I was born in the fall of 1972 in Brunswick, Maine. My parents were at the forefront of the spirit sweeping the country in the late 60s, giving up their tech jobs in Boston at Honeywell, Inc. and working remotely from the country where they had a one-acre garden, canned their own vegetables, bought raw milk from the dairy farm up the road, and otherwise enjoyed the benefits of rural life. Due to my father’s declining mental health, in 1977, we moved back to urban life, settling in South Portland, Maine where my mother became the primary breadwinner for the family, now with four children, as a CPA and later as the Chief Financial Officer of a privately-held corporation.
While my mother was busy supporting the family, and taking care of my troubled father, I started to experience health problems leading me to see an endocrinologist and a receive a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s Syndrome. When that condition was treated with medication, I continued my childhood as a free-range kid, playing Little League, going to the small elementary school down the street from my house, and conning the family-owned corner store in our neighborhood to cash my milk-money check to buy candy. (Always the rascal!)
However, my father’s mental illness only deepened over time, causing me to look outside my home and family-life for answers about what life was all about and how to be happy. I spent a semester attending Phillips Exeter boarding school, but left to return home when my parents divorced. By the age of fourteen I discovered that rebellion—smoking cigarettes, pot, and drinking alcohol—successfully numbed out my feelings of unhappiness and confusion about who I was and what life was all about…
The next five years were a blur of moving out on my own and back home again a few times, dropping out of multiple high schools, working at various jobs to support myself, and otherwise thinking that the path to happiness was to lead my own adult life. I finally pulled it together with the goal of attending the University of California, Berkeley and graduated from Portland High School, only one year late, in 1991.
In what still seems like a miracle, I was accepted at UC Berkeley for the January 1993 semester and dived into the intellectual and spiritual resources of the Bay Area with the goal of developing a healthy body, strong mind, and happy heart, seeing myself as finally being free of my previous impediments to realizing those goals. I became a vegetarian, quit my pack-a-day smoking habit, studied lift weighting, meditation, and nutrition and addressed some of the traumas I’d denied in the haze of my teenage years—like being raped twice.
After graduating with high honors in two and a half years with degree in Japanese History, in 1995, thinking I was on my way to law school and a future as legal studies academic, my life took a 90-degree turn when I started a seven-year relationship with my first husband, a gentleman 20 years older than me, who has two beautiful daughters from his first marriage. Never someone to do anything halfway, I threw myself into being the best step-mother I could be, keeping house, supporting my husband in his life aims, and looking forward to expanding our family by having children. But my health continued to fail me as I turned out to be infertile at the age of 25, due to “unknown causes,” and dealt with the physical and emotional realities of the diagnosis with another round of searching for health and philosophical salves. Whereas I had entered my marriage believing that my quest for happiness, fulfillment, and the answers to life would be found by being part of a loving family with a husband who was a good father, beloved step-daughters, and lots more children, I found myself feeling like my life was stuck on some sort of repeat loop and I was back to square one as my marriage started to crumble.
All of that changed—one divorce and a law degree with honors later—when I met my first spiritual teacher and applied to Trika Institute’s Seven-Year Tantrik Yoga Study Group Program. In 2002, starting years of arduous learning and practice, I finally began to grasp that being happy has nothing to do with “fixing” your body or creating comfortable life circumstances. Instead, I learned a series of methods for having a healthy body, strong mind, and happy heart which work on both the level of the day-to-day nuts and bolts of things but also in the big picture way that leads to lasting bliss. I learned time-tested ways to experience of my body as a vibrant expression of the natural gradations of human health, rather than as a concretized thing to be labeled a medical battlefield one moment and judged with elation or revulsion the next. I learned ancient wisdom concepts to analyze and embrace exactly who I am, having nothing to do with the roles I might play to others, and how to integrate this knowledge in relationship with others to deepen my feeling of compassion and connection to everyone no matter how they might behave or react to me. I learned ancient wisdom life-skills to quiet my mind and where and how to look to find the answer in myself of what I am doing here and then access the joy brought by living a life of purpose.
While all this learning was going on in my life, I started a mediation law practice to put my bliss (and academic orientation) into action supporting couples going through the divorce process, a life transition which involves both soul-searching and real-life practicalities. I loved both my career as a mediator-attorney and as a law professor teaching law students the delicate balance of ethically laywering while remaining a facilitative professional. To complete the picture, peppered on top of all that, I developed a deep love for playing world football.
Ever since I started mastering the methods my first spiritual teacher taught me, my inner life has been going great—I’ve been living life on the Bliss Side—but as happens to most at some point, life started piling on the outside challenges in 2015. I developed electromagnetic radiation poisoning, had an event which led to PTSD, had unforeseen financial obligations all explode out at once, discovered the police completely mishandled the investigation of a crime I had reported the year before, and simultaneously I had a massive lull in my law practice. As the challenges rolled in one after another, I found myself gently chuckling as each new thing was added to my plate, in a “you’ve got to be kidding me” way. Every day after my morning meditation practice I would ask the universe, “What do you want me to do?” And one day in April 2016, as my body needed to cry out some stress, the crystal-clear answer arrived: “Teach what you love.” (And I immediately retorted in my mind, “No, I’m not doing that. I’m an attorney, for heaven’s sake.” But the joke was on me! Because right then Bliss Revealed™ was born.)
Since that moment, I have filled notebooks and notebooks full of ideas for the My Bliss Path™ program courses, a book, for the future Team Bliss New Year’s Confab Conferences (so fun!), for a future podcast Welcome to the BlissSide™ (the world is going to hand me a microphone? I’m literally shaking with excitement!), for the swag store (the more things you buy, the more we can donate to our Bliss Lights organizations), for blogs, videos, and more. And the ideas just keep coming for super-fun ways to bring bliss into people’s lives.
I see my mission in starting Bliss Revealed™, and sharing my life and everything I’ve learned, as basically standing out in the open, flying my Bliss flag, shouting out a welcome to everyone and anyone who truly wants to embrace the change that it takes to develop a healthy body, strong mind, and a happy heart—and offer them a roadmap, the My Bliss Path™ program, to support their success.
I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to express the deep love I have for each and every one of you. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to love you in the way I enjoy being loved: with loads of in-depth information, endless encouragement and optimism, and super-fun.
May all beings know their bliss!
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