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Relationship and life coach

Question the
Cultural Narrative!

Never stop asking WHY... even when it terrifies you.

About D'Elephant

Learn more about who Marie is, who she seeks to help, and the values she works from as she coaches. 

What/Who is D'Elephant?

Testimonials & Endorsements

Marie coaches people with backgrounds in toxic religion, people curious about or involved in non-monogamy, and overall life challenges like finances & organization. What do THEY say about her? 

For real, Is Marie Any Good At This?

Schedule a FREE Intro Call

Curious? Fill out the contact form for a free chat with me so we can get to know each other and see if there may be an opportunity to work together.

Contact Marie

The Types of folx i often help, including but not limited to

Monogamous & Evolving or Considering/Practicing Non-Monogamy

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No interest in having more than one partner at a time but seeking to deconstruct toxic monogamy and its inherent codependent qualities.


 You want to do some preliminary mental exploration of non-monogamy or have already begun living it and need help navigating through the challenges. 

Formerly Religious

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 Formerly religious and seeking to deconstruct messages around relationships and expectations, autonomy, marriage, monogamy, sexuality, and the ethics of the aforementioned. 

Needing Organization or Coaching

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Life has gotten a bit out of control. The paperwork is piling up. There's no filing system. Drowning in chaos and don't know how to start to dig yourself out.


Or you've been dreaming big for a long time and don't know how to get started to reach your goals. Every time you think about it, your brain just shuts down and you feel paralyzed.

About mARIE D'Elephant

Background

Marie was raised in an evangelical household in Minnesota, USA. She began to have doubts at the age of 13 but due to the indoctrination she received about her heart being a wicked and deceitful thing, she gaslit herself and didn't pursue her doubts. She doubled down again and again to prove herself to god, resulting in her serving as an evangelical missionary in Mexico for two years with Youth With a Mission. After leaving Mexico, she began a gradual deconstruction and departure from her faith. Her life after that shift has not been easy. There has been a lot of unpacking to do and a recalibration of what actually IS. True to her self, she does it with passion, authenticity, and unapologetically.

Toxic Religion Recovery Work

Marie has been the co-host of the podcast Everyone's Agnostic since November 2018 (episode 226 and forward). She has interviewed dozens of individuals who have left faith and has discussed her identity as poly on air many times. She has also guest appeared on dozens of other podcast platforms, speaking about her activism with toxic religion recovery as well as her deconstruction of monogamy. She has been the administrator and former facilitator of an ex-religious support group in her community since 2015. Additionally, she collaborates with Reclamation Collective, another local religious trauma recovery group.  

Non-Monogamy Work

Marie was raised in a monogamous culture, as are most people. As part of her healing from religious indoctrination around sexual purity, she began to explore ethical non-monogamy in late 2016 while married. She began by educating herself with great books like Ethical Slut, More Than Two, and the podcast Secular Sexuality. Then she moved into her journey of healing her identity, sexuality, worth, and autonomy through non-monogamy. She presently identifies as polyamorous, a classification under the umbrella of non-monogamy. Marie has led breakout sessions at MNPolyCon and is listed in the poly-friendly professionals directory

The values and ideals i bring into my coaching

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Autonomy

I have autonomy. It is my right to self-govern my life and body. I belong to no one. I owe no one anything. I honor the autonomy of others. I do not project onto others what belongs to me (e.g. jealousy) and I reject projections from others onto me that do not belong to me (e.g. insecurity) yet I treat both with compassion. I seek consent from others when I want to engage with them in things like touch, advice-giving, or any boundary-crossing speech or action. I believe I know myself and my desires better than anyone else and that I can be trusted.  When I support those around me, I seek to help them self-direct to their own internal values.

Communication

I favor honest and respectful communication regarding conflict. I am aware of my desires and I communicate them in ways that acknowledge the autonomy of others. I honor when someone cannot meet my desires and I take responsibility for myself and my response. I honor and communicate my boundaries and I honor the boundaries of others. I believe in communicating non-violently, clearly and honestly.

Skepticism and Nuance

I value holding clear, well-supported opinions with a readiness to hear challenges to those opinions and to gently concede when I find I am wrong. I believe opposites can co-exist. I approach the world seeking answers based on evidence and reality; and I know that I can never be fully correct since the world, humanity, and life is incredible complex and nuanced. I am not afraid of being wrong. I am not offended by being corrected. I am not afraid of changing my mind.


I seek to question and deconstruct traditions, expectations, and narratives including things like religion, misogyny, toxic masculinity, performative and prescribed sexual behaviors, white supremacy, transphobia, capitalism, the concept of the "other", and so much more. I believe words create our reality and, therefore, the ones we use matter deeply, so I seek to speak with intentional language. As far as I can determine, this is our one and only life, so I seek to make choices mindfully with the sobering reality of mortality guiding my life towards happiness while I am here. 

Feelings

When I feel emotional distress, I seek to tend to it in a variety of healthy ways, such as distracting, connecting with a friend, therapy, creativity, and just feeling my feelings without distraction. I seek not to allow my intense feelings to cause me to be reactive and unreasonable with those in my life. I seek to notice my feelings non-judgmentally and with curiosity. Then I work to communicate about them in a detached and productive way. I do not assume others' feelings; instead, I express an open curiosity towards them. 

Relationships

I feel that traditional monogamy carries toxic values that are the antithesis to autonomy without feeling monogamy is intrinsically toxic. I support DIY relationship structures and the process of ongoing renegotiation of a relationship. Regardless of whether I disagree with a view, I have the capacity to empathize with the human who arrived to that view. I believe we do not have soulmates or better halves; instead, we have capacity to connect deeply to many people and that we are whole and awesome as we are. I don't believe a relationship ending makes the whole thing a loss. 

Good vs. Bad

I believe that there is no objective morality in this universe; therefore, the qualifiers "good" and "bad" in reference to a human provides no useful information. Equally, labeling humanity as "imperfect" also creates a false binary and often results in the toxic pursuit of perfection and self-dissatisfaction. Humanity just is,... without need for approval or rejection language. I believe humanity is a complex and beautiful species that is drawn towards categorization, patterns, and finding meaning which result in the false "othering" of those not in our group. I believe humanity and other forms life are more related than we realize and that we should live our lives with respect for the larger life experiment we are a part of. I am a whole person as I am. I am not broken or bad. I was born as a human without the need to label my worth one way or the other. I am simply whole and alive.

Testimonials & Endorsements

Dave Warnock ("Dying Out Loud" Speaker)

 

"Marie gets it. And Marie is honest and, when it's called for...blunt. We often need that kind of honest clarity in order to shake us free from conditioned responses and standard ways of thinking that have left us stuck in places we need to get out of. She's not afraid to ask 'why?' or 'why not?' When I need someone to process with and give me honest feedback, I call Marie."

Cass Midgley (Host of Everyone's Agnostic Podcast)

 "If I'm needing help to work through my personal issues related to my religious past, I'm looking for three things: 1) someone who has also experienced a traumatic departure from a supernatural worldview, 2) someone who has done the hard work of honestly engaging the grief related to losing faith, family and friends, and 3) someone who will fully engage with my unique story, listen intently, and care. Marie has these talents in spades. I've personally witnessed the depths of her insight, intuition and compassion. If it's a fit, I'm confident that clients of Marie will feel fortunate to have found her." 

Stephanie V. (Podcast Fan)

 "My journey has been tough, scary and at times defeating. When you lose God, so much baggage comes with it. From day 1, Marie has been a support. Always encouraging not just my concerns, but everyone! She listens, offers heartfelt advice. But one thing that has truly stood out to me about her is: her ability to listen, contemplate and offer clear and sound advice. She is non-judgmental of people’s feelings no matter her stance on a topic. I’m so glad to have her in my corner and look forward to everything she has to offer a community who is trying to heal post-religion." 

Michael M. (Client)

 "Non-monogamy has almost no healthy representation in our culture and society which makes the the kindness, care, and empathy of those who understand non-monogamy all the more critical. Marie helped me process and navigate a healthy outlook on my own relationship and my own feelings. I'm so thankful that I've had Marie in my life to listen and share her experiences.  Especially when I felt I had no one who could empathize with my own experiences as a person who doesn't subscribe to monogamy."

Becca P. (Client)

"Marie and I have been acquainted for the majority of 2019, and what a blessing that is. She is wise in life and in love; in what is real and what is felt. Her first hand experience with polyamory, religious trauma, and the journey away from the make-believe gives a fresh perspective to the advice and support that she gives. She is living it. She is raw, honest, and passionate about her work. My life is better with her in it and yours will be, too."

Jeff L. (Client)

"Marie has a knack for putting herself in the shoes of anyone in any kind of relationship. She is able to be empathetic to many perspectives while also providing an external eye to a potential way forward through ups and downs. Her life experience is an inspiration as well, but she'll never tell you that. Just trust me. She's amazing."

Kayla Felten, LICSW Clinical Director of Reclamation Collective

 "Marie has been profoundly helpful in helping Reclamation Collective get folks connected with resources in recovering from toxic religion and/or religious trauma. She is my go-to when it comes to tapping into the networks and resources that already exist, as she is incredibly well connected with other professionals and colleagues specializing in deconstruction and reclamation work! Marie is also a wise friend who I trust immensely when it comes to processing non-traditional relationships, which can be especially difficult for those who come from religious cultures and communities that often target LGBTQ+ folks, non-monogamous partnerships, and those who do not participate in traditional gender roles. If you are seeking a non-clinical approach to deconstruction, family planning, or relationship coaching, I highly recommend scheduling a few sessions with Marie!"

Elise H. (Client)

"Who do you talk to when what you're trying to learn about is still so taboo that there is little good information readily available? I became a part of the online Everyone's Agnostic community and then reached out to Marie and asked if she'd be willing to talk with me about non monogamy and managing relationships. 

She shared her story and how she was able to create a life of love with her partners that was also full of respect and understanding. We discussed how there are many different ways to practice non monogamy and every partnership gets to decide how they prefer to do it. 

Marie made me feel validated as a woman and as a sexual being.  She made me feel empowered to talk to my husband again in a more confident and knowledgeable and compassionate way. 

My husband and I came to an agreement that works for us and I couldn't be happier. It has made me a happier, more fulfilled and empowered woman.  Surprisingly, it's also made our marriage stronger, more fun, playful, and best of all hot and heavy sexy! I am so thankful for the opportunity to have Marie's help and support. It's made a difference for my life, my relationships, and my family in a very positive way."

Emily S. (Podcast Guest/Listener)

"Marie is insightful and considerate of the unique challenges and awesome perks that come along with leaving toxic religious attitudes behind, crushing patriarchal ideals, and exploring ideas about sexuality and relationships that are out of the mainstream. She is a non-judgmental listener who doesn't know all the answers, but has a lot of questions that can help you consider your needs and wants and how to move your life forward in a way that brings you closer to your goals. "

Caleb Rowe (Revolution Church, Sacred Collective, & Heir of Grievances)

 Once upon a time, Marie agreed to let me interview her for a podcast. The exchange was intended to be both quick and simple, but in the end it was neither. Marie's specific composition of paradoxical elements are my favorite type. She is willing and capable to teach. She is willing and capable to learn. Marie is now a close and reliable friend who I can comfortably turn to for her unique and valuable perspective. She is honest and objective. She is sensitive and direct. She is challenging and affirming. She is a very good friend. 

FAQs

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Terms

I just used a bunch of buzz words in the sections above. If you've arrived to this section thinking, "Dear god, what the fuck did she say?", then this FAQ is for you: 


Autonomy: the right and condition of self-government

Codependency: excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner

Deconstruct:  analyze in order to expose hidden internal assumptions and contradictions and subvert its apparent significance or unity 

Ethics:  moral principles that govern a person's behavior or the conducting of an activity (such as non-monogamy)

Ethical Non-Monogamy:  an umbrella term for every ethical practice or philosophy of intimate relationship that does not strictly hew to the standards of monogamy, particularly that of having only one person with whom to exchange sex, love, and/or affection. 

Gaslighting:  the manipulation of someone by psychological means into questioning their own sanity.

Monogamy:  the practice or state of having a sexual relationship with only one partner 

Narrative:  a spoken or written account of connected events (I used it to reference a story or story arc we tell ourselves which may or may not be objectively true)

Polyamory:  the practice of engaging in multiple sexual/romantic relationships with the consent of all the people involved. 

Toxic Monogamy: the manifestation of monogamy involving extreme possessiveness, limitless jealousy, expectation of getting all needs needing to be met by partner, massive insecurity, and promising "forever"

Toxic Religion: manipulation of followers by those in power, often involving money, sex, fear, abuse, children, dictation and even violence 

Coaching, Therapy... Confused!

What's the Difference Between Coach & Therapist? I am not a therapist nor a counselor. Therapists may provide diagnoses, administer psychological assessments, take insurance, and treat trauma. Coaches do not do any of the aforementioned. Coaches can provide more hands-on support in exploring present challenges you're facing. They can help you talk through your issues to distill them down into something more digestible and manageable. Coaches can help you set goals and work through how to communicate within a relationship. Coaches, like myself, who are trauma-informed, do not actually treat trauma. If a client has severe religious trauma that inhibits them from doing work related to coaching, I would refer them to a mental health professional. 

Why hire a coach rather than a therapist? Depending on your situation, coaching may be cheaper. Coaching allows for more personal disclosure from the coach, wider boundaries in conversation, and more flexibility in problem-solving overall. In a coaching context, there can be more informality which can result in more authenticity. Additionally, many therapists are not well-versed in non-traditional relationships or the effects of toxic religion. 

Do you have a coaching certification?   I could have chosen to leave this particular FAQ out but in favor of the ethics of "full knowledge", I am choosing to be transparent. I do not have a life coaching certification. Such a certification takes over a year to complete and costs upwards of $12K. I already have many years of personal experience in therapy, personal experience in deconstructing religion and monogamy, experience processing toxic religion with individuals on a public platform, as well as personal experience with non-monogamy and likewise successfully coaching folx who are exploring it. At this point, I consider myself qualified enough evidenced by the results of those around me who have used my coaching. If this is a deal breaker for you, I totally get it. Or if you're still curious, we can do a free call and you can gauge during that call if you feel comfortable with my competency and approach.   

Aren't Coaches a Bunch of B.S?   Maybe? I dunno. All I can tell you is that I am pretty good at this. Like I mentioned, if you're on the fence, just schedule a free consult and you can test whether you feel I meet your standards. I have a feeling I'll meet some people's standards and won't for others. And that's OK.   

Cost & Appointment Format

  • Appointment format options: In person (Minnesota), video conference, chat, or email. 
  • Cost:  Coaching is $100/hour; however, I have several discounts in place! Please ask! 

What an Odd Niche. What's Your Deal, Marie?

I'll put it out there. This is what I want: in my ideal life, I am working for myself with three businesses. I have 1/3 of my income coming from coaching, 1/3 of my income coming from virtual assistant work, and 1/3 of my income coming from my photography. The most important part being independence, full creative power, and enough money to survive. I already earn a very healthy income doing my corporate job, but being a virtual assistant for Dave Warnock ("Dying Out Loud") has changed my perspective. I want to live my life to the fullest and do the things I am the most passionate about. So here I am.

Do You Coach Other Folx?

I do! On my website, though, I decided to aim it directly at my interests in toxic religion and non-monogamy. But I swear, I am more than just those things. Overall, I am highly emotionally intelligent, analytical, and articulate with feelings and how to be productive with them. I am also incredibly organized and efficient. 

I like you, Marie. What else are you capable of?

I also work as a Virtual Assistant. That is someone you can hire for any number of administratively supportive tasks. I can help you set your family's budget, be on retainer for a company at 10 hours a week, help you coordinate for your speaking tour, administer your social media site, get your business administratively organized ... the tasks I can help you with are limitless. I have 12 years of experience in the administrative path, most recently employed as a Senior Executive Assistant for the CFO and the company's Sharepoint Administrator. My skillset is incredibly strong in creating streamlined processes, navigating and mastering all the MS Office products, training, and working with a variety of personality and learning types.


And for those in Minnesota, I am also a photographer


Además, también hablo español. Así que gente hispano-hablante, ¡hablemos! En el futuro, quiero alcanzar tener una página igualito con esta, pero en español. ¡Gracias por su paciencia!

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