Diane Danvers Simmons
How old are you?
I don’t count the years, I feel the same as I did in my 20’s, younger than I did in my 30’s, and just catching up to my 40’s, all with a lot more wit and wisdom. I define life by how I feel and the energy that emanates from within and all around me, not by years.
Are or have you been married, and what’s your view on marriage?
I‘ve been married, divorced, and separated. I’ve loved, been loved, hurt, and been hurt, lived fearlessly and in fear, but I’ve come out of it all with purpose, compassion, and vitality. I’m enjoying the journey.
My view on relationships is simple. Everything is about timing. We need different things and people at different stages of our life. I believe the biggest gift you can give someone, besides freedom and heartfelt support, is to allow them to be all that they can be. And yes, I do believe in true love and soulmates.
My two children have blessed me with the gift of humility, compassion, patience, playfulness, courage, and unconditional love that has changed my life for the better. Having the chance and responsibility to introduce some pretty fine human beings into the world makes me more determined to make a difference in this crazy world.
Imagine a day where you invest in your reality… not a Hollywood producer’s. Where you rediscover your own voice, without having to compete for it to be heard.
Where did you grow up & what did your parents do?
I grew up in England with all of its traditions, irreverence, and a healthy dose of Monty Python humor. I’m also thankful now for the clouds, rain, and public transport that kept my complexion youthful, my body strong, and my patience in check.
When I was born, my father was 60 and my mother was 45, which was unusual back then and automatically triggered the need for a sense of humor, as they were newlywed parents of a blended family, complete with teenagers. They were more youthful than people half their age, with daily hilarious stories of lives well lived and history experienced first hand! My childhood was never boring!
An entrepreneurial father who was the foundation and stability of my youth fed my thirst for adventure through travel. My independent, feisty, Irish mother, who was way ahead of her time, taught me that ‘No you can’t’ was never the option when it came to my dreams. My passion throughout my youth was the creative and performing arts, as well as competitive sports, all of which proved invaluable in my personal and professional life.
What did you do before developing Own it Feel it Live it and Spirituality in Stilettos?
America enticed me from a young age. As an independent, fearless woman in my 20’s, I arrived in New York City from Britain, courtesy of Saatchi & Saatchi, the global advertising giant. By the time I was 30, I was a Senior Vice President at the agency, and then at Omnicom Group in London, New York and Los Angeles.
After marrying, I soon became a mother, masquerading as a chauffeur, driving the prerequisite SUV, and wearing a sign that read ‘I’ll volunteer for anything.’ Leveraging my corporate platform I took on leadership roles, working with mothers who collectively strive to make a difference. Currently, I work with the Make a Wish Foundation and have been involved with my children’s schools. Travel with my children is one of my passions, which has secured our bond and created memories that will forever stay in our hearts.
Why and what inspired you to create OFL?
I was tired of the housewives shows on TV that glamorize women as self absorbed, back-stabbing, mindless characters. I developed a TV talk show treatment and a blog concept, Danvers Dishes, to inspire and showcase real women being all they could be, making a difference in this world and having intelligent, inspirational conversations with plenty of humor. My friends and family encouraged me to share my stories and Own it Feel it Live it teachings.
I’m simply the woman in the mirror who can relate to the phases a woman navigates, who enjoys all the privileges and lifestyle of Western society, and have been blessed with the opportunity of extensive travel which has allowed me to gain insight into a variety of cultures and traditions. Whether practicing yoga in Morocco, meditation in Big Sur, or Reiki in Ireland, I strive to discover holistic and intuitive lifestyle techniques that recognize the powerful unity of mind, body, and spirit to promote a total well being for a happier, healthier life. IT WORKS!
On this journey, I’ve been able to participate in educational forums and experiences with the spiritual and health leaders of our time. I’ve incorporated these teachings into OFL by creating a multidimensional approach which blends the best of eastern and western philosophies to help women nourish their everyday lives while remaining grounded in their own style in today’s modern world.
The simple message of Own it Feel it Live it cuts through the clutter & chaos with three simple steps to reignite and regain your life balance; Own your Power, Feel your Spirit, & Live your Life the way you choose with Wit and Wisdom. I want to share this message with woman as they embrace new chapters in theirs lives.
What is the mission of Spirituality in Stilettos?
I created the Spirituality in Stilettos workshop series to inspire women to explore, connect, and rediscover the value and joy of investing in themselves in a safe haven, where women share real life stories, intelligent conversation and laugh- out-loud moments. In a clear and concise, but fun manner, Spirituality in Stilettos™ will give women the resources, opportunity, and ultimately the knowledge to empower and make informed choices while recognizing the true pure potential that lies within.
Most importantly, I want to impart the wisdom that we have many dimensions and are capable of extraordinary things at any age!
Tell us about your Workshops
Each workshop is a ‘treat’, not a retreat, set in a beautiful environment. The series flows in three parts which bring the essence of Own it , Feel it, Live it to life through discussion and interactive exercises.
Imagine a day where you invest in your reality… not a Hollywood producer’s. Where you rediscover your own voice, without having to compete for it to be heard. Where you kick off those worn out shoes that constrain you and feel your mind, body, and spirit flow so freely that even your favorite talk show host would welcome you to dance on her stage. Imagine a day to laugh out loud, stretch, groan, grow, glow, and cry. Where you can experience what it truly means to live again, explore what works for you and how it enhances your life, now, and strut down life’s runway dressed in your own truth, embracing your own Spirituality in Stilettos™.
What kind of FabOverFifty woman can most benefit from coaching?
A new generation of women coming into their 40’s and 50’s who are interested in ongoing personal growth, not standing still and just existing! These women are transitioning out of or have completed years of nurturing a family, career, or lifestyle. They feel the desire and need to re-evaluate or enhance their lives. They wonder how to start to explore with so many mixed messages. All too often they feel alone, but they need to know they’re not alone! They are not done! They are just starting a new life phase and need recognition, support, and a safe place to pause, and have the conversations they need most now to begin their next life chapter.
What’s the greatest piece of advice you can give FOF women?
Honor who you are and live life NOW. We’re told we can have it all but even if we can’t have it all at once, we can have it all through the breadth and depth of our lives. So acknowledge and enjoy each chapter and live your life dressed in your Own Truth!
How do women most sabotage themselves?
Too often, women give up their power and choices to others or to a situation because they don’t value themselves and are fearful. As a result, they don’t take the time to invest in their whole well being and life becomes stagnant.
What famous women do you most admire?
Oprah Winfrey, because she positively uses the power of media and fame. She continues to grow, show gratitude, follow her path and allow herself to be challenged and surprised.
Margaret Thatcher. Whether or not you liked her, she was a force to be reckoned with as the first female Prime Minister of Great Britain! Not only did she stand up and joust, debate and forge alliances with an eloquent tongue and sharp mind in the most potent of political arenas, but she turned the country around after a time of turmoil.
Do you have a mentor?
I’ve been blessed to have a number of people that have guided my path. Both my parents were self-made, self-motivated characters who lived their lives to their fullest. My father was the guide, the rational and rock through any storm, with a killer smile and undying charm. He taught about the importance of family, integrity, love and trust. My mother was larger than life without any excuses. Her brutal honesty and ability to handle whatever life threw was admirable. If someone hurt my feelings she would always say, ‘Sticks and stones may break your bones but names will never hurt you’. She toughened me up for the world. The fact that she could still throw a party and dance all night at age 80 says it all.