The Write Stuff: Annie Burnside

Annie Burnside is a soul nurturer on a mission to help people feel closer and more connected to God.

Her particular calling is teaching parents to help their families develop spirituality together. Annie glows as she discusses this and her strong connection to God. She feels a divine energy that flows through and connects her to everyone and everything else, making her even more beautiful in person than in her photos.

Annie started her own profound spiritual journey when she was 19. Later, as a wife and mother of three—ages 4, 7 and 8—she wanted to bring her family along with her.

“Six years ago, it became clear that I needed to take my husband and three kids on the same journey,” she explains.

Spiritually guiding her family proved to be so rewarding that Annie left her job as an Evanston grade school teacher to develop a career as a soul nurturer. She leads classes out of her Wilmette home and speaks to groups whenever possible. Her practice led her to write the recently published book “Soul to Soul Parenting: A Guide to Raising a Spiritually Conscious Family.”

The book teaches a nondenominational spirituality. It encourages nurturing passion and compassion, love of self and a nonjudgmental love of others.

“At times I feel almost intoxicating freedom and experience regular moments of ecstasy!” Annie says.

Annie’s a normal mom leading an extraordinary spiritual life. She balances the bustle of family and community life—carpooling her kids in the family van nicknamed “The Spirit Mobile”—with the solitude she needs to develop her own spirituality. Much of the book came to her when she was on long, solitary bike rides.

“We are all eternal, intuitive, spiritual beings, first and foremost,” Annie says. “This is huge.”

She believes that family is the ideal unit for developing spirituality. Even if some family members are resistant, don’t worry, she advises: “Model it for your children. The effects will be ongoing and meaningful.”

The rest of the world will be influenced, too. She explains, “When you live your passion, people notice. They want to know how to do it, too.”