Spark the Heart  offers people the possibility of living their heart’s true desires.

In my life I am blessed to connect with so many people who are following their hearts, living and doing the work that they love.

What better gift than to introduce you to some of these amazing spirits and the passionate and purposeful lives they are living.

Maybe seeing someone else doing what they love will be just the spark you need to begin living your own amazing life from your heart.

Barbara Alexander

Barbara Alexander found a way to incorporate her love of horses with her desire to empower women. She is the  founder and owner of Epona Ridge, a business committed to women who want to experience more out of life and who are seeking a deeper awareness of their heart’s calling.

What is your life’s passion and purpose?

My life’s passion and purpose is to be a mentor to women and a catalyst for inner joy. I have dedicated my personal and professional life to sharing the sacred path of finding our true selves as we move more fully into the life we came here to live.

How did you discover this?

My life has led me on a wonderful adventure of spiritual and personal growth. I have learned so much about human development and inspiration through the corporate work I did in motivation and employee performance improvement. But nothing touched me so deeply as the experiential work I have been practicing and expanding with humans and horses.

Over the years I have learned and trained with gifted teachers of the horse/human relationship. It was a combination of my spiritual growth, training in equine experiential learning, and a successful business career that led me to create Epona Ridge.

Where were you in your life before you found this passionate path?

I had worked for twenty years in the corporate world helping companies improve through implementing change in the areas that were keeping them from reaching a higher plateau. I worked with a team of gifted people to put together training, communications and incentives supporting performance improvement.

I was blessed to travel the world and stay in the finest hotels and spas. It was a dream career for many years.

What was the impetus for doing what you do?

While I enjoyed my work for most of those years, there came a time when my soul was crying out for change. By the end of that career, I had repeatedly achieved the highest awards possible, however I was suffering from burn out and felt an increasingly louder message telling me that I had to stop. So, at the peak of my career, I left my work and all that I had built… it was one of the hardest things I have ever done.


What obstacles did you encounter as you shifted your heart’s desires into the work that sustains you?

I had lived on adrenaline for so long that I didn’t even realize how empty I had become. Working in conflict with my heart was increasingly excruciating. It was financially rewarding, but the inner conflict had taken a toll on my emotional state.

Because I valued my inner peace and joy, I knew that I had no choice and that I would have to resign. Unfortunately, those that were closest to me did not agree. I had never felt so alone.

I had no idea what was next, I only knew that I had to stop the inner madness and find my heart’s desire, or I would probably die without ever enjoying what I came here to do… even if I had no idea what that was.

I “worked” at listening to my heart and opening to my inner guidance for direction. I was competent at many things but I lacked clarity on what was next.

It took awhile for the inner chatter to quiet down. I was in a ‘sacred void’ in my life. All I knew for sure was that I didn’t want to waste one more day of my life in the numbness I had become. It was because of this powerfully confusing time in my life that the ideas to create Epona Ridge, a place for women to come and explore their inner callings, first began.

How did you manifest your passions into a life that supports you financially, spiritually and emotionally?

One thing literally led to another, once I was able to get aligned with my joy, I could find and follow my hearts vision.

I began devouring information and training with those that I felt were in the same heart alignment as I was. I was most interested in the research and growth of the mind/body connection and the evolution of science and spirit. I knew my life’s calling by the way it made my body feel… positively invigorated and full of joy!

I just kept following my path forward, feeling within as I continued to adjust and learn what I wanted and didn’t want to do in my life.

Now after eight years of creating my hearts calling, I have found my inner peace expanding, business thriving and many many people whose lives have been transformed through this sacred work that we do here.

Instead of having my life compartmentalized with my career separated from my spirit, it all overlaps into the fullness of joy.

How do you maintain your excitement and enthusiasm for living from your heart?

I maintain my life focus by staying connected within myself, and continuing my inner journey to personal fulfillment. It is a daily practice of tuning in and paying attention to the subtle guidance that is my inner light.

How do you measure your successes?

Completely by how I feel. I’m not kidding!

What inspirations can you offer people who are seeking to manifest their passions into a life lived on purpose?


A life lived on your hearts purpose, with deliberate intention, will give you rewards beyond your greatest dreams, and it never stops as long as you don’t loose the connection within yourself and you always seek your inner joy. I think that is what the hearts purpose is, to help us find ourselves and enjoy our lives!

For more information about Barbara and her work visit


Erica Wheeler

Erica Wheeler is passionate about places. Through her music, keynote speaking and her Soulful Landscape programs, she invites people to get in touch with their feelings about the natural world.  I asked Erica to talk about her passions and how she has been able to incorporate what she loves into a creative, fulfilling and sustainable livelihood.

What is your life’s passion and purpose?

My passion is offering programs that inspire a deeper relationship between people and place.

My purpose is to help people feel a connection between their lives, nature and history.

During my Soulful Landscape programs I offer opportunities for people to get in touch with their feelings about a place, and tools to articulate their feelings.

Defining our affection towards a place is healing on an individual level, a community level and beyond. It’s the first step toward taking action on behalf of a place.

How did you discover your life’s passion?

I’ve always believed in doing what you love for a living, I think because I come from a family of entrepreneurs. So living my passion and purpose makes a lot of sense to me.

My Dad was a journalist who ran a successful newsletter business, which he started after the paper he wrote for folded. My Mom ran one, and then three, gift stores that sold Scandinavian gifts and contemporary American crafts.

From them I learned:

  • You can make a living doing something you’re passionate about.
  • Your passion will carry you through when times are tough.
  • Your responsibilities can be never ending because you’re the boss.
  • You need to have time for family and fun too.

I also learned that:

  • You can work all the time.
  • Learning to relax would be a good idea.

Growing up I thought I might be a craftsperson, a jeweler or potter or something like that. I did a lot of crafts and loved the buying trips to crafts shows which would usually involve a visit some of the artists at their studios in their homes. This seemed like an awesome way to live. They were in places like a Vermont big old farmhouse with chickens and horses and they got to do art all day and stay at home with their families.

In 7th grade I started playing guitar, inspired in part by a movie I saw called “Harlan County USA” which was about coal miners, unions and coal companies. It seemed like every time things fell apart, a song would bring it all back together. This deeply impressed me, the power of song.

As a teenager I also started doing a lot of nature trips with our local Youth Audubon group. I loved these trips and the other kids became a big part of my social network. I’d go to parties where we’d play the Petersons Birdsong CD’s for fun. We were bird geeks. I began thinking I wanted to be a wildlife field biologist or do some kind of work outdoors.

These were my passions growing up: crafts, music and the outdoors, and those are still passions I carry with me to this day.

Where were you in your life before you found this passionate path?

In college I studied both environmental studies and the arts. I spent the summer before college as a field biologist in Colorado.  There were things I felt I couldn’t prove with graphs and data. My first semester I took a course called “American Landscapes” that empowered me to give voice to how places made me feel. During the class there were many examples of people who cared deeply about a place and were able to creatively articulate what a place meant to them, and they also hasd an impact on the fate of that place. I saw how both science and the arts could impact the future of places.

I became a well-respected touring singer/songwriter whose songs were deeply rooted in the land and a sense of place. I loved touring and it really suited my spirit. But to be honest, I didn’t have much of a business plan. I had a lifestyle plan: have fun, build your fan base, write great songs, and get famous.

What was the impetus for doing what you do?

I was touring all over the place and began to return to places I had fallen in love with, only to feel heartbroken by the growth and sprawl that had completely changed what I loved about them. I often thought, “if these people were really connected to these places, they would have never let this happen.” I wanted to help people feel more connected, but I didn’t want to lecture them or bum them out.

I began to look for a way to combine the opportunity I had with being in front of people who might care, with an opportunity to foster caring through emotionally connecting to their place. From here I began to bring my focus full circle, back to the work I had begun when I entered college.

Shortly after this decision I had the best gig of my life. Ever. This was in Jackson, WY. I got the most response from the audience for the things I was saying and sold the most CD’s I ever sold at one show. I thought, “whatever this is, I want more of it.” Because those people really got who I really am. We had similar passions.

I was also asked to teach a workshop there. I told them I could teach people how I wrote my songs. I called it the Soulful Landscape. I didn’t realize then how this would bring together all my life passions and my life purpose, but it did. Ten years later I have taught this workshop for people all across the country.

What obstacles did you encounter as you shifted your heart’s desires into the work that sustains you?

The Jackson gig was in 2000, and shortly after I came down with what I like to call a “case of personal wellness.” I had just turned 40 and wanted to cut back my touring in the hopes of reinventing both my business and my personal life. I developed the content for my programs and I met and fell in love with the love of my life (we’re happily married and it’s 11 years later.) A few years later we moved out into the wilds of Western Massachusetts into a little 100-year-old house up in the hills by a rushing brook.


How do you measure your successes?

I really like Emerson’s quote about success and I carried a copy of it around in my guitar case for years and would read it before shows.

“To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

This is to have succeeded.”

——- Ralph Waldo Emerson

When I’m teaching or speaking I always remember that part about “one life has breathed easier.” I  think back to my fifth grade student teacher who did a whole program on the first Earth Day. It was the first time I was really engaged in something we were doing in school and I’ve never forgotten what we did. (I wish I knew her name so I could thank her.) So if I help even just one person really shift the way the see think or feel about themselves and the world, I feel successful.

Success for me is living a life that is not grandiose, but simply comfortable, conscious and kind. It’s about doing work that is fulfilling and makes a positive difference in the world. It’s about loving relationships and the time to be creative and nurture my soul. It’s about loving this earth and all we have left to love. Success is living in a way that ensures we pass on the beauty of a healthy earth to future generations.

What inspirations can you offer people who are seeking to manifest their passions into a life lived on purpose?


Your passions are the fuel for your life that will never expire. Those that I developed back when I was a teenager feed my soul to this day, during both flush and lean times.

Nurturing that passion in young people is really important. And as an adult it’s good to look back and ask what are you most passionate about? Then look at what you’re really good at, the ways people have told you that what you do helps them somehow. Then find a niche that may have a need for the thing you do well, and find one that actually values what you do enough for people to want to invest in your products or services.

A lot of artists think that the “build and they will come” model is enough, and sometimes it is! But passion AND a plan is what will help you thrive when your stars aren’t lined up.

The biggest challenge with doing what you love for a living are all the challenges of running a business and having balance in your life. It’s tempting to get sucked into working on your business all the time, as I learned so well from my family. But my goal is still to lead a life, where time for my business, my creativity, my sprirituality, my self-care and my relationships are all part of a whole life.

You can read more about Erica, her music and her work restoring connections between people and place at



Lisa Takata

Lisa Takata can always be found in the middle of things. Whether she’s spinning wool at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market, organizing a collaborative art event or sharing her hand-thrown ceramic pots at the annual Matsuri Festival, Lisa is engaging people, sharing stories and always, always smiling.

I asked Lisa to share her passions for these handmade traditions and how she balances these creative activities with her full-time job with the City of Phoenix.

What is your life’s passion and purpose?

To appreciate handmade traditions passed along from grandmothers to their grandchildren and to help make sure that those skills and knowledge are shared with the next generation.

How did you discover this?

Over several summers, I traveled to Ecuador and Peru to study indigenous pottery and weaving.  I made a set of lifelong friends amongst the artists I traveled with on these adventures.

When we visited pottery villages, we sometimes discovered that grandmothers still knew how to make traditional functional pottery but had stopped teaching their grandchildren how to do so.

There was no longer a need for them to make pottery for everyday use anymore, because everyone had started to use plastic containers that rarely wore out.

In response, my friend Joe Molinaro set up a way for our friends to sponsor traditional pottery making in Ecuador villages.  I donate $250 a year which is paid out in monthly installments to a village for any pottery that they create – though I do not expect to receive any pottery in return.

Why would I do this?  Because what I am really buying is the opportunity for grandmothers to teach grandchildren how to make pottery again, and they have done so over the years with amazing results.

Our donations have evolved into an ongoing village sponsorship program through a group called Kentucky Ecuador Partners.  It is the most satisfying $250 I spend all  year.

Then about five years ago, I took up handspinning yarn after spending time with handweaving families in a Peruvian village.  As I searched for sources of local Arizona grown sheep wool for my projects at home, Cindy Gentry of the Downtown Phoenix Public Market helped me connect with a Navajo family in northern Arizona – three generations of incredible women whose family has been shepherding since the 1800s.

I learned that they have great difficulty finding markets for their beautiful Navajo Churro sheep wool and face many of the same challenges that Ecuador pottery families do to sustain their handmade traditions.

They told me that local traders offered them only ten cents per pound for their sheep wool, while the fair market value for the wool is many times that amount.  I did not expect that the knowledge I had gained in Ecuador could be put to use right here at home, but I was grateful for the opportunity to do so.

I have been helping spread the word about the family’s beautiful Navajo Churro sheep wool and handspun yarn, and I purchase almost all of my raw wool from them at fair market prices that they set themselves.  We have a great relationship and fondly refer to each other as “wool cousins.”




Where were you in your life before you found this passionate path?

Growing up in a large family, I was always the kid who was inventing and making stuff.  I was outdoors a lot on my grandparents’ farm so nature has always had a big influence on me – it fed my endless curiosity and provided lots of found objects for a child to collect and build and play with.

International travel really opened my eyes to how people all over the world have taken raw materials like clay and sheep’s wool to invent different methods of making useful things.  Today I am a potter, photographer and fiber artist which allows me to play with all of those raw materials too.

While I have enjoyed creating and selling my own art for many years, I’ve discovered that ultimately, the shared process of making something handmade is as important as the finished product I create.

What was the impetus for doing what you do?

Everyone should have the opportunity to learn how to make something with their hands – a pie, a piece of pottery, a ball of yarn, a knitted sweater, or whatever else interests them.

Your grandparents might not be around to teach you how to do it anymore, but many others can offer you that experience, if you are willing to try.

The goal is not instant gratification.  The goal is to take your time and to realize that the limits of what you can continue to learn are boundless.

I love creating “intersections” – opportunities for people to share with each other.



What obstacles did you encounter as you shifted your heart’s desires into the work that sustains you?

Managing my time and many interests without knowing the exact purpose or end result of my efforts was a challenge.  I knew that at some point in my life I was going to find a way to merge public service with art, but I had to wait for the right opportunity to reveal itself.

In the meantime, I spent all the time I could learning and exposing myself to new people and experiences.  When the opportunity arrived, I felt well prepared to do something about it with the knowledge and experiences I had gained along the way.

Sometimes it is not clear what you are preparing for in life, but that is perfectly okay.  Just keep that momentum moving forward.  Gravitate toward those areas that naturally interest you – even if you do not fully understand why, and even if you cannot see what is far out on the horizon just yet.

How do you maintain your excitement and enthusiasm for living from your heart?

Generally I have found that people who are interested in making things with their hands are also very generous individuals.

I love to surround myself with these people.  They take joy in the process of making something; in the process of sharing how to do it; and in the giving of their handmade items to others.  They do not rush headlong through life, they stop occasionally to look around and appreciate the little details or moments along the way.

These are people I really enjoy spending time with and gaining inspiration from.  I may not be curious about the same things they are, but I have a lot to learn from their passion and their enthusiasm for some aspect of life that I might not have paid attention to before.

How do you measure your successes?

Recently I spent a day in the sheep barn at the Arizona State Fair, demonstrating how to make yarn with my spinning wheel.

Occasionally an older person came up to me to say that they remembered sitting at their grandmother or grandfather’s knee in some faraway country, watching them make yarn for hours.  Sometimes a  young child would stand in front of the spinning wheel, mesmerized and asking a million questions until their parents dragged them away.

Sometimes an older man, usually a retired engineer or architect or mechanic, would stand at the wheel, asking a million questions about how all of the spinning wheel parts work.  I consider that a successful day because all of those people found their own way of connecting with the experience of making things by hand and left with an enthusiasm for learning more.

How do you balance your day job with your passions?

It is great if you have a day job that is your greatest passion, but there are many advantages to having a day job that is separate from your greatest passion as well.  I personally like having these two separate parts of my life, they constantly feed new ideas and relationships into the mix.

I look for opportunities to use my creativity in my day job and that keeps me sharp for turning on the creativity in my artist life after 5 pm.  It is healthy to shift focus from one world to the other and have a change of pace to look forward to every so often.

What inspirations can you offer people who are seeking to manifest their passions into a life lived on purpose?

Collaborate with everyone you can.  I have learned so much from working alongside people with different skill sets than my own, sharing ideas and looking for crossover.  You would be surprised how often collaboration sparks new ideas or approaches that you never would have come up with by yourself.




For more information about Lisa, her handspun wool, pottery, photography as well as opportunities for “intersection,” visit Lisa’s website:

Cyndi Coon


Cyndi Coon is all about Making and Giving. Whether it’s teaching or organizing, baking or crafting, Cyndi is happiest when she is connecting with her creative spirit and sharing with others. Her life is inspiring. Her artwork is delicious. Her energy is contagious.

I asked Cyndi to share how she balances all of these activities with her never-ending wealth of inspiring ideas.

What is your life’s passion and purpose?

Making and Giving.

How did you discover this?

I operate physically like a walking cage housing restless animals that are clawing to get out and play. I have to partake in a creative act everyday allow this to happen – this is the making part.

The giving part comes about because creating on an island is not enough for me. I have to teach, share and give gifts. I teach classes and workshops and on my websites and blogs I provide free content and downloadable tutorials. I must give.

Where were you in your life before you found this passionate path?

I was too young to remember. I received a gift from my family very early on and it was the gift of space to explore and be creative. I have always only known this freedom. There have, however, been times when I have needed reminders it has had bumps and starts but always seems to realign because I know for myself what is my personal path and while I may wander off I always steer myself back.


What was the impetus for doing what you do?

To create every single day is life giving. I also believe in the power of muscle memory, if I create a drawing, a craft, a cake or a piece of writing each day then it is a simple act filled with joy. If I fail to do it for days and days the muscles forget and the act can feel frustrating so I exercise it every single day.

What obstacles did you encounter as you shifted your heart’s desires into the work that sustains you?

Excuses are everywhere. I have said in my past that I didn’t have the time but it turns out 24 hours in a day is enough to at least start something even if I have to set it aside until the next day and pick it back up then. I have two young daughters who require a lot of my time and a company to run that requires the other half of me but there are still moments late at night and early in the morning that I can call my own. I have a beautiful big studio to work in but that was not always the case. I used to work on a single table in a spare bedroom. I learned very quickly that space should also never be an excuse. Lack of funds or supplies also never stops me because I truly believe that scarcity breeds creativity.

How do you manifest your passions into a life that supports you financially, spiritually and emotionally?



It is that old phrase “the universe will provide” I live it and believe it. Now that doesn’t mean there are not lean times where I feel frustrated and overwhelmed by the powers that pull me away from my passion. I just have to constantly remind myself to hold on and all things will align again, I know this to be true because they always do. I also often remind myself to just get out of my own way and allow things to be, interrupting a process that needs to play out can stop a shift that was meant to happen.

Another phrase I live by is “fake it till you make it.” To me this means say yes to things that come your way and figure it all out as you go. I am constantly reinventing my list of offerings and when I am asked to do something not already on my long list I say yes and then head out to do the research. I keep teasing that when someone asks me “What do you do?” I am going to start saying “What do you need?”

How do you maintain your excitement and enthusiasm for living from your heart?

Give it away. I open my studio to my friends and we have craft nights and craft weekends together. Sometimes when I am feeling uninspired, gathering my close friends around me to create fills me up and kick starts me again. Also, sharing tutorials with anyone who comes to my site allows me to make new friends. People will leave comments and tell me they tried a project I shared – that is real motivation.

I am also inspired by looking. I am scanning all the time. I look for ideas, images, materials and moments that catch my eye. These things turn into creations – I always have my eyes open.

How do you measure your successes?

This is a tough one because I try really had to not let the American way of Money lead the path. Sometimes I do however feel successful if I land a new paying client or sell a piece of artwork or get hired for a freelance writing job but I know that is not the end of it. When I am told by others that someone praised the work I do I know that that is success because it will lead to word of mouth and that person may eventually become a client.

I also work to recognize when I feel good or pleased about something I have created. Acknowledging this allows me to exude confidence and everyone around me will want a piece of that energy and I have taken a step to making my community a better place through my own happiness.

What inspirations can you offer people who are seeking to manifest their passions into a life lived on purpose?

Never, ever give in to what you think others want because that method never works. If you check in with yourself and are honest about truly sustaining your practice then you will be able to support your passion.  You can’t find your purpose by looking around, you can only find it when you look within. It lives there just open the cage and let it out to play!

~ ~ ~ ~

Cyndi’s journal pages were recently featured in the winter edition of Art Journaling magazine.

For more information about Cyndi, check out her numerous websites and blogs:


Lab Five blog:

Lovely Lula Crafting:

Modern Manor:

Provo Craft:

Chow Bella:




Jackalope Ranch:

Patricia Jamie Lee


Patricia Jamie Lee had an idea. It started with an accident and has turned into an international project that promotes world peace. I asked her to share her journey and inspirations.

What is your life’s passion and purpose?


My life’s passion and purpose is to see a world where peace is prevalent and people celebrate their differences instead of fighting over them. World Peace?  Is that too much to ask?  I am a writer and also facilitate communications and family constellation workshops, but all that I do is focused through the lens of seeing how we can develop as human beings.  I love creativity, compassion, and humanity—that is my passion.

The Bead People Project began when I was making earrings and accidentally made one that looked like a little person.  I thought it was cute, but then decided it could be more than cute.  I wrote the story, The Wind of a Thousand Years, and turned The Bead People into a movement.  At first I chuckled to myself for calling it “The Bead People International.”  But why not think big, I asked myself.

I had no illustrator and no funds to pay one, so I sat down with Publisher and created the characters and scenes for the story.  I printed it into a little book and began giving them away.  Later I put together kits and began selling the books as do-it-yourself projects.  Today, over 6500 have gone to 18 different countries—amazing.

How did you discover this passion?

I remember being in the third grade and watching the kind of pack mentality that caused one girl in my class to be hurt by teasing and cruelty.  I could not participate.  I don’t understand cruelty, war, discrimination, bullying—I have spent my life trying to understand how to redirect those malignant energies toward spirit and creation.  My peace project, The Bead People International, embodies this life goal.

Where were you in your life before you found this passionate path?

For me, creativity has always been both a gift and a burden.  Wherever it leads, I follow.  I have written many books (some are published), written over 70 documentaries for public radio with my producer/husband, Milt.  I have taught a dozen topics from preschool to Aerobic Dance to College English to people from the ages of 1-91. There has never been a direct shift away from one thing and toward another. Rather my life just spirals out to express larger versions of the same message.

What was the impetus for doing what you do?


I want to send a message to the world that if we were to direct all the resources wasted on war and violence toward peacemaking and caring for one another and our planet, we could attain the next level of human existence.  I am not naïve about how difficult this will be—but if we never take steps in that direction, how can we evolve?

We deserve peace in the home, peace at school, peace in our communities, and peace in the world.  I urge our global leaders and politicians to model and act on these simple principles for those they serve.

What obstacles did you encounter as you shifted your heart’s desires into the work that sustains you?


What has perhaps been the biggest obstacle is to feel a sense of my own worth as a scholar, educator, woman, and cultural visionary.  I still house that small self that asks, “And who do you think you are?”  There seems to be no way to silence her, so I keep her warm and well-fed and hope that she no longer stops me from taking giant steps forward.  Like others, I thought that as I aged and gathered degrees and credibility, that she would be quiet.  It doesn’t happen.  We just have to give her a reassuring pat and go on.

How did you manifest your passions into a life that supports you financially, spiritually and emotionally?


My creative pursuits have always maintained me spiritually and emotionally but not always financially.  As I grew older I realized that gathering stuff has never been high on my list.

In the past three years, in fact, my husband and I have unloaded most of our material belongings, bought ten acres, and have been building a one-room straw bale home. We spent last summer and fall adding 2-4 inches of earth plaster while we lived in the house. Learning to want and need less is the equivalent of “earning more.” I like the simplicity that is beginning to grow around us.  Building our house was a lot of work, but living in a hand-built house surrounded by berry and vegetable gardens has been a slice of heaven.

How do you maintain your excitement and enthusiasm for living from your heart?


Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the many things I’m doing, but what helps is to simply get creatively engaged.  I also love hearing from people who have been touched by The Bead People or one of my books.  I want to work in community with others to accomplish this new world.  Also, there is something wonderful about seeing the result of our small actions in the world.  The other day I saw a woman I didn’t know wearing a Bead Person on a pretty chain around her neck.  That is my goal—that we will begin to see those little peace ambassadors everywhere.

Also, if I stay physically, mentally, and spiritually active, life is good.

How do you measure your successes?

For The Bead People peace project, I’d love to see a million people wearing a Bead Person as a sign of peace.  I don’t want to build them all—but lots of other people are sharing the story and the project with others.  As a measure of success for myself, I have a wonderful marriage, great children and grandchildren, and our land and house.  I would say that I am successful.

What inspirations can you offer people who are seeking to manifest their passions into a life lived on purpose?


Pretend that every day when you wake up a small genie comes in and gives you ten quarts of energy for the day. It is all you get.  Consider how you are currently spending your ten quarts, and then get rid of old patterns, resentments, misdirected goals.  Begin using at least nine of your ten quarts to create compassionately and to care for others.

Patricia Jamie Lee has had her fingers in many pies as an educator, consultant, writer, cultural visionary—and straw bale builder.  With an MA in Human Development, she is committed to helping others find core strength as well as peace in their lives.  Her work focuses on ancestral strength with Family and Organizational Constellation Work.

Besides The Bead People Project, Jamie has written several novels and nonfiction books, published numerous short stories and articles, and traveled over 100,000 miles into Indian Country with her husband and Co-producer, Milt Lee, while producing over 70 documentaries for public radio plus one for public television.

Join the Bead People community at:

Learn more about Jamie’s work and her writing on her website: or her blog:

Carla Reeves

After having her first son, Carla left the corporate world to become a Mom and began building her business, Sanity Journals. Her company is dedicated to inspiring creative writing rituals that soothe your mind, free your spirit and expand your being.  She offers numerous experiences that give people a firsthand experience of the power of journaling.


What is your life’s passion and purpose?

My life ’s passion and purpose is being a mom, living creatively, living life to the fullest and supporting others in doing the same.

My own passion project began after becoming a mom when I felt a compelling desire to write and listened.  On the pages of my journal I began finding my voice,  my faith, what inspires me, and speaks to my heart. After pages and pages of writing it began spilling over into my everyday life.  I was happier, alive and more fulfilled. I began weaving all of the things I discovered into my everyday and became a happier mom.  I had found a powerful tool for capturing, savoring and exploring life.  I found a tool that helped me take responsibility for my own happiness.

I learned that one of the greatest gifts I can give to my children is a happy mom.  It is when I am happy from within that I model and give my children permission to do the same.   The writing in so many ways became a link to finding my own sanity and peace of mind amidst the busyness of life.  In realizing the impact it had, I knew it was in my heart to be shared.  Sanity Journals came to life.   I discovered a way to be a stay at home mom and pursue a business that made an impact in the world and would provide on many different levels for my family.

What obstacles did you encounter as you shifted your heart’s desires into the work that sustains you?

I think the biggest obstacle is getting past my own self-doubt and limiting beliefs. I have had to learn to put myself out there and be vulnerable in ways that at one time felt impossible and frightening.  I had to step through my life-long fear of public speaking and in doing so realized that there’s something much greater when you are willing to step through it.

When first starting out I was faced with others not particularly open to the idea of journaling and the power behind it.   It felt hard at times to keep putting my ideas out there in the face of no agreement.  Journaling has become a much more widely adopted idea and I find now people are more open and intrigued by it.

My passion project continues to evolve.  While sometimes I want things to take off overnight, the truth of the matter is it has been one step at a time.  It all began with the creation of one journal. Someone who bought that journal recognized my insight into motherhood and asked me to come speak to her mom’s group.  This was my first ever speaking engagement.  It terrified me and in the same breath I said yes because I felt in my soul it’s what was next.

From there I designed a 2-hour retreat where women could get away from the busyness to reflect, connect with who they are, and build intentions for their everyday life all through a guided journaling experience.  From there it led to more journal designs, the launch of The Journaling Lounge online where people all over the world can connect over journaling, human story and friendship.  Most recently I launched the Journal Junkie shop withgoods to inspire your journaling and your life.

How did you manifest your passions into a life that supports you financially, spiritually and emotionally?

In order to teach this I must practice it in my own life.  It supports a core value of mine to continue stretching and learning because it requires me to keep going beyond who I know myself to be.  It also has me keep being me in bigger and bigger ways.  I get braver and braver as time goes on.  It continues to grow and expand in ways I never imagined and I continue to have faith that it will grow to provide in greater ways financially.

How do you maintain your excitement and enthusiasm for living from your heart?

What keeps me inspired is my faith, journaling, and taking time to remember the “why” behind what I do every day.  It’s important to have a commitment to balance.  Because I love what I do so much I could spend endless hours creating and working on my business.  When I take time away it fills me up and when I come back I have more to share and give the world.  Taking time for Bikram yoga has been essential to keep me mentally and physically strong.

Finding balance is a dance.  If I am not able to be the Mom I am committed to being, or if I haven’t taken time for my marriage, or my house is too much of a mess it impacts my business.  It’s an ongoing dance that and I am in a constant state of practice.

How do you measure your successes?

While I want to tell you that I am a master at measuring my success to all the things that truly matter, it’s not always true.  I know intellectually that ultimately my success is being able to say at the end of the day, week or year that I spent my time doing the things that are most important like being a mom, wife, true to myself, living with integrity, shining my light and making a contribution in the world – the truth of the matter is there is still a part of me that equates success to dollars.  This too is a practice.  I stand in my vision, believe in it and keep stepping forward.

What inspirations can you offer people who are seeking to manifest their passions into a life lived on purpose?

The resources that have helped me the most have been a  husband who believes in me and my dream and reminds me of who I am when I forget or fall down.  It’s been having at least one friend with whom I can share all the details and who stands by me and my dream.  If you want to pursue a passion, don’t know if you have a passion, or don’t know how to make it real – trust that it lives inside youTry journaling to bring it to life.  It’s common to feel like the answers lie outside of you when in reality you have access right where you are.  Your job is to peel away the layers and find it again.  Keep showing up in the face of feeling otherwise.  Have faith.  As Kung Fu Panda wisdom tells us, the secret ingredient is believing in you.

For more information about Carla and Sanity Journals and the Journaling Lounge, visit

Ursula Jorch


Fourteen years ago, Ursula Jorch was fired from her corporate job. She’d been thinking about being self-employed for some time, but was too scared to leave her job and strike out into the unknown.

I asked Ursula to share how she has worked through those fears and created a fulfilling and exciting life as a sought-after medical writer with clients world-wide.

What is your life’s passion and purpose?

That is a really big question!  I started really exploring my life purpose only recently, as I go through a major shift in my life.  This change wasn’t prompted by any one event, but instead a lot of things got me thinking about what is important to me, and how I want to spend my time, energy, and life.  In this process, it’s become clear that I am passionate about self-employment, because of the creativity that can be exercised, the autonomy it affords, and the self-discovery it calls for.

How did you discover this?

Fourteen years ago, I was fired from my corporate job.  I’d been thinking about being self-employed for some time, but was too scared to leave my job and strike out into the unknown.  Then one day, I engineered (I realize now!) my firing, so I could go off and do what I knew I needed to do.  (You don’t need to make that decision so dramatic, or unconscious!  You can be easier on yourself!)  As I make the big changes that I need in my life now, I’m approaching it differently: I’m consciously and deliberately making choices that follow my own authentic path.

What obstacles did you encounter as you shifted your heart’s desires into the work that sustains you?

One of the reasons that I stayed in corporate for as long as I did was that I thought it gave me financial security.  The irony is, I’ve made more money as a self-employed writer than I ever did as a corporate employee.  So that security I thought I had?  Bogus!  The best security I’ve ever experienced in my work is my own ability to follow my heart and brain to the work that sustains me.  That can sometimes be a challenge, as doubts come up, and confusion, and getting back in touch with myself can take some effort.  That is something I coach people about when they ask me about self-employment – to have trust in their own abilities to support their lives.

How did you manifest your passions into a life that supports you financially, spiritually and emotionally?

I started my self-employed life with a visioning process.  This approach was really new to me at the time, but it was incredibly powerful.  I saw where I wanted to work, with whom, and how I wanted to spend my days.  That vision served as a guide that I referred to when I made decisions about how to set up my office, whether or not I decided to work with a particular client, or the scheduling of my day.  It’s an evolving picture, and I revisit this process to act as a guide when changes need to be made.

How do you maintain your excitement and enthusiasm for living from your heart?

I keep returning to the things that make self-employment so exciting.  When new opportunities come up (and they always do if you are open to them!), then I look at them in that light.  Does this new opportunity allow me to be creative in a new way, and in a way that is really satisfying?  What can I learn, about myself, about the people I’m working with, about the larger world, as a result of accepting this opportunity?  Can I contribute in a substantial way to my clients, to their growth and development, and to the community?  If any of those questions are answered with a big, hell YES!, then I know I’m on the right track.

How do you measure your successes?

One aspect of how I measure success is by how engaged I am by my work.  If I’ve chosen effectively, then I’m really engaged.  I am excited about getting to it, and I start to see different ways to approach it, and many ways to offer value to my clients.

What inspirations can you offer people who are seeking to manifest their passions into a life lived on purpose?

Let your decisions be guided by love, not fear.  Love for what you do, for what you can offer and give, and love for yourself as you move into this bigger life.  True, it does take real work.  It does take courage to step out of what’s familiar.  And that is where the learning and growing live – when you challenge yourself, you really bring into being all that you are, and can be.  It’s a life of wonderful possibility, and I invite you to step into it!

Ursula Jorch is President and founder of Jorch Consulting Inc., a global medical communications company.  She is a sought-after medical writer with clients world-wide.  She also coaches individuals working in healthcare to help them create their own successful medical writing businesses.  Ursula is also a photo-based artist and her work is exhibited internationally. She is currently living the life of an intentional nomad.



For more information about Ursula, visit

Janice McDonald


Janice McDonald is living an artful, art-filled life. She’s had a graphic design practice in Colorado for many years and began to seriously explore her interest in collage about ten years ago. Her work has been included in an International Collage Exhibition at Kansas State University, a solo show, “Re-Purposed,” at Denver’s Edge Gallery in 2009, and in juried exhibitions around the US and throughout the world.



I asked Janice to share her story and how she creates the time and balance to pursue both of these passions while also keeping up with her friends and wildly creative and inspiring family.

What is your life passion and purpose?

My passion is living an artful, art-filled life and to encourage others to see the potential for creativity to enhance their lives as well.


How did you discover this?

I was very fortunate to have a great deal of encouragement. Since early childhood, I’d had an affinity for art- and design-related pursuits. I was the kid who was always drawing, making things out of little bits of nothing, and creating maps of unknown territories. Despite a rather itinerant upbringing, my parents sought out art lessons and other creative opportunities for me whenever they could. By the time I was 5 or so, my uncle, a professional artist, bestowed upon me the title of “artist.” I was thrilled. It truly never occurred to me to question the designation or to be anything else!

In college I pursued a fine art degree with a concentration in graphic design, which seemed practical. While I developed a career as a designer, and later as I became increasing preoccupied with marriage and a family, I pretty much neglected my fine art interests. As the computer became more integral to the design business, I began to lose the hands-on aspects of that work. Eventually, I realized that I needed to balance the design work with art work — I had a strong desire to touch things, express myself, and work freely with my hands again.

What obstacles did you encounter as you shifted your heart’s desires into the work that sustains you?

The primary obstacle was time. I still needed the income from design and I truly loved that work, but I had to begin to set boundaries and make the most of spare moments. I knew I wanted to pursue the collage medium and needed to explore and experiment with techniques that would give the kind of results I envisioned while being somewhat archival. I had to prove to myself that collage work was marketable and could eventually provide an income stream, perhaps even a second career.

All this took time, patience, and energy. I don’t have much “spare” time and have had to be pretty disciplined to keep two endeavors afloat. Evenings and weekends often find me still at “work,” although it doesn’t usually feel as serious as all that — I enjoy what I’m doing tremendously.

I started to make this change in 1999 and feel that I am still in the process. Over time I’ve become more and more committed to it.

How did you manifest your passions into a life that supports you financially, spiritually and emotionally?



Each year I set goals for what I hope to accomplish in terms of art during the following year. Then throughout the year, I jot down encouraging developments and accomplishments. Even though I don’t always complete those goals in quite the way, or at the time, I’ve envisioned, I can see that I am making progress. I take myself out to lunch nearly every week and brainstorm how to enhance what I’m doing, usually jotting down ideas in a sketchbook I carry. (Still, I get my best ideas in the shower!)

In the beginning, I looked at art and design as two very different careers but these days they are much more integrated. Over time, I’ve created a fluid and flexible balance between the two and have come to realize that each nurtures the other, and me.

I have had to give up some design income to pursue the art interests. I see that as an investment in my future. Interestingly, many of my design clients are intrigued with my collage endeavors and have become collectors. Likewise, some of my art friends have become design clients.

During these years, my family responsibilities have changed from huge to minimal. Last fall we became empty-nesters and that gave me a bigger impetus to move forward than I’d imagined. I am able to pour myself into my work with more concentration and energy than ever before.


How do you maintain your excitement and enthusiasm for living from your heart?

I love my work. I refer to my studio as a “col-laboratory,” referencing collage, collaboration, and laboratory—in the sense of creative exploration and experimentation— and try to spend as much time in that world as possible. I am very curious and seek out art shows, workshops, lectures, books, online resources, etc. to keep learning new things. I enjoy getting groups of people together to go with me to art-related events so we can discuss what we see.

I strive to live artfully and find joy in attempting to make the everyday special, whether it’s in “curating” some small portion of our home decor, writing a letter to someone special, or getting out in nature. Walking always seems to help everything. I’m still slowed down a bit while recovering from a broken leg and have a renewed appreciation for how important an outlet walking has been for me in recent years.

Thankfully, I have great friends and an understanding and supportive family. My husband (architect), daughter (ballet dancer), and two stepchildren (artist and art teacher/architect and designer) are all engaged in full time creative pursuits so we are able to compare notes, learn from, and encourage each other.

How do you measure your successes?



Mostly by feel: I feel like I’m on the right track. I’m encouraged by what I’ve accomplished so far. I’m having fun and enjoying life. Friends tell me they have a new appreciation for the importance of art and creativity as a result of seeing my story unfold — an unexpected delight.

I rarely have second thoughts about all the time I’ve invested. It may sound trite, but I’m enjoying the journey. And, there is still so much more I want to do, which keeps me motivated.

What inspirations can you offer people who are seeking to manifest their passions into a life lived on purpose?

Allow yourself time, whatever it takes, be patient, adjust your plans as life evolves, and keep plugging away. I’ve lived by this quote from Julia Cameron:

“The myth that we must have “time” — more time — in order to create, is a myth that keeps us from using the time we do have.

If we are forever yearning for “more,” we are forever discounting what is offered.”

For more information and to see more of Janice’s amazing collage art, visit her website or email her….


Dr. Julie Gorman, NMD



Dr. Julie Gorman, NMD, is a naturopathic doctor and owner of Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

Her practice focuses on helping patients manage, reduce risk to, and even reverse chronic illness through creating therapeutic lifestyle changes (TLC) such as healthy nutrition, vitamins, exercise and stress management.

I asked Dr. Gorman to share how she chose naturopathic medicine versus the traditional western medical practices.

What is your life’s passion and purpose?

My life’s passion and purpose is to inspire in each person a commitment to healthy living and to empower people to live better, healthier lives.

How did you discover this?

In my 20’s I became seriously ill and was on medical disability and food stamps for 2 years. With all of my visits to medical doctors, not one of them told me that I could do anything to improve my health other than medications. Not one doctor recommended eating better, sleeping better, or just living with joy. I knew that there had to be a better way…



What obstacles did you encounter as you shifted your heart’s desires into the work that sustains you?

I experienced a lot of resistance from family, friends, and loved ones when I expressed my desire to quit my well-paying corporate job and go to naturopathic medical school. When I decided to go back to school I had fear about a lot of “what if’s” — What if I don’t have the money? What if I get sick again?

Ultimately though, my question was “what if I don’t live my passion?”

How did you manifest your passions into a life that supports you financially, spiritually and emotionally?



I became a naturopathic doctor and opened my own practice so that I could create the kind of healthcare experience that I had wished for when I was sick and looking for answers. In my medical practice the focus in on education and empowerment.

We teach people that health comes from the choices that we each make every day.

I believe that every individual has the ability to attain optimal wellness. The goal is to find areas of imbalance and to restore the body’s natural rhythm. By uncovering the obstacles to health and supporting the whole person (physical, mental, and emotional) we can expect to see lasting results. My role is to guide patients on their path to wellness and help them to realize their full potential for good health.

How do you maintain your excitement and enthusiasm for living from your heart?

I surround myself with people who are passionate about living their best lives and I focus on living in the present and making each day count. If I get out of balance and fall back into the “life is hard” mindset, then I take a break and remind myself that I can do anything and be anything that I want.

How do you measure your successes?

I measure my success by the joy that I feel every day and by the patients’ lives that are changed for the better by working with me as a doctor or from attending our health education classes.

What inspirations can you offer people who are seeking to manifest their passions into a life lived on purpose?

To transform the world, we must begin with ourselves.



Even small changes make a big difference. Scientists estimate that every 7 years our bodies have complete cell turnover. This means that every day that you nourish yourself with good thoughts and good food you are replacing old cells with new healthy cells. You have great power to create the body and the life that you want, so dream big.

For more information, contact

Dr. Julie Gorman, NMD

Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine Center

3201 N. 3rd Street – Phoenix, AZ 85012




Vynnie McDaniels

Vynnie McDaniels is a Garden Designer specializing in organic and sustainable naturescapes that are rooted in xeriscape and permaculture principles.

Some of Vynnie’s handy work has graced the pages of Phoenix Home & Garden and Popular Mechanics, and he was featured on Sundance Channel’s Big Ideas for a Small Planet.  Vynnie is a Master Gardener, Certified in Permaculture and Smartscape Design. He teaches green-living workshops throughout the year with various organizations and local businesses.  He also contributes to the garden segment on ‘Everyday Entertaining’ on Channel 3TV.

I asked Vynnie about his life, his gardens, and how he came to love this work.

Do you do what you love and love what you do?

Yes, always.  Everything I do, I love to do…eventually.

Are you living the life you’ve always dreamed?

I won’t become an astronaut or a firefighter at this point, so my new dream is to just live life.  Actually, that has always been my dream – to live life and love everything about it.  Of course, there is a lot of ‘stuff’ I want to do.

How did you come to gardening?

I grew up as an artist, but I never saw any life template to make a living at it; just the ‘starving artist’ stigma and all the icons in books that all existed (and died) before 1960.  So, like everyone else, I went to college for a bit guessing at careers, and the military thing, which didn’t take.  After a few jobs in unrelated fields (construction, sales, technology), I realized what I was good at – teaching.  Once I decided to start my own business, it evolved into an education platform for sustainable gardening and green living.

What is your life’s passion and purpose?

To give, to share, to teach (and eat french fries).

How did you discover this?

I’ve sort of always felt it, I just didn’t know it.  It was great when I figured out what it meant.

What obstacles did you encounter as you shifted your heart’s desires into the work that sustains you?

Job fit – and I still encounter the obstacles.  I know plants and I can teach gardening to anyone.  But I also have to run a business and make money at it.  It’s like a runner who is super fast.  But can he do it on a track with lanes and hurdles and a stadium of cheerers watching?

How did you manifest your passions into a life that supports you financially, spiritually and emotionally?

Still working on it, but that is what life is to me.  It’s the process, the journey.  My wife is a big part of that with her encouragement, input, and inspiration.  It’s good to have a muse.

How do you maintain your excitement and enthusiasm for living from your heart?

When I wake and open my eyes, I become enthused (once I get through the snap, crackle, pop and aches).  I’m glad to wake up, and I see my wife, and I see the garden, and I see the sky… It all gives me joy.  Living is an art form, and I’m an artist.

How do you measure your successes?

I haven’t died yet.   If I can elicit a smile, cause a tail to wag, start a purr, get a client to call me again, I feel successful.  If I measured my success financially, it would take millions to truly feel ‘successful’.  I choose to focus on a different meter.

What inspirations can you offer people who are seeking to manifest their passions into a life lived on purpose?

Figure out what you truly have to offer. For me, through job after job, after job, I learned I was a teacher and a steward.  But it took a number of friends, colleagues, customers and my spouse to reveal this as [one of] my true gifts.  Ask others for some feedback and input (not just opinions) – it will become your insight and inspiration.

Love what you do no matter what it is. That in itself is a character-building endeavor.  Luckily, I started at a very young age, seeking my ability to perfect something as well as my ability to tolerate something.  That showed me how to just love living everyday, so I never give myself a reason to be unhappy.  Sometimes I may be unsatisfied with a particular situation, but you’ll never find me far from a genuine smile.

For more information about Vynnie, contact:

Vynnie the Gardener

Garden Designer



Cheryl Cobern-Browne is an entrepreneur, teacher, artist, RN (retired) and community leader. She now spends part of her time in Phoenix, AZ and many months a year running her Arts Retreat Center in the west of Ireland.

I asked Cheryl to share her some of her wisdoms and insights.

What is your life’s passion and purpose?

If you asked me this question when I was younger, I would have given you a very different answer.  When you read about people’s lives, there is often a pivotal moment, such as an accident or illness or sudden loss that provokes a turning point for change.  For me it was the realization that what made me happy and gave meaning was so simple that I almost missed it!  Yet when I honored it, it changed my life completely.

That realization was that my ‘bliss’ was ‘working with my hands and working with groups of people’. It was that simple and that powerful.

How did you discover these passions?

My work with people in hospital administration as a nurse manager in the 1980’s filled part of that passion, but what was missing was the creative element with my hands that longed to make things and create art of some kind.  I had no training in that area, so I started working with beads as an easy medium to begin with.   I had no idea that this would lead to not one, but four distinctly different careers over the next 25 years.

How did you manifest your passions into a life that supports you financially, spiritually and emotionally?

This took many steps – most small but some awesomely large – like getting a divorce and changing my job!  All this took time of course and the biggest obstacle was responding to the small steps along the way, holding the vision and then indeed waiting patiently as everything that happened seemed to be at a crucially appropriate time in the business world.  Timing has been so important.  I could be ready with my energy and ideas, but prevailing circumstances might not be and things stalled.  When timing was right, things just flowed.

What has been your biggest obstacle?

Myself!  Rushing into things with passion before thinking them through. I now make myself wait, revise, review and let things incubate a bit before jumping in head first with good ideas. It is about listening to that inner voice that says – ‘wait’ or ‘focus’ or ‘act now!’ Not acting automatically just because it feels right at the moment, although acting spontaneously has also been a strong point.  There is a delicate balance there that needs that inner guidance to be well tuned – an ongoing challenge.

I remember after I left Nursing and started “working with my hands” using beads as a medium to make necklaces, I had no idea that Beads would lead me to the life I have now.  First it was having a bead shop in Glendale (Beads and Adornables), which later became The Bead Museum store after I negotiated the move of the museum to the city center from Prescott and worked as the initial director for 3 years.

Following that I lead tours around the world to places of bead interest such as South Africa, India, China, Italy and other countries even where there was no bead history.   Beadventure Travel would take a teacher and beads and settle into small villages in places like Ireland and Iceland and work away – often with the local community whenever possible.  It was an amazing adventure lasting 12 years.  I did get tired of traveling however, decided to settle into one place, and that is where I am now – on the west coast of Ireland, overlooking Clew Bay in County Mayo – beautiful, serene and full of creative possibilities.

Maintaining excitement and enthusiasm for my work was easy once I understood more about what drives me.  Self-reflection and awareness training are keen tools to develop so you know your strengths AND weaknesses.  As I observed my work habits I noticed that I had a 3-year cycle.  I loved starting new things and was good at it, but once things were up and running, I was ready for the next challenge.  I was a starter to be sure.  Maintenance was my downfall – so in order for my endeavors to be successful in the long term, I needed to be able to either shift into a new direction every 3 years or have a good assistant or secretary on hand to keep up the work as I forged ahead.   This keeps things alive and moving for me and I am able to do what I do best and avoid burn out.

I love change, so I have to watch this and make sure I use this ‘love’ wisely.

How do you measure your successes?

The question of success is a good one. I do not measure success as to how much money I make.  Certainly this is one measure, an important one, but it is also about how much joy you bring to people, giving them the tools to change their lives in some small way.  It is about social interactions that make a difference, one thing leading to another. For instance, on one of my trips to South Africa, we only had 5 people for the tour, but I decided to go anyway hoping for a break-even budget.  While we were in Cape Town we visited a craft center where a friend of mine ran this organization using recycled materials to make crafts for the tourist market.  One of the men on the tour was proficient at origami and saw an immediate opportunity for this group to use recycled magazine pages to make beautiful boxes. He actually went back after the tour was over and spent some time teaching this craft which has now grown into export, leading to more jobs, more kids to school and all that goes along with providing employment.  Did this trip make money?  No.  Was that trip successful?   You bet!

What inspirations can you offer people who wish to manifest their passions?

  • Small steps can lead to large changes.  It is mostly all about small simple steps.
  • Listen the inner voice and learn to trust your intuition even when circumstances cannot support your decision with the data available at the time (it will appear sooner or later!)
  • Know what your bliss is no matter how simple or unromantic it may seem.
  • Keep focused, write things down, make lists or whatever it takes to keep a focus. This leads to more conscious decisions that lead to right action for you.
  • Do not make decisions based on fear and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
  • No matter how busy, (and this is a hard one for me….) keep moments of silence, stillness and reflection.  This becomes the ‘tuning in’ part of the journey, one that reflects on being able to make wise decisions, hold keen insights that sets you firmly on this amazing journey of life.

For more information about Cheryl, contact her at:

Another Passionate Person

Tracy Cooke

For over 25 years, Tracy Cooke has been responsible for sales and trainings with seminar companies, originally focused on making the world safe “out there”.  After numerous books, discussions, lectures, tapes, workshops and of course, life experience, she chose a secluded life, caring for the people who showed up, as her best avenue for growth.  That changed when she discovered PSYCH-K, a premier change process that shows us how to match our psychological beliefs with our spiritual insights.

How did you find work that nourishes you?

In a word, the answer is trust.  Trusting myself, the universe, trusting that it will all work out even when I don’t know how.

We’ve all been encouraged to ‘trust’ before.  One of the many exciting things about my work is I now have an answer for ‘Yes, but how?’

What is your life’s passion and purpose?

To learn, share and love.  I discovered that truth during an exercise at a workshop in the early 80’s and this purpose statement is as true today as it was then.

This purpose has found expression in different avenues:  coordinating a PBS-televised music series, managing trainings and enrollment with seminar companies, as a self-employed bodyworker and now, teaching and facilitating PSYCH-K, my favorite so far!

My work focus shifted in 2007 after reading Dr. Bruce Lipton’s book, The Biology of Belief.  (  This is a remarkable book if you feel drawn to it.

I love facilitating the changes that people choose for themselves!  I love the processes, the connections, the results!  Everything about my work fuels my passion for it.

How do you maintain your own sense of presence and purpose?

I use PSYCH-K balances daily.  PSYCH-K’s change processes (called balances) work with the subconscious mind, (the part of us that runs on automatic pilot), even though our conscious mind may have healthier, newer ideas that fit us now.

That means when I run into obstacles, I make changes in my subconscious mind to help me continue traveling with ease toward where I choose to go, who I choose to be. Often, when I read books, I write sentences down word for word and check if that wisdom is already true for me.  If it isn’t, I ‘install’ that wisdom into my subconscious mind.  So wisdom is becoming a habit, an automatic response!

What obstacles have you encountered on your journey?

Again in a word:  fearWhat will my family think if I become a bodyworker?  How will I pay the bills?  Yikes, three clients this week!


I return to:  This is what I want to do and offer, current with all I know now. Of course, knowing PSYCH-K, I ‘upgrade my personal software’ with subconscious beliefs that support new directions.  In the 80’s, I didn’t know these change processes that align my conscious and subconscious minds, so I committed (over and over …!; sound familiar?) and carried on.

At the beginning of this journey, my promise was to complete one task a day to bring my dream closer.  Making a phone call, requesting information, sometimes the simplest thing counted as the one task.  As time passed and momentum built, three things, ten things a day got done in the pursuit of a life that was meaningful and joyful.

How do you maintain your excitement and enthusiasm for living from your heart?

The delight and relief that people feel after changing their beliefs is what keeps my enthusiasm alive; they often call to share their I-can’t believe-it!, guess-what-just-happened-for-the-first-time-ever?! stories.

This is my satisfaction; this is how I measure success.  This is a life well–lived!

Of course, the price of staying in business is making a profit so I can keep doing what I love.  To market, to market:  flyers, brochures, business cards, talks and meetings.  I hold local monthly practice sessions for everyone who completes a PSYCH-K Basic workshop with me.  Many clients recommend workshops, refer clients, buy gift certificates and spread the word.  May your work be blessed with these angels.

What inspirations can you offer people who are seeking to manifest their passions into a life lived on purpose?

Another bit of wisdom that serves me well in those uh-oh moments is Danaan Parry’s Fear of Transformation.  Here’s the link if you want to read it in full:

Most importantly, I’ve learned to trust that still, small voice that says “Go here”, “Be still” or whatever that wise voice shares.

For more information about Tracy, check out her website at

Anita Farrah

Anita began her journey towards a life on purpose when she began her yoga practice 25 years ago.  At the time it was intended to help her recover from the physical injuries she sustained in a car accident and to work through the stresses of corporate life.   After a long and successful career in management, Anita is now following her bliss as a yoga teacher, life coach, and glass bead artist.

As a yoga teacher Anita helps her students to listen inwardly and to connect to their source of energy. She teaches from the heart and is known for creating a nurturing environment that is flexible enough to accommodate the needs for each of the students.

Anita combines her business and yogic expertise as a Life and Business Coach.  She believes we are like gardens; sometimes a thing of beauty and abundance, and sometimes overgrown with weeds. Through coaching she helps her clients to clear the weeds and to live a more authentic, energized life.

As an extension of her yogic and creative side, Anita spends time working at her torch creating handmade glass beads and jewelry.  Time at the torch is her moving meditation.




I asked Anita to share her thoughts about her work, her process, how she has created a life filled with passion and purpose.

How does one live a life on purpose?

“It doesn’t happen all at once.  You become.”

The Velveteen Rabbit – Margery Williams

Living a life on purpose doesn’t just happen; you become.  For some of us it takes a very long time and for others it can be pretty quick.  For me it was a series of wake up calls that I chose to listen to.

The car wreck was a great wake up call; a really big message from the universe that my life was a wreck.  After taking a year off to heal, I was able to begin taking yoga classes and that’s how it all started….. I chose to live differently.

Another wake up call; this time offered by my employer through a workshop.  It came with some powerful questions about living a more authentic life. I had to rethink how to balance my home and work lives – HAD TO!

What obstacles did you encounter as you shifted your heart’s desires into the work that sustains you?

The first obstacle was realizing I didn’t love the job I was great at. After realizing I could make some changes in my work and could take steps towards balance in my personal life I began to feel more energized.  With the help of my boss we were able to create a job that was perfect for me and the company.

How did you manifest your passions into a life that supports you financially, spiritually and emotionally?

Eventually, my employer sent me for training to become a Life Coach in order to bring that philosophy into the workplace.  It was a perfect fit for me and the timing was right.  The more I worked with the coaching model and my clients the more I loved my work.

Then came 9/11 and another great big wake up call for me.  So many lives lost in an instant, no second chance to live a more authentic life……  I knew it was time to begin to move towards my secret passion – to teach yoga.  All the self limiting thoughts came to surface – how would I support myself, what would life be like without the paycheck and wonderful benefits…..

It was time to trust, dare to live with the unknown, and ask for help. With the help of a coach, family and friends, I was able to put an exit plan in place, to research yoga teaching training programs, and time to build up my own coaching client base.  I had the foundation set, a starting point for the next great adventure.

How do you maintain your excitement and enthusiasm for living from your heart?


Before I get out of bed in the morning I set an intention for the day, give thanks for the people in my life, and then do a short yoga practice.  It’s amazing how this routine helps to kick start the day.  It’s also important to connect with others who live from that place.

How do you measure your successes?


Success is more of a feeling for me, a sense of ease and connection.  It’s knowing that I am able to make a difference in this world and I am helping others to rediscover joy and beauty. Success for me is being able to live a quiet comfortable life with the people I love.

What inspirations can you offer people who are seeking to manifest their passions into a life lived on purpose?


Take the time to listen inwardly for guidance and dare to do what you hear….. Ask for assistance, you are not alone.

To learn more about Anita and her work, visit her website at You can purchase her beautiful glass beadwork and jewelry at

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

If you do what you love and love what you do

and would like to be featured in the Passionate People Project

send me an email

with a little information about yourself and a link to your website.

Join the Spark the Heart community by entering your info in the box at the top of the page on the right

and receive the free e-zine Sparks for the Heart and be the first to hear about new heart-sparking opportunities.