If you are a single woman and wish you weren’t, we should talk. Particularly if you are a Queer woman, a Lesbian, a Gay woman, a Dyke, a Bi woman, a woman who rejects labels of any kind, or simply a woman who loves women–this is a message for you. If you are a Hetero woman who feels closely allied with her Queer and Gay sisters and brothers, you will find in this offering a sensitivity that may speak to you, too. If you are Kinky or otherwise non-conforming, you are so in the right place, too.
I welcome you with understanding, love and acceptance of your current mindset, beliefs and hopes for your future relationships. I offer you my commitment to support your heart-truth search for the most meaningful and loving relationship you can imagine, your deepest heart’s desire. I offer you the tools and the roadmap to get from where you are now, to where you’d like to be.
My name is Leah Cochrane. I’m a Relationship Coach, a psychotherapist, a love expert, and the creator of Heart Compass, the specialty relationship coaching & mentoring service for women over 40 (give or take) who desire to create the conditions necessary to attract the love you have been waiting and searching for.
Is my message and approach right for you?
I speak to you if you don’t trust your own ability to choose the right person, or if you have settled for less than your dream because you got scared that it was all you’d ever get.
I speak to you if you have been betrayed, and I speak to you if you have been the betrayer, because you got scared that if you didn’t make those choices, you would never experience the love you wanted too much to even put into words.
I speak to you if you have faced violence and stayed anyway, because you got scared it was all you’d ever get.
And to you who resorted to violence, because if you were able to look beneath your rage, shame and blame, you knew that no one could really love you.
I speak to you if you have come to believe that you’re better off alone because you haven’t been able to find someone you could adore and who would adore you back even though you’ve searched for her in earnest.
And I speak to all of you who have tried at love and lost for one reason or a dozen.
I speak to you because here is what I know: no matter who you are, you can choose to cultivate within yourself those traits, beliefs and values you desire to find in another–because like attracts like. Always has, always will.
Now, I’m not talking about the kind of situation where you both like to scuba dive and you both wear black and both detest quinoa. A match made in heaven for someone, I’m sure, but what I’m talking about is the inside stuff. For example, perhaps you look for a woman who shines with compassion because you deeply admire a person who does, maybe because you do too–or you would if you made the choice to do so. And I’m absolutely not talking about rebuilding your personality, either. You are just fine with the one you’ve got, truly.
But here’s the thing. You may have a list of what you want in a partner, but chances are, you aren’t fully aware of what you actually bring to the table in your bid for a love relationship that is the “one” for you.
At Heart Compass, I use and teach skills that are personalized for you. The skills I teach have been developed by the Relationship Coaching Institute’s Conscious Dating® and Radical Romance® programs and personalized for you, as a woman who loves women, through my own years-long journey to love realized, my years of education, training, coaching, and over twenty years of professional experience in helping others learn to have more successful and satisfying relationships of every kind.
Additionally, if you happen to be in recovery from drugs, alcohol, codependence, sex or other addictions, I integrate your recovery perspective into your personalized Heart Compass experience. I offer this support through my own experience of more than three decades in 12 step recovery.
If you’re interested in the details of my training and experience, see the “Credentials” section below. However, even though I have a lot of letters after my name, I believe the most crucial source of my expertise comes from my own relationship journey and the hard-won wisdom I gathered along the way. My own experience informs all of the professional work I do today. So that you may understand the connection and determine for yourself if this approach is right for you, here is my story.
I came out as a Lesbian at the height of the Women’s Movement in the early 1970s, at age 17 (although I identify as an Elder and Queer married woman at this time).
I, like many other Lesbians of the time who lived on the margins of society, recall easily how our relationships were denigrated and labeled as “perverted,” PDA’s could get you arrested and beaten on the way to jail. Lezzie bars had a door woman with a whistle to sound the alarm if the police came to raid the place. When the whistle blew everyone put a couple of feet of space between themselves and whoever they were dancing and necking with. In the bars I found women like me, and I found my escape in alcohol. That, thankfully, didn’t last but a decade, and at the age of 29, I entered recovery from alcoholism.
Recovery changed my life in very essential ways. I could no longer drink myself through an unhappy love affair, nor could I lie to myself about my feelings toward a girlfriend, as I did while drinking. Sex without alcohol was really difficult, especially without love, so I didn’t do it very often. I wanted a real relationship, a life partner, someone to love me unconditionally, and someone with whom I could feel the same. But just because I wanted one, didn’t mean I knew how to get one. I had entered recovery with a “broken picker” and continued picking the wrong women to be in relationship with for quite a few years into recovery.
In 1985 I thought I’d found her. The “one.” We were so attracted to each other, and we thought we had so much in common. We believed our love would see us through anything. After knowing each other only four months we merged our little families (we each had a child by then) and made the commitment.
As time passed and I mended, I came to believe that she did not start our relationship intending to be cruel to me. And I did not start the relationship intending to disappoint her so badly. But that is what happened. For myself, I stayed out of the hope that if I kept trying, I would eventually get the love from her I so badly wanted. In the process, I gave away large chunks of myself in the name of what I thought was love. When it finally ended seven years later, I didn’t have much of anything left. I was devastated, emptied out, and unable to find myself. I knew I had no idea what love of a partner was.
It was a long road, but I did recover, with help. I figured out who I was and what I really wanted. What I needed in a partner, if I ever found one again. What it meant to love unconditionally. I stopped saying “yes” when I needed to say “no.” And I vowed I would never again settle for crumbs when what I wanted was the whole loaf. For me it was going to be the whole loaf or nothing at all.
If anyone was cruel or disrespectful, they were ex-lovers and ex-friends. I committed to being as honest as I knew how to be, and as kind, at all times. I discovered that being alone was okay, and that being lonely wasn’t going to kill me. To my surprise, I became a happy and satisfied single person. I made new friends and restored old ones. I focused on recovery and personal growth. I learned to meditate. I moved on with my life in fruitful ways.
Because I had done all these things, I was 100% ready and 100% available in 1996 when my true love walked into my life. It’s been over 20 years since the day we met, and we are happy together and still in love. We are family. And thanks to grassroots efforts over many years that changed the laws, we are married.
In the years since that day I found my true love, I’ve learned how to share the fruits of my personal experience, added it to my professional education, experience and training, and set myself on the course of working with women who were searching for their own path to Love. I started my business, Heart Compass, A Lesbian and Queer Woman’s Guide to Finding Love & Intimacy.
My ‘official’ Credentials:
BA in Psychology (CSUEB) 1983
MA in Health Psychology (UCSF) 1991
MS in Counseling (SFSU) 1996
Certificate in treatment strategies for returning troops (JFKU) 2014
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (CA lic#40362) working with individuals, couples and groups, from ages 16 to 84. Since 2003
Joined RCI in 2015 and completed training as a Singles’ Relationship Coach in 2016, and as a Couples’ Relationship Coach in 2017.
For the last 15+ years, I have been guiding and mentoring those who desire satisfying, successful relationships by helping them to recognize that they are complete, perfect and abundant beings capable of deep love and intimacy with the right person, and that they can learn to recognize the same truths in another, their potential partner of the heart. I shared my story with you to let you know I can show you how to do the same–but in much less time than it took me to figure it out!
If you are ready to look at your own Heart Compass to find the Love in your life, I’m here to guide and support you to make it a successful journey.