Reflections on My Journey
In my mid-forties I thought I had
it made: a good marriage, excellent health, a career I
loved, modest savings, and a nice home. But
in my fifties my whole world fell apart. I lost my job and
career, my marriage, my home, and most of my savings. And of course,
my health suffered. I was depressed—I had no energy and little
interest in anything. There were many dark days when it seemed that my
life was over. I had no clue of where to go from there.
How did I end up at
such a low point? Many years of failing to listen to
I had long ago abandonned parts of myself, my
shadow, out of deep shame. I invested heavily in an ego that demanded
perfection of myself. So after a lifetime of wasting precious energy
trying to perfect and control myself, I was exhausted. I was pretty
usually had no clue of how to please myself. Or what my soul required
I grew up within a religious and
tradition that views human nature and our physical body as inherently
sinful. I was taught that spirituality and sexuality are opposites. I
wasted energy struggling to suppress my desires for pleasure and sex. I
learned at an early age to live in my mind and to disconnect from my
feelings and my body. I had difficulty being fully present with others.
The more I tried to be perfect, the more I seemed to fail, adding to my
shame instead of reducing it. I was caught in a vicious circle of shame
strangling the life out of me.
After my life began falling
apart, I went to counseling (therapy)
and took an anti-depressant medication, both of which helped.
Gradually, I stopped listening to my self-critical
thinking and started paying
attention to my desires
and following them. I started listening to my soul. I trusted myself to
take risks I would
have previously considered outrageous.
Early on in my quest, I followed my desire to a
nude beach on the Atlantic. I walked the beach for several hours before
I worked up the courage enter the heavy, chilly surf. I was barely able
to keep upright as the waves churned the sand out from under my feet,
but I persisted. Being so absolutely naked and tiny in this vast,
powerful ocean was both humbling and exhilarating! I was fully awake
and alive! I got in touch with intense emotions, felt a powerful
connection with God, and was filled with gratitude and hope. This was
exactly what my soul had needed!
I found my way to naked yoga classes,
ecstatic dance, tantra workshops, erotic massage, and
more social nudism. And I felt called to help men connect with their
bodies, souls, and sexuality.
After my marriage ended, I started dating. I dated
some men and fell in love with a woman. We
enjoyed 18 amazing months together before we ended our relationship.
Despite the pain of breaking
up, I'm glad I had been willing
to risk loving again—that was a miracle really. And I will keep myself
open to loving. Again and again.
high school I realized that mainstream churches did not meet my
spiritual needs, so I joined the Religious Society of Friends
after several decades of quiet, meditative worship with the Quakers,
the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC)
the celebration of communion is one of the most important events of my
All of these
helped me to heal and grow.
The more I free myself from shame and
perfectionism, the more I love
myself. My relationships are
more loving and I have more energy for
And my soul sings as I help others experience the
joy of living
that is our birthright.
Love makes your soul crawl out
from its hiding place.
—Zora Neale Hurston
Experience and Achievements
I serve on the board of directors of The Bridge,
a community organization dedicated to raising awareness and teaching
skills needed to create a life-sustaining future.
I am the organizer for two men's groups:
Bay Gay Nudists Social Group
Previously I worked as a mental health counselor
for 24 years.
I served as President of the Florida Mental Health
Counseling Association (FMHCA) from 1999 to 2000.
the Tampa Men's Council which sponsored men's
groups and workshops for eight years.
I provided Employee Assistance services for local
businesses and clinical
supervision for counselors.
I taught graduate-level counseling
undergraduate ethics courses at the University of South
Working with students in my ethics courses
inspired me to write a book, The
Ethics and Efficacy of the Global War on
Terrorism: Fighting Terror with Terror, co-authored with Charles
Webel. It is available in my Store.