Category Archives: Spiritual

Awakening Your Soul’s Joy: A Writing Retreat




Awakening Your Soul’s Joy:  

A Writing Retreat


Welcome in the Spring Equinox and New Moon Window With a Powerful Journey to a Newer, More Joy-filled You

 Hosted by:  Bonnie Salamon

You’ve known for a long time that your writing has power. It’s time to set it free.


Reserve your place with a $100.00 non-refundable deposit (applied to total cost) no later than 2/25/15; balance due by 3/10/15

And, as a Special Bonus, if you BRING A FRIEND to the writing retreat, you will receive a private session with either Nanette Littlestone or Ruthanne Warnick.

For more information, or to reserve your place, contact Bonnie at or 404-502-0497

Featured Speakers: 

Nanette Littlestone - Author, editor, publisher, owner of Words of Passion
Ruthanne Warnick
- Certified Legacy Advisor, owner of Capture the Journey
Mardeene Burr Mitchell 
- Photojournalist, writer, publishing/ literary consultant, and producer of events for writers; owner of Visionaries to Light 
Bonnie Salamon
- Facilitator, Coach, Spiritual Companion, Life Cycle Facilitator, Life Cycle Celebrant, owner of Autumn’s Fire and
Sunflower Ceremonies

Whether you are writing to be published, or putting your thoughts down on paper for your eyes only, this workshop will bring new awareness, depth and clarity to your efforts. In addition to trained writers and editors, there will be exercises to invite your muse and open your imagination. And, you will have plenty of free time in the beautiful north Georgia mountains to write to your heart’s content.

When:  Friday, March 20, 2015, 1:00 pm through Sunday, March 22, 2015, 2:00 pm

Where:  Unicoi State Park in picturesque northeast Georgia – only two hours from Atlanta

unicoi 1unicoi_streamunicoi 2

For more information, or to reserve your place, contact Bonnie at or call 404-502-0497.

Plan now to join us for these informative and instructional creative sessions:

  • Friday Afternoon: Awakening Your Soul’s Joy - Bonnie Salamon
  • Friday Evening: Brainstorming Your Idea / Vision / Writing Project - Mardeene Burr Mitchell
  • Saturday Morning: Letters for a Lifetime: Writing Your Words of Wisdom, Values, Gratitude, and Love Ruthanne Warnick
  • Saturday Evening: Bringing Forward Your Courageous Heart (film)
  • Sunday Morning: Rev Up Your Story With GMC (Goal, Motivation, Conflict) - Nanette Littlestone

You’ve known for a long time that your writing has power. It’s time to set it free.


Reserve your place with a $100.00 non-refundable deposit (applied to total cost) no later than 2/25/15; balance due by 3/10/15 free.

And, as a Special Bonus, if you BRING A FRIEND to the writing retreat, you will receive a private session with either Nanette Littlestone or Ruthanne Warnick.

Cost: Includes all workshops, lodging, and lunches on Saturday and Sunday; coffee breaks; gratuities and taxes; all workshop supplies

  • Double Occupancy: $449 (king or queen beds)
  • Single Occupancy:   $575
  • Day Rate:                  $295 (workshops, lunches, refreshments, and supplies included; lodging excluded)
  • Payment plans are available upon request; call Bonnie for details
  • Handicap accessible
  • Dietary restrictions honored (advise if gluten or dairy free or other restrictions)
  • Checks should be made payable to Autumn’s Fire and mailed to: Bonnie Salamon, 921  Canterbury Rd., Gainesville, GA  30504
  • PayPal also accepted (major credit cards are accepted through PayPal); PayPal account
  • Private sessions during free time will be available from the facilitators for an additional fee

For more information, or to reserve your place, contact Bonnie at or call 404-502-0497.

Program: The retreat will feature these workshops and will include free time to explore, write, journal – or just relax.

Nanette Littlestone is an intuitive writing coach and CEO of Words of Passion. She helps authors overcome writers block, master correct grammar, create strong structure, and write with clarity and passion by blending the technicalities of writing with intuition, emotion, and heart.

Rev Up Your Story With GMC (Goal, Motivation, Conflict)  This workshop takes a two-part approach to the age-old dilemma of developing a good idea into a good story. Using the principles of Goal, Motivation, and Conflict (GMC), you will learn how to identify the five elements crucial to every story, how to construct an outline using those elements, and how to create the tension crucial to every good story.

Ruthanne Warnick has a long history of interest in people’s experiences and stories, whether they live across the street or across the world . . . and whether their stories are of everyday life or exciting adventures. When Ruthanne realized the importance of capturing her own family’s stories, experiences, and wisdom, she combined her personal passion and professional experience to create Capture the Journey.

Letters for a Lifetime: Writing Your Words of Wisdom, Values, Gratitude, and Love  A legacy letter is a message from your heart – in your own words – that expresses your core values, life lessons, wisdom, gratitude or love. In this workshop, you will explore how to identify your core values, which life lessons are most important to you, and ways to express your thoughts in writing with no writing experience.

Mardeene Burr Mitchell, brings 32 years in the publishing and film industries as a photojournalist, writer, publishing/ literary consultant, and producer of events for writers, including Write the World writing conferences in Atlanta and Brazil. Her talent and company, Visionaries to Light, have attracted forward thinkers of the times. She has helped writers at all levels of writing, including initial story and book ideas, structuring and development of nonfiction books, book proposals, novels and synopses, screenplays and treatments, through the polishing and editing processes, to guiding them through the pitching and marketing phases.

Brainstorming Your Idea / Vision / Writing Project In this lively interactive workshop, we’ll customize the experience to assist each one of you wherever you may be in your process. We’ll focus on each participant as much as time allows, utilizing her or his needs to also include information and content that ideally is helpful to the group as a whole. We will focus on the practicalities of getting you to your next step in the writing–putting your ideas into form and how to publish and market yourself.

Bonnie Salamon is an author, entrepreneur, life coach, and owner of Autumn’s Fire and Sunflower Ceremonies. Bonnie is a facilitator of women’s groups through the processes of working with the Elements and by assisting women in finding new paths to their Essence and to the Divine by means of the Priestess Process.

Awakening Your Soul’s Joy: A Writing Retreat  This writing retreat takes place on the Spring Equinox AND the new moon. This is the time of beginnings; the sun is awakening and bringing fresh life into being. What a perfect time to plant our seeds for the growing season ahead. In our opening session, we will meet one another and be in meditation. Then we will connect with the Elements: Earth for our internal and external foundation, Water to open our heart space, Air to bring intention and clarity, and Fire to spark our creation. In Spirit’s loving embrace we will meet our joy and begin our journey together.

Private sessions during free time will be available from the facilitators for an additional fee.

For more information, or to reserve your place, contact Bonnie at or call 404-502-0497.


Goddesses in Older Women

Many of you are familiar with Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD, who revolutionized how we think about our archetypal selves in her blockbuster book, Goddesses in Every Woman.  As she has reached the s-aging part of her life, she wants us to know that we are STILL the goddesses we’ve always been…only now, we come with a wellspring of wisdom.  I could hardly put the book down this past weekend.

In her book Goddesses in Older Women, Dr. Bolen points out how we become invisible in our society as the years pass.  I’ve personally seen it in sales people, customer service representatives, and yes, even in the medical community.  If we are mindful, and we see this change in our place in society, we realize that we cannot buy into the hype of the stereotypic way we are seen (or not seen) in our world.  Our new role is to carry on as the magnificent mid- and later- life goddesses that we have grown to be.

In our Wisdom years, we find significant representations of who we were, and may still be, in many of the early goddesses .  Metis, mother of Athena, is swallowed by Zeus, as many women have been swallowed up by raising families, supporting a mate’s rise to success, or even being pushed aside by the patriarchy in business.  Athena, born from her father, Zeus’ head, is still ‘of’ him, and though she carries similar wisdom, she is not given the status that her intelligence deserves. Eventually, in her wisdom years, Athena sheds the desire for the goals of power and conquest, and gains her rightful place as a beacon of wisdom.

We are beginning to realize, at this stage of life, the fulfillment that comes from releasing ego and allowing our wisdom, our s-aging, to shine through.  We anchor our energies of compassion, giving, and joy, realizing that they are what really matters in the life we have always wished for.

Perhaps we must first become Kali (Hindu) or Sekhmet (Egyptian), to destroy the old belief system, the old status quo.  This is what Dr. Bolen calls the “enough is enough” archetype.  Then there is room to call on the Kwan Yin within us, the compassionate, selfless heart.  Alongside Kwan Yin is the archetype of the Virgin Mary, through whom the goddess is returning.  And, finally, Uzume, the Japanese Goddess of Mirth and Dance, takes her place as a crone-aged woman.  With Bawday Baubo, from Greek mythology, they create the axis of joy and humor.  For, what is our life, at this stage, if there is no humor, no joy?

It is the spring of our wisdom years.  We are beginning the connection to our goddess selves in the S-aging part of our lives.  Would you like to know more about replacing fear, disconnection, and doubt in your wisdom years?  I hope you will join me on Monday, March 31, for my FREE visioning session, S-aging Well:  Spirit-ed Living for Advanced Grownups.

Sage-ing: Spicing Up Your Life

sagingSage is such a versatile aromatic, especially at this time of year. Its uses are varied, from spicing up sumptuous holiday meats and veggies, to clearing out well-used sacred spaces. It’s a must-have for coaches, facilitators, and those of us who want to create sparkling energy fields.

But, sage is also a description of a discerning person, AND a noun expressing wisdom that goes deeply to the bone. When you SAGE, or are SAGE-ING, you are expressing your inner insightfulness, your truths gained from years of experience. YOU are a SAGE, SAGE-ING in a world that needs prudent and perceptive insights.

Many of us second guess our innate intelligence and thoughtfulness. We may fear judgment if we express our innermost guidance, and it is rejected. Or, we just don’t trust that the messages we carry are impactful enough! We may even feel that because these insights are a natural part of who we are, that they are not really special enough…we don’t recognize our gifts as such.

SO NOT TRUE!! . We fail to give credence to the impact of our thoughts on our family, friends, communities, and mass consciousness as a whole. Your energies influence the world!

In 2014, it’s my goal to help my clients dive into their pool of SAGENESS and step out into the energies of SAGE-ING. Your keen awareness is needed in our world tormented by fear, anger, and retaliation. Now is the time for speaking up and speaking out in your SAGENESS.

No matter how you celebrate this time of year, may it be peaceful, meaningful, and include a large serving of joy and SAGE-ING.

Good for the World

ID-10016416In my previous article, I shared with you some interesting perspectives on Life Purpose , from, commenting on an article published by Echoing Green. This article was entitled 10 Principles of Work on Purpose.  

As promised, I want to share with you 3 more of their Principles on Purpose. These are entitled “Good for the World.”

4. ________ Is What Matters

By selecting a social problem (or more than one) that matters to you, and staying focused, these become focal points in your life. Then, it is easier to have the freedom to say no to those things that fill your precious time, take your energy, and do not bring you closer to fulfilling your own life purpose. For those of us working as helping, healing, or spiritual guides and advisors, it is all too easy to be distracted by sights and scenes around us. Find that problem that you want to solve for yourself and your clients, and stick with it.

5. Act on Moments of Obligation

Once you have determined the social challenge that is pivotal for you, find an aspect of that problem that you can, AND WILL, work with. Once you have identified it, find the small steps (or big steps) that you can take to make a difference. If you are working with clients who face obstacles, large and small, depending on life experiences, this is the time to take your message to them, and to the world to assist in shrinking the challenge, one person at a time.

6. Take Perspective – Someone Else’s 

Echoing Green challenges each of us to seek out and understand other populations. We often pay lip service to being ecumenical, but know little of the cultures, peoples, and customs of these populations.

Take time for a deeper study and make space for some new perspectives each week. Many other cultures are so rich that they will enhance your life, your work, and reaching your Life Purpose.

Do you think it’s time for you to really connect more deeply with your life purpose? Join us on July 24 and September 11 for Life Lift! (Click here for more information

Next time, we will finish these 10 principles with the section BE BOLD. Have a great holiday and see you soon!

Principles of Purpose

IMGP9263My visit to Lake Louise (and other amazing places in Canada, and its inspiration, brought me back to refocus my energies on helping my clients work with Purpose. Then, an article serendipitously showed up in my email yesterday, from, commenting on an article published by Echoing Green. This article was entitled 10 Principles of Work on Purpose.

The first 3 principles are labeled Right for You. The other 2 were What is Good for the World, and finally, How to BE BOLD in reaching out for purpose.

To summarize, you should seriously consider journaling with these concepts:

1. Heart + Head = Hustle 
Simply stated it’s critical to align your heart space with the ‘ideas’ you have for your life’s purpose. In Natural Rhythms, that’s aligning the masculine and feminine axes to make sure that your ‘doing’ doesn’t over shadow your ‘being,’ and that your heartfelt love and compassion permeate the ‘work’ you plan to do in the world. Where have you allowed your head to overrule your heart’s desire?

2. Know What You’ve Got – Know What You Need
Do you feel as though the knowledge, understanding and insights you possess aren’t enough, and that you feel lacking in what you need to accomplish what you believe your purpose to be? If so, partner with someone, gain a mentor, take a course. You’ll soon find that you know more than you think you do! Your wisdom goes deeper than you think. You just need to access it. Plus, you’ll have a sounding board with whom to bounce ideas around.

3. Mine Your Past
Dialog with your past to learn what motivates you, what your long buried dreams are, what you have forgotten you know how to do. Even your most difficult times yielded teachings and learnings that have helped you through those challenges and made you the person you have become.

Because we sometimes feel that memories are too painful to bring into present-day consciousness, we have set aside the meaningful teachings that are there to be gleaned. Then use journaling time to reflect on these and see how they affect and magnify the present moment. In this way, you never stray far from the present moment, the place where you find joy and transformation.

Building Your Emotional Money Muscle

MONEYNo question that each of us has a money persona when we talk to our clients, and others, about money.  In the early years of running my collection agency, I developed Delores Bell, my alter-ego, who would help me handle tricky money conversations that I needed to have to collect money for my clients.  So, Delores was born.  She gave me the strength to have sensitive dialogs with more confidence.

Now I coach entrepreneurs who face these challenges today.  Here’s what happens…

  • You develop an amazing, content rich program that is really exciting and can help your clients/prospects with important life or business challenges.
  • You share this passion and joy with those clients/prospects, and they are enthusiastic about working with you.
  • You outline the program in detail, and then it’s time to tell them what it costs and ask for the sale.

Who Do You Become?

  1. The Mumbler who covers her mouth and squeaks out an indistinct utterance that has to be repeated to be heard.   Outcome:  the client/prospect no longer sees you as the person in charge – the one who can be strong in helping reach their goals.
  2. The Chameleon – You manage to tell your client/prospect the price, but when they express inability to pay, you’re ready to lower the price to make the sale.  Outcome:  the worth of what you offer then comes into question.  Not just for the client, but you yourself begin to doubt what your services are worth.
  3. The Head Nodder – Your client is all in, but says that she can only pay a lesser amount.  You nod your head and go along with the new price point.  Outcome:  Once again, you have abdicated control to your client, making accountability difficult for you to control in your program.  The client feels an ability to ‘slide’ through the program as they were able to slide down the price.
  4. The Silent One – You are so uncomfortable discussing fees that you bury your head in the sand, and do not pursue the clients who will build your business and boost your confidence.  Outcome:  You are mired in insecurity and back away from the myriads of opportunities coming your way.  You retreat to the hills for safety.

Isn’t it time to step out from behind these personae and step into your prosperity and abundance?  Click here to learn more about how to build your Emotional Money Muscle through my program Transforming Creativity into Cash, and see if you will qualify for a 25-minute COMPLIMENTARY coaching session with me.

Purpose and Prosperity – Third Act Success

One of my clients asked early in our professional relationship: “Isn’t it too late for me? I am almost 60 years old. How can I expect to start a business, build it up, and finally succeed, at this stage of life when I am slowing down?”

I explained to her, as I have to many clients since, that IT IS NOT TOO LATE! At age 55, I founded a non-profit called Ageless, which brought much-needed attention to the psychological challenges of an aging population caught between aging parents, and children still at home. At 60, Autumn’s Fire was my creation developed to assist those 50+ in their professional journey in a spiritual community. At 65, one of my long-held dreams, The Nourished Soul: Caring for Your YOUniverse Symposium, came to fruition, bringing unique and gifted facilitators and presenters together in one place for those who yearn for a breakthrough.

Certainly I am not unique in being a person who craved moving into my Life Purpose at a later stage of life. Just when I thought I was going to slow down a bit, begin to take it easy, I find myself with more exciting work to do than ever before. My joy and delight is palpable as I work with clients, helping clients move into their Life Purpose while gaining insights into how to reach out and capture prosperity.

So how does one begin in this process? It begins with a firm foundation of recognizing how to maximize strengths and handle challenges. It begins with an understanding of your lineage – the patterns and gifts that are in your DNA, or that you experienced in a prior life time. Whatever belief is comfortable to you.

Then reaching into a visceral understanding of Life Purpose, and the tools you have to reach it, is the next step.

Through the years, we change, but our essence remains the same. Perhaps life has caused us to squelch that essence, being busy with life’s challenges. Without the excavation of this basic knowledge, it’s very difficult to build a plan for a business.

Once the Essence becomes clear, we can rapidly identify the perfect client, choose your niche, decide how Spirit and unseen forces support your effort, and dreams.

So, what are your dreams, your unfinished/unstarted work, your path to fulfillment? Are you willing to figure out your work in the world, and step into your essence?

Self Doubt to Radiant Self:
 5 Simple Steps to Renewed Confidence

When confidence begins to fade, it isn’t just an inside job.  It doesn’t only wear away your inner resolve. Loss of confidence also affects your ability to communicate effectively, to ask for what you need, and consequently, to co-create your life’s dreams.

There’s no doubt that life throws curve balls our way, and there are times when disappointment and rejections pile up to overwhelm us.  Sometimes, just one more challenge, and it feels like everything is coming apart. That’s the time when, more than ever, we must put some basic principles into action

Here are mine:

1.  Balance Life Energies –
If you are reading this, you have probably done lots of ‘self’ work, including therapies, processes, workshops and seminars, and have taken advantage of lots of self-help possibilities, like books, tapes, etc.

Many of you may have ways to take a deeper inner look.  For me, I do this by working with the Elements of Earth, Water, Air and Fire for balancing of my ‘realms’ (read on) and my masculine and feminine axes.

In the study of Natural Rhythms, Earth represents the Physical Realm of all that we see, feel, touch – creations of man; creations of Nature.  Water is the emotional Realm whose current we want to run clean and clear just as we do the water we drink.  Air is the Mental Realm of thought, imagination, focus, and intention. Fire – well, fire is the Action Realm of running full life force.

If you think about it in terms of Nature, you know that life cannot be sustained without the balance of earth to produce the food needed by all humans and animals; water to nourish us all; air for breath, and the sun’s fire to warm the earth.  Water, too, is moved by the heat of the sun, the winds, and the moon.  Air and the winged ones pollinate plant life, and on and on it goes.  Remove just one element, and our world as we know it, collapses.  So it is within us.

If I am out of balance, it is because I have allowed one or more of the Elements to get out of balance within me.  As within, so without; as above, so below.  That’s the time to call on the Elements to help me find where I have allowed one element too much, or too little, influence over me.

2.  The second step toward renewing confidence is Co-Creation with Spirit.  For me, all the good that has come into my life has been as I connect with Spirit in the way that is meaningful for me.  TOGETHER we put in place what is meaningful and in alignment with my Life Purpose.  If my plans aren’t working out or I cannot get the answers I need, I realize that I have not aligned with Spirit in my process.

3.  In study after study, it has been proven that belonging to a like-minded community is essential to creating renewed confidence.  In life’s Third Act, especially, it is easy to disconnect from those who can best support us.  Our community, more than even our children or other family members, understand what we are experiencing at this time.  Knowing that others share some of our experiences gives us insights and support that is crucial for our well-being.  Often these friends can help us find a way through our issues.

And, while you are at it, reach out to those who need support.  It’s amazing how great you will feel about yourself when you do.  Whether it’s a peer, a community member, or total strangers, ‘doing good’ is a sure way to increase confidence.

4. Take Small Action – That’s right.  It doesn’t have to be big … it all starts with the single step.  Start with a written plan, or take the first step that you had outlined.  You can even just pick up the phone and make a call to get the energy rolling.  It doesn’t have to be the whole ‘to do’ list … Just start!

5.  Release the Outcome with Gratitude – We want what we want when we want it, don’t we?  How often are you really in control of the outcome of your plans?  You can set the plan, ask for co-creation with Spirit, and even work the plan.  After that, it’s time to release the outcome.  Spirit and the Universe may reward you beyond your greatest dreams.  But, not if you have a choke hold on the outcome.

To learn more about my individual Breakthrough Platinum Program. “Self Doubt to Radiant Self”, contact me at

If I Knew Then

Since I began this journey to authenticate myself, and find what it is in this world that I was meant to do, it has been my delight to share experiences (and experience) the younger generations in my family, in workshops, in retreats. Their connections to the spiritual part of themselves is exemplified in their awareness and consciousness. It is palpable, energizing, and inspirational. They are using the connections to their authenticity in every phase of their lives: it’s present in how they raise their children, run their businesses, develop relationships, and how they step out into the world.

It wasn’t so for my generation. Uh-uh! Conformity was at its height in my adolescent years. In the early 60s, we all wanted to wear our hair in a flip, wear Weejun loafers with our cranberry pencil skirts and pink shirts, and we watched American Bandstand every afternoon. We wanted to fit in. Most of us followed the teachings of our parents’ religion, and so we often colored within the lines (literally and figuratively).

But, the lid came off our fire in the mid-60s when flower children, love and Haight-Ashbury came on the scene. Some of us still resisted the day’s slogan, “Make love not war.” We were the ‘good girls.’ For many of us, myself included, our awakening often came later — much later in our 40s and 50s. Sometimes even in our 60s.

A few weeks ago, when I was visiting the Haight-Ashbury area of San Francisco, I found a mixed culture. Most of the run down rentals had been converted to lovely, stately, edifices, where the price tags were high. The streets were clean and quiet. We chatted with some aging hippies on their doorstep … they looked the same, but for sure their surroundings were different. Walk just a couple of blocks away, to Haight Street and the culture shifted: funky clothing shops; paraphernalia every few store fronts; unique eateries; and, an energy I’d not experienced in any other place.

Here’s what I’ve once and for all realized: it hasn’t been too late to come to my awakening in the last decade. What I know and experience now has every bit of the value for my life, and the lives of my clients, as the insights and knowings of my youmger friends and associates bring to their communities.

I am excited about the wisdom that the generations can so generously share with one another. Certainly, I would have enjoyed having their insights and believing in myself much earlier, but at least I have lived enough time to appreciate what I can experience in these years. I want to share my gifts with the coming generations. In turn, I want to revel in their wisdom, their joy, their authenticity.

Stay tuned later this month for an announcement of how we can come together to increase our understanding, and our abundance. Let’s share what we all know NOW — while it is viable for us all.

Summer Dance

lughnasadhMid-August, the days are a bit dusty, a bit hot, but in the mountains of North Georgia, the evenings and early mornings are cool, and fall touches the air slightly.  It is the turning of the wheel once more.   

The Celtic holiday of Lughnasadh (and cross quarter day on the wheel of the year) passed 2 weeks ago, and final harvest will be coming soon.

What have you harvested this growing season? 

What will you sow under to make your next harvest even more glorious? 

As summer draws to a close, maybe you wish to consider your plantings and what grew for you.  That will provide great clues for you, and the next planting time.