When the Student Is Ready the Teacher Appears, Really

When Layne told me she was breaking up with me, I could hardly believe it. I shouldn’t have been too surprised, though. I had already been divorced twice and I was only 29, so I was used to my relationships with women not working out. I just had thought my relationship with Layne was going to be different.

What really surprised me was my response. I actually felt calm inside when she said she didn’t want to see me any more because she was committing to Gabriel. It felt strange to feel so deeply connected to her yet unattached and like I really could release her and let her go at the same time.

It was clear to me by the way I was feeling and responding to Layne’s announcement that the work I had been doing on myself the past year was truly healing my deepest fears. I reflected on how far I had come in such a short time.


Paul in 1974 Before Emotional Healing

Paul in 1974 Before Emotional Healing Work

I recalled my life before I came to Theta House where I met Layne.

I got married while I was still in art school. After graduation I drove a cab and built a photography studio with some buddies from school and worked for a prominent wedding photographer.

When my wife got pregnant our relationship began to deteriorate. We went into therapy that didn’t seem to do much but make me feel even more guilty and terrified than I already felt. It got so bad that we ended up on welfare and Food Stamps with a new born son. It seemed like my wife and I were fighting constantly. My self esteem and self confidence were subterranean.

I thought of myself as a spiritual person. I spent hours in metaphysical bookstores reading books on spirituality. I went to the San Francisco Zen Center to meditate. I also believed my spirituality would eventually help me resolve the pain and fear I was in, but now I was having my doubts as things went from bad to worse.

It was about this time that I learned about a personal growth center called Theta House which came highly recommended by a trusted friend. When I visited the place I liked what I saw and the people I met there. Maybe I could put aside my fear and distrust long enough to find out if they could help us.

I was intrigued by the healing and transformational processes they used there. I thought maybe they could help us since the therapy didn’t seem to be doing much good. I was looking for anything that could free us from the emotional pain and dysfunctional patterns that had us in a death grip.

Even though I was highly suspicious and distrustful, I decided to trust these people who seemed kind and loving and spoke with such confidence about their ability to help us. The only hitch was that my wife was not the least bit interested. In spite of my fear and distrust I felt called to explore this path and I traveled it without her.

I was guided through a series of profound emotional healing and consciousness expanding experiences that shifted my sense of who I was. All of a sudden a veil was lifted and the invisible was made visible to me.

 With the revelation came a passionate, all consuming determination to realize the potential for being someone who could create a meaningful life of happiness and contribution.

Paul After Emotional Healing - 1978

Paul in 1978 After Emotional Healing Work











I saw the hidden architecture of my life and why I had been suffering for so long.

I also saw how to change all of it. It was a revelation and I was elated that I had found this place and these people.

Looking back, there were two important factors that were critical to the success of my journey: having the right mentors and my ability to trust them and let them help me.

I had two mentors who guided me in very different ways. The first was Marshall and the second was Kyle. Marshall primarily facilitated my emotional healing. He cleared the way for all my spiritual ideas to take seat in my heart.

The fabric of my everyday life began to take on a new and welcome sense of calm and optimism about my future. Marshall helped me see myself and others more deeply and I began to “read” the hidden consciousness patterns that create a persons’ life and relationships.

Kyle taught me to work with groups. I learned how to focus and channel a healing energy into a room without falling over myself. It was like learning to surf on huge rolling waves of energy and consciousness. Kyle made it look easy, but keeping my balance atop that powerful force was a lot harder than I thought it would be.

Kyle was brilliant and helped me grow beyond my father’s mind of poverty and failure to create more prosperity and success than I had ever imagined.

Later, when Sondra needed new trainers for The Loving Relationships Training, I was ready!

It’s only in hindsight that I can see the synchronistic convergence of mine and Layne’s separate paths. At about the same time, but before we met, we had each stepped into a world of deep emotional healing and expanding consciousness to have successful relationships.

Then we met, shared an unexpected mystical moment and fell deeply in love.

Oh yeah, back to the breaking up incident when Layne decided to stay with Gabriel . . . That lasted about two weeks. She told me it was the most miserable, unhappy two weeks of her life and she knew she had made a mistake! (Happy Dance!) She wanted to know if I could I find a way to take her back. The way she put it was she saw that Gabriel represented her past and I represented her future.

We decided to use our relationship as a proving ground for what we wanted passionately to believe was possible, but we had no way of really knowing if it was or not. We had to find out for ourselves.

We were experimental, creative and unstoppable in our commitment to realize the full potential of our love for one another. We were on a spiritual adventure together, filled with countless surprises and rich in drama.

All the seeds of hope and love and trust were bearing fruit in our life together as we sought to bring out the best in each other and to help others along the way. With our commitment to the LRT we imagined ourselves teaching it forever. We were completely unprepared for the sudden and unexpected change ahead.


What does this story bring up for you, if anything? Is there some part of your own life experience that resonates with what I share here? I appreciate any comments or questions you care to share.

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