We are Radical Pleasurists
Hi, I’m Sophia…
I was born in Moldova and grew up as a Brooklyn Jew with my mama, papa, and brother. I’m bilingual in Russian with the thickest accent. My parents laugh at me when I attempt to speak Russian. I have also learned Italian and Spanish and LOVE languages and how words shape reality. Education and independence were the most important values in my hard-working family. My parents taught me how to be super head-strong and not to take shit from anyone. My mom is my heroine and the strongest woman I know. She drilled, sometimes not so nicely, into my skull to attain higher education. So I did.
I graduated with honors from college with a Psych degree and a minor in International Studies from Florence, Italy. My first career was behavioral therapy with children on the autism spectrum. I returned to school to receive a Master’s in Couple & Family Therapy with a specialty in sex therapy. I’ve published articles in famous peer-reviewed journals. I’ve gotten awards. I’ve presented at international conferences. That wasn’t enough or fulfilling for me (I became bored with talk therapy and academics). There was an emptiness in my heart that was excruciatingly painful and I was lost. I craved to know myself through my body and God, not just my brain. I had zero connection to my emotions, to vulnerability, or to intimacy. You couldn’t get through the armor with a wrecking ball. I was wound up tight. I was depressed and suicidal AF. It was medication or meditation. I began to meditate a lot. It saved my life. I became attuned in Reiki. I became certified as a Yoga Instructor. I started doing things for pleasure, not obligation. I started to LISTEN and FOLLOW instead of strive and force. I stopped being a Pleaser.
# of articles I've written
# of countries I've lived in
$$ raised for Chicago's Women's Health Center as Organizer of V-Day (The Vagina Monologues)
% of the time I could snuggle
My favorite job, before I quit the mainstream/therapy world forever, was teaching marginalized people of color with severe mental illness yoga, writing, adult sex ed, food as medicine, creativity, and leadership skills. I had a ton of autonomy so I did whatever I wanted. I experimented. I played. I laughed. We danced a lot and crafted together. They taught me how to crochet and knit. We stitched and bitched. They felt human again. I loved those people. I never felt more myself. I left that job because I wasn’t about to die in a sterile hospital. After leaving, the greatest adventures of my life began.
It started with moving to Hawai’i. Life was amazing. I worked in the kitchen of Kalani and taught yoga. I slowed down. I worked with my first life coach. I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. Then the greatest joy and trauma of my life occurred. In the midst of profound denial and pain, an epic road trip around the mainland for 8 months visiting strangers and national parks happened. On the epic road trip, I decided I would become a vegan personal chef. I pulled it out of thin air. In September 2013, I started my first business and became an entrepreneur. Building a business and allowing myself to feel grief saved my life for the second time. Finally, Radical Pleasurist was born and here I am.
Limitlessly at peace, fully in love, and totally taken care of by community and God. Now I know what it feels like to belong and to love my Self unconditionally. It’s pretty EPIC. You’ll usually find me naked somewhere (or at least bare-footed), kayaking, dancing, hiking & backpacking, entertaining friends, or in Forest Park talking to trees and crying.
Wanna know the microscopic truth about my rock bottoming and how I found undisturbed peace? Click here >>> to Read my full From Pleaser to Pleasure story.
Hi, I’m Heather.
On my birth day, my grandmother walked across the stage to accept my mother’s high school diploma on her behalf since she was in labor. My mom wanted to name me Patience but the “nuns with guns”, as she has always referred to them (the hospital was Catholic), discouraged her and instead tried to convince her to give me up for adoption. She chose to keep me.
I spent the first few years of life in my grandmother’s bakery, being held and played with by her regular customers, which included the creators of Apple. (If only grandma had invested the $1500 they asked from her, life would be wildly different now!)
My primary requirement for college was that it was not in Alaska. I ended up at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR. I felt like driftwood being tossed around in rough seas my entire college career, but I was lucky enough to make some amazing friends who kept me from drifting out to sea altogether. I fell in love with Portland and had no intention to move when I graduated.
I continued to drift through life, being tossed around roughly by the storms, but always staying afloat. I was completely unaware of how my thoughts, beliefs, intentions, and actions created my experience. I thought life happened TO me, not FOR me.
I did not search for my jobs, they were always offered to me after I’d spent some time in the organization as a temp. Three years after graduation, I started dating the man who would become my husband. We had been friends for years and it felt natural to fall in love with him. We had a baby and built a business together. I thought it was the life I’d always wanted – I was a mother, wife, Girl Scout troop leader, and career woman. I gave to everyone else before myself. I did not know how to relax, rest, or receive.
# of businesses I have started
# of years as a Girl Scout Troop Leader
# of rides given as a professional driver
# of years lived without indoor plumbing
After nearly 18 years together, in the spring of 2014, my marriage ended in a way that felt abrupt at the time. However, it wasn’t. We had been unraveling since before our daughter was born in 2003. We stopped enjoying each other’s company. We stopped playing and dreaming together. Our only shared joy became our daughter.
I have experienced every major life change imaginable in the past five years. Divorce, selling a home, moving frequently, family drama, new job, major illness, loss of job, bankruptcy, death of a parent, an abusive relationship and difficult breakup, recovery from major illness, single parenthood, and having a child with health challenges. Through it all I have fiercely and consistently chosen to turn toward love. Love for myself, love for my family (both chosen and biological), and love for everyone drawn into my sphere. I am thankful to myself for making all the hard choices and continuing to put one foot in front of the other. I am thankful I’ve opened myself up to new experiences, people, and places. I am already living a life beyond my wildest dreams and my dreams are getting wilder by the day (I’m writing this from Costa Rica in between pool runs).
How did I come to full open-hearted love? Click here >>> to read my Full Catastrophe and what in the world that means!