Since last week we were talking about Soul Level Love, I realized that I’ve never told the full story of how I met my husband.
My full love story (or love journey, I should say) truly started back when I was 18 and met my first love in college. After four years of on-and-off, we finally split up and the years after that were a whirlwind of men, dating, relationships, guilt, sadness and remorse. However, to tell you about ALL of this would need a novel rather than a blog post, so I’ll just start when I was 26 years old and moved to Portland, Oregon.
I had just left a biodynamic farm in Hawaii where I spent the past four months swearing off men and spending a lot of time alone.
I had also finished my Master’s Degree from Harvard and was exhausted. Hawaii was a chance for me to dig my hands into the dirt, learn to love myself again and get plenty of rest. That four months were some of the most challenging and fulfilling of my life. I danced, I did yoga, I ate healthy foods, I traveled by hitch hiking, I made great friends, I journaled (A LOT), I meditated, I spent a full 24 hours alone in the woods with nothing but a water bottle and a tarp, and I planted hundreds of trees. I read a ton and dug into self-love in every way I could.
So when I moved to Portland, Oregon I felt both terrified and rejuvenated, ready to start a new life.
Living with a friend’s family out of a single suitcase, I got to work searching for a job. I also desperately wanted to meet new people in the area, which led me to dating an artist-type after just a few weeks of living there. He was fun and there was chemistry, but I felt myself spinning out of control into old patterns again. I wanted to be the “fun girl” and was drinking too much and chasing after him only to feel him pulling away.
It was on a date with this guy that I met Peter, my husband. We were at a concert and I was dancing and twirling up by the stage, when mutual friends suddenly pushed Peter up next to me while my date was in the bathroom. I later found out that they didn’t like the guy I was dating and was hoping Peter would talk to me instead. We exchanged numbers and I followed up with him the next day as a networking contact, hoping to get my foot in the door with one of the leading sustainability teams in the world.
Well…that didn’t happen. But a whole lot else did.
About a week after this initial meeting I was ready to move out of the house of the family I was living with (forever grateful to them!) and into the first apartment of my own. Part of my dream included a dog, so that day I rented a minivan and set out to drive to eastern Oregon to adopt a puppy.
It was lightly raining in Portland and my GPS showed that the destination was about 2 hours away, so I didn’t think much of it. What my GPS did NOT tell me was that to get there meant literally traversing Mount Hood…a gigantic snow covered mountain. As I drove east the rain quickly turned to heavy snow with high wind and most of the cars were turning around. There were flashing signs approaching Mt. Hood alerting drivers to stop and put chains on their tires.
Well I didn’t have chains for the tires, and I thought about turning around, but every time I was about to I decided to go a little further. Halfway up the mountain, with nothing dividing me and a sheer drop but a tiny guardrail, my van kept slipping back and forth. I remembered the guy I had met the week before at the concert (my now husband) and how he mentioned having a large, four wheel drive truck.
I grabbed my phone to call him. Even though I had only met this man once before, something told me I could trust him.
But I knew that meant giving up on this puppy and ultimately my dream. So I white-knuckled the steering wheel with tears streaming down my face as I said affirmation after affirmation.
Two hours later I was holding Pono in my arms (a Hawaiian name meaning the path to harmony and balance) and sailed home in the sunshine. We slept together that night in the new apartment on the floor in a sleeping bag.
The next day, I invited the guy I was dating and his dog over to meet Pono. He was a dog person, so I figured this would be my golden ticket to finally win him over! Pono at that age was a handful to say the least. She barked at every person and dog and bit my hands until they were torn to shreds. The guy I was dating stopped by and was instantly so put off by her that he left. After that, I barely heard from him again.
This is where Peter comes in!
We had set a time to meet for drinks and talk about possible career options. I met him downstairs, ready to head out, but when I told him I had just gotten a puppy he insisted on coming up to meet her. When he got into the apartment he sat down on the floor with Pono and played with her.
To my complete and total shock, this dog listened to him and seemed to take to him instantly. I had never seen her react like this! Pono and I hadn’t been clicking, and Peter swoops in with complete control. It was like she had been waiting for this man to come into my life, someone with both kindness and authority, to pick him out for me.
After that we hung out regularly and became good friends. I was still hanging onto dwindling hope from the last guy I was dating, unable to see the connection that I had with this man in front of me.
That’s the funny thing about love, sometimes when it hits us in the face we still don’t recognize it.
I was so brainwashed by romantic comedies and fairy tales that I kept looking for love in all the wrong places. That’s not to say that I hadn’t had great relationships, but they were learning experiences and it was unfair to use them to compare future relationships to.
For a few months, I kept Peter at arms length, happy to be friends but convincing myself we shouldn’t date. There was our age difference for starters, and also that I didn’t feel the instant chemistry I thought I was supposed to feel when we first met. What I’ve learned since is that chemistry is the easy part – I’ve had chemistry with a handful of men, but that was about all we had. What I learned with Peter was that our chemistry would grow. All I knew at this time was that I had fun with him and I could be myself. Plus, he was one of the few people in Portland I could actually rely on. In other words…I felt safe.
After a few months of this, we took his motorcycle out one day to Sauvie’s Island, a place right outside of Portland that felt like you were in your own world.
It had beaches and cow pastures and acres upon acres of fields with flowers and berries. So we took his motorcycle out on a particularly cold day and sat on the beach. We talked for hours and I finally opened up to him and him to me. I told him all about Hawaii, my spiritual philosophies, my relationship history…everything. And he got it.
I suddenly felt not just a spark with him, but an overwhelming connection. We rode back to his house and every so often he would gently touch my leg. I was chilled to the bone and I can still remember how warm and nurturing his hand felt.
When we got back to his house I was absolutely exhausted. I had made plans with someone else that night (in those days I was ALWAYS trying to stay busy) but all I wanted to do was stay here in the comfort of this home. He said to me, “Hey, why don’t I drive to your apartment and walk Pono, and you can take a bath, listen to music and pour yourself a glass of wine. If you want after that we can order take out and watch a movie.”
My mind was saying no but my heart was saying yes. There was nothing else I wanted to do more. During the movie I fell asleep on the couch with Peter stroking my hair. I didn’t want to leave but I made the drive back to my apartment. I had never taken a relationship so slowly before and it felt great.
At that point on we were pretty much officially together.
I still had my doubts and my regular fears that surfaced, but that didn’t stop me from wanting to be with him. All I knew was that our connection seemed to keep getting stronger and that when he hugged me it felt like home. It was like he had always been there, as if we’d known each other for many lifetimes before. The first time he said “I love you” was in the morning, closing the door to my car before heading back into his house. I don’t think he even realized he had said it because it felt that natural.
About 8 months later we got engaged on a pier in New York City. I wish I could tell you that moment was exactly how I always expected it to be. Instead of excitedly jumping up and down screaming “YES!” as I’d imagined, I froze in shock. I didn’t think I was ready and every single fear I’ve ever had about marriage, relationships and my decisions all came rushing at me in that moment.
Time literally stood still.
I worried that it was too soon, that our friends or family would disapprove, that we could be making a mistake. But I said yes.
At that moment six helicopters flew by overhead in formation, the same type of helicopter that Peter’s late father had flown in Vietnam. Another note on signs…after we said our wedding vows in Greece we looked out to sea to witness a pod of dolphins swimming by. The housekeeper told us this is extremely rare and means “good luck”.
We lived together after our engagement for another year and a half before our the wedding day. We got to know what it was like to spend every day together and for all of our family and friends to get to know us as a couple.
It wasn’t always easy. I still was working through self-love and trying to let go of the past. When we drove to the courthouse prior to our ceremony in Greece, I had knots in my stomach.
“Am I doing the right thing?”
“Is he really the one?”
“How do you ever really know?”
“Can marriage even possibly work?”
But that day, at the court house standing in a tiny cluttered office, I felt complete and utter peace as the officiator privately read us our vows. It was as though my heart and my body were telling me that it’s okay. That while I have free will, maybe there were larger forces at play that always knew this was going to happen.
We invited about 25 of our friends and family to stay with us for a week at a villa in Greece where we had our ceremony. It was one of the happiest weeks of my life. We’re now expecting our first baby and I know that we have a long, beautiful journey ahead.
Last week I introduced you to Kavita’s Soul Level Love free training program. I feel passionately about this because I think so many women have misconceptions about what love should be and what it shouldn’t. I experienced heartache for so many years because I didn’t understand what was blocking me in love. I don’t ever promote anything I don’t 100% believe in, and Kavita is amazing at helping women to identify their love blocks and feel more empowered around finding love. She’s just released her 2nd video of this incredible series and you can grab your seat here.
With so much gushy love,