about me

Hi, I’m Emma.

I have several websites for my writing. I have written about trauma and attachment healing and brain rewiring on Joy Ninja. In 2023 I started Sparkly Dark, a Substack newsletter where I discuss my personal growth & healing process in a this-week-in-Emma kind of way.

My goal with Joy Is My Path is to have a space where I can specifically and explicitly talk about my spiritual insights and ideas. I designed it so I can publish quickly, without having to find an image or format anything. These are short messages I have been posting on FB previous to this, and I wanted to start collecting them in a public place.

I don’t have a specific goal for the content. My writing is all just ideas that come to me and I feel compelled to write about them. Essentially my websites are like  buckets to catch rain drops. I don’t know when the rain will fall or what kind of rain it will be. But when the same kind of rain falls for awhile, I make a bucket for it.

Images on this site are most likely made with Midjourney, but sometimes Ideogram.

My inner life

I’ve spent my life trying to understand the nature of reality and why I was born. At first it was a question of, “Why is life so painful?”, but as I mastered my emotions, it changed into, “What was I intending to do here?”. Also: “What the heck is really going on here, anyway?”.

These questions have propelled me on a search to learn and understand:

  1. how to be human in a way that doesn’t hurt
  2. how to recover naturalness, i.e. authentic and unconditioned awareness, preferences, desires, and power
  3. how to discern spiritual truth from delusion
  4. how to clear karma and accomplish my Soul’s desires for this lifetime

The skills I have found to be foundational to accomplish these goals are:

  1. turning toward pain to process and complete emotional “unfinished business”
  2. attunement to and meeting of moment-to-moment needs
  3. changing inner dialogue to be positive and not critical
  4. inner conflict resolution using parts work
  5. de-programming the mind from social and family conditioning, and reprogramming it with consciously chosen beliefs
  6. practicing feeling happy for no reason until it is habitual
  7. listening to the Soul and following it’s guidance

I have acquired these skills from a combination of workshops, self-study, and inner work and experimentation. Major bodies of work I’ve studied include NVC (Nonviolent Communication) , Hakomi (a type of humanistic therapy), life coaching, trauma, and attachment. I’ve also studied A Course in Miracles, Evolutionary Astrology, NDE’s, life-between-life regressions, the Akashic Records, and various forms of manifesting.

I’ve had very little interest in the things I’m “supposed” to want–I never wanted kids, and I’ve only worked to be able to pay my bills so I could study the things that mattered to me. I’ve also made some rather dramatic or unconventional decisions because they felt right to me at the time. I consider all of this just part of following my path.

My outer life

I grew up in southern Oregon on a small farm in rural poverty. My parents had a lot of unresolved issues and split up when I was a toddler. I had severe attachment trauma and was depressed and emotionally dysregulated by the time I was a teenager.

I went to college at UC Davis. I got a BA in Psychology and hated most of it (institutional education does not agree with me). I spent my free time learning web design, and after graduating, I started a small business making websites for local businesses. I got interested in personal growth and spirituality and started taking workshops and classes.

Around 2004, I moved to Portland and began an intense, compelling, high-conflict relationship with a woman who was 20 years older than me. We worked together and were involved on and off for about 9 years, which ended when she died by suicide. During this time I worked through my depression and some of my childhood trauma, but I still had a lot of issues and dysregulation.

Through a random series of events, I ended up volunteering in prison in 2013. After a year of getting to know each other, I started a relationship with one of the men there. In 2014, I moved to Salem to be able to visit, and we got married.

My cozy liberal bubble was thoroughly smashed to pieces by exposure to the American prison system. I endured 7 years of being a prison wife, which was extremely alienating and isolating. Kind of like Covid, but for a lot longer and I wasn’t going through it with the whole world–I was alone. I felt disconnected from the “normal” world for a big chunk of my 30s. Those years are mostly a blur, but they did intensely built my resilience in the face of pain.

When he got out of prison in 2020, it was not the fairy tale ending I was waiting and hoping for. He mostly disappeared from my life as he tried desperately and chaotically to figure out who he was, and I spent the next few years doing deep attachment work to undo my codependency, limerence, CPTSD, and general lack of boundaries. I eventually got divorced and moved back to Portland. (We reconnected in 2024, story ongoing…)

In 2023, I realized I am autistic and ADHD, which clarified a lot of things and allowed me to start the work of unmasking. This was a crucial step in reclaiming my authentic self. Also my Dad died, and the ambivalence I’d felt about discussing my spirituality in public (due to being raised in a strictly atheist household) began to dissipate.

So, it’s 2024, and I’m feeling fantastic! I feel powerful, clear, happy, and like my life is a clean slate. I feel excited about being more open and free with my writing, and seeing where it takes me. Oh, and I’m studying astrology.