True connection awakens us to what matters most in life.
I decided to get my PhD in psychology because I wanted to learn the secret to a happy, meaningful life. I trained at some of the best institutions in the country, specialized in Health Psychology (Behavioral Medicine) at Harvard Medical School, and then founded and ran the Health Psychology program and post-doctoral training programs at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. But I didn’t truly begin to understand the elusive secret of life until I started working with medically ill and dying patients.
Many of those going through life-threatening illness were—sometimes for the first time—absolutely clear on what truly mattered to them, and acting in alignment with those truths. They were fully awake. Emotionally honest. Intentional. My team and I started describing them as “connected,” because it seemed like they had plugged in to themselves as well as everything and everyone around them.
These patients inspired me to find out whether others could live in that elevated place, without waiting for a tragic event or terminal diagnosis. My quest sparked major changes in both my own life, and in those I serve. In 2016, I founded a non-profit to focus full-time on trying to understand, explain and teach how to achieve true connection. My work today emphasizes ways to cultivate meaning in life, and how we can enrich our daily existence with joyful intention, purpose, and authenticity.