No April Fool


No April Fool
I may have been a fool in March, but refuse to be an April Fool. No joke. The tail is wagging the dog in Michelle Land, and of course, the tail is my computer addiction and social media. Bear with me. I think I can pull this thing together before the end.

Monday a bottle of water took a spill on my laptop. I had to (almost) go cold turkey without my “device fix,” forcing me to sing the praises of iPads and phones. You know my struggles, and I had to wonder, was it irony, justice or both?

Then, blog reader, Amy brought to my attention the time requirements of social media and how it might contribute to my “addiction.” True that…but we can’t live sans electronic devices, especially if we’re using them for business. I began to consider I could be working smarter. Maybe, I could take a page out of my consulting playbook and implement the Pareto Principle and some time management techniques on my own bad self. Seems doable.

Finally, yesterday I had a conversation with a dear chum about friends. Seems most of us have our close friends, our garden variety friends, acquaintances and strangers. Our inner circle of friends know us the best and support us the most (click to Tweet). They are to be valued above all else.

Then, I realized….

When it comes to social media, especially Facebook, many of us have lots of “friends.” Being that they’re friends, I’ve made a habit of getting to know almost all of them…like you would with good friends. I’ve met several people who live in cities different from my own, in person, and it’s been a blessing because they’re delightful. But, lately I’m beginning to feel the weight of focusing energy too many different ways. On Facebook we’re bombarded with family deaths, friends facing health Continue reading “No April Fool”

The REAL Picture

Not a REAL picture

The REAL Picture

There’s a lot of information in the webosphere and a lot of should do’s and should be’s. It’s almost like we’re being told how to live a life; like we wouldn’t otherwise know how! It’s easy to get the impression you’re not cool enough, clever enough or happy enough. Hmmm….let me tell you –

There isn’t only one way to live and there’s certainly not only one “right” way (click to Tweet). People will try to control you by telling you so – think organized religion and retail marketers. I guess there are some “wrong” The Real pictureways to live – but none of us here are encumbered by such poor behaviour and devious deeds, right? Sure, occasionally we stumble, that’s why I write and you read it – we share little human foibles – but nothing serious, nothing, ahem, pathological – right? Sure, it’s right. I have the utmost faith in you. Continue reading “The REAL Picture”

Give Me Room

Give Me Room

Give me room
To be who I am
To think how I think
To believe what I believe

Give me permission
To be different from you
To share those ideas
To listen to yours

Give me acceptance
To walk in my light
Extend me respect
You know I’m your sister

Allow me to love you
I care who you are
I marvel at our differences
Still, I know we are one.
                                                      ~Michelle Andres

Give me room to be me

Some of you know I’m working on a June art show that involves words in my work. I’ve been writing haiku and poetry – which is rather dangerous for me. When I do this work, my nerves get sort of raw to current events and my surroundings…not conducive to the current external climate (i.e. election year). I’m finding I search deeper for the humour in my days and have to practice self-care to insulate myself from the meanness people are embracing. I also find, I have to control my own impulses to judge, because it’s natural.  When we judge we trick ourselves into thinking we understand the world.

I suppose for me, right now, it’s my spiritual practice to learn to explore this space and still find the joy and beauty in day to day living. Why do we punish one another when our authenticity shows? Isn’t that what we value in life? Want to see more of?  I wish I could put the world, America in particular, on a big, fat time out!

I saw this and thought it was beautiful…substitute your own colours, beliefs, whatever. Enjoy and be love.

 

Be Yourself, Be Love ~

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Michelle Andres is a writer and artist who cultivates 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.
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The Path’s Purpose

Have the planets aligned? It’s New Year’s Day and a perfect chance for me to harangue you with a bunch of questions, like “What’s your word for 2016?” “What big, audacious goals are on your horizon?” “What steps do you have planned to achieve your dreams this year?” or “What’s your New Year’s Resolution?”

© 2015 Diannepoinski.com
© 2015 Dianne Poinski Photography

Not. This. Year.

I think 2016 is time for a grace period. Why? Well, I recently saw this from my friend,  Joseph White Wolf:

My New Years resolution is to not change a thing about myself and to simply love myself just the way I am… Never do I want to change the path that I am on, my path is here to change me… ”                                           

Continue reading “The Path’s Purpose”

An Equation for Self-Worth

self-worthI don’t want to write today. This fine morning, I have a choice. I’ve written this blog for you for over 3 years – I think – but I’m not good at math, really. Well, except in the idiot savant sense, when I baffle and amaze…but I’m veering off track. I always post on Friday. 3 years ago, I made a commitment to myself to write every week. I didn’t care if you read it or not; I wanted to write it. Well, now, I’m giddy and grateful you read it – or at least sometimes you read it. I really feel blessed when you leave comments or share it. You’ve encouraged me and I’m considering a book…but that’s another story. The point is, I don’t want to write today, and I wouldn’t, if it weren’t for that darned equation of self-worth. But, like a quick talking, fast moving, snake oil salesman, I’ll explain the math later.

Know how that is when you don’t want to do something -especially when it’s good for you? Have you ever had a hard time finding the motivation to keep your commitments? Does it ever happen to you? Continue reading “An Equation for Self-Worth”

YOU – Get Off Your High Horse!!!

YOU change your focusYeah, you – you self-righteous, name-calling, fear mongering, judgmental … YOU! Can’t we change the focus….please?

I’ve seen YOU on my social media feed and some of YOU on my television. I’ve heard your fears being, not just shouted, but shrilly wailed from the roof tops. You’re divisive. Your insistence we break into camps helps no one. Worst of all…you are disturbing MY chi!

Newsflash –

There are so many beautiful things in this world. Can’t we just focus on those? Can’t we focus on the beauty of new life, the excitement of new opportunities, the celebration of accomplishment? Can’t we focus on the incredible fall colours and the fact light will be coming back to the Northern Hemisphere soon? Oh, the light!!! Let’s focus on that – both literally and metaphorically speaking. Continue reading “YOU – Get Off Your High Horse!!!”

Lightening the Load

Load of baggageThere’s been something on my mind lately. It has to do with lightening the load, letting the past go, forgiveness. Basically, it’s about not dragging your baggage behind you…forever.

I’ve wanted to write about it, but realized I’ve written something similar before and I don’t want to be redundant. Let me repeat that, I don’t want to be redundant.

Yet, I realize, life is a spiritual practice. Truly, it is.

Sometimes, I find myself repeating the same lessons over again. I suppose it’s either because I haven’t fully learned them, or perhaps I just have a short memory. Did I ever tell you that? Does it happen to you, too? Which, you ask? Whichever.

Anyway, lately I’ve been shedding stuff. You’ll remember I let go of the stuff with my neighbor. I’ve also let go of some past relationship baggage – where I’d felt wronged. Maybe, rather than feeling we’ve been wronged we should feel we’ve been “informed.” Seems easier on the soul. (click to Tweet)

I’m not sure what triggers that moment when we choose to drop the load and move forward. It’s strange, but we drag it behind us – the stories, the wrongs – sometimes for a long, looooong, time. They begin to feel like part of us, this extra weight. Maybe eventually we don’t even notice it. These things become part of our identity.

Maybe that’s why we refuse to let them go. We think things like, if I wasn’t a “victim” of so and so, who would I be? If I hadn’t had that bad employment experience, who would I be? If I didn’t have that difficult relationship with that awful person, who I make wrong so I can be okay being me, who would I be? I’m not sure exactly who I’d be, but I’m sure of WHAT I’d would be….lighter. I’m sure I’m okay without the bags.

Seems some of the bags I carry aren’t even my own; they’re the bags of those evil twins, judgment and expectation; the twins who steal our levity, our joy, our liberation. They keep us in the world of our stories, which may or may not be true…but who really cares? 

So, as I move ahead, I thought I’d share my inner-ramblings with you. Because, while I’m a bit crazy, I’m no more or less crazy than you are… and you’ve probably carried some bags, too. I think you’ll find, if you put down the bags, the colours are more vivid, the heart is lighter, life is sweeter. So….

Check your bags,

11782161_10207494863919739_64633069007983764_o

 

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

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 9.05.02 PMThe “2016 Art and Inspiration Calendars” are HERE!!! Buy one for you and one for friend while I still have some in stock! Each month features a painting and quote from the blog. The cost is $20 plus a shipping fee of $3.99 or they can be picked up in my R. Street Studio. 12 months of art and inspiration!!! You can order them at the bottom of my art page (see the tab at the top). 

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Wanting What’s Best

The best thingJust because we want it, doesn’t mean it’s the best thing for us.

You may want to read that again.

This point was driven home this week when I had a conversation with a friend. She was wondering how to deal with some “crazy spirited” extended family members. You know the old saying,”You can pick your friends but you can’t pick your family?” Sorry, Mom, I don’t mean YOU! Anyhou, convinced large family gatherings would fill her heart, she was wrestling with the idea of her unwieldy and unreliable “attendees.”  She dreamt of a large family gathering and, of course, that was the family she had to work with. Just because we want it doesn’t mean it’s good for us. Imagine hosting a family gathering where you issued straight jackets like party favors at the door.

I remember when I worked in corporate. I’d apply for advancement positions. I did it because I wanted it…or sometimes, I just wanted to be the chosen one. Honestly. I just wanted to be selected…competitive much? All the demands that accompanied the position, well, those might not be for me, but I wanted to be the pick of the litter. This addictive desire got me into tight, unhappy spots on more than one occasion. My ego made my bed, then I had to be the one to lie in it! It’s taken some time, but I’m so over it.

What do you want? Is it your ego or inner-child doing the begging – or is it your heart’s desire? How would you know the difference? It’s worth taking some time to think about, me thinks. Sometimes, our best information comes in times of contemplative silence. (click to Tweet) Continue reading “Wanting What’s Best”

The Price of Giving Too Much

giving too muchMy cup is almost empty. There’s no more wind in my sails. I can only think 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 Much”

Potential is the Pits

Potential in the pitsSeveral weeks ago, I put an avocado pit in some water with some toothpicks to steady it.

It sprouted and grew several glossy, healthy leaves.

A friend came by and said (sort of sarcastically), “Oh, GREAT in 20 years you can have some avocados.”

But, that was not at all the point.

The point was:

That little pit wanted to become a tree.

Never, ever underestimate the power of potential. 

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

Writer, Artist, Coach

The 2015 – Art and Inspiration Calendars are HERE!!!
Michelle Andres CalendarBuy one for you and one for a friend while I still have some in stock!

Each month features a painting and quote from the blog. The cost is  $20 plus a shipping fee of $4.99 or they can be picked up in my R. Street Studio. 12 months of art and inspiration!!!

To visit Michelle’s studio art site – click here.

Find Michelle on Facebook or on Twitter

For a free gift that will help you boost personal productivity “Join the Tribe” and subscribe to this blog (Over there on the left sidebar)!

Burn Notice – Insights from Burning Man

Insights Burning Man 2015
Photo Courtesy of Incredible Winemaker & Friend – Stuart Spoto

Insight comes in unusual places. In the middle of a desert, I suppose one would expect a few good insights. Jesus found and resisted temptation in a desert. In Paulo Coehelo’s “The Alchemist” the desert stood between the characters and their dreams, until they learned to embrace its offerings. Insights in the desert – I had some at a festival called, “Burning Man.”

I spent days preceding and the weekend of Labor Day on a salt flat in the desert, being reminded of things that really matter in life. It was a wholly unique and personal experience. Although there were over 70,000 other people with me. I have feeling for each person…Insights from Burning Man 2015

the insights revealed were uniquely their own.

Perhaps, some had no realizations at all. I’m always inviting wisdom into my life; whether or not I recognize it as it comes, is debatable. And, I still maintain those who claim wisdom are the very people it eludes (click to tweet).

Dragon backlit

For many days I breathed through a scarf because winds and dirt devils made it impossible to breathe and see clearly – the irony is not lost on me here. Days passed and I didn’t have the luxury of bathing…but, in the desert’s defense, it was a really, really dry dirt. It was impossible to drag a comb through my hair. Even a Really. Wide. Toothed. Comb.Insights from Burning Man 2015 It was all okay, because when the skies cleared or the sun set, I was treated Continue reading “Burn Notice – Insights from Burning Man”

Silence

Silence Cairns(This post is republished from 9/1/15 – still pertinent. I hope you enjoy. As always, your comments and thoughts are welcome. We learn through sharing.  ~m )

Silence is priceless. It’s a precious space where the feet of our souls, not the soles of our feet, find solid ground. In silence we can contemplate, innovate, be.

Silence provides a reprieve, walling out the chatter, the opinions, the judgment, the noise.

Silence provides a feather bed for deep discovery. (Click to Tweet) Continue reading “Silence”

Social Media Has Made Me A Better Person

Social media has made me a better person.

Social MediaI know, you’re probably saying, “Whaaaaaat?” You might believe people let their alter-egos run like wild toddlers on “Fakebook” and other social media platforms, but that isn’t always true. I’d like to believe very few do.

Several years ago, I realized the person I was born as had been buried alive to allow birth for the person who would comply with expectations. It wasn’t really a tragedy, because I developed skills I probably wouldn’t have pursued if left to my own devices. I became an educated, professional who could run not only an entire life by myself, but also run other people’s entire days and businesses. But, one day I realized I needed to honor that silenced inner voice. It was a crossroads. I needed to bloom before I went to seed, so the gag-order was lifted.

I wrote a “coming out post” – birthing this blog, “The Art of the Well Authetic picLived Life” and mostly quit my corporate gig. I occasionally dip my toe back into the water, because it’s fun, refreshing and still part of who I am (and it can buy a lot of paint!), but I spend the bulk of my days pursuing more creative endeavors.

Continue reading “Social Media Has Made Me A Better Person”

You Can Quote Me!

Matisse Art QuoteMy friends’ studios often impress me. I love that the spirits of the artists come through in the energy of the room. It’s exciting to see their preferences, their tools and their work in their space. Have you ever noticed how art studios usually sport at least one motivational saying on the walls, often more? I’ve been to studios and teaching spaces where quotes were painted on the walls – that’s my favourite! In corporate, there were motivational posters, too, but they usually involved people in boats or cartoon characters – not as pretty or inspiring.

Art Quote

 

This week, I offer you art quotes. You can click on any of these to download them. Feel free to print them out and put them in your studio, workspace – keep them in front of you to help encourage and inspire you through your day.

Klee Art QuoteFeel free to pin or share them on social media, too. At the top right side of the image, there are buttons to all the social media sites. These quotes all involve my artwork – which can be seen it entirety here. Art Softens Edges Art Quote - Andres

Feel free to share your favourite art quote below in the comments; if I choose it for a future post I’ll be sure to contact you for a link to the site of your choice, cuz I love collaboration and giving credit where credit is due! Enjoy and….

Geroge Bernard Shaw Art Quote

 

Keep Living and Creating a Well Lived Life!

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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!Writer, Artist, Coach
Find her on Facebook or on Twitter

For a free gift that will help you boost personal productivity “Join the Tribe” and subscribe to this blog (Over there on the left sidebar)!

You Say Devices; I Say Divisives

Social media addiction devicesEvery week I send an email to my accountability partner, listing things I’ll take care of in the upcoming week. She does the same. We have Alyson Stanfield to thank for our professional relationship, which has evolved into a fine friendship over the years. This week, “Stay away from the computer” was on my list, and my partner’s interest was piqued, admitting she had a little social media addiction problem, too.

I’ve copped to my addiction in the past, but never offered the concrete solutions I’ll offer in this post. WARNING: These concrete solutions can, and will at times, feel more like a pair of cement shoes.

I began to examine what is commonly referred to as FOMO – Fear of Missing Out – but needed to understand the ‘why’ behind our obsessive computer-seeking behaviour. I came to these conclusions about why we’re drawn to our divisives devices: Continue reading “You Say Devices; I Say Divisives”

Fair Weather Thinking – Part I

finding possibilities(Part 1 of a 3 part series  – “Fair Weather Thinking” is designed to help you identify more possibilities in your life by helping you clear the path of mental and physical debris that can cloud good decision-making. This series is presented in 3 distinct parts – Own Your Stuff, Set Clear Boundaries and Take Care of You.) 

“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.”         ~Thomas Merton

When the skies are clear and the weather is fair, it’s easier to see the stars. Stars are light infused inspirations – they remind me of possibilities.

Possibilities are the embers of hope – the kindling for the fires of our lives, that ignite potential and meaning (click to Tweet)  Continue reading “Fair Weather Thinking – Part I”