Self-Mastery As A Way Of Life

jeanette winterson quote | Dianna Bonny Photography

Four years into the uninvited (yet now, strangely welcome) life reinvention, I have grasped that there is really very little that we have any control over, other than ourselves. Strangely, very few of us take the time to master this idea as a way of living a better life.

When things first happened, I remember looking at myself in the mirror in utter confusion as to how I missed so many details in the midst of the life I had been living, and it sparked an incredible curiosity about my predicament. 

I resisted being defensive and reactive, instead choosing to inquire within and ask, “How did I get here,” over and over. It became a kind of mantra and revealed a history of well-patterned habits. Unflattering patterns that had circled much of my life, kept me doing the same things, and threatened to hold me hostage to the past if I continued in the same way.

If you have ever found yourself in a place wondering how you got there, then perhaps you struggle with this as well. I have many friends in this situation. It can show up in different relationships with the same kind of guy, or similar ups and downs with alcohol, money or battles with weight. We all seem to have an area, or two, that needs to be addressed with expansive curiosity so we can find our way to the forward momentum we seek.

While I have overdosed on self-help over these past few years, the journey through the forest of books has led me to the clear understanding that it is ultimately self-mastery that is going to get us from where we are now, to where we want to be.

You will never have a greater or lesser dominion than that over yourself…the height of a man’s success is gauged by his self-mastery; the depth of his failure by his self-abandonment. 

Leonardo da Vinci

By self-mastery I mean knowing, on a deep soul level, who you are and why you do what you do. By self-mastery, I mean an understanding of your inner workings, on a cellular level. It is a willingness to be accountable for your actions, past and present. It entails enormous self-forgiveness and compassion for your own humanity. It involves practice, day in and day out, because mastery is, at its essence, the development of a skill. The skill of being you.

Here are two elements of self-mastery that I have discovered so far:


If you sit with that word for a moment, notice how it feels in your body, especially if you place it over the area where you struggle. Take it a step further and ask yourself, “Am I willing to be accountable for my (insert challenge here.)” Does it make you feel nauseous? Joyous? Encouraged? These are indicators of where you are on the journey. If you are not in the space of willingness to be accountable for your situation, I would venture to say that you are going to have a hard time overcoming it.

We have all met or know the person who continues to blames someone or something for their circumstances. While there may be merit to their stance, at some point one has to be willing to discover where their part begins and ends. Only then can we make changes.


There are very few things that can happen without practice. Big things take practice: climbing a mountain, running a Triathlon, writing a well-written published book, becoming a prima Ballerina and playing in a symphony orchestra. Personal journeys also take practice: meditation, yoga, being kind to yourself and parenting your children into incredible human beings.

One generally does not wake up being really good at something without the investment of intentional, soulful practice.

Where can you cultivate self-mastery as a way of life and enhance your overall well-being? Perhaps it begins with knowing why you do what you do and exploring questions to ignite curiosity about your true self.

What issues keep you up at night? What are you always drawn to like a magnet? What ideas make your heart beat faster?

Imagine a world where every one of us had a true sense of our strengths and weaknesses, a world where we owned our beauty, and our darkness, as inherent parts of the gorgeous whole.

I look forward to hearing about your journey to self-mastery.

May you always be blessed and protected,


Who is Dianna Bonny?

Hi, my name is Dianna Bonny. It’s my mission to candidly share my journey with you. For me, it’s all about the healing: to create a radiant healing energy for others who have befallen a similar fate. Together, we can forge beautiful lives of belonging and connection. Thanks for joining me today! I look forward to hearing from you.


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