what’s inside

Create Your Life Vision

This book was written for you. We all are creators.

Although some people create through art, through words, through music, we all can consciously create the depth and direction of our lives. As an artist is called from an inner drive and vision to create an image, what if you followed a call to create your vision of what an authentic and true life would be? It is this process that has led to the creation of Messages to the Heart.


Passage reads as below paired with “Lake Fontana” pastel:


What is it to radiate love? What is it to radiate peace?
Let the clouds of illusion lift from your eyes. All the fears you thought were real were just distractions from you realizing  your strength, your beauty, your purpose. Allow a sense of trust to rise above and lead you to a better way. The illusions you thought were real will crumble as you stop giving them power. They will melt and you will see the path. Follow the sun and if you don’t see it right away, fell your way there, listen and trust. It will get brighter. It will get warmer.

Art Fosters Peace and Healing

This book was born from an organic pairing of one couple’s creative passion. As an artist, Elise Okrend uses pastels to portray scenes of light, clouds, mountains, lakes and sacred places. Her desire is to foster a sense of peace and healing for the viewer. As Elise was producing paintings for her gallery in Asheville, North Carolina, she previewed her work by posting the art to social media sites.

Powerful Pairing of Art and Words

At the same time, in his work as a life and business coach, Phil Okrend often shared his observations about change and empowerment on social media sites. As sometimes the best things in life are unexpected, one day Phil was looking for an appropriate image to post with a thought he had written. He saw one of Elise’s paintings on her post, and it seemed perfect for the idea he was trying to convey. From that first post, came many more. Elise and Phil found that the combination of art and words was powerful, and the feedback was positive and encouraging. People commented on the beauty and effect that the words and images had for them. It is from those posts that this book was created.

Inspire Your Own Life Vision

The intention with Messages to the Heart is to help open a door for you where peace, clarity, joy and purpose can come in. You are invited to use this book to inspire your own life vision. Take time to pause, meditate, journal or simply reflect on these pages. Also, when life becomes stressful, or there are challenges you need to pull yourself through, come back to this book, and come back to you.

This book was written for you.

Elise and Phil Okrend


Passage reads as below paired with “Into the Light” pastel:

Self Worth

There is only one essential assumption to make in life. That is You Are Worthy. By understanding the truth of that, you understand that you do not need to prove anything, control anything, force anything. All you have to do is share what you already are with others and you will thrive. To believe otherwise is false to your true nature and causes needless pain and suffering for you and others. When you know you are worthy, you know that you do not lack anything and you are truly abundant. You are here to grow, share, learn and love. All the other stuff is just conditioning and learned behavior. All you need to do is let go of those falsities and come back to the truth of your worth.