An advocate for positivity and personal enlightenment, Ayn Cates Sullivan, Ph.D., is an inspirational author and teacher. With advanced degrees in both spiritual psychology and literature, the Californian shares her diverse study and practices via her writing, workshops, and on the web.
As a young girl, Ayn says she found herself already fascinated with poetry and decided at an early age to commit to enlightenment—at a very early age, in fact: "I actually got started as a writer when I was about eight years old. I decided that I was a mystic poet and announced it to my parents. They tried to talk me out of it." The author says she is fascinated with Shakespeare and verse, and still writes poetry as an ongoing spiritual practice. She has three volumes of poetry published.
Though she's an accomplished writer with several titles on the shelves, a foray into children's literature has been a new adventure for Ayn, with her Sparkle series. Sparkle and The Gift is her first children's book in a collection of five. A labor of love, she says the series was written for her own children, now in junior high school and college. "I'm passionate about helping people recall who they are regardless of what they might have faced in their life and to remember the qualities of their soul. I wrote for my children so that when they went out into the world they would have an internal compass of goodness that they could rely upon."
The book’s positive and encouraging message has helped not only her family, but touches readers of all ages. "What's important about these books is that Sparkle will not forget her inner light. No matter what she's faced with she will not forget who she is. My kids appreciate that and refer back to that a lot. When my daughter went off to college she said, 'I can't go without my Sparkle books, because without them no one will understand me!' There are a lot of kids, even college-aged, and adults, who say to me, 'Thank you, this difficult thing happened in life and I remembered Sparkle and that pulled me though because I have my inner light and I know it have what it takes.' We need some positive messages in this world today. I share Sparkle with all the children in my life. I've given it to neighborhood kids, nieces, nephews and also many adults. Some people even sleep with Sparkle books under their pillow!"
Each book in the series focuses on the spunky and sweet heroine Sparkle, who learns valuable lessons about healing and compassion through the adventures she embarks upon as well as parables that are shared with her by relatives as stories within stories. "In the first book, the main character is Sarah but she remembers that her name is actually Sparkle, because she has such a brilliant inner light. Her mother asks how to remind others about their light too and Sparkle replies "Every time you speak with anyone you can give them a color and as long as they love the colors and keep them close by, then eventually people will become rainbows again and they will remember who they are."
Ayn explains that each color has a soul quality that helps us remember our true nature. "Love is pink, for example, red is our strength, orange is creatively, green is compassion. As soon as we walk into the garden, we start to remember our true nature and it's very healthy for us." The impact of color is a topic dear to her, she has studied it for over twenty years and calls it "a big passion of mine". (An informative color glossary is available on her website.) She also offers special workshops and events on color, which she refers to as a forgotten language of the soul, "Colors help us remember the beauty of who we are. When we relate from that place our whole world changes."
In addition to their fanciful feel, her book’s whimsical illustrations lend a timeless essence to Ayn’s inspiring tales, an aspect of creation that she has enjoyed witnessing. "The illustrations are amazing, Belle Du Cray did them. She's incredibly imaginative and really brought all of the stories to life. To see their noses, their eyes, and watch the characters being born is beautiful."
The next book in the series is similarly enriching and compassionate. Sparkle and the Light is Sparkle's next adventure in which she learns about an unusual girl named Ella. "When Ella becomes curious her forehead becomes radiant, family and friends try to get her to hide her light. She gets bullied, but learns through experience how to use her gift to help others. It's a good example of how to deal with people who seem antagonistic. Sparkle learns that people who bully others are generally suffering and that when we really adhere to our own strength and inner light, we don't have to be hurt by other people. In the story Sparkle's grandmother Izzy shows her how to shake the dust of the world off so that she can continue to shine."
In addition to the Sparkle series, Ayn intends to continue sharing the healing power of color and light in non-fiction, as well as other creative endeavors, including a novel. She enjoys reaching people above all else, and says, "I'm an inspirational storyteller for a children of all ages.”
Learn more about Ayn Cates Sullivan at www.ayncatessullivan.com.