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”

Pack Rattin’

pack rattin' clutterPack Rattin’

That’s right! Hang on tightly – because this is a confessional blog. Time for me to fess up and do some heavy duty penance no matter how embarrassing the admission is. I do it for YOU, because you just might be pack rattin’, too.

Last week realized I’m motivated by over-commitment. I’ve noticed having a LOT to do leads to the seduction excuse of pushing organizing stuff to the wayside. So basically, the more I have to do, the less time I have to keep things in their proper places. When I pack rat, I do it in grand style. I have electronic junk and paper junk and some of it isn’t junk at all. I suspect I’m gathering some emotional junk, too. I don’t really have time to clear it all up because…Time Management

I’m just soooooo busy. Continue reading “Pack Rattin’”

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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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”

12-Steps and a Trip

(This is a modified re-post from July 2014. I still find computer addiction is an applicable issue. I’m getting better…I think. Maybe YOU’RE the one with the problem, now Since).

Computer AddictionPut me in a 12-Step program. I’ve been through one before, but that was eons ago.
12-Step programs offer fantastic structure with “rules for accountability and living.” Back in the day, it was clear whose shit was whose right from the start, and yes, ahem… I did make a small, negative contribution to the “problem.” In the walls of those meetings, I made friends who were seeking healthy boundaries and I learned to sniff out abusers, so I wouldn’t repeat my choices. I had a sponsor. I’m not sure if anyone would man-up and sponsor my recovery with my current problem.

My name is Michelle and I have a computer problem.

I need to take 12-steps back from my computer…way back. (click to Tweet)

It’s affecting the quality of my life and work. The black tar social media is the worst.(click to party with me and Tweet this) It’s become a nag, a constant, driving, whiny beast, tugging, clawing at the corner of my mind each time I try to focus on something truly productive. When I do break free, I feel elated and light spirited. I’m mindfully engaged. I’m not sure what’s rewarding about lighting up the screen again, but I know from my previous training, there must be a payoff for the dysfunctional behaviour to continue. Seems I’m gettin’ my fix. Continue reading “12-Steps and a Trip”

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.
Follow Michelle on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter
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Blinded by Options

Options food choicesMarch is not only the preview of spring, but it’s also National Health Month. So, in the spirit of a true spring-cleaning, I decided to do a whole body cleanse.

Go big or go home.

I have, for 3 days now, abstained from sugar, gluten, dairy, anything white, caffeine and yes, even my beloved wine. I’ve made several treks to thegrocery store in search of healthy alternatives. As I stash my healthy eats I notice…

My refrigerator is stuffed with “stuff.”

There are marinades, more mustards than any self respecting chef would need, vegetables good and rotten, and all sorts of beverage options from Pellegrino to probiotic drinks – oh, and the water. My husband collects water bottles like a certified hoarder. All icy cold, of course.

This got me to thinking – life is like my refrigerator. It gives you tons of options, from the good to the deviously perilous. Sometimes, your refrigerator gets so packed you can’t ferret out the good choices. Left unchecked, well- intentioned food goes moldy. This is true for meals…and for life. Continue reading “Blinded by Options”

I’ve Got Friends in High Places

I’ve got friends in High PlacesFriends

How about you?

I’m not a social climber or name-dropper – but my friends give me priceless advantage with very little effort on their part. I’m more of a siphon…not a sponge. These friends presence in my life put me at a distinct advantage for being a success.

You must be thinking ugly things about me. I deserve it because I sort of intentionally misled you. I’m mischievous that way…can’t help it.

My friends in high places are not business or political connections, they’re people who take the high ground in their day-to-day lives and inspire me to do the same. They act as a compass for me, when nurturing others, remaining non-judgmental and, in some aspects, help me drive my business in the spirit of being a positive and service-based. Continue reading “I’ve Got Friends in High Places”

Loose Ends

Those dang loose ends. We tend to forget them, like fringe on the hem of our pants. We just drag them along, like they don’t even, never did, exist.

We don’t need to worry about every little thing, anyhow (click to Tweet). Little loose ends should be the least of our worries. Looking over our shoulder, when all that OTHER junk is looming on the horizon….that’s how you run into stuff!

I suspect loose ends have a lot more impact than we care to admit. I’ve suspected it for some time now.

Load of baggage

It’s all that hocus-pocus, voodoo, “the Universe says” sort of thing, you know? It’s a close cousin of the clean up the clutter to make room for new possibilities, self-help, kind of ‘er “crap.” Loose ends, I suspect, are the kind of fray that can silently KILL you! Think about this when you’re not thinking about it:

Loose ends are like our shadow selves –  pieces of a shrugged-off obligation. Like raggedy pant hems they go through the wet streets in winter, they drag through the mud of spring, they sit in the closet all summer long and finally, we yank them into the light again and, like mushrooms, they’ve grown in the dark, taking on a life of their own.

Loose endsSo, it’s time for me to clean it up. That’s right! I’m rolling up my sleeves, breaking out the scissors and trimming up those ravelly ends, before my life ends up in tatters. I suggest you do the same.

For years I’ve had an unfinished project in the mosaic studio. It’s sat unattended, like something from a Stephen King novel, watching from the shadows, silently whispering, “why don’t you finish me?” Well, I don’t really know. But, I do reckon you’re probably clogging up my abundant energy exchange. You’re probably so pissed at this point that you’re cursing me from the dark corner. Truth be told, I’ve avoided you the last 8 months because you scare the bejeezus out of me!

That’s not all…there’s another piece I’ve avoided, because I’m not sure about the vision of it. Again, a commitment that I’ve allowed myself to dodge, dragging my shabby shoes over, shuffling through the war-torn fields of my life’s forgotten promises.

Don’t judge me!

The last few months have felt like a little something is out of place. It’s not really bad…but it ain’t quite right. I’ve asked for guidance, I’ve sought answers. Maybe it wouldn’t bother someone who takes their commitments more lightly, but the guilt, oh the guilt of the unanswered promise, the shredded, ragged, misery of the loose ends. BAH!!!!

SO, before the next blog post that mosaic will be finished. Loose ends are the fibers that weave ragrets – intentional misspelling…no letters, puleeze. (click to Tweet)

Got a confession? Sure you do! Leave it below and we can do our penance together.

Off to Be a Grown Up,

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Writer, Artist, CoachMichelle Andres is a writer and artist. She confesses every Friday and falls on the sword for all of us. Please, let’s laugh at ourselves together as we cultivate well lived lives. 

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Don’t Judge ME!!!

“Don’t judge me!” “DO NOT judge me!”Don't Judge Me!

I’ve said it before, in jest, haven’t you? I’m sure most of us, when we self-confidently push the envelope,  have asserted that statement with humour and followed it with broken laughter or giggles.

Sometimes, it’s not funny. There are times we’re alone in our head,  times we think or suspect we’re being unfairly assessed that can have big, nasty impact. What happens when we believe we’re amongst friends, and suddenly we feel judged? Actually, the bigger question becomes are we really being judged, or are we insecure and feeling out of our element, so we make the fatal mental leap? I’ve seen people turn this assumption inward – after all, you can’t confront it when you simply suspect it, so the only evidence becomes your own self-doubt. Continue reading “Don’t Judge ME!!!”

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!!!”

Recipe for a Peace of Mind

We all have an appetite for a peace of mind.

Unfortunately, too often it seems it’s come to this –  people are divided, though we are more alike than we are different. We blame, finger point, cave to fears…and the truth is…most of it may not even be real. This Ted Talk brought to light just how much of what we’re told is intended to manipulate us to do something, not do something or vilify our fellow human beings. Many of these “agendas” work against people being whole, healthy and happy… though I’m not sure that’s their primary objective. We don’t have to let the establishment cannibalize us – do I sound like a conspiracy theorist? (click to Tweet). We can cultivate wholeness and unity.

It begins with us. It begins with gaining control over our own souls, our own thoughts and deciding who we want to be in this world. I believe we were designed, by God, to be peaceful beings, but it’s so difficult to do when we’re being manipulated into contention. This constant division, attacking and vilifying is like sandpaper on our souls (click to Tweet).

Do you know who you want to be? Are you brave enough to claim it?

Bill Phillips Who you are quote Continue reading “Recipe for a Peace of Mind”

Create a Personally Meaningful Holiday Season

Personally Meaningful Holiday SeasonHere it comes…

The holidays.

Are you ready for the bustle, the buying, the hubbub?

Are you ready for gentle lights, quiet warmth, sharing, generosity and reflection?

I love the holidays – on my own terms. (click to Tweet)

The free market has defined the holidays for us, as it was apt to do. And we’ve lapped it up, like milk from a saucer, just as the marketing analysts predicted. I’m not so interested in that. Is it me? Or is it just me?  I’d like to celebrate a personally meaningful holiday season – because

Continue reading “Create a Personally Meaningful Holiday Season”

Charting a Course for the Good Life

What a week! Don’t ‘cha think?Good Life

It’s been an emotional ride, from the Paris attacks, to our divided ideas as a nation trying to manage a refugee crisis. No one is asking my opinion, and I’m not about to give it – I’m hardly qualified. However, I can clearly see the fallout and have charted that course before. Heck, I’ve got a map!!!

I’ve written about addictions before. I’ve addressed Internet addiction and the compulsion to be “selected.” But, what about addiction to the news? Are you afraid if you turn the news off you’ll be left behind? Terrified you’ll be only one on Earth without a 6-month supply of drinking water and coconut Kind bars if you wrench yourself away? Suffering from “Media Malaise?” I realize this is a stretch, but are you convinced the media is full of manipulative lies, designed to motivate you with fear, name-calling and confusion, but despite that realization you can’t turn network news off? You might be a sick, wrecked, sadistic mess of a person. It’s okay. We’re all a little cracked.   Continue reading “Charting a Course for the Good Life”