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Why This Play…Again?????

Why This Play?

This year is my 8th production of Private Lives Private Lies. I asked myself this question: Why do I continue to produce this play?

I produce it for many reasons:

  1. To begin, I’m an activist! I fight for the underdog and I’ve been doing this since I was a teen. Activists resist in different ways. I’ve found theater to be one of the ways I can open minds and hearts! 
  2. My goal of PLPL is to keep our lives visible. Our stories matter. I want to highlight some of the difficult stories our community often deals with like Rejection for being different; Addiction (drugs and alcohol ) which occurs as a way of coping with rejection and the inability to live freely and authentically; Living a lie or being in the closet is damaging to the soul; and Relationship discord. People in general struggle to express themselves honestly in their relationships.
  3. There’s a therapeutic component- I’m an MFT – my life’s work is helping people improve their lives and that improvement is often about freedom to be who they areWH. I have a desire to reach more people and theater is a way I thought I could do that and it has proven to be true. Therapeutically people relate to not just one but two or three of the stories portrayed. They thank me after having a good cry.
  4. There’s also an educational component-I want to offer the wilder community an understanding and experience of the experiences and issues in the LGBTQ community. I want them to see and feel and my hope is to open hearts and birth empathy for those who may misunderstand the LGBTQI community. Also I wanted to educate all people, gay or straight, on how to work through difficult issues and shine a light on how we as a general population are not honest or do not fully disclose the truth about who we are and what is going on within us. People struggle (but most often don’t show it) because of the stories they carry from wounded childhoods and from society’s standards that don’t fit what they want. Shame!
  5. It’s entertaining as well. I like a little humor. We have to break up the seriousness of life with humor. We all suffer in our lives but laughing is our therapy and gives us strength and power to move forward when life seems unbearable so I offer moments to release and breakup negative energy.
  6. Because God and my Spirits continue to give me messages that I must do it. I get a feeling when I need to produce another show. I can’t fight it even when things aren’t moving like I desire. I just breathe and trust that everything will work out just the way it’s supposed to. 
  7. The hardest part of the journey is recruiting actors. My focus is to gather people who want to experience the stage. Most people would love to take the stage and be a star but they have received messages that this is impossible for so many reasons. I work a lot with a client’s negative voices in my practice that say “You can’t and don’t try!” “This is for someone else who’s better!” And so on! So I have to penetrate those voices that have been controlling the person’s mind for years. People can’t believe they can do it! And they can! I want to give them an opportunity to prove to themselves that they are capable and talented. By showtime they are amazed at their transformation and they are so proud of themselves.  I’m touched deeply when I see them blossom. I believe, if you believe in someone, anything is possible.
  8. Rehearsals-Working with the actors. We have fun and we become an instant family. Everyone loves and supports each other. That commonality thing. I get to offer exercises to get them engaging with each other and it’s incredibly fun. We cry and laugh deeply. I create a playground for them to be free. No worries, no judgement, no shame, no isolation, never feeling unloved. After the first rehearsal I understand more clearly why I continue to do this.
  9. Seeing and hearing what the actors get out of their participation. I have heard so many cast members say that they could relate to the role that they were cast in. Their stories are being shared live and they get to express them which is therapeutic. Also it’s a great way for the cast to build relationships with each other. Good friendships are formed.
  10. The audience gets to be affected. They get to see their stories or a friend’s story come to life. They learn and open their hearts because people tell their stories during our Q and A: A trans woman who came out was a very important moment for her and all who witnessed it; a young person who wanted to know how to come out to his parents; a grandmother who thanked us for this education because she had her granddaughter tell her that actually she was a boy after cutting off all her hair… there are many more stories!
  11. It makes me feel good that I can touch so many lives! I want the LGBTQ plus and all people to love themselves and to live authentic lives. We must stop hiding and be our true selves. Our lives matter and we have the right to decide how we want to live them. This is one of the ways I take a stand against Hatred and the administration that tears down marginalized people. My activism is building others up! I stand up against injustice and inequality, homophobia, transphobia, queerphobia, racism, sexism, anti-semitism, and anyone on the fringe.

This is why I continue. I believe I have something to say to the lovers and the haters. So come out and support the show, the cast, and the gifts that are offered. July 20-21 in Cotati at Congregation Ner Shalom!

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Touching More Lives

Feb 18, 2019

I Dreamed of Touching More Lives

I love my work as a Marriage Family Therapist. I’ve been helping people see themselves and their authentic beauty for years. I’ve always wanted to touch more people than the one or two or a 3-5 member family who I would see in my office for the past 20 plus years. For many years I wondered how I would manifest this dream. Occasionally I would be asked to speak for gatherings, like at SSU’s GSA graduation and its First Year Students’ program, Sonoma County’s Gay Pride festival, and most recently, the Petaluma Women’s March, and that felt good to me. Anytime I can speak to empower people to be authentic I accept the invitation. I love how I feel in my core when I’m helping someone or a group blossom into the beautiful flower they were meant to be. My work and passion is helping people get focused on their truest path. I want to help them find their essence so they can live freely and happily being their creative and lovely selves. 

You just don’t know how or when opportunity knocks but it does. I attribute it to an open mind and an open heart and I believe this leads to new discoveries. I try to stay open to the potential of reaching people and in doing so, a dream came true. Four years ago, I submitted a 10 minute play for a contest and it was rejected. As a result, I turned that play into a full length play and it became another way for me to reach people and give them a message. It was a message of empowerment and an invitation to step into their freedom. Now, 7 productions later, I see the need and the importance that I continue to produce this play each year. (This year will be the 8th!) One of the beautiful outcomes that I was surprised by is that when I give new actors the experience and the opportunity, they grow in ways they never imagined! It’s a win win for everyone; me, the actors, the audience, and all the people who are touched by them and the messages in the play!

I never knew I would become a playwright. I asked myself, was it a fluke? Could I do it again? And so 6 months ago I wrote, and now cast, When The Bud Blooms. The title speaks for the messages I consistently want to portray. I believe people can rise from the ashes and do great things and become their true selves. I proudly take on the title of “playwright” now. I’m proud of this way of inspiring audiences to take a look at themselves and encourage them to find their true paths in their lives. I feel blessed to have these opportunities to touch more lives. 

I hope you too will have an open mind and open heart and continue to walk through the door that is opened for you to show up in your life the way you desire to.

My best to you,


PS-See you April 6-7 for When The Bud Blooms or July 22 & 23 for Private Lives Private Lies- both are at Congregation Ner Shalom, the old Cotati Cabaret!

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Step Into Fierceness-Live Authentically!

Spring Cleaning Your Life

Women! Are your seeds flourishing? Are you blossoming into the flower you’re meant to be? Or are you stagnant? Are you happy the way you are living your life? Women, it’s time to tend to your own gardens! If your answers are not favorable or satisfying to you, know you’re not alone. I’ve heard so many women: friends, family members, those I just met, and the 100’s that I have seen in my office. They share their difficulty in being authentic with themselves and in their relationships. I’ve heard many women say that they live in fear, they don’t ask for what they want or need, they don’t follow their dreams, and that it’s hard to leave dysfunctional relationships. Also women have been conditioned to give give give and it’s very hard for them to receive. Many are isolated and single, afraid of being seen or hurt again.  Some women hear the words “I can’t” or “I don’t deserve” or “I’m not good enough” running through their heads everyday all day. This trend continues in the young women of today. It’s important for you to come to know the negative voices that keep you stagnant and not growing.

Women have been conditioned over generations to be submissive and value themselves less than men. Even with the women’s movement at an all time high, women are still mistreated, seen as unintelligent and second class citizens. We have to continue to work hard to change these conditions and it starts with each woman taking a stand to improve herself. This starts with valuing yourself! Start now by exploring how you are living your life and the ways you want to change to become your authentic self.

Let’s use the metaphor of spring cleaning to identify where you are on the scale of authenticity. Using the scale of 10-1, 10 is high – you are living your life fully and authentically and 1 is low – you aren’t. In other words, you are very passive and unseen – at the bottom. So, what’s your number?

When you can’t be authentic you’re not living fully. Women, you deserve to freely express yourselves. No more fear! This is your life and you deserve to live it the way you desire! My goal is to help you spring clean your life. Get rid of all those thoughts and feelings that hinder your authentic expression. You can learn to be you – fully you – in my Stepping Into Fierceness workshop happening April 21, 2018. Come and experience yourself in a supportive and lovely environment. Take the risk. See and feel the benefits! See flyer on my Workshop page!

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PRIVATE LIVES PRIVATE LIES – doing the unimaginable

We walk this earth with a plan and then we come to the plan and live it for awhile but lo and behold the plan no longer feels like the right plan. So the mind wanders and the heart is dissatisfied and the soul is unfulfilled. The weight grows and moves and confusion sets in.

This happened to me.

Moments of loneliness, lack of focus and discontent set in. I thought, “What do I do now? Where do I go? Who can help me?”

“Think Dianna, think!” one voice said.

Another said, “Don’t think, just be.” Be? I repeated.

“Yes, be! Be open, heart open, mind open.”

I exclaimed, “How can I be open, I’m sinking, almost dying metaphorically!”

“Try this new way and see. What do you have to lose?”

“Okay, I’m open. I know I can do this!”

The days and months and years went by. I realized my vision became clearer. Things, ideas, people started to fall from the stars and into my view. Things from the past became part of the future. Cobwebs were removed and answers appeared just because of my openness, my ability, my willingness to do it differently, to un-dig my heels and let myself be. Open to change, open to possibility.

I met a director who I felt would be perfect for a play I had written and there was a triangle shown to me – the director, me, and the universe. We were supposed to have met so I let her know of my desire and she was on board. Then another director surfaced unexpectedly when I was attending a friend’s birthday party. I went over to say hello, being the kind person that I am,  and his wealth of knowledge was presented to me. I instantly raised my arms to the powers above – universe synchronicity – and then I said thank you.

I believe this new person was presented to me because soon after I met him, I found out that the first director had to say goodbye for unforeseen reasons. However, this second director wasn’t exactly leading in the way I expected, as I ended up taking the reigns. I was leading! These occurrences must have been for a reason, so with openness I was able to see  another way – okay, with a little help, a little encouragement from an intuitive generous friend. After seeing me lead, this friend suggested that I be the director because I was the one engaged with the cast members and I was the one who wrote the play. I agreed with his idea. This would be my first time directing even though leading this group came so naturally. There was a deeper knowing – I was feeling myself as a director. It was in my bones.

I began to think that the two directors I mentioned were gifts for me so that I could be motivated to get this play off the shelf and onto the stage for all to see. I knew I was about to do the unimaginable. Everything was lining up so perfectly. I was moving consciously toward a calling, a place where I needed to be or where I was supposed to be. It was silky smooth, how it all came together. I landed freely and gently on the road toward being the director of 18 cast members. Who would have thought I would be a director of a play, let alone one that I wrote without any schooling? Who would have thought the art of being completely open and trusting could take me places I never dreamed of?

Try it. Be open to the universal welcoming – your calling – and see where you land. It worked for me! So my question I leave you with is this: was this my doing or was I helped by a greater knowing?

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Attention Couples!

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Attention Couples! It’s Time To Blossom Your Relationship!

Attention Couples! It’s Time To Blossom Your Relationship!

Let this be the year you do the unthinkable by making the necessary changes to transform your relationship. It can become the relationship you’ve always imagined it to be! Challenge each other to step into uncharted territory because your happiness is worth it. What’s needed is learning how to nurture your relationship and adding the necessary nutrients to help you grow together as a loving committed couple!

Some couples fear seeking help because they are afraid of the “what ifs” -those negative thoughts that keep you drowning in the status quo and keep you from being able to have a new and desired experience. I’ve heard many stories of couples not trusting each other which leads to not being able to confess their true feelings with the other. Imagine a rose bud unable to bloom. It’s painful and sad to witness the rosebud which has enormous potential to be so much more. This is how couples feel when they can’t open up to each other and experience the potential of a loving relationship – pain and sadness. Without trust, there is a failure to engage in open and honest communication. It’s like being in a relationship with someone you know some things about, but not personal ones. Lovers yes, but strangers, too. When things are broken, say a dishwasher or thermostat, we try and fix what we can, but when we can’t, we get help. Relationships are one of those times to get help because many of us have learned the wrong way to fix our relationships. We weren’t shown the proper way to be in a healthy relationship.

When couples come to see me it never fails that I feel this ache inside because usually by the time they seek professional help they have exhausted themselves trying to fix each other without knowing how to do it. Or, they’re so wound up within themselves from holding in their true feelings due to fear that they would rather quit than fix the relationship. Imagine driving alone down a dead end street and you’re stuck. Couples are overwhelmed, out of sync, disconnected, and missing affection and nurturance. This is when the real problems occur because discontentment and unhappiness cause individuals to be vulnerable to other distractions like; lying, drugs, alcohol, shopping, partying, and seeking positive attention from others.

Couples, even individuals! It’s time to take charge of your life because you deserve to be happy in your relationship. You can seek the help, support and guidance you need to get your relationship on the path you desire and dream about. In most cases the work needed is a minimal amount – it just takes adjusting how you have approached and reacted to issues in the past. It takes a neutral and objective person to help you see your blindspots, and once you see them too, you will be on your way to seeing your love in a new and better light. You both will feel rejuvenated and motivated to put your relationship in a more satisfying place. As I ofter say to people, “Don’t wait too long to seek the help you need to make your relationship fun, loving, intimate, sexual and happy again!” Contact me to gather what you need – the nutrients to allow your relationship to blossom!

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My Poetry Book and CD Are Out!!!!!

My poetry book, I Want My Voice To Be Strong Like The Waves, is out! I’ve recorded 15 of my poems on a CD! Check them out on my Books page!!!! I will be having a book signing at Songbird Healing Center in Cotati, CA on January 23, 2016. Hope you can make it!!!


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Petaluma Patch Nominee!

Hello Everyone,
I was excited to discover this surprise in today’s Petaluma Patch! Take a look!

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Is Self-Esteem the New Bad Word?

When I’m walking, I make it a point to think about my life. I check in with myself and ask how I’m feeling, what creative juices I want to explore, or what is there for me to be doing. I even pray to all the Spirits watching over me to let me see, hear, and feel what I need to be tending to. Yesterday on my walk I was hit with the question that I’ve asked myself for many years when working with others around their emotional health and well being: Why don’t we do what we know? The answers can be so clear but people often don’t follow them. I can describe many instances that this takes place in people’s lives but I won’t – instead I encourage you to think about ways you don’t do things that would better serve you in your life.

It’s not because you are too busy, or don’t know how. So what is it? Why is it this way? Why continue to sabotage yourself? Joseph Campbell says, “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” This is so meaningful to me. I’m called to help people be who they are, because they have that right as it is their privilege in their lifetime! It brings sadness in my heart because I know so many people struggle to be who they are! I’ve witnessed this too many times, from my childhood to the present as a professor, psychological practitioner, and a middle-aged woman.

There are many reasons why people can’t be their true selves but my goal is to help them shed the things that have caused them distress so much that it has frightened them into sacrificing themselves. I help them explore those wounds and mend them. Part of this mending is building their self-worth, their self-esteem. This foundational work can’t be bypassed even when people want to because everything they do is a reaction to how they feel about themselves- their level of self-esteem. It’s an important piece for healthy living and well-being. I teach individuals to face the truth of how they have been living each stage, welcoming the true self to surface, be set free to live authentically. I soul search as I work. I’m trying to connect the true essence of the being in front of me. This transformation is beautiful to witness. For those who I can’t witness, I created a tool for you to witness yourselves. You have to make your transformation a priority and order your personal copy of my book, Journaling: A Workbook to Transform Your Self-Esteem.

Someone shared with me that she wanted to buy one of my self-esteem journaling books for a friend but she was afraid that the person would take it the wrong way because the word, Self-Esteem, is in the title. So, self-esteem is now a “bad” word? She went on to say if the title was different, then maybe she’d buy it. Maybe? Maybe what? This is the problem with society today. We have to cover up the truth. We don’t speak the truth. We tiptoe around it. My experience has proven to me time and time again that many mental health issues are due to individuals squelching the truth and not being authentic! This takes a toll on the mind, body, soul, and human spirit. What do you do when you see a friend drowning (metaphor)? Do you ignore it and say they’re not, or do you reach out and say, “I see you’re drowning and I’m concerned about you.” If you dare to go further you can offer to help. Wouldn’t you want this as well, instead of the people around you watching you drown? My book is about helping people stay afloat, making sure they are on their true path, honoring their true selves. This takes place as a result of taking the journey through the book. Bottom line, it’s a tool for self-exploration. We could all benefit by taking time for this!

So, my walk inspired me to offer you this challenge: Your challenge, if you’re willing to take it, is to rate your self-esteem. (As a reminder, self-esteem is the measurement of your self-worth, which shows up in how you carry yourself in life. For example, do you berate yourself, are the choices you make lead by fear or shame, have you settled for being unhappy, do you confront the things that bother you…). For the scale, 10 is high and 1 is low. Then based on that number, choose a rating that you would like to achieve in the future. What are you doing to make this happen? Now get a notepad and answer the following questions: If your self-esteem was higher how would your life be different? What are the things you would be doing or not doing? How would you be happier?
May your exploration be insightful.


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