The Alumni Dream Team
Certified Gateless Teachers continue to be a solid team of accountability and support for one another. Through this network, we have completely galvanized our careers. The list below gives you an idea of the kind of writers, coaches, therapists, teachers, artists and community leaders who are drawn to the training, the alchemy they experienced there, and what their lives look like now.
Terri Trespicio, MFA is a New York–based writer and branding consultant. A former magazine editor and radio host at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, she has appeared on the Today show, Dr. Oz, The Early Show, The Martha Stewart Show and The Anderson Cooper Show. She's written for Oprah magazine, Marie Claire, Prevention, Business Insider, and MindBodyGreen, among others. Terri also performs comedy all over New York City. Terri is one of the premier TEDx coaches in the country and her TEDx Stop Searching for Your Passion has almost 4 million views to date. She lives in New York City.
Since the Gateless Training, we have seen Terri rise as one of the nation's top speakers. This year’s top ten speaker list had her above Oprah! She has ushered many of her Gateless cohorts onto the TEDx stage, and this year she was emcee for TedX Lincoln Square, where two of our other Gateless writers wowed the crowd. When I think about trying to sum up or capture what I learned at Gateless Teacher Training, Terri has said of her experience last year, I keep coming back to that scene in the Sex and the City film, when Anthony the stylist is trying to get Carrie and her dress into the limo so she can get to the church for the wedding that won’t happen. Jesus, it’s like trying to push a cream puff through a keyhole. That is what this feels like, trying to explain Gateless: Trying to get the abundant brilliance into the car. Gateless is not a religion, a cult, or a club. It is a modality we use claim our power. It means operating from that independent, loving locus of power, one that does not spring from fear or govern by threat. Gateless can change the world, but not by by blaring it through a horn. It starts small, and close, like a whisper. It’s water on stone, as Suzanne says. It’s wearing way the old rocks and gaining such force and momentum that the world spills through. I now use the Gateless method to soften the edges of comfort zones, nourish voids, draw out brilliant flames and keep them burning, to usher my clients through the Gateless gate without hitting the brakes, so that they can cross over the threshold to huge success.”
Mary Gauthier is a Grammy-award winning singer songwriter whose songs have appeared on the songfests of Wally Lamb, Tom Waits and Bob Dylan. She is a regular performer on the Grand Ole Opry. Her songs have been used on ABC’s Nashville, Showtime’s Banshee, Masterpiece Theatre’s Case Histories and HBO’s Injustice. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee. Since the training, we’ve cheered her on as she launched her new album, Rifles and Rosary Beans, and secured a top agent and then a book deal with St. Martin’s Press. After the training, Mary wrote, I am feeling the glow of the week’s work, of the opening we created. I am grateful for the guidance, the love. The Gateless Training blows apart the fixed mindset and belief in shortages and duality, the cult of criticism and the iron gates that block voice. At Gateless we understand that true wealth is community, concern and mercy and kindness. Gateless gets us to our truest voice, and this is what draws our readers, listeners and tribe. We can teach form, show students craft, but there is no formula for the courage required to create intimacy. Now I see clearly what is not useful, andwhat is not working, will begin to fall away. So beautiful, and so right.
Alysa Osvog is a certified Yoga Therapist, and Creator of Project-11 -Yoga Meditation Writing for Recovery, she leads workshops to teach other yoga teachers how to work in non-studio settings and she leads trainings on energetic healing, Yin, Restorative yoga, the root Chakra and Bliss. She also teaches privately in person and over the phone for meditation coaching. Alyssa is using her Gateless Teacher Training to lead writing and yoga worshops at recovery centers on the west coast. She is at work on a series of three memoirs, the first of which is near completion and set for sale. When I got to the training, Alysa writes. It felt so natural and welcoming. It felt like HOME. my tribe, the intellect, creativity and spirituality all together. I realized I belonged. Each of us brought our unique gifts that weaved into a magical tapestry. I felt supported, loved, free. My highest moment of the training was when I channeled into my past life. I tapped into my ability to flow with a completely different voice, so clear and vivid, while remaining present and true to myself. I loved most the art of the written word, the power in getting it out without editing. Being a Certified Gateless Teacher is a big fucking deal! My health and well-being has been enhanced through Gateless Writing and leading groups, facilitating salons and inspiring magical retreats. Now I own a new freedom and confidence, an identity as a WRITER.”
Lisa Faulkner, PhD, also known as the Pole Dancing Professor, Lisa has a doctoral degree from UC Berkeley. She spent twenty years in academia researching and teaching determinants of health. Lisa is a public health expert who mentors women to quiet their busy minds and increase presence through dance, play, sensuality and nature connection. Lisa’s first book, How Pole Dancing Changed My Life, chronicles the journey of an overworked and overweight assistant professor who takes up pole dancing to unleash her “erotic creature.” Her essays have been featured in Vertical Arts and Fitness magazine and on numerous websites including Hot Flashes Sexy Stories and Bad Kitty. I was thrilled that I trusted and followed my intuition when Gateless Writing introduced itself. I investigated the website and the more I learned the more it resonated. It felt right, a quiet and insistent “yes” every step of the way. It was the divine mystery calling. Step in and dive deep. I felt intimidated (just as Suzanne warned we might) when I read the bios. Then I breathed into it and found something in common with each person. Connecting with others on these commonalities also forged friendships. I remember the scent of the roses, the hip circles barefoot on the grass, editing in the morning sun and writing in the shade by a tree in the grass, and the shooting stars seen from the hot tub that resurfaced in the training again and again. Never forget the stardust, the inner knowing that we are all indeed made of stardust. Meant to shine. The Gateless Teacher Training was all I hoped it would be and so much more.”
Dylan Essertier is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn, New York. Dylan’s writing has appeared in WSJ Magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure\Harper’s Bazaar Art, Bustle and many others. Through Gatelesss, Dylan was introduced to one of the most sought-after literary agents in New York and post-training, we watched her get her first feature in Vogue Magazine through connections she made during her time with Gateless. Most recently, she was tapped to moderate W Hotel’s November 2017 ‘What She Said’ panel, bringing powerful, progressive women together. Dylan says, Gateless gives you the feeling of limitless potential, of brushing up against your purpose, it is a valuable secret that allows you to tap into the well of your most creative and vibrant source of your soft, sweet, genius truth. I always want to remember the feeling of standing around the circle and people calling out the word friend, memoirist, beautiful writer, radiant. Remember the feeling of tears falling down my face because for the first time I could feel in my heart that those things might be true. Gateless gives you this: All the things you wished for yourself might actually be true: your grand dreams, your hope to touch people’s lives, the wealth, the recognition.
Aida Avery is an award winning artist and recognized healer who comes from Mexico, and currently resides in Vermont. She shares her artistic and shamanic studies in both group and individual teachings. Her strong inspiration for the ATA Arts stems from her experience in sessions that involve strengthening the soul using natural practices and artistic projects. Of the training, she writes, Walking into The Gateless Training was like walking into an unknown world. I began writing a book last year about the process of healing through my channel. English is not my first language, but as I began experiencing the writers at Gateless, something familiar came back to my attention! I had the most amazing out of body experience. It was magical, as I woke up I heard a voice saying: you are a writer! I had to grab my phone and I began typing what wanted to come through me, my memoir. This training helped me to see writing in a very different context as my fear faded. I know I will be publishing a book and that is extremely exiting. I will be incorporating the Gateless experience and the training into my Art workshops. This was the most amazing experience. There are no words.
Dr. I. Murphy Lewis, PhD is an author, psychoanalytic shaman, and lecturer. She received her Masters and Doctorate of Philosophy in Mythology from the Pacifica Graduate Institute, and has had a high profile career in the fashion industry as Vice President, Director of Sales for Badgley Mischka and Halston, and Director of Sales for Mary McFadden and Bergdorf Goodman. She is Founding Director of a 501(c)3, private operating foundation, Global Voice, in honor of the Kalahari San Bushmen and is author of the young adult book and director of the short documentary film, Why Ostriches Don’t Fly and Other Tales from the African. She has a private practice of psychoanalytic shamanism in the safety and love of the Akashic Records, in Paris, France. In the months since the training, we have cheered Murphy on as she finished her memoir Across the Divide to the Divine, about leaving fashion and moving to Kenya, which we are tagging as being a worldwide literary award winning bestseller and a major movie. When I got to the training, Lewis writes. I knew something needed to change. As a result of the training, I knew my money issues would change, cash flow would grow exponentially. A way of being was let go. The way forward was through and this throughway was Gateless. I am flying!
Jen Wetham, MFA, MA, earned her MA in Literature from Western Washington University and her MFA in poetry from Pacific University. She spent the first thirteen years of her career teaching a wide range of writing and literature courses, including college writing, technical writing, creative writing, Shakespeare, and the poetics of rap and hip hop. In 2013, she left the classroom to focus on creating 21st century professional learning experiences for the 8500 faculty who teach in community and technical colleges in Washington State. She has organized retreats, conferences, and seminars that empower faculty from all disciplines. Since the training, we have seen Jen take her career in a completely new direction. She is now writing and coaching abroad, moving writers to a place of greater freedom in her work with the Akashic records, which she divined as a result of the training. Of the Training Jen writes, “The Training was immensely valuable. It’s was delicious. I came away ready to coach creatives through the process of the mystery. And to write my own novel. I am so ready to lead writing salons. I have never before gotten such a beautiful nuance to things I had observed, done before, struggled with. Now, when I sit down to write, I have such a multi-faceted audience in my head REPLACE the voices of criticism Suzanne showed us HOW to navigate the voices inside with intense clarity. Such RELIEF! The Gateless Training is immensely valuable.”
Kelly Bowen, MFA is a satirical writer turned memoirist. A passionate and vocal advocate for women and reproductive health, Kelly has been selected as a finalist for the 49th Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction, the Arts & Letters Prize in creative nonfiction, and The New South prize. Her work has appeared in The Pitkin Review and The Fiction Advocate. Most recently, we cheered Kelly on as the seed story of her memoir appeared in Creative Non-fiction, the premier literary magazine for writers of memoir. An avid sailor, she also founded floating writing salons this year for kids and adults aboard gorgeous vessels on Lake Champlain. Of the Gateless Training, Kelly writes, The house was beautiful with hidden winding staircases and bedroom after bedroom tucked into every nook and cranny. The views of the salt marsh across the yard and the circling osprey, spectacular! During the training, I was met by the realization that I am meant to hold safe space for those who are coming into their power. I felt like I was trying to coax a witch back from the Dark Ages. I didn’t realize the depth of my ability to see and connect. I was struck by all that can be accomplished in a Gateless setting, when we strip ego, money and ambition out and truly write clean. I had to become Gateless in order to get to the heart—the essence—of my message. I feel inspired to write and trust in my ability as a writer. Now I am excited for my memoir, Mystic Trinities, to find readers and to spark important discussion. I want to continue to write politically charged essays from a female point of view. I take with me the recognition of my ability as a writer and my earned place at the table, getting the work out into the world.
Stanley Dankowski’s fiction has been published at Literary Orphans, The Great Smokies Review, and Lime Hawk. His first published story landed on the 2016 Wigleaf longlist, and another was a semifinalist for the William Van Dyke Short Story Prize. As a literary photographer, he has covered events such as GrubStreet’s Muse & the Marketplace Writers Conferences, Literary Death Match, and Gateless retreats. He has experience as a website developer, making designs function as expected. Having spent most of his life in New England, he now writes from Asheville, North Carolina, and is working on a novel. Of the training, Stan wrote, When first came to Gateless, I felt confused about a lot of things in my life, including why I was compelled to attend the Teacher Training. I knew that it was time to integrate seemingly disparate parts of my life and to earn a living from the depth and breadth of my knowledge. I just didn’t know how. During the training, I was able to own myself. Everything in my body seemed keyed in on my new mission — a focus that wasn’t clear before. I feel buoyed, encouraged, confident. I can now really hit the ground running.
Melanie Maure, MA has a Masters in psychology and offers somatic therapy in her counselling practice, which she describes as talk therapy for the body. She also teaches yoga and has been doing some form of bodywork for almost 20 years. Of the training, she writes, I walked into a group of strangers, excited, nervous, unsure yet so certain this is where I belonged. I knew I had something to offer, something innate. And so much to learn. Within six days I had taken each one of these strangers and placed them into a silk lined pocket somewhere in my heart. In that space they became magicians, goddesses, teachers, genius embodied. And, too, Everyone was so fucking funny! I fell in love just watching them laugh. Terri launched humor like a pitching machine, Suzanne possessed a physical humor so familiar, I could picture us getting into trouble in grade 10th Math. Laughter was the soundtrack playing in the background the entire week. But most of all? I found the gateways I had either built or agreed to have, fences that could be taken down and given away to fertile land. I have tools now and more important; I have the tribe. I do not have to do this alone.
Amy Baker, PhD is a dancer, mover, explorer and dreamer. As a result of the training, she says, It’s as if I am suddenly in my own book! All the events of my life are coming together. During the training, the archetype and symbols in my life became crystal clear, combined with a vision of gathering a tide of truth-seekers and magic makers. I have been initiated into the Mystery School, a door I have tapped on all my life. The world feels glorious, mysterious, benevolent, accessible, magic.” I am part of a supportive hive, a bond of spirit that cannot be broken by time or space. This is the first time I have envisioned something I can do that is truly mutually supportive. And I know that the people who come to my salons/gatherings will be my reminders of what I realized. They will remember what has been tucked away, seemingly lost. I have stepped through a portal and have remembered a part of me from potentially other lifetimes, other dimensions. When I talk about Gateless, people move toward me, everyone is curious and genuinely interested. I now have a life-affirming way to support my life financially, a beautiful way to be both of and in service, to offer something of true value to be able to empower others to discover themselves. This feels playful and at the same time vitally important to society as a whole. It’s the most vital and life-affirming work I can think of doing in my life.”
Jacquie Donahue: Jacquie is an "intrepid spiritual pilgrim" (yes, I stole these words from Suzanne and want to find my own version), long-time women’s workshop facilitator, artist, writer, realtor, cancer survivor, and champion of a woman’s journey to reclaim awareness and reality of the soul. Through retreats and Sunday soul salons, she helps women of all ages and stages navigate the inner world, listen with heart, see with insight, speak the truth, find their joy, and reclaim their soul-purpose to heal themselves and create new realities.
Sarah Byrden has been working in the fields of transformational wilderness therapy, cross-cultural development, experiential and somatic healing education since 2000. She is trained and certified as a Sacred Daoist Sexuality teacher in the MogaDao lineage and holds over 2500 hours of formal training in western and non-western body-based healing modalities. She works as a contracted educator and trainer for faculty and staff of high schools, colleges and field education programs and has worked with hundreds of students from the American West to the Himalayas and Indonesia. She signed up for the training because, My first private session with Suzanne was life-changing for me, and my first Gateless salon blew my socks off. Gateless is magic, it is a hive of safety. In the weeks prior to signing up for the training, she began to get whispers that her writing wasn’t just a hobby but a lifeline for her, that she had a voice that needed to be heard.
Sarah says that in the Gateless training, I found my voice, my uniqueness. I felt confident, reinspired, loved, seen, heard, focused, so excited. The methodology is so in tune with our natural state that it didn't feel like learning a methodology at all- it feel like breathing. Now I have a sisterhood, a place to celebrate my professional successes and challenges, a colleagueship in the midst of solo-preneurship, a network where I feel extra held as a teacher of this work as I move out into the world. In the aftermath, she saw the partcipants in her workshops soar when they used the Gateless method. In the years since, she has been the bodyworker for the Gateless retreats in Asheville and Abiquiu New Mexico, and she leads workshops out west with another Gateless teacher, the award-winning novelist and poet Kate Gray. Since the training, she has launched a variety of successful online programs and has landed TEDx Talks in Saint Louis and Vail, Colorado.
Claire Coghlan is a freelance writer who has contributed to the New York Times, the LA Times, People, Elle, SELF, Harper’s Bazaar Australia and many others. A certified teacher of feminine dance movement and longtime practitioner of yoga, she’s been invited to teach at Tony Robbins and Sheila Kelley S Factor retreats. She found out about Gateless from literary agent Laura Rothschild and was in the Gateless Academy when she felt the pull toward the Gateless training. What solidified her decision was knowing she would gain tools to elevate her business. Since the training, we’ve seen Claire land her first feature in Vanity Fair and cheered her on when she walked to the red carpet to the Oscars. But best of all, we saw her complete her gorgeous multi-generational novel that began itself in earnest the year she came to Gateless.
About the Gateless Training, Claire says, The training alchemized, catalyzed, and opened everything up vis a vis my writing, my business, and my life. I unwrapped something so delicious, so fun, so valuable and so meaningful. Now I can recognize the gates and have the tools to move beyond them, to live life with wonder and creative freedom, this feels so powerful. I loved the sisterhood, the camaraderie. Suzanne’s brilliance, wisdom, kindness, humor, love, beauty, support, courage, commitment. Seeing Suzanne’s highest point at play has inspired me to reach even higher, and live even higher, all of the time. I loved the soul food, the body work, skinny dipping in the ocean under the moonlight with my sisters, and seeing every woman open and blossom and thrive over the course of the week. The amazing wealth of Gateless is still settling into my bones and cells., but I Imagine a world where everybody meets the highest point in another with the highest point in him or herself, a world where we all get to make the world of our dreams come true, on the page and in life. I would recommend Gateless to anyone.
Lisa McCormick is a singer songwriter who has received multiple Grammy nominations. She became an internet sensation when she was hired as senior faculty for Guitar Tricks, where she found her teaching surpassed the norm and her beginning students went to completely new heights with their music. She came to the Gateless training because she felt an “inexplicable intuitive pull.” She felt a whispering voice: this is right, this is right, this is right. Against all odds, she came. Her highest point arrived when she knew her biggest prayer for the week had been answered. During the training, she reached a clear understanding of what it is she really wanted to do in the world and why. Since then, she has launched herself as a musical intuit and has a full schedule of retreats and workshops in her new Note-to-Self, Self-to-Note methodology. Her new challenge is how to handle the level of success that hit her so fast and so hard these past few years, I would recommend the Gateless training to anyone who is on the cusp of discovering how s/he can take his or her talents, expertise, wisdom, and energy to a whole new mountaintop view of the possibilities, and with the built-in support help make things she might never imagined for herself and her life become a reality. I was awe-struck by Suzanne’s clarity, brilliance, calm and presence. This was a life changing experience!!!!!
Kellie Fin, 500 E-RYT is a writer, teacher, artist, yogi, and entrepreneur who has an MS in Yoga Therapy and is co-creator of Shri 200 hour YTT and Yoga Live It. She operates Yoga Eastworks - a studio in Easthampton, MA. I saw the listing for the Gateless Training on-line,” she wrote of her decision to come. And it was a gut-whallop of YES! From a very wise part of me that I am grateful has a loud voice. The original draw was the opportunity to stay in a big, old house on the water in CT with a bunch of women, but when I went I felt a little shy and very curious. Then I immediately fell in love with the location. I felt lucky. Ready. I loved having everything onsite: meals, friends, water, outdoor shower, and most of all, it felt so good to finally be held in that space with this crazy amazing love. I am crying now in the remembering. The Training was generosity, belly laughter, gratitude, deep introspective dives on the page. I am still feeling the full-heartedness of Gateless and that safe, nurturing, fluid environment to dig deep. I now feel confident in an I-can-do-anything way. By the end of the training, I knew I could make something new and wonderful happen in my life. Kellie says she would absolutely recommend Gateless to anyone, It's a beautiful, powerful way to meet the world.
Terese Daly Ramin is the central coordinator at Novelists, Inc and the award-winning author of eleven novels and numerous short stories. She works as an editor, ghost writer, book doctor, and a paranormal investigator. When she came to Gateless, she was burned out, over-edited, and had lost her passion for the written word completely. She’d turned to editing, then to collaborative novels, created and produced a book that benefitted first victims of the Christmas 2004 tsunami, then 2005 Katrina victims. She’d found a writing partner and completed her first straight thriller with him. With another writing partner, she spent five years pulling together a big paranormal romance. But even with my partners’ support, Terese writes. I remained unsure about my abilities. And then I found Suzanne Kingsbury and Gateless Writing. I signed up for the training when I saw a post by a fellow novelist, Sylvia Kurtz who had gone through the training and found it to be an amazing experience. The entire concept sang to me. I didn’t know for sure what I was getting into, but I needed to take a chance on something new and unknown, on myself, my abilities, my stories. In one week, in the company of fifteen women, I found the spark that had led me to writing in the first place. Within the safe space created by Suzanne and Gateless, I re-discovered the sense of peace, sitting in front of a blank sheet of paper and posing the question ‘what if…’ I felt euphoric when I left Gateless, I found a piece of my voice I’d forgotten losing. Writing is once again my passion. There is magic in giving oneself the gift of the training, where no one judges, no one expects more of you than you have to give. And that is what Gateless does. I am forever grateful for it. Gateless is a place to come home to.
Eaddy Sutton has an M.Ed with over ten years in the classroom, a background in business (with an almost MBA) and five years as the Executive Director of a successful educational service and curriculum company. She’s also a solopreneur, photographer and freelance writer and was working one-on-one as a Gateless writer when she signed up for the training. During the training, she combined her love of words, design and pragmatism and launched Three Sixty Click, an organization that designs websites and marketing strategies for solopreneurs. I came home and got busy, she told us post training, I had to end my shower early so I could bolt out to the desk and write down the next big idea for a project I'm working on -- I wake up at seven and get right to it and don't take nearly enough breaks. And thanks to the creative juices that poured in during the training, I found a name for my biz, and I know what I am offering: a full circle marketing support for small businesses, non-profits, artists, and soloprenuers. Now Eaddy is busy doing web copy, engaging in dialog, and generating new ideas to get solopreneurs inspired about getting their good “thang” out there to more people. I miss the beach with the milky stones, she told us after the training. Our porch with two long seats, the outdoor shower, the round white table with perfect, beautiful food, and my spare, dark room up the back stairway. I slept so well. And I miss the hours and days of circle time, writing and listening and weeping and laughing. What a group of power babes, pushing against it and through it and creating such beauty together, such joy. I am so grateful for our experience together, and for Suzanne for connecting the dots to create a wholly new thing in the world. She saw the potential, made it happen, met wild Gateless success, then turned it around to share it with others so they can teach it too.
Lizbeth Finn-Arnold has 20 years of experience working in independent filmmaking, she has produced numerous short films, documentaries, and a TV pilot. She found Gateless when she came to a Gateless and Intuitive Healing Retreat at the Omega Institute in New York, and she knew she wanted to help others heal through writing. I came home from the training floating on a cloud. I was so amazed by all of the connections that were made over one week. I have so much clarity and excitement about the work I am doing moving forward. Within days I was already promoting my first writing workshop. In October I will be presenting to a women's empowerment group, and a Lyme doctor wants to run a writing workshop and a woman's group with me, and I was invited to a networking group of women where I told them I am currently creating writing workshops that help people tap into their childhood bliss so they can figure out what it is they want to do, and get past blocks/fears. I had a lot of interest from the women in the room who said they wanted to check out my workshops and collaborate with me on similar projects. I find that when I talk about the Gateless method, people immediately say YES to me. I have so many ways in which I can bring Gateless to the communities, I have connections in the health and wellness field, and I am still part of a local community of writers/screenwriters who haven't been exposed to this method. I can't wait to set up a salon and show them how us Power Babes do it!!
Sage Wheeler has been coaching women individually and in groups since 2004. She is a certified life coach with Martha Beck, has her 500 hour Advanced Studies Training in yoga from Barbara Benagh, is trained in Somatic Experiencing with Peter Levine and in the 4-Dimensional Wheel with Dr. Gina Ogden. She was drawn to the Gateless training after doing Gateless retreats because the methodology was so aligned with the work she was doing with clients. She wanted to incorporate the magic of Gateless into her retreats and remove her own internal blocks. When I left the training, I felt, Transported to another space, I could finally believe the quiet whispering of what might be possible for me, I found a completely different way of showing up and being in the world. Most of all, I loved the connection with a broad diverse and yet aligned group of incredibly powerful women doing amazing work! Now she recommends Gateless because of it's unsurpassed ability to heal and transform. She says, I want the world to be Gateless.
Pam Sampel has over 25+ years of experience in collaborative leadership, emotional intelligence coaching and retreat design and facilitation experience. Fast-forward to serendipitously finding information in late May 2016 about the Gateless Training on the web—or rather it finding her. And then Gateless showing up again on her newsfeed. Pam said. I devoured the information, stories, and videos on the websites one morning, and listened to my heart nudging me to make the connection…write the email…include your website…just do it… trust, let possibilities in. I let go of “how’s and why’s” and figured it was meant to be. She knew this was a portal into the next part of her soul’s journey. She was excited and a little bit scared to step over the threshold and become part of the Gateless community. She says, There is a certain je ne sais quoi to the energy around Gateless that speaks directly to the heart and our deepest longings… Gateless calls and makes your own inner self notice. Before I came, I was nervous in that way you know you are about to embark on something big and potentially life-changing--and it was life changing. I was altered. Forever changed—in a cellular and biological way. I don’t think I’ll look at, or think about, anything quite in the same way again…I feel Gateless in my blood and with my breath. The week sparkled: the amazing women the writing the lovingly prepared nourishing food, the affirming and loving bodywork, the camaraderie, the shared tears, laughter, stories. It was hard to leave. The experience was so magical, fun, and joyful. The quality and depth astounded me. I was deeply moved and motivated. I felt accepted and loved and appreciated. I’d recommend Gateless because IT WORKS. I am now using Gateless teaching methods and practices in my own work—facilitation, coaching, teaching my writing…as well as marketing my work and retreats.
Elise Lorimer is a multi-talented creative consultant, yoga instructor, performance artist and presentation-designer. You can find Elise on the Yoga Journal website, teaching flow sequences that have been watched by millions of viewers across the globe. Elise found Gateless through an alumni who went through the training and she was absolutely intrigued by the concept of Gateless, namely that drawing out the best in each other is a stronger positive evolutionary impulse than anything else. She kept following the signs and impulses, and they kept saying yes, despite any fears or hesitations. I felt nervous at first, she told us post-training. A little unsure, curious, enticed, ready, open and cautiously optimistic. But when I left, I felt blown-away and blown open, super amazing, completely expanded. I was invigorated, inspired, emblazoned and creatively turned-on. I’d written 80 single spaced pages by the time I left. I loved skinny dipping with everyone under the full moon, I loved our sweet tribe. Leaving was remarkably hard. The training was huge as heck for me, as in send fireworks into the night sky. As in my world tilt officially shifted. The genius of Gateless is brilliant. I want to bring the Gateless Method to as many people as we can.
Nina Hart is a writer, performer, and creativity coach trained in the Kaizen Muse method. Her first collection of short stories, “Somewhere in a Town You Never Knew Existed Somewhere” was selected as a Short Stories (Adult Fiction) category finalist in Foreword Reviews’ prestigious 2014 IndieFab Book of the Year Awards. She is the founder of a unique method of teaching writing called “Writing from the Top of your Head,” which combines group creativity coaching with creative writing. Nina was also an original member of the experimental dance troupe Contraband, in San Francisco and has recorded and performed with numerous bands. Nina heard about Gateless through one of her writing students, who had attended Gateless retreats. Of the training, Nina wrote, I feel like I’ve waited my entire life for this. I feel ready to leap! Right before the training, she’d been making what felt like a “whale of a transition” out of her twenty year career in massage, into her calling as a writer, teacher and creativity coach. She also needed better entrepreneurial tools. Something invisible and alchemical took place during our week - something about Suzanne’s powerful ability to bring a group together, and that ineffable blend of sea and sand, potentials and stars and radically amazing writers all together under a perfect full moon. You all are still with me and always will be… Since the training, we have watched Nina successfully launch the online version of her incredible program Writing from the Top of the Head which is iconic in its ability to nurture broken creatives back to a juicy and productive relationship with the muse.
Jan Taylor has masters degrees in Education and Creative Writing, her certifications include web authoring, media literacy, and yoga instruction. Currently she teaches English composition on the college level. She first found Gateless when she came to a retreat, and she wanted to use the method to move her students and her own career forward. By the time I left the training, I felt rested, whole, grounded, loved. I found a hive of support that makes one feel rich in life. I wanted to be in the hive 24/7, I did not want to miss one little thing. Gateless is a place to celebrate, to brainstorm, to receive feedback and to feel loved.
Becky Karush came to us on the heels of a very illustrious writing career, where she was a masters in creative writing and had gone to Barnard on a scholarship for the written word. As a content copywriter, she was playing with words all the time, but Gateless opened a door for her she never knew exists. The Gateless Teacher Training, Becky writers, was an ecstasy of creative delight. As a 20-year veteran of writer's block, I don't use such language lightly! The Gateless methodology is a process of joy, where the best work grows not from grueling work or scarcity but from strength, support, encouragement, fun.
The Teacher Training also healed old spiritual wounds, which allowed me to understand the open page as a place to dance with god, coming to it is a spiritual practice of ease, candor, and joy. Part of that practice is having a community of fabulous, hilarious, courageous sister-writers who remain in touch across distances and years. I am truly not alone.
Now, I run a monthly Gateless Writing Salon. The Gateless methodology draws the perfect people to it, magically, it seems; it doesn't take excessive work to get folks to come. People are called to it. Then, at salon, the philosophy and structure of Gateless make it possible for us to hold and support all manner of writers — seasoned professionals, anxious newcomers, cookbook writers, poets. Gateless Teacher Training shifted how I think about my creative birthright, how I come to the open page, and how I engage with the publishing industry and writing culture. It has given me a home, and in it there is quiet, hope, and ecstasy.”
(last night of the Gateless Training, 2015)
Kate Gray’s first language is Poetry. Her first full-length book of poems, Another Sunset We Survive (2007) was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award and her chapbooks Bone-Knowing (2006) was the winner of the Gertrude Press Poetry Prize and Where She Goes (2000), was the winner of the Blue Light Chapbook Prize. Her poetry and essays have been nominated for Pushcart prizes, she has been nominated for the Oregon Poet Laureate, and her debut novel Carry the Sky was published to high acclaim.
I signed up for Gateless because my intuition called me. And because Minton Sparks [another Gateless trained teacher] told me it would change my life. (oh, how right she was). I also saw her career take off after she did the training. And every message I received from Suzanne was so crazy-loving, I knew I was entering the right universe. When I came into Gateless I felt on the precipice (in a good way). I’d retired a month earlier from 25 years of teaching, and I was fragile. For me, the world seemed new, and being with such heart-centered, open, focused, brave women was exactly what I needed.
What I loved best about Gateless was falling in love. I fell hard for 8 women and 1 man [our photographer, Peter Towle] and Long Island Sound. I fell in love with everyone’s dreams and the stories they’re writing. I fell in love with the sunrise on the water, the house we stayed in, the kites and the cormorants and the osprey.
Since becoming a Gateless teacher Kate has facilitated writing groups for women inmates and women Veterans, led study groups on Sylvia Plath, facilitated in-person workshops on topics like “What to do with Your Hot Mess,” “Double-Dare Writing,” “How Poets Witness War,” and “Writing the Body.” She’s started a monthly in-person salon that features a famous woman writer (Maya Angelou, Anne Sexton, Adrienne Rich, etc.) and uses prompts from her work to generate writing, which is then honored Gatelessly. She’s also started coaching individual writers from across the country.
When I left Gateless I felt the loss of limbs from all my Gateless sisters. Phantom pain. Now I feel like a lion. There’s a sureness to my body that I haven’t had before, the feeling is light, I want to use Gateless in every way. Over the years I’ve participated in many retreats, workshops, and trainings. Nothing has compared to this. Kate helped to design the Gateless Online Academy for writers with books-in-progress and is hard at work on her second novel about Sylvia Plath.
Lara Darrow, MA Psychotherapist, RSMT, RYT attended to our bodies during the 2015 training. Because the training is often intense and you are walking into a powerful sense of yourself, there's a need for deep integration with the body and mind. After weeks of interviewing, Lara floated up as the only person who could fill this unique space. Incredibly varied and balanced in her approach, she "held" us during the 2015 training, while we shed years of unneeded layers and found ease in this brand new way of being. By using mindfulness, expressive arts, gestalt therapy, somatic expressive therapy (body-based psychotherapy blended with the expressive arts); and yoga, she aided our bodies and minds towards integration. She is now offering Yoga and Writing Day-Longs at her studio in Vermont and is planning to lead retreats. About the training she said, Gateless is the wave of the future. It is a must-have for anyone who wants to lead retreats, workshops, lift up their one-on-one coaching or otherwise reach the pinnacle of what they can do in the world. It’s an incredible opportunity for transformation, sisterhood and mind-blowing methodology. Fantastic medicine for the soul pure love and amazing feeling of flying into the future with wings you never knew you had.
Laura Rothschild is the founder of RO Literary Agency out of Malibu, CA. . When she found Gateless, she was a career nomad and world traveler. She was new to the world of writing but had always been a writer in her heart. Her experiences as a business owner, military nurse, commercial and music video producer, mom and yogi all led her to begin writing her first novel.
I had experienced firsthand how powerful and nurturing the Gateless Writing method was when I wrote my novel, and felt a calling to share it with others. I signed up for Gateless because I knew being a novelist was only one part of my life equation. I wanted to work with other writers, but didn’t have clarity about how I could serve them. My writing was flowing because of the Gateless method, but my personal life felt stagnant. That all changed with the training! Nothing could surpass watching the magic that transpires when people are given a safe, nurturing and supportive place to crack their hearts wide open. I heard it in their words, I saw a transformation in their bodies. It was stunning to see, and not only did I see it in others, I felt it in myself. It was as if the greatness in us all was illuminated.
When Laura got back to California, she started a book coaching business and before she even had business cards or a website, her business began to take off. In January she led her first writing retreat in Mexico, where six writers blossomed under the love of Gateless. It was there that she had the idea to start a literary agency. Partnering with another book coach who was having a blast with Gateless, she thought, “Yes! Why not? I can bring Gateless into the business and sales side of publishing! And that's when our first Gateless agent was born. RO literary is now on the map and is the fastest growing boutique literary agency on the west coast.
I have never been happier! The training has not only changed my life, I get to live my life every day pursuing what I love, helping others do what they love, and I get to get paid doing it! I want more Gateless! More trainings, more tools, more anything!
Nicole Birkholzer is the founder of Mindful Connections, Inc.; an animal intuit; mindfulness expert; and former executive coach. She signed up for Gateless because she wanted to help people use writing as a tool for self-discovery. When I left Gateless, I felt buoyed, connected to higher self in a brand new way, inspired, ready to take on the world. As I drove off, I couldn't listen to the radio, couldn't speak on the phone, couldn't do anything I would often do because I was a new me. My spirit soared and soared and soared. And I knew I was home ... in more ways than ever before. The Gateless Writing Teacher Training was a life changing experience. Never have I felt so supported, connected and expansive in a retreat or training.
Nicole's book Pet Logic: See the word through your pet's eyes - and experience your life through a beautiful new lens hit the stands on Valentine's Day to wide critical acclaim and just this past fall, Nicole and I co-facilitated the first equine-inspired Gateless Writing retreat! She has recently been tapped to speak on the TEDX stage.
When I bring people and animals together to teach my “Mindful Connections” approach, Nicole says. I integrate the Gateless writing method into the experience. The positive feedback and supportive environment based on the Gateless Method has lasting impact on their lives. Through the Gateless training I realized how much I love helping writers get unstuck and into the flow of writing regularly. I offer a few personal coaching spots to writers who are looking for that sparkle of inspiration to get their Gateless mojo moving onto the open page.
Daintry Jensen has a background in dramatic writing from Skidmore College and UCLA’s Professional Screenwriting Program. She has acted professionally in Los Angeles and NYC. Her debut middle grade novel, The Hidden Forest, set on Nantucket Island, sold out it’s first printing within the first few months of publication and is now in it’s third printing. Daintry is currently working on her second novel and a screenwriting project. She is certified in Reiki level II, and is a level II graduate of the Rhys Thomas Institute of Energy Medicine and Life Mastery. She feels very strongly that words and story heal and transform lives. I had an immediate emotional reaction to the Gateless training when I heard about it. There was something in my soul, without hesitation, that said, "yes - you need to do this". And whatever that voice was – was right.
What surprised me the most about Gateless was: the BRILLIANT LIGHT that was infused throughout the week of complete acceptance and love, even when the harpies on my shoulder were trying to convince me otherwise. What I loved best was- the fellowship. The amazingly channeled quality of all of Suzanne’s information that she was passing onto us, to be shared out in the world for the general uplifting of all. When I left Gateless, I felt sad to leave, but I felt much more hopeful, more forgiving. Much lighter. Elated, and so incredibly grateful that I had been able to take part in such a sisterhood of – well let’s face it- brilliance. Words really don’t express my gratitude. This was a huge breakthrough for me. I’m aloft and setting sail. Daintry is now part of The Gateless Online Academy, where she is hard at work on an incredibly beautiful new novel.
Emily Pereira is a Spirit Nature Certified Spiritual Advocate and the creator of the Be The Beginner Movement, whose mission is to show every woman the way out of the thankless prison of perfection and back to her playful, creative, passionate self. The Gateless Training came on the heels of this time in her life when, she says, she knew where her compass was pointing, but I was feeling stuck in my writing. What surprised me most was how totally and completely powerful Gateless is. I reconnected with my muse, was able to meet Suzanne in person and forged lifelong friendships with eight incredible women, I left feeling inspired and so much more equipped to move forward with power and grace.
Emily is now leading life-changing Gateless Writing retreats in Costa Rica, where her writers do yoga and surf to feed the muse. She is about to tour Europe with a new love and finding ways to move Gateless into the world with a permanent retreat center in Costa Rica. As a part of her own spiritual evolution, Emily awakened her once dormant creativity by writing a book, learning to play guitar, writing and singing original songs, painting large canvasses, and dancing in the Le Vie Noir burlesque troupe. Emily is part of the Gateless Online Academy for writers with books-in-progress, where she is hard at work on her second memoir.
Paula Diaco is a business writing consultant and writing coach. She shows solo-entrepreneurs and small business owners how to write great content including books, blog posts, and newsletters. Gateless is like a dream come true. Finally, I found the means to the end I had been hatching and trying to form for more than 20 years. It was everything, and more, than I expected. My hardest point was leaving all of the beautiful new friends I made, the ocean, the freedom. When I left Gateless I felt renewed, invigorated, and ready to leap into my new career where Gateless leads the day, helps others find their voice, and provides me with a rich income. Now that I know there’s such a thing as Gateless, I’m hooked on all of it. I feel so freaking happy I can’t believe it. Every day someone tells me that I look happy and it’s such a delight.
Since July, Paula has been using Gateless for speaking, writing and networking. When she is booked as a speaker at events, she brings Gateless to the table, addressing the fear so many business owners have about the written word. I show them how Gateless calms your nervous system and allows your brain to release its genius. She teaches weekly, monthly and online writing salons. And is now creating a signature course that she will be offering to a group of creative entrepreneurs and presenting it online. My goal is to bring this beautiful process into the small business world so that more people are able to show us how unique and wonderful their services and products are. Her own YA book is in the editing process, and she plans on pitching it to agents starting in July. Did you know that I wrote the entire middle of the book in my own salons? Gateless opened me up and allowed me to get the story out and on to the page. Paula is part of the Gateless Online Academy for writers with books-in-progress and hard at wok on her next!
Jennifer Downs is an acupuncturist who does domain-changing work with mid-life or “full” life women in Baltimore. She founded the Pivot Point Projects, a program to support a population of people over 50 in finding of life purpose in the "second half of life." In the process she discovered that writing is a key tool to help people access their own wisdom and recall important life experiences. She also felt she needed to find a way to incorporate writing practice more fully into her life and to eventually pull together a book. And so she signed up for the Gateless Training. I loved the warmth, ease and flow of the week, she says. The well-designed schedule, the stellar group of people, the feeling of being immersed in an inner world that I was able to share with others. I left Gateless feeling satisfied, fulfilled, good humored, engaged happy. Gateless opened me up in new ways in all areas of my life. I am incorporating Gateless into my life work. It empowered me. I am now using it to move my clients, my patients and myself into new and groundbreaking territory.
Kate Baldwin has an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Before discovering Gateless, she had been working as a marketing and communications writer in corporate businesses. Her dream was to build a life around the fiery, juicy side of the written word.
At the training she uncovered a deep desire to teach writing to young talent, helping adolescent girls use poetry and story to hold on to and express their true selves while navigating the intense emotion and change of teenaged years. She has cozied up with a dear friend and marketing whiz to teach Gateless writing salons to young talent on the coast of Massachusetts. Her partner will get the teens there, so she can show up and teach. She’s also started her own coaching business and has a new roster of writers. My last email from her talked about an emerging poet she is helping to get to the point of publication and beyond. I am handling her with Gateless kid gloves and she is flourishing under the truthful language of what is right in her work. She was nominated for a Pushcart, she's no slacker! And, in one week she has referred me to two new clients. In a group email the other day she asked us, Is it really this easy? We all clamored to tell her that yes, it really is.
Kate is also working on a book of poetry, continues to raise her fantastic daughter, find homes for rescue dogs and is now the Senior Editor and Program Manager for Gateless, Inc! When I asked her if anything was hard about the training, Kate said, Nothing was hard. There was nothing dreadful or oh ugh I’ve got to go do this now. No—wait! I know the hardest part and oh it gripped at my heart and still does as I write this—it was the leave-taking. Bidding goodbye to the unique magic of our particular bodies and star stuff being all in the same house for those days; we’ll never recreate it (but we will always carry it). What surprised me was the simple brilliance of Gateless and how powerful and at ease I felt within its fold. I loved the women, the astonishing way we trusted one another in the name of writing. When I left Gateless I felt loved, like a late bloomer, but oh-so-ready to bloom.
Karen Kenney went through the 2104 Gateless Training as our resident massage guru, yoga teacher and spiritual adviser. A game changer in her field, Karen has worked for and with Marianne Williamson, is the founder of Fearless Flow Yoga, and creator of The Yoga Show with Karen. She has taught all over the world, including rolling her yoga mat out right across from the great pyramids of Giza. After completing the training, Karen has been asked to be a repeat guest, teaching a week-long yoga and writing class at the eminent Omega Institute in New York. She also teaches weekly writing salons in her home, filled up her yoga-and-writing day-long intensive and is in the midst of creating an online course and launching an annual fundraising event to benefit women who have experienced violence. She continues to work on her incredible memoir, which blew the roof off the house at the training and subsequent retreats.
About her experience at the training Karen writes, The Gateless Training was life changing and revolutionary. You show up at Gateless with all these hopes and a satchel full of fears and Suzanne gently sits you down and says – ‘Tell me who you really are/ Tell me what you want to do/ Tell me what you want to create in this big, beautiful world?' And before you know it, all the different parts of you start to speak and share their dreams. And one by one - as your list of all that you are dying to create comes spilling out - Suzanne says YES! And finds a way to make it happen.
And you feel so incredibly happy because somebody who gets you, and who has gone before you, and who is packed full of a shitload of experience is genuinely and generously showing you the way.
Yes, YOU still have to sit down and do the hard work, but you realize that along the way you can have a total blast, make like-minded friends and laugh your ass off. You get to pick back up the parts of yourself that you long ago abandoned and you welcome them all home and then you take these tools and get down to business. And the load is lighter because you know that you have the Gateless community supporting you, celebrating you and cheering you on! And these aren't the one-handed, polite, air clappers trying to look oh-so-cool. They are the Where the Wild Things Are aren't-afraid-to-make-a-rumpus kind of people! A family of writers and creatives, teachers and performers and they are all standing up in the balcony, swinging their jackets over their heads, calling out to you all the things that they LOVE about you! And you're life will never be the same again.
Minton Sparks is the founder of The Nashville Writing and Performance Institute, a writer and performance artist who has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, BBC’s Bob Harris Show, and Wood Song’s Old-Time Radio. She’s also shared the stage with Rodney Crowell, John Prine, Nanci Griffith, and Punch Brothers. When I came into Gateless, Minton wrote. I felt stuck in my writing and a little lost as to what was the next step in building my writing school.
During the training we dove into Minton’s online presence, how to use Gateless to teach her beautiful students, and her ability to move her fantastic work even further into the world. In Minton’s words, I learned so much in this method. My guard was down so I absorbed the information very organically. I actually became the information that Suzanne was teaching us, I didn’t have to reach out past myself to learn it. I just opened to it, and it came pouring in. What I loved best about Gateless is that it seems to be about finding what is already there but maybe covered up with fear, or a dizzying sense of I’m not enough. Gateless allows the very best in everyone to come up to the surface and take a turn in the sunshine. You don’t have to become someone else, Gateless is a process of loving what you already are and then stretching from there.
Since the training, Minton has been running monthly weekend workshops at her Institute, is performing all over the nation, has been featured with glowing reviews in top media outlets, and appeared on the Grand Ole Opry, whose site called her "a lean, literate livewire, who balances writerly, theatrical and musical gifts as easily as she balances the prop pocketbook on her slender wrist.” This spring she is the writing facilitator of the Eat, Pray, Write Retreat on the coast of Spain.
Of the Gateless experience Minton writes: When I left Gateless I felt completely full. Full with the words, the community that was built, full of myself and my own writing and vision for my teaching. I feel like a door has opened, and I am dancing through it. I feel grateful for all that I learned and for the chance to reinvigorate my vision for myself as a writer and as teacher.
Sylvie Kurtz is a trained pilot who realized, when she was soaring above a patchwork landscape, that her true calling was writing. She is the author of 19 novels, and when she came to Gateless she said, I felt that my career was stalled. I wasn't writing, certainly nothing of value, and certainly not with the joy and ease that I did when I first started writing. My life also felt stalled—doing things I didn't really want to do because I felt I had no other choice. Stress levels were high. During the training Sylvie discovered one of the niches she wants to focus on is offering workshops to chronic pain sufferers, she also uncovered her voice again, the bliss of writing, that sweet call of the open page.
Sylvie has developed a beautiful (very needed!) online course: "The Care and Feeding of a Writer", and it will be part of The Gateless Institute’s online offerings this coming year. Sylvie has also been in conversation with a naturopathic clinic to offer writing workshops to those in chronic pain so that they might return to their true selves using the written word. And: I'm writing again. I've actually been getting up at 5:30 in the morning to write for an hour or so before my grandson gets here, and I have about 80,000 words right now--heading into the last part of the story. It’s been nice to just write and not worry about the end result just yet. Plus, writing first thing allows me to know I've done something for myself. We can’t wait to see another book from our dear, talented Sylvie.
Jodi Paloni is an International Coaching Federation and a Gestalt International Study Center certified coach. She has an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and in 2014 she trained in The Gateless Writing Method.
During the training Jodi expressed her conflict over wanting to dive into her blooming writing career, and also wanting to create a sustainable income that would support her family. She wanted to create retreats with the love of her life, work one-on-one with creatives and also continue serving her incredible literary work. Her acolytes prior to the training include the 2013 Short Story America Prize for Short Fiction, publication in the Short Story America Volume IV, and placing second in the 2012 Raymond Carver Short Story Contest.
What I discovered at the Gateless Training was that my intention to create income from retreats and intensive work with clients could move hand in hand with my deep desire to continue to serve my own inner creative genius.
In December, Jodi got married. She and Bob just moved to a beautiful house in Maine where she plans to begin holding retreats for creatives. About making that dream come true, she wrote, Bob has now jumped on board, and we will be planning a planning retreat for ourselves for this fall and offer our first series of retreats next year! In private practice, she helps writers move toward their greatest visions of themselves. This year her book of short stories was published. They Could Live With Themselves launched with the very prestigious Press 53 to high critical acclaim.
Regina Tingle holds her BA in Journalism and an MFA in Writing. When Regina came to the training, she was working with study abroad programs, and researching and leading trips. Her dream was to make a flush living helping people discover their own true talent as creatives, particularly millennials and those in transition whose creativity was still new to them. She also wanted to run sold-out writing retreats with her friend and cohort Dulcie Witman (see below).
The fall after the training she and Dulcie sold out their first Tuscany retreat to glowing reviews, and it was featured as one of the top ten writing retreats in Write Life Journal. She has been jetting around the globe (we can hardly keep track of her!) this year and is working on her memoir-in-progress. She edits for Minerva Literary Journal and is coaching others to find their creative voices.
When I asked Regina why she signed up for the training she told me that deep down she knew she had to change something, she felt disconnected from her creative self, Looking back, I see it was a higher something…calling me forth, asking me to trust and to start being the force I can for the greater good. I needed someone to give me permission to give myself permission. It was a divine whispering, really. I had no idea I'd leave feeling a part of such an incredible sisterhood. I had no idea I'd fall so far in love with these beautiful women. I've learned it's okay to push the boundaries of my creativity. Gateless gave me the really powerful tools I needed and I've been shown the way. There's a clarity here now -- inside and out -- that I didn't have before. A centerdness and solid direction. A feeling of YES and support. Gateless would benefit anyone. It’s for absolutely everyone.
Dulcie Witman is a talented therapist, the leader of many writing groups in her community of Portland, Maine, and the creator of Dear Dulcie: an online subscription service for therapeutic nurturance and support. When Dulcie entered the Gateless Training, she was looking for surety and direction to support her work. When I left Gateless, Dulcie wrote, I felt rejuvenated, more solid and lighter at the same time, connected, clearer, excited about building my writing life. I love the idea of Gateless developing a presence in the world beyond writing (government, economics, sports, relationships…), using unconditional positive encouragement and empowerment coupled with connection to the greater good. In the fall Dulcie led her first Tuscany retreat with fellow Gateless graduate Regina Tingle; she filled that first retreat in Tuscany, and saw it hit a top ten list a few months later. Now she has scaled back on some of her therapeutic activities to center her life around the written word. She is currently at work on a book-length manuscript of non-fiction that promises to wow our world.
Kathleen Murray Moran was a long-time professor of English and one of the founders of the New York City non-profit Survivors of the Shield, which provides social, economic, and emotional support to surviving spouses of police killed in the line of duty. Kathleen came to Gateless ready to explore a private practice as an eminent editor for memoir writers. I felt a little lost, she said at the beginning. A little aimless, an empty nester.” By the end of the training she told me, What surprised me the most was the depth of my writing, the atmosphere allowing for deeper thought, and the stimulating and motivating talent in the room. What I loved best about Gateless was being in a house filled with the most interesting, inspiring women, the closeness, love, genuine affection, the six days of sharing. When I left Gateless I felt rejuvenated, anxious to write, create a new web page, shout out that I have a new career. Now I feel ready to begin a new career as an editor, clearer about my life and finally able to clarify with my husband things I’d wanted to say before but didn’t have the words.
And while Kathleen was set to explore her new career, as so often happens, her writing took off. One month after the training, Kathleen’s memoir The Widow and the Hijacker was shortlisted for the Huff Post/Simon and Schuster book award, and in December the seed story for her memoir was chosen by Salon.com as one of the top ten stories of the year. Not long after that, NPR picked up the story and ran a three-part broadcast for her. The Atlantic named it as one of the top podcasts of the year. Kathleen just signed with our very own Gateless literary agent Laura Rothschild of RO Literary and is hard at work on her next book, a novel.