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 Diana’s 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 Dearborn, 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 a 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.
Author Virginia R. Mollenkott, PhD, wrote, “Traveling Spirit is an honest, practical, and transformational blueprint for living a joyously spirited life.”
Diana received an Arts in Indiana Grant to create a project featuring veteran interviews and a subsequent Spirit and Place Festival program, “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).
Her most recent 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.
Counselor Ingrid Sato, M.S., LMFT, LCSW, and co-founder of Friends of Awakening Sangha, remarks of this book, “It is in sharing our grief that we develop the capacity to be open to our suffering and to the suffering of others and to the reality of death as a human experience that needs community support.”
A frequent speaker, Diana conducts workshops and leads worship services on healing, radical compassion, and mindfulness.
Diana also writes the Spirituality for Daily Living blog on this website.