I am, as we all are, an amalgamation of my childhood, up through my present incarnation. I have come to realize I have been given many talents, not just the singular one I thought I had. From crashing through obstacles, by choice or by accident, whether invented or real, to accepting and appreciating my own gifts followed by fearlessly exploring them, translating to manifesting them into tangible practices, is quite a ride. It’s definitely not over.

Dinah and Cloris

I grew up in Los Angeles with my mom, Cloris Leachman ~ need I say more ~ my father George Englund, who was best friends with Marlon Brando for 50 years and four older brothers. I was the youngest and the only girl. I’ll let you fill in the rest about that. After my parents separated, we went with my mom to live in a magical canyon. Half the time I was playing with mud, dogs and running from my bothers and the other half I was hanging out on all kinds of movie and television sets, attending premiers and events and in between traveled the world with my mom.

Dinah & daughter Hallelujah

I was sixteen when I decided to run away to Paris and finish high school. My mom seemed to think it was enough of a swell idea that she let me go. Ah. The fabulous decades of absolutely no parental presence! Not her fault. I finished high school and for the next 20 years on and off, I lived in various, fabulous places around the world. Along the way, I learned to speak four languages fluently which, other than making me look super awesome at a foreign restaurant, or catching the eye of a Hot Italian, is of no use to me. I did however, learn the incredible art of cooking from the several years I lived in Sicily, Italy.

I finally came home and decided to, “get serious” with my life. So I did. At least I thought I did.

At 39, I had my daughter, Hallelujah and the whole universe exploded. That is when everything came into focus and I understood what the meaning of life is for me. Everything changed ~ my relationships, my career, my direction. All of a sudden, the entire, rich back story of my technicolor past came into view, the doors flew open and I walked out into the sun. Now, everyday, I throw open the doors to see what wondrous challenge awaits, which relationship needs tending to and how I can be of service to all the people that teach me to grow and grow up whether I like them today or not.




Dinah is also the co-founder of Topanga Candle Company.