Get in touch with your inner feelings. This was the first step I needed to take to heal myself. I needed to get honest about how I was feeling. I was living with good enough for too long and ignoring my feelings of hesitancy and even danger around certain situations, relationships and events.
The world seems to be reeling from one crisis to another. We’ve experienced a global pandemic, economic uncertainty, political and social turmoil. Then there are personal traumas that people are dealing with, such as the loss of a loved one, health issues, unemployment, divorce or the loss of a job.
Coping with change can be traumatic as it often affects every part of our lives.
How do you deal with loss or change in your life? What coping strategies can you use? Do you ignore them and just push through, or do you use specific techniques?
In this series called “5 Things You Need To Heal After a Dramatic Loss Or Life Change” we are interviewing successful people who were able to heal after a difficult life change such as the loss of a loved one, loss of a job, or other personal hardships. We are also talking to Wellness experts, Therapists, and Mental Health Professionals who can share lessons from their experience and research.
As a part of this interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Diana Cole.
Diana Cole is a spirit translator, thought leader, and author. Passionate about spirit guidance, she is committed to teaching people how to access it for themselves so they may find freedom from pain and limitation and live a life of abundance, fun, and inspiration. Diana offers her empowering tools for spirit guidance in group settings, speaking engagements, live workshops, and through her vibrant Instagram and Facebook communities. She is the author of “Spirit Translator: Seven Truths for Creating Well-Being and Connecting With Spirit” (St. Martin’s Press, August 2020) and coauthor of “Pillars of Success” (August 2020) with Jack Canfield. Diana’s first children’s book is “Alina the Positive Thought Warrior.”
Today, through her Spirit Translation Readings, her vibrant online community, speaking engagements, and live workshops, she guides individuals and groups to heal through channeling, positive thought patterning, and meditation. Learn more atwww.DianaCole.com.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
Hello and thank you for having me. I have suffered loss of all kinds. Loss of loved ones, loss of a career, loss of relationships — but worst of all was loss of my sense of well-being. I know we are all going through a lot right now, and I know we are all experiencing loss because it is part of the ebb and flow of living, but I believe that if you possess internal well-being, you are bulletproof.
I have traveled my own winding path to get here and luckily when things got really tough for me, I fell back on what I learned as a child to help me heal.
I grew up the daughter of a leader in the 1960s and 1970s new age movement in the San Francisco Bay Area. I learned at a young age how to meditate, how to heal, and how to speak to spirit. In growing up and trying to forge a path of my own, I forgot this early wisdom and tried to live a “normal” life. The result was that I experienced emotional pain that brought me to my life’s low point. It was only through re-connecting with spirit and strengthening my connection to invisible guidance that I was able to heal and ultimately manifest a new, beautiful life.
The answers that came to me when my questions seemed unanswerable and my pain seemed unbreakable were so good and so life-changing that I decided to write them down and put them in a book for others to read. My book is called “Spirit Translator: Seven Truths for Well-Being and Connecting With Spirit.”
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I love quotes, and I quote others in my books because I believe that what others say or have said can have a great influence on us now. My favorite quote comes with an amazing story. I was at a time in my life when I was feeling really low. I asked the universe for some guidance and then I was given this miraculous experience.
I had ordered food from a local restaurant in my hometown, and was waiting at the counter for my order. A woman was sitting with her young daughter at the counter, close to where I was standing, and she had a book next to her. I glanced at the book but couldn’t see the title.
As I waited, the woman says to me, “Excuse me, have you read ‘Rules for a Knight’ by Ethan Hawke?”
I said, “No, I thought Ethan Hawke was an actor; I didn’t know he wrote books.”
And she replied, “You should order it today.”
So I did. And in this beautiful little book of fables he said something that made me cry because I felt like I finally understood something profound about myself and about us all.
The quote is: “Anything that gives light must endure burning.”
This, to me, is the best way to sum up that we use our painful experiences to teach and to heal others. I open chapter two in “Spirit Translator” with this quote, because it helped me understand my new purpose so profoundly.
You have been blessed with much success. In your opinion, what are the top three qualities that you possess that have helped you accomplish so much? If you can, please share a story or example for each.
- Persistence. I keep getting up, no matter how far I fall down. I have learned to honor the twists, the turns, and the detours my life takes. Someone once told me that the good news is that everything changes, and the bad news is that everything changes. Although this is true, the lows can feel never-ending. It is important to realize that the journey is not usually a straight line. There are no missed opportunities or wrong turns; it all unfolds for us magically and somewhat surprisingly.
- Self-love. I adopted a practice of self-love. Self-love is the key to my happiness. I believe that our purpose here is to live through our learning experiences and find love for yourself, no matter what. I realize this may sound like a tall order, but to be truly happy, you must embrace who you are, you must forgive yourself, love yourself and care for yourself. Think about what kind of a world we would live in if every person had a deep internal love for themselves. It would change the world. It could erase negativity, hate, shame, and ultimately unhappiness.
- Faith in the Invisible. I believe in what I cannot see. Noticing that we live in a state of invisible flow is essential to creating a positive life and improve your well-being. We are all connected to each other and to our experiences energetically. I feel safe and protected even when it looks like I should feel the opposite. I listen to the whispers and the nudges from spirit, and I believe in a wise, all-loving force that is here to guide us.
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about ‘Healing after Loss’. Do you feel comfortable sharing with our readers about your dramatic loss or life change?
Something most people don’t know about me is that in 2015, I was one month away from living in my car. My businesses were failing, I couldn’t pay my bills, and I often slept 18 hours a day without ever feeling rested. I was losing my hair in handfuls, and I never felt good. I felt like worry and stress were killing me. I was internally desolate from years of betrayal and challenges, and I was only somewhat functional. I was in the middle of gossip and bullying that was soul-crushing not just for myself, but for other people around me. I realized I had inserted myself into a business environment that did not feed me, and in fact, it drained me to a point of illness.
For years I operated under the belief that if I worked hard and I was a good person, things would work out. I was not equipped for what I was experiencing at that point as a single mother and business owner. I felt like things were spinning out of control. I had my nose to the proverbial grindstone for a long time, until it got so bad that I finally admitted the truth to myself: “OK, enough! This is no longer for me.” I could see the life I wanted. I imagined it running concurrently with the life I was living but existing just above it. I wanted that version of my life, but I could not reach it. I just couldn’t make that leap up.
That’s when I decided to change. If I could see it, I could live it! Within months of making that decision, my businesses — which were not working — fell away and better solutions started appearing. Today, I am thriving, and I have found the success I only once dreamed of. You absolutely have the power to live the life you want.
What was the scariest part of that event? What did you think was the worst thing that could happen to you?
It felt like it would never end. It felt like I was drowning and there were no lifeboats in sight. The worst part was realizing I was sinking and taking my young daughter with me. I wanted to protect her and give her a life of happiness, not sorrow. I honestly was not sure how it would ever get better.
How did you react in the short term?
In the short term, I felt hopeless and I felt sorry for myself. I cried and I prayed but nothing worked. The more I saw my life unraveling, the worse things got. I knew I needed to pull myself out of it somehow.
After the dust settled, what coping mechanisms did you use?
I used the techniques I learned as a child, from my father, to communicate with invisible guidance. I began to listen to the ideas and inspiration I was hearing, and with this, I develop habits of positive thinking. I started to notice what was going right instead of what was going terribly wrong. I decided to feel happy even if all signs were leading to disaster.
Can you share with us how you were eventually able to heal and “let go” of the negative aspects of that event?
I adopted a practice of stillness that eventually turned into a meditation practice. I make it a priority to take time each day to be still. This does not mean simply being quiet; it means stilling my thoughts, my nervous system, and my environment. Adopting a meditation practice is the most effective way to achieve this, but it is still very effective to dedicate 5–10 minutes each day to be still and quiet.
I personally have a meditation practice, but I started to realize that I can reach a meditative state during long walks in nature, sitting outside in the sun, or reading a book. I dedicate at least 10 minutes per day to stillness.
It is only in the stillness that we can hear our inner guidance.
Aside from letting go, what did you do to create an internal, emotional shift to feel better?
I began a process to improve my self-talk. I truly believe that we say to ourselves about ourselves and about our experiences creates the foundation of our lives. Our lives begin to look the way we witness it through self-talk. I am passionate today about teaching exercises and habits around improving self-talk.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to cope and heal? Can you share a story about that?
I think that ultimately my father guided me to healing. He encouraged me my whole life to feel the world instead of seeing it. He taught me how to feel internally guided, loved, and protected. When my life got tough, I fell back on all the wisdom he passed down to me. While he was alive, he was inspiring and encouraging, and he did well to teach me everything he possibly could. It took him dying for me to fully step into my work. As his life energy was diminishing, I felt that he was passing the baton to me and now I am the person who will run with it and teach it.
Were you able to eventually reframe the consequences and turn it into a positive situation? Can you explain how you did that?
I can see now that my greatest pain was also my greatest lesson. I took a detour in my life that brought me to my lowest low and became the catalyst for what I now teach. When things finally got so tough I could not continue another day with the life I had created, I turned back to what I learned as a child. I began communicating with the invisible part of me that is all-knowing, all-loving, and connected to spirit — and by following the advice and wisdom that came through, my life changed. It was so miraculous that I put it in my book, “Spirit Translator,” so that I could help others who were stuck, unhappy, and feeling like they are living in a life that is not working.
What did you learn about yourself from this very difficult experience? Can you please explain with a story or example?
I learned that I was being romanced by the noise. I had to learn to turn off the noise — all of it. Turn off the news, turn off judgment, and instead spend more time strengthening my internal connection to myself.
In general, I think we should all focus more on good news and stop the constant negative news cycles that draw us all in. I enjoy entertainment and even drama to some extent, but watching too much news, listening to music with negative wording, watching television shows based on judgment, and getting involved in social media bashing is soul crushing. These distractions take us off course. We get caught up in the drama, the story, the message — and we forget what is truly important.
What is truly important is unconditional kindness toward yourself and others.
Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your experiences and knowledge, what advice would you give others to help them get through a difficult life challenge? What are your “5 Things You Need To Heal After a Dramatic Loss Or Life Change? Please share a story or example for each.
My five strategies for healing after loss are as follows:
- Get in touch with your inner feelings. This was the first step I needed to take to heal myself. I needed to get honest about how I was feeling. I was living with good enough for too long and ignoring my feelings of hesitancy and even danger around certain situations, relationships and events. When I allowed myself to say out loud what I really felt, I was able to begin with my roadmap from pain to happiness.
- Pinpoint your pain centers. When I connected my bad feelings to points of pain — meaning a painful event, interaction or relationship — I was able to see how my bad feelings were my compass. I was turning off my internal guiding mechanism, and in turn, some of my choices were leading me to painful outcomes. Pinpointing my pain helped me get to the healing solution.
- Strengthen your thoughts. I thought about my pain and I strengthened my thoughts around them. I started to think differently about that which caused me pain. I started to take responsibility and forgive the people who hurt me, I forgave myself for interactions I did not like, and I thought about all of these experiences as gifts instead of failures. This didn’t happen overnight. It was a process, and this is one of the processes I now teach.
- Become aware of your self-talk. I literally talked myself better. In order to unwind the knots of pain I had created, I had to talk myself into the feelings I wanted to create. I had to heal the pain with kind and loving words. I believe that self-talk is our prayer, our ask. We must speak kindly to ourselves.
- Say thank you. Lastly, I thanked the universe for all I experienced both good and bad. I said thank you and I meant it. I cultivated gratitude in my heart by understanding that my winding road brought me to a beautiful place. The ride was bumpy, but the destination was beautiful.
Like you, I am arriving at new destinations all the time, each as rich and wonderful, and I always remember that while I am on my bumpy roads, I need to say thank you.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
If I could, I would inspire a movement on kindness. One of the truths I outline in “Spirit Translator” is Truth Seven: kindness is your god power.
Let’s dive into this a bit. Imagine if, from the time you were born, you were treated with kindness, not just by the people who love you, but by everyone. Then imagine that you in turn were kind to all others, to animals, and most importantly, to yourself. I think our world would look a lot different; wouldn’t you agree?
The important thinkers and healers who came before us were teaching us kindness in their own voice. Additionally, kindness shows up with fundamental importance in religion. You are taught kindness in Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Native American Code of Ethics. The Dalai Lama said, “My religion is simple. My religion is kindness.”
We have lost our way, but it is never too late. In order to live in a kind world, we must first be kind to ourselves. If we can make that change in ourselves now, I believe we can help others make that change.
Ultimately kindness breeds happiness and well-being. This is the state I want for all of us.
We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them. 🙂
I love meeting healers and people who elevate others, but I particularly love meeting women who support women and who are working in their own lives to make a difference for others. I think that if I had to choose today, I would choose Arianna Huffington. I love what she stands for and I love her early books. She is an inspiration to many women and for that I say, thank you.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
You can find me at dianacole.com or on Instagram and Facebook @thedianacole.
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!