Today’s shared stories come from Hillary Rubin and Cathy Bueti who have overcome huge life-changing events – including the loss of a loved one and a serious illness – to discover their life’s purpose and passion. 

Hillary Rubin

 Hillary Rubin profile

For me doing what you love is being in alignment with your desire. I’m not a believer of purpose even though it’s in my tag line and women come to me to discover what their purpose is. Most of it really is work to go back to what they love, tune into what they desire or rediscover what they love now.

I have seen from my personal experience when I’m not doing what I love my soul aches. When I’m not doing what I love my body cries. When I’m not doing what I love the best part of me dies.

In 2010 my husband had a crisis – or what I call a course-changer. He was not doing what he loved and like a good man was providing for our family. His soul suffered so much that he ended up in the hospital.

It was scary to see the man I loved suffer. He had a foot of his colon removed and made a promise to himself never to do it again. Today he is healthy in mind, body and spirit.

Now we have a contract that we do not take on projects, jobs, or clients unless it is for something we love to do. I cannot think of a better commitment to have to yourself and with your partner.

Being a Gemini, I love to do so many things and always like to have a healthy learning curve. At the beginning of my life most of my choices were from survival of what I had to do. I chose to move to NYC to study at Fashion Institute of Technology. I loved it. I felt alive and free.

I went from doing windows at ABC Carpet and Home to being a fashion editor at a menswear magazine, and then to styling, to producing fashion shows, to having my own PR company and then at the top of my career landed a plum job at Prada.

Prada was not as cool as I thought. I hated it but wanted to be on the in-crowd so I stuck it out as much as I could.

Until my time in fashion came to a painful end with a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. After I let myself out of a prison of victimhood,  I was on a new quest to heal myself and to my surprise found what I loved.

Hillary Rubin - journey

It was through my pain that I found what was next on my what-I-love-to-do path as an artist, healer and cultural creative. I devoured all I could in the alternative realm to defy my prison sentence of ending up in a wheel chair. In 2002 I moved to LA to take a yoga teacher training course and worked as a PR director for a fashion company. It was worth giving up a six year relationship, a fabulous apartment in the west village and the fast hip lifestyle for my healing cocoon.

But I really did not give anything up… I got so much more.

Right after my yoga teacher training ended, I started teaching and never stopped. Something came alive in me. Not only was I healing but I was stimulated like never before. It was love at first sight. I was on my path. I travelled the world teaching yoga, connected to amazing people and ended up getting certified in Anusara Yoga(TM).

Not only did I love teaching classes, I went on to create a yoga podcast called Hillary’s Yoga Practice + produced my own bestselling DVD called Yoga Foundations with Hillary Rubin.

I loved it and never looked back.

With hindsight, I know now that whatever I do creatively is my body of work. It will always evolve and I cannot do it wrong. I listen to myself and let my intuition guide me. When the fun stops that is my red flag to shift my attitude or let it go so the next wave of creativity can come in.

If you are feeling challenged to do what you love then I suggest you release the following:

  • Release the need to care what others think – live your life for you.
  • Release the need to have it ‘perfect’ and take small baby steps.
  • Release the need to believe your fears – you don’t know if you’ll fail or succeed unless you go for it

Once I released this for myself I was able to flow and evolve. I have a foundation in yoga, am a spiritual life design coach and a multi-passionate entrepreneur. I help women stop licking their wounds and create a life filled with passion, purpose and unshakable self-confidence. I love creating valuable content that breeds transformation and freedom to live the life you desire.

What’s next for me is launching a group program for women to get back to prosperity without shame, be healthy without guilt, find purpose without overwhelm and be happy without excuses, publishing my first book and hosting my television show called Get Real with Hillary.

[All images courtesy of Hillary Rubin]

Find out more about Hillary on her website or connect on Twitter.


Cathy Bueti

Cathy Bueti profile

I remember loving art when I was a child.  I was always doodling something or spending hours with my coloring books. My most vivid art memory was when I created a pastel butterfly in the fourth grade.  As I grew older art seemed to disappear as life got in the way. A crazy childhood with an alcoholic father, my parents divorce, becoming a widow at 25, and then a diagnosis of breast cancer at 31 halted any thoughts of creativity. I graduated college with a degree in occupational therapy and worked for almost 20 years in the healthcare field. After my husband was killed I began keeping a journal. I discovered I enjoyed writing. I continued journaling during my cancer experience and began writing a book hoping to one day share my experience and help others. It was during this time I also discovered a love of photography and most recently painting.

I remarried eight years ago and am now a 10 year cancer survivor.  During the first few years after I finished my treatments I realised that something was missing.  It was getting more and more difficult to work with patients after having been one myself. With my husband’s support I left my day job as an Occupational Therapist a couple of years ago and have the opportunity to create everyday.  My life has been tough but what I have found is that creativity helps me deal with the fear that comes in a life after cancer.  Being creative gets me to a nice place in my head and quiets my mind.  I get lost in those moments with my art.  I am discovering myself and seeing all that I am capable of which is more than I ever imagined.

In May 2009 my memoir “Breastless in the City” was published and I was able to fulfill my dream of being a writer.  Last August I started my blog Artsy Butterfly where I share my creative life, pieces of my art, and pieces of myself.  I also opened an etsy shop which allowed me to achieve another goal and put my art out there into the world to hopefully inspire others.

It was scary to leave a career I had done for so long.  I thought, “who am I to even dream of anything else?” Then I thought about how much I have lost and how short life is.  I started to realize that I couldn’t let the chance pass me by.  I longed to live in the moment and do what would make me happy every day.  I believe that everything I have been through has led me to this moment.  I wouldn’t be who I am without surviving those difficult experiences.

I can’t help but smile when I think about the man who has shared a few pieces of my art with his little girls. One of them wants to be an artist too.  It makes my heart happy to know they enjoy my work.  It connects me with the little girl I was so long ago… the one who drew that pastel butterfly.

[All images courtesy of Cathy Bueti]

 Cathy is a  self taught photographer and mixed-media artist living in Brewster, New York.  Visit her at Artsy Butterfly.