Author Archives: michelle

Check Your Mood At The Door

Check Your Mood At The Door

Check Your Mood At The Door

I’m thankful Monday through Sunday for this lived truth: grief turns into gratitude (it IS gratitude).

The journey of grief is, in fact, feeling an over abundance, the kind that spills out through your eyes, of gratitude for having had them in the first place.

Thank you Mom and Dino and my new connection to you, for teaching me so much over the last eight years, all of which has brought me even more fulfillment, wild joy, creation, silence, play and connection to what’s most important ~ healing, people and self agency.

Everything the dance…my work, family life, reflection time, adventure and travel time is all about.

Though no one would ever wish for the path of sadness (like Nolan told me at eight or nine years old, “I would rather have many smaller moments of sadness in life than many big ones”), it is a path we all walk at some point, so to all currently setting out or continuing on this path, I say, remember that sadness only exists because of love; of having had or felt great love.

Remember, too, that the sun, whether you see it or not, will be there to greet you each day (get out into it that day more) and the moon will be there to help ease you into the night (close those eyes).

When you feel no one else has got you, nature has got you.

Grief turns into gratitude.

It is gratitude.

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

To the best of the rest of your life!

Life is good.

No Relationship Needed For LOVE

No Relationship Needed For LOVE

** If you are currently unhappy or unfulfilled, it may not mean that you are not in the right place, right household or right relationship(s) with loved ones, it might simply mean that you are unfulfilled with the time you spend with yourself (quantity or quantity of it). **

I’ve had my “own thing” the last 20 years inside things like my business…my own friends, my own trips with those friends, service trips abroad, business trips, my own chosen challenges or adventures, my own growth moments etc, BUT it happens, equally for men and women, where we can *still* lose part of ourselves in relationship (& not just romantic relationships, but in the relationship we have with our children, too).

No Relationship Needed For LOVE

Maybe little of how you’re feeling means you need to look for a purpose project [no matter how much I love them & talk about them with clients], it may simply mean you need to create a lane for yourself — or a bridge OVER TO YOURSELF — more often, while living inside the joy of family (The photo at the top is of our last family trip to London four years ago, which is where my boy band of two is for 10 days over the holiday, where they sent me the picture right above)…

A lane that has less to do with what we normally coin “self-care” & more with actually listening (BE-ing), in consistent moments everyday outside that once in a blue moon bath, to the space between the words…the space we normally rarely hear over everyone & everything we DO for those every ones. 


Because it’s ultimately when we are quiet with ourselves that we meet a greater level of true HONESTY, outside of plans & busy-ness (modern society is so very good at busy-ness) where creativity is truly unleashed & where all your primo north star ideas for where to go next live.

A kind of fulfillment can come from the external (which is where many look for it), but sticks around with the internal (meaning: the time + times we take to consciously BE with ourselves in our lives & to hear, once again, what we want to do with them).

Though we might think the love we have for another or they have for us is part of the “internal”, it’s not. That is external.

Our honest contentment has nothing to do with how much someone loves us or if we’re in a relationship or not.

Loving ourselves is (the) internal and means being more than ok by ourselves.

As I’ve shared with a couple friends in the last few days, sure, I felt a missing of them as I walked away from them at the airport, but since then, none. No missing and I felt it/said it with a laugh each time. 


 (Just happy here and happy they are together).

Sooo, as much as I talk about external relationships and the deep love I have for my little family, the through line, everyday, in what I write (or don’t write, but hopefully live), is, just like my brand identity work…richly-based inside self identity and how important it is to maintain this relationship of, hopefully, *your* own deepest love and affection.

Definitely miss that if it goes away (but don’t miss it for long)!!!

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

To the best of the rest of your life!

Life is good.

Love Or Respect?

Love Or Respect?

He started helping rollies pollies get across the sidewalk when he was a little boy…

It was an expression of the purest love, yes, but really of what comes from that love ~ respect…

And that’s what I saw each time, the respect he held for life. 

He’s still this way now. 

His choices are my life coaches. 

And this is, to the T, how I feel about him.

I LOVE him, undoubtedly, but r e s p e c t him, maybe MOST of all…the kind others might only think about showing to a grown adult who “commands” it. 

But the cheeky thing about love and respecting life is that the very things and beings who do *not* “command” it, say, in the traditional way, deserve the utmost. 

Because from little things big things grow. From those more quiet or even silent dear little rollie pollies, we learn…

I don’t just continue to watch my Nolie Rollie Pollie (his actual nickname for about 10 years) move about the world with a vast emotional availability and astuteness, but I listen and listen closely to the space between his words…


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

To the best of the rest of your life!

Life is good.

Syrian Refugee Camp

During this time of giving gratitude and spending time with the people that matter most, I ran across this blog from six years ago…

I’m sharing it again below.

May we continue to marshal all our life energy to do the work in the world we most care about ~ it needn’t be anything but that which connects deeply with your creativity, truth, values and how you make sense of things in the world (how you *create* meaning).

Happy holiday season to you! 

REFUGEE SUPPORT STORY, Day 2: Today I held a baby. It was a lesson is receiving.  

Though the Syrian and Afghan community here don’t speak Greek: efkaristo ~ thank you.

As volunteers, we are here to give — giving is why we came. 

But, as we have walked to pass out tickets, giving families specific times to “shop” for clothes, they’ve invited us in as friends. 

They’ve proudly asked us in to show us how they’ve decorated their new pods (they moved from their tents a day before I arrived after heavy rains).

Some had created pretty living rooms to one side of their bedrooms (each “room” about two feet away from one other). 

Others hung tarps in front of their pods to create additional sitting space to hang out in the morning, or at night, and to protect the front of it from the rain. Some of the shoes they had received earlier were now just outside the doors sitting on makeshift shelving.

Not all the receiving was easy for them, but, we each tried to find a way to ease those feelings by saying I’m sorry, I know and it makes me sad, too.

Yesterday, I think back to one family making and breaking bread outside on and around the fire. They had offered us some….

No, no, no…but, thank you.

They offered again.

No, no, (please — take), oh, no, ok, ok THANK YOU. Thank you so much. (Not all the receiving was easy for them — us — but, we each tried…). 

Cutting to this afternoon, as it started to rain, a couple of us were out again to pass out a few more tickets. 

A man, as he was sitting near the fire with his family, beginning to chat with us about when he could come get shoes and clothes, said, We make coffee. You see? (showing us the coffee in his glass cup), Please…try, you want to try? Try, try…

It smelled delicious. 

No, n- ok, (he’s handing us some) ok, THANK YOU. Thank you so much. 

Today was a lesson in saying yes to receiving, while also deeply respecting that the relationships made and ended here will likely pain both the volunteer and refugee (do relationships made ever, actually, end or does the feeling started always live, therefore the connection always lives?).

This pause — simply entertaining the question is a lesson in saying yes to receiving.

In short, even knowing the camp guidelines of not getting too close are clear and understandable, the experience was one of not being able to fight connection. 

We may love to give, it may even be the job at hand, but might we be denying others their human right of giving and what that, too, feels like, and enlivens and heals in us? 

The last two hours of the day gifted me with holding a three-month-old baby while his mom and dad tried on clothes — a baby whose very essence gives and receives, at the same time, is ultimately unique. There’s no seesawing to decide which, or if, just both, and easily at same time. 

Our essence is both, and easily, at the same time.