Diana J. Ensign, JD, was born in Panama City, Florida, where her father was stationed in the Air Force. During his military service, her family lived in England. When her father left to serve in Vietnam, Diana and her mother lived with her grandparents in Michigan. When he returned home from his service in Vietnam, her parents divorced. Her father then moved to Vietnam to live as a civilian. Diana was four years old when he left.
Diana grew up in a working class neighborhood in Michigan. Unable to afford college, she was fortunate to attend Henry Ford Community College tuition free. Working various odd jobs, she went on to get a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and a Juris Doctor (JD) degree from Wayne State University Law School in Detroit.
At some point, Diana’s father returned to the States. His death in 1999 from a head-on auto collision with another vehicle — after leaving the bar with a friend — became a catalyst for her healing journey.
Embarking on a spiritual quest, Diana explored Buddhist meditation, Al-Anon, Unitarian Universalism, Native American ceremonies, Goddess rituals, Science of Mind, Shamanism, Reiki, and religious readings across a diverse spectrum of beliefs and practices. These experiences led to her first book, Traveling Spirit: Daily Tools for Your Life’s Journey. A portion of the book proceeds support The Lambi Fund of Haiti.
Diana received an Arts in Indiana Grant for a project featuring veteran interviews and a Spirit and Place Festival program (a project of the Polis Center/IUPUI), “Voices of Hope: Veteran Stories of Faith & Healing” (broadcast by Public Access Indianapolis). She also received a Beacon Fund Grant through the Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis for a permanent, outdoor labyrinth-building project. She has participated as a speaker in the Spirit & Place Festival programs: “From Loss and Addiction to Wholeness” (Fairbanks Addiction Treatment Center), and “The Risk of Pursuing Your Passion” (First Mennonite Church). In November 2017, she joined a panel of speakers for a thought-provoking public presentation: “Words Matter! Writing for Healing, Action, and Change” (Indianapolis First Friends Quaker Meeting). Most recently, she partnered with Overdose Lifeline and SamsWatch for the program, “Navigating a New Identity After the Loss of a Loved One” (Indiana Interchurch Center).
Her book, Heart Guide: True Stories of Grief and Healing, shares intimate and poignant guidance for those who are grieving the death of a loved one. Heart Guide is an Independent Book Publisher Awards (IPPY Awards) Gold Medal Winner!
A second Indiana Arts Commission grant resulted in Diana’s year-long social justice project, culminating in the book, The Freedom to Be: Stories from Transgender Youth, Adults, and Their Families. The Freedom to Be is an Independent Book Publisher Awards (IPPY Awards) Gold Medal Winner! A portion of the book’s proceeds go to support Trinity Haven (LGBTQ housing for youth at risk of homelessness).
Her book, A Moment of Calm: Meditative and Reflective Readings for Inner Peace, was published in 2020. The 75 beautifully composed meditative essays offer an opportunity to delve deeper into our own lives—discovering the inner peace, healing, and joy available to us in ordinary moments.
Ensign is a 2023 winner of the WATER’s Rosemary Ganley Essay Contest. In addition, her poem, “When the Climb is Done,” was recently displayed at the Harrison Center gallery as part of the Religion, Spirituality, and Arts program. Currently, she is working on a forthcoming book which was awarded funding through the IAC’s Indiana On-Ramp Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator program.
A frequent speaker, Diana conducts workshops and leads worship services on healing, radical compassion, and mindfulness.
Diana also writes frequently for a variety of publications and is the author of the popular Spirituality for Daily Living blog.