We Are the Solid

We Are the Solid

A Professional Coaching Package on Estrangement & Emotional Liberation

In her 2012 book, Tiny Beautiful Things, Cheryl Strayed responds to a message from a Dear Sugar writer with the pseudonym “Estranged Daughter.” The letter writer describes her difficult situation with her mother, “…after much therapy, lots of contemplation, and years of trying to make it better, I concluded the only way to be free of her cruelty and chaos would be to end all contact with her — so I did.”

Are you someone who can relate to this path?

Estranged Daughter later concludes, “…I’ve never regretted my choice, as painful as it was to make.”

photo by Dids

In early December 2022, I’m noticing a strong theme showing up in storytelling media, both in my own heart and in the stories I enjoy for pleasure. So, I am responding by offering a new, customized package. I was recently interviewed by Michael Hingson, at AccessiBE and author of Thunder Dog, on his Unstoppable Mindset Podcast: Where Diversity, Inclusion, and the Unexpected Meet. Listen to our conversation here!

Since I’d had so much wonderful press on my first book, Can’t Stop the Sunrise, coverage of my activism in The Amends Project, and interviews about my sexual health work and second book, Sex Education for Girls: A Parent’s Guide — I decided slowly that it was time to share something far more deeply personal and significant. 

I am part of an invisible minority of people who are estranged from their original family.

A beloved colleague in his 70s (who also has this life experience) worked with youth for decades and shared that about 1 in 10 young people have to leave their homes to find safety and health in the world. Estimates are closer to 1 in 6 who have some form of family estrangement (such as a sibling, one parent, etc.) It rattles us human beings to the core — the same way the orphan or “abandoned child” archetype touches on a primal fear which captivates us all in fairy tales. 

How do we survive and thrive when the biological framework that brought us here doesn’t hold?

This brings us back to Cheryl Strayed’s comment that We Are the Solid

She writes, “The door is a metaphor we use so we can pretend there is something solid to crouch behind. But there isn’t. We are the solid. The door… is you and me and all the people reading this who relate to these words.”

photo by Edgar Moran

I am someone who relates — and I’ve been hungry to hear these stories retold by the people who have also lived them. Just this month, Death, Sex & Money is also releasing a series on Estrangement that I’ve been gratefully soaking up. So, I realized we — as a collective — are ready to look honestly at this life experience. Much of my study in healthy relationships has sprung from this place of needing to start from scratch to understand what thriving, healthy relationships could be.

I first ran away from home at age 9 (on foot) and was delivered back by a concerned adult. Then, I nearly left home at 17 (full story in Can’t Stop the Sunrise). After leaving the east coast for California in 1996, I soon chose to cease contact with one parent… and over the next 10 years, recognized I had to fully close off contact with both. So, I have a solid 20-30 years of experience with the journey of estrangement — what I call emotional liberation

I speak of the many rewards of my own path in the upcoming Unstoppable Mindset interview. Here is the link to that conversation, available now! Again, Cheryl Strayed beautifully articulates how we become The Solid by saying, “It’s built by our strength and our courage, our wisdom and our resolve, our suffering and our triumph.”

Now, I am offering this Private Coaching Package for adults of all ages to optimize the strengths and triumphs of this unique road.

Wherever you are in the process:

* Whether you are thinking about it — and need help with the “yes or no”, and “if so, how?”
* You might be resolute — but need guidance on how this process will actually look for you.
* Maybe you’ve recently closed the door — and you’re reeling from the disorientation of “What now?”, needing support to become more solid than before.
* Even if you’re years into the shift — and you need to sift through what you’re carrying forward and what needs to be left behind…

I can help.

  • We’ll sort through the shame or embarrassment that arises in sharing this truth socially
  • We begin by defining your personal standards for treatment in all your relationships
  • We address the role of guilt, the concept of obligation, and the influence of societal pressure
  • Explore the many facets of boundaries — establishing, defending, and reinforcing
  • Create a mind and heart stance of gratitude within your new personal safety
  • Map a plan for managing connected relationships (siblings, friends, etc.)
  • Vision what is now possible for you in the wake of your liberation

Let’s get started

Pick a time to have a Free, 20-minute call to see how we connect. This will help us establish a great fit in all directions. Then, we can choose the best package for you.

I am currently offering 10-week, 4-month, and 6-month Professional Coaching Packages. Longer packages include a Narrative Overview — a short story about you in this stage of your life, told through the heroine/hero’s journey.

Ask any questions and request a rate sheet & Coaching Agreement in a quick message here:


    Find more interviews at my author website.

    Here is information on getting started in 5 easy steps.

    Browse Client Testimonials Here.