Author Archives: michelle

Business Story: My Son & Recess

Nolan was born two blocks from this canal in Amsterdam.

As I continue leading the Emergence mastermind, I think of Nolan at around seven or eight years old asking me why I had to go away to NYC on a business trip.

I sat down and asked him this question which is one of my favorite conversations with him as a younger boy:

What’s your favorite thing about school? (I knew what he was going to say [and therefore how I would continue to respond], I was leading the witness)…

Recess, he said.

Oh, yes, recess is sooo fun. Mama doesn’t have recess like you do anymore, but, my recess now comes in the work I love to do and in the trips I take to keep doing business. I’ll only be gone for a few days, I reassured him. And I’ll come back and we’ll have so much fun again…Nolie, don’t you notice that I come back *even* more silly from my trips? (I said almost exactly this).

I’ll never forget his cute few second pause, all while cocking his head to the side as if thinking through the validity of my statement.

Well, yessss, he said (he didn’t want to admit it, but I did always come back even more playful). 

During the pandemic, I’ve been busier than ever…I’ve run my virtual LIVEN retreat, onboarded new private clients, started working on multiple projects with Josh, started the REIMAGINE council of women and now The Emergence Mastermind and began creating around the idea of the vision quest, all new offerings that took (and are taking) many, many hours to birth.

It all came from listening to what my community and THE community needed for such a time as this.

It can’t be the same because no one is the same, especially right now. Not one person is the same they were eight months ago! 

For such a time as this, what does your family really need? Hear the answer and go one more step or level deeper. For such a time as this, what do your clients need? Ditto. For such a time as this, what oh what, do YOU need? Go one step or level deeper for *all* your relationships right now, as they’re the connections giving you/us LIFE…

I love the following question almost as much as the question I asked Nolan those years ago: what do my clients OR my family need to hear from me today; how can I affirm them (especially during a hard time as we are all living in at the moment).

What does *your* family, kids, clients, friends, or the next store clerk you’ll see need to hear from you today, how can you affirm *them*?

We need to be affirmed right now — and the need is of a different caliber, a different quality and of a unique depth, 
f o r s u c h a t i m e a s t h i s. 

Years ago, I tried doing it the way most coaches did and it didn’t jive. In fact, there’s a lot of things about the industry that don’t jive with me, and so I’ve continued to do it another way. And much of it really does go back to the idea of recess.

As I support others in their growth, how can I, myself, feel in play? How can I keep my sense of fun, my playfulness and my sillliness as I work? And (always) ~ how can I keep doing work that feels meaningful? 

It hasn’t come in putting the same thing out there over and over again just to make it easy on myself or just to make money (of course, there are and have been courses and offerings that are always needed, but those aside, creating anew feels really aligned). 

Making money is one thing, but genuinely listening to what others are going through and creating for that specific need inside a very specific time (and with a specific tone, energy and rhythm) is something else.

Deeply and madly listen to what your people at home need right now ~ to what your clients genuinely need and use that in a way you haven’t before. 

It takes a lot of work to create something new, but do it because you feel a unique fulfillment and because it matches the times and the many very real conversations being had.

Laboring to birth Nolan (in addition to the surgeries that followed) was extremely challenging, but those long nights, pain and “work” made it all the purposeful and rewarding.

Let’s make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…

To the best of the rest of your life. 

Life is good!

Eulogies My Husband And I Wrote

Eulogies My Husband And I Wrote

There have been two times in our life as a couple where we’ve stood in front of each other and cried (wedding & vow renewal) and now, after writing and sharing eulogies we wrote for one other (original post about the idea) we add a third. That’s right. Eulogies My Husband And I Wrote.

These are the outfits we wore on this momentous occasion, a perfect fit really, except for this time, we were not standing. 

We both could feel we’d need to/have to get down closer to the earth to share these words, so, belly to belly, heart closer to the other heart, I plopped myself on top of him as he lay on a beach chair. 

There were about 10 unknowing guests in attendance, up and down the beach and I know many of our ancestors and loved ones up above were there, too.

We sniffed and snotted on each other (a bit) and paused multiple times to get through each eulogy (lots).

We didn’t look at each other for this ceremony and instead found comfort in our long, sleeping embrace.

It was the best of the hardest work we’ve done, proving to us once again that difficult can be beautiful.

Amidst sand on all body parts, sweat gleaming off of us and messy hair (ode to our real life together), it was simple and tender, a profound moment of not just our partnership, but of each of our entire individual lives.

Let’s make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…

To the best of the rest of your life. 

Life is good.

Business Nature Days (Coming Soon!)

As Bill Plotkin PhD says in one of my favorite books, I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life…

The vision quest last year made it up there with Nolan’s birth and the day, after a couple months dating, that I decided NOT to break it off with Josh, feeling we might only be friends (I’ve never since felt so good to be so wrong, btw).

During the nine days and especially during the four spent on my own without food or shelter, I felt it an honor to get to spend time with myself in that way.

On the last day, sooo dirty and cleaner emotionally than I had been in years, I didn’t want to come home (I now know this is a common response for people post-quest).

— big for me to say/feel as I revel in being a part of what home means with Josh and Nolan, but it had everything to do with the ability to slow it all down to the pace of presence and to see minute by minute, hour by hour and nightfall by nightfall, that I was ok and that, as I’ve shared before, though I was alone, I was not lonely.

**It was not at all like a retreat and yet it was a deep retreat into learning to hold high sensation without crumbling…**

I realized early on in the experience and through the ecopsychology apprenticeship (brand and business coach goes rogue) that if I allowed my thoughts and worries — mainly about mountain lions and bears —to run the mental show that the show would be over; that I’d be walking down the mountain calling it quits.

And isn’t that what we are ALL doing in the wild of our own homes right now? Maybe/hopefully/sometimes or some *minutes* learning to stay present during the many confronting moments we each have these days, without cowering?

It’s wild out there — but what I know for sure is that our innate strength is even more wild!!

(I’m ready to bring you ladies out here with me and do “business” and create relationship/romance and motherhood from THIS place)

#visionquest
#lifequest
#wildofourownhomes
#creativeheroine

Let’s make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…

To the best of the rest of your life. 

Life is good.

No Eating For 3 Days (Sign Me Up!)

No Eating For 3 Days (Sign Me Up!)

We had a moving experience recently in Tulum that reminded me that all fear is connected to the fear of death (our own death)…

Cut to July of 2019:

I’ve never felt such strong feelings of fear before arriving to the place where my quest would begin.

The drive up there (four hours), and too much time to think, was as close to panic as I’ve ever felt.

I was more afraid of “surprising” the bears or mountain lions (aka, them surprising me) than of being alone for four days without food or shelter [when Josh and Nolan picked me up after the total of nine days away, Josh and I cried – as we hugged, he told me how worried he had been that I would be feeling lonely).

As I’ve shared a couple times before, though I was alone (well, -ish because ~> ), I was not and could not be lonely.

There was and is so much in nature that is home (nature’s the tea, milk & honey, it really is).

The second I got out of the car and my feet touched ground, things settled dramatically. I love that the very place that we call ‘the wild’ is so absolutely nurturing.

The quest [like other challenging things, both chosen & unchosen] changed so much of how I continue to relate to and digest fear, not to mention digest many other things.

My mind has been changed and my body has changed, too — it’s changed the way I look at food, water and hunger (Michelle, what are you *really* hungry for? A change in your life? Healing around ____? Finally having that tough conversation? A closer connection to ____?).

It’s also shifted the way I do things in the name of health and for my body — all with a deeper understanding around why…why we look at food (or alcohol) to quench a hunger or thirst that can only be helped by looking more deeply at our lives, at our communication and/or at our relationships. Or, conversely – why we do things in the name of “health” that are, in truth, not health-y.

The focus brought by only drinking water for breakfast, lunch, dinner (and snacks ~ ever had a snack of water? ) is curiously satiating. You have time for so much more of the important stuff!

And, did I mention there’s nowhere to run from your feelings? You have no physical energy (lots of another kind & brand name, however), you don’t really know where you are (so which way do you go?) and last – running might stir the beautiful sleeping creatures you’re sharing space with [I did a ritual the first night on my solo time thanking all the tiniest and largest of creatures 7,000 feet up for allowing me to create home in theirs and it was one of my favorite prayers while there].

Minute after minute, hour after hour and day after day, you get to sit there for four days and work it out. Every fear you have about a noise in the distance or inside your belly, you can’t escape, you can only work with to get to the other side.

I now drink more water than I ever have (I start out at 6:15am with 20 oz), I don’t have many cravings, if at all anymore, and, in many ways my gut has reset (for someone with gut sensitivities, this has been awe-some).

When we went on lockdown for the first time in March, I told Josh I wanted to do it in a way that made me feel good.

When I came back from quest, I had no interest in lemon drop martinis or any kind of alcohol (or sugar) or other things that might make me feel “good” for the moment.

I was interested in the things that made me feel well.

Good and well ~ different. One is temporary…

I wanted to continue wellness, even (and especially) if things got more stressful or isolating inside the pandemic.

We continued with our workouts and he, too, had already shifted his own mindset around alcohol in January when he decided to start the new year without it for a total of six months or so.

So, throughout the last many months, though we have had comforts like a roof over our head and food (always grateful) and each other (ditto) — all things I did not have on quest, in the wild of our own home we did not have alcohol.

On December 10 or 11th, I’ll start on another few day water fast, this time a total of three days without food versus four and I can’t wait (fasting will be incorporated into some of my work starting next Summer inside shorter quests I’ll take women on).

I’m not nervous for the three days of only drinking water, as much as I am happy for it AND I can’t wait to tell you about each day as I go through it in a couple weeks.

Feel free to do research around the benefits of a water fast and know that although many of the benefits you read about are physical, the benefits are also absolutely emotional and spiritual…

Let’s make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…

To the best of the rest of your life. 

Life is good.