Arielle Ford & Brian Hilliard
A Relationship Made in Heaven . . . Thriving on Earth 
By Donna Strong

In this life, Arielle Ford and Brian Hilliard have been together as soulmates and married partners for eleven years. When they met in 1997, they quickly began to recognize a deeper connection with one another than they had ever known in other intimate relationships. The magnetism of this relationship was compelling, intense and undeniable; within three weeks after meeting, they were engaged.

The subject of soulmates is very appealing and magnetic; it calls us to live on the divine edge of loving communion and expansive possibility. Yes, most of us want to sign up upon hearing this description.

What we don’t always realize is that to live in this larger consciousness also requires an uncommon amount of discipline and strength to realize the magnitude of the soul in human life.

The relationship of two soulmates takes us outside the box of  typical roles and boundaries. It requires that we live creatively, willing to surrender and transform aspects of our personality so that the virtues of the soul may emerge with more transcendent expression. In doing this we learn to live with higher truth, deeper love, and openness to the present moment as a focus of a vital, metamorphosing life.

As their story demonstrates, Arielle and Brian have both surrendered to the soul’s divine direction. Their long-term commitment has become abundant with love and laughter, and generous caring for themselves and others. In this issue on Relationships, we are very pleased to share the inspiring story of these two soulmates.

Awareness: I would like to start by asking how each one of you would define a soulmate?

: A soulmate is somebody, who at all levels of communication, understands and knows, and deeply loves and nurtures the other person. It is almost an imprint at the cellular level that overlays with your own deeper soul aspect of yourself. For us, it’s very comfortable, it’s effortless, and it’s extremely loving at such a deep, deep level. 

: For me, it is somebody who loves you unconditionally so that the two of you together can make the world a better place than either one of you individually.
Awareness:  Thanks, I wanted to get a sense of how you put it into words because in so many ways it is beyond words, true?

: That’s right. We can go on forever, it’s such a level of gratitude for both of us that we really do pinch each other every morning and really give thanks to God, love, and the universe in supporting our coming together and to remember we’ve been together for a long time at the soul level.

Awareness: What would you say about divine timing in meeting in this life?

: The interesting thing is, we actually lived next door to one another many years ago in LA. If we had met then, without doing the work on ourselves individually and continuing our life journey, we wouldn’t have had the outcome we have today. We didn’t really meet in LA, but I could look out of my deck and see where she was living on Doheny. It was almost as if our destiny at a deeper soul level was working, but it was just an evolution taking place until the perfect moment when we were really supposed to meet.

Awareness: That’s beautiful!

: During the time we were living in close proximity, I had a meditation I did every day at sundown where I would open myself up to having my soulmate appear, and there were days when I could feel Brian’s presence. I knew he was out there and I could feel  him in the room with me. It was such a surprise to find out probably five years later that he was just living down the street at that point!

At the time, I knew before I put my attention on manifesting a soulmate,  I first needed to heal my heart of anything that would stop me from bringing someone in. I did a variety of things I call ‘feelingizations.’ I also did various forms of therapy; wrote letters, and did very deep emotional work so when my soulmate appeared I would recognize him immediately.

My prior history was that I kept attracting men who were emotionally unavailable, in the same way in which my father was emotionally unavailable. I went back and did processes like the Hoffman Quadrinity Process, so I could heal an early childhood wound and then end up with a man who is probably more emotionally available than about anybody else I have met!

Awareness: That certainly speaks to coming full circle doesn’t it? How do you respond to this; when soulmates meet it is often very intense, and it takes some time for them to be able to handle each other’s intense light.

: We definitely had that experience, me more than Brian. The first night he ever came to my house I got Shakti sickness; the energy was so overwhelming to my system that I literally had to leave the room for long stretches of time because it was like having seasickness — all my circuits were shattered.

Even though we got engaged only three weeks after meeting, for the next six months I went through a very intense physical and emotional process to adapt to his energy. We laugh about it now, but at the time it didn’t feel so good. It was a combination of excitement and elation, and you know, a sense of craziness knowing I had found the one.

Awareness: I’ve had a lot of experience with Shakti intensity, but I don’t think many people understand what can happen with the kundalini activation of two people coming together. It helps people to understand the discipline needed to handle the download of light that is released with the two coming together. It is quite a training program!

: You are absolutely right. That intensity enhances every aspect of the relationship — peeling away the layers and getting to a place of heart vulnerability and naturally all your fears will come to the surface. It’s just a recognition that this is the right place to be, and this is the person who will allow you to co-create something extraordinary and beautiful.

It has infinite potential in terms of love and nurturing but it’s very raw and intense at the same time. I don’t know if we could have processed this at the highest sense and really taken care of ourselves in a way that we did if we had met earlier.

Awareness: What would you say a soulmate relationship brings into your life that others don’t?

: There is a space co-created that allows each one of us to be nurtured and to love, and therefore trust in a place of heart vulnerability where we both feel safe to reveal rather than conceal. Hopefully we’re always expanding rather than contracting. Expanding into love and intimacy that really distinguishes itself from a quote ‘typical’ relationship. Again, this space for unconditional love was there at the very beginning for both of us.

I have to really honor Arielle, because with everything she does in life she’s like a laser. If I fall off my level of integrity on any level — if I am contracting, she’s very good in such a loving way to say ‘look, stay present with me.’  We have little sayings that help us get back on track if we’re not one hundred percent with one another. It’s been a good tool to remind us, hey, we better get back in the game.

Awareness: Your distillation of how we have to find the right way to mirror in a relationship is quite inspiring.

: I know certain words to playfully say to Brian and he knows how to do it with me, and we give each other permission to do that. It’s never like it’s “you, you, you,” it’s like “okay, maybe it’s time to get off your soapbox.” It’s just sort of a gentle nudge to put me back on the path.

: I think it’s really important not to fall back into old patterns of role-playing that we more or less learned from our parents and other dynamics. We’ve always been committed to do things a bit differently and explore the uniqueness as well as the deepest level of devotion in our relationship.

: I would say the other part is that there is such a deep trust and belief in each other that we don’t have any sarcasm in our conversation, there’s no manipulation going on, we’re both completely ourselves. I know that when Brian is saying something to me, he’s not doing it to be difficult or spiteful, he always has my best interests at heart. It did take me a couple years to actually trust and believe that. I was used to a level of communicating where you couldn’t be sure what somebody meant from what they said. But I do know that now.

Awareness: That’s such an extraordinary gift. I’m aware as people step into high levels
of trust and coherence that resonate as soul qualities, it feels like life becomes more sacred when you are with a soulmate, is this true? It seems like within the intensity, there is also some kind of spiritual enlivening happening as well, don’t you think?

Arielle and Brian
: {in chorus}  Definitely!

: It’s a bit like looking through a multicolored prism, it’s quite beautiful. It opens up a portal into your deeper intuitive and primal understanding of the relationship. You are so right — everything is enhanced, with more clarity and openness walking through the world together. 

Awareness: What have been some of the challenges of a match made in heaven handling the daily details of life on Earth?

: When we first got together, I had a lot of challenges. I had to learn to be a better woman with Brian. I was used to having my own way all the time, and suddenly I had this other person with thoughts and ideas and opinions I needed to respect.

So it took me a few years to learn how to be a good partner. Once I sort of got it, then it became really effortless. Pretty much now we don’t run into issues, we’re a pretty well-oiled machine.  If we have any bumps we can clear them up quickly.

: I think the difference is between codependency and co-commitment. When you bring that level of love into relationship so you’re not threatened, then your relationship expands and you create a solid foundation to reach your potential in a soulmate relationship.

You’re not prohibited or hindered, you continue to work on the ability to reveal rather than conceal, the ability to expand rather than contract, and open to love and the level of trust that is necessary to really contribute to the relationship and to the world.

Awareness: Evidently you have your own laser clarity!

: You know another piece of that Donna, is I believe soulmates don’t always have to be a romantic man-woman sexual relationship. I think a relationship can be really good friends, like Oprah and Gail K. I think they are the perfect example of the soulmate relationship. There’s a movie we’re going to have in the Spiritual Cinema Circle in May, and I just watched it the other day, called “Body and Soul.” It’s about a woman with Downs Syndrome, who is the caretaker of a woman who has Cerebral Palsy, and they’ve been together for thirty-eight years. It’s a magnificent story of love and appreciation of these two women who are clearly soulmates, although they are not romantically or sexually involved in any way.

Awareness: I agree wholeheartedly.

: Donna, it’s like you said so beautifully in the beginning about things being mirrored back to you, and it’s that deep recognition that Arielle was talking about, whatever form the relationship takes. I like to use the analogy of being homing pigeons finding our way back  home. We’re finding our way back to many of our same flock and it feels comfortable, and it feels right; it feels like we’re in the flow of love. That’s how I like to look at it.

Awareness: I know what you mean, the very first time I met somebody who I considered a soulmate, I had the sense of being at home in a deeper way than I had ever known.

: I think that is the number one hallmark, of being at home, and you can totally be yourself. They become your ‘soft place to land.’

Awareness: Congratulations Arielle, I hear that you have a new book on soulmates coming out. Tell us how it grew out of your being called on to share about your relationship...

: Yes, it will be coming out next February, and be called the “Soulmate Secret.” It is based on the “Soulmate Kit: How to Prepare to Manifest and Meet Your Soulmate.” I created this as a result of many single women saying to me, “How do I get a Brian?”

I spent a lot of time on the phone explaining the different prayers and rituals, and projects and manifestation techniques that are used, and it just got to be too time-consuming.

The “Soulmate Kit” recounts everything I used that resulted in Brian and me being together now for eleven years. I made it a step-by-step process so people can use it for themselves, and it is so gratifying to hear that it is working!

Awareness: I explored a few things in the workbook, and was aware of the power of spirit coming through the sense of imagination you’ve tapped into. The real creative power is tapping into that emotional and feeling quality, so Arielle, it is powerful.

: That’s the magic of  the Law of Attraction, the emotional component, that, unfortunately, got left out of the movie, The Secret. You can dream and believe all you want, but if you don’t honestly feel in every cell in your body, that everything you are asking for is already yours, it doesn’t really turn the key to get you what you’re looking for. I wrote all of this based on my understanding of how it works, and now it’s working for other people too.

Awareness: What about trust in divine timing?

: Well, the kit was initiated because I was so tired of women saying, “all of the good ones are taken,” especially the women over 40. I don’t believe that for an instant. You don’t have to know how you’re going to meet this person. It’s your job to live in the knowingness that they are there and then trust the universe will bring them in at the exact proper time.

If you’re impatient this probably isn’t for you. You don’t buy the kit, and the guy’s phone number comes in the box — that is not how it works. It’s about creating yourself energetically, spiritually and emotionally so you become a magnet for love. It becomes unavoidable for you to meet the right person, and to really enjoy the savoring until that happens.

Awareness: It feels like it is really a call for people to become empowered about their heart.

: Oh completely! I do know that at a certain age there are people in your past whom you still love, even if you are not with them. There is real suffering if you try not to love somebody you really love. I think you can continue to really love the people you are not with, but don’t obsess about them — free yourself of them emotionally so you can create a welcome mat for somebody new to come in.

It’s just nature, if you love someone, you love them forever, and it’s okay. You know, if your heart can beat a billion times and keep you going for your entire life, why would your heart not be able to stretch and love more than one person?

Awareness: It’s not part of any universal laws of love that’s for sure.

: One last thing. The whole purpose of putting the “Soulmate Kit” out is to really let people know if there is resignation that “I’m too poor, too fat, too used up,”... it’s not true if someone is willing to take a little time and effort, real and big love is available to anyone at any age, at any time.

Awareness: Brian what would you say about what you are giving to the world from the overflow of your relationship?

: I have a business background, and enjoy the creativity in that, and as a Gemini, I get involved in as many diverse projects as I can, with organizations and people we really value, and feel are making a contribution to the world. I really enjoy the humanitarian aspects of life and giving back, so I have done a lot with the homeless. I have always had a curiosity and an adventurous spirit in terms of exploring new things.

I think we are building a reservoir from the love Arielle and I share. I do my best to take that out to the world and connect with people from the reservoir of love and gratitude, and on some level, improve their day and generate as many smiles as possible.

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Donna Strong’s first book, “Coming Home to Calm,” is now available on For more information, please visit

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