Babes, meet Morgan. We first met years ago through a yoga school and were immediate friends. I told her the other day that when I look back at the paths we have walked I know that we were always walking alongside one another. We do different work, but it overlaps so often and so intentionally. I genuinely CANNOT WAIT for you to get to know her and the work she does with her life. You just aren't going to find another person so devoted to the healing of all women, so grab a tea or a glass of wine and lean in. Morgan's story is raw, beautiful, brutal, and so validating to the human experience.
Hi Morgan! Will you tell us about where you've come from and what sparked your own personal awakening or deconstruction? What kind of obstacles did you face that brought deeper awareness?
When I was 15 I was raped by two boys who had brought me to a christian youth ministry. I didn’t grow up in the church, but I always wanted to know God, and so the invite felt like the beginning of something big. When things ended up the way they did I felt so much shame. I had internalized the message that something about me, an “unsaved” woman, was so bad and dangerous, that something about me must have made them do what they did.
Never did the word “rape” even enter my vocabulary for that experience until much later when I began the journey of feminine wholeness, and I started healing from the sexual and spiritual trauma of my experiences as a woman.
It was someone else (a therapist) that had to say the words out loud for me, because I never could. And because I never could, I never grieved. Life just went on, but it never was the same again. In highschool I was the girl with the Scarlet Letter. I never fought back against the gossip. So deeply did I believe I was the one that caused them to stumble (I drank too much, my shorts were too short, etc) I wrote a letter of apology to their mothers.
A 10 year battle with chronic depression and anxiety began and I never connected the dots. I just withdrew my light from the world and developed a deep fear of expressing who I was.
Alone I felt safe.
Alone I could feel God.
Alone I could dream and believe I was made for great things.
“Out there” (with my peers, at a church, in the job-market, wherever) felt like a place I didn’t belong.
I went inward and pursued happiness within. Instead of following the culturally acceptable path of going to college, getting a good job, getting married, having kids, I followed my desire for wholeness inside.
I studied meditation with an Indian guru in Australia for a year. I traveled around the South Pacific and Europe and lived in Italy alone. I went back to school to get my master’s degree in Eastern Philosophy. I got pregnant on a one-night stand.
I was 26 and a single mom. For 11 years I had tried to travel faster than my shadow, seeking answers to my deepest questions about love, freedom and who I was. Now I was back in the town I lived in where I was raped, living in my parent’s house, wearing the same Scarlet Letter, feeling foolish for ever believing I was more than what my small town thought of me.
In the dark place of shame and despair, I realized I had a choice:
I could continue to relate to myself and the world from a place of unworthiness, or I could learn how to relate to myself and the world from a place of wholeness.
I decided I was going to create a life of true romance and meaningful adventure for my son and I, no matter what.
That meant I would pursue freedom and all the things that light me up.
It took me another 11 years and a lot of exploration, personal/spiritual/sexual development, and master-level training in neuropsychology and trauma healing to become any good at this, but I never gave up. (I’m still not giving up because more freedom is always available!)
Even before I became a “Christian” and did all the right “Christiany” things (reading my bible every morning, attending church every Sunday, leading missional community with my husband) I had the awareness that LOVE was more powerful than fear and that what really matters is the quality of our presence, not the doctrine we espouse with our tongue.
I also knew that my heart was good even though others looked/look at me with disdain or ridicule. I had this awareness because even in my darkest hours I could feel an abiding presence, a presence that did not try to fix me or save me from the suffering of my choices or the cruelty of the world, but simply sat with me through it and gently guided back to love again and again and again.
You have done so much good, deep, healing work for yourself. How has your self view and world view changed in the process?
One of the things I tell my kids is “everyone is everything.” There is no such thing as all good or all bad. The consequence of our choices are real, but nothing can change our original essence which is love. No matter how far we feel from our best life, or God... no matter how many people judge us, misunderstand who we are, or try to dismiss our voices and our power, we are still free and no one can take away the quality of our presence.
Every part of us belongs and we can love the world into wholeness by learning to embrace our own shadow and abide in the dark places with our own courageous, tender presence.
And it’s the quality of our presence that makes Children of God, not the religion we follow. Because of what happened to me, my body knew the truth: It doesn’t matter if someone calls themselves a Christian.
Going to church isn’t it.
Quoting scripture isn’t it.
These can be beautiful things, but at the end of the day all that matters is the quality of your presence. Is it a safe and empowering place for others or not?
When I was younger my worldview depended on being chosen, accepted, loved and honored by the world before I felt worthy of loving or honoring myself. I spent three decades waiting for someone else to give me permission to be myself or to validate my relationship with God.
Now, I know I am free and I work every day to remember that freedom by loving myself and honoring the full range of emotion that comes with being a human being.
My desire is to live in such a way that makes it easier for others to be gentle with themselves and the hard parts of their story, so that they too can hand in old shame for new freedom.
I have always been interested in LOVE, more than church. Evangelism never took hold of me, but the mystical encounters did. I consider myself a mystical, contemplative Christian on the Wisdom path. I meet with Jesus through the door of my heart. I do not worry anymore if he is the path for everybody. He is the path for me because I am in love with him. Eros is important to my devotion. Because I trust that it is desire that ultimately leads us home and shows us back to our true self, you could call my Christian path and tantric Christian path.
Knowing what you know now what do you believe everyone in the world deserves to have and how does that shape the way you live your life?
I believe every single person in the world deserves to be seen through the eyes of love.
I try to see myself this way so that my eyes are well-trained at picking up on all the the light emanating from what appears to be only dark.
Conscious love is my path. Gentleness is my speed.
What advice or encouragement would you give to someone else who is going through their own awakening or deconstruction?
The best advice I have comes from one of my spiritual teachers, Cynthia Bourgeault:
“You are the vessel, the instrument that receives the wisdom. It’s not knowing more, it’s knowing deeper, knowing with more of your being engaged.”
Find the teachers, and the embodiment practices that connect you to yourself and your North Star. Maybe you have a name for your North Star or maybe you don’t. Maybe you once had a name for it, but now you aren’t sure. That’s okay.
What’s more important than the name is the felt-sense that you have for the Presence that has always been with you.
Explore this felt-sense Presence through every area of your life-- including the most taboo areas of your sexuality.
The awakening process is down and in, before it is up and out.
Don’t be afraid to go down and into your shadow, and your sexuality, to find the treasure there of your own always-and-forever wholeness.
Deconstruction and spiritual awakening often leave us with a sense of not having answers - and we're okay with that. What is one thing you know for certain?
My favorite quote of all time sums up what I know for sure:
“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”
And, for all the things I don’t KNOW about God, I FEEL for certain that God is love.
Thank you so much for sharing yourself with us. I love getting to share with you with the world from this space. How can people find you and your work?
I work with women who desire to embody love and live in wholeness and freedom 1-on-1 through a very specific process of wisdom embodiment that involves liberating all parts of who you are. You can learn more about that process and jump on a free call with me here:
As you know, I love travel and romance and adventure, and one of my favorite things is “shared presence” with other women on retreats:
Free resource for women who grew up in a church that taught them shame around sex:
Free resource to bring deeper connection to your sacred relationship:
Free resource on my favorite self-care practice for feminine wholeness: