The Exuberance of Emerging Feminine Energy


The Exuberance of Emerging Feminine Energy

Diana von Welanetz Wentworth, New York Times best-selling author of 10 award-winning books, including two of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

NuCalm is the most life-enhancing tool I’ve ever discovered! My brain function has improved markedly, and my daily life continues to expand into more and more opportunities and adventures.

Are you feeling it? The power, the passion, the exuberance of emerging feminine energy? We women won’t keep a lid on our wild visions any longer!

We ask ourselves what will bring us and those around us the most joy and fulfilment. We explore all we can grow into. We welcome new directions into our brightest possible futures.

I learned early in life that feminine exuberance was not acceptable in our patriarchal society. I learned to put a lid on myself, thereby trapping myself and losing the chance to blossom into all I was meant to be. It took years to move beyond these constraints and give myself permission to forge my own path. There are opportunities through an open door, but first we must open it!

Very often, what inhibits creativity is stress, i.e the expectations put on us by other people. It’s like driving with one foot on the gas and one on the brakes. When we reduce stress, we find that we’re more resourceful, creative and resilient than we know. Joy and stress
are opposites that block each other. Let joy be your compass!


Break the stress response:

• When standing in line, instead of getting impatient, look at the people around you and quietly send good wishes to them and their families.
• In the car, listen to sounds, feel your hands on the wheel.
• Banish the expectations others have put on you and let your wild child thrive. Martha Beck and Rowan Mangan, on their “Bewildered” podcast, advise us how to reduce stress and thrive as we move from bewildered to wild and free.
• We think, “people will judge me!” Yes, but we must learn to embrace that wild child who blurts our truth and embarrasses us. She is a messenger. She holds a letter telling us that we are here to celebrate, that we are magnificent, that we hold the key to doors of joy and opportunity and grace.


Calming your thoughts:

• Sit comfortably in a quiet place. Take 3 deep breaths, exhaling longer than inhaling.
• Feel your heart pulsating, nourishing you with a sense of warmth and ease.
• Breathing slowly, bask in the love you feel. Radiate your love to every living being. Invite the feeling of expansiveness to stay with you throughout the day.
• When you are ready to re-enter your everyday world, radiate your gratitude for this feeling of connection. Centred, blissful, calm, you re-enter your day. Your world is lit from within!


My Path toward Empowerment

Let me take you on my journey of discovery – the power of finding and stepping into the next challenge. After a great performance, the audience demands an encore. Encore at any age! It’s never too late to respond to your calling and begin a new adventure!

May I tell you the story of how powerfully my own life has evolved and how it continues to expand? Even after eighty? Even though I’m recently widowed for the second time?
As a child I found myself living in a serious world. Dinner table discussions were ominous. Children should be seen and not heard. Be a lady!

But a small, precious part of me was always irrepressible. No one could quiet me for long. While I marvelled at coincidences, serendipitous happenings, and signs of invisible support, I was cautioned to be careful and realistic.

At eight, I was sent away to a girls’ boarding school. I was lonely there; very few boarders, none my age.


Wounds Give Birth to Wisdom

That deep loneliness, though a wound, would serve me well.

More than anything in the world, even as a young girl, I yearned for a future romantic partner who would be my forever love. I sensed how fulfilling deep intimacy would feel. I just knew I would find a way to share my whole heart.

Meanwhile, I noticed how I loved to spark joy. Whenever I lit up someone’s day, my own brightened. I used many techniques — jokes, riddles, practical jokes and magic tricks — to lighten up my serious family. I discovered the power to delight others.

One source of delight was home cooking. My mother and my maternal grandmother, who ran a boarding house, spent lots of time in the kitchen. What warmth, fun and generosity they shared preparing delicious food! I loved being in the kitchen with them, perusing recipes, planning menus, preparing treats. The most fun was anticipating the pleasure it would bring. Chopping and prepping, sautéing, and simmering, I was stirring blessings into every bite.

And, occasionally, suddenly and sometimes shockingly, I sensed an event that had yet to happen. I would call it Inner Knowing.


Enter, Elvis!

Yes, that Elvis! Though our friendship began many years ago, this wild happening left an indelible mark. In the spring of 1959, when my sorority sisters and I were sprawled in our bunks, I asked someone to turn the music down.

“Oh, Diana doesn’t like Elvis Presley!”
“Actually, I do like him, and I’m going to date him someday!”
Where did that come from? I wondered.
Of course, they laughed at me. How could I possibly have known my quick retort would turn out to be true?

A few months later, my mother took me on a “Cook’s Tour” of Europe that began in Paris. Bobbie, a young boy on our tour, ran up to me as I entered the lobby.

“Elvis is in the dining room! I’m scared to ask him for an autograph!”
“Come with me!”

Drop dead gorgeous in his Army uniform, Elvis’ blue eyes lit up as I approached! Charming and courteous, he took Bobbie’s pen and signed. He told us he was on his first leave from the Army, visiting Paris for the first time.

Again, quite magically, we were in the same place again that very evening attending an early show at the Moulin Rouge. Afterwards, back at the hotel, Elvis was waiting in the lobby as our tour bus returned. He stood up and invited my mother to join him, inquiring how she was enjoying Paris. He then asked if he might escort me to the Lido Nightclub for the late show.

It was thrilling to be with him! Thrills continued later, in his room, when he played the guitar and sang the theme from the film Moulin Rouge for this audience of one.
I know what you’re wondering. Yes, we kissed.


Learning to Trust

Another meeting that felt magically destined happened three years later in Hong Kong. At the age of twenty-one, I felt another knowing. Without warning, I broke up with the approved “eligible bachelor” I’d been dating and tagged along with my parents on their tour of Asia. For the next three weeks, as we toured Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Cambodia, I felt sure I’d made the right decision. While an appreciation for world travel awakened in me, I also felt a quiet sense of anticipation.

On the evening we arrived in Hong Kong, our final stop, I wasn’t aware that a man in the dining room felt drawn to me and had followed me to the elevator, only to have it close in his face.

I woke early the next morning, way too early to meet my parents for breakfast. I chose to wear a certain dress, as if for a special occasion, and stood in the middle of the lobby.

What am I doing here so early? I wondered. Paul von Welanetz stepped out of the elevator, and I soon found out.

“Where are you from?”
With those words, my longed-for heart’s companion had arrived. Three days later we were engaged.


Feeling our Way into Our Future

Our romantic marriage would last twenty-five years, and what a fabulous and fun career we shared and built together! I’d always loved cooking and gathering people around the table to enjoy each other. Thanks to Julia Child, interest in French cooking and entertaining was emerging in America. I loved learning, and during the first five years of our marriage, I attended classes with the head chef of the Escoffier Room in Beverly Hills.

Paul, an artist at heart, loved using his imaginative talent to present food and table decor. He quoted Mies VanDer Rohe, “First you eat with your eyes!”

Our shared passion led to cooking classes in our home and then to a groundbreaking career in cooking and entertaining. Our first book, The Pleasure of your Company, won the “Cookbook of the Year” Award in the category of entertaining. Five more books followed, along with our cooking school on the Sunset Strip, where Wolfgang
Puck and other rising chefs taught. Los Angeles Magazine featured us as one of L.A.’s most romantic couples. We also hosted an early television cooking show on the Lifetime Network, The New Way Gourmet.

And then, as happens with trends, it all fell apart. By 1985, women entered the workforce in droves and lost interest in spending days at the stove for parties that would only last a few hours.


Challenged to Reinvent our Career

Paul and I were feeling desperate. We could think of no other way than cooking to make a living. Paul was quietly consulting the wanted ads. I was worriedly pacing the floor, stamping my foot, impatiently wanting to know NOW what could open new doors.

And I noticed something; “Spiritual Alchemy.” Out of desperation, I’d insistently asked aloud for our next step. (A few years earlier, when we’d been waiting too long to be offered our own TV show, I’d done the same thing. “Give us a show now!” I demanded aloud. Within hours, we were offered our own show on two different networks.)

Please take note: Erupting wildness needs to be honoured and amplified to its full force. Add fierceness to your prayers! No more polite pleadings.


A Whole New Tribe!

Paul and I shared more than a talent for cooking. We’d always found ourselves drawn toward human potential. We’d been introduced to Transcendental Meditation in 1970. We avidly read books to each other and attended lectures and personal-growth workshops with the leading teachers of the day.

When we heard about “Impact,” a motivational seminar for people in the entertainment industry, we committed to the cost and threw ourselves into it wholeheartedly. Our nine-month stint there was life-changing. Several hundred of us were coaxed into setting nearly impossible goals and then held accountable to achieve them. “Your considerations don’t count. All that counts is the action you take!” When we focused on action, magic multiplied.

Other participants — Jack Canfield, Dr. Barbara DeAngelis and others — who were just launching their careers also experienced amazing results.

Through our association with “Impact,” Paul and I were invited to travel to the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War to take part in a documentary on “Citizen Diplomacy.” We were to create dialogues and connect with Soviet citizens at a time when our governments were not speaking diplomatically.

I think back on terrifying situations: our rooms were bugged. Soviet police barged into our cabins on trains and tore through our luggage, confiscating anything that might be considered propaganda. Our motives were questioned. We hardly slept. We felt we were living on the edge of something entirely new.

At the same time, we gained new appreciation for gathering around the table, observing and listening to our fellow travellers, activists and leaders in human potential: Dennis Weaver, Barbara Marx Hubbard, author Alan Cohen, Mike Farrell from Mash, Swami Satchidananda, the real Patch Adams, and 70 more. We marvelled at how the group gained support for their cause. We felt more and more empowered and made what would become lifelong connections.



What if we gather people together without preparing food? We wondered how we might encourage and delight others on a grander scale by offering larger, more meaningful events than home dinner parties.

Power breakfasts and networking were just beginning in New York. Hopping early onto the next trend, Paul and I used our hosting abilities to produce phenomenal events. We launched The Inside Edge, a weekly power breakfast in three Southern California cities: Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego.

Our concept caught on and became legendary. Attracted to our weekly breakfasts at the Beverly Hills Hotel were folks who had not yet written books, including Jack Canfield, Louise Hay, Dr. Barbara DeAngelis, Mark Victor Hansen, and Dr. Susan Jeffers. Our first speaker was the futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard.

Paul and I also hosted imaginative parties for our members.

“Come as you will be in five years!”

The rule at the first party was that you had to stay in character throughout and tell us all what you had achieved. Dr. Susan Jeffers stepped out of a limousine holding three mock books, announcing that she had just returned from her third New York Times bestseller tour. Her first book, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, soon became a massive bestseller and was followed by two more. She achieved what she’d announced. And so did others. The Law of Attraction, of creating vivid feelings in advance of achieving what you wish to experience, was practised early at The Inside Edge.

Many of the world’s most successful authors and motivational speakers found support at our meetings.


“Come to the Edge!”

Early attendees still speak of how uplifting and magical it felt to step into that meeting room at 6:30 am. Recently, at the Inside Edge 35th Anniversary Gala, Jack Canfield acknowledged that without the Inside Edge, Chicken Soup for the Soul, the largest selling book series of all time (half a billion sold!), may never have come into being. I’m grateful to have been the first author in the series with Jack and Mark Victor Hansen on my bestsellers Chicken Soup for the Body and Soul and Chicken Soup for the Soul Cookbook.




Another Transition

But just after our 25th anniversary in 1989, Paul, near the end of his terminal cancer, surprised me. “I don’t want you to be alone.”
“Send me someone!” I blurted. “I will!” he said.

He did. Almost right away. Ted Wentworth just happened to walk right into my life and my heart at the Inside Edge, bringing with him thirty-one more years of marital bliss that ended recently.
My Teddy deserves more pages than I can offer here about his life and careers. (Please see www., a tribute page to his life and a free download of his book The Enlightenment Code).

Though I deeply miss Ted’s affection, his encouragement, his very playful companionship, I now savour solitude — and an entirely new sense of sovereignty to explore.

So here I am at eighty-one, widowed for the second time, not only expecting an Encore chapter, but being flooded with more opportunities than ever!
I realise that I am no longer the centre of my husband’s world. I miss him. And yet, I’m getting better at tapping into a wild exuberance that has been my new gift. That exuberance explodes with enthusiasm and possibility. My job is to tame it and run a comb through it, but first I must see it as the holy shining mess it is!

When I feel this exuberance, I know it’s my purest expression. I’m creating a joyful year by attracting a circle of women who also want to expand their horizons as we ask, “What’s next?” We’re full of anticipation.

I invite wisdom, grace and beauty to enter the world through me. Those who want to travel this path with me will call in their angels and guides to help us discover our next adventure.

In the words of poet Mary Oliver,

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Now that I’m alone, I don’t need to behave myself. I can loudly insist on magic! Order in a miracle! How it works, I don’t know. What I do know is my inner knowing loves to be called upon. And trusted!

Recently in a large online group, I blurted something and possibly embarrassed myself. Despite my embarrassment, I felt a certain giddiness, which I identified as “trapped exuberance” finding its voice. I got the idea to purchase the domain, and then a few weeks later, I was invited to write the foreword for the first edition of the Women Gone Wild book series. A global sisterhood arose from that bestseller. We connected deeply, and Rhonda Swan asked me to teach a writing course for my talented co-authors.

Most empowering of all is NuCalm, my discovery of the most magical tool ever! As a meditator for fifty years, this is a truly life- enhancing tool! Listening to it several times daily lets me choose my ideal mental state. No drugs, just scientifically proven control of brain waves. While listening to sublime music, I find myself floating in a blissful space of wonder. I ask these questions and invite guidance. Where can I spark the most joy today? What step is about to be revealed? How wildly wonderful can my life become? Answers show up. Insights arrive. Most importantly, I give thanks!

I’m launching my show “Encore!” which will encourage my peak-age audience to create the change they’ve been waiting for. The women I admire most are the ones who have reinvented themselves, who, when finding themselves blindsided by difficult circumstances, discovered ways to rise to the occasion and construct their new lives. Wild energy goes on and on!


Unlocking your Next Encore Chapter

Listen to your inner wisdom and be bold. What is the next big project calling to you?

How will you go big for it? Feel the excitement of a vibrant journey. Leap!

Make a personal affirmation to repeat about your resilience and bountiful resources.
Don’t be perfect, be persistent.

“Follow your heart and charge into your next act — it ’s never too late to live as your highest self! ”.

Contact Diana through her website at


  1. Amazing article by an amazing woman, who has been my Perfect Partner, (goal achieving buddy) for forty years. You astonish me, Diana, with your energy and style. You’ve always had enormous star quality, snd it continues into your “Encore Years.” Thank you for sharing your magic!

    1. Absolutely agree! Diana has indeed been an inspiration to many and to our fellow FemSistas. Grateful for the magic she shares with the world!

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