Stephen Andersen at Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa. Among other projects and a continued connection to the Peace Corps Steve is presently involved with Build a Better Planet, a non-profit organization this was founded in Boise, Idaho, to promote sustainable living. www.buildabetterplanet.org/whoweare.html
Stephen may be reached at http://steveandersen.net/
“I remember Susan often saying that she wished she had done this and done that. I thought to myself, ‘I don’t want to be wishing at the end of my life: I want to do the absolute best with my life now!’… So, as odd as it sounds, her death was a gift because it woke me up.”
– from Those Who Walk with Fire, Chapter 22
Cary Bayer is a Life Coach, meditation teacher, workshop leader and author of Prosperity Aerobics. He coaches people all over the world,and teaches classes such as: Finding One’s Purpose; Breakthroughs; The Inner Journey, and The Healing Power of Laughter. Cary’s mission is to spread the word of new possibilities for our lives, using his humor, playfulness, and wisdom.
“My earliest incident of passion would have been at about five years of age. My father, whose name is Sam, and his brother Dave, both of whom had a terrific sense of humor, were at one of our family get-togethers and they just clicked with each other, and got everyone laughing uproariously. In fact, they were so funny that my father had tears coming down his face. My experience was that I was filled with tremendous feelings of joy and happiness. It was one of those Kodak moments where time stopped for me; I looked around the room, saw all this happiness, and thought, I want to do that!
- - from Those Who Walk with Fire - Chapter 20
Francis is a personal trainer, body builder, and triathlon participant.His passion for training both himself and those who come to him wishing to physically transform themselves, has literally saved his life and brought him a sense of purpose and pleasure beyond his "wildest dreams."
"During this time I was being transformed from an overweight, out of shape, low-esteem fat guy into someone I really began to like! I didn't quite understand it at the time, but my commitment to the training and my physical changes enabled me to have a spiritual and emotional transformation as well."
- from Those Who Walk with Fire, Chapter 7
“We started singing a chant based on the prayer of St. Francis, and the line, “as I awaken the living Christ inside of me” caused me to tear up. As I repeated the chant, I seemed to be pressed back into my chair as if I was a passenger in a speeding automobile!”
- from Those Who Walk with Fire - chapter 33
Jim Fuller, 55 years old, is the pastor and spiritual leader of the congregation at Unity Church, in Albany, New York. With his can-do approach, wisdom, compassion, and excitement for life, Jim has created a loving and highly energized environment within his church community. He and his wife Kay reside in Delmar, New York.
Pictured on the left, Jim is a 60 year-old Social Worker who works primarily in the addictions field. His professional work is focused on helping families that have been affected by the alcoholism or chemical dependency of a loved one. His passion for this work has motivated him and Dr. Judith Landau to pioneer a new method of Invitational Intervention called the Arise Method, that assists families to get resistant loved ones into treatment at earlier stages than had previously been thought possible. Jim is also an avid sportsman whose spirituality and commitment to learning and his personal growth, inform every aspect of his life. “I do a fair amount of backpacking and other outdoor activity, and I have a philosophy that says, pack out more than you pack in! What that means is that I will pick up little pieces of trash and litter that people leave along the trail or in a campsite in some remote place. I also view that metaphorically in how I try to live my life. When I leave this life I intend to leave it a better place than it was when I arrived…”
“I do a fair amount of backpacking and other outdoor activity, and I have a philosophy that says, pack out more than you pack in! What that means is that I will pick up little pieces of trash and litter that people leave along the trail or in a campsite in some remote place. I also view that metaphorically in how I try to live my life. When I leave this life I intend to leave it a better place than it was when I arrived…”
“The next day I set out without water and eventually came to a Mountain pass near the border of Idaho and Wyoming through which Lewis and Clark had traveled and where there was reported to be a spring. After searching for a while, I found water and cooked the dinner I’d not been able to have the night before. I then wrote a letter to my friend, and slowly became aware my feelings were changing from despair to confidence. I can do this, I thought, I can really do this!”
– from Those Who Walk with Fire , chapter 4
Jennifer is a computer consultant and full-time mom, living in Latham, New York with her son Noah, daughter, Eliana, and her life partner Denise. Her passion for hiking, and a desire to always find out what’s around the bend, led her to hike the Continental Divide from Mexico to the Canadian Border. In the process she broke free of old limits and fears which had limited her development as a person.
Just released, Hiking the Continental Divide Trail is Jennifer’s account of her thrilling journey on the Continental Divide as well as her tips for preparation for such an undertaking.
"Growing up we never hugged or expressed our love to each other, so this has never been easy for me. In the clown outfit, however, I feel safe to learn how to do that. Now I'm a hugging person. When somebody's hurting I just give them a hug; it's so comforting and I really don't have to say anything."
Carol Sue lives in SaratogaSprings, New York with her husband george. She's mom to to three adult children: Dirk, Tammy, and Vickie, and grandmother to seven. Carol Sue is also proud to be known as Sonshine the Clown and Miss Piggy Sue. She's brought healing and joy into her life and to those she comes in contact with through her passion for clowning.
--from chapter 26, Those WHo Wal;k with Fire
Photo: Jackie Hawkins, on the right with two of her classmates, at Unity Institute in Unity Village, Missouri. where she is currently studying to become a Unity Minister. This was the occasion of classmate’s Eric Page’s final chapel service in the Fillmore Chapel, before his graduation in June of 2011.
“Recently, I had an opportunity to publicly perform a song, based on a poem I’d written, and even though I was nervous and a bit apprehensive, once I got up there and really did it I thought, Oh, my goodness…what a high! It was another way for me of channeling love, and feeding this passion of mine, and it was a demonstration of God working through me. It’s been my experience that, spiritual passion is God working through me in a way that just sends me to another place.”
– from Those Who Walk with Fire, Chapter 13
Steve Holmes' life-passion is working with, and empowering people who live with physical disabilities. Steve is a musician, songwriter extraordinaire, and the Director of the Self Advocacy Association of New York State. He is the father of two adult children, Matthew and Stephanie, and lives in Albany, New York with his wife Cathy.
“I’m a soul on a journey like you,
trying to do all the things I can do
With the help of a few friends like you,
we could build a new world or two.
I can dream, I can dream, I can dream.”
[ From the song, “I’ve Got a Song in My Heart,” composed by Steve Holmes ]
- From Those Who Walk with Fire, Chapter 23
VISIONS - a play about addiction...
Bob LoBue, Author
Robert LoBue or Bob L. as he is known to many of his close friends is the author, producer, and director of Visions, a play depicting the story of drug and alcohol addiction from an insider's perspective.Over the past 19 years and despite having no previous experience as a writer, his play, performed mainly by volunteer actors---recovering addicts and many who have lived in the orbit of those addicted---has offered hopw to thousands of people in the Northeast who have lived with the destructive effects of addiction.
“After most Visions shows, the audience jumps out of their seats cheering, applauding and thanking us. The Visions troupe, however, who have suffered great losses and pain in their own lives, always wants to thank the audience, because in serving them, they know they are serving the ONE who is carrying them all.”
– from Those Who Walk with Fire, chapter 12
"I knew something powerful had happened to me during that month's renewal. I had been asked on a couple of occasions to give homilies after retreats I led, because the retreats had been so powerful! I think I had touched such a deep place in myself that I didn't know even existed. God certainly spoke strongly to me in those days."
Connie Messit is a Roman Catholic Sister of St. Joseph who resides in Chestertown, New York, where since 1987 she has been Co-Director of the Priory Retreat House, an interfaith retreat/renewal center. A passionate woman she sees her special gifts of encouraging and listening, as her avenues for making the world a better place.
Axial Theatre, the theatre Howard co-founded, is now in it's 12th season. Howard's latest play, WELCOME, This is a Neighborhood Watch Community, is being staged in November 2010 by Drama Desk Award-Wining director Josh Hecht and featured David Deblinger, co-founder of the acclaimed LABrynth Theatre. His new website is http://howardmeyer.info/
“When I was a kid I had athletic courage—I was a real warrior on the ball field. Facing my demons as an adult, however, demanded a much deeper level of courage. I was challenged to become a warrior on a whole different plane. In pursuing my dreams I’ve had to cultivate faith and a belief that good things can happen, rather than focusing on the bad things that might occur. That seems to fuel my courage.” –from Those Who Walk withFire , Chapter 6
“Living passionately is not about success or about accomplishments. It’s about the journey. When you are passionate, even the smallest things become enjoyable because you are living in the moment with awareness and enthusiasm. I think that unless you’re living passionately you’re missing the force of life.”
Sandesh Naik, 53, lives in Albany, New York. He brings great enthusiasm, curiosity, and drive to all he does. As Dr. Bengali, he regales audiences at a wide variety of venues around the country with his high-energy showmanship, humor, and ability to playfully manipulate and hypnotize groups of willing volunteers at his performances. For the past few years, he’s also been developing his“chops” as a stand-up comic. To say he brings passion to all he does would not be an overstatement.
- from Those Who Walk with Fire, chapter 10
Sandesh's website is http://www.bengalihypnosis.com/
I include Anne here in this gallery of contributors because it was at a Wild Soul Retreat that she facilitated outside Burlington, Vt.,in 2006 where I gave birth to the dream that became Those Who Walk with Fire. It was Anne's expertise in providing a safe and stimulating environment, and later, her passion, time and encouragement that allowed my own passion for this project to become activated. I will forever be grateful to her for her part in this journey of mine.
In November of 2006 Anne created Soul Flares, an educational nonprofit organization dedicated to providing the resources and inspiration needed to live a purposeful and soulful life in harmony with nature and all beings. The mission of Soul Flares is about reaching beyond boundaries, gathering together kindred souls and creating the conditions for transformation, acceptance, and love.Anne does that through her workshops and Wild Soul Weekends that she facilitates around the country, as well as her free, online newsletter, Letters From an Open Heart.
website - www.Soulflares.org e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org
“To be a conduit for positive musical energy in the world is truly my great passion. As insignificant as Sonny and I are in this great big world, I still feel that because we have been called to something, and are living out our calling, that eventually the musical energy we leave here, will have some kind of positive and healing affect on this planet.”
Perley is a vivacious, warm, engaging, and deeply passionate woman who combines a love for singing and performing, with great artistry and a fervent desire to bring joy and healing through her music. Her ability to draw an audience into the story of a song creates an intimate connection between her and her listeners. Together with her husband of 24 years, pianist Sonny Daye, she brings her music to various venues throughout the United States as “Sonny and Perley.” From time to time they also perform with their 20-year-old daughter, Desiree, who plays guitar and sings. - from chapter 5, THose Who Walk with Fire.
website - www.sonnyandperley.com
Shown here with her niece, Hannah, Catherine Is passionate and convicted about her love for her life’s work. At present she is a self-employed landscape architect, living on the outskirts of Providence, Rhode Island. Her passion for landscape architecture blossomed at the end of a long and rather unexpected journey through various paths to find work which truly fit the person she is.
“I would love to create spaces that would enable people to have the sort of profoundly inspiring outdoor experiences I’ve been privileged to have in my lifetime.”
- from Those Who Walk with Fire, chapter 8