Pissy, Unapologetic and Fed-Up

www.michelleandresart.com/2017/08/pissy

I cannot deal with your anger.

And, I don’t necessarily disagree with you.

Either you manufactured your outrage, or you have mastered the art of unskilled communication – but the daily outbursts are not convincing me to empathize with you; even though I may agree with you.

The world is noisy enough, people. We have real challenges and conflicts. When did some folks decide the louder they scream the more likely they will be heard? It doesn’t work that way.

Yes, I’m pissed, and I’m exhausted. I’ve been exhausted and in retreat for some time, now. My pleas to put down taking up sides and shine your light seem to have fallen on deaf ears, as we continue to slip deeper into this unholy mess. I haven’t published a post since last April. This is unusual, because this blog was conceived when I realized I wasn’t embracing my calling and I made a leap to create a better, happier, more authentically Well-Lived Life. It was a thrilling time and I wanted to share the formula, spread the word. So, I did, every Friday for over 4 years. But, somewhere around 2016, I found myself repeating the same theme:

Behave – you’re contributing to the problem!

Continue reading “Pissy, Unapologetic and Fed-Up”

The Art of Letting Go

Letting Go

Letting go may be the single, most important factor in creating a joyful life. (click to Tweet)

It’s not what we don’t have, it’s not what we do have, it’s the stuff we drag behind us…the weight of the expectations, the fears, the disappointments and perhaps, even, the weight of the betrayal that pull the joy right from our hearts.

I learn so much on my yoga mat, I’m not sure why I don’t go to it daily. Yesterday, setting an intention for my practice, I chose “letting go,” because

Maybe you’ve noticed, I used to publish this blog every week – but, recently,  that’s stopped. Truth is, the current political climate took a lot out of me. I’m pretty sensitive to “harmony” and when the world becomes a cacophony of discord, it eventually kicks even my inner cheerleader’s ass.  I like to keep our topics relevant, yet light, because my truth is, we all take life a bit too seriously. But, that’s not the only reason you haven’t heard from me. Here’s what’s been filling my plate: Continue reading “The Art of Letting Go”

Shine YOUR Light – Share YOUR Gifts

Natural gifts byron katieI know a brilliant designer, Nar Bustamante. His work makes the world  more beautiful in so many ways, but that didn’t matter to him on this particular day.

Recently, he posted on social media, “I don’t understand war. When I see children hurt, bleed, confused, helpless, innocent, my soul feels deep pain. All the greatness I surround myself with seems insignificant. I love people. I still think this world is awesome…” He went on to express his disgust that we don’t acknowledge and address this suffering. It was obvious his soul was very raw. There’s truth in his words, and we often wonder, what can we do, individually, to make a difference. Continue reading “Shine YOUR Light – Share YOUR Gifts”

My Life of Utter Excess

Excess

I live a life of complete and utter excess.

If I were smarter, that would be all I would say…but no… because I’m excessive.

This doesn’t mean I live a lavish life-style, travel the world, over-eat and drink or spend until I’m over my head. I might have a few too many bites of pizza, now and then, but generally, I’m not gluttonous. My excess is found in the realm of energy.

I spend my energy like it’s a perishable item. I know it IS! But, it doesn’t rot at the rate I’m moving. I realized this when I was gardening this week. Gardening is great for the soul. I’d been working so hard in the studio, I forgot what a salve it can be to push one’s hands into the earth, clear the space, create a beautiful, living canvas. It’s healthy for the body and the mind. I gardened in the 90+ degree heat until I was done… Continue reading “My Life of Utter Excess”

Life is Two-Faced

Two FacedThere are two ways to view the world, I think. The first world-view comes from what others tell us. This includes what we read in newspapers, magazines, on the web, see on TV and hear on the radio. It’s a life scripted by the media. The second view comes from observation in day-to-day living. This view is comprised of data from our 5 senses, observations we get on our walks, at the market, from our work and in the company of family and friends. This view is scripted by your reality.

My experience of the world is vastly different depending upon the view I choose.

Continue reading “Life is Two-Faced”

Do You Haiku?

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Recently, I’ve been writing haiku and using the word in my artwork. Today, I’ll share a few of the poems. They focus on our interrelatedness in the world, our actions and intentions and how our small daily acts can impact humanity as a whole.

These haikus are on long, skinny paintings I call “Totems.” Because the substrate is so long, I’ve written multiple haiku “stanzas” on one piece of art. Because of this, one haiku can be multi-versed.

As I wrote these, I was emerging from a darker place, into a space of light. You can see the progression. Maybe you’re in a similar place, or you can relate more easily to one of them. I hope you enjoy.

 

The Dichotomy

The dichotomy.
Your power and strength will win.
Be fair and gentle.

Being strong or soft,
you are capable of both.
the world watches you.

Unfortunately,
whichever path you may choose
some will condemn you.

When we see the worth
Of both our strength and softness
Wisdom will prevail.

 

Garden

For full, joy-filled lives
Ten your best relationships.
They’re your heart’s garden.

 

Friends and Neighbors

They are right next door.
We share the details of life.
Our friends and neighbors.

Continue reading “Do You Haiku?”

Mind Your Manures

manure IMy mind is fertile. Even in childhood, I was the one with my head in the clouds, dreaming, scheming, generating ideas and questioning the world.

Fertile minds can work for us or against us. It depends upon the fertilizer, really (click to Tweet).

A mind full of dung generates steaming, fetid, heaping piles of shit. Yeah, I said that. Before I went on my summer vacation  I was composting media clips, political commentary, mind-spinning current events and fears of our collective future. That composting roiled itself into a seething, slow boiling sort of rage. I do not like the “good” being stolen from me by subversive sources. I especially detest the dismemberment of the truth; there IS good in the world. Nuff said.

I really can’t blame the putrid state of affairs on anyone other than Manure IImyself. It’s a lot like your diet. Consume a constant regimen of fast food and junk – you get fat. Make choices for a sedentary life-style – you get sick. Deny any spirituality in your life – you become hopeless. Stop working and spend every cent you’ve made – you become impoverished. Focus on the bad in the world – you get angry. Maybe because you know it’s not the truth. Maybe because you can’t do anything about it….

Wait….

But, you can! Continue reading “Mind Your Manures”

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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Gardening Tools – Tending Healthy Friendships

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 “Gardening Tools – Tending Healthy Friendships”

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 “Garden Party”

Positive Focus – Getting Back on Track When You View the World as a Train Wreck

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 “Positive Focus – Getting Back on Track When You View the World as a Train Wreck”

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 “The Middle”

Live Your Yoga

Free from DoubtLive your yoga. That’s what my yoga instructor says when she ends class.

I’ve been harried lately (please don’t send Lady Gillettes, that’s not what I mean). I’m inundated preparing for a June art exhibit, taking on a new medium and managing multiple travel plans. It’s made daily living ripe for chaos and slip-ups. In past posts I’ve explored my penchant for over-commitment and collecting information – AKA “clutter” – when things get a bit too demanding.

Well, I’m THERE.

My balance has been off-kilter.

Many revelations come to me on the yoga mat, so I took to it this morning. We have the most incredible instructor who talks a bit about living your yoga before we begin class. Today’s topic was energy – yours…mine…ours. Our energy is our responsibility. Continue reading “Live Your Yoga”

While I Was Busy Being Someone Else – Power of the Redux

(This share is over 3 1/2 years old and the 2nd post I ever wrote for  “The Art of The Well Lived Life.” It was, in essence, my coming out post. I had some startling realizations While I was Busy Being Someone Else. I still feel this post relevant and poignant. Hoping, on this day, you find yourself happy and celebrating who you really are. If you’re not, you can always use today to reclaim your life and live in accordance with your heart. Wishing you all the courage to joyfully celebrate YOU! ~m)

Strange thing happened the other day…

I was called to recount my past life in detail. My corporate life. When thisSomeone else happened, I began to behave like the person I was back then. I got edgy, sharply strategic, unsettled.

I am not a corporate type. It’s not that I’m not smart enough, aware enough, creative enough…I can do those things. It’s my soul. My soul does not agree with the treatment I witnessed as an internal corporate employee. I’m an artist at heart. A writer, a coach and communicator. I appreciate pure intention, honesty, flaws. The human aspect, with all its imperfections makes me joyful.

Do you remember who you really are? As a child you probably knew. Continue reading “While I Was Busy Being Someone Else – Power of the Redux”

The Price of Giving Too Mucho

(Since I’m on an undisclosed beach in Mexico, filling my own cup, (and draining the occasional shot glass) I thought you might like to read this again…or even for the first time, because I’ll bet you’ve been here, too – not the beach, but the place where you’ve given too mucho)

My cup is almost empty. There’s no more wind in my sails. I can only giving too muchthink in trite clichés.

I’ve given pretty much all of it away.

I’d like to think I’m a bottomless-well, serving buckets of goodwill, assistance and cheer to everyone I meet – but it’s a negligent practice that can lead to a parched throat and scowling countenance. Ooops, there goes the cheer.

I’m not that generous. At least not now.

I offer a lot of assistance – I know that about myself. I will generously promote you, tirelessly applaud you, praise you, share with you, give of my time. Don’t feel sorry for me –

Human beings do not repeat behaviours that don’t have a pay-off in it for them. (click to Tweet).   Continue reading “The Price of Giving Too Mucho”

Life is a Poem

Poetry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s April – National Poetry Month. I’ve been spending March and  April writing haiku – a form of Japanese poetry, in preparation for my upcoming June art exhibit with the talented Judy Jacobs titled “See it with Words.”  This exhibit features writing and visual art. It opens June 11th at ARTHOUSE Gallery.

In honor of what I believe is the rawest, most saturated and divine form of expression, I’m presenting you with 3 poems, in different forms. These are, of course, some of my favorites. I hope you enjoy them. If you’d like to add a poem that speaks to you, please do so in the comments. I’d love to know what speaks to you! It’s a good way to celebrate National Poetry Month.

Mary Oliver’s “The Journey” is a poem that spoke to me as I transitioned from working in the corporate world to becoming a full time artist. I’m sure this piece speaks to your experience with transitions as well…at least I hope it does.

This Maya Angelou poem speaks to the indomitable human spirit and the common, perhaps familiar feeling of being opposed or defeated. I love that the author is reading it….the sound of her velvety voice is comforting to me and makes me smile. And Still I Rise.

Finally, I present a “boss poetry jam” by Derrick Brown exploring what is “holy” in our world. It might be more than you think. This one gives me chills for the obvious reasons. It is worth every second of your time.

Also, a gentle reminder, April 21st is Poem in Your Pocket Day. (Click to Tweet) Click on the link to learn more and download a poem for your pocket. Of course, writing your own would be a fine thing to do, too. Feel free to share these and celebrate….

Because Life is A Poem,
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Michelle Andres is a writer and artist who cultivates her own Well Lived Life by drinkingWriter, Artist, Coach in the beauty around her, following her passion, respecting others and doing her best to own her own dookie.

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