Radical Inspiration Drives Bonnie Salamon
Autumn’s Fire, LLC, in Atlanta, addresses the “third act” that is becoming a new paradigm for our aging population of baby-boomers. After a productive life of career-building and raising families, many people feel left out or unfulfilled. But founder and President Bonnie Salamon has taken on the job of finding and nurturing potential entrepreneurs by helping them find special inspiration in their lives.
Salamon had a complicated early life. Coming to Hollywood, Florida, by way of New York and Chicago, she developed problems with agoraphobia and depression as a teen. Finding a niche in the world of corporate finance, she served for many years with several large firms as a credit manager.
Several decades later, she gathered her skills and set out to create her own commercial collection agency. More successful years passed, but something was missing. Salamon felt that she had just been getting by and not really doing anything significant with her life.
After meeting author Lisa Michaels, the originator of Natural Rhythms, Salamon knew she had found a mentor and began to unravel her true spiritual path using that program. Without leaving her childhood roots in Judaism behind, she explored the practices and beliefs of indigenous peoples like the American Indians.
With the empowerment she gained from her own odyssey, Salamon was ready to use what she had learned to help others in the roughly 45-and-up age bracket, when life’s responsibilities of career and family are winding down, as an inner wisdom coach. She quotes a telling statistic that there are 7.5 million entrepreneurs in the U.S. that are 50 years old or greater and 5 million over 55. Her first attempt to use her certification in gerontology from Kennesaw State University was to open a nonprofit called Ageless, in 2003, which brought much-needed attention to the psychological challenges of an aging population caught between aging parents and children still at home.
With Autumn’s Fire, launched in 2008, her intended audience is the pool of latent talent that is ready to continue contributing to society, but not sure how to go about it. Through Autumn’s Fire, individuals get to connect with their essence and to find their true calling. Instead of the usual exhortation of “get your business going,” the emphasis is on finding one’s true purpose and motivation. Salamon calls them “entrepreneurs–in-waiting.”
The purpose of Autumn Fire’s signature annual symposium, The Nourished Soul: Caring for Your YOUniverse, is to build on a foundation of personal traits and uplevel it to the prosperity that participants deserve. About the symposium, Salamon says, “It’s educational, it’s spiritual, it’s networking, it’s soul satisfying—we have so many different presenters coming in.” This year’s event will be held from April 12 to 14, at the Marriott Atlanta Perimeter Center, where more than a dozen dynamic spiritual and motivational leaders will be presenting their wisdom.
Leslie Clayton, a presenter at the first successful Nourished Soul conference in 2012, was a good friend of Colin Tipping, author of the bestselling book, Radical Forgiveness, and arranged for the two to meet. Tipping was so impressed with the work Salamon is doing that he signed up as the keynote speaker this year. In fact, Tipping is providing a special Radical Forgiveness Circle Ceremony the evening of April 12 for the first 60 people that register for The Nourished Soul in 2013. Tipping himself is expanding his entrepreneurship by creating an “umbrella of radical living,” which includes Radical Self-Empowerment, Radical Manifestation and Radical Transformation.
Michaels, chosen as a 2010 “Mover and Shaker” by the Hay House publishing company, will be a special guest speaker at The Nourished Soul. In her own work, she helps holistic entrepreneurs manifest, create and grow a dynamically thriving business using products, workshops and trainings. Salamon says that Michaels will be leading some body movement, too!
Salamon sums up her philosophy with a metaphor: “Earth is the foundation, the physical body; Water is the emotion. As we age, sometimes we have to work with grief; we have to deal with indecision or stress until the emotional waters subside. The mental component is Air, and Fire is action. Sometimes, as we age, the qi doesn’t flow as easily as it did, so we have to keep those fires stoked—and how do you do that? Get the energy moving, keeping you young and vital. It’s all embraced by spirit.”
Cost of the symposium is $297 by Feb. 14, $397 by Mar. 14 and $497 after. All ages are welcome. For more information, visit The NourishedSoul.com and AutumnsFire.org.
Martin Miron is the editor of Natural Awakenings Atlanta.