SARK: Miracles, Fear and Living a Juicy Life

I love SARK. Really, I do.

Lovely, bubbly, funny and wildly original, SARK has a way of viewing life – and our daily experiences– that is downright fabulous.

I was first introduced to SARK, best-selling author, artist and transformational teacher, at one of her fantastic sessions at Celebrate Your Life in Phoenix in November 2009. I recently had the opportunity to sit down and have tea with her in San Francisco and a delightful conversation ensued. Here are excerpts from our tete-a-tete.

Care2: You offer something called “couching”. What is it and how does it work?

SARK: It’s my own unique blend of therapy, mentoring, and coaching. I was bored with the word coaching, and I knew it needed to be a SARK word. It came to me in a dream, as most good things do, why don’t I offer ‘couching’? Most changes take place really swiftly with a relaxed mind, so when I work with people over the phone we are both usually laying down, whether it is on a couch or a bed.

Do you remember as a child when you would be with a friend and someone needed to get over the fence, and you would lace your hands together and they would put their foot in it and you would help them up over the fence? That is what I feel like I do with couching. I am like the ‘fence-booster’.

C2: What is the most common issue people are dealing with?

SARK: Fear.

Fear of starting. Fear of continuing. Fear of living what I call a dry, cracked life – the opposite of living a juicy life.

People have ‘adventure amnesia’. They know something is missing but they don’t know what it is. And it is the sense of adventure. Because we are meant to have adventures every day. We are meant to go out like full cups of love, sharing overflow with everything and everyone we meet. And of course, we don’t always feel that way.

I teach and practice processes to assist when we don’t feel that way, just as much as when we do. Because we can learn from when we don’t feel that way, just as much as when we do.

One of the practices I do is called miracle walks. I recommend that people go out of their houses or offices, put hands up open palms and say ‘Miracle find me now.’ And then start walking and notice what happens. I do these all of the time and I have endless stories of miracles. Because the miracles are so excited to come and find someone to play with. And often we are rushing around when we walk or are doing errands or are on some sort of exercise vigil and there is no time to be looking or breathing or stopping anywhere.

I leave notes for people at houses or in gardens that say, “I love your garden. I’m a wonderful person, would you like to invite me to tea?” I’ve gone to so many wonderful houses and gardens. Wouldn’t you love to receive an invitation like that?

So extending surprising invitations to people instead of just walking around thinking that there is nothing fun going on or no adventures here.

The other day I was walking on one of my miracle walks  and found what I thought was a crumpled piece of paper in the crook of a tree and it turned out to be a ten-dollar bill. So I proved that money grows on trees.

C2: Have you always been fearless in that sense?

SARK: I’m not fearless now. Where did you get that idea?

C2: I think because you mentioned singing at the Department of Motor Vehicles [DMV]…and building a fort at the airport during a flight delay by using clothes from your luggage…and introducing yourself to people through notes left at their houses…

SARK: {Laughing, says…} Yes, I have always been socially in some ways fearless. Put me in room in an intimate relationship with a conflict, or put me in a speed-dating session, and you won’t find me fearless. But I have an uncommon amount of being comfortable doing unusual things in public because I see the incredible riches it brings. All those people that sang along with me at the DMV, wouldn’t have been able to do that if I hadn’t stood up and started it. I think there’s a lot more room for people to be unusual in public.

C2: You’ve said that people who nap are more successful. I was taught that working hard made you more successful. Help me out with this one.

SARK: The more you nap the more money you’ll make. People intuitively know that it really is good because they like the idea of making money and napping. And the very next thought that comes is usually some version of the inner critic which says, it won’t work for me, and that’s unrealistic, and it’s easy for someone else to say, or some author to say who has quote ‘made it’ and I’m here with my 9-to-5 job, and a lot of stress, and my kids, and I simply don’t have time to take a nap. Sound familiar?

So that is the perspective shift that has to take place. You literally don’t ‘not’ have the time.  If you don’t have five minutes to lay down you have no business working or even living. People forget that a lot happens in five minutes. If you lay down for five minutes and lay completely still and breathe deeply, it can be almost as restorative as an hour. Almost anyone can find five minutes in the day. Even a five-second closing of the eyes is beneficial. Take five seconds, close your eyes, and take five deep breaths.

C2: Tell us about your new book.

SARK: It’s called Glad No Matter What, Transforming Loss and Change Into Gift and Opportunity. I’ve learned about loss, as we all do, by living and having losses happen. We all experience loss through death, but there’s also loss of dreams, loss of hopes, loss of opportunities, there’s loss of health, mobility…the subject of loss…how do we take losses and transform them into what they really are, which is gifts and opportunities.

We often don’t always find out what the opportunities are right away. And we are challenged to hear the loss and then sit with the uncomfortable feelings of the loss until we say later, ‘Oh, that’s why that happened. This new thing couldn’t have happened if the other thing hadn’t happened.” So I’ve created a whole series of processes to support people in doing this more actively for themselves and other people.

It involves telling new stories. Many people repeat negative stories. And they have a lot of company and support for telling negative stories. They’ll say, ‘Oh, yes, it is terrible’ and ‘I had a horrible time too’. We think it’s kind to listen to repetitive negativity. But really it drains our energy and drains their energy.

And listen, let’s just say it, sometimes any of us need to complain and need someone to hear us. But here is the way that it can all happen so much better. You can say to someone, ‘I have just had the worst day, are you able to spend three to four minutes listening to me right now and at the end of it I promise to feel differently’.

The book is a transformational change agent.  It is teaching people how to become that for themselves and other people.  So I take people through a process; they make a loss list of all the losses in their life and they learn how to transform them. It’s intense. There’s a coloring book too, to color in and cry. It’s really learning to live with loss and change instead of getting rid of them.

I realized that more changes were going to happen in my life and more losses were going to occur. I wanted to become a master transformational change agent so that I wasn’t so rocked by all of these losses and changes. I started examining and discovering and inventing processes that would support me and other people in doing this more consistently, easily and naturally. It’s meant to be natural. Resistance is what causes suffering. And most people spend most of their time resisting most things.

We really can be glad no matter what …when don’t resist.

C2: Where did all of this wisdom and insight come from?

SARK: Through the practice of living but the practice of living consciously. So a lot of therapy, a lot of self-healing, a lot of mistakes, a lot of fears. A lot of crawling around in the darkness. I tell people you need to go into the darkness but remember you can bring a flashlight. And everybody else is in there too.  So I learned to turn towards the fears instead of away from them. And that is where a lot of the wisdom came from.

I would also call it a gift of conscious aging. I’m at an age now where I’m able to open channels that I wasn’t able to when I was younger. I remember when I met one of my mentors, she was 90 years old, and when I told her that I was 45 years old she said, “Oh, good. Now some real work can start.”

I’m 55, about to be 56, and I feel the difference of that decade and the opportunity I’ve been given to learn and practice. So I’ve learned and practice all of the things that I share. I’m doing it right along with everybody.

SARK is a best-selling author and artist, with over fifteen titles in print and more than two million books sold, including the national bestsellers Succulent Wild Woman, Bodacious Book of Succulence, Eat Mangoes Naked, Prosperity Pie and Fabulous Friendship Festival. An acclaimed speaker and teacher, she has been leading workshops for over twenty years. SARK is also the founder and CEO of Planet SARK, creating innovative products and services to support empowered living.

She will be leading sessions on Transforming Loss and Change into Gift and Opportunity at the upcoming Celebrate Your Life conference in Chicago in June 2010 . This is the ninth author interview appearing on Care2 as part of the Celebrate Your Life series.

Editor’s Note: I’m excited to announce that SARK will be joining Care2 as a regular contributor – yay! Please check back in the coming weeks for great content from SARK.

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.


Susan S.
Paul Stephan3 years ago

This is wonderful-so SARK. Thank you.

Emma S.
Emma S.4 years ago

Thanks so much for this. I've only read A Creative Companion, but I know great chunks of it by heart and have given it as a present. I'm looking forward to reading more of her stuff - and, of course, finding out what she has to say on Care2.

Danielle Herie
Danielle Herie4 years ago


Nancy Anderson
Nancy Anderson5 years ago

This is the first time I have heard of her. I will have to read some of her books now. Thanks for the article.

chiari l.
chiari l.5 years ago

yep fear

Rhonda Conway
Rhonda Conway5 years ago

I am thrilled to learn that SARK is joining the Care2 team! I have followed and read her books for years now,and her perspective on life is so refreshinf, and uplifting! She is one of those you can't help but feel a smile as you absorb her wisdom. Thank you SARK, just for being..

Janice P.
Janice P.5 years ago

I am completely unfamiliar with SARK. I love learning something new every day. The comments made here have piqued my interest even more than the actual article did, although the article was very good, too. Thank all of you for the article and for all of the comments.

Jewels S.
Jewels S.5 years ago

Great thing about the city I live in is that we are big into recycling. I always find bags of books and sometimes those books seem like they were hand picked for me. I found one of Sark's books this way along with a Leo Buscaglia book (that I love!!!) When I found it I thought it was a bit far out for me but I was still letting fear run me then. I will have to give it another look because she is doing what I have been trying to bring into my life. A sense of whimsy. Everyday. Terrible things are happening in the world but I can only change what I can. I realised I could never change the world for better if I was negative and fearful. Namaste. Peace.

Antoinette Reyes
Antoinette R.5 years ago

I am glad that someone out there has the aspiration to reveal people to the light and guide them to do so

Julie Warren
Julie Warren5 years ago

Thanks for the great article.