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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Passion & Purpose

From the moment I realized that I would need to trade my precious time on Earth for money in order to make a living, I thought, “How unfortunate it will be if I spend so much life force doing something I’m not passionate about!” I felt it was my birthright to express myself creatively and couldn’t conceive of life any other way.

With an art degree as a springboard, in my 20s I fortunately discovered that I had a knack for creating small businesses fueled by my latest passion. Because I was into being vibrantly healthy, learning all about natural foods and healing led me to help start up two natural food co-ops and operate a natural foods café. Later, with two preschoolers at home, I ran my own garage-based sprout factory. Busily packaging the little alfalfa sprouts into my Rainbow Sproutery pint-sized containers, I mused about ways I could make bigger contributions to humanity. I was learning that income followed to the extent that I was clear about what mattered most.

Meanwhile, my quest for personal and spiritual growth continued to guide me to helpful teachers, books and seminars. I kept asking: What greater purpose am I here for? How can I best use my creative talents and gifts to serve the greater good?

An inspired idea to launch a natural living magazine kept niggling at the back of my mind, yet I knew zip about publishing. Sometimes being naïve is a good thing… I took the leap, wrote a mission statement and was soon sharing my vision with anyone that would listen.

Before long, a team of two birthed the inaugural issue of Natural Awakenings, in Southwest Florida. Its pages were filled with my vision of a community of caring and resourceful contributors, all committed to expressing their own passions in ways that help others live healthier and happier lives. My unfolding purpose had found a new home.

With the able support of a team better than any I could have hoped for, that modest magazine has now grown into a family of 85 Natural Awakenings publishers, passionately spreading light in cities across the country.

This month’s special Passion & Purpose issue is packed with inspiring ideas to assist you in taking your next leap forward. Janet Attwood, co-author of The Passion Test, reminds us that living in line with our passion embraces every facet of our life. She recommends recording our life-defining passions as a guidepost. “Whenever you are faced with a choice, a decision or an opportunity, choose in favor of your passion,” she counsels.

The good news is that when you discover what you love and commit yourself to aligning your life with it, magic happens. Things you thought were impossible become possible. Doors open. People and resources appear. This I know for sure.

I feel grateful this Thanksgiving and every day that I am able to invest my time in work that inspires readers like you—now more than 3 million strong around the country—as we all join in making our world a more beautiful place to be.

May we all live our passions out loud,




Sharon Bruckman, Publisher