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What People Say

Words From Guests

"TRULY A PRICELESS, UNFORGETTABLE, LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE."

"Wow. Wow. Wow. There is no other word that expresses what a gift your visit was to the Historical Society, to Benicia, and to me. Still processing, thinking, smiling, and shining...all because of the two of you. Truly a priceless, unforgettable, life-changing experience. You are forever in my heart. Thank you."

— Victoria Cullen, Benicia Historical Society, Benicia, CA

"Listening to Diana and Michael speak is like watching the sunrise. It feels like a new beginning where anything is suddenly quite possible. It is a uniquely pure experience that leaves you breathing deeper, laughing harder, and feeling stronger in yourself."

— Amy Pipkin, Contra Costa County Librarian, Lafayette, CA

"The stillness, the simplicity, the mystery— the gentleness. How quickly we were drawn into their unique, pristine world. How do you come back from an experience like that?"

— Julie Heyman, Ojai, CA

"The story of the Innermost House is a story with which all of us from all walks of life are familiar. It is the story of the search for a home, not so much in its physical manifestation but the idea of "home." The search for belonging through a "home" is intrinsic to human nature. Joseph Campbell described it as the "Hero's Journey," and we all know it through popular movies such as Star Wars. However Diana actually lived it. She draws the listener in with her personal struggles and shares her search for what she describes as "place." In this age of cookie-cutter careers and disingenuous relationships, what she and her husband discovered was the idea of the Innermost Housenot only a house but a unique way of living that they now carry with them and share with all who will listen."

— Jake Schneider, The Brookings Institution , Washington DC

"I am so satisfied and grateful at how authentic and filled with love for the world both Diana and Michael are. So much of Diana's story, especially her not feeling at home in the world as a young adult, resonated with me. Innermost House seems mysteriously real, and I am so grateful it can now be shared."

— Paula Egan, San Francisco Bay, CA

"...When I heard her speak that first time, I was transported to my own confusing memories of childhood, when I too hid my authentic self. I think Diana speaks for the inner child that resides within us all, but has been forgotten and has no voice."

— Norma Brosnan, Lake Charles, LA

"I felt so absolutely at peace looking at your home...I didn't know the time of day or what the world was doing. I hope I may have the privilege to experience something like Innermost House one day!"

— Kitty Milburn, Williamsburg, VA

"Diana's presentation leaves me with thoughts of light, visually and spiritually."

— Nancy Sanders, Benicia, CA

"THE QUIET PASSION OF DIANA'S PRESENTATION WAS STARTLING."

"The quiet passion of Diana's presentation was startling. A remarkable experience."

— Jack Hubbart, Lexington, VA

"Your talk at the Thoreau Society inspired me to live my life in a different way. You and Michael model the art of conversation and loving connection that is being lost in modern life. Thank you both for being such an inspiration."

— Dian Paris, Barnstable, MA

"I was fascinated by her pure consciousness and the quality of the thinking and innate knowing of beauty and quality that went into their life, learning of books, paintings, etc. I experienced so much peace and stillness in the talk."

— Randee Vasilakos, Ojai, CA

"Mythologically, Innermost House is the 'Secret Garden.'"

— Kenneth Buske, Benicia, CA

"What impressed me most of all was the sense of the animals, the change in your sense of self, the fire-consiousness, the thought that a tall, small house can make you feel greater, the notion that humans were never the same after WW I and to only read books from before that time. I'm glad to know that others can have the same ideas on the depth and richness that comes from empty, simple surroundings."

— Ian Graham, Ojai, California

"Diana and Michael seem so different, but of such kindred spirit. How they exist in harmony is beautiful and pure and their harmony reflects itself in the house, and the light, and the experience. What she said about light made sense to me, they really didn't need any art on the walls...It was incredible."

— Katie Hogan, Williamsburg, VA

"What a profound simplicity she found, allowing time and space to learn and study whatever one would want to."

— John Cave, Simi Valley, CA

"The yearning for emptiness is something I have been seeking as well... Diana has shown me that it can be donea life of simplicity that is beautiful. And that the thing that matters most is a rich inner life."

— Carmina Cadiz, Garden Grove, CA

"How interesting that Emerson played an important role in her life, as he did with Henry Thoreau who, of course, lived very similarly...I enjoyed the way quiet allows things we would not normally see and hear to surface— particularly with the animals around us."

— Donnell Rubay, Author of "Stickeen: John Muir and the Brave Little Dog," Benicia, CA

"Diana, there are not enough genuine love stories to go around. Guests come back to hear you again and againto hear the real you, your heart, your being, your life, your lovebecause it gives hope, it inspires. There are those of us who can't get enough of the depth, soul, love that you are capable of sharing by opening your heart to others with your words and pictures."

— Sandra Call-Sultan, President, Napa Women's Club, Napa, CA

"THEIR JOURNEY WAS PURE MAGIC."

"Diana's quiet presence, her glowing story and the integrity of her quest for her truth are inspiring. I also really enjoyed Michael's perspective on the journey, and his humor. What an inspiring house, and what a magical story. We are all on a journey towards the Innermost House. How wonderful to have heard someone who has blazed a trail. Their journey was pure magic."

— Dana Sadan, San Rafael, CA

"I loved Diana and Michael's quiet and calm, their joy and delight. I was struck by Michael's deep love of Diana and generosity in showing his love for her."

— Sarah Beserra, Vellejo, CA

"I was so drawn in by the sense of a quiet, yet intense joy emanating from her (and Michael!) as she was showing the images and sharing the stories and history of the Innermost House. Diana's voice and physical demeanor reflect the peace, architecture, and exquisite simplicity of the environment they created."

— Anca Colbert, Ventura, CA

"Diana encourages me to step back and look at my place in this world."

— Jerry Hayes, President, Benicia Historical Society, Benicia, CA

"Diana and Michael exude awareness - an unexpected conscious intent in every moment, every word, every choice they make. They have intent that is so simple that it is capable of serving as an adequate container for all of what we call life and experience. I am deeply moved."

— Rae Amey, Ojai, CA

"BEAUTIFUL, JUST BEAUTIFUL..."

Watching and listening to your presentation filled me with so many thoughts and impressionsthe intentionality of your life, living without modern distractions, reduced chores resulting in reduced stress, an appreciation and awareness of natural life, conversations with each other, the magic of fire. Most of all that there is nothing wrong with you in that house. Beautiful, just beautifulthanks so much for your poetic presentation.

— Andrea Sender, Ojai, CA

"She is a natural storytellershe even looks like a storyteller. I was enthralled... Her poise and grace sharing her personal story was mesmerizing."

— Cheryl Floyd, Publisher and Storyteller, Daytona, FL

"Her personality, her style, her uniqueness is very beautiful. There's nothing missing in my eyes! Through her presentation, the house and experience they had in it came alive. It brought up my own desire for emptiness, or rather the connectedness that emerges when you feel it. It brought up my desire to accept myself as I really am in all ways.

— Jessie Lamando, Ojai, CA

"Thank you Diana and Husband!! I loved Diana's composure, beauty and clarity."

— Genoveve Gills, Benicia, CA

"The simplicty of their life in the Innermost House is very inspirational. I loved hearing about Diana's experience in her early years and how she met Michael. What a beautiful story, and what a beautiful life they have lived together. I am happy they found each other, they are true soul mates. What a great gift and expression they are of each other.”

— Linda Zimmerling, Woodland Hills, CA

"This is authentic beauty. I loved the comment that nothing was wrong with Diana in the Innermost House. And I was touched by the bond between Diana and Michael. Nature in its perfection."

— Dianne McCourtney, Ojai, CA

"HER TALK TAKES ME INTO A NEW REALITY..."

"What most affected me was how deeply, in her heart and being, she felt her life, and life all around her, as a shared life, part of a larger existence. It seems she has followed spirit always, which takes courage...Her talk takes me into a new reality, and I reflect and see the ways in my own life where I am actually hiding from being alive, present, real."

— Elizabeth Daystar, Lexington, VA

"You are relevant and eloquent. I was profoundly moved— even to tearsby your words, your demeanor, your candor. You have a great gift, and I thank you for sharing."

— Carolynn Robason, Human Resources, Clayton, CA

"I was so drawn to Diana's beautiful demeaner."

Kevin Cullen, Benicia, CA

"I love the beauty of her simplicity— the experience that life itself is art. It is tactile. One has to slow way down and listen, touch and absorb one's surroundings. Also one has to learn what the world around us has to teach us."

Kimberly Perette, Architect, Benicia, CA

"...I GOT BACK IN MY BODY, I CAME HOME."

"The peace that I felt deep within as Diana spoke felt wonderful— I got back in my body, I came home. It was spiritual yet provocative too. I still haven't been able to put words to it. I'm just so glad I was invited."

— Liz Venema, Vista Construction Company, Pleasanton, CA

"I really liked when she said, 'I was born with something missing.' Yet her ability to live in the present is the greatest gift that anyone could receive. And she did not have to learn it, she was born with the ability. You could call that a miracle!"

— Asta Venclovaite, Realtor, San Mateo, CA

"Diana's positivity, even in the light of loss, her openness. It all brought up thoughts about being in touch with people. About sharing with each other. About what is really important." It all brought up thoughts about being in touch with people. About sharing with each other. About what is really important to be in touch with what is within."

— Yvette Mays, Roanoke, VA

"Diana's passion and the open, excited way she told her story was the most amazing experience I can ever remember. We were all transformed into a magical experience of an innermost life with Diana. I feel there is a way for us to be in their world."

— Sue DiGirolamo, Realtor, Santa Cruz, CA

"HER TALK GIVES ME HOPE MY HEART WILL HEAL..."

"My heart has recently been broken by the sudden death of my husband. Diana spoke of continuing the journey after her heart had healed. Her talk gives me hope my heart will heal and my journey will continue."

— S. Tara Miller. Lexington, VA

"Diana's beautiful story makes me wonder what sacrifices I would have to make to live my own truth?"

— Chrissy P., Benicia, CA

"I admired her very calm demeanor... She made me realize how much we go about living with each other but not communicating with depth."

— Laurie Ames, Executive Vice President, Payroll Masters, Napa, CA

"I admire her self-acceptance and honesty. Diana's gentle understanding of herself, her strengths and her weaknesses, inspires me to lovingly embrace myself as well. She has learned her shortcomings and embraced them anyway. This is a true inspiration. Diana is my hero."

— Christine Sampson, Insurance Broker, Pleasant Hill, CA

"I think we all long for quietness in our lives what Diana found at Innermost House. I can remember it as a child, but it all too soon fades away."

— Barbara Romano, Benicia, CA

"I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR BEING OPEN TO HAVING SUCH AN UNBELIEVABLE EXPERIENCE."

"Diana's peace and love radiated from her. I am so grateful for being open to having such an unbelievable experience."

— Diana Soon, Sales Manager, Walnut Creek, CA

"Her simple beauty and obvious happiness are what drew me into the simplicity of her life."

— Hilda Miller, Carmel, CA

"I loved her truth and ability to share her innermost life with strangers. I have often thought I didn't quite fit in this world and used to have a hard time sharing my thoughts even with family. I am doing better now, but I would still like to know how to be more courageous to speak more about the truth in my heart."

— Susan Meister, Lexington, VA

"I really liked her Smile, her Simplicity, her Humility— the whole story. And I would love to know more about how losing herself among others has totally changed her life."

— Tonaya Hubbart, Lexington, VA

"I admire Diana's acceptance, her grace, and her beautiful lack of fear."

— Carolynn Robason, Human Resources, Clayton, CA

"The presentation was lovely and it was Diana's sense of comfort within herself that I found most engaging of all. Her story brings up thoughts of how I too have never felt at home in the world— have never found my place, have never felt completely at ease. I love knowing that in finding herself amidst nature she found a way to be amongst people. It isn't running away, but rather to yourself.

— Vickie Fitzsimmons, Lexinton, VA

"THE STORY OF YOUR REMARKABLE LIFE BROUGHT ME TO TEARS."

"To live such a graceful, private, deep life— two people, so complete— it's almost unbelievable! The story of your remarkable life brought me to tears.”

— Niki Henry, Owner, Valona Market Cafe, Crockett, CA

"I'm not sure I have ever been to an event where everyone had the same experience, but every single guest absolutely loved Diana's talk and was fascinated by it. I was mesmerized."

— Sharon Beck, Mac-Senior, Concord, CA

"I too definitely feel I don't fit in. So I was moved by Diana's ability to see herself, others, and her world from different perspectives. And how that energy becomes part of the environment that others can access, even without words."

— Karen L. Knick, Lexington, VA

"I could probably ask her a million questions...."

— Asta Venclovaite, Realtor, San Mateo, CA

"She has an aura that draws you in, and you just want to look at nothing but her."

— Julie Lyster, Banker, Concord, CA

"My favorite part was where she started speaking— until she left!"

— Dorothy Jantzen, Send Out Cards, Pleasanton, CA

"Delightful! A very magical experience— I was especially drawn to Diana's calm demeanor and authentic, joyful smile."

— Norma Brosnan, Lake Charles, LA

"I was most impressed by her sincerity. Thank you for inspiring others to find their innermost place."

— Eric Reid, The Plains, VA

"My experience of her presentation was one of pure delight. The passion she expressed was captivating. I felt as if I was the only one at the gathering, and only once in awhile realized there were other women in the audience! Thank you Diana for allowing me into your innermost life."

— Maggie Schreiber, WOW Gatherings and Berkeley City Club, CA

"I AM SO GRATEFUL I LIVED TO HEAR HER STORY!"

"I am so grateful I lived to hear her story! I have struggled with memory all my life and people always thought I wasn't trying. I am inspired by her graceful acceptance of who she is."

— Jane Biswanger, Cazenovia, NY

"Diana's conversation about how she didn't understand the world...touched me deeply. I too have found it hard to understand how it all works. Thank you for finding the courage to share your truth. I found it inspiring and delightful."

— Cynthia Ann Downes, Benecia, CA

"I was fascinated. This inspired a deeper, more insightful thought process that is difficult to put into words."

— Marion Crew, Unity Church, Walnut Creek, CA

"Diana taught me that life does not need to be complicated no matter what your circumstances or your disabilities."

— Christine Jameson, Napa, CA

My husband and I are now thinking about how we want to shape the rest of our lives. Diana and Michael's life style is more and more appealing to me every day, and I hear other women say that, too.”

— Sharon Beck, Event Planner, Concord, CA

"Diana inspired me to want to contribute and share more spiritually. I want to live a simple life and be able to inspire and lead people to simple happiness."

— Dorothy Jantzen, Send Out Cards, Pleasanton, CA

"THE DEPTH OF CONNECTION IS JUST UNBELIEVABLE..."

"It is remarkable how your talks often leave people speechless. The depth of connection is just unbelievable, and some of the other women expressed that too."

— Maggie Schreiber, WOW Gatherings and Berkeley City Club, CA

"Your lifestyle, Diana, puts things in perspective for me. We get so bogged down with the anxieties of the world. But when it comes right down to it— you and Michael in that little house, loving and supporting one another and just being, and caring to all that God puts in your path— it just simplifies life, and it makes me look at simplifying my life. So I love your talks for that reason. Because they help me to clean house of all the unnecessaries, and get down to what’s real.”

— Susie Pope, Owner, Cedar Gables Inn; Founder, Bake! Napa Valley, Napa, CA

"Quietude, simplicity, and living from one's need come closest to what touched me...The story of your journey reminded me of the importance of being True."

— Holly Beck, Walnut Creek, CA

"She glorifies the simple life, and rejoices in it. It makes me yearn for that inner life."

— Josephine Szeto, Jo Szeto Realty, Freemont, CA

"I was so attracted by her beautiful, genuine simplicity."

— Barbara Franks, Unity Church, Union City, CA

"Her smile, quiet presence, and the pictures of her simple, beautiful home really drew me in. I have time to choose a more quiet life, and I appreciate hearing about Diana's choices."

— Susan Miller, Unity Church, Walnut Creek, CA

"Thank you! I am considering the purchase of a home and maybe, just maybe, it doesn't need to be so big!"

— Alexandra True, Minister, Pleasant Hill, CA

"I was very drawn in by the account of her life. Living in a materialistic world of things, it's hard for me to imagine paring life down to the bare minimum, but on her it looks good."

— Betty Dashner, Retired Event Planner, Concord, CA

"I appreciated the peaceful, artistic presentation and the pure simplicity of her innermost life."

— Veronica Maida, Hygienist, Martinez, CA

"Her simplicity makes the fundamental things more meaningful."

— Ellen Maupin, Retired Teacher, Carmel, CA

"I appreciated her sweet demeanor and the simplicity of her lifestyle, including the pictures. I am intrigued by her life story and her husband's work."

— Sherry Petitt, Retired Teacher, Monterey, CA

"You bring a real yearning for a simpler life..."

— Sandy Stober, Librarian and Yoga Instructor, Concord, CA

"It would be lovely to live so simply."

— Laura Hasseloff, Concord, CA

"THE DEPTH OF HER LOVE...WAS DEEPLY MOVING"

"The depth of her love for her husband and life in general was deeply moving. It touched my heart."

— Marion Crew, Unity Church, Walnut Creek, CA

"I was drawn in by the way she and her husband really need each other to complete each other."

— Laurie Walter, Realtor, Sebastopol, CA

"What was his life like before she asked the first question?"

— Hope Ford, Unity Church, Walnut Creek, CA

"Where would you be had you not found Michael? Could life make sense?"

— Hilda Miller, Carmel, CA

"Very beautiful and soothing in your gentle way. It is no wonder that a 'Wise Man' fell in love with you."

— Julie Lyster, Banker, Concord, CA

"THE ALLOWANCE OF THE FEMININE WAS AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL..."

"The moment that she entered she drew me in. She simply has such grace about her, I wanted to know what she had to say. As I listened to Diana’s story, I realized that I was sensing a balance of two whole beings operating and supporting each other in one whole relationship. The allowance of the feminine was amazingly beautiful. The feminine energy that she holds is sweet and honorable...one might even say angelic."

— Cynthia Ann Downes, Benecia, CA

"If you don't tell your story, who will know? If your destiny has brought you the gift of your life with Michael, do you have to share? Michael is beyond charming, but holiness is a gift and a burden, and I honor him for that."

— Pat Pakin, Santa Fe, NM

"I admire the beauty of Diana's husband's love to create an environment of simplicity for her."

— Alexandra True, Minister, Pleasant Hill, CA

"You both have a gift, and you were brought together to live this amazing love story. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for sharing it with us!"

— Maggie Schreiber, WOW Gatherings and Berkeley City Club, CA

"I would like to know if she calls what she has with her husband 'love,' or do words lose their meaning and gain new, inner value in their lives?"

— Asta Venclovaite, Realtor, San Mateo, CA

"I see how your husband fell in love with you, because I love you, too. You are so special. I would like to know more about everything."

— Margie Bridgeman, Unity Church, Union City, CA

"...OPENS THE SOUL TO MEANING AND THE HEART

TO FEELING LIFE ON A DEEPER LEVEL."

"I am still a little stunned by the whole experience... Her comments were disturbing, and I love that. Opens the soul to meaning and the heart to feeling life on a deeper level."

— Marion Crew, Unity Church, Walnut Creek, CA

"I would love to be able to reach as deep into myself as you have."

— Betty Dashner, Retired Event Planner, Concord, CA

"You have magic. I felt strongly that you may have the power to heal, not physically but something much, much deeper. I don't know if you know this about yourself."

— Pat Pakin, Santa Fe, NM

Diana's life makes me see the need for meaning above all."

— Susan Miller, Unity Church, Walnut Creek, CA

"The way that she has translated negative events into new opportunities makes me realize that even unusual persons have the potential to create a happy life for themselves. It is intriguing how she has created her emotional health from a life of less."

— Chris Towns, Napa, CA

“While you were speaking I was thinking about how your presentations could reach children with disabilities. Or even all teachers and staff who come into contact with students with disabilities... I believe many long to get back to a place of sitting, sharing, talking, and listening without judgment."

— Cynthia Frederick, Teacher for Students with Disabilities, Napa, CA

"I was drawn by her recognition of limitations within herself and how she has addressed those limitations. Diana's acceptance is heartwarming."

— Barbara Shula, Realtor and Rosarian, Forestville, CA

"IT GAVE ME A SPACIOUS SENSE OF INFINITY, OF SOMETHING

FAR GREATER THAN AND BEYOND OUR WORLD."

"I was fascinated to hear Diana's story of 'returning the ashes to their rightful home.' That really resonated with me in terms of wholeness, the life cycle of things. It gave me a spacious sense of Infinity, of something far greater than and beyond our world. It gave me a feeling of Peace."

— Marion Crew, Unity Church, Walnut Creek, CA

"With a career and two young children, my life can be so hectic, seems like there is never enough time. Diana reminds me that peace is possible in my life too...Diana makes sense."

— Christine Sampson, Insurance Broker, Pleasant Hill, CA

"How radiant she looks when she speaks!"

— Susan Medeiros, Realtor, Santa Rosa, CA

"The vivid description and photos of Innermost House were very moving. I could really feel the peace that it creates."

— Julie Lyster, Banker, Concord, CA

"I love the genuineness and spiritualness of her...simple ways are a gift of peace."

— Nancy Decelles, Yountville, CA

"We were all able to go there with Diana into her Innermost House and stay with her there in their magic lives as long as she spoke."

— Sue DiGirolamo, Realtor, Walnut Creek, CA

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