Following Your Passion

I have heard these sayings all my life, “do what you love and the money will follow”, “follow your passion:, “do what you love and you will never work a day in your life”. I am sure you have heard these things as well. From parents, teachers, well meaning friends, counselors. Have you ever thought that it was impossible? You may have been unable to figure out what your passion is, or you may have been living with the negative thought pattern that there is no way to make a living doing what you love. We all get caught up in the rat race, work hard, make a living, raise a family, going though the motions every day but without joy, without passion. Not necessarily unhappy or depressed, but never really living in joy.

The first step in following your passion is to understand what your passion is.  Some of you may already know, the burning desire may have been with you your entire life.  Some of you may not realize that the things you enjoy doing more than anything else, the things that light you up and make you lose track of time are your passion.  It is about what makes you so joyful and fulfilled when you are doing them that you would do it forever without getting paid if you thought you could get away with it.  Once you know what that passion is, that activity or cause that makes your soul sing, then you need to discover how to turn that into a career, or at least a side business.  You don’t have to quit your day job just yet.  You can start exploring opportunities that will utilize the skill set you enjoy or that will put you in situations where you can provide services to things you care about, whether that is helping children, the homeless, or animals.

So do some soul searching and when you discover what it is that sets your soul on fire – GO FOR IT!  Find a way to turn your passion into the future you envision for yourself!  If you can dream it you can achieve it.  If you can imagine it you can bring it into being!  If you need any guidance figuring out what your passion is or how to turn that into a career I am available for one on one coaching.  Feel free to email me or leave a comment below.  I want everyone to live a life of joy!


Posted in achieving your dreams, joyful living, law of attraction, passion, positive thinking, self help, Storyline | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Delicious Plant Based Food

I get asked frequently “what do you eat?”  Because I am trying to lose a significant amount of weight, I don’t eat a lot, mostly raw veggies and fruits, with a small amount of nuts.  I have lost 22 pounds, reduced my blood pressure by at least 20 points and my cholesterol by at least 40 points in less than 3 months.  I do eat some cooked foods, generally for dinner.  Here are some of my favorites and I also save a lot of recipes on Pinterest.  There are plant based alternatives for anything and everything you would want, replacements for all your favorite foods including burgers, hot dogs, pulled pork, etc.  So I thought I would share some of my favorites as well as some that my vegan friends rate very highly.  Plant based, whole foods are just as delicious, or more so, than the traditional American diet while saving the planet, the animals, and your health.  I encourage you to give a plant based diet a try, even if just one day a week, or better yet for one full week.

One of my favorite brands of meat alternatives is Gardein.  Here are some of their products that I keep in my freezer. I love their sliders, burgers and strips.

More yummy products here: Gardein foods

One of my go to dinners that is quick, easy, fast and so yummy is to slice zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes and onions, stack in a baking dish, season with olive oil, rosemary, thyme, turmeric, salt and pepper and top with a good vegan cheese.  Yummy!

Zucchini squash casserole

Another favorite brand for me is Amy’s Kitchen.  I love their vegan options such as black bean enchiladas, black bean tamale, and black eyed pea bowl.

More great Amy’s Kitchen choices here.

This is a drop in the bucket as far as vegan options out there.  It is one of the fastest growing segments of the food industry, both in grocery stores and restaurants.  More and more people are discovering the health benefits of a plant based diet thanks in part to movies like PlantPure Nation and Forks Over Knives.  Those two got me started on this path.  The more I learned about the importance of plant based foods for health, for the planet, and for the animals it became crystal clear to me that this is something worth fighting for.

I will be posting more recipes, meal plans and suggested products to help everyone have a delicious experience with plant based, whole foods eating.  If you have any questions or would like suggestions please ask in the comments below.  And if you have some favorite vegan meals you would like to share please do!  I would be happy to answer any questions or provide any help and support you need to adopt a lifestyle that helps the animals and the planet while promoting improved health and longevity!

Posted in animal advocacy, Healthy choices, Informed choice, joyful living, positive thinking, recipes, self help, Storyline, vegan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Positive Advocacy

In my ongoing quest for knowledge and information that will enable me to help people, animals and the planet, I have run across a very good term that describes perfectly what my mission in life is. I have learned that staying positive and putting forth a positive message is the best way to both help people and gain their trust and attention. By putting forth a negative message you push people away before they can hear your message and you also reduce your own strength by emanating out to the universe negative thoughts. I found this great site that is a perfect explanation of positive advocacy as it applies to trying to facilitate positive change in the world.

Positive Advocacy 101
“Positive Advocacy is the application of positive psychology and the psychology of self-change to the field of animal advocacy. Unlike positive thinking, positive psychology is a well-researched field, based on the scientific study of the strengths and qualities that enable us to flourish. It rests on the hypothesis that we have a deep need to live a meaningful and rewarding existence, to nurture our humanity and to experience our daily activities to the fullest (love, work, play, and of course… animal advocacy).”

The more I learn about the industries, policies and laws (or lack thereof) throughout history regarding the foods we eat, where they come from, how they are produced and how uninformed the majority of consumers are, the more my mission in life becomes crystal clear.  I fully intend to research, learn, study and read everything I can on how this entire system of injustices and atrocities has been allowed to develop to where it is at today and how it affects all lives, including the workers in these industries as well as the health of our nation.  I plan to be a positive advocate of change, working to educate people through community outreach, online presence, personal appearances, as well as attending festivals and other events where our message can be promoted.  I do not intend to tell anyone how they should live their lives or what they should or should not eat.  My goal is to inform and educate so that everyone can make the right choice for themselves in terms of their health, what is right for society, what is right for all living beings.  I hope you join me in becoming educated about where the food on your plate comes from and how it is produced.  I know you all want only what is best for yourself, your family and everyone on planet earth.

Posted in animal advocacy, Healthy choices, Informed choice, joyful living, positive thinking, self help, Storyline, vegan | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Keeping it Positive

Sometimes I need to take my own advice and remind myself the importance of maintaining a positive attitude and always being grateful and thankful for all the good things in my life.

Descending into the vegan world and allowing myself to read about and view stories of the atrocities and horrors of the way humans treat sentient beings was starting to affect my ability to maintain my positive thoughts and my joy.  I have to step back and remind myself that I will not be able to help anyone or make positive changes if I don’t stay positive myself.  If I allow myself to sink into depression I am not benefiting anyone, including the animals.  I have to remember to start and end each day with my mantras and affirmations.  It is important that we spend time each day centering and grounding, meditating or at least de-stressing.  Maintaining a positive attitude has so many benefits.  Not only does it help us to experience all the joy life has to provide but it also helps us help others.  By being grateful, thankful, and joyful we can inspire others and help pull them out of their dark places.

From Raccoon Poop to Pansies From my first book, From Raccoon Poop to Pansies, “Think of it this way, the more positive energy you add to the mix, the more positive the world’s energy level becomes.  Another way to pay it forward, the more you send out positive thought waves, the more other people feel good being around you, and the more they want to learn your “secret” for being so happy and positive all the time.  By teaching others these simple, yet powerful, principles, you can help them to turn their lives around and move closer to their dreams.”  

No matter what life throws at you or how helpless you feel, always know that you can do anything you put your mind to by maintaining a positive attitude, believing in yourself and never, ever giving up!


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Melding passions

For most of my life I have heard “follow your passion” and “do what you love”.  Yet I have spent the past almost 40 years in the high tech industry, and being very good at it.  But the passion was not there.  I started writing in 2007 but never took that step to publish my work until last year.  I released From Raccoon Poop to Pansies last August.  That gave me the confidence to continue to pursue my passion of inspiring and helping others through my writing and I released The Power of Thankfulness and Claim Victory, Not Victim within the next few months.  I have had people tell me that my books have helped them escape major depression or helped motivate them to turn their lives around.  That is what passion is for me – helping others live a joy filled life and learn to choose happiness regardless of their life circumstances.

Then enter my transformation to veganism.  I have always been an animal lover and have always felt guilt and darkness in my soul when eating animal products but never went past being a vegetarian, or pescatarian.  And I would slip back into the “fast food” habit.  But something changed in me recently.  I started a plant based diet for health reasons but soon started learning more about the atrocities of the meat and dairy industries and am now fully committed to strict veganism.  No animal products of any kind and no products that aren’t cruelty free.  Not only for myself but I am now passionate about being a voice for the animals and intend to devote the rest of my life to doing whatever I can to open eyes and change minds.  Supporting organizations like Vegan Outreach and American Vegan Society and donating to farm animal sanctuaries like The Gentle Barn and Farm Sanctuary are a few ways that I can help end animal violence.

At first I thought my passions were changing but what I am doing is combining my love of helping people live a joy filled life with my passion for animals.

From the site Positive Advocacy 101 : “Positive Advocacy is the application of positive psychology and the psychology of self-change to the field of animal advocacy. “

After all, the animals also deserve a joy filled life, right?  I am so thrilled and excited about writing and speaking at events to help people and all living creatures have the life of their dreams!

Posted in animal advocacy, joyful living, law of attraction, positive thinking, self help, Storyline, vegan | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Choices and Voices

We have so many choices every day.  Big ones and small ones.  Most we do not even think much about.  Some we stress over.  We need to start being more mindful of our choices and using our voices (and our pocket books) to make our choices count.  Do you ever think about how the media, whether that is TV, the Internet, print advertising, or whatever form it takes, manipulates you?  We are bombarded constantly with advertising.  And it is all designed to manipulate us into purchasing that product.  Regardless of whether we need it or not, want it or not, or whether it will benefit us or not.  I mute all commercials on TV because I hate them.  The funny thing about that is I see commercials as a joke.  The latest trend seems to be dancing.  It doesn’t matter if they are selling cars or cereal, if you buy that product you will start dancing.  Really?  If I buy this particular food product or makeup or bug spray or any myriad of products, I will suddenly be able to dance like a fool and even ride a bicycle or climb a mountain.  I am all for capitalism, I have owned several businesses, but I am also strong on ethics.  And I find nothing ethical about the way most products are marketed.  Not to mention how they are produced.

If you had a choice, if you were informed, what would you choose?  Do you think manufacturers should be required to disclose in their advertising whether or not their products are tested on animals?  Companies have a choice.  There are plenty of companies, and products, not tested on animals.  You have a choice.  The problem is unless you specifically go hunting and do research you don’t know if a product you buy is tested on animals or not.  I think most people assume they are not.  When you see beautiful women dancing with mascara  (not naming names due to liability but they are the ones you all know and love and use every day) you have no idea that the product you have been using most of your life blinds a hundred thousand beagles a year.  Or that your makeup causes pain, suffering and death to cats, dogs and rabbits.  I do believe that if people knew that and knew they had a choice they would choose the kinder alternative.  And there are plenty of companies that don’t test on animals.  Some of which you would be familiar with. It is all about choices.  And making your voice heard.  Tell the companies to disclose their testing practices so you can make informed choices.  And let your pocket book be your voice.  If we stop buying these products they will get the message and change to meet consumer demand.

There are plenty of lists online of companies that do, and do not, test their products on animals.  If you are looking for a specific product just search for ” is <product> cruelty free”.  Companies and products have to meet certain criteria to be certified cruelty free.  Here is one of my go-to lists:
Leaping Bunny Approved Brands

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Coming out as a vegan

I am a vegan.  A very committed vegan.  A fairly new vegan.  Some will hate me.  Some will tell me it is a fad and will pass.  Some will think I am crazy.  So be it.  On this journey of self discovery and learning to be true to myself and honor the spirit within me I finally realized that I can no longer deny my love of animals and my disgust with myself when I eat them.  We have all been brainwashed to think that is just “the way it is”, that brutally slaughtering billions of animals a year is normal behavior for humans and nothing to be concerned about.  You know what?  That is wrong.  And I believe that  far too many people are killing a part of their own soul when they consume meat.  They just aren’t in touch with their inner spirit enough to know it, or are unwilling and unable to acknowledge it.  We have brainwashed our society into thinking it is perfectly okay to treat other living beings as products, or food, instead of the loving, trusting, souls they are.  As children we love all animals, we loved to go to petting zoos and pet the goats and chickens and pigs.  Suddenly we grow up and are supposed to be okay with eating them?  Really?  Where did we go so wrong?  Why are we okay with eating some animals but not others?  There is no real difference between pets and farm animals except the societal conditioning we have all been subjected to.  Then there are the people who say they can never give up their steak or burger or whatever meat.  In today’s world there are plenty of meat alternatives that can offer the same taste and texture of meat but are plant based alternatives.  Meat in itself does not have a lot of taste.  It is whatever you season it with.  I have had veggie burgers that were better than meat burgers.  I am not going to start telling horror stories of how the animals are raised, how they are treated, the unbelievable pain and suffering they go through not only when they are slaughtered but the horrible lives they live.  I don’t want to scare everyone away because then no one would listen to what I have to say.  This is too important.  We must stop the madness!  We have to start creating a kinder, gentler world where all living creatures are honored, loved and given basic rights.  Yes, there are human rights issues that are horrific and must be addressed.  I am not taking anything away from those causes.  But the one that is nearest to my heart and causes my soul the most pain is the atrocities carried out on animals in the meat and dairy industries.  I started this journey for health reasons, after watching Forks Over Knives and PlantPure Nation.  There is plenty of scientific evidence that eating a plant based, whole foods diet can prevent, or even cure, a large percentage of the health issues facing our nation today.  Heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, even cancer.  My cholesterol is down, my blood pressure is down and I have lost 20 pounds, all within 10 weeks.  So if you won’t do it for the animals, do it for you.  And the animals will benefit.  Remember that every hamburger starts with an animal screaming for it’s life.  And every burger or steak you don’t eat is one more precious life saved.

Posted in Healthy choices, Storyline, vegan | 2 Comments