Beloved for her role on the hit show Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Emmy-and Golden Globe–winning actress Jane Seymour is much like her character: open, creative, resilient and as dynamic as they come. But her free spirit was forged through a series of painful losses, physical injury and heartbreak. Here, how love, family and learning to let go has been the best medicine of all.
As the sun rises on a new day, Jane Seymour gazes out her bedroom window to the garden below. “I sit up every morning and say with awe, ‘Wow!’ and my heart just swells with gratitude, ” she shares with Woman’s World. For the English-born actress, waking up in her Malibu home, just a stone’s throw from the ocean, is one of the many beautiful gifts in her life. Not only is she a world-renowned actress, Jane is also an accomplished dancer, painter, author, mother, grandmother and the founder of the Open Hearts Foundation.
Yet, despite h her many blessings, Jane has seen her fair share of heartache. The obstacles began when she was just 16 years old, when she severely damaged the cartilage in both of her knees as she was training to join England’s Royal Ballet. “I was told I couldn’t be a dancer anymore, ” Jane recalls. “It was so devastating because that was all I ever wanted to do.”
But just as the feelings of fear and uncertainty began creeping in, Jane took a cue from her mother, Mieke. “My mother was so compassionate, ” Jane shares. “But she was also a firm believer in not obsessing over things you can’t change.”
With a renewed sense of resilience, Jane changed course and focused her efforts on acting, which resulted in an award-winning career in both film and television that has spanned almost 50 years! And through all the obstacles that came her way—from divorce to two near-death experiences—keeping an open heart and searching for the silver lining in every struggle has constantly propelled her forward.
Today, Jane is a successful jewelry designer and will be starring in season two of the hit Netflix comedy, The Kominsky Method…and she’s just getting started. What empowers the 68-year-old? “Two things, ” Jane says. “One is the love that you share with people and the other is the difference you make.” Here, her secrets to bliss.
Dance to Find Joy
“Sometimes, spending a little bit of ‘me time’ doing something you love is the best thing for you, ” Jane says. “For me, the thing I love is dancing! I was at an event a few months ago and Patti LaBelle was rocking out on stage, and I just couldn’t resist: I started dancing in the audience! Truth be told, anywhere I hear music, I dance—weddings, parties, and I dance with my grandchildren at home too. It’s more of a freestyle dance with them, but whenever we dance, it brings so much joy!”
Go with the Flow
“Life is like a wave, ” Jane says. “It continues to move whether you like it or not. To me, when a wave crashes on the shore, it lets go of water it doesn’t need and keeps moving, much like how I face the highs and lows of life. A high is seeing my children excel, seeing my daughter being a great mom. My low is watching her go through something I went through twice: divorce. But in both situations, I have a new experience, and that feeds my soul.”
Keep an Open Heart
“I wouldn’t choose to struggle in life, but I definitely think you learn from it, ” Jane admits. “My mother’s advice in painful moments was to find a way to stop, accept and open up your heart. Help someone else, find a way to comfort someone in need or try something different to take yourself out of that pity party. That practice alone helps you cope with your feelings in a safe way and brings comfort.”
Learn to Let Go
“For me, it seems like a waste of time to be focused on anything other than the moment, ” Jane says. “You don’t know what will happen in the next minute, and you can’t do anything about the minute before, so you have to learn to let those go. Even if you fail, you just have to learn to say ‘Okay, next!’ I’m very much an ‘okay, next’ person. Out of any challenge, I try to find an opportunity to do something differently, and that helps me grow!”
Enjoy Time with Those You Love
“My sisters always know how to put a smile on my face, ” Jane shares. “When we’re together—that’s when I have fun and get excited about life! My oldest friends from ballet school do that for me too. When we get together, they always keep me smiling. I think keeping a smile on your face helps with how you look and feel. I definitely look better when I’m positive and happy.”
Relax in Nature
“Nothing takes me out of the hustle and bustle of life like being outdoors, ” says Jane. “I have a large garden at home, full of fruits, vegetables and flowers for me to pick and prepare for people I love. Even walking on the beach helps me de-stress. Yesterday, my son Chris and I went for a walk along the beach and talked about life. That’s my meditation, and it really makes a difference for me.”
Don’t miss Jane’s latest and greatest projects!
With her upcoming role as Madelyn in the second season of the hit Netflix series, The Kominsky Method, Jane’s acting career is still flourishing—but that’s not all! She’s also expanding her signature Open Hearts jewelry line inspired by her mother’s loving advice, as well as collaborating with Michael Amini on a new home furnishing line, inspired by cozy French country styles. “I love the white, ivory look, ” Jane shares. “It brings a sense of serenity into the home that you can add to with a fun pop of color or texture at any time!”
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.