live your dream

Living Her Passion – Allison Borji

Allison Borji has always considered herself a “creative.” Despite a challenging childhood that sadly included the traumatic loss of her father to suicide when she was just five and her own battle with severe depression, Allison always had a pen in hand and, as a self-professed hopeless romantic, loved writing poetry. After graduating magna cum laude from college with a degree in history, marrying her college sweetheart, and moving around the country as a military spouse, Allison began searching for a hobby that would help her become more reliant on herself and her abilities as she stepped outside her comfort zone.

By researching various types of art techniques and materials that appealed to her, Allison discovered she had a knack for combining colors to create beautiful artwork. As she began painting on a regular basis, Allison quickly realized the therapeutic benefits of creating art. The way the paint swirled and the ink spread on the canvas helped take her mind to a quiet place. After thoroughly studying a variety of mediums, Allison finally settled on fluid acrylic, watercolors, and alcohol inks.

When she begins painting, Allison rarely has a vision in mind of what she wants to create. Instead, she chooses a color palette that reflects her mood or the seasons and guides her to start the process creating abstract art. After reminding herself to let go of control, Allison lets her medium do the deciding. “That helps take the stress out of deciding what to paint,” she adds. Once she creates a piece, she lets it sit overnight and comes back to it after a day or two. Allison finds that extremely useful in helping her create art pieces that she loves. After about a week of assessing the piece, she adds varnish to ensure its longevity and vibrancy. Because of a harsh inner-critic she is always attempting to tame, Allison generally places one out of five pieces on her Etsy site to sell.

An Allison Borji original

An Allison Borji original

When Allison decided to open a shop on Etsy, she received heartfelt advice to “just do it.” Additionally, she was encouraged to take things at her own pace. “I knew if I opened a shop, I would feel pressure to consistently create more art. I have to remind myself daily that I am doing this because I love it, not because I have to,” says Allison. When a customer purchases a piece because they are going through the same emotional challenges as Allison, she is thrilled that her art is supporting their healing process. Her challenges have included learning how to photograph her art and size it properly to fit Etsy’s standards. “The way I see colors and the sheen on a canvas can greatly affect the photo,” Allison states. Another challenge she has battled is turning down commission work. “Learning to say no to commissions is essential to maintaining my love for making art. Because my whole philosophy revolves around ‘therapy through art’, the pressure and deadlines that come with commission work takes away the love I have for the art process,” adds Allison.

Supported by her family, friends, co-workers, and most of all, her husband Omar, Allison has come to realize that it is a gift to have found a passion that helps heal her soul, bring her peace of mind, and help others realize they are not alone. Today, she is better at motivating herself to take risks, growing comfortable with her identity, and becoming bolder in her decision making. Although each year comes with its own set of obstacles, she is learning how to breathe through them, finding humor in many situations, and adapting easier to change. “I am comfortable calling myself a different person than I was ten years ago,” Allison says, “Creating art has provided me a haven and coping mechanism that allows me to reduce the stigma of mental illness while providing hope to anyone battling personal challenges.”

Allison advises anyone ready to pursue their passion to just do it and don’t look back. “Stay true to yourself. Go with your instincts. Life is fragile and short. We can often get too caught up in what we need to do. Find your passion and make time for it. Life is hard, embracing your passion will only help make it more enjoyable and fulfilling.”

Henri Matisse once said, “Creativity takes courage.” Every day that Allison Borji steps into her art studio and lets inspiration take control, she is proving to herself—and all her customers—that anything is possible if we just trust in the process and believe we can.

An Allison Borji original

An Allison Borji original

To view and/or purchase Allison’s artwork, visit her shop “Ink & Bear It: Abstract Artworks by Allison Borji” at

Living His Passion - Miles Moore

Miles stands next to his plane with his dogs by his side.

Miles stands next to his plane with his dogs by his side.

Miles Moore first began nurturing an interest in flying when he was a boy. His father, a World War II pilot who flew a B29 bomber in the Pacific Rim, captured Miles’ attention early-on with his fascinating stories about flying airplanes. As Miles grew up in Omaha and learned about entrepreneurship through managing a paper route for the Omaha World-Herald, he had no idea that he was already building the foundation to carry out two future dreams: one as a business owner and the second as a pilot.

Following graduation from Iowa State where he majored in Finance, Miles moved to Chicago where he began a career as a financial advisor. After raising children and building his own firm, Moore Financial, Miles and his wife, Joanne, moved from Chicago to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, in 2014 to pursue their lifestyle interests. For Miles, the move meant more opportunities to ski, hike, and ultimately continue the journey to attain his private pilot certificate.

Miles says that earning a pilot certificate is both a demanding and rewarding process. Only forty percent of registered student pilots complete the certificate. The training process, which typically takes about one year, consists of completing curriculum related to aerodynamics, regulations, airport procedures, navigation, flight planning, etc.) and hands-on flight training. Students must also pass both a FAA written exam and a flight test/check-ride with an FAA examiner. Once the certificate is obtained, pilots frequently work to complete advanced ratings such as Instrument Rating, Multi-engine rating, Commercial Rating, and Certified Flight Instructor.

Ask any pilot what they like most about flying and they will probably say it is both challenging and fun. Miles is no exception. He adds, “There are limitless learning opportunities and it opens a world of possibilities. For me, the independence and flexibility that comes with flying is a huge draw.”

Miles began researching how to purchase a plane after his first flight lesson. After determining which models would deliver the performance necessary for a demanding mountain/high altitude environment plus provide the speed and capacity appropriate for regional business and personal travel, he purchased a turbo-charged, six-seat Beechcraft Bonanza in February 2017. His plan is to fly the plane for three years, further advance his skills, and then purchase a jet-engine-powered Piper Meridian.

Miles pilots his plane above the clouds.

Miles pilots his plane above the clouds.

Miles credits his father’s influence for instilling his spirit of adventure and passion for aviation. When he hangs up his entrepreneurial hat one day, he plans to serve as a flight instructor so he can inspire other adults and teach them how to fly.

Flying provides a great outlet for Miles as he receives great satisfaction from setting and accomplishing goals. He advises anyone who wants to pursue their passion in life to create a written plan with action steps and deadlines. He adds, “Recognize that change is challenging for everyone and generally only happens when you’re uncomfortable. When the pain of not pursuing your passion and goals exceeds the pain associated with change, you know you’re ready to move forward.”

Miles’ passion for flying is a testament to an inspiring quote from Leonardo da Vinci, “Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”

There is no question that when Miles steps into his airplane, pulls back the throttle, and soars into the sky, he is relishing in every bit of the freedom his father valiantly fought for some seventy years ago. And from somewhere even higher in the sky, his father is smiling down on him.

Vicky DeCoster is a Certified Life Coach who specializes in helping her clients move past obstacles, create a plan for happiness, and cross the bridge of transition to find a new and fulfilling direction in life. To read more about her and her practice, visit her at