Cat's Story

27.10.22 07:51 PM By web.ssdce

Some years ago, in the midst of life’s turbulence, Joshua and I discovered a refuge in each other’s presence. Our individual paths were riddled with challenges – I was grappling with the painful loss of my husband to cancer, while Joshua was healing from a heart-wrenching breakup. Amidst these personal trials, we found ourselves compelled to keep my business, an event space in New York City, afloat. This endeavor was more than a mere source of income; it became entwined with our personal growth and exploration of our identities. Together, we faced the daunting task of tending to my business while dealing with our own adversities. As we stood united in our efforts, a powerful realization emerged – we were making a profound impact on the lives of our guests and clients. This impact was especially profound for those struggling with matters of sexual and gender identities. This insight inspired us to dream of creating content and programs that could magnify personal growth and forge connections on a grander scale. It was during this phase that we coined our guiding philosophy – “People Before….” which emphasized that our identities should always take precedence over our roles or titles. As 2019 drew to a close, the physical event space shut its doors. Yet, in the midst of this change, we managed to secure a small haven for ourselves. From this base, we embarked on building our programming, culminating in the launch of our inaugural weekend intensive in February 2020. However, fate had other designs. The onset of the Covid pandemic sent shockwaves through our plans, bringing our person-to-person engagements to an abrupt halt. Despite this setback, our commitment to serving our community burned brighter than ever. With a world craving connection and belonging, we transformed our newfound space into a virtual haven – a blend of living workshop and remote workspace. To counteract the isolation and despair that gripped our community, we introduced several online initiatives: 1. “Ask Me Anything” sessions: These sessions granted individuals access to professional insights, enabling them to seek guidance on matters of personal growth and identity. 2. Community Zoom Meet-ups: In these moderated dialogues, people could gather, sharing their challenges and finding solace in the company of others. 3. Education Sessions: Online learning opportunities were extended, accompanied by scholarships, ensuring accessibility for those in need. Our journey led us not only to serve others but to embark on our own journeys of healing. I had been on a journey of traditional recovery for years, but during this period, I delved earnestly into trauma work. Joshua, too, charted a path of growth that led him to, among other things, end-of-life doula work. As we traversed these paths side by side, we developed a deeper empathy for our clients, aligning with them on profound levels. Our individual identities also came into sharper focus during this time. Through unwavering dedication, we fashioned and continue to develop, comprehensive programs designed to guide others through introspection, authentic connection with self and others and truthful expression.