Thursday, January 12, 2017

A Look Back and Ahead...

So how was your 2016? Did you experience a few surprises? Maybe a shock or two? Most of the world did.

Although some great things probably happened as well, many times as a result of life's turmoil’s we find strength, courage and resolve we didn't know we had.

And let's be honest...most of us would prefer to live "happily ever after" without those pesky life problems. I know I would. But I've learned through the struggles we have the chance to find even deeper wells of love within us. (Just because it's true, doesn't mean it's pleasant.)

The biggest lesson I learned last year?

Situations will constantly evolve, people will come and go and sometimes life isn't fair. However, you can always choose to react to life's challenges with love and respect. And when you forget that, forgive.... and choose again. 

Although we had happy additions to our family this year (my first grandchild is due in February and we welcomed a wonderful new brother-in-law in March), much of our country, and the world, is feeling unsettled. Uneasy. Fearful. Unsure.

That's why most of this year I'll be sharing ways for you to experience "Less Panic, More Peace." We'll be looking at techniques to help you bring consciousness to life's chaos in a way that taps into your most loving and compassionate self. We can all do that. And we'll do it together. Until then, remember #LessPanicMorePeace.

Monday, December 19, 2016


It's Gonna Be a Wet Christmas...


One recent Friday evening my husband and I went to the annual Christmas Parade on Main Street. It had been several years and I had forgotten how magical it was. 

We were huddled against the cold with hundreds of others in our small Virginia town as we watched elves dance down the street, enjoyed holiday classics performed by the high school marching band, saw decked out fire engines, smiled at the creative local business floats and laughed when we saw live goats dressed like reindeer.

I love living in a small town.

I began to reminisce about other times spent on this very street. In my mind’s eye, I saw my father, dressed in his best long black wool coat, walking down Main Street as he stopped to laugh and talk to everyone he knew during a Christmas parade long ago. It took a while…he knew everyone. My eyes started to tear up at the memory.

My husband looked at me and said, “You OK?” 

“Daddy,” I answered softly. 

“Oh,” he said. Since my dad’s death three years ago, he’d become accustomed to my “watery eyes” when I think of my dad.

As I looked down the street, I saw a grandmother helping her daughter juggle a toddler, bulky stroller, hot chocolate and an armful of packages and my eyes started to water again. I remembered the hundreds of times my mom had been with my kids and me for spring festivals, Halloween parades and our then weekly trips to church all on this very street. 

“Oh no,” my husband sighed as he glanced at me again.

But he misunderstood.

I wasn’t sad. 

I was overwhelmed with gratitude. 

Gratitude for the memories of growing up and raising my family in this precious little town. Thankful that my parents and siblings were active participants in the lives of my children. Grateful for the holidays spent together, in good times and bad, as an extended family. 
Waves of gratitude flowed over me as decades of memories flooded my mind. And then a new thought emerged. A new realization.

Next year, it would start all over again. 

At that exact moment, a tiny head peeked over the shoulder of the man standing in front of us on the street. I was staring into the eyes of a beautiful baby and could instantly see the pure innocence and immense wisdom in this tiny little being.

My own daughter is pregnant with our first grandchild, due early next year. 

Next Christmas, family traditions will begin anew. 

I was again overwhelmed with gratitude as I imagined my perfect grandson, little Emory, cuddled in my arms as I introduced him to our Main Street Christmas Parade. I thought of all the wonderful memories yet to come. My eyes watered again, my chin began to quiver and tears spill down my cheeks. Just then my poor husband looked my way.

“When are you going to stop crying?” he asked gently.

“No time soon…” I answered.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Happy "Giving Tuesday"


I love the idea of “Giving Tuesday” here in the United States. It’s a day where emphasis is placed on donating to worthy causes and is a delightful break from the commercial spending frenzy our country celebrates on “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday.” I like the idea of “Giving Tuesday” because, for me, it’s a way to practice love in action.

Donations take many forms. Money, time, resources, ideas, food, support and even a smile are all worthy offerings when given from a loving heart. I firmly believe it’s not the amount, but the sincerity of the gift that matters most. There’s something magical that occurs when love is infused into any gift. It’s the type of love that gives freely without expectation of anything in return. I’ve seen that when this occurs, amazing things happen. Miracles appear “out of nowhere.”  And often it’s for both the giver and receiver.

The late Dr. Wayne Dyer suggested we give something away every day and one of my personal goals is to follow his example. Some days it’s easy, some days not so much. I find I can always, always give something to an individual or organization when I set my intention to do so. For me, “Giving Tuesday” is a reminder to step out of my comfort zone and give in a new way.

Whether you read this on “Giving Tuesday” or just an ordinary Friday night…give. Find an organization carrying out work you believe in and give what you can. Donate to the local food bank. Support your homeless shelter, an environmental or animal rights group. Be a fire department or rescue squad volunteer. Read to the elderly. Give a ride to someone in need. Share a smile. Share your heart.

And remember to always give what’s most important….give thanks.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Don't Have Time to Meditate? Yeah, You Do!


Come on now...during May’s Meditation Month, you’re going to tell me you don’t have time to meditate? Yeah, you do. Take a few minutes from Facebook, bitching about your boss or even – GASP – before you watch Game of Thrones. 

Why is finding time for meditation important? 

Because it works. 

Meditation has been proven to be effective in releasing stress, improving health and can even help people put their finances back on track. I understand as little as five minutes a day can make a positive difference in your life. Now really, you don’t have five minutes a day? If you believed meditating five minutes a day could change your life for the better, would you do it? Of course you would. Start at five minutes and work your way up to twenty minutes or more per sitting to see an incredible shift in your life. No kidding.

Check out the thousands of books, articles, CDs and videos on the subject if you don’t believe me. You’ll not only find research supporting the positive effects of a consistent meditation practice, you’ll find many examples of the ways you can meditate. There is a simple meditation style to fit everyone. 

I believe meditation is so important it’s the very first chapter of my book How to Choose Love When You Just Want to Slap Somebody. Read my book to see how it all fits in, but know for now that a daily meditation practice keeps me more balanced, happy and open to all the good life has to offer. Result? I don’t feel like slapping anyone. Not that often at least.

Yes, I’m on Facebook, I’ll occasionally whine to my sister and I know what the Mother of Dragons is up to… but it’s all done after I’ve meditated at least once that day. Meditation comes first each morning and I work to include a second session between late afternoon and evening. Each day, every day. No exception.

Meditation is magic. It’s healing. It’s free. And you definitely have time for it.

P.S. You even have time to #meditatethevote! Check out the details here

Friday, May 6, 2016

May is Meditation Month! The Perfect Time to #Meditatethevote


I’ve been a dedicated meditator for over 20 years and credit the practice as literally saving my life. As a coach and teacher, meditation is the first thing I discuss with my clients and students. It’s a way of life for me and my passion is to help others understand the healing power of a consistent meditation practice. It’s the most powerful tool I know to effect positive life change. It’s that important.

While I’m usually in my “Zen Zone” after meditation, I’m going to be honest with you. The current national political process has thrown me for a loop. I’ve been shocked, angry and – more than anything else – bewildered by the entire process. I’ve had friends from other parts of the world send messages asking “what the heck is happening there?” I’ve wondered that myself.

Because I’m familiar with the benefits of meditation, I know it brings peace and focus into my life. I think clearer. I’m more articulate and avoid getting “pulled into” unproductive, LOUD discussions with others. (I’ve found that angry discussions have never changed anyone’s mind nor assisted with a greater understanding of the subject at hand. Go figure.)

So what could I do to offset the uneasiness I felt over the election process?

I increased my meditation practice….and answered an invitation from Sister Jenna, host of the popular America Meditating Radio Show, to help promote #Meditatethevote, a grassroots campaign to bring respect, compassion and peaceful conversations to our election process.

Our goal is simple. We’re encouraging people to meditate, pray or be mindful in whatever way works for them and then, from a calm state, engage in meaningful and insightful conversations. Ask questions. Listen to others. Do your research. Meditate on who will best lead our country in the highest and best way for all. We do not endorse any specific candidate. We simply ask people go inside, evaluate options and in November vote from the quiet truth of their own heart.

Talk about a win-win!

Want to be a part of this campaign? It’s easy:

1)      Join us on social media now through November 8th to see what’s happening with the campaign at facebook.com/meditatethevote  and twitter.com/meditatethevote. Engage in conversations through video messages or #meditatethevote inspired questions. Read more suggestions at americameditating.org/events.meditatethevote.

2)     Use your own social media through November to repost and share #meditatethevote messages and videos that you enjoy.

3)     Host an event to encourage others to #meditatethevote. I’m offering a “Free Meditation Session to Introduce #Meditatethevote” in Warrenton, VA the evening of May 11th.  Get details and register at the link above. Want to organize your own gathering? We've got great questions to get your conversation started at americameditating.org/events.meditatethevote.

4)     Record a short video of yourself saying, "I meditatethevote" and why in one sentence then post it on facebook.com/meditatethevote or twitter.com/meditatethevote.  Videos of your family, friends and co-workers are welcome as well! If you’d prefer, snap a photo from your office, home or any place and write, “I #Meditatethevote.” Please share the photo/video on social media using #meditatethevote. We’ll be tweeting at @meditatethevote and @americameditating.

#Meditatethevote is meant to be a peaceful, fun and productive way for us to participate in this election discussion from a place of clarity and purpose. Think I’m kidding about the fun part? Check out this YouTube video!

Many of my friends have said they don’t know how they’ll be able "to make it through the election.” They’re afraid of heated family arguments, relentless TV ads and uneven media coverage.

I’ve got an idea.

Together, let’s #meditatethevote.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A Birthday Note to My 21 Year Old Self


On my birthday I spontaneously decided to write a note to my younger self:

Dear 21 year old Diane,

I'm writing from 35+ (ok ++) years in the future to let you know everything turns out just fine. Life is good. Thought I'd share some tips to help get you through the next few decades:

Calm down. Really. Just calm down. Nothing you think is a big deal IS, in the grand scheme of things, and the things that really ARE a big deal sneaked up on you anyway. It’s OK. You get through it.

Get off the crazy train. This is a big one. Learning that only your own thoughts create your reality will change your life forever. You’re the one making yourself sick with fear and worry. Other people aren’t driving you crazy, your thoughts about other people make you feel crazy! Stop it. Read Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, Florence Scovel Shinn’s The Game of Life and How to Play It, Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life and anything by Dr. Wayne Dyer as soon as you can.


Quit participating in other people’s drama. You don’t have time for this. Yeah, it may make you feel wanted to listen for hours to some perceived slight endured by a friend but it will never be productive. Learn the difference between someone who truly wants and needs help and those who just like to bitch. Being of service and helping others through difficult challenges is a fantastic way to spend your time. Listening to gossip or bitching is not. Do not gossip or bitch yourself. The friend who tells you that “you’re just getting it off your chest and bitching will make you feel better” is wrong. You’ll come up with this phrase in 2015 and learn to live by it: “There may be drama all around you, but you don’t have to buy a ticket to the show.”

Understand your exterior world reflects your interior world.  It really does. When you see someone in your life not being authentic, ask yourself “where in my own life am I not being authentic?” This is a hard lesson but a great one! When you feel love for yourself, you see love in the world. When you feel fear, you see things all around you to be afraid of. When you judge yourself, you judge the world. I’m not kidding. Learning to look inside first will save you tons of time and at least a few years of therapy.

Romance isn’t always easy. Well, for you at least. It takes three tries to get a husband who loves you for who you are and adores your family. Keep at it. He’s far from perfect, but then again, neither are you. The important thing is to grow together in respect and love. When things get rough, ask yourself, “what is being reflected back to me in this situation?” Remember he’s one of your teachers in this life. You both learn from each other how to love on a deeper level. Hang in there. It’s a wonderful experience once you get on track!

The kids turn out to be your greatest joy. I know you question the whole kid thing and wonder if it’s for you. It is. Your son and daughter prove to be your most significant life teachers and bring you more love than you ever thought your heart could hold. Even through the hard times, remember they are God’s perfect reflection of love. They grow up to be such beautiful, soulful people who are spreading light throughout this planet. They are a huge blessing in your life and in the lives of many others. And you get a bonus! When you marry your third husband you get two more kids to love (without the pain of childbirth or additional stretch marks…score!)

Take your nose off the grindstone every once in a while. Yes, you have a great work ethic and love to be the one to take care of extended family, but lighten up. Go to more parties, especially where you’re not in charge. Give others a chance to shine and you'll stop complaining about being the one doing all the work. Take more nature walks. Play with your kids when they’re young. Enjoy simple pleasures. Quit obsessing about your weight. Stop worrying about money. Enjoy life more. You get better at this, but no harm in starting as soon as you’re aware that you can be a bit of a hard ass. Now you’re aware.

Life is hard. And life is fantastic. You’ll grow and benefit from it all. Ok, I’m not gonna lie. You have some rough stuff coming up. Heartache, tragedy and trauma will come to you. And you’ll have angels in the guise of family, friends and professionals to help you heal. You’ll find resources in books, classes and teachers that will help you process your pain into wisdom. Exploring spirituality becomes your passion. You'll discover the truth about the divine energy of love within you that will lead to true joy. You’ll meet a few jerks, too. That’s OK...you'll eventually figure out they were an important part of your evolution. Don’t back away from the pain. Meet it head on. Move through it with as much love as possible. I swear it’ll be worth it.

Meditation is always the answer. This is your life saver. You learn to meditate in your thirties, but if you can manage it sooner, it calms everything down. You get healthier in mind, body and spirit with the continued practice and for the rest of your life you preach its benefits to anyone who’ll listen. Find the calm place inside where you can hear the quiet truth of your own heart. God lives there.

Every day, every minute, in every situation ask yourself, “What does love look like here? Love for myself and love for everyone involved?” And then ask yourself, “How does love move me forward?” Ok, this is the biggie…learning this changes everything in your life for the better. Understand EVERYONE is a child of the intelligent, creative, expansive energy of love and that energy runs through everything on this and every other planet. We're talking divine love, not the "I love my slippers" kinda love. It's this energy of creation that is responsible for everything, everywhere across all space and time. Understand this and you've got everything you'll ever need. Use love to understand and act in all situations, especially the challenging ones. You eventually understand that your goal is to live from love. You’ll work on this the rest of your life. The joy this brings, the incredible experiences, the fabulous people…it would blow your mind if you knew what’s coming. Just trust me. A life lived through divine love is your work in this lifetime. And it’s so much more fun than you think it’s gonna be!

Ok, now go live your own life. Enjoy yourself and understand the process of living brings incredible lessons. Embrace that truth. Live from love.

Sending you much love from your very cool future,

2016 Diane

P.S. You’re going to meet a super cute guy in college. It doesn’t end well. Do it anyway…you’ll be smiling for years.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Got Me Again….

                                                                               Bigstock.com
My husband loves to point out situations where my words don’t match my actions. He finds this highly entertaining and endlessly amusing. I do not.

While this doesn’t happen often, I appreciate his insight. Eventually at least. I fully intend to “walk my talk” and I’m disturbed when I find I’ve missed the mark in some area.

And that’s what happened. I missed the mark. I didn’t follow my own advice and trust that everything was happening for my highest and best. I didn’t take an action that I’d committed to.

I put something off, procrastinated, masterfully avoided and side stepped an issue. And I did it for months. I know better. This is exactly what my clients pay me to stop them from doing.

What was the potential foe I was so afraid of?

Upgrading a stupid computer program.

Yeah, I know it’s crazy. My husband had upgraded and was delighted but one friend had experienced a big issue that lost her several days of work. I was scared.

And I put it off. Again and again.

I signed up for the free upgrade as my husband suggested, but I ignored prompt for the upgrade the multitude of times it was offered.

I got little pop-up screens saying “We’ve got your upgrade ready! Start now…” but I didn’t. Finally, after months of prompting, I got a notice stating “Upgrade will begin Wednesday at 11pm.”

Hmmm….guess even my computer gets tired of being put off. Although I was beyond hesitant, I followed the directions and allowed the upgrade to take place. The result?

Glorious! I freakin’ love this program!

What the heck was my problem?

Oh yeah….I remember.

Instead of “trusting that everything is happening for my highest and best” as I so loudly preach to others, I had allowed myself to get caught in the drama of “what ifs?”

“What if I lose everything on my computer?”

“What if the new program creates issues and I lose productive office time?”

“What if I don’t like the new changes?”

So this was the real kicker. I’ve spent the last six months telling friends, family and my clients that CHANGE IS GOOD.

I explained that the intelligent divine energy that created our universe is constantly seeking to expand, grow and create anew. Change is part of the plan. And, in retrospect, most of the time we can ultimately appreciate the change. We just have to get past our fear of the unknown. The unknown and the “what ifs.”

Maybe I need to remind myself of a couple other “what ifs.”

“What if this change is fantastic?”

“What if I love the result?”

OK, Universe...message received. I’ll go wipe the egg off my face now.

At least my husband is amused.