Thursday, May 25, 2017

10 Tips to My 18 Year Old Graduate Self


May is the time for graduations. From preschool to grad school, my Facebook feed is full of photos showing beaming graduates of every age and the tearful families who love them.

I’m a sucker for graduations. The pageantry, the ritual, the joy of new possibilities…I just love it. Even if it’s only a TV commercial, I start to tear up when I hear “Pomp and Circumstances.” Every. Single. Time.

I got to thinking about my own high school graduation in 1975 and what I’d tell myself at that age if I had the chance. At 18 I wasn’t ready for a lot of hard truths, but here’s 10 tips that would have made the next 40+ years easier:

1) Do what scares you. Meet new friends, have adventures. Take more risks. And when that sweet girl in your dorm freshman year asks you to go with her and a few friends to hear her cousin play in a new band, GO! Her cousin turns out to be Clarence Clemons and you could have met Bruce Springsteen and the rest of the E Street Band. Studying for that stupid history test only got you a B anyway.  

2) Listen to the wisdom of your inner voice. Balance “what makes sense” in your head with what your heart tells you is true. You’ll have several situations where you went directly against what you knew in your heart was the best choice…and you’ll regret it. Mom was right. Listen to your intuition. Like when you felt pulled to go to the hospital to see your friend “D” but didn’t want to intrude. Go. Turns out you don’t get another chance.

3) It sucks, but Mom was right about a lot of things. Just accept it. You’ll understand more when you have your own kids.

4) Dad was right too, especially about money. Put some away every month. The years do go by faster than you think and you’ll wish the money you spent “investing” in your 8-Track, Pet Rock and Beanie Baby collections had been sitting in a bank benefiting from years of compound interest. 

5) Always tell people what they mean to you, how much you love them. Never hold a grudge. Forgive freely. Holding on to hurt never helps. Love yourself and forgive yourself for everything. You finally figure out all your “mistakes” were opportunities to grow. Trust me, you end up with TONS of growth opportunities.

6) Turns out meditation isn’t just for weirdos and hippies. It becomes your foundation in a decade or two and changes your life in miraculous ways. Don’t fight it.

7) Calm down. Just calm the hell down. What you think is a big deal, usually isn’t and the really scary stuff you never see coming. Learn to be more present in each moment and you’ll do far better than worrying about a thousand possible situations in the future.

8) Stop worrying so much about your weight and hair. Get more exercise and trust hair products will be invented that will tame that curly mane (it takes a few decades though). You’ll finally learn you are not your looks. The sooner you figure this out, the better life becomes. Oh, and when you hear about this thing called a “Brow Bar” run, do not walk, to the closest one as fast as you can. (I know I just told you you’re not your looks, but it doesn’t hurt to be well groomed.)

9) Every second of every day is precious. Do your best to not waste a minute. 

10) You were absolutely right about one thing. Elton John IS still rocking well into his 70’s! And he still sounds amazing. 


Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Cowgirl Ballerina Teacher Nurse Me


Yep, that’s me. Diane Lynn Haworth, daughter of Stan and Mildred (aka “Pete”) Haworth, of Warrenton, Virginia around age four and a half. At this young age, I remember being very confident and feeling I had my life all figured out.

I knew exactly what I wanted and was well on the way to becoming a cowgirl ballerina teacher nurse. That was my plan. I would obviously marry a prince, live in a castle and have many babies.

And live happily ever after….

I’m so glad I didn’t know what life would really bring. At this tender age I hadn’t yet begun to doubt my direction or come under the paralyzing self judgement of adolescence. I was still a happy spirit, freely exploring the world.

So glad I didn’t know then that:

  • my childhood would be rocked by my parent’s constant health issues which plagued them the rest of their lives
  • I’d face many challenging years as a working mom when a record number of  women started to change the face of the American workforce
  • it would take three tries to find my prince…and I never lived in a castle
  • I’d be plagued by fertility issues and weight problems throughout my life
  • I’d experience years of abuse, fear, loneliness and overwhelm

I’m glad I didn’t know all that then. I understand now that a crucial part of our life is the way we learn to navigate the boulders on our path. The truths we discover about ourselves and our world are the treasures of a life lived through challenge. We constantly face hurdles and either keep creating the same obstacles throughout life, or find a way around, through or over them.

I’m also glad I didn’t know that:

  • my kids would be my biggest joy in life and that every day with them as children, and now as adults, presents me with new opportunities for ever deepening love and happiness
  • that the pain in my marriages ultimately gave me the biggest opportunity for deep, soul growth and I’m genuinely grateful for the men who were my teachers
  • dealing with my parents’ ongoing health issues led to critical life lessons in patience, compassion and surrender
  • accepting my body and the aging process is a rewarding journey when the gifts of the experience are embraced
  • the work I love to do, spiritual life coaching, didn’t even exist when I was a kid
  • love really is the answer to every life problem

I’m glad I didn’t know the twists and turns my life would take. My experiences are often clouded by what I expect to be “easy” or “hard,” “good” or “bad” ones. Not knowing allows reactions to be more real, the lessons can be learned at a deeper level and genuine joy can be even more expansive.

Now at age 60, I feel more like that little four and a half year old girl than I ever have. With my eyes and heart wide open, I believe I can do anything. Not because I don’t understand how life works, but because I do…or I’m at least starting to.

There’s time to be a cowgirl ballerina teacher nurse if I want to…I’m open to the surprises yet to come.

Monday, April 17, 2017

A Time of Rebirth


Spring has always been special for me. 

My beloved dogwood trees are blooming here in Virginia, the forest has begun to show her vibrant spring colors and the robins have started to appear after their winter vacation. I love spring. New beginnings. Rebirth. Physical, emotional and spiritual rebirth.

That’s what’s happening for me now.

I’m exploring yoga, working on a new high-performance coaching certification (which I’ll be offering later this year) and delving even deeper into my study of A Course in Miracles.

It’s always been easier for me to start a new path then to finish it. Commitment hasn’t always led to easy follow through. I procrastinate. Postpone. Find lots of distractions. Part of the high-performance techniques I’ve learned have helped me tremendously which is why I want to share them with others. 

I feel a new chapter starting for me and my family this spring… it’s exciting, scary and exhilarating all at the same time.

I feel a renewed passion for life which I attribute to three things. After several years, I feel the trauma of my dad’s passing is now behind me. While I miss him, the grief has shifted and I feel a level of healing I’ve not experienced before. My new grandson, Emory, has opened my heart in ways I couldn’t have imagined and I feel a deep need to contribute in new ways to help create a more loving world for him to grow up in. And I have a birthday coming up this week.

A big one.

It ends in a zero.

I used to think sixty was “getting up there.” Time to rock grandbabies, bake pies, spout wisdom…and wait for the end. What a difference a few decades make! My perceptions of aging started to change when a good friend gave me the book “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay. 

WOW!

Here was a woman who had faced overwhelming challenges and triumphed over each. Her life could easily be a blockbuster Lifetime movie! She’s become a living example for me in so many ways. While she had a fascinating life particularly in her forties and fifties, she did something extraordinary after that.

What did Louise do at sixty? Started Hay House which is now recognized as one of the leading new thought, self-development publishers on the planet. Some of my greatest insights, understandings and personal growth came from books, events and connections I’ve made thanks to Hay House. 

But Miss Louise didn’t stop there.

In the following decades, she took up organic gardening, painting and sculpture, ballroom dancing and continued to publish her own books, classes and programs. And for over twenty years continued to travel around the world appearing to thousands of delighted fans in numerous live events each year.

Now over ninety, she continues to inspire all who know her and her work.

Amazing.

Incredible.

And if Louise can do it, so can I.

So can you. So can anyone committed to growth and intending to have fun along the journey.

Here’s to spring. Our rebirth as individuals and in community. To us all beginning a new chapter, continuing to grow and to finding ways to love deeper and laugh more!

Thanks, Louise…

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Courage...

I was speaking with my coach this week about courage. Courage in business, courage in relationships and courage in life in general. She asked me "how do you define courage?" 

I answered quickly "It's taking the action you know to be true, from your soul level, even in the face of fear." I was surprised how easily the definition came. But I knew it was true. I know that any time I've taken a courageous action; it was fueled by divine inspiration. I just KNEW it was the right thing to do. I knew it from such a deep level, there was no question. That didn't mean I always followed through, though.

Often I realized the action I was considering would "rock the boat" in the situation I was thinking about. So sometimes I'd chicken out...I wouldn't do what I knew to be true. And I always suffered for it in some way. 

Sometimes however, even in the face of what I thought might be dangerous consequences for me personally, I followed my heart and took the inspired action. It didn't always work out immediately the way I anticipated. Often the results were far more beneficial than I could ever have imagined. And sometimes it took years to see the truth of the situation I had faced and why I was called to a specific action. One thing has always been clear.

Whenever I follow my heart, my true inner divine knowing, and take the inspired action I feel called to carry out, I feel congruent with Spirit. I feel at peace. Instead of feeling stuck or like a victim, I am in motion and am in the flow of the solution. 

Yep, I've had to learn the hard way, but I learned. Being courageous enough to take inspired action always leads me to relief, deep peace and joy. 

Having courage in life has helped me enjoy less panic and more peace. And that’s one of my goals for this year. I suggest you try it as well.   #LessPanicMorePeace

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.