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A Heart That Loves Itself Cannot Be Broken. Is This True?

a self-love poster spotted on Providence’s not-so-mean streets

I spotted this philosophical poster on my way across the street to walk underneath the changing trees of fall.

“A heart that loves itself cannot broken.”

First let me say that I love these mysterious people who are stapling self-love posters to telephone poles. Their intent to spread the message of self-compassion could not be more admirable. Their tactile work is so much more satisfying and human to take in than another inspirational quote on Instagram.

My heart swelled reading their message. But my critical mind could not stop there.

“But is this true?” I stopped to ask myself, before crossing the street to walk through the park. “Is it really true that a heart that loves itself cannot be broken?”

the first blush of fall on that walk

My heart got broken this year in a way that it had not been broken in years. There were nights when I woke up at 4 am and felt like a meteor had landed in my heart, leaving a charred crater in its wake. The despair of that break-up left my heart jagged and in pieces.

Did that mean that I don’t love myself? Or did that mean I was allowing myself to feel?

I thought about that lovely poster on my walk through the trees.

Here’s how I would amend the text if I were to make it feel true to me.

“A heart that loves itself cannot be permanently broken.”

“A heart that loves itself heals more quickly after heartbreak.”

“A heart that loves itself will not lose itself in grief for years.”

“A heart that loves itself will grow more resilient to love again.”

When I was going through the worst of this heartbreak, someone told me it was a good sign that my heart hurt so deeply. Being more heartbroken than ever, he said, meant I had opened up to love, and the hurt would only lead my heart to grow back stronger. I took solace in the idea that heartbreak could only grow my capacity to love.

Here is what I know for sure by now: Heartbreak is unavoidable. Loss is the flaw in love. Many of our attempts at romantic relationships do not work out over the long-term. Even superficial online dating attempts can break your heart, slowly over time, little by little, cut by cut. Horrible people will be elected as our leaders. People will disappoint us. Our friends and lovers and family will pass away.

There is always going to be heartbreak and disappointment.

The best we can hope for is that our hearts break and then grow back stronger. Self-love comes when we stop blaming ourselves. The key to healing your heart is taking out the thorn of self-blame.

Healing is a shift in perspective. A shift of knowing that you are lovable and life can be good even after devastation. Cue the song, “I Will Survive.” Seriously, if you are going through a heartbreak right now, play that song on YouTube and dance to it. We need to feel the feelings and let them move through us, through journaling, talking with a trusted friend, coach or therapist, dancing, walking, or whatever works best for you to alchemize the pain.

It’s not inevitable that a heart grows back stronger. A heart can also break and not stitch back together. A heart can grow bitter, jaded, shriveled, and resigned, which happens all the time.

Many, many people give up on love and their dreams all the time. It’s a miracle to keep going and to be at peace with your life as it is right now.

It takes a strong heart to keep on beating. A heart that loves itself.

P.S. In a little over two weeks, on Thursday November 4, at 8 pm ET (NYC time), I am going to interview my dear friend Carolyn Arnold about her new memoir Fifty First Dates after Fifty. This is a free online event to celebrate the launch of Carolyn’s book. We would love for you to join us.

Carolyn, an inveterate social scientist, and definitely a quirky, independent woman, devised an unusual dating plan to go on fifty first dates to find the right partner for her. I’ll be asking her about how she stitched her heart back together after disappointments and rejections.

Once you have been slammed a number of times in dating, how can you stay positive and keep going? You can read this interview I did with Carolyn way back in 2012 to get a taste for what we will be talking about.

If you have been considering working with me as your life coach this free event is a nice low-pressure chance to get to know me a little better and see me in action interviewing Carolyn. If you are over 40, 50, 60, or 70 and battle voices in your head thinking it’s too late, you should definitely come. You can register here.

What Netflix’s Love on the Spectrum Has to Teach All of Us About Dating

If you are looking for something to watch, I suggest Love on the Spectrum, an Australian docu-series on Netflix about autistic people on their dating journeys.

It’s light, entertaining, and uplifting. Plus, the people they are following have a lot to teach all of us, including neurotypical people, about how to be emotionally brave in dating.

Love on the Spectrum is the best dating show because the people are so incredibly real. They say things like this, “I feel very warm, appreciated, and comfortable with you. How would you like to go out with me on a third date?” I loved it when one of them said he would never want to be on The Bachelor because he wouldn’t get to be himself.

Dating is tough enough for everyone, but it is has got to be tougher for autistic people who face stigma and tend to find social interactions challenging. What I love about the people on the show is their honesty. No pretending, no facade. What you see is what you get.

When it comes to love, their sincerity is so refreshing. They get hurt and disappointed, but they don’t get jaded and they don’t give up. One of the most important qualities to cultivate when you are dating is resilience. They also have parents who really support their self-love.

Lovely Michael is not afraid to say, “I’m on a quest to find true love.” How many of us are willing to say that out loud?

Another great line comes from 22-year-old Teo, who said, “I get so nervous about… what if I die alone?” Who says that on a date?

They bring gifts on first dates. They take it slow. They ask permission to hug or hold hands. Their courtships are so quaint and lovely compared to the hot mess of the dating-app world.

The people on the show get advice from Jodi Rodgers, relationship specialist for autistic people, who teaches them how to ask questions and listen to the answers.

Since the dating apps have come to dominate the ways we meet, almost everyone today needs a rudimentary course on how to date today because phone-based apps like Tinder and Hinge have shaped many people’s behaviors to be downright rude and bizarre.

I suspect the producers are heavily coaching them to say how they really feel on their dates, or they are just the most authentic people ever. I have never seen modern-day people be more open confessing their feelings. “I’m into you–how do you feel about me?”

Someone has to be brave enough to ask that question first. Telling someone else how you feel on a date equals MAJOR LIFE SKILL.

The people on the show are young, in their twenties and early thirties. I would like to see the show follow older people on the spectrum in their dating journeys too and to hear about how their relationships have gone.

The bottom-line message from the show is: Be yourself. Be brave.

Always good advice in dating and life.

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I have one spot open at the moment in my coaching practice. If you have been curious about working with me and waiting to reach out, now may be the time. You can tell me more about what you want to explore or work on through coaching here.

New Video: Get to know me, my work, and my many hairstyles

I suspect people often look at me and my work and scratch their heads, and ask, “Quirkyalone, self-marriage, pussywalking, tangasms, life coaching for women. What is going on here?”

I made this video to pull all the threads together. The common theme is clear: the empowerment of women.

All you quirky, self-aware men are welcome to come along for the ride too. We need you. I hope you enjoy it!

Feel free to share the video with friends who are also on the journey of self-discovery.

P.S. When I was working on this video I couldn’t help but notice, SO MANY HAIRSTYLES! The advantage of going gray early in life is that you can really play with your hair color.

Single in the Pandemic

The humorist Fran Leibowitz (star of Netflix’s docu-series “Pretend It’s a City”) talked to NPR’s Terry Gross about living alone in New York City during Covid.

Leibowitz said, “Well, it still seems to me to be by far the best choice. I cannot understand how people who do not live alone have stood this last 10 months, because the only upside of having to stay in my apartment is at least there was no one else there. I would find that unbearable, I mean, truly unbearable.”

Ha! When I heard this line on the radio, I glanced around my own apartment to ask myself whether I was happy that there was no one else there. I mean, sure, I love my solitude and all my weird secret single behaviors, with no TV blaring news programs or sports I don’t care about, but I can’t say that I genuinely agreed with Leibowitz that living alone during Covid is the best option—for me. I am not quite the badass Fran L. is, or rather, I’m a different breed of badass.

We all experience living alone and being single differently. Even if we can be OK with being single–or actively enjoy it–living Covid single has been something else. Since I’ve been in transition from Buenos Aires back to the U.S., I’ve done a little bit of everything over the last year: living alone, living with family, in a relationship, and single. I have to say, the transitions were the hardest. Living alone after spending weekends with a partner or living family most of the time was tough. Solitude is a good thing—and there can be too much of a good thing. I missed having people to talk to without setting up a Zoom or dialing the phone.

I was glad to see this news story from the New York Times: A Pandemic is Hard Enough, For Some Being Single Has Made It Harder. The concerns of people who live alone have often been ignored by governments in coronavirus guidelines that unilaterally discourage household mixing—what about all those households of one? For many of us who are single and living alone, the need for human contact can push us to the limit. Some of my single coaching clients have talked about not feeling human, just because they are working on Zoom or email, missing all the serendipitous, everyday fleeting encounters we’d normally have, at the dry cleaners or the office.

Not everyone has access to the New York Times so I will give you a few key nuggets:

“Some who said they were content with being single before the pandemic have nonetheless struggled with what they’re missing in emotional support and even routine physical touch.”

“…while people missed sex, there was more severe pining for nonsexual forms of touch: the day-to-day contact, couch cuddling and hugs — even high-fives — that have been severed off in an age of social distancing.”

“For some, losing nearly a year of searching for a partner is time people didn’t think they could spare…” “That’s especially an issue for those feeling a biological rush to have children.”

This is an especially good Twitter thread to read. A clinical oncology consultant in the UK started a conversation about the dreadfulness of being single during Covid.

All this time alone has its silver linings. Look at all that time you have to get in shape/learn a new language/get clear about what you really want in a relationship and your life. That’s all true, and I’m all for using our time intentionally, living consciously and deliberately.

And we need to be real about the challenges we are facing. Otherwise we stuff down the emotion in our bodies, and it manifests as pain, illness, stiffness, and get this—fatigue! Is that why Covid has been so tiring?

What about you? How are you living Covid? If you are single, are you savoring the alone time or dying for the time when you can go out dancing or to the gym or to yoga class, or wherever it is that you see people? If you’re in a relationship, do you sometimes wish you were living alone? If you are single and living alone, do you wish you were cohabiting so you had someone to talk with? If you’re single with kids home, how is it going for you?

Let us know in the comments.

I want to remind you that I am a life coach who specializes in working with women and men who identify or aspire to the quirkyalone concept, so if you have quirkyalone tendencies and you are struggling with any of the above (or something else), there’s a good chance that I will “get” you.

Could you benefit from the structure and support of life coaching?

If you think life coaching with me might be something for you, go ahead and send a message here.

Tell me what you want to focus on achieving or exploring through coaching.

If I think there’s a good chance I can help, we’ll set up a time for a free phone consult to discover whether we are a good fit.

Our Pre-Quirkyalone Day Party 2021: You’re Never Alone When You’re Quirkyalone, Pandemic Edition!

Looking for something different to do to celebrate during V-Day weekend? Wait, did we even acknowledge Valentine’s Day, everyone’s favorite Hallmark holiday?

There’s never been a better time to learn how to embrace your solitude than Quirkyalone/Together Day 2021!

Come to our Zoom shindig alone, with family or friends, or with your quirkytogether partner…

When: Friday, February 12 at 8 pm ET, 5 pm ET, 10 pm Buenos Aires/Most of Brazil, 2 am Most of Europe

Where: Zoom! Sign up here to get the link.

Since 2003, we’ve been celebrating Quirkyalone/Together Day as an alternative to Valentine’s Day. Quirkyalone/Together Day is a chance to celebrate all forms of love, starting with your relationship with yourself. Quirkyalone Day has been celebrated in 50 cities around the world and featured on CNN, MSNBC, in the New York Times, NPR, and many other media.

Quirkyalone uplifts single people but this holiday is NOT only for single people.

All are welcome including couples who are looking for something free and different. You will get to meet some cool new people and connect with your own quirky spirit at the same time.

Sasha Cagen, creator of the quirkyalone movement, author of Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics, and life coach extraordinaire will be guiding the ceremonies.

As this is a pre-IQD party on Friday (the official holiday is February 14) Sasha will help you plan what you will do on your Quirkyalone/Together Day and offer wisdom and inspiration from almost 20 years of celebrating solitude and self-connection.

We’ll have DJ Rubberband Girl from Berkeley’s KALX spinning the most inspiring quirkyalone/together music to get us dancing intermittently. Movement!

This is the first time we from Quirkyalone are ever doing such a thing on Zoom. It’s historic. Herstoric! Please come to witness and be part of it!

If you are feeling crafty and creative, please make a Quirkyalone/Together Day Card and bring it to the party to share – we would love to see it!

You can see some examples of cards from past years below.

This event is totally FREE, zanily FREE, but you need to register HERE on Eventbrite to get the Zoom link.

Feel free to invite quirkyalone/quirkytogether/quirkyslut/quirky friends. Make sure they register here….

And sign up for Sasha’s newsletter to get informed of future events.

See you there!

Love yourself first and foremost by married quirkytogether Danielle Jatlow, of Burlington, Vermont. 

Card by writer and artist Jenny Bitner of San Francisco

Let’s hang out from Kerry Lander, Melbourne, Australia

You don’t want to miss this Quirkyalone Day gathering, Pandemic-edition! As they say in Argentina, this online party is imperdible (unmissable) . And seriously what other online event could be better? Sign up here to get the link.

Quirkyalone (and I) Stand with Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter Protest June 5, 2020 Providence, RI

Black Lives Matter Protest June 5, 2020 Providence, RI

I sent this message out to my newsletter list, and I’m sharing it here too so I can share this post on social media with readers who are not on the newsletter list.

Dearest souls,

I have been sitting with the question of what to say in support of Black Lives Matter in a message to you for about five days now. I attended a Black Lives Matter protest with my father in Providence, Rhode Island last Friday (the city where I grew up). (All the demonstrators I saw wore masks, and we did too. We kept distance at the back of the march since my father is 73, and I don’t want to get the coronavirus either!)

I wanted to write an essay about going to the Providence protest during the pandemic. I started, but I haven’t finished. I am a slow writer in general.

While I like to write from the “I” about what I see through my eyes, I didn’t want to fall into the trap of making this about me, because this is definitely not about me.

What’s happening now to protest George Floyd’s murder at the hands of the Minneapolis police is about something very big, about our common humanity and the experiences that black people have been going through all their lives while white people like me get to sit in relative safety and comfort.

I don’t have to worry about my safety while driving, sleeping, jogging, and existing the way black people do. If I haven’t said it before out loud, I acknowledge my white privilege.

So this morning I want to send you a short message that says simply: 
***Quirkyalone (and I) Stand with Black Lives Matter.***

My work as a writer and coach doesn’t end with Quirkyalone, but it started there, and that’s how many of you came to know me. Quirkyalone is a word and concept that seeks to uplift people to know you are good enough just where you are, whether you are single, married, or anywhere in between. That includes everyone, not just single white women in their forties.

Once about two years ago someone posted on my Quirkyalone Facebook page, how come you don’t acknowledge gay people? I felt defensive. I wrote about sexuality and gayness in Quirkyalone.

Year later after the initial sting wore off, what I take away from her comment is this:

It’s important to say out loud what we feel in our hearts. What we assume everyone already knows may not obvious.

I stand with Black Lives Matter because an injury to one is an injury to all. Because there has been a system of racial inequality in the US and around the world that has benefited white people economically and in so many other ways that has been terribly harmful for black people. This system of racial inequality that touches pretty much every aspect of our lives *must* change.

Change is not an overnight process. Black people and their allies have been fighting for liberty for centuries since the dawn of our country. I am hopeful as I listen to the voices who are emerging now calling for real, meaningful change. More people are listening. And the only way real change happens is through social movements–when people come together to demand change. The powers that be do not roll over and give out reform without a push from the people.

For years, organizers in Los Angeles and Baltimore have been holding weekly vigils to mourn black men and women murdered by police and to call for change. Those gatherings were often small. Now the streets are overflowing, even in my small state of Rhode Island. This time people are coming back day after day. Young people are learning how to organize protests. High school students organized the protest in Providence, and their hard work showed–they did an amazing job.

Here is a great New York Times story about why and how the protests are different–more durable–this time (compared for example, to what happened after Ferguson in 2014). 

I know everyone doesn’t subscribe to the New York Times, but I’m sharing this link anyway in the hopes you can read it. 

(And by the way, subscribing to your local newspaper is another way to help–we need journalism now more than ever to understand our world and each other.)

Here is the beginning of the Times story “Other Protests Flare and Fade. Why This Movement Already Seems Different”  to give you a flavor.

“Ever since people across the country began pouring into the streets to protest police violence, Dakota Patton has driven two hours each day to rally on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol. He has given up his gig jobs delivering food and painting houses. He is exhausted. But he has no plans to leave.

“This is bigger,” Mr. Patton, 24, said. “I’m not worried about anything else I could be doing. I want to and need to be here. As long as I need.”

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For all of you living this intense moment, I send you love and care for your well-being.

I’ll be back with more.

If you have any suggestions for me I’m always open to hear.

With love for all,

Sasha

Blessed solitude or too much? Plus: staying calm in the time of corona

Note: I sent this out to my newsletter list a few days ago and also wanted to share here. If you want to receive emails from me with the best I can offer as comfort during this time be sure to sign up for the newsletter.

Hey there dear quirky one,

Oh these are interesting times we are living. Breathe in, breath out.

Like many of you I am taking in the information about coronavirus and making decisions about how to stay safe and help prevent further spread of the virus.

I was supposed to fly from Buenos Aires to Boston on April 16 but it looks like that route is cancelled until May or June, and the airline is only taking calls from people who fly immediately in the next three days.

So I am practicing calm and living in the present moment to make the best decisions for myself, my family, and society as a whole. Usually I spend a lot of time dancing tango but that activity had to go during this time (tango would be the ideal way to spread coronavirus!) so I’ve made a list of books to read and meditation practices to try. I also have a list of creative projects to work on, and online course ideas I will be cooking up for you since I have been working on my manuscript intensively for the last months and it’s time to give that a little break to see the writing fresh. After a week or so I will go back to my working on my book.

A friend of mine who is a hypnotherapist sent me this link for an immunity-boosting guided meditation from a hypnotherapist she says is famous (there are so many micro-communities these days where you can be famous).

I’ve listened to Freddy’s audio a few times. I can tell you that the guided audio put me in a state of deep relaxation at the least. It’s so important to stay calm and not let ourselves be overwhelmed by fear and/or stress–since stress makes us sick too. We have to take care of our inner state as well as our external.

So in the service of staying calm I share this meditation with you. 

There are many other excellent meditations out there.

I recommend you create sacred rituals for yourself during this time. We will all need those to stay sane and healthy. I have really enjoyed working with my coaching clients on their sacred rituals since this pandemic started. I am innovating my own: yoga and meditation in the morning, then coffee, then free writing. I’m also incorporating daily walks.

It’s also important to laugh. I’ve gotten some laughs from watching the brilliant “Great News!” on Netflix. A client subscribed to STARZ so she can watch the latest seasons of “Outlander.” Yes!

What’s distracting you or making you laugh?

I’m conscious of the fact that most of my newsletter readers are quirkyalone or quirkytogether, and many of you may live alone.

Doing this social isolation thing as a single person can be welcome time. For some people it might feel totally natural and easy. My friend Dave wrote me this message, “Yes, as an introvert it’s hilarious to me that people are wondering what to do at home and like making lists of how to stay sane (“make sure you spend time in different rooms…get some exercise…read a book…”). It’s basically me every weekend! I don’t do much, didn’t have plans interrupted, I don’t use public transportation, my office isn’t in a dense area. Still going for my lake walks daily. And I have enough weed to last for a bit – I’ve been preparing for this my whole life.”

Ha. Dave is great.

On the other hand for those who work in offices and now have to work at home, or for those who are parenting, or for the ambiverts and extroverts, sometimes the aloneness can get to be too much. The screen time can get to be too much too.

Let me know how you are enjoying or coping with the blessed or excessive solitude, depending on how you experience it.

P.S. If anyone is looking for something meaningful to do to fill your time, I am going to be looking for two more beta readers for Wet shortly. This means you would read the current draft and give feedback according to some questions I would provide you. So if you want to find out more about that then write me a message with the subject: beta reader Wet.

P.P.S. Once I get my own life settled I would like to do a free group community call with my readers about how we are navigating this time as a way of creating support, uplift and community. I’ll update you on the newsletter about this, so if you haven’t signed up for that, sign up here. If you have any particular requests or ideas for a group call/videoconference then let me know with a message. 

“Quirkyalone” made it into dictionary.com! (Plus… Quirkyalone Day 2020 events)

Here’s something kinda wild! Brandon Baker at Life Coach Path recently interviewed me about the advice I would give aspiring life coaches. In the intro, the author Brandon wrote, “Today we are interviewing Sasha Cagen. Sasha is a Life Coach and the founder of the quirkyalone movement. (And yes, quirkyalone is in the dictionary! Sasha coined the word.)

I clicked on his link and there it was–my baby “quirkyalone” on dictionary.com!

I had no idea!

My immediate thought: Whoah, I’m done! My life’s work is complete! I put a word on dictionary.com! I don’t know if this is as official as getting into Merriam-Webster but I will revel it in anyway.

The folks at dictionary.com actually did a great job telling the history of the coining in the original essay in my magazine To-Do List, and spread of quirkyalone after my book Quirkyalone came out in 2004. Be sure to scroll down below the definition on dictionary.com to read the etymology along with popular usage in tweets. Remember: it’s “quirkyalone”–all one word.

Quirkyalone making it into dictionary.com (we have truly arrived folks!) is the best news for the leadup to the 17th annual International Quirkyalone Day on February 14. Quirkyalone Day is an alternative holiday that celebrates all forms of love, including self-love, and it’s been going strong since 2003 with celebrations around the globe. If you are looking for another way to celebrate on February 14 that honors everyone and every kind of love, this is your holiday.

Three folks have gotten in touch wanting to share their Quirkyalone Day Events.

  • In the Bay Area, we have a Valentine’s Day Concert coming up with the Conspiracy of Venus women’s chorus, Friday, Feb 14 at 9 pm, which a shoutout to quirkyalones from the choral director of Old Firsts Concerts Matt Wolka. Conspiracy of Venus is “a powerful 25-woman vocal ensemble interprets the songs of greats like David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Björk, Joni Mitchell, Pixies, Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, and many more.” For more info on the concert check here! On a side note, my best friend the unforgettable most radiant Annie Millar Desmond who passed away last year from cancer (and helped me proofread Quirkyalone–she was so invested in this concept) sang in Conspiracy of Venus for years. This is an incredible group of women who lifted Annie up in her last months. Annie loved being part of the group.
  • Longtime Quirkytogether folk musician Phoebe Blue is excited to be playing this show on Staten Island on Quirkyalone/Quirkytogether Day.Phoebe has been turning her Staten Island community on to Quirkyalone for a while now so if you go on this adventure to her show you are sure to meet some kindred spirits.
  • DJ Rubberband Girl takes to the airwaves for her awesome annual Quirkyalone Day show. On Friday, February 14 at 6 pm to 9 pm PST, DJ Rubberband Girl and special guest-host DJ Medium Good will be celebrating the spirit of the quirkyalone on KALX through a thoughtful mix of music (and musings) reflecting on solitude, single-hood, independence, individuality and above all self-acceptance. Whether coupled or not, there will be valuable ideas to reflect upon and takeaways for all. Stream online at kalx.berkeley.edu or through the KALX iPhone app! DJ Rubberband Girl has a Facebook event where you can RSVP too.

It’s interesting how all the Quirkyalone Day 2020 events listed here so far have to do with music!

You can also watch this video for an introduction to Quirkyalone Day.

Quirkyalone Day has been celebrated globally outside of the U.S. too.

If you have an events to share please feel free to add it in the comments.

Sue Aikens was here with us for a Tango Adventure!

[During Sue’s Tango Adventure, I did an interview with Sue on what drew her from northern Alaska grizzly bear country to the wilds of tango here with us in Buenos Aires. Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you get word when the video is edited. It’s a chance to discover a totally different side of Sue Aikens, a most fascinating woman.]

So guess what everybody! We had the amazing, unfathomable Susan Aikens, star of the show National Geographic documentary series “Life Below Zero” with us here in Buenos Aires for a Tango Adventure! Sue is an outdoorswoman, adventurer, survivor, hunter, angler, businesswoman, loner, and now… a new tango dancer.

Sue is a rare female star who gives women across the world an example of a woman who lives life on her own terms, way off the beaten path of modern life, with humor and a spark for life outside the comfort zone. Her native intelligence shines through on her show as Sue constructs everything she needs in the extremely remote location she lives in up in Northern Alaska. But Sue is also very sociable and curious about the world and people. You can see the hilarious parts of Sue here:

You can see the tough parts of Sue on display here:

So what’s the scoop? If you are like me, and never watched “Life Below Zero,” Sue lives in isolation 500 miles from Fairbanks and just a few miles from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge at Kavik River Camp, an exploration camp she has created to enable people to explore nature in the area. You have to take a plane to get to Kavik. Sue built her own runway! (And many other things.) The show depicts the daily battles to survive in a harsh climate. Sue has become one of the favorites on the show (check out the passion of her fans’ reviews on this page) with many women and men fans who revere an independent woman. Fans of the show have followed Sue’s challenges with recovering from a bear attack (the bear had her head in its mouth but she escaped) and a snowmobiling accident.

Sue told Men’s Journal, “I had to sew my own head together, and my arm, and before my hips popped out, I went across the river, found the bear, shot him, called the trooper, and there I lay for 10 days.”  According to the story, she was “finally taken to Fairbanks for treatment, and later to the Lower 48 for hip and spinal surgery.”

Clearly Sue is fierce. A survivor with a verve for life. But she is more than just an Alaskan survivalist. She also loves exploring cultures. She wanted to explore following in close-embrace tango and her own unique feminine side. Sue came to Buenos Aires with our Tango Adventure team to explore Argentine tango. She was very clear she did not want ballroom tango. She wanted the original: the energetic connection that is uniquely created in the tango embrace. For a woman who lives in isolation battling to survive in the most remote parts of Alaska, the choice to explore the culture of tango in Buenos Aires is….well, in a word…remarkable! All we do is hug people all day long.  There are no words for this! Sue often talks about living outside the comfort zone. I love this quote she gave in an interview, “You’re never more alive than when you’re on the edge.”

What I’ve discovered about Sue is that she is very funny, caring and thoughtful–she is quite the woman. The more I get to know her, the more blown away I am. She shows us the possibility of transformation, for sure, and the many experiences we can live in one lifetime, as you can see in the photos below.

Many online say Sue has more balls than a man, but I would say she has ovaries. Why is courage associated with balls? Come on, let’s find some more body parts to associate with bravery, ladies!

Here are some snaps and one video clip of Sue dancing from Sue’s Tango Adventure with us . . .what’s truly remarkable is that Sue came to us a total beginner. After a two-week Tango Adventure she was dancing fluidly with our shining star taxi dancer Roberto. The amazing tango development was a credit to her innate capacity to learn and find balance in her body (she sure does take on physical challenges) and to the awesomeness of our Tango Adventure team, clearly!

With TFG (Tango Fairygodfather!) Kevin

Out dancing with Nico, one of our favorite taxi dancers, and TFG (Tango Fairygodmother) Wanda, both key member of our Tango Adventure team

Dancing with Gustavo, another key member of our Tango Adventure team, at Plaza Dorrego, one of the friendly milongas we take you to.

Testing out the new tango dress while shopping for tango shoes

Having merienda (afternoon snack) with Sasha, the head honcho 😉 and soul of the Tango Adventure and Solo Chica Tango Adventure Coordinator Julia who makes the magic happen

Subscribe to my YouTube channel to see the interview with Sue on why she felt drawn to Argentine tango. We talked about lots of great stuff, like living outside the comfort zone and drawing boundaries without being an asshole. Sue’s capacity to be direct and assertive while also being really nice kind of blew me away. Role model alert.

Sue is one of many, many women and men who have joined us for Tango Adventures. Every single one of our participants has been a shining star. You don’t have to battle bears to come. If you want to explore coming on your own Tango Adventure, take the first step by checking this page then entering your email address to start the dance.