Friday, July 29, 2022

Cultivate to Radiate

With growth I radiate like the brilliant beams of the sun.

In garden lingo cultivating is what we are doing when caring for growth in our garden. I previously posted about cultivating joy, but here I am focusing the need to cultivate and give rise to growth in many directions in life.

In the first few months of the year, I was exploring tai chi martial arts as an additional part of my workout routines. The only thing is, to add something I have to stop doing something else. I’m already in the habit of changing my stretching, yoga, Pilates, and weightlifting on a regular basis within those practices, but adding something else has proven to be too much. So, while I initially gave my tai chi practice attention, I am no longer exploring it. Instead, I have found I have been able to adopt the slower focused pace of tai chi into my other practices. One could say I’ve refined some of my old routines and that has allowed me to branch out and radiate in new directions in my life garden.

Perhaps in the future I will revisit tai chi, but for now I’m cultivating the seeds. This cultivation has helped me grow in ways I hadn’t previously considered.

Take care,

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Be Kind

“Ben’s Bells teaches individuals and communities about the positive impacts of intentional kindness and inspires people to practice kindness as a way of life.”
Ben’s Bells Project

I love things that surprise me, delight me, fill me with joy, and make me smile. Whenever I see a Be Kind mural, such as the one above, it makes me smile. It reminds me we could all use a little more kindness these days. Such a simple thing, be kind, but for some reason it seems to be so difficult to understand these days.

After seeing several murals around Arizona, I Googled Be Kind murals to see if I could find out about them. What started in a backyard art studio after the loss of the founder’s son, Ben, started a powerful ripple effect. Ben's Bells is now a growing non-profit organization and are currently celebrating their 20th year. I’d like to invite you to check them out and donate or purchase their hand made bells, stickers, coins, etc. to support this project and spread the love at You may also find out how you can sponsor a mural and create a kindness ripple effect in your community, school, church, or an organization you know of.

Being kind is being considerate, helpful, thoughtful, compassionate, sympathetic, friendly, pleasant, nice ... you get the idea. And I know we could all use a lot more of what kindness can do. Join me and spread the love of being kind.

Take care,

Be Kind photo courtesy of Ben's Bells Project

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Inviting Silence

When I embarked on meditating about 18 years ago, I began to invite silence into my life. Ever since those remarkable building blocks of meditation, I’ve continued building silence into each day. I always used to have music playing in my car, home, yard, in my ear while doing other things, and even in my office at work. I was using music to drown out anything and everything around me to create a sense of quiet and peace. While there’s nothing wrong with listening to music, I do feel not inviting silence into any space of my life is not a good thing. I may not hear life whisper to me. I may not hear what the universe is telling me.  

Like many of you, my mind and my body tend to work overtime. It is something I am aware of and consciously work at when I begin to drift in that direction. Although, the more space I make for silence, the more silence I keep building into my life. Now days you won’t find me constantly listening to music. By inviting silence, I have found solitude. In that solitude I am aware, I am present, I am centered, I am focused, I am calm, I am moved, and I am strengthened. I have a deeper sense of my needs. I feel more aligned with who I am and the universe at hand.

I believe we are all craving solitude, but we don’t really know what it is or what solitude can do for us. Invite silence into your life today. Hear for the first time what it is you need and find the solitude you didn’t know you are craving.

Take care,

Friday, February 25, 2022

Cultivating Joy

I began this year by choosing the word theme of grow. With that in mind, I’m picturing my life as a garden. I cultivate joy by providing proper nourishment, light, and hefty amounts of love. One of the big challenges in any garden are weeds. The key here is not allowing them to hang around for very long in the first place. If my garden is healthy and well cared for, I have fewer problems with weeds taking hold. So I yank out anything that may cause problems for me and my garden along the way. After all, it’s up to me to weed out what I know is not good. It is up to me to cultivate joy.

It’s been difficult at best these last few years keeping all the weeds from taking over my garden and cultivating the so needed joy back into it. The reality of all that is happening in the world these days seems to feed on itself like tenacious deep-rooted weeds of doubt and fear - not what I want growing and thriving in my garden.

I’ve pulled back on many things I thought I might do and have taken on a much slower approach to my life. This pulling back has allowed me to consider what is going on and how various weeds affect my garden. I’ve focused on doing less and am now seeing more possibilities. I am taking care of my garden. I am focusing on the possibilities for cultivating joy as the seasons roll on. Isn’t that what gardeners do? One planting season isn’t over and we’re planning and planting with the focus on a better future.

I can’t wait to see how much joy I can cultivate into the days, weeks, and months ahead. If you haven’t thought of your life as a garden, maybe now is the time to start planting seeds of joy and see what comes up. So what if weeds start popping up. They’re going to do that anyway, so let’s give ‘em a yank before they become deeply rooted. Let’s cultivate healthy and well cared for gardens. Let’s cultivate joy.

Take care,

Being a gardener, I can’t help but share deep gardening thoughts with you from time to time. In the past, I’ve including gardening in many posts. If you enjoyed this one, you may want to read or re-read these: Autumn Joy, Plucking Weeds, Growing Pains, Thriving and Growing. Enjoy!

Monday, January 31, 2022

Positive Feedback

Last year I published 17 posts specifically around my word theme of mindfulness. It was a how-to guide breaking down many aspects of bringing mindfulness to the present. Mind you, pun intended, it was just a beginning, but it made a difference to several of my dear readers. Most often comments to me centered around realizing various things about themselves they had never thought about. Then there are comments such as these: 

 “I love this one, in fact after about the 6th one (breath) I felt like I was swinging back and forth. I have experienced this feeling often when I lay down and close my eyes totally relaxed. Thanks Michelle.” 2/4/21

“Thank you for this latest post. I have been doing the deep breathing every day and I believe it has helped a great deal. Since I have COPD I think my breathing is better and am able to do more walking, house work, gardening or carrying more than one item at a time. I feel more limber doing my exercises since my falling incident. I'll be doing these (breathing exercises) as long as I can.” 5/11/21

“Your postings have been on my mind during the past year and find myself really listening more and realizing what my friends and even family are going through during this pandemic and aging. We all need to talk to each other and feel that someone is listening and offering understanding and compassion. Thank you for opening my eyes to see what is going on around me in this offbeat nutty time. Send more and I will be reading and listening.” 9/22/21

“During the last 12 months of the year I have become more tolerant of things that used to bother me and have more peace of mind. I take things as they come because to me that is the way of things in my life. No stress, just accept the present as is. Let annoyances go, accept and deal with them as best I can.” 12/26/21

I value and appreciate all of your comments. Many times I simply hit the post button and away it goes off into the universe with the hope something I've said helps someone. It's nice to know you are listening. Thank you!

While my word this year is grow, all previous word themes have stayed with me and most of them are building blocks to mindfulness. Just know, I will continue to add a mindfulness post from time to time to expand our exploration of this powerful positive word.

Take care,

Photo ©

Friday, January 7, 2022

Begin Again in the New Year

George Bernard Shaw

Most of us seem to like the idea of a fresh start, a point in time we can mark as a chance to begin or begin again. While a fresh start can happen any time we choose, a new year seems to be a popular time for many of us to begin again.

Since 2005 I have chosen a word as a guidance point or theme for the entire year. It’s a word that brings me closer to being the best version of myself. It helps me create a better self. This year I have chosen the word grow. I intend to grow by planting new seeds, branching out in new directions, trimming, thinning out, and even pruning out that which is growing in my life garden. And as a gardener, I know I can promote more and even better growth by simply keeping my garden in check with a little snip-snip here, and a clip-clip there.

To begin with, I’m going to welcome the new year by taking classes in tai chi, a practice I have wanted to learn more about for a very long time. I first saw someone doing this in a park when I was in my mid-teens. I was mesmerized by it. Over the years, I have seen entire groups doing this and I am still mesmerized by it. In case you are not familiar with it, tai chi is a kind of meditation in motion. Think of it this way - gentle body exercises and stretches flowing into the next connecting the mind and body. After our mindfulness theme last year, tai chi will be the perfect thing for me to begin and grow on as the year progresses.

I’ll begin each day with my word theme in mind. At days end, I’ll consider my word and do a quick review to understand how my word might have woven its magic around me.

How about you? How will you begin again? What will your guidance point be? What word will help you be the best version of yourself and create a better self?

Stay safe, be well,