6 years ago this week, I survived a plane crash.

(This is my story. I share it every year to remind myself and to remind you. Life is precious. You matter. And today is a gift.)

I learned three valuable lessons from that experience.

On March 26, 2011, I survived a plane crash. It was 11 seconds of falling, sliding, screeching of metal across asphalt and then landing nose down into the dirt in a Cessna 172. The plane was totaled. My ex-husband and I walked away, basically unharmed. (I did have a broken fingernail and bruises on my leg, along with some major post-traumatic stress).

Since then, my life has changed dramatically, and as I reflect back, it makes me intimately aware of the power of God in my life.

The past six years have been full of changes, adventures, and miracles:

  • I got a divorce in July 2011, unrelated to the plane crash
  • Started painting my Heart Art by Diane in 2012
  • Hit rock bottom and got sober in June 2013 (watch that VIDEO on our website, www.rockbottomisabeautifulplace.com)
  • Became an Amazon Best-Selling Author 4 times (August 2013, June 2014, January 2015 and September 2016)
  • Bought a house in the Dallas area.  Now preparing to move and sell that house related to the fact that I…..
  • Got ENGAGED to a wonderful man.  Planning our wedding for 2017!
  • Learned to live “one day at a time”, have fun and trust myself and God’s BIG plan for my life.  His timing is perfect!

But the big lessons that I learned from the plane crash are timeless . . . here they are! 

3 Life Lessons from a Plane Crash

Lesson #1: Life is short. I know we hear this all the time and it is so cliché, but it is the truth. None of us know when our days are done here on earth. I am so glad that I became so intimately aware of my mortality that day. I have so much more to do and NOT one minute to waste. I want to live fully and do all that God has called me to do.

Lesson #2: Love is FREE. This sounds like a throwback to the 60’s, but that is not my intent. Love is a gift we can give at any time to the people in our lives. We can give a compliment, a smile, a kind word of affirmation, or an apology. I do NOT ever want to NOT share what I am feeling for a person that I have feelings for. I do not want to be stingy or hold back. I do not want to “wait for the right moment” or follow the rules. I don’t want to pretend to not care or be aloof. I want to give LOVE away as much and as often as possible in the way that it shows up.

Lesson #3: Wind Happens. Life has a lot of wind gusts. I live in what they call Tornado Alley, so we have more than our fair share of wind. But what about the winds in your life that come in the form of an unexpected bill, the car not starting when you go out to leave for an important meeting, or the fight you just had with your loved one on the way to church? We all have “wind” and we will continue to have “wind,” so the question is, “How will you handle your wind?” Who is your guide or source to support you when the wind hits? My source is God. I know that He will be there for me no matter how much wind or how strong it is, and He will help me to fight it or remove it from me.

So today, I am so glad to be alive, and I celebrate the good days, the bad days, and all days in between. Every year has lessons to learn. In fact, every day. We all have a choice. Every day can be a blessing, or we can walk around complaining and finding fault with the world, our circumstances, or other people.  Or we can choose to take action, change our habits, let go of behaviors that don’t work for us anymore.

I choose to find the joy in each day and THRIVE no matter what the experience is. I look for the best in people and remain positive as much as I can. Don’t get me wrong, I have my days where I am cranky, moody, and things do not go as planned, just like you do. But I am glad to be alive and know that tomorrow is a fresh new day, full of adventures!

Praise God. I am grateful to be alive, to be sober, and to be living FULL in each moment. Thank you for today!

If you want to hear me share more about the plane crash, watch this YouTube clip (this is an old video, so I am younger). 🙂

I speak to groups on the topic of living fully and share this story.  I would love to share with your group!