Here’s how it started.
A family that looked normal from the outside. White (upper) middle class. Nice home in midtown Toronto.
Inside we were "beyond fundamentalist" Christians living out an intergenerational legacy of pain. While we looked good—popular golden retriever and everything—it wasn’t right on the inside.
This meant I was a desperately insecure child and adolescent. I had little to no ability to express myself. I never felt safe or comfortable. My inner experience was terror most of the time.
“While we looked good—popular golden retriever and everything—it wasn’t right on the inside.”
Somehow, after considering many areas of service—medicine, social work, international relations, the ministry... I ended up on Bay and Wall Street. Using my analytical mind, earning cash, and learning how deeply this world is unfair. And I don’t mean to me.
And I was in a world of pain. I had no idea how to have a satisfying relationship. Men seemed to like my money more than me. And what love was there I was too insecure to receive. I drank way too much. I binge-watched television all weekend. Hated my jobs. And I found a therapist.
We started talking. She wasn’t so sure I was the problem all the time. And she saw abilities in me—and possibilities. She was curious about how I understood the world and how my experiences had influenced my thoughts and feelings. We dug through my unconscious motivations and feelings. I started to emerge.
“I was in a world of pain ... I binge-watched television all weekend. Hated my jobs. And I found a therapist.”
I followed in her steps to do a psychotherapy training, and just after I began to see clients her cancer returned and metastasized. We had seven years together.
Soon after our therapy ended, I lost my Bay Street job and committed myself 100% to psychotherapy. I also tried to have a child. My son Zachary was born still far before term. I lost three others. Hopelessness overcame me. Grief. Despair. Dis-ease.
And infertility and loss led me towards healing. I realized there was a spiritual component to my struggles that psychotherapy couldn’t address. I saw a shamanic practitioner. My creativity bloomed soon after, and I found my writing voice. I began to write a weekly blog about psychotherapy.
“I realized there was a spiritual component to my struggles that psychotherapy couldn’t address.”
I continued spiritual work and was led to Continuum—a blend of breath work, sound, and movement that helped me come more deeply into my body. I received Reiki initiation and couldn’t stop reading about energy healing. At this point, I could still fall into a hole of hopelessness, but I had more good days than bad. And I could see that there was light building inside and that when I did my practices I felt and looked different - lighter. More alive.
My colleague was working with a plant called Ayahuasca. It started to call my name. In August 2017, I did a ceremony with the intention of having a child. "What do I need to know to have a baby?" I asked. The answer was so obvious. My sexuality woke up. Instantly and strongly. Impossible to ignore.
I began training in a modality called Radical Aliveness, which is based on Core Energetics. It is a body-based healing system that involves weaving systemic and personal issues into group healing. The expression of huge emotions alongside my continued work with the sacred plant paid off, and energy began to move dramatically. I was alive. I developed new friendships that were passionate and intimate. Men and women sought me out from all directions - I was magnetic in a way that was completely new. It was exciting. I couldn’t believe how much change was possible in a short time.
“I couldn’t believe how much change was possible in a short time.”
And it didn’t stop. My whole world blew up. My brain re-wired. No more anxiety. No more ruminating.
And still the less frequent but present black holes.
In the summer of 2018, I took part in another series of ceremonies. These ceremonies changed my life entirely.
Today my life force energy runs strong and clear. No black holes. I am comfortable in the lifetime I have been given, even if I am deeply sad about some of the people I have lost and things I may never have. Despite all of this, I have never been happier. And happy is never a word I have used or even thought possible. I have me. I am alive. I am connected to my gifts and my love, and I want to share them.
“Today my life force energy runs strong and clear. No black holes.”
I still have healing to do. As I age my body asks me to address deeper layers of its wanting. As I heal, spirit asks more of me. Fear comes on strong. Doubt. I see each challenge as a calling to hold myself more deeply. Less attached to showing that I am good, more attached to the flow of my being-ness.
I am proud to be offering a body of work that makes a contribution to our times. To be working with people clinically, in groups, and on retreat as a psychotherapist and healer—containing and holding space for what needs to unfold. To write and think carefully and share my ideas with interested readers. To be part of the public dialog of right now.
I feel the weight of how much work there is to do. I am aware of how much I don’t know that I don’t know. I am aware that I have been given a lot. I am committed to learning and growing even when it hurts. And I believe that following my pleasure is the ultimate path to growth and knowledge.
I am eager to continue my own healing and emergence. I consider it to be miraculous and thus I am able to hold hope for the miraculous to occur in others. And in you.