Something Thrilling Is Happening…

Something thrilling is happening.

Right now, so many of us are experiencing breakthroughs that we’ve been working towards all our lives.

Including me.

Since I was 12 I’ve been trying to figure out how to truly connect with the people around me while protecting my tender heart. You know — how to belong, feel good, and be happy.

With other people.

While staying safe.

For real.


Yeah, I know — seems like “the impossible dream,” doesn’t it? (At least, with certain people in our lives.)

As my sister once pointed out to me, I ended up picking kind of a weird way to go about that: at age 12 I decided to become my own little laboratory. I hoped if I noticed everything that was going on and told myself the whole truth about that (even if was something “bad” about me — like, “yup, I yelled angrily at the dog”), then maybe, just maybe, I could figure out how to be safe.  And belong.  And feel good.  And be happy.

With other people.

For real.

At the time it seemed like a far-off dream. One that might not come true.


That was 43 years ago.

Last Monday I finally did something I’ve been struggling to do for 5 long, painful years: I set a clear, firm, healthy boundary with someone I have a sometimes very beautiful, but also persistently confusing and painful connection with.

(The short version of the story, like with so many loves that go “wrong,” is that we both had hidden, unresolved childhood wounds and interlocking attachment issues that left our nervous systems too often in too much alarm, around each other. Want to know more about attachment? Check out Diane Poole Heller’s attachment style quiz.)

But the origins of my own inability to set healthy boundaries in romantic relationship go all the way back to when I was 2 years old.

It’s taken 53 long years of living, experimenting, studying, learning, growing, and healing for me to be able to at last fully meet, embrace, and integrate that previously hidden, wounded 2-year-old. That little one whose underground, untended fears and strategies were ultimately behind the recurring disappointment and pain of every single one of my past romantic relationships.


What’s extraordinary about this isn’t how long it took. The brain science that has truly transformed our understanding has only been around for about 10 years — since the invention of the functional MRI.

And it seems a complete* picture of what goes on in our heads, hearts, and relationships only emerges when the insights of Nonviolent Communication, Compassionate Noticing, Attachment Theory, and brain science (Interpersonal Neurobiology) start rubbing elbows with each other.


What’s extraordinary is that now we finally do have a way to understand and resolve our relationship confusion, disempowerment, and pain. A way that actually works.

It really is possible to restore our wholeness, clarity, and respectful power.

It really is possible to be safe. And belong. And feel good. And be happy.

With other people.

For real.


In an important way, my lifelong research is finally done.

I at last understand how to truly connect with the people around me, even when things are complicated and confusing. Even when one or both of us is in significant pain.

I have a warm and welcoming community around me who see, make room for, and celebrate my full humanity, including my warts and farts and ugly parts. I don’t have to hide what’s true about me. I can ask for — and receive — what I long for.

I know what I need to thrive: to feel good, to be truly happy.

My heart is full, and at peace.

For real.

With other people.


As it turns out, when we:

  • understand how our brains and relationships are designed to work together,
  • know the secret way we can respond to pain that changes everything.
  • learn how to choose who’s driving the bus of our lives,
  • genuinely matter to ourselves, and
  • understand how to create genuinely safety in relationship,

… being human — with other people! — actually starts to work.


For a little taste, here’s a little video I put together that explains where those crazy-painful relationship upsets come from. It will help.

I wish I could give you the whole enchilada in just a few bullet points, but I can’t. This combination of NVC, Compassionate Noticing, Interpersonal Neurobiology, and Attachment Theory, woven together in a quirky, practical way with my own Thriving Life principles, takes a bit of time to explain. I can do it in 3 hours.

It’s like turning a light on in a dark room:  suddenly you can see where everything is. Suddenly everything makes sense.

Come on over and check out what this being human is like, in the light. We’ve got lots of f.ree online resources for you.

To your delighted thriving,

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