It all started when Grandpa died…

One of those empath kind of kids, I could see through, or feel through, surface appearances. It was a mystery to me why there was so much pain behind the scenes that wasn’t acknowledged. When my grandfather died for example, I got so confused about why everyone was joking around at the funeral. “We feel it, but we don’t need to talk about it”, was how my dad explained this to me.

Besides well, death and such, many of the adults around me had regrets about giving up on their gifts and passions. I was so curious about what they loved to do. And why they weren’t doing it. Often it was because of needing to be practical, make money, advice from others. Such sadness lived behind these stories of what they had to do,versus keeping their passions alive. It’s not easy to be fulfilled, it seemed. It was a mystery, explained high school psychology teacher Fred Zuck, who drew a Yin Yang symbol on the chalkboard. No one was able to say what it meant, but the yoga class I stared attending in our small town rec center started to begin to help me crack the code.

I get it. There have been many times the lure of staying safe and practical has tempted me to avoid a risk or an unknown adventure that was looming. There were no simple tricks to decoding the pain and passion conundrum. But somehow I wanted to help.

I too might have taken the easy way out, if it weren’t for Margo Figgins. I was a dance-teaching resident advisor in a young writer’s camp in Virginia during summer break from my BA Psychology degree. Poet and program creator Margo Figgins, at the end of the camp time, got the counselors together and asked – Well, what do you intend to do with your … wild … precious life? I told her, yep, going back to college up in NJ, after finally getting accepted into the social milieu. See I’d joined the softball team, and I was going to Spain 2nd half of junior year, and… and…

I happened to mention, I had gotten this brochure in my forwarded mail, about – get this – a dance therapy program in Colorado, of all places. Yes, I’d had a dream of “going west” years back, but that was crazy … it was already August and … And you know, there was the semester in Sevilla Spain that was planned.   

Margo looked at the brochure. Hmmm, looks like a kick ass dance program, that’s important. You could just go visit. Check it out.

Ummm, yes. I could do that, couldn’t I?. I wasn’t made of money, but had saved $250 from my team leader job at the gas station… 

Six weeks later, I joined a hair-raising road trip to Colorado to attend Naropa University, carrying a guitar, backpack and suitcase. So much for Seville. 

And the adventure continues… where proper risk-taking keeps passion alive, and there is always something to learn.

Support to stay on the soul trail

Still learning and challenging myself

Though going on three decades as a psychotherapist, I continue to learn and update my skills. Last month I completed the coolest course on trauma-informed hypnosis. And even though I gained weight on covid and had a silly exercise relapse, I planned a backpacking trip with my buddies to get back in shape – that’s next week. 

There are plenty of growth edges too choose from. Sometimes it’s not easy to pick the most relevant one. I try to match what my soul’s call, keep listening to the most recent news. Now that my CD is completed, there is a little room to start the book. There is a pressure there to play with it. Some gifts add or contribute to the most viable income stream. Some are so necessary to feed the soul. At some point they join together – or at least inform each other powerfully.


  • Denise won the Best of Denver award for her Kick Ass Peace Prayers services, based on her one woman show, The Unlikely Activist.
  • A Mastermind group member since 2007, her group continues to evolve sacred work and a Soul Savvy Mastermind approach.

My View: Your Gifts, Your Deep Work Matters

It’s always about the work. In the latter years of your life, your happiness and self-esteem will be determined by the mountains you surmounted, they valleys you climbed out of, and the life and/or career that you forged for yourself.
– Maya Angelou, Rainbow in the Cloud

You know there is more for you to learn, to express, to contribute. You might not be sure how to do that exactly, and whether it’s worth the risk. You have doubts and fears – par for the course. No reason to stop. It’s a good sign of stretching into what matters most.

At Soul Savvy, there are steps to get clear, and begin moving. With this movement, your clarity, strength and courage grow. You’ll be inspired; you won’t have to start from scratch or reinvent the wheel. Small steps breakthrough the inertia, into the land of creativity, peace, joy, and energy. 

A licensed psychotherapist, intuitive, and life coach, I am a powerful guide to help people clear silent barriers, grow their gifts, and live a life that is aligned with their soul mission. As a healing professional and performer, I have created a life that helps me serve, make a good living, and continue to evolve and grow my skills and integrity.


I still study intuition and consider myself an Intuitive Coach. This helps me quickly target the heart of the matter, clearing those silent blocks behind the scene. I want you to have this intuitive grounded knowledge, and all the resources you need to get to what’s most important, most real. 

Want to work together? Here’s how:

Schedule a free consult call with me to ensure we’re a good fit.

Denise Barnes, MA, LPC, REV
Soul Purpose Catalyst,
Intuitive Advisor, Life Coach, Licensed Therapist