Summer Vacation

Summer Vacation - for inspiration

As you may already know, I’m on SUMMER VACATION! My creative cup wasn’t really getting empty, but I felt it was the same brew I’d been serving for a while, so decided to take time to fill my own cup and make room for some new concoctions. . Since June, I’ve been using the summer reconnect with distant family, study art with my teacher in Southern California, put together summer vacation travela two-person art exhibit, tour a few far-away places, paint, paint, paint, and steep in ideas for new writings in September! My muse really seems to be digging the break, but I thought I’d check in with you this week…just cuz.

You may have noticed, each Friday, I’ve been creating a post on social media sites with a link from a popular previous post. If you’d like to get the updates, you can join the tribe (on the left sidebar) or follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.  For art only updates, follow me on Instagram!

Summer Vacation IdeaI’m not sure if you realize, but you can put almost any topic in the search bar at the top of the page, and if I’ve written about it, you’ll see all related articles pop up. You can find popular art business and art of life posts on those related pages of the website. Feel free to share those links with friends…while I’m on the beach. 😉

I hope you’re doing something special that fills you up for the summer. If Summer Vacation Ideasyou are, feel free to leave a note below and share! I’m still here…just brewing!!!

Enjoy the Summer!

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Writer, Artist, Coach

 

Michelle Andres is a writer and artist. She writes this blog to share tips for a well-lived life and a finely run art business…just for you!

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Healthy FriendshipsTend your healthy Friendships – like flowers – and enjoy their blooms.

Earlier this week, I read someone’s thoughts about how we sometimes defend other people, claiming, “Deep down they’re a nice person.” We all have or have had these people in our lives, who we felt needed our protection. I’ve previously referred to them as “Weed Farmers.” While other people doubt such a person’s capacity for caring or sensitivity, we, as their faithful friend, family member or spouse, step in and exclaim, “Deep-down he/she is a good person.” This begs the question the writer asked:

How DEEP down?

How far down are you willing to excavate to find the “possible goodness” in another person? Of course, the answer is highly personal. It varies from person to person and situation to situation. I’m a firm believer in tending your relationships, like a garden, with loving care. I am also a firm believer that excavation, if it’s to be done at all, can be left to heavy equipment operators. If someone is over-fertilizing my garden – I’m just not that interested.

Continue reading »

Garden Party

“We’re all mad here.”
“But, I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”
                                                             
                                                       ~Lewis Carroll – Alice in Wonderland
 

Mad, Fearless artArtists are an insecure bunch. Not all, but many seek constant reassurance and direction. Newer artists may do it incessantly. They’re liable to make a career out of “what do you think?” and lose the spirit that had them fearlessly making art in the first place.

Some time ago, I made a vow to liver fearlessly…Freudian typo.
This was not entirely possible without reconciling myself to a certain degree of madness. While the decision to live fearlessly included putting myself and my art “out there,” it did not preclude the insecurity that would accompany “spreading my wares” before the masses, showing artwork publically, and the challenges of defining and refining my artistic “voice.” I also didn’t count on the Ego voicing Her rather paranoid concerns. As the stakes got higher, Her inflated decibels were on a mission to drown out reason. My motto – Starve the Ego, feed the Muse. (click to Tweet) Continue reading »

Positive FocusChugga, chugga, choo-choooo…..

Life is not always easy.

I’m not prone to anxiety, but the last couple weeks my chi has been askew. Listening to news and current events makes it worse. Our world is a train wreck.

  •  Terrorist wars raging in the middle east
  • Run-away ebola outbreak in Africa that could spread to other continents
  • Government corruption
  • Cyber attacks from Russian mobs
  • A “super volcano” in Yellow Stone National Park
  • Drought in California with no end in sight
  • And, in my own neighborhood, a young man abducts an 8-year-old child from her bed and releases her an hour later, unharmed, but he’s still on the loose.

Are YOU freaked out yet? Sorry to drag you into my misery. Truly, I am. Continue reading »

The Middle

(I’m on summer vacation! These posts are re-posts. I have discovered a need to re-fill my creative cup. Looking forward to bringing you new and improved posts in the fall. I hope you enjoy these selected writings! Search topics of interest on my site for more related articles.)

“Every giant redwood was once a seedling. They don’t get to skip that part.” –  Sue Fitzmaurice  (click to Tweet)

There’s a recurring theme lately. People are in transition. Life is full of cycles and we’re sometimes called upon to reinvent Life transitionourselves. This is not necessarily a bad thing, it can lead to growth, breathe life into our dreams, be a catalyst for positive change…but let’s face it….it’s more than terrifying to be a seedling.

You. Don’t. Get. To. Skip. That. Part.

Seedlings are itty bitty small in a big, big world. Seedlings get stepped on, drowned, and their tender little stems are pickings for things like…well…wild pigs. Seedlings are vulnerable. Not all seedlings make it but they try, because  the prospect of being a giant Sequoia is quite enticing. Sequoias are strong, long-lived and have a fabulous penthouse view.

I’ve had a fairly varied and interesting past. (Notice I did NOT say “colourful.”) Every decade has brought transitions – new places, new relationships and sometimes, new careers. Interestingly, what was learned from the old situations bolted onto the new transitions quite nicely, kind of like Legos. Just because we leave a job or relationship behind doesn’t mean the skills and knowledge we have aren’t transferrable – THEY ARE!

I will tell you a secret. Often, during transition, there is a long expanse of time that is the “uncomfortable middle.” (click to Tweet) It is not the creamy, fluffy, goodness. This is the place where you lack direction, uncertainty becomes a way of life, the answer or direction often does not reveal itself as quickly as our fast-food appetites would like. This is not a happy place, but a place of exploration, possibilities and change. It is an uncomfortable crevasse. It’s the very thing that can send you running and screaming back to the comfort…back to the known. To get past the middle you need a serious dose of courage. You have to trust the process, your God and your gut. Continue reading »

Nothin’

Sometimes, you know, you just got nothin’.Nothin'

This will be short and sweet because today, I’m writing on an airplane and I’ve slept about 4 hours and …well, really, I got nothin’.

No wit, no puns, no smart-ass comments. No rant, no chirp, no cadence. No crazy diatribe, nothing to carry you through til the end…

I throw myself on the mercy of the court.

Nothin’.

I’ve even filed this post under “Lack of Content” and “Drivel.” It’s been a really busy few weeks and I’ve burnt the candle at both ends – I’m waxed.

Hope to catch up with you next week in a more lively state. Until then…

Be Your Best Like Me, 

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Michelle Andres is a writer and artist who Writer, Artist, Coachcultivates her own Well Lived Life by drinking in the beauty around her, following her passion, respecting others and doing her best to own her own dookie.

Visit Michelle’s studio art site here.
Find Michelle on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram
“Join the Tribe” and subscribe to this blog (Over there on the left sidebar)!

The Unravelment

UnravelmentThe Unravelment

It hasn’t happened in a while and doesn’t happen often, but the other day, I came unraveled I’m a frayed.

I like to think I can steer my own ship, but I was taking on water, so put out an  SOS to a friend. Friends are wonderful for such things, but make sure you have a level-headed confidante, not one that is a little dinghy….so sorry, I couldn’t help it.

I guess I should define unravelment for you, since it’s apparently a new word; as a matter of fact, I just created it. Wouldn’t it be cool if Merriam- Webster put it in the book for 2017? Write to them!

Un-rav-el-ment (v.) – The act of coming unhinged by emotionally reacting to things that could be true or could happen. The awfulizing, ruminating, and visceral reaction of things fabricated in one’s mind without factual proof of existence.

Do you know this state of being? I’m going out on a limb here and guessing we’ve all done it and I’m not alone and bat-shit crazy. Continue reading »