When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999, I was a successful executive with a record of accomplishment in education, politics and corporate marketing. Like so many, I found that this life-threatening illness forever changed my view on what mattered in life. Through writing, reflection and discernment, I decided to leave the corporate world and work with other women facing significant life challenges and transitions.

That led to the founding in 2002 of Tending Your Inner Garden® with my friend Deb Engle. This program of spiritual and creative growth has helped hundreds of women find new meaning and life purpose. At that point, I returned to school to study spiritual direction, a form of deep listening intended to guide individuals in discovering the presence of the sacred in their lives.

The support I received from family and friends during my cancer treatment taught me the value of opening up about myself and revealing a life history with spina bifida I had previously kept secret. My memoir, This Need to Dance: A Life of Rhythm and Resilience, shares my journey with illness.




Diane Glass’s diverse career spans teaching, politics, corporate marketing, radio talk show hosting and, currently, spiritual direction, writing and teaching. She served as Vice President of Marketing for the Des Moines Register from 1983 to 2000. In 2003, she co-founded Tending Your Inner Garden®, a program that has helped hundreds of women find new life purpose and meaning. She now works on the staff of PrairieFire, a program of spiritual formation at the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center.

Diane has published essays in “The Iowan,” in the Des Moines Register and in four books of women’s writings themed to the seasons, books she co-edited as part of the Tending Your Inner Garden series of publications.