503 Diane Halfman:
What does it mean to be fully empowered? How would your life change if you had full power over your destiny – you were completely free to make your deepest desired wishes come true, without guilt, tradeoff or apology.
I’m Melinda Wittstock and today on Wings of Inspired Business we meet an inspiring entrepreneur who’s mantra is to live the SPA Life – spa as an acronym for “seek power always”.
Diane Halfman shares today how her survival instincts from her work as an undercover prostitute with the San Diego police department is helping her through the Coronavirus crisis … and also to empower other women to make good decisions and feel safer in the world.
Diane Halfman supports women leaders move from a life of emergency … to emergence. We’re all in emergency mode right now … whether still sheltering in place to stop the spread of Covid-19 or adapting our businesses to the new economic reality, so who better to have on Wings in this moment than Diane, who also hosts the Live You SPAlife Podcast.
Diane draws on her survival instincts from her work as an undercover prostitute for the San Diego police department to empower women in business make quick and smart decisions and feel safer in the world.
I can’t wait to share this interview with you – and of course, if you haven’t listened to Diane’s podcast “Live Your SPALife” check it out. Her podcast is one of a growing number now on my socially-interactive podcast network Podopolo – so please download the app now and engage with Diane there.
When you download Podopolo, you’ll discover some new favorite podcasts, interact with hosts and each other, and best of all … win prizes, freebies, special discounts and more … as you share content, put lessons into action in your life, and engage in mission-driven quests to improve the world. Plus the first 10 of you who follow Wings of Inspired Business on Podopolo and comment on this episode will win a $25 Amazon card – and one of you the opportunity for a VIP session with me. That’s Podopolo on the Apple and Google app stores. And if you’re a podcaster – join us! More at Podopolo.com
It was never Diane Halfman’s plan to walk the streets and become a prostitute, yet alone get involved with vicious gangs and narcotics, but her life choices put her in grave circumstances. Danger became a way of life for Diane forcing her to carry a gun in her hand every day for 10 years. You see, Diane was an undercover cop for the San Diego Police department. Her job was to infiltrate the gangs and prostitutes, bust the John’s, bring’em down and clean up the streets.
Diane understands fear and survival instincts—she lived them, and knows what it takes to find your grit, perseverance and power to push through any challenge. After retiring from the police department as a result of a training accident, Diane took her years of experience along with her Masters in Human Resources Management and Certification as a Life Coach to pioneer the creation of her own company called SPAlife. SPA is an acronym for Seek Power Always. Her podcast, “Live Your SPAlife” is a call to action for all women to define and create the life they truly want.
As the Empowerment Expert Diane consults and delivers workshops and seminars dedicated to helping overwhelmed women entrepreneurs move from a life of emergency to emergence. Diane possesses a unique set of skills and life experiences that allow her to coach, guide and demonstrate the very techniques she used to RESET her own life and those of countless others.
Let’s put on our Wings and fly with Diane Halfman
Melinda Wittstock: Diane, welcome to Wings.
Diane Halfman: Thanks, Melinda. It’s so great to be here and have this chat.
Melinda Wittstock: I know. I’m excited to talk to you about living a SpaLife. Of course, when we hear the word spa, my mind goes straight to, “Oh, wonderful massage, all the things that I got very used to doing all the time pre-coronavirus but of course, it’s not just about self-care. It’s about Seeking Power Always. What led you to that concept of Seeking Power Always?
Diane Halfman: It’s something that actually unfolded. One of my last case with the police department was a kidnapping murder case of a seven-year-old girl who I knew her and her mother. They lived a mile away from our home. My daughters were young at the time. It was a grueling year to… I really wasn’t involved in that many child cases in one where of course the tragic ending of her dying but one of the things that happened with that is that I also led a really the largest volunteer group to find her while she was missing. To see that even in tragedy, you can really shift and change what you’re doing.
Diane Halfman: One of the things that happened after a yearlong of the trial and the conviction and all the things that came out of that, there was, as you can imagine, some exhaustion and I’m sure as some of the listeners can relate to is that what times in your life where you’ve just felt completely exhausted and what do you do.
Diane Halfman: There was somebody in the community that donated for myself and the mother and one other of the women who were helping in this process to go to a place called Canyon Ranch, which was a Spa Resort that I had never been to before on this level where you’ve got to have… It felt like the deepest sleep we’ve ever had. We went on hikes. We had massages. We had great food and it was all these levels of taking care of ourselves, that at the end of the day, the people we connected with, we had such amazing conversations, some clarity about how we wanted to make changes in the world and to make shifts. The mother was even talking about making shifts in legislation to help children.
Diane Halfman: I remember coming back and talking to my mentor and he had said, “If you could do anything in the world, time and money not an issue, what would you do?” I said, “I would live the SpaLife.” I had never said that word before, but I immediately knew what it meant because I said it wasn’t just about the massage or just the environment. It was about all of it, that whole taking care of yourself on such a deep level that you have more clarity and you were more present.
Diane Halfman: It started evolving into what that spa really meant, that SPA was to Seek Power Always that no matter what chaos was happening outside of us, which is so interesting because at the time, that murder was chaos in our town, in our city and things were happening, and now the coronavirus is a crisis, chaos, things that are happening. If we look at, maybe it’s once a year, every five years, something, there’s some sort of chaos that maybe will throw us out of sync that is not working and no matter what’s happening outside of ourselves, you can always seek power always within yourself, because that’s where you can kind of take a deep breath. You can create the things in your environment, whether you’re home or now this extra time that we have, how can you create an environment for yourself so that you can come and show up as a stronger leader and not show up in a way where you’re letting the chaos really take you out. That SpaLife really is a power-packed word about taking care of yourself and getting access to the power that’s within you.
Melinda Wittstock: You said something really intriguing to me, though, that the power is actually within us. I look at coronavirus and I think what an amazing opportunity. I mean, assuming that you’re healthy, your loved ones are taken care of and all of that, it’s actually an opportunity even with the economic chaos swirling around us to just sit, meditate, be very, very clear or get clear on why you’re here right now in an Earth suit, what you’re meant to do, what you’re meant to do with your life, what your purpose is, and allow your voice to be heard, right?
Diane Halfman: Right.
Melinda Wittstock: I loved what you said about the power within and with all the chaos of the coronavirus from the economy and health and whatnot, assuming your loved ones are okay, you’re okay, what an amazing opportunity to look within right now.
Diane Halfman: Yes, absolutely. It’s actually, this is a great thing. We are actually meant for this, right? When things are going wrong, I mean, if things are going, everything’s great, nothing’s going on, what are you going to solve in the world? What is it that you’re going to shift and change is when chaos shows up.
Diane Halfman: I mean, this really does remind me a lot when I was working on the street where it was like so much things were happening, we were putting out fires all day long and we really in the flow of making shifts and changes. The same transition happened as I started my business. It was like, people were coming to me and they were saying, “Oh, my God, I feel not seen just like you were when you were undercover. I feel like I’m second guessing myself. I’m giving my power away. I’m not doing the things I’m meant to do.”
Diane Halfman: This is where we can shine as entrepreneurs and look at what do your clients need from you right now more than ever. This is a time where we can really step up as leaders and really show the light, be the calm in the storm. If people really had control over their health, as we do, I mean, all of us can take personal responsibility for our health. We know the basics that needs to happen in terms of getting the sleep that we need to reduce our stress, to do deep breathing, to eat whole foods. I mean, to take quality supplements. I mean, all of these things, we know to help us stay healthy and if we focus on the things we can do, we feel much more in control.
Diane Halfman: If you find yourself scrolling with all the negativity and the things that are feel like the sky is falling, that’s going to take you out of the game. You have to basically give yourself, yeah, give yourself those two minutes where you’re like, “Okay, I’m going to freak out right now because I don’t understand what’s happening and I’m stressed and anxious and my kids are home and those things are happening. Then, I mean, literally set your alarm to that and when it goes off, be like, “Okay, now what am I going to do differently? How can I pivot? How can I actually turn this around and be the positive leader to be the calm in the room that then ripples for other people to feel calm?”
Diane Halfman: Are you going to focus on I’m healthy, I’m going to do the things that make me healthy, and I’m going to share that information with the people around me, what can you do versus what you can’t do which is giving your power away?
Melinda Wittstock: Right. I mean, I look at this and the coronavirus is exposing a lot of systemic problems we have in our society. When I see problems, my entrepreneurial brain goes into overdrive of “Okay, which ones can I help solve? Who can I help to help solve those problems?” There are so many opportunities and so many great businesses. Get started and get built and scaled in times of adversity but like there’s a lot of people though, in panic right now. People who have to pivot because suddenly their whole revenue stream dried up, like people who run events or small business owners, I mean, all of that. That can be really scary, like when you’re forced into that scarcity, like sort of the scarcity mindset because you’re actually in scarcity, right?
Diane Halfman: Right. Yeah, I love it.
Melinda Wittstock: How are you going to make payroll? Like those very, very real things. That power within when you’re in that storm, how do you navigate that because I think that’s the thing that’s so hard for people, it’s a financial, like in some cases, I know so many entrepreneurs right now who have great businesses, but they’re in financial terror because the world shifted right underneath them.
Diane Halfman: Right? Right. The thing is, is that there is a, when there’s a shift that happens that quickly, that puts us into a spin, you want to be able to be like, “Okay, allow yourself to feel it and then, for those of you who are not familiar with a brain dump, I find that this is a great actual thing you can do, where whether you got a whiteboard or you’ve got some big postage or whatever you have to actually just throw down what’s the worst scenarios, from my business is going to dry up and nothing’s going to happen. Clients are going to connect with me. I have a brick and mortar. My clients can’t come to me. How am I going to get my supplies out? What am I going to do with my employees?
Diane Halfman: I mean, you can throw all of these things out there. Then, what’s the one thing that you can do with where you are right now? It may be a temporary solution or it may start sparking what is the next evolution of your business. I’m seeing some great things.
Diane Halfman: Now, if you’re focusing on social media where you’re seeing, start looking for the people that are making a positive spin, who are looking to see this as a global reset, of how can we do things differently. I even have my gym where they’re now doing virtual workouts with my trainers. I know where they’re going to be on either live or on Zoom. I’m connecting with people from my gym. They’re doing things in a completely different way. Even with meditation. There’s a lot of meditations. They’re doing group and global meditations where you can center yourself, you can get calm, you can come from a place of clarity. Now, your mind is more clear. You can now start thinking of things outside of the box.
Diane Halfman: Start maybe even connecting with, if you’re in a mastermind or maybe this is a time to get a mentor or to connect with an accountability partner and do some group brainstorming because sometimes we can’t actually see what’s happening in our own life or business because we’re in it. If you have somebody else put their eyes on it, they may see some things that can pivot or shift and change that you’ve probably been wanting to do anyway and this is just pushing you to move a little bit faster.
Melinda Wittstock: Exactly, like what I say to all the people who say to me things like, “Hey, Melinda, I really want to launch a podcast but I just don’t have time now or it’s just not the right time to, just…” it’s on this list. Okay, now’s the time, right?
Diane Halfman: Absolutely.
Melinda Wittstock: I mean, apart from anything else, everybody has a unique voice and a unique talent and a unique purpose and the world needs to hear you right now. The world needs your solution. Rather than hiding or getting immobilized because when we’re confronted with fear, we have a choice of how we’re going to move through it. It can immobilize us. It keeps playing small or we can have the courage to kind of just step through that.
Diane Halfman: Absolutely.
Melinda Wittstock: Connecting with other people, though, is so much of this as well and ironically, I see deeper connections going on in my life right now with all the social distancing.
Diane Halfman: Absolutely. There’s so many different ways to look at it. For those who are listening, think about when was the last big struggle that you had? Was it illness in your family? Was it a divorce? Was it you had to move? Did something happened with your kids? Even though as challenging of those times were, think about what is one good thing that came out of that. I know some people are going to be like, “Oh, nothing good happened out of that,” but there’s always something. There’s always that gift in the struggle where we learn something, we connected with somebody differently, we now provide something different that we’re now able to garner from our experience. There’s so many things that we can do. It’s not that complicated.
Diane Halfman: When we look to know and one thing I do know is that solutions are simple. If you just look at how can you now simplify your life and your business, you’re going to find that solution that’s perfect for you.
Melinda Wittstock: Absolutely right. I am so intrigued by what sparked the transition for you, from police work to being an entrepreneur.
Diane Halfman: Well, like everything. It’s like chaos and unknown and there’s always those pivots that are unexpected. In my police work, I worked a uniform patrol but I also worked undercover. I’ve talked about I worked undercover prostitution and gangs and narcotics and one of the assignments I did where we did undercover work, we used to ride mountain bikes because we could then roll up on suspects that were doing a stolen vehicle series. We call them 10851 and because as criminals and suspects, they could hear and know the sound of our car. As soon as the police car would come around the corner, they would scatter. We started using mountain bikes because then we could be in more stealth mode and roll up on them.
Diane Halfman: One day, I was on my mountain bike and I was going downhill and I was going really fast and I hit a pothole and I went flying over my handlebars and bam, I hit the ground and I rolled until I was flat on my back. I just remember I moved my right hand up and I saw that my fingers were bent back towards my elbow.
Melinda Wittstock: Ooh.
Diane Halfman: Yeah. I was rushed to emergency. I had a seven-hour surgery. I woke up and I had this huge contraption on my arm called an external fixator. I had six rods through my hand and it was my gun hand. This was my career that was happening. I did everything with my right hand. I had to actually even move in with my parents to relearn everything using my left hand and it took me six months to be able to start using my hand again and thank God for physical therapy and lots of things happening, I’ve got really great use of my right hand now.
Diane Halfman: In fact, I can even shoot. It’s just that if I was told that I couldn’t get in any more street fights, because if I shattered my hand again, I had a 33% chance of paralysis, which was a liability that was too high for the city.
Diane Halfman: I was forced to retire at that time in my career. As a single mom, making a mortgage payment and this is all I knew, this was being thrown out into what’s next and what can happen. This is where I had to start looking at where am I going to pivot and what am I going to do? I did actually go back to school. I got my masters. These are times when we pivot and this is just like people have this extra time right now. You can go back to school. You can start seeing what are your strengths. What do people come to you for?
Diane Halfman: I actually was helping people with their environments. In fact, I have an online academy called Clutter to Calm because one of the things I learned was that the more you simplify your space, the more you can get past the clutter and chaos and things that are happening in your life. I learned that from going into so many different homes and seeing that chaos was a direct reflection of what was happening in their space to how many times the police were being called to their home.
Diane Halfman: I made a lot of correlations of how I could then help people in civilian life to shift the chaos they were feeling, not to the extent police would have to be called, but the extent that they were being stalled in their life. I had authors that were like, I’m having block and I can’t write next. I need to shift things in my life. I’m second guessing myself. All the different intuitive skills that I learned on the street were things that I began to make a correlation with and that people were coming to me with how did you survive on the street? How did you think differently? How is it when things are going crazy and people are running for the hills that you are running into it? What’s the mindset you need for that? How is it that you can shift things?
Diane Halfman: I really started pivoting by looking at everything that’s in our experience, everything that we do is valuable it’s something else that needs to be taught to someone else.
Melinda Wittstock: It’s certainly true that both police and entrepreneurs run to problems not away from them, right?
Diane Halfman: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Melinda Wittstock: Because often whether it’s creating a business because we’ve identified a problem that we can uniquely solve likely because of a problem or a challenge like you had in your own life. I mean, your business was sparked by adversity. That was my dog.
Diane Halfman: The dog agrees.
Melinda Wittstock: Your business was sparked by adversity. I think one of the best ones are.
Diane Halfman: Absolutely. I mean, if you don’t have an adverse situation, people are going to look to you and go, “Well, how do you know? How did you get through this? You don’t understand what I’m going through?” “Oh, yes, I do.”
Melinda Wittstock: Well, I think of all the lessons that I’ve ever learned in my life, all the big growth spurts, whether personal growth or business growth, have always come in times of difficulty like either one, you’re stuck or in my case, as a serial entrepreneur, I’ve had businesses that have been in flow and I’ve had all those synchronicities because I’ve been in a true alignment and other times where it’s like for every couple of steps forward, you get kind of kicked in the head, right? It’s just not working but all the big growth spurts have happened from the challenges in my life to the point where I can look back and find gratitude.
Melinda Wittstock: Now, in the midst of coronavirus, I think, well, every day I’m doing a big gratitude practice, but that’s been consistent in my life for a long time, but I find that it’s really needed now.
Diane Halfman: Absolutely. I think someone had mentioned that the Dalai Lama that the more full and chaotic and crazy his day is, he actually tripled his meditation practice, that the more things that are happening, the more you need to have the things that actually ground you and allow you to have clarity so that you can then be more productive.
Diane Halfman: I mean, think about it. If we are spinning out all day, how productive are you actually going to be? This is the time to get more sleep, to actually meditate more, to connect. Give yourself more space. Then, you will actually get things done quicker and you will see things in a much different light that will actually elevate you.
Diane Halfman: I mean, how many times do we have like our best ideas when we’re in a bathtub or a shower we’re on the beach and a vacation? It’s because we’ve taken ourselves out of the everyday chaos that we actually now have the space to see things differently. We are now in a time and place where we have been given an extra amount of time, more quiet, more space, we get to choose what we get to do in that time.
Melinda Wittstock: So true. I have a great quote and I forget. It might have been the Dalai Lama said this, but I’m not sure. If you think you don’t have time to meditate, add a half an hour. You know, so.
Diane Halfman: Absolutely.
Melinda Wittstock: I think people go a little stir crazy when they’re stuck at home or they’re denied something. It’s kind of the denial of it makes you want it more, rather than being able to just be in acceptance. Acceptance is a very hard thing for a lot of people.
Diane Halfman: Absolutely. Here’s the thing too, I think that if people aren’t used to being at home, especially at home for long periods of time, even for entrepreneurs, a lot of them will go to coffee shops or they’ll meet with clients and you’re not spending 24/7 in your home.
Diane Halfman: I think one the best things that you can do is create your new normal and create some structure around that. I mean, there’s kind of the feeling where you can just roll out of bed and stay in your pajamas all day and watch however many episodes of Netflix and this day feels ad nauseam that’s going on, whereas if you actually create like some structure and some blocks where you’re like, “Okay, make some decisions. What time am I going to get up?” if you do things where you move your body first thing in the morning, you’re going to have a lot more energy to actually feel better about yourself.
Diane Halfman: Make sure that you’re either going for a walk on your block or a run or you’re doing some yoga in your house or you’re doing some sort of movement, because we know that when you move your body, you feel better. You start having these habits that you are actually creating into your day. Create structure in your day. Part of that structure is maybe having a two-hour block that is unstructured, right? It sounds counterintuitive but if you have like, “Hey, my morning is a meditative block. Then, I’m going to have like an exercise block. Then, I’m going to have a free creative space.” I’m just going to see whatever happens and just let it unfold.
Diane Halfman: Then, I’m maybe going to have a time where I’m going to connect with clients. Maybe I’m going to have a creative block or I’m going to figure out the new nuances of my new world to order in my own life. Then, I’m going to actually figure out when am I going to do some self-care? Am I going to get to bed at a time where I actually allow myself to be rested?
Diane Halfman: You get to choose that whole structure but when you actually have that and you create it for yourself, then it doesn’t feel like you’re out of control and that things are happening to you and I don’t know what the next thing that’s going to happen. You are creating how that day is going to flow.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s beautifully said. I realized because I do most of my work from home that my life hasn’t really changed all that much. I think the thing that’s really changed is not getting on airplanes and traveling every couple of weeks somewhere, right?
Diane Halfman: Exactly. Me too.
Melinda Wittstock: All the events and all the things and the events that I speak at or I attend or all of that, that’s like a big change for me but my routine at home is pretty much the same. I’m not going to hot yoga. I’m not going to Orangetheory Fitness, but like you, I’m doing a lot of those things virtually, connecting with people in awesome. I was at a two-hour dance party yoga meditation today with 2,500 people from all over the world. I mean, it was amazing.
Diane Halfman: That’s so fun. Yeah, I did the same thing. My owner of my gym, today it’s his 49th birthday, Todd Durkin and Fitness Quest 10 is our gym and he did a whole at home birthday celebration breakdancing party for his birthday that we all “attended virtually” where we got to work out and have fun and laugh and have that be something fun for the day. There’s so many different ways to do it.
Melinda Wittstock: Absolutely, right. Where is your business headed next, Diane? When you sit here and you have this little bit of extra kind of quiet time, meditative time, time to get close and connect within deeper than you do already, because you obviously this is a practice that you’ve had in your life for some time. When you think of what’s next for you, what’s the big vision?
Diane Halfman: The big vision for me is to really connect with people that are ready to step into their power. This is a word that sometimes people hear that word and they think of how power has been misused. I’m really inviting people to choose courage and to step into that power.
Diane Halfman: My next step is really working with people that are here to be positive disruptors. They’re going to see whatever’s happening here in the world right now, they see the positive pivot and I’m going to help them not second guess themselves, to stand in their own internal power and to really stay connected to that vision.
Diane Halfman: I’m going to be a support person that really helps shift things and I will be unveiling some things but I just want to market that I said here is things that are happening around health right now, we actually need to start learning more how to be our own doctor, to stand in our health and to have more power around that. I’m definitely going to be on the forefront of changing the global viewpoint of how people look at their health and how they don’t give their power away.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, my goodness, that’s so beautiful on the health thing. It’s so interesting. I was just marveling at the difference between holistic or integrated medicine, where the first question is, what are you eating? What are you actually putting in your body as opposed to western medicine, which is all symptom-oriented and not preventative, eating all kinds of terrible things? You look at who the corona viruses attack is on people with diabetes, people with underlying conditions, people that those things have been treated symptomatically but not in a preventative way or at the core of actually getting rid of the disease altogether. I think there’s some really big structural changes coming.
Diane Halfman: Absolutely.
Melinda Wittstock: I think the health space is a massive one. The other thing I have to mention, though, of course, is that your podcast, which is so amazing, I felt so honored to be a guest on your podcast, but it’s coming into the podcast network Podopolo. I’m so excited to have you as part of the mix.
Diane Halfman: Thank you. I’m really excited about this. That is actually one of the platforms I’m really excited for the future and the vision of having just connecting with so many more people because it’s not just this virtual connection that we’re having with people is such a great new platform and I’m so excited for those things to roll out because this is the forerunner of people who are now going to be choosing to listen to positivity, to things that actually make a change in their life in so many different ways that I think we’re going to start seeing in this global change, people are going to start being disillusioned to the media outlets that they’re listening to that is always talking about the sky that is falling.
Diane Halfman: I mean, what happened to focusing on some positivity and not from a Pollyanna because I’ve seen the behind the scenes on things. I know that a lot of the truth about things is not shared. We have an opportunity to step into our own truth and to start looking at who are the people that are actually healthy right now? Who are the people that aren’t afraid of what’s happening? Who are the people that are making shifts and know that things are going to be okay? Start following them?
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. I love that. One of the things that I’m so excited about being able to do for everybody, yourself included in this network is just the opportunity to connect directly with listeners and viewers and engage them that they can take content from podcasts and put the lessons into action in their own lives from meaningful change, whether they’re kind of improving their own lives or they’re getting together with other people to really improve humanity or improve our planet. It’s such a profound mission-driven business and company. Having you part of it is just going to be amazing. We’re all going to be growing our power within. Let me say that again. Yeah. We’re all going to be empowered always, right?
Diane Halfman: Absolutely. I mean, that’s the thing we have to remember is that power isn’t something that happens outside of us. You are your own power.
Melinda Wittstock: Well said. Diane, how can people find your podcast? They’re going to be able to find it on Podopolo. We’ll give all that information as well, but where else can they find you and how can they kind of connect with you and work with you?
Diane Halfman: Thanks, Melinda. Well, you definitely can go to my website to dianehalfman.com, that’s D-I-A-N-E-H-A-L-F-M-A-N, like halfman.com. You can follow me on any social media Instagram, Facebook, definitely reach out. Send us a message or something in the comments. If you guys haven’t subscribed to either my podcast, you can go under Live Your Spotlight or you can look under Seek Power Always. Start subscribing to these kinds of shows because this is how the word gets out. We build community.
Diane Halfman: If you feel like you have been giving your power away, you can also go to resetyourpowergift.com. That’s where I have five moves to stand into your power and it starts with what is it that you actually need to let go of and where are you giving your power away?
Melinda Wittstock: I love that. Diane, thank you so much for putting on your Wings and flying with us.
Diane Halfman: Thanks so much. Let’s take off together.