This relationship counselor got hitched- and all the experiences that make me good at my job, make it hard to say I DO!

8 months of planning and a crash course in Hawaii's slow business pace and I finally had the 3 day, multi event, wedding weekend I was proud of. I found myself in paradise with 106 of my favorite people partying like it's 1999.   Beyond my expectations.

Gorgeous, smart bridesmaids in jewel tones, perfect North Shore Hawaii weather 6 days before a hurricane hit, the huge vintage diamond you're marketed since birth, a friggin Hayley Paige 2015 dress that wasn't even out yet, and the kind of supportive, athletic, big, close family you can only hope to marry into.

So why had the 8 months leading up been a mental struggle? Why didn't I think I deserved this and had had a tough time staying  present & grateful? Why couldn't this be my story?

NIGHT 1: The sunset toast welcome reception white party that decided to go 4 hours longer than anticipated.

NIGHT 1: The sunset toast welcome reception white party that decided to go 4 hours longer than anticipated.

Being the product of a divorce battle that lasted through most of my early years, and enough bitterness to warrant a silence embargo for the 2 following decades, I wasn't exactly sold on the whole marriage thing.

After doing research from the age of 8 to 25, I was even  less convinced we were intended to be monogamous, let alone able to transcend our biology's need for novelty and our culture's increasing move toward instant  gratification. 

Were we f%cked?  

1294579_10104246028232281_4680198208561989751_o.jpg

  I set out to research how our species could win this uphill battle if we were game enough to attempt it. What I found made me the relationship coach & healer I am today.

But my past didn't help MY relationship quite the way it's able to help others.

DAY 2: 70s pool party awesomeness!!! My favorite theme with fierce people at Turtle Bay Resorts Villa Pool

DAY 2: 70s pool party awesomeness!!! My favorite theme with fierce people at Turtle Bay Resorts Villa Pool

I found myself up against years of protective defense thinking that had rejected marriage as a desirable option.

I had subconsciously dealt with fear and stress around intimate relationships by pushing them into the category "for suckers that don't know better."

This same category claimed many of the feminine skills I hold dear today and help my clients master, but previously had been rejected as silly and shallow.

Even as I understood why I held my previous beliefs, shaking them from my personal story and chosen identity proved tricky.

NIGHT 2: Rehearsal dinner at Ola's on the sand. 60 ppl made it and my girls unplanned showed up in different vibrant colors!! YES!!

NIGHT 2: Rehearsal dinner at Ola's on the sand. 60 ppl made it and my girls unplanned showed up in different vibrant colors!! YES!!

So when I found myself in paradise, marrying a wonderful, communicating, value centered man willing to patiently teach me about unconditional love, I felt like a bit of a fraud.

Could I totally get behind this healthy wonderful version of reality that I had rejected for so long?

DId I need the chaotic, volatile, crazy relationship that would either have me  manically euphoric or sobbing uncontrollably? The one that I couldn't count on because the highs were only as high as the lowest lows? Did I need the struggle or could I allow love to be easy?

Could I actually work the steps I've used to get clients healthy and choose healthy myself? I was embarrassed I was this far in and still internally debating.

And of course, the universe has a sense of humor and laughs at how little faith we have in ourselves and each other.  The man I test, push away, and take for granted is the man that heals my wounds and keeps showing up for my battered self.  The man that stood by my side proud as punch to claim me flaws and all.

And the event- oh my was it spectacular. The universe outdid itself in showing me how little I knew about the way things were. I was floored by the sheer numbers let alone quality of people that flew thousands of miles to celebrate with us. They were fun, they rocked the dance floor, they were my perfect group. I felt supported. I felt loved. 

Our first dance: Into the mystic by Van Morrison

Our first dance: Into the mystic by Van Morrison

And it occurred to me that it was time I got with the crowd and started loving myself.  I found myself having to practice allowing. Allowing the good, allowing things to go right.

My past may shape my triggers, but it didn't have to define my future. I could choose to take my own relationship advice and keep showing up, keep becoming my definition of an attractive woman, keep honoring and attending to my partner, and keep choosing positivity even if my default settings wanted to go negative.  I can have a healthy partnership. I just need to focus on what I want rather than what I'm afraid of.

 Grounded, calm, consistent, peaceful content is replacing fear, scarcity, panic, and chasing. What a more pleasant way to live. Brian's patient consistent presence is most of the reason I've gotten to experience this. Yes I had to choose him and not run after the white rabbit but his energetic strength has given me one of the greatest gifts i could imagine.

Here's the first group shot my parents have taken in 25+ years. I'm so very proud of them. They even had a 15 min talk. Very healing  

Here's the first group shot my parents have taken in 25+ years. I'm so very proud of them. They even had a 15 min talk. Very healing

 

And for all the amazing people that showed up, threw engagement parties, gave good advice, supported, and were fun and wonderful, THIS WOMAN, My new mother in law made the whole process feel like home, feel like it was right, feel like it was doable. Thank you Mary.

And for all the amazing people that showed up, threw engagement parties, gave good advice, supported, and were fun and wonderful, THIS WOMAN, My new mother in law made the whole process feel like home, feel like it was right, feel like it was doable. Thank you Mary.