A Long Shadow of Love
The number one thing to remember is that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. –Phyllis Heppenstall
What I most cherish about my work as a loveologist and the founder of Good Clean Love are the extraordinary reunions with members of my love tribe. We are a small tribe dedicated to matters of the heart from which we measure our contributions and our aspirations. It is a life characterized by the ability to receive even though to the onlooker, it might look like it’s all a give. There are few businesses dedicated to cultivating love and even fewer business people who measure their contribution by the love they create.
Especially in the adult industry, which has succeeded in divorcing the business of sex from intimate relationships, or so I thought. It turns out for the last thirty years, there has been an ever-expanding shadow of love in this industry. Phyllis Heppenstall and her children have built Peekay, a small empire of over 30 stores dedicated to loving relationships. The retail locations with names like “Lovers” and “A Touch of Romance” in Washington State and California may sell many of the same products as other adult entertainment stores, but the how and why of what they do transforms their stores into safe and supportive places that offer as much education and inspiration as product.
I know from my own experience that the intention that guides your work changes everything. Focusing on loving relationships transforms the sexual act into one that has the healing power to transform our lives, and the world, one couple at a time. Creating environments to safely explore the wonder of human sexuality is a human service. Just as I have always promoted “love” products, Phyllis has been carving a path of healthy intimacy within the adult industry for three decades.
Her tireless spirit has provided the place for couples to explore what it means to build healthy intimate lives in dozens of communities and her giving extends into a wide range of far sighted civic involvement. Over the years, she has worked at a wide range of leadership positions in community based small business growth, state economic development, transportation commissions and college boards.
But nowhere is her commitment to education and continuous self improvement more deliberate and heart felt than with the continuous training programs that employees benefit from. Her leadership has created systems that not only encourage but expect her employees to dream more, learn more, do more and become more. I met several people who have been in the Peekay family for decades. They couldn’t imagine a better place to work, many of them starting as a retail clerk and having grown into store management.
Her positive outlook is matched only by her fearlessness to move ahead and do more than you say you will. Having the clarity, energy and dedication to create a “Wow” experience for her customers is more than just a winning retail formula. It is a philosophy of heart that leads to creating a life that thrives and expands in ever widening circles of influence. She sent me this poem which sums up how to do it….
“Your head thinks twice, your heart doesn’t believe in second thoughts.
Your head follows instructions, your heart follows intuition.
Your head stays within the lines, your heart knows when the lines are meant to be crossed.
Your head? Is this the heart of your wisdom? Or is it in your heart where wisdom grows?”
I am deeply grateful to have found my way in to her reach.