I came out of the womb questioning. Apparently I was a ‘strange child’ who asked ‘strange questions’ and read ‘strange books’. From my earliest age I felt like I was the child pointing out that the emperor was wearing no clothes and was always puzzled and fascinated by people and their lack of awareness.
As a child I knew that when I grew up I wanted to be a warrior, a scientist and a priest.
I have, essentially, become all three:
I studied the martial arts extensively from my mid-teens through to my early 30s, becoming particularly adept at Aikido, the Art of Harmony. But even as a child I’d set myself tasks to build my will-power, and I’ve never been one to back down when I thought there was injustice or narrow-mindedness.
To do my work in the field of sex and intimacy has definitely required a warrior spirit - it’s not easy to face so much opposition and ignorance and still keep going.
I feel existence is a miracle and I am endlessly fascinated by it. Over the years I have done three academic science degrees, and believe strongly in the scientific method. I also believe there is a lot that science is yet to discover. I see no discrepancy between spirituality and science, and love that modern science is reinforcing ancient spiritual wisdoms. I consider myself a ‘Scientific Mystic’.
I had a calling to be a priest, and was shocked as a young child to discover I couldn’t be one because I was a girl. That made no sense to me at all. So I quickly lost interest in religion and continued to explore and study all sorts of spiritual, metaphysical and philosophical understandings, and continue to do so - it’s a life-long work (probably many lifetime’s work). As a therapist and educator, I feel that my work is a calling, and that calling is to help people become more whole and be their beautiful authentic selves. which is essentially the work of a true priest.
After school I studied biochemistry and human sciences at university. The former was a traditional ‘hard’ science subject and the latter a multidisciplinary science course. At that stage I had intended doing research into human potential but the professors felt my views were too outlandish - I thought that the brain could change and that food affected our health - both topics that are considered valid now but back in the 80s had me labelled a hippy herbal fruitcake who’d probably been smoking too much weed…
So I changed track and did graduate studies in environmental science because as a new field it was looking for open-minded creative thinkers. So I worked in that field for many years. But, as much as I care for the environment and have strong ecological sensibilities, it was never my passion. So, three children and another degree or two later I decided to change.
Everyone thought I was mad to leave a very successful career and move into the then quite unknown field of Life Coaching. A few years later I wrote my first book ‘Great Sex After Kids’, did a Masters in Sexual Health to qualify as a Sex Therapist…and I haven’t looked back!
I was definitely ‘guided’ into specialising in sexuality, the universe wanted me to head in this direction, and after my initial surprise I was quite happy to go there as sexuality has always been a topic of interest for me at so many levels - the physical, historical, anthropological, philosophical, social, relational, and spiritual.
I feel the spiritual in particular is of interest, and a necessity in our current stage of development as a species and culture. After such a long period of suppression, we are only just now starting to see sexuality as a fundamental part of ourselves as integrated, holistic, transpersonal beings. I have always had an intrinsic understanding of this concept, and have been drawn to studying Tantric and Taoist sexual philosophies and practices.
According to a shaman I had a session with a few years ago, in a past life I was a Tibetan Lama who was investigating the use of sexual energy for spiritual growth. Unfortunately in that life I inadvertently traumatised a number of women and so in shame I ceased my work. In this life I’m to continue the work - which explains why I’m female and why it took me so long to accept this calling. Whether this is true or not, it is a good analogy and describes the evolution of my work very well!
Now I have embraced my calling fully and I have an exceptional life working with couples and individuals clinically and in workshops and retreats, as well as through my writings and media appearances, to help modern people understand the importance of an integrated and healthy sexuality for fulfilment and meaning in life.
It is an area that is not dealt with much in academic sexology, which tends to be more about the physical and to some extent the social. The concept of how sexuality leads to personal growth and development is not well studied, nor is human sexual potential in general. My particular interest is in how sexuality within the couple dynamic contributes to growth and fulfilment in life.
So now I’m studying a Masters in Consciousness, Spirituality and Transpersonal Psychology with the intention of doing a PhD in my field of expertise, which I think of as Transpersonal Sexology, investigating my own transpersonal approach to relationship therapy and coaching. This will inform my own work and enable me to teach other professionals, sexologists and therapists in general, a truly effective and inspiring approach to working with clients around issues of sexuality.