More About Sasha
A More Comprehensive Bio, with Lots of Fun Facts
My life has been a “non-linear path.” I have reinvented myself a number of times! I wrote up this longer bio to give you a flavor for who I am, where I have been, and what I love.
Here’s where it all began.
I was born in Providence, Rhode Island, to an RN and public health professional who taught me to write to-do lists, to never rely on a man for my money, and to take good care of myself while also caring for others.
My father is a real estate lawyer and copyeditor who taught me the importance of getting involved with the community. We canvassed together for presidential candidates in many states. My parents instilled civic responsibility in me.
I grew up in Cranston, Rhode Island attending public schools. I was lucky to get into the gifted and talented program in fourth grade. My teacher Mrs. Santos nurtured a love of the creative process in me that goes on until this day. I feel very fortunate that public schools happened to work for me at a young age.
My high school wasn’t too great. There were fights often in the cafeteria. The bathroom stank of smoke, I didn’t have a high school boyfriend but I had a strong group of female friends. Strong female friendship has been a major theme in my life.
I worked hard to become the high school valedictorian, and obsessed about getting into a “good college.” I started off at Amherst College in Western Massachusetts, a competitive school with lots of portraits of old white men on the walls where I never felt at ease.
After three semesters, I transferred to Barnard College, the women’s college that is part of Columbia University, and felt much more comfortable in a big city. I took advantage of being in Manhattan by doing an internship at the Village Voice and working at Self, when I was known as the girl who wore thrift store outfits in the Conde Nast building (where Vogue and Glamour were also published).
During college, I published a zine called Cupsize with my friend Tara Emelye. Doing that zine helped me to find my voice as a writer.
At 20, I appeared in the front row on Ricki Lake to advocate for bisexual visibility and acceptance within the gay community. I don’t currently identify as bisexual, but being bi was an important part of my identity back then. I believe that sexuality can be fluid, especially for women. I am a lifelong advocate for the queer community and have always been interested in the power of tapping into our sexual energy for our creativity, health, and expression.
During my twenties, I worked in the labor movement doing PR and communications. While I learned a lot, that job wasn’t meant for me long-term.
After running out of steam at my labor PR job, I traveled to Cuba. I studied Spanish for a month at the University of Havana.
Travel has often served to jumpstart new phases of my life.
If anything has been constant, it’s been change—and the willingness to tolerate the discomfort and fear of risk-taking and trying new things to feel alive.
When I got back, I got editorial work and started my own magazine, To-Do List. To-Do List was named Best New Magazine in the alternative press, awarded by Utne Reader in 2000.
An essay published in the first issue of To-Do List, “People Like Us, the Quirkyalones,” turned into a book in 2004 when it struck a deep chord in people’s hearts, helping them to feel recognized and identified as “uncompromising romantics.”
Quirkyalones are people who have been single for a long time because they don’t want to settle for less than what they really want in a romantic relationship.
This essay led to the book and me talking with Anderson Cooper on CNN, and reaching many people who found deep validation in the term. Eventually, I could say I invented a word that made it into dictionary.com.
Quirkyalone also became a forerunner of later books and podcasts that have further affirmed the path of being a discerning single, especially for those who want intimate relationships.
After that, I wrote another book, To-Do List, and got involved in Silicon Valley. I co-founded a street fashion social network called StyleMob with my friend Adam. We managed to grow the community to 90,000 and within nine months sold it to an advertising network for blogs and websites.
As a result of the acquisition, I took a job as a product manager working with developers to create technical products. Thus began the great inauthentic period of my life when I could often be found out in the parking lot crying at 5 pm, wondering what I was doing wasting my life promoting a product I didn’t believe in.
I was in my mid-thirties and feeling the squeeze of expectations to find a husband in time to have a child, earn more money and ascend the career ladder. The pressure of all those expectations made me “dry.” I got distanced from my own intuition.
Once again, travel helped me find the way.
That period of burnout in Silicon Valley led to the next phase of my life in South America, a time in my life when I made a deliberate intention to reconnect with my body and sensuality.
All of this will be told and what I learned through my journeys and adventures will be told in my forthcoming memoir Wet. Ultimately that urge to focus on embodiment helped me work through the effects of an incident of childhood sexual abuse, and to heal my heart enough to risk opening up in love.
I had been living in the San Francisco Bay Area for nearly twenty years, but I got tired of tech’s oversized footprint on the area’s soul, and I wound up moving to Buenos Aires to nurture my love for tango, studying and eventually teaching my own brand of transformative tango through an immersive program called the Tango Adventure, which ran for six years.
I also focused on starting my life and executive coaching business and returned to a serious commitment to my writing.
I moved back to the US at the start of the pandemic, to my native Rhode Island, which has been a full-circle journey of returning to the place where I was born and grew up, but this time my intention is to make Rhode Island a home base and a place to build community while also spending time abroad in Argentina and other places. I am enjoying being closer with my family and rediscovering the corner of the world where I grew up. Southern New England and Providence are far more interesting places now.
Since 2011, I have worked with hundreds of coaching clients one-on-one and taught group programs. My clients are accomplished women and sensitive, self-aware men. I take a practical and deep approach to change with my clients, as well as a cognitive and somatic one.
I trained as a life coach with CTI, back in 2011. In 2022, I added an additional certification with the Hendricks Institute, in somatic or body-based approaches.
How can we work together? My current offerings include 1:1 coaching, which can be either life or executive coaching, or a blend, and a yearlong group coaching program called Turned-On Living. Turned-On Living is really fun because I bring together the women who are drawn to my ideas of Quirkyalone and pussywalking, and we form a tight community with the mutual goal of creating turned-on lives.
I facilitate groups of women for CHIEF, a private membership network focused on connecting and supporting executive women leaders.
My favorite way to share is via my newsletter the Sasha Cagen Weeklyish. To stay in touch, I invite you to subscribe to my newsletter.
And if anything I said above touches you, then feel free to inquire about 1:1 or group coaching!