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The Birth of an Awakened Partnership: Our Story of Vulnerability and Transformation
How a single night of vulnerability became the foundation of a life-changing relationship built on growth and self-discovery.
Creating Deep Intimacy in a Powerful Moment
“I’m afraid I’m going to fall really hard for you,” I said, already six hours into deep conversation on our first date.
My heart beat fast as I looked into her bright blue eyes. Candace and I sat on the counter stools of my San Francisco apartment. I felt so alive, so connected, so seen — more than I had by any other human in my life.
Her opening invitation set the tone for the evening:
“I noticed you hesitated the other day when you mentioned that you’d separated from your wife,” she’d said. “I wanted to make space for anything you wanted to share.”
I breathed deep and felt through some nervousness at the bold invite.
She wanted to dive deep. No small talk. And I was ready for it.
I felt afraid that my mention of an ex-wife would mark me as “divorced damaged goods.” But my body visibly relaxed when she shared that she’d been divorced too — and that to her, it actually pointed to my ability to commit and the courage to walk away when something wasn’t working.
An hour in, I found myself opening up a tender part of my inner world. I’d recently left a sexless marriage (and 17-year-long relationship) — and had just come back from a tantra festival in Sweden as part of my journey of sexual reclamation. She received my story with total acceptance.
Throughout the evening, every time we encountered a fear, we’d take a few deep breaths — and lean in to share more of ourselves and create deeper vulnerability.
I felt a deep intimacy being forged at a powerfully fast rate, and a part of me knew that it would expand my world in a big way.
If deep intimacy — the type we often think takes years to create — could be created in just a few hours, what else might be possible for us to create together?
By the fourth date, I’d already said “I love you.” And four months in, I proposed in Costa Rica over New Years — she said yes.
On that first date, we unknowingly took our first step toward creating what we now recognize as an awakened partnership — and we experienced our first taste of the transformation that’s possible from it.
Learn how to create deep intimacy with the important people in your life, in moments and not in years.
A Commitment to Vulnerability
“I have the story that you’re some sort of sex god with partners all over the world,” I said to Edmond. We were only fifteen minutes into sitting down at his kitchen table on our first date.
Underneath my story was a bundle of thoughts and fears…
I’m afraid you won’t want the commitment I might want with you.
I’m afraid I’ll be one of many women in your life.
I’m afraid that’ll make me unimportant.
I’m afraid you’ll break my heart.
And since I knew Edmond had recently left his ex-wife, had just returned from a tantra festival and a sacred sexuality training, and was traveling to a new country every month — naturally my imagination filled in the blanks!
He laughed and thanked me for clearing the story. Then he shared the difficulty he’d experienced in his 17-year relationship with his ex-wife. Especially around sex.
Just days earlier, I’d written in my journal:
I’m focused on making choices that build towards the vision I have for my life, and I’m dating with the intention of committed life partnership. I’m clear on what I want, and I’ll say no to anything that’s not aligned with it.
My fears softened when I learned that he’d gone to the festival to build more courage to approach people he felt attracted to. And the trainings he attended while traveling were the reason he was able to ask me out at all.
As the conversation unfolded, I felt my guard come down. Going deeper and deeper into connection and trust as the night unfolded.
We both felt awe at the depth of intimacy we created in such a short linear timeline (compared to the 17-year-relationship he’d just left). We also knew creating deep relationships was a skill, not an accident.
“Let’s start teaching this stuff about relationships!” he’d said to me later in the night. I smirked and pushed back — we’re better off actually having a relationship before teaching about it, I told him.
Six hours later, I was walking home, floating on air in the middle of the night.
When tension arose early in our relationship, I used to wonder, “Are we going to make it?” A part of me worried we wouldn’t. These days, I find myself asking instead, “How are we going to make it through this one?”
Since day one, we’ve been building an awakened relationship rooted in vulnerability by leaning into difficult conversations — like finances, a prenup, attraction to other people, and the list goes on.
Each day I notice myself feeling safer and more securely attached than ever before. And that didn’t just happen on its own.
It’s because of the intention and energy we’ve invested into our relationship as a journey of growth and expansion. Our commitment to that has created the path of awakened partnership.
Join our journey as we share how to turn your partnership into a container for your growth and transformation.
So... What's An Awakened Partnership?
When we first started dating, we had a vague idea that we both wanted a conscious partnership — a relationship where partners adopted healthy practices like open communication, honesty, and mutual respect.
We both have several decades of partnership experience between the two of us. And so we saw it as a sign of emotional maturity to take ownership for communicating our own needs, desires, and patterns — so that we could stay in connection.
But this relationship is the first time we’ve ever felt fully met — fully embraced and welcomed for who we are as well as who we are becoming.
That helped us realize that we were creating more than just a conscious partnership — we were creating an awakened partnership.
In an awakened partnership, both people commit not only to being aware of their individual patterns and needs but also to their growth and evolution — and use the relationship as a tool to support that journey.
They see the relationship as a mirror — showing the inner work that needs to be done. Any uncomfortable emotions, triggers, judgments, or traumas that surface in the relationship are coming up to be healed.
They take responsibility for exploring their inner world, for healing any emotional wounds that may be impacting their relationship, and for removing blockers to deeper intimacy and connection.
They love and accept each other as they truly are — even when it’s difficult — and also commit to supporting each other’s fullest expression in the world.
The impact of being in a partnership like this is a level of transformation and freedom that neither of us could possibly have imagined.
We’ve traveled the world nomadically in a way that felt alive, safe, and free — even when most of the world was locked down from a pandemic.
We’ve broken out of limiting beliefs and lifelong patterns inherited from childhood around inadequacy and love needing to be earned — and created more space to authentically be ourselves in our lives.
We’ve even faced and healed sexual traumas and fears together — and created a vibrant sex life that we both love.
And we’ve had to explore many different questions along the way that we’re excited to share.
Get the inside story on how we’ve navigated difficult questions in our relationship and lessons we’ve learned along the way.
What We’re Here to Explore
We’re excited to use this writing to share what we’ve learned and what we’re continuing to learn. We’ll be exploring areas and questions like:
Money and Power
How do we decouple money and power?
How do we navigate difficult conversations around financial choices (like prenups) with curiosity and openness?
How do we manage finances in a way that leads us to feel like equal partners and a team in the relationship — no matter what the numbers say?
How do we create awareness of the power dynamics in the relationship, and how do we resolve them?
Commitment and Intimacy
What’s our commitment to each other, and what type of relationship are we signing up for?
What do honesty and integrity mean in the relationship?
What rituals do we need to clear resentments and ensure both of our needs are getting met?
How do we continually deepen our felt sense of intimacy in the relationship?
Sex and Attraction
What agreements do we want to create that honor our freedom and our devotion to the partnership?
How do we honor feelings of attraction toward other people, remove shame from them, and navigate through experiences of threat and insecurity?
How do we heal wounds associated with sexual shame or inadequacy — so that we can both experience more pleasure and connection through sex?
How can sex become a powerful container for working on our own personal and joint growth and transformation?
How can we see any trigger not as a need for our partner to change but as an opportunity to heal our own wounds?
What are the most loving and effective ways to navigate out of triggered situations?
How do we show up with unconditional love and accept our partners as they are — and set boundaries to take care of ourselves?
What are the most effective ways to break out of patterns from our childhood traumas and to heal them?
Join us for the journey if you’re intrigued. And let us know in the comments what other questions you’re pondering.
Join us as we share intimate stories and lessons and explore answers to the important questions that show up in partnership.