Hi, I’m Paige Marrs
Glad you're here.
During my first several decades I was good at many things. Communication and relationships were not among them. Lots of messes... mostly my fault.
My mom, now 92 with a spotty memory, still reminds me about how bad a communicator I was. A well-deserved critique.
Now she also marvels at my “metamorPHOsis” (emphasis hers). As you can imagine, this updated view of me—also well-deserved—has helped us both.
I tell you this for 3 reasons:
First — I hope you find this radical change in me encouraging. I really was clueless about communication and relationships, and now I’m really good at it.
Some clients tease that I have magical powers, but it’s hard-won skill and knowledge, plus the insights that come from overcoming lots of failures.
So I've learned that this is all learnable. And I’m happy to share the shortcuts.
Second — If you’re struggling with similar challenges, I genuinely feel for you. I know the pain, frustration, isolation, and even despair when things are going badly with someone important to you. These disconnects and conflicts can bring you to your knees and make for sleepless nights—or worse.
But there is a solution.
Here’s my inner mantra for it: “More love. Less fear. In this moment of now.” Easy to say. Easy to want. And fortunately, easy to do once you get the hang of it.
Finally — My experience with such challenges in both my personal and professional relationships led to a big choice. After about 15 years working with Don in our marketing company, it was time to make this core passion my work—which meant a career change.
Back to school in my late 40s
The big question was: How do I extract myself from intense, daily engagement in our busy work life so my mind could be free to create something new.
A two-year master’s program for working adults sounded perfect.
Six years later, I emerged with that master’s degree (two of them actually) and a doctorate in Human and Organizational Development. And it was one of my—really our best choices in our 32+ years together.
There were so many unexpected benefits of the journey, but two in particular contributed significantly to our current work, which we call The Love Conversation® Approach.
The first unexpected benefit emerged when a supportive professor, Barclay Hudson, PhD, responded to my ideas about the impact of fear on relationships by asking if I’d ever heard of the lizard brain. I hadn’t. But that launched deep study of what was then emerging knowledge about the neurobiology of fear and human connection. And the image of the lizard brain stayed with me.
That's why you’ll find pictures of me holding this stuffed green lizard while leading workshops, and why if you attend such a program, you’ll go home with a cute little plastic lizard.
The second happy discovery came from an unplanned turn in my course schedule. (Don’t you love it when a so-called flukes give you exactly what you didn’t know you needed?!) I ended up in a 2-day workshop about a cutting-edge, social constructionist communication theory called CMM (Coordinated Management of Meaning) taught by Dr. Barnett Pearce, one of its two founders.
What I loved about that, besides Barnett’s joy and phenomenal mind, was that CMM sees communication as a creative act rather than simply about transmitting ideas and information. It also provides a cluster of methods for diagramming conversations to see what’s really going on. It was during that workshop that I knew my dissertation would be about the role of fear in what I called "conversations-gone-bad." (Final title was: The Enactment of Fear in Conversations-Gone-Bad at Work.)
Fast-forward several grueling but rewarding years, and some people now call me Dr. Paige. Here’s me with my dissertation committee after they deemed my “final oral review” a success, each of them showing off their new (toy) lizard friends.
Because I’d been working as a marketing consultant, I fully expected that my new work would focus on business relationships and communication—conversations-gone-bad at work.
However, another happy discovery changed all that. Shortly after graduation, we were invited to do a workshop for an adult education group at a large parish in Santa Monica. “On what topic?” Paige inquired, thinking it odd that a church would want to host something business-related. “On relationships,” came the answer, and that’s what prompted us to develop the workshop that evolved into the program we now call The Love Conversation.
Then another of those happy discoveries provided me the opportunity to continue my learning by attending a small study group offered by Dan Siegel, MD, the founder of the new field of interpersonal neurobiology. This four-year, up-close exposure to Dan's work greatly increased my understanding of fear in the context of human relationships.
So as I write this, I’m a relationship/communication expert and author (I'm not a therapist), and I spend my time helping people transform troubling patterns of communication into uncommonly fulfilling relationships.
Don's and my lives are now so intertwined that when one of says "I," we almost always mean "we." We're 32+ years into a relationship with a depth of connection and mutuality that we couldn't have dreamed possible when we said: "I do."
We've also worked together from day one, in the same office space, with our desks about six feet apart! So I figure it's like being married for almost twice as long as the counting of years.
In the current iteration of our professional lives, writing together is the highlight. We've actually managed to create a fun, nourishing collaborative process, although that doesn't mean we always agree! Far from it.
Right now, I'm most excited about our second book together, Grabbing Lightning: The Messy Quest for an Extraordinary Love. It's a fast-paced memoir whose story touches on three intertwined themes that many are grappling with today:
- Finding lasting, true love in a beloved relationship
- Making a successful career that's aligned with your soul
- Learning to trust the wisdom of your unique inner guidance system amid the noise of a chaotic world
In that sense, this story is about living love in all aspects of life.
We also create and lead programs together, and with many clients, we coach together. As you can imagine, this all requires excellent communication, which means we must practice what we teach.
We cherish each other and are grateful for every day — even deeply difficult days, which we still stumble into periodically — and while it might sound corny, we rejoice in the life we've co-created from our canyon home in Los Angeles.
And that’s my (happy) life as “we.”