I was born two blocks from the Pacific Ocean, in a rented wooden beach house in Christchurch, New Zealand. My parents blessed me with many things, including a younger sister (Toronto artist Marjan Verstappen), excellent communication skills, and 3 passports (British, Canadian, New Zealand – the trifecta!).
I have a deep love for talking about feelings. I can intellectualize and analyze all my feelings and package them into neat, manageable sound bytes. But – and here’s the kicker – I wasn’t so great at feeling my feelings. That was the scary hard part. How could I feel, and not be overwhelmed? How could I sit through the intensity of my emotion, and know I was going to be okay?
Through body-based healing: yoga, dance and psychodrama, I was taken by the hand and led into this work. I took a deep breath, and did it. It took trust in my body, trust in the process, tons of self care and belief that I could just ‘be’ with emotion. And you know what? I can. I came through this process with a “feeling body”. I wasn’t disconnecting, disassociating or any other of the dis- words (actually no….I was discovering…!)
As a sweet, unexpected bonus to all this hard work, I realized that I had fallen in love with myself along the way. And, as a result of the love for myself and knowledge of my body, I’m showing up more and more as my whole, authentic self: in my relationships, in my work and how I live my life.
I quit my job and embarked on a year of travel. I travelled solo, but not alone, finding my people in alternative sexual communities in Vancouver, tantra retreats on the pacific coast of Mexico, feminist crisis workers in Guatemala. This year connected spirituality and sex, something I had been pondering as my yoga practice became more serious. It introduced me to kink and poly communities – people who were practicing sex positivity every day, and defying social scripts of pleasure, intimacy and connection. And it planted the seed in my mind that I wanted to support others to feel in their bodies, to connect more deeply with themselves and their partners and to live a sex-positive life!
These threads of my life have combined to bring me to where I am today, and what I’m offering. I weave my passions, skills and interests together in workshops, classes and community building. I love this work, and I feel joy and purpose in sharing it with others.
I now live in Toronto, Canada. I’ve been here since December 2014. And to finish this off, here are some other little things About Me:
- I box at a women’s only gym and can’t get enough of the sweat and aggression.
- Black Books will always, always make me cry laughing.
- I write things down and burn them in rituals with my friends.
- I’ve travelled to 17 countries (so far!)
- I thoroughly enjoy my own company.
- I used to wish that I was a jersey cow, with a wet nose and long eyelashes. (When I was 6 or 7, okay?)
Want to chat with me? I’d love to! I’m on Facebook, Instagram (@cordeliahh) or at firstname.lastname@example.org.