The Golden Thread: Where to Find Purpose in the Stages of Your Life

New Degree Press, 2020.

The book is a storied expose on how Purpose lives within us, and right in front of us, across the stages of our lives. I wrote it because it is time for us all to contribute our Golden Thread to the tapestry of humanity. 

Story of My Book

This book will dispel any notion that your life doesn’t matter. You’ll learn that your own nuanced one-of-a-kind Purpose is right there in front of you, waiting to be discovered, so you can listen to its whispers and let it guide you like a GPS to a more fulfilling and impactful life.  Your nuanced Purpose shows up uniquely at different stages of life (related to Stage of Consciousness), which is part of why we can’t see our Purpose so clearly.

Most people think or believe that:

  • Purpose is a job or career, or a passion, and that you usually figure it out as an adult, if at all.
  • Childhood wounding is bad, and prevents you from living a good life. 
  • We are “defined” at an early age, which becomes the identity our lives get stuck in.

BUT, based on my 30-plus years of research and in activating thousands of clients to “find themselves,” and then to live powerful, aligned lives guided by their deep Soul Purpose, I’ve come to witness that:

  • Purpose is the seed that guides us throughout our life.
  • Passions and curiosities are indicators of Purpose, and jobs and careers are expressions of Purpose, but they are not inherently our Purpose.

In this book, I demonstrate how Purpose shows up in different parts of our lives through our unique expression.

Our childhood wounding is an indicator of Purpose, which we can use to uncover our Purpose as we explore and heal that wound. In this book, I’ll show why we’re required to do this “growing up”, and accomplish the developmental tasks at different stages of life, in order to fully express our Purpose.


Our Soul Purpose is evident at very early stages in life, as our soul pulls us in the direction of our longings. In this book, I’ll demonstrate how we sabotage that pull and limit our own evolution and purposeful expression. 


I was compelled to write this book after uncovering these patterns that debunked the myths about Purpose. 


Most people don’t think to “find themselves” until serious turmoil or trauma forces them to explore who they are, or later in life, as they experience a deep longing for more meaning. I wondered if it didn’t have to be that hard or come so late in life. So I put on my scientist hat and found a childhood pattern of extremely nuanced soul expression that was repeated over and over, like a “thread” throughout our lives. 


This Golden Thread is evident very early, and somehow we miss it.


My hope is that, in reading this book, you’ll discover where to look for the Golden Thread in your life stories. In this book, I hope to instill in you the same passion and excitement that I have for living my Purpose. And then ultimately, I want you to use this book as a tool to help you watch for and create a different trajectory for a life with more meaning, intention, and success.

Praise for The Golden Thread

“I’ve worked with many great business leaders and found that connection to purpose unites them. The Golden Thread clarifies that purpose is available to anyone, at any stage. The journey to leadership and prosperity is through your higher purpose and this book outlines the path forward.”

John Mackey, Co-Founder  & CEO, Whole Foods, Co-Author Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business

“Holly Woods has an excellent grasp of the depth and breadth of purpose work. No one else has looked at it through the stages of personal development lens (and few are qualified to do so!) Take this opportunity to advance your purpose journey with Holly as your guide.”

Tim Kelley, Founder True Purpose Institute, Global Change Agent, author True Purpose

“Holly takes purpose out of the ethers and into your life. Guided by decades of experience and scholarship, The Golden Thread is the first truly integral and developmentally holistic treatment on purpose. It is rich with vivid case studies and simple prose, empowering anyone at any stage of life to discover and activate their purpose”.  

Brandon Peele, Author, Planet on Purpose

We are living in extraordinary times of darkness and light as we navigate the shifts into kosmic awakening. Holly Woods has crafted an important and outstanding contribution to the map of this journey. As Holly combines the emerging research on consciousness and finding purpose in our lives, she includes stories of clients and a deep dive into her own life journey, bringing a richness of real-life experience. Holly’s rare and radical transparency courageously reflects her deep commitment to finding the deepest meaning and purpose in our lives. My deepest hope is that we all will have this kind of willingness. It will change our lives and our world.”

Marj Britt, EdD, AuthorYour Soul’s Invisible Codes, Founder Called by Love Institute 

“The Golden Thread is a deeply insightful and enjoyable read about purpose as a GPS throughout all stages of our lives. Can’t recommend it enough!”

Chip Conley, NY Times bestselling author, CEO of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, Founder Modern Elder Academy

Emergence Institute

Holly Woods, PhD

ⓒ 2021 Emergence Institute