A life of integrity is the most fundamental source of personal worth.
– Stephen Covey
I want to invite you to a fearless, ongoing dialogue about what you truly want from your love relationship, how that may change in years to come, and how you and your partner will navigate these opportunities and challenges with respect, compassion, and confidence.
Cultural messages about love provide little practical guidance about how to craft fulfilling relationships that stand the test of time. There’s a lot of uncharted territory between “happily ever after” and “till death do us part,” and many of us have only been privy to family behaviors that serve as wrong-way indicators. That was certainly my experience.
When I divorced at age 33, I doggedly searched for couples with healthy relationships to enlist as mentors. I discovered only a few couples who were content with the life they’d created, and even they had very little solid advice to follow. They were unconsciously competent; they attributed relationship success to fate or good luck or having been raised by happy parents, but they couldn’t articulate the everyday practices that helped them build and maintain vibrant love. They had no compass or road map to share.
Nonetheless, I was determined to transform my family’s multi-generational legacy (desperate marriages, unfulfilled dreams, lost hope, devastating divorces) into a gift I could proudly pass on to my children. I’d seen too much despair, experienced enough hopelessness, suffered enough. I vowed not to be defined by my history. I would find true love and exquisitely care for my relationship. No complacency, no taking things for granted. I would chart conscious practices to navigate the evolving aspirations and challenges my partner and I were sure to encounter. I would learn a new way of being in love.
For more than 20 years, I have used my professional expertise to research and organize the knowledge, skills, and practices needed to be consciously competent when coupling with another. I’ve created a compass and a road map to vibrant love: Foolproof Dating and ProActive Partnership Retreats. In 2005, these tools guided me to my husband Joe. That spring, we took our first quarterly relationship retreat and faithfully continued learning, growing, and celebrating together – through 50 retreats – until his untimely death in 2017. I walk my talk.
I hold credentials in restorative justice, education, business administration, women’s studies, and life coaching. I keenly follow research and discoveries in the field of positive psychology and continue to weave these life-enhancing concepts into my coaching practice and personal life.
I am dedicated to mindfulness and intentional living, spiritual exploration, personal wellness, and community service. I embrace minimalism, enjoy dancing, reading, yoga, traveling, gardening, cooking, and time with family and friends.
I welcome your comments and questions, and would be delighted to support your quest to live in love.
I can’t guarantee that you and your partner will always stay together and live happily ever after. Life is not a Disney movie. Challenges and opportunities that no one can predict will most certainly influence your future as a couple.
However, I can tell you that couples who regularly practice retreats share a powerful understanding of their needs and dreams – both individually and as a couple. They’re able to approach the future with a cohesive mutual vision and clear intentions that are anchored in well-articulated values. Retreats support the viability of your relationship and prepare you to negotiate life’s random curve-balls with grace and wisdom.
The retreat process ensures that you regularly discuss the health and stability of your relationship. You’ll consistently adjust the course of your days to respond to your changing needs, opportunities, and aspirations – individually and as a couple. If the two of you start to drift from each other, you’ll know it; and you’ll talk about it openly while there’s still plenty of time to plot a mutually agreeable change in course.
It’s possible – even with retreats – that you and your partner may over time agree to pursue different life paths. If you have been practicing retreats, this will not come as a surprise but as a gradual and measured realization, allowing you to separate with dignity, compassion, and grace. You could be at peace knowing that you have given your best to this relationship, and you would know exactly why you chose to dissolved your partnership.
A retreat practice guarantees that you will move through life mindfully, with clear intentions, living in alignment with your most closely held values. Retreats guarantee personal growth, enhanced relationship skills, and ongoing communication, and they provide the opportunity for relationship renewal and re-creation.
No one plans to fail in love, but few plan to succeed. Make ProActive Partnership retreats your plan for relationship success.