Meet Our Founder
Welcome to Soulful Living! I’m so pleased that your soulful journey has brought you here! My name is Valerie Rickel, and I’m the founder, creator and soul of SoulfulLiving.com, a 16-year-old inspirational website, devoted to personal growth, spiritual development, self help, and self improvement.
I am SO excited to be launching a whole new reimagined incarnation of the website and ushering in a new era of SoulfulLiving.com! To be honest, I have to pinch myself. It is hard to believe that this day is finally here!!
Sixteen years ago, I made a commitment to myself to launch SoulfulLiving.com on January 1, 2000, in honor of our New Millennium. And, that, I did! Time sure flies quickly. It feels like it was almost yesterday when I first launched the website. The feelings of excitement of birthing this project into life are still as fresh with me today as they were then. How was I to know as a young 30-year-old that I would still be blessed with the gift of creating and presenting SoulfulLiving.com to the world in my forties? Life is sure filled with many wonderful surprises. I think when you start up a creative entrepreneurial project of any kind, you never really know where it’s going to lead — what its future will hold. You are so “in the moment” of creating, of following that “greater call” — that “flow of inspiration.” You hope that your project will grow and prosper, but you just never truly know. My life has taken many twists and turns, but, here I am sixteen years later, still doing the work I love! How would I have known that I would be so blessed?
When I set out to create SoulfulLiving.com, I was grieving the loss of my father and had been searching the internet for personal growth and spirituality resources for comfort and healing, but there was so little available online at the time. I knew deep in my heart that I needed to create a website that would offer hope, healing, and inspiration to people around the globe. I had been “called,” and I knew that creating this website was something I could not not do. And, I discovered that a wonderful byproduct of following this calling — creating this website — was that it helped me to heal, in many of the same ways I had hoped it would help others. (Such a blessed gift!) Isn’t there a saying that it is hard to help others without also helping oneself? I have found that to be very true and am so grateful. SoulfulLiving.com is my calling – my Gift from God – my Truth, My Light. I can’t say for sure whether my life purpose found me, or if I found my life purpose, but I know, without a doubt, that sharing my passion for living a soulful life is why I was put here on this earth and that following my soulful life purpose feels really good.
I am in utter amazement at how large the internet has grown over the last 16 years and the number of inspirational web resources similar to SoulfulLiving.com that have appeared during this time. It makes me feel like a “pioneer” of sorts… It’s a funny feeling. It makes me feel a little old, to be honest, but, also very honored, joyous, blessed… Many feelings wash over me…
2016 and 2017 are going to be incredible years of growth and expansion for SoulfulLiving.com. I have so much goodness planned for the website that my heart and soul floweth over with joy and excitement! Her long-overdue “tech” makeover and redesign are just the beginning! New features of the website include an Inspiration Gallery, our Soul Retreat Gift Pack, as well as the Archived Articles contributed by hundreds of authors over the past sixteen years. Soon, we will be launching an exciting Transformational eCourse program, called “60 Days to a Soulful Life,” and also posting an abundance of wonderful new articles and wisdom from many more of your favorite authors! And, I am very excited to announce that we have just launched a brand new Soulful Living Boutique!
I am so grateful to you and hope you have found SoulfulLiving.com a valuable and meaningful resource over these past sixteen years! I am blessed with the gift of feeling a giddy child-like joy upon waking each morning, knowing that I am in working in service to you and helping make the world a better place, all while getting to do work that I love…deeply. I feel very blessed to be given the gift of SoulfulLiving.com. Wow, sixteen years… I feel like I have raised a teenager… SoulfulLiving is my child, and I am her mother. I am so excited about the future and the website’s continued evolution. Thank you so much for joining me on this awesome journey. I am so grateful for your support!
I’d love to take the opportunity to get to know you better and make some introductions… That’s me up on the top left, and my kitty cats (the CEOs of SoulfulLiving.com) are to the right of me. I was devastated by the loss of my precious 14-year-old gray kitty to a terminal illness over this past summer while I was working on our website redevelopment. She used to sit here on my lap (and sometimes on the keyboard!) every day as I worked on SoulfulLiving.com. I am such a huge cat lover, and she has left behind a huge hole in my heart and home. I have made a special dedication of SoulfulLiving.com’s 2014 Redevelopment in her honor (see below). Gratefully, my precious little black purrball is healthy and happy and brings much fun to my life!
To the left is a photo of my beloved Upstate New York. A native of Los Angeles, California, I summoned up the courage to make a cross-country move a few years ago, to a region that I had had a love affair with for many, many years. There is a special magic to this part of our country that my heart cannot even put into words. It is impossible for me to drive the country roads of New York, during all four of our delicious seasons, without hearing my heart sing and feeling like I have found my Nirvana! I am an amateur landscape photographer, among many other things, and photographing the beauty of this region is one of my most favorite past times. You can see many of my photographs featured in our Inspiration Gallery.
I am very excited to get to know each one of you! If you have the time, please email me and say hello. I love hearing from visitors! Before I sign off, I would like to share an essay with you that I was asked to write for a book several years ago. (Some of you may have already read it, and for some of you, it will be new.) It tells a little more about my “soulful life purpose” and the creation of SoulfulLiving.com. I hope that it also serves as a jumping off point for us to get better acquainted! Click here to read “Living Your Truth.”
With love and gratitude,
Founder and Soul
A creative entrepreneur by nature, Valerie enjoys spending her time developing heart-centered and soulful ventures, both online and off-line, and supporting other entrepreneurs in pursuit of their creative dreams. In addition to creating and designing SoulfulLiving.com, she develops websites for soulful entrepreneurs and professionals, including life coaches, authors, and artists, to whom she also offers marketing consulting and coaching services. Visit her website at TheCreativeSoul.com.
Valerie in the Press
The Power of Positive People
Valerie Rickel, the Founder and Creator of SoulfulLiving.com, is profiled in Pat Sampson’s book, “The Power of Positive People,” along with her recent essay, “Living Your Truth.”
“Bruins in the Internet Age” – UCLAlumni Magazine Interview with UCLA Alumna Valerie Rickel
When Life Changes or You Wish It Would
SoulfulLiving.com’s Founder, Valerie Rickel, is profiled in Carol Adrienne’s book, “When Life Changes Or You Wish It Would,” along with the story of the development of SoulfulLiving.com.
Personal Statement at Launch, January 1, 2000
My Soulful Journey
The vision for SoulfulLiving.com was born out of my great passion for soulful study, which was heightened when my father passed away. He was a very wise and soulful man and a great inspiration to me. In my mourning, I found peace, hope and purpose through spiritual growth and learning. SoulfulLiving.com is my soulful purpose–I am able to share what I am most passionate about in life: soulful living! I receive great pleasure and satisfaction from knowing that I have the opportunity, through SoulfulLiving.com, to inspire and enhance the lives of others.
Some Background on My Soul
I am a native of Los Angeles, California. I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree at UCLA in geography with a focus in psychology, have a background in art, journalism and computer graphics, and, during the years of my professional career, I have been working in marketing, website design, and public relations. I have many wonderfully supportive souls in my life–family and friends–who fill my heart with much love and joy.
My Soul has been Called!
I believe that my life’s experiences have led me right to this soulful endeavor. The only way to describe the experience of creating SoulfulLiving.com is to say that it literally poured forth from my soul. It is my personal contribution to our new millennium. It is my hope that, in this new age, we may all live joyful, peaceful, and soulful, whole lives.
–Valerie Rickel, January, 1, 2000