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A Journey to the Heart of the Beloved

A leap of faith — that’s how I would describe the big plan I made two years ago. It was new, challenging, and somewhat scary… but I did it anyway.

It was in October of 2021 that I decided to try my hand at tri-coastal living.  

The big dream was to live between Maui, Santa Cruz, California, and Europe.  So I did just that. I spent 6 months in Maui, 4 months in Santa Cruz, and 3 months in Europe, a little over a year in total.

What I have learned is…. in going after my BIG Dreams, I’ve discovered what I am made of.  When becoming or creating something you’ve never had before, you have to let go of so much of who you’ve been and what you’ve had.

I had to let go of a lot!

I started off my journey in Maui in November 2021; I needed to see if I could live solely from my online business and step away from my clinic time with patients.  

It was not easy, there were many moments of nailbiting stress around finances.  And though I was very fortunate with housing arrangements in Maui, in that they came easily and naturally, I had to move around quite a bit.

In fact, I lived in five different places during those six months. The longest I lived in one place this past year was two and a half months in a home in Maui.  

I knew the island had deep medicine for me and wanted me there because of the magical way housing kept lining up, even the kind where I could have my puppy with me.  He loved running on the white sands of Waimea.  I trained him to sit on my sarong and wait for me while I went out and did my daily ocean swim. Those were some blissful moments.

Whenever the tightness and stress of making this BIG dream a reality on a budget started to ache in my neck and left shoulder, I’d hightail it to a waterfall and reconnect with gratitude for what I did have. 

Maui showed me deeper levels of sensuality through the land, the waters, the beaches, and the lovers than I ever knew possible.  As my body ignited and my heart opened, I stepped into my feminine and sexual power like never before.  

I got to explore all five of the sexual blueprints and try on the full array of my selves as a sexually sovereign being.  

I believe this powerful inner transformation is what led to my union with Leah Piper and the birthing of our new Podcast and Business – Sex Reimagined, which is a really BIG dream come true. One I was not expecting or manifesting.  

The Start Of A Beautiful Journey With Fellow Sexperts

I remember the first time I sat as a student of Leah’s, I thought, “Damn, I would love to teach with that woman. We would make an amazing team.”  

It took us three years to actualize it, but now we are an amazing team, and we are having so much fun collaborating with each other and with many other amazing Sexsperts in the field.  

Our deepest commitment in the birthing of this dream is to help our audience open their hearts and minds to new possibilities for intimacy and love.  

This dream was born and came to fruition on the magical island of Maui.  I’m so deeply grateful for my time there and all the medicine it provided.

I made many other incredible soul connections on Maui that supported me in this first leg of exploring my BIG dream. I feel there are some fun future collaborations to explore with some of these magical Maui beings!

When One Door Opens, Another One Closes

While on Maui I got word from my Santa Cruz landlords that they were selling their house. My home.  My beloved home of 13 years!

I lived in and loved my beautiful temple home in Pleasure Point, Santa Cruz, through so many chapters of my life, and I did NOT want to give it up!

I tried to figure out a way to buy it, as it had always been a dream of mine to own that place.  I had visions of taking my last breath in that home, but alas, that was not to be my fate.

In the end, I had to leave Maui early, head back to Santa Cruz, pack up my two-bedroom house and vacate the premises that had housed me, nine of my girlfriends, one boyfriend, and little River’s first two years of life.  

So many incarnations and lessons learned in that home. I will always think lovingly of the years I spent there.

It was very painful to let go of my main source of stability in the world, but once I surrendered and gave in to the way of the universal flow, it became less painful.  

And through the process, my bond with TRUST grew ten times deeper.

During my four months in Santa Cruz,  I not only said goodbye to my home of 13 years, but it felt like maybe I was saying goodbye to my 23 years in Santa Cruz.  

The thought of finding another rental made my stomach churn due to the astronomical rental rates.  Gone are the days when you could rent a two-bedroom home by the sea with a hot tub for $2700/month.

This was NOT part of my big dream. I never wanted to let go of Santa Cruz, I just wanted to share my life with Maui and Europe as well.  

But was it really letting go?

My Outer Beloved

It was all a bit confusing because while it felt like maybe this was the end of my time in Santa Cruz, I knew there would always be something drawing me back to this beloved community and town.

Perhaps that’s why the universe opened the path for my heart to drop into deep love with a man I called my Outer Beloved.  

This was the man I had dreamt of being in union with for ten years.  We’d circled around one another in the community for decades, but our alignment had never been such that we could explore our relationship intimately. 

Over the summer, our alignment was there, and we began the dance, which was seeded before I left for Maui and continued to grow and be nurtured by three-hour conversations between Cali and Maui.

Our hearts and minds were on the same page, and it felt like it was time to get our bodies together.  

A nine-day visit when he came to see me in Maui opened us to the possibility that the sapling that was growing between us had the potential to become a great big tree. 

Upon my return to Santa Cruz, we continued the dance, and a tree did grow.  

By the end of my four months, we were committed to being in each other’s lives for the long haul, we talked ring size, living together for four seasons, and my BIG dream of teaching and traveling with my Outer Beloved.  We used this term generously with each other.

It felt like my new temple-home had arrived, and it was present every time our hearts were near each other.  I felt more at home in the arms of this man than I had anywhere in the world.

As the time approached for me to pick up the final leg of exploring this Dream-Life, our bond seemed to be growing exponentially.  We said goodbye and assured each other that neither of us was “going anywhere.”  We were right here together in the union of our heart’s temple.

The Sail to the Dream Life

I set sail for three months in Europe.

I kicked off the journey with a stop in the Bahamas for a retreat with my dear friend for his 60th birthday.  

A beautiful pod of people circled up for his celebration. We swam with the dolphins daily, practiced yoga (led by me – so fun to drop into my teacher self), ate amazing food, and sat in the sacred ceremony until our hearts were blown wide open.  

We learned so much from each other, from the amazing crew we sailed with daily, and from the dolphins, who spoke to us through third-eye dream realms and waves of high frequency.  Letting us know we were exactly where we needed to be on this life path, experiencing exactly what we needed in order to learn the deep lessons that would guide us as we moved forward.  

I left that week on an emotional high only to live out another BIG dream of leading a personal pilgrimage through the sacred sites of the ancient Celtic lands of Cornwall. My inner druid was in heaven!

I led one of my incredible sexology clients on a journey to her own Inner Beloved.  We danced naked with the standing stones of Boscowan Un and the Merry Maidens.  We cultivated chi with plant ancestors in the botanical gardens, made love to her deepest heart’s desire through tantric practices in the moonlight, and prayed at the altar of the red well in Avalon.  

She was completely transformed!  And I discovered that this longtime DREAM of mine was on point! I was made for these personal pilgrimage retreats. To hold space at the deepest level for a single client or couple gives me a powerful sense of being on purpose and allows me to use all my gifts in a way that is fully acceptable and transformational for them.

After these two retreats, I was feeling really good about myself, but then things turned, and all that good feeling about myself crashed hard!

A Twist Of Fate

I made my way to Italy, where I joined up with my very best guy friend and his soon-to-be bride, plus 50 other wedding guests, and proceeded to go completely oblivious the first night of the four-night event. 

I triggered the bride at her deepest core wound and was severely chastised by her girlfriends for being too sexually open.  I was not even aware I was doing anything to cross anyone’s boundaries.  Completely unconscious. 

I learned so much from this experience, not only about the importance of containing my sexual energy in certain circumstances and certain groups but also about how to navigate through extreme emotional upsets.  

The wedding incident shocked me to my core.  What I thought was a perfectly normal act turned into me wearing a scarlet letter on my chest, being cast out of the wedding at 3 am, and potentially losing my best guy friend of 20 years.  

That has yet to be determined.  

I hope and pray that his bride and I can eventually get to the point where we laugh at the whole thing one day, as it really was blown way out of proportion due to unhealed traumas in their own relationship.

What I learned is that when you are exploring and expanding your sexuality at the level I have been, you are liable to experience a BIG contraction or two along the way.  

This one was HUGE for me.  It was like a slap in the face that woke me up to so many crucial lessons about stepping into full sexual sovereignty.  I honestly never realized before that my standing in my sexual power was a threat to some women.  

I have spent the last two decades helping women through all the many transitions of womanhood (menstrual issues, fertility, childbirth, menopause, sexual embodiment, and feminine empowerment), so I had only ever thought of myself as an ally for women.  

What I see now, as I step more and more fully into my own power, is that if a woman is still struggling with her own sexual wounding or wounds with the masculine, someone in my position needs to be conscious of that and aware that sexual triggers are easy to set off and hard to mend.

The Aftermath

Because I was so rocked by this experience, I lost the confidence I’d been reveling in only days before. I was feeling insecure. 

Traveling on my own through Italy no longer appealed to me, so I reached out to one of my Maui men, who I knew was traveling through Europe. We’d talked about linking up at some point if it was in flow, and now it felt like it was.

I needed to be with someone who understood me and who I didn’t have to hide parts of myself from in order to be accepted and loved.  Thank Goddess for friends like this.

Turns out he was going through his own dark night of the soul,  feeling deep heartache and loss from a former Beloved of his own.  Our two wounded souls were a match to meet up and mend and heal.  

We met up in Turkey, a land that had always intrigued and called me but was NOT part of the BIG dream.

Istanbul brought mind-blowing mosques, strong Turkish coffee, rich culture, whirling dervishes, and deep heart healing accompanied by powerful intimacy that allowed us both to get back on track with our Inner Beloveds so that we could do what we both came to do, which is help souls find their way to radical self-love.

Cappadocia, a region south of Istanbul, called to his soul, so we followed that and hopped on a flight to what turned out to be another planet.  

OMG, the place is truly otherworldly, if you have been to Cappadocia, Turkey, reply to this post and let me know what you experienced there; and if you have not yet been, put it on your bucket list!  

We met and fell in love with a woman there who completed our journey to the heart of our own Inner Beloved.  She brought so much depth to our time in Turkey, and for me, it felt like I was reconnecting with a lifelong BFF.  Her journey parallels mine in many ways, and we continue to learn, grow and share with each other.  

Another Big Emotional Blow and What Got Me Back on My Feet

Portugal was next, a country my soul had been telling me to visit for years.  

I would often hear from Spirit, “Once you go to Portugal, you will never want to leave.”  

I thought I would find “home” there, but instead, I found myself with a deep longing to go “home” to Santa Cruz, not because Portugal isn’t amazing and gorgeous, but because I could feel things starting to shift in the heart of my Outer Beloved.   

It was hard to be so many thousands of miles away from him and feel him needing to simplify his life, which potentially meant releasing me as his Outer Beloved.

During my second week in Portugal, we had a heart-to-heart via zoom, which left me gasping for air. It was my second BIG emotional blow.  

Another shock to my nervous system left me trying not to drown in the tumultuous tides of emotions that were sweeping me to and fro.  The thought of losing him made me nauseous and short of breath.  

We had started out our intimacy dance on the understanding that we would be non-monogamous, but after a life-altering concussion, he felt he did not have the capacity for that. 

So what did that mean for us, with me being all the way over in Europe trying to make this BIG dream of tri-coastal living a reality?

It meant he chose to take his heart in another direction.

Through the deep heartbreak that followed, I discovered a path to getting out of the storms of emotion that had been keeping me distracted from being in Pure State.  

I was ready to give up the extremely high highs and very low lows that had me feeling like an emotional ping pong ball for months. I was ready to take myself deeper into the Tao and live in equanimity.

Through a series of events, I found a spiritual teacher in Portugal,  a man who lovingly guides individuals to their purest level of inner peace.  

Mooji Baba, helped me find my way back to the only thing that really matters in this life. 

It is beyond faith, beyond trust, beyond knowing.  It is a state of pure consciousness that opens the heart to radical acceptance and peace.  

It is cultivating the kind of contentment the Buddha, Jesus, and many other mystics have taught.  I HIGHLY recommend it!

This is when my BIG dream shifted radically! 

My Biggest Realization

No longer do I care about living here or there or who I call my Outer Beloved.  

I am now fully surrendered and at peace with what life wants for me.  I no longer manifest specific things, places, and lifestyles, but rather open myself up as a vessel for whatever is the highest good for me and all those close to me to come with ease and grace.

I have been in deep practice of the “middle way” for decades, but through this past year’s ups and downs, emotional upsets, and moments of absolute elation, I’ve discovered a new meaning to the “middle way.” 

No matter what comes next, and no matter what desires of mine are actualized or not, I am free.  This freedom comes from releasing control of things I have no control over.  Things that are surely going to shift and change no matter what.  

Things that make me feel happy one day and riddled with anxiety the next.

The truth is that things are always changing – emotions, circumstances, living situations, BFFs, work in the world, and physical sensations.  

The one thing that does not change is the state of being that witnesses all of this change.  A state of pure consciousness, a state of equanimity, a state of unprecedented peace, and a place of pure contentment.  

Some call it the Tao – a field that cannot be explained in words, a field that can not be created or taken away. A field that is always there and can only be experienced through attention and awareness.

I am choosing to spend as much of my waking life in this field as possible.  

I trust that my devotion to this “middle way” will guide me to the best life for my soul’s journey.

And if you’ve read this far in the blog, I want to thank you for listening to my story. Now it’s time for me to listen to yours.

Email me at connect@drwillowbrown.com and tell me your deepest longings, heartfelt desires, or present experiences that overwhelm you and draw you farther from your Inner and Outer Beloveds. I’m all ears.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Rob says

    Witnessing you on your journey and appreciating your authentic shares. I appreciate learning your perspective. It helps me understand more and build empathy for that which I was previously not aware of.

    • Willow Brown says

      I’m glad this offering from my heart is opening up new view points for you Rob… that is the point of reimagining.

  2. Dawn Fox says

    Willow thank you for sharing your journey with us so truthfully and with such insightful loving language! I too have taken hits when freely expressing my sexuality. I too am continuing my path of empowerment by turning my life over to the Divine force. Trust. Surrender. Acceptance. Divine love. The self behind the eyes. Thank you for leading us there. ❤️

    • Willow Brown says

      We have to see beyond the 3-D and overcome the personal realm sometimes. It is an honor to walk beside you on this path sister!

  3. Ed Tafoya says

    Thank you. I don’t think I have ever read such and unselfish, emotionally vulnerable, yet liberating and powerful statement. What an adventure with bliss, ups and downs, and then understanding and finally contentment. I’ve said in other posts to you and Leah that both of you have special souls and you have realized that you have a marvelous gift. Sex Reimagined is a wonderful effort and it has so much education, humor, joy and common sense—I hope you continue this effort! Sex Reimagined will evolve as you and Leah evolve. What a wonderful, loving friendship you share, so rare and priceless!

    I wish you good health and contentment, Dr. Willow. You’re a beautiful lady with a great heart. Happy birthday, perhaps it is a new “birth-day” for you!

    • Willow Brown says

      Thank you So much Ed, that is so heart warming to hear your words. I appreciate you and your support of SxR, and me in this deep contraction life has brought.

  4. Michael says

    Such sweetness and transparency as to how you write about your path. An engaging blend of innocence and wisdom, grounded, solid, and yet a precious, childlike surprise at how your movement, your ripples in the ocean, affect the other boats in the harbor.

    Gosh, how can’t we fall in love with you, Willow? ❤️

    Well, at least I am. I’m guessing there are others.

    I’ve grown up a “big” person my whole life, with a big heart that seems invulnerable, but is not. I’ve tried to play small but it never works for very long. So many times I don’t want to be big, but we cannot really help but be who we are.

    Kundalini is big and powerful. The vast majority of our society wants to chain it down, shame it down, lock it away to be eeked out as the patriarchy sees fit. The people who do this are not even necessarily to blame because it’s systemic. It’s the air we breathe, the water we tread.

    I wander here, but mostly I wanted to say that I honor your process of trying to find the “middle way” way as you call it. There’s nothing wrong with seeking tact, balance, and strategies to titrate and express ourselves around others who cannot handle bigness the beauty. They become fearful and often throw tiny spears and run.

    Don’t give up on being you and finding Beloveds you can be your full self with.

    You’re such a bright light. I hope we get to meet in the real world again one of these days. You have so much love to give. You deserve to recieve at least that much in return.

    Shine on you crazy diamond. ✨💎✨

    Sending love wherever you are. ❤️

    • Willow Brown says

      Thank You Michael, yes, we must re-commit to the radiance we possess even when it feel like we are buried in the mud. One thing I KNOW is true, all things come to pass – the “good” the “bad” the “blissful” the “grief/anger/confusion/frustration” and if we use these moments to find divine union with the ISness, we will become powerful practitioners of life.

  5. John says

    I look forward to talking with you Wednesday and celebrating your BIRTHday and your adventures of late.
    Take care, lovely Lady👍‼️❤️‍🩹

  6. Kriste Decker says

    First of all, thank you so much for the BEAUTIFUL GIFT of your story…..the honesty and openness shines through every single sentence. I have deep respect and admiration for you and Leah- I have gained so much WISDOM from the Sex Reimagined podcast!! Most of all, I want to say THANK YOU for showing up as a woman that has removed the veil and is a living, breathing example of TRUTH. Priceless.

  7. Susun says

    Thank you. I rarely read on line. Compelling. Lovely.
    I used to teach sacred sex with Annie Sprinkle.
    You are correct that sexually empowered women are threatening.
    Especially at my age.!!
    Keep opening. Keep loving.
    It keeps getting better.
    Green blessings
    Susun Weed

  8. Natalie Black says

    This was so amazing Willow, this last year was so transformative for you honored to be a witness to your story.

  9. James Dillon says

    Great sharing. Thanks for your radical honesty. In a small way, I am a spiritual journey too and am undergoing deep healing and purging. Yet I am experiencing more joy and well-being.

  10. Malka says

    Whew! What a journey. Thank you so much for sharing. Your vulnerability and openness always inspires me and makes me emotional. Thank you for being a light in this world. For sharing your ups and downs, challenges, and growth.

    Sending love, light, hope, positive energy, warmth, healing and perseverance.

  11. Tom Callanan says

    I’m inspired by your transparency and humility, especially in telling the story of your experience at the wedding. I’ve often learned the most from my biggest mistakes, but rarely have I had the courage to share those mistakes with the world. Truly inspiring and enlivening. I can feel new possibilities awakening in my soul. Thank you dear Willow!
    Tom

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