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”

When You Know Too Much

It’s not everyday I fall in love with a piece of art. But, I did yesterday.

Art Story www.michelleandresart.com

Scrolling through some social media pages, I saw an illustration that tugged at my heart. It was deep with meaning and very well done. I couldn’t stop envisioning it on my wall.

Poof! With a witless click, the image was gone. I scrolled, but I couldn’t find it again. The hunt was on. I spent at least an hour launching a full-force search to locate the piece so I could seize it for my collection. I couldn’t locate the artist or remember their full name. Finally, I found someone with a similar name and sent a note. No, it wasn’t this person, but they knew who it was. SCORE! I was told, “Wait until you hear the story behind this piece. You will love it even more!” Continue reading “When You Know Too Much”

It’s Been a Busy Summer

It’s been a busy summer.

There’s been traveling, art shows, and curating and installing other artist’s exhibits.

I’ll be back soon. Summer vacation is about to end. I hope you’re enjoying the close of summer. Maybe when it’s over, we can all get some rest. 🙂

Savor the magic of summer,

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Michelle Andres is a writer and artist. She writes this blog to share tips for a well-lived Writer, Artist, Coachlife and a finely run art business…just for you!
Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
“Join the Tribe” and subscribe to this blog (over there – in the left sidebar)

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!

Follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

“Join the Tribe” and subscribe to this blog (over there – in the left sidebar)

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”

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 “The Unravelment”

Camping is Treacherous!

Camping is treacherous!Fighting Bears at Camping

Not the kind of camping where we become one with nature and steep in the beauty of the Creator…that camping, while posing the occasional hazard, is wonderful and restorative. It’s when we break ourselves, as humanity as a whole, into camps. Opposing camps….

That’s treacherous.

Breaking into camps came full focus recently. A video highlighting something called “mansplaining” is making the rounds. A friend, who found the term amusing, posted it on Facebook. She was surprised by the reaction. It sparked a lively and respectful conversation, but not in support of the poorly aimed moniker. Mansplaining is defined as:

Mansplaining (v.) (of a man) explain (something) to someone, typically a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing.

Embracing such pop-culture labeling is dangerous – in more ways than one. I find these labels offensive and divisive…

To men…to us all.

Continue reading “Camping is Treacherous!”

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’”

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”

Sometimes I Need a Jump Start

jump startSometimes I need a jump start.

A real honest-to-goodness kick in the ass.

Lately, I’ve been droning along…needing that jump start. It could’ve taken a good set of defibrillators to get me humming along. I’m kind of like a short order cook. When breakfast and lunch set in, I’m cooking on all the burners and building up steam – happily losing my freaking mind. Then, between rushes, I fall asleep. The kitchen could be on fire, but I hardly would know it, basking in the warm glow of the down time.

Maybe I’m like a fainting goat.

I’m not the slow and steady wins the race kind of girl. I’m Nascar, I’m a firefighter, I’m crisis management, a lunatic trooper. That’s me. (click to Tweet if it’s YOU, too!)

And every time the lull sets in for more than a few days…I panic. I think I’ll never be stoked again. But, you know what? After all these years I think I’ve pinpointed the formula for getting me going.

Over-commit.

Why not just try a good cup of coffee, you say? Weak. Over-commitment is the Beluga caviar of motivation. (click to Tweet) It works every time. I mean, I can actually feel my hair stand on end. I suppose it’s because I take my commitments seriously. Do you? I see a deadline looming and I feed off that urgent energy like a zombie during the apocalypse …yes, a zombie chowing on Beluga…or something like that.

I don’t think this is necessarily the best way to approach my Well Lived Life. But, I seem to be making the most of it – AND I am enjoying myself.

I recently committed to #100tweetables – It’s about making something each day (art for me) for 100 days. Check it out at #100dayproject or visit Elle’s website here. Of course, I’m behind – but I have 97 days to catch up. First I need to finish the work for my June show and 6 “micro-pieces” and a commission and submit some….never mind, you get the point.

Stoked.

So, this is just a short one, because, you know, I’m sort of busy. Didn’t want you to think I forgot about you! NEVER! What’s your summer looking like?

My hair is on fire and I love it!!!

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P.S.  There’s still time to get in for the drawing for a free art piece. Sign up for my monthly art newsletter here. April 30th I’ll select a winner. No worries if you’re out of the area – I’ll mail it to you!

If you’d like to follow me on my #100tweetables journey just type the hashtag into Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and you’ll see them. FUN! (But give me through the weekend to catch up).

Michelle Andres is a writer and artist who cultivates her own Well Writer, Artist, CoachLived 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 or on Twitter or Instagram
“Join the Tribe” and subscribe to this blog (Over there on the left sidebar)!