About me

 

My Story

 

I have been married for 23 years; together for 26… it recently occurred to me that I have been with my husband for more of my life than I have not. We have three incredible kids, now 21, 19 and 16. 

There have been many remarkable moments of adventure, thrill and pure joyful aliveness as well as many soul-crushing moments of crippling self-doubt, despair and loneliness.

 

The blocks I had to the very closeness, vulnerability and intimacy that I longed for were completely invisible to me.

 

We always had a great partnership, especially when it came to the kids. We were genius at logistics… with three kids, all super active in athletics and extracurricular activities, we would divide and conquer. It became our connection point. Chronically busy; conversations were practical and logistical. We were a fantastic team. Both exhausted by the end of the day, we would do our own thing.

While it probably appeared from Facebook and Instagram snapshots of travels, high points, and celebrations that we were deliriously happy … beneath the surface, I longed for something more. 

 Through the time with the kids, endless self-development courses, and close friends, I started to fulfill that longing for closeness and intimacy. I shared my deepest fears, hopes and dreams that I didn’t actually share with Rob. Something had me withhold that vulnerability in my marriage.

 I had an armoury of building resentments. I wouldn’t share my deepest feelings… if he said something passive-aggressive, or a “joke”, rather than communicating with vulnerability, I would snap back with something equally cutting, or bury it along with a whole lot of toxicity. I had built up a lot of layers over the years.

I wouldn’t clearly communicate what I wanted from him, rather blame and feel resentful that he wasn’t doing it (choosing to marinate the toxic refrain of martyred discontent… “He ‘should’ just know” usually followed by “after all the things I do for him… “). Of course, I know now that he doesn’t just know, because mental telepathy was never on his resume, and I never told him.

 

Even when I would reflect on what a great man, husband and father he is, somehow as soon as I would walk into the same room, I would find myself picking at little things… being critical. I could watch myself, and even though I didn’t like who I was being… I couldn’t stop myself, like a slow motion train wreck… observing myself continually pointing out the negative, criticizing and finding faults, the crumbs on the counter, the soggy dish rag in the bottom of the sink, the way he chewed. His little annoying habits and idiosyncrasies would seem insurmountable, and leave both of us feeling disconnected and miserable.

 Of course this dynamic affected our sex life. While it wasn’t terrible – it was generally quick and formulaic… fastest track to orgasm and done. Check.

I just didn’t feel open. 

I felt numb, caught in my head, more like performing sex. I wanted to feel desire and be desired. I wanted to want sex; I wanted to want my husband. I just didn’t feel it, and the more I tried to suppress it, ignore it, override it, the stronger hold it had on me.

 

I longed for deeper intimacy but it was way easier to blame him for not being able to hold intimate space, than it was to look at my own need for control and unwillingness to genuinely share my own vulnerability with him. 

It has been a long slow process of taking responsibility for how I blocked the love I wanted through my need to control, my relentless self-criticism and lack of self-acceptance. 

Thousands of hours (and dollars) in coaches, certifications, courses, workshops, trainings, meditation and books have revealed the layers of social conditioning and healing the trauma, shame and sexual abuse. I have been able to integrate unconscious denied aspects of self and open up to fully love and accept, allow, and genuinely receive love from myself and my husband. I know this road well, and I’m so ready to guide others back to unshakable love, desire and erotic intimacy.

 

The process of examining and healing the relationships from the past, my relational blueprints, has shifted my pattern of relating. When the dynamic shifts, everything shifts, rippling into every relationship.

 

It’s not as though my husband Rob was innocent in all of this… we are all bringing our baggage, history and conditioning… but when I communicate my thoughts and feelings with authenticity and vulnerability, it’s immediately disarming. 

When we let go of being right, defending ourselves, there is no need for armour and it all starts to fall away. I have never had deeper more meaningful conversations where we could both share our truth in the light of genuine compassion and understanding. We feel more connected, respected, honoured, fulfilled, and curious about each other again (which has ignited passion and renewed desire for erotic sexual exploration at a whole new level).

Most importantly, being in relationship is a practice… just like a yoga or meditation practice… it’s not something you can just check off the list and be done. It takes time and consistency, something that you have the opportunity to choose in every single moment.

It’s the single best investment you can possibly make.

What led me to this work?

My fondest memories of growing up were running wild and free… living on the edge of the city, I would explore ravines, parks, dead-end streets and anywhere undeveloped. Lost in nature for endless hours, coming home when the street lights went on, I was so connected to nature, my body, my innate inner wisdom. Life was timeless – I felt free.

 

As I got older I learned to override my intuition and count on my mind. Struggling to belong, I became a chronic performer, chameleoning myself to fit in with whomever I was with. Timeless freedom dissolved into a relentless, grinding marathon of control, perfection, more and better…  do better, get better, be better… never enough.

 

Finished high school at 17, I bolted to University 3000 kilometers from home to study Psychology. Straight into the corporate world, I worked in the oil industry, landing a job in logistics and expediting in the new frontier of newly dissolved USSR, Russia.

 

I met my husband-to-be one weekend in the tiny mountain town of Banff and longed to create a job that would have me living there. Leaving the corporate cocoon to venture into entrepreneurship, I started a local Arts and Entertainment newspaper.

 

It was a steep learning curve in journalism, editing, graphic design and sales. Two and a half years later I sold the paper and took on the job of “super mom”, eventually having three kids’ schedules to juggle, a home-based graphic design business, and just about every single Playschool, Kindergarten, Elementary School, High School Parent Board, Council and Fundraiser you can imagine.

 

In the blur of getting kids between skating, dance, hockey practice and swimming lessons, I gave up graphic design for painting and worked as a professional artist before connecting with my passion of life coaching.

 

I had a wonderful artist friend that had started life coaching and was looking for clients. Having no idea what I was getting into, it became strikingly clear that it was exactly what I needed. It was at the time when we were considering moving from our home in Banff, where we had strong family connections and deep roots in the community.

 

Having a life coach continue to reflect my deepest truth even in the face of a very vocal opposition was transformative. It didn’t take long after the move for me to think, damn… THAT’s what I want to do.

 

I started a loooong line of courses, certifications and working with clients. While the work was tremendously fulfilling, there was nagging feeling of something buried even deeper that I wasn’t able to access. I delved deeply into emotional fluency, ego mastery, yoga teacher trainings and a sex, love and relationship certification, literally thousands of hours of courses, workshops, readings, client hours, practices and meditation to come up against the truth that our greatest learning is relational.

 

Ultimately there is only so much we can do on our own, as individuals. Our deepest truths are reflected through our relationships with others, with nature, the divine and most importantly, our bodies and ourselves.

There is so much richness embedded in our long-term relationships. Ultimately the learning that we can access through looking deeply at who we are in our relationships give us the keys back to our innate freedom, ease and timeless passion.  

 

Our partner holds these keys for us, and we hold them for our partner.

 

I would be honoured to support you in unlocking the treasures that reside in your relationship. <3

What I know for sure

 

While I don’t know about the proverbial “soul-mates”, I know for sure if that if you have invested a number of years into a relationship, you have a soul connection. Whether your relationship lasts forever or not, the fact that you have been drawn into each other’s lives means there are some primal roots to the attraction. There is a deep well of learning available to you should you wish to pursue it… with this person or the next one.

What attracts us to our partner has primal and unconscious layers. There is a combination of both the best and worst traits of your primary caregivers in your partner, as well as lost aspects of yourself. We are drawn to these people to ultimately reveal and heal our unmet needs and wounded aspects of self.

Yikes… seriously – that seems really deep? I just thought he was cute and funny, and I loved the way he looked at me. 

Yes, seriously. The things that drive us crazy about our partner are the very things we won’t accept in ourselves. The relationship will constantly reflect your greatest opportunity for growth and learning. Our relationship triggers our deepest aspects of self.

When we are willing to grow together in this way, we can attain higher states of love and connection. It’s a return to wholeness, freedom, ease and divine bliss. This kind of sacred love is available to all of us if we are willing to open to receive it.

Professional

BA  –  Psychology -and- Administrative & Commercial Studies  |  University of Western Ontario  –  London, Canada

Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, CPCC  |  CTI Coaches Training Institute ICF Recognized  – CA, USA

Coaching Happiness    |   Robert Holden  –  CA, USA

Co-Active Leadership Program    |   CTI Coaches Training Institute  – CA, USA

Great Story Coaching Program & Coaching the Great Story   |  Lucid Living –  CA, USA

Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator Training, Levels 1 & 2    |  Equine Connection   –  BC, Canada

RYT-200 Yoga Teacher Training   |   Blissology Yoga – Santa Cruz, CA 

Emotional Fluency, Ego Mastery & Evoking the Sacred    |  Lucid Living  CA, USA

Yin Yoga Teacher Training   |   Semperviva Yoga – Bernie Clark – BC, Canada 

Certified Sex, Love & Relationship Coach    |  Tantric Institute of Integrated Sexuality – Layla Martin  – CA,  USA

Certified Relationship Couples Coach    |  Tantric Institute of Integrated Sexuality – Layla Martin  – CA,  USA

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