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Celebrating My Four-Year Anniversary of Choosing Myself
A journey of self-love, liberation, and saying YES to life.
Today, I’m celebrating.
Four years ago this week (on Easter Sunday actually), I walked out of my first marriage — a 17-year-long relationship that had been the foundation of my entire adult life up to that point.
It was the single, hardest decision I’ve ever made.
And it was also the most significant act of self-love I’ve ever taken for myself.
That one single act of choosing myself and embracing aliveness changed the entire trajectory of my life in ways I didn’t even know I deserved.
I couldn’t have even dreamed of the life I have now —
The deep love I feel in the mornings when I wake up and take in the love and adoration coming out of my wife’s beautiful blue eyes as she looks at me.
The experience of being met and accepted again and again — just when I think my needs and my desires might be too much.
The sense of adventure I feel every day — whether we’re traveling in Costa Rica, reading parenting books while cuddling before bed, or exploring new trails in Boulder.
The purpose and excitement I feel when I pour energy into the soul-aligned work teaching people how to get in deep contact with their emotions and create awakened partnerships.
Sometimes, I imagine showing my life now to the version of myself from over 4 years ago.
“See the life you’ll create for yourself,” I’ll say to the discouraged and hopeless one who’d collapsed onto his couch, thinking that he might just need to settle for the life he had.
And tears will stream down my face.
Tears for how deeply trapped I felt.
Tears for how much pain I was in back then.
Tears for the grief of a life only partly lived.
And then the tears turn into tears of pride — pride for showing up for myself in the most powerful way possible, against all the conditioning that told me differently. And beneath the pride is a deep self-love.
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There were so many conditioned voices holding me back:
Your life is already good enough.
You shouldn’t want more.
You’ll ruin what you already have if you leave.
And the thing that ultimately broke me free?
It wasn’t the hours and hours of couples therapy — as hard as we tried, we were never able to get to core issue.
It wasn’t the conversations with my beautiful friends — as amazingly supportive and loving as they all were.
It wasn’t all the journaling, reflecting, and the pros / cons lists I was making to try to decide — going to my head just spun me in circles.
The thing that ultimately broke me free was, surprisingly, dance. The freeform movement journey of ecstatic dance was the embodied practice that got me in deep contact with my feelings and the freedom that’s possible in life.
It was in dance where I learned that there’s no right way to move — it’s just about moving in the ways that make me feel good, regardless of what other people might think.
Just like there’s no right way to live life — it's just about living the life that feels good to me, regardless of what other people might think.
The freedom I experienced on the dance floor directly mapped to the freedom I felt in life.
Free myself in dance, and I free myself in life.
It was in dancing intimately with other people, where I realized that with deep courage, vulnerability, and attunement — I could feel emotionally closer to a stranger after a 7-minute dance than hours or months of drawn-out conversation.
The body speaks infinitely faster and deeper than the mind.
The intimacy that I once thought would take me 17 years to rebuild — I realized that with intention, I could build it in moments.
That changed everything I knew and thought was possible about human connection. Suddenly, love and intimacy became abundant, where it was once scarce.
And it was in dancing 7 days straight, 7-8 hours per day, at a festival in Bali where I danced myself free. I felt so much unbridled joy and aliveness in my body — I’d roar and laugh, cry in fetal position, and play, all in the course of a single dance.
On the 7th day, I suddenly looked at myself and felt such love for how my body had been moving. For the first time in my life, I felt a deep sense of self-acceptance, of being truly at home with myself.
And then it clicked — I deserved that amount of love and joy everywhere in my life, not just in dance. And the only person who could create that for myself was me.
The day I got back home from Bali, I packed my bags. I told my ex-wife I was leaving, without needing to defend my decision, without needing to convince her to understand.
I was leaving for me. I was free.