Regina Victoria Cates
“I have the greatest job in the world, because each day I help people create the most present, peaceful, compassionate, successful, caring and meaningful lives.”
The job Regina speaks of—helping people awaken to lives of limitless possibility—began in 2004 after a long, painful journey to unshackle her own life. The organization she founded then, Romancing Your Soul, today is the source of inspiration for hundreds of thousands of people all over the globe who follow her on social media, download her courses and podcasts, and fill her events.
Using the language of shared experiences, Regina communicates universal truths in a down-to-earth manner. Her spot-on description of the human condition inspires people to take responsibility for their actions, words and thoughts, creating beneficial change in their lives. Doing so is Regina‘s passion, and it comes through loud and clear. In 2004 she turned down an offer to run a drug-treatment program—which offered no less than a six-figure income—so she could spend her days teaching people to lead with their heart.
To look at this witty, provocative, non-judgmental lover of life, who cares more about people than price tags, you would never imagine her childhood in Victoria, Texas, was hell. A jeans-wearing, gay tomboy growing up in the sixties, Regina was surrounded by people who ridiculed and persecuted her. No matter how hard she tried to fit the mold, she continued to fail. And yet, attempting to accept others’ limited views caused her such feelings of unworthiness and shame that she lived in constant fear.
“From the first time I stepped into a church, I was taught to believe I was going to hell. What a lonely, depressing, and judgmental thing to ask someone to believe, especially a child. Although no one had a clue about [the real] me, I was surrounded by people who believed God hated me for being gay. . . . With absolutely no one to talk with, not even God, I was all alone.”
Like any child subjected to constant insults and violations, she became an angry young adult with a deeply wounded sense of self. Allowing her pain to speak for her, she moved through life guided by irresponsible, inappropriate impulses, also described in the chapters of her book, Lead with Your Heart. She was living “ego first,” out of control. She reacted negatively to life, rather than taking positive steps to create something better.
“I felt as if I were slowly being crushed beneath the oppressive weight of powerlessness and hopelessness. I thought life was too painful to continue.”
Despite her readiness to throw in the towel, she didn’t. Although her heart was broken over and over again, Regina reflected on the fact that each time, it mended. Eventually she realized she was not meant to live anyone’s life but her own, and the heartbreak became a door to self-awareness. Facing her fear, she finally stood up, refusing to let her past define her present a moment longer. With appreciation for those same hurtful experiences, Regina was able to transform her life from one of pain and self-doubt to happiness and self-fulfillment. “Without the disappointment, betrayal, and pain, I would not know myself as I do,” she says.
Until that moment when Regina knew it was time to make the leap of faith and empower others on a full-time basis, her journey was fairly traditional. She has an undergraduate degree in Education from Sam Houston University in Texas, and a Master’s in Public and Private Management from Birmingham-Southern College in Alabama. She’s run corporations, not-for-profit organizations, managed large numbers of people, and led thousands in leadership training simulations. All the while knowing something much grander was at play in her life than just the whims of self-interest.
A positivity junkie and cheerleader of soul Regina’s longing to help others live fulfilled lives is the motivating force behind everything she does. It is no wonder she is known as one of the most effective self-help authors, spiritual teachers and transformational thought leaders of our time. Regina and her spouse, Barbara Simon, live in Los Angeles, California with their dogs Ruby and Buddy.