My story is an unlikely one. People with my background don’t usually end up in healthy, happy relationships.
I grew up in a family of competitive athletes. My father was a bodybuilder, my brothers played football and I was a long distance runner and amateur tennis player. Both my parents were entrepreneurs. It was also a family that had more than its fair share of demons. By the time I was a teenager, I suffered crippling PTSD and later developed a debilitating panic disorder.
I married a man I hoped would complete me (spoiler: didn’t work). I found some relief with hypnotherapy. I delved deep into meditation and mysticism. I studied philosophy, psychology and the spiritual classics.
One year into my marriage, it became clear that I had unwittingly recreated my dysfunctional family dynamic. I left with my toddler son and learned to give myself the things that no one else could. I discovered how to heal old wounds and create new patterns through embodied inquiry. The anxiety abated and although I experience pain like everyone else, I never suffered like that again.
I found my way through loneliness. I got really clear about the kind of soulful relationship I wanted. I tried a matchmaker, blind dates—the works. I met some good men who weren’t right for me. I stopped believing the person for me was out there. Then my future husband was introduced to me in a dream by name.
When I finally met David, I’d never known anyone like him. He’s a man with the heart of a lion, the mind of a philosopher and soul of a poet. He was beyond everything I wanted, and honestly it scared me at first. In David, I found a companion with whom I could share the depths of my soul. We’ve been happily married for more than 15 years. Together we’ve taught, hosted a radio show on relationships and developed our relationship divination deck.
While meeting David was an incredible gift, by the time I met him, I had already found what I longed for in my relationship with myself and my spirituality. My relationship with David was a bonus that reflected all the work I’d done on myself.
Along the way I got my Ph.D. in somatic depth psychology. The focus of my studies was the cultural aspects and intersection between individual awakening and relationships. My influences include James Hillman, Marion Woodman, Barnaby Barrett, Simone de Beauvoir, Mary Watkins, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, John Tarrant and Carl Jung.
My discovery of movement as a pathway to healing my own anxiety disorder led me to create my own body-oriented self-inquiry method. It’s a wonderful way to to release stuck energy and trauma without needing to engage in dialogue. After 18 years as a practitioner, I became certified to teach Open Floor Therapy Movement. This new modality developed by a small group of Gabrielle Roth’s proteges offers an evidence-based map for using movement as a way to deepen connection with self, others, community and spirit.
My work counseling clients over the past 30 years has confirmed what I experienced myself: great relationships begin within. Honoring our own bodies, longings and dreams will lead us not only to more compatible partners, but deeper fulfillment. I’ve witnessed a cultural shift in the quality of relationships that both men and women want. The old paradigm doesn’t work anymore and a new one is still forming.
I’m passionate about demystifying the wild territory that both women and men traverse to find and develop soulful relationships. It’s a privilege to help people get comfortable in their own skin, heal what seems impossible and come out the other side wiser and stronger. It’s a thrill to witness my clients develop the relationships with themselves, and others they’ve longed for.
Teaching, Writing, Giving Back
In addition to my private practice, I teach and write about relationships. My radio program Real Time Relationships is a live interview show that airs in 130 countries. Each episode explores a different aspect of modern relationships with a guest who is in the thick of it or has an inspiring story to share.
To pay it forward, I founded a 501c3 non-profit, the National Action Organization that is committed to changing the way our culture values women, which supports women who are working to move beyond dysfunctional or abusive relationships.
My life’s work is about helping people navigate the path to soulful relationships. I am humbled by the courage of my clients and excited by the new paradigm that is unfolding. It may not be easy, but boy is it worth it.