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Changes in Our Lives and in Our World
How two people faced their fears, embraced change,
and followed their Inspiration...
By Natalie Amsden

Transformation doesn't refer to the subtle changes that fill an ordinary day. Transformation goes beyond changing your hair color or your job or your relationships. Transformation isn't about becoming someone new, it's about becoming who you truly are. Transformation is what happens when your soul finally breaks through the hard shell of your ego – when your desire to live a life of fullness, passion, and authenticity overpowers your fears and anxieties about change. Transformation is when you let go of your limitations – what society tells you to do, what your family tells you to do, who you tell yourself you're supposed to be for everyone else – and open your wings.

The butterfly is one of the most enduring symbols of human transformation. The caterpillar lives in a different world than the butterfly. It may see the butterfly and have opinions about its world, but it is unaware of the miraculous transformation it will undertake. We, too, have the option to live in a different world that brings different opportunities, belief systems, and true happiness. Transformation Magazine was created for Suncoast area readers who, themselves, are undergoing metamorphosis. Publishers Natalie Amsden and Joeel A. Rivera, as well as all of their writers and employees, are real people who are transforming alongside of the readers and the small business people who are helping the community by offering transformational services. The following story is about how Transformation Magazine was born. It's a story of how two people faced their fears, embraced change, and followed their Inspiration.

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the rest of the world calls a butterfly.- Richard Bach

A Seed Was Planted

We were finishing a Laughter Yoga session taught by Velora Peacock and were talking with Doni Doty, the owner of The Chakra Center in Sun City Center. In the midst of our excited conversation (we had just finished laughing for 30 minutes) Doni mentioned, “I wish there were a magazine that united the spiritual and personal-development community.” What a great idea, we thought. We left without another thought about it, but a seed had been planted.

A Seed Grows Only in Fertile Ground

Without us realizing it, the experiences of both of our lives have been cultivating the garden of Transformation. Our hearts, minds, and souls have been preparing us to harvest this crop. Our personal and professional experiences have conspired to make us perfectly suited for this endeavor. Without us knowing it we have been preparing to do this work. When I began my career in marketing 10 years ago, I had no idea that I would one day be utilizing the skills I gained creating magazines, marketing material, and Web sites. When Joeel received his Masters Degree in Counseling or finished his last class for his Ph.D. in Psychology, he never would have guessed he would be reaching thousands of individuals through a community magazine. When we both started a non-profit youth center, neither of us had a clue that we would one day embark on an even greater adventure together (more about this story next month).

One thing we did know was that even though we had reached hundreds of people through our workshops, life coaching, and programs we have developed, we felt a strong pull to reach a broader audience. We both knew, and have always known, that we were meant to empower individuals, to expand people's minds, and to change the community on a larger scale. Looking back at both of our paths it is clear to see that Transformation Magazine is our purpose.

Growing Season

It wasn't so much the seed being planted that made it blossom, it was that it was perfect timing – it just so happened that it was growing season. A few months prior to “the planting” Joeel was completing his contract teaching Psychology for a local college. I had spent the last year as a Life Coach, developing workshops and programs that Joeel and I delivered to the community on finding your purpose, improving relationships, and strengthening families.

We were at a crossroads and in much need of a break in order to clear our minds, evaluate our options, and reconnect back to nature. We got just such an opportunity and spent nearly a month of Joeel's period of unemployment in Puerto Rico, where we could live practically for free. Remaining there long-term was very enticing, but something felt like it was pulling us back to Florida. When we returned, potential “corporate” positions presented themselves, and the offer of gainful employment was tempting, but deep in our cores we knew that there was something else we needed to be doing. We just didn't know what it was.


We had a conversation one night that we were going to stop preaching about faith, limitlessness, abundance, and following your purpose, and we were going to BE THE CHANGE, we were going to live it. We made the decision not to continue to pursue traditional employment. We  were determined to create our own employment, which we had both done before, however at that moment we had no idea what that would be or where our finances would be coming from. Let me be clear here that aside from my meager earnings as a life coach, we had no income to support us through this unknown process we were about to undertake. This is important for you to know, as this story is truly one about two people following Divine guidance and living in alignment with their purpose – supported only by faith.

 The seed was planted the day after we made the commitment to opening ourselves to finding what we were being pulled to do. Once the idea of a magazine that would connect the community and empower individuals made its way into our garden, we knew with every fiber of our being that this is something we had to do – whether we knew how to do it or not.

Bloom Where You Are Planted

As all of life, we did the only thing we could – we started where we were at – bloomed where we were planted. We researched printers, placed ads for writers and employees, made connections to New Thought Churches, health food stores, and healing practitioners. We were immediately flooded with responses, and not only was the community interested in and supportive of what we were creating – they were excited! Nearly every day since we've began we have heard someone tell us, “I have been praying for this!”


Literally six weeks after inception, the first issue of Transformation Magazine was born. Although it has taken countless nights working until the wee hours of the morning and 12 hour days on the road, Joeel and I cannot claim responsibility for the success of Transformation Magazine. All of those individuals who have been setting the intention for a spiritually-minded magazine and a platform for connecting and transforming the community – YOU created Transformation Magazine. All of the supporters – the writers, the advertisers, the distributors, our employees, and the readers who are sharing and spreading the light – YOU are growing Transformation Magazine.

Grow With Us

Our vision is to connect the community and raise each individual and the whole to higher levels of conscious living. To help individuals connect and share the journey with others who are also evolving into their true, higher selves. To support and build-up independent practitioners and small businesses that help community members live a conscious life. We aspire to change the community from the inside out – within the heart of each individual that chooses to join with us on this journey of transformation.

We envision a community where boundaries dissolve. Where we all work in cooperation, knowing that we live in an abundant universe and that we will do more together than we ever could separately. Call us flowery, woo-woo, mamsy-pamsy, or even idealistic, but this is the community we intend on creating. One in which we live intimately with each other in our humanity; spiritual beings living a human experience. We invite you to join us and be the change that YOU want to see. Tell your story, promote your conscious business, spread the light, empower yourself, and/or support the conscious businesses who have so graciously aligned themselves with Transformation Magazine and who allow us to continue to provide this platform for transformation. We are truly grateful for all of you who have joined with us in support of this vision for our community.

Remember the moral to our story; change happens when you make a decision. Decide to transform with us!

Transformation Magazine is available at Suncoast area locations. For a list of locations Click here or visit the website by clicking here.

Photo Above- Natalie Amsden and Joeel A. Rivera 



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