EXECUTIVE IN PASSAGE is a compelling memoir about a successful Fortune-500 advertising executive who can no longer tolerate the split between his values and his work.

In his own words:

I had quit smoking but was making ads for Marlboro. I was working on Kellogg’s while restricting the kids’ intake of presweetened cereals. I was asked to keep GM’s gas guzzlers selling during the nation’s worst oil crisis...

There was no denying it.

My ideals conflicted with the career I'd been building for 15 years. My marriage had gone dead. An urgent yearning had crept into my soul.

As I moved forward, I entered a period of disorientation and sometimes despair. But some inner sense of rightness kept pulling me on.

Finally, after a tortuously difficult time, I was delivered into a new way of life — one filled with inner quiet and renewed success — an experience I can only describe as uncommon fulfillment.

As the reader, you'll follow this mid-career executive as he dares to follow the guidance of his inner voice — even as it takes him through private inner struggles and a meltdown in the boardroom of one of America’s largest corporations, and from there into Hollywood's famed movie studios, and ultimately around the corner of his own psyche.

This teaching memoir is one man's story. But it is so intimate and raw, the reader can't help but accompany him on his journey, and grow and learn along the way.

The story is his. But the passage is universal.

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Reader Reviews

Your book spoke to my husband’s soul

I read Executive in Passage a few days before we left on a long camping trip. I brought it along and read it aloud to my husband during the long hours we spent driving through the Northwest.

Some nights after dinner we would be sitting in beautiful places in the mountains or woods, and I’d read aloud to my husband and stepdaughter.

I would see my husband sit in awe at a passage, or tears would come to his eyes at those times when you spoke to his soul.

S. R.
Orange County, CA

This book selected me!

It fell off the shelf at the local bookstore. I couldn’t put it down and ended up reading it from cover to cover in a day. 

Not only was it a validation of my process — there were times I thought I was crazy — it was a voice of hope. I laughed, I sighed, I cried—I cried a lot!

It was more than the story that moved me, it was his ability to so clearly and poignantly capture the essence of it all.

M. J., Boulder, CO

Trusting your inner guidance...

...for me, that was the resonance in my heart as I read and quietly absorbed into my deepest core, Don Marrs' beautiful work about life transition and personal transformation.

Other than my own personal guidance, I couldn’t have found a more trusted guide to accompany me on my own journey.


For anyone questioning his/her path in life

This book is about honoring the process of life. It’s not all peaches and cream. Life can be messy. It can be complex. And it’s rarely without drama and major life decisions. 

Marrs talks about all of this with grace and insight. His willingness to live his process is an inspiration to anyone who is open to it.

I would highly recommend this book.

Staci Backauskas
Author, The Fifth Goddess

Captivating! Transformative!

Don and Paige Marrs wrote a powerful, moving, intimate, vulnerable account of his transformation into "right livelihood."

I was mesmerized; it is truly life-changing and brilliant.

Accompanying Don on his sacred journey is such a privilege. It is a book to be savored, read, and re-read.

I believe this story will change lives.

Paula Ray
Los Angeles

Comforting, eye-opening for anyone in a life transition

Marrs’ journey looks different from mine on the outside — for him it started as career change, for me it’s personal loss — yet the inner struggles, the fears and doubts, the types of choices, even the awakenings, are surprisingly similar. 

I felt comforted and at home.

Hearing how he found the path through his confusion, and how he had the courage to follow his inner guidance, inspires me to do the same.

Plus I loved the parts about his dog, Stray. Very touching.

This book is profound, yet easy to read.

Susan Gray

… frank and engaging account 

Donald Marrs was a highly successful advertising executive in Chicago when he began to hear an inner voice calling him to seek deep meaning in life. 

“What started as a rather simple career change, turned into the excruciating task of remaking myself from inside, of using capacities I had no idea existed, from places I had never been aware of.”

This is his frank and engaging account of a long, often painful journey on the way to integrating his values with his work.

Yoga Journal

Prescribed reading for men in crisis

I think every man in mid-life should read this book.

Hugely inspiring, full of insights and healing, Donald takes us through the rites of passage in response to that 'inner voice' which must be heard. He helps us to open the cage and to fly.

Whether you return to your nest or fly off into the sunset, this is a journey of love and longing. It is a call to the heart of every man who wants to be run with his intuition.

A truly wonderful book of self-discovery, it gave me the confidence to find my way out of cancer.

Mr. M. P. Evans
United Kingdom

I cannot even begin to tell you the comfort it gave me

I was about halfway through my own ‘Subtle Agenda’ journey when I found this book the first time.

I just finished reading it again, and again it is a passage of light.

Now I realize I do not need to leave a field that I love to lead a spiritual life and continue a spiritual journey.

J. G.
TV Network President

A journey of resolving the conflicts between material success and core values

Executive in Passage takes us through the crisis many people experience these days when they feel a conflict between material success and their most central values.

It’s beautifully written with raw honesty, courage, and inspiring possibility about creating a fulfilling personal and professional life.

Sarah Edwards, LCSW, PhD

A powerful book about personal change, a book for all times

 It is not a religious book, but it is a spiritual journey — the finding of one’s true self. 

… a personal journey into the man’s inmost psyche — to where he hit bottom emotionally, financially, yet he still clung to that life-saving inner voice that finally led him to the goal he was seeking — of working for personal fulfillment, feeling he was actually doing something good, both for himself and for his fellow man.

This is one of the best books of its type I have ever read.

Virginia Sink
Oklahoma Tribune-Star

Wonderful book that really helped me

This book has helped lead me from the confusion that I had in my own career.

So often we fear doing what internally we know is right for us.

This book gave me a view of the path I was on, and in doing so, gave me the insight to make the choices best for me in getting to fulfillment in my work. 


Inspiring! Captivating!

I could not put this book down.

It takes a certain kind of courage not only to embark on such a sacred journey, but also to share his experience.

His story fills you with hope.

It's a love letter from his soul, an invitation to connect with the divine spirit within you. Thank you Don!

Jeff Hutcheson

It’s rare to have an opportunity …

... to share someone else's intimate disclosure [as] he came to understand what was important and true to him. 

I’m glad I read this book. At all times, I felt the strength, the anguish, the fear, and frequently, the peace of a traveler on the path.

Douglas A. Russell
Sunrise Magazine, Theosophic Society

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