “Own Your Power, Feel Your Spirit and Live Your Life the way you choose with Wit & Wisdom!”

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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