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!”

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”

Rejection – For What It’s Worth

Rejection Acceptance ArtistsRejection.

It happens to everybody.


That happens, too.

I have a friend who entered an art competition claiming, “I won’t get accepted.” The law of distraction heard her loud and clear and promptly fulfilled her “dreams.” She forwarded me the rejection letter with the words, “See?”

I replied to her with a rejection note of my own. I had received it minutes before, from a completely different project. Win some, lose some. Sometimes it feels mostly like “lose some.” So, what?

This time last year I was on a winning roll…or is that “role?” Either. I Rejection Acceptance Artistshad placed in a prestigious and highly competitive art competition…and it was an honor just to be accepted. I’d sold several pieces to an ideal collector, one of my images was selected for a magazine cover and I had an opportunity to show in a museum. Sweet!

I remember what the juror of the competition told me. “Just because you got in, it doesn’t mean anything. It means that juror likes your work. If you don’t get in, it doesn’t mean anything either. Lots of good artists don’t get in.” Continue reading “Rejection – For What It’s Worth”

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”

Two Poems and a Quote

Gratitude Quote from

Happy Thanksgiving week sweet readers. I hope you and your families had a day filled with gratitude, love and the spirit of the Thanksgiving tradition. Those of you who follow me on social media know, I’ve made it a personal tradition to express gratitude each day for the month of November. I do it throughout the year as well, but in an effort to not drive you crazy, keep my gratitudes in my journals.

This week I offer you two poems and a quote. I hope you enjoy the read. I invite you to share thoughts on the poems, quote and the way you cultivate and nurture gratitude in your own lives. I sincerely thank you for spending some of your time each week reading my musings and know, for you, I am…

Deeply Grateful,

~ Michelle

In the life of aspiration and dedication
The gratitude-deer always runs the fastest,
Always achieves the most,
Always becomes the perfection-satisfaction
 of the highest and
 most fulfilling and fulfilled
 Supreme in us.
Gratitude is not a human achievement.
Gratitude is a divine treasure
 granted to us 
by the inner Pilot within us,
The Absolute Supreme.
                                                                       ~Sri Chinmoy


The moment when, after many years 
of hard work and a long voyage 
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country, 
knowing at last how you got there,
 and say, I own this, 

is the same moment when the trees unloose
 their soft arms from around you,
 the birds take back their language, 
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
 the air moves back from you like a wave
 and you can’t breathe.
“No,” they whisper. “You own nothing.
 You were a visitor, time after time
 climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
 We never belonged to you.
 You never found us. 
It was always the other way round.”
                                                                                                                                                        ~Margaret Atwood


“Gratitude is the 
reflection of kindness and
 rests deep in the heart.”
                                                                                                                                      ~ Ken E. Hall

Wishing you gratitude and abundance every day of the year!


Ripe for some creative fun while pursuing your dreams for the new year? I’ll be having a Beginning Mosaic Workshop called ” Magic in 2014″ in January. Register or  learn more!


Michelle Andres is a coach, writer and artist who nudges, nay, shoves creatives in the direction of their Writer, Coachdreams by helping them improve productivity and for good behaviours while eliminating poor ones. Follow her on  Facebook on Twitter

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