Tag Archives: dreams

Where In The World Are You Going?

Just a few weeks ago I sat in the airport listening intently to understand even one word of the Spanish announcement, I felt a rise of excitement and anxiety as we ventured into places unfamiliar, extraño, if you will.

Mostly the answer was no. No, I did not understand any of the words despite years of avid Spanish study.

China Town in Mexico City. International, baby!
China Town in Mexico City. International, baby!

It was disappointing, but not surprising. I hadn’t practiced the language for years except to say, “Me encanta la lengua pero no lo hablo mucho. Por eso no hablo bien.”

Which of course sounds pretty good because I can pop that sentence out like a boss… because it’s mostly the only Spanish I use anymore.

It means, “I love the language but I don’t speak it much. That’s why I don’t speak it well.” Yeah…

But life is never linear and what we believe we “are” is more location than definition. Wait, let me explain what I mean by that.

So often we look around ourselves, we evaluate our circumstances by what perceive we’ve achieved, how our day played out and maybe, if you’re like me, we judge who we are based on our most current results.

As if what appears today is a definition of who we are. You know, like, “I don’t speak Spanish well today, which means I don’t speak Spanish well.” Which is another way of saying, “I suck.” Unfortunate and inelegant.

Harsh, I know

The reality of the situation was that I had, indeed, studied Spanish for a lot of years in earnest. I’d traveled to Mexico and Guatemala with the specific goal of immersion study. I had done the work.

Also true was the fact that I hadn’t practiced it much in recent years. It was hard to speak it and even harder to understand the words spilling out of a static-y sound system in a busy Southern California airport.

As our trip to San Miguel unfolded, each day I practiced speaking and trying with all my might to understand what is a truly lovely language. Every day I discovered anew how much I enjoy it and, to my delight, I discovered the skill was never lost. It was there to be rediscovered all along.

Our circumstances are in no way a definition of who we are. Who we are is a manifestation of a graceful Universe. We are expressions of a limitless God.

Further, our circumstances are simply feedback and nothing more. They are either encouraging us further along the path we’re on or begging us to choose something different, something more worthy of us.

The more I tuned in, the more my brain cooperated, spitting out words I’d long since forgotten right on demand. It was fun. I was encouraged. But perhaps most importantly I was reminded not to judge myself so harshly. Where I am, is not a definition of who I am, it’s merely a location. And I am not a tree, I can move any time I choose.

Where will you go next?

happy for no reason

Did You Feel That?

In the mornings long before the other residents of my home arise, I practice what I preach to my clients. I read from great books, exercise and meditate. I do it more or less well depending on the day, my mood or the weather.

It is the meditation that can be so very challenging, though with the pesky cold I have my workout was lackluster this morning at best. It’s one thing to lack energy. Make time for some rest, drink plenty of fluids and sooner or later we’re back on our feet. But focus? That’s the final frontier.

Meditation takes many forms for me. I practice yoga, I sit in a classic pose for twenty minutes and clear my brain, I paint and I exercise feelings.

Not like hate or love. Not those kinds of feelings. The feelings I explore have more to do with being in the energy of happiness, productivity and even faith.

I think the reason some people lovelovelove the holidays is not so much about sugar plum faeries, though who doesn’t love a sugar plum faery no matter what time of year, but they love Christmas because of that feeling.

It’s about warmth and safety and knowing there is good in the world

Add to that a faith in ourselves that we can and will do anything we want, that “it’s” all going to come together beautifully and that everything in our lives, and in the lives of those we love is unfolding exactly as it should.

It’s like Christmas, only for every day of the year, and if we can capture the feeling.

Each morning I wake up and I do my exercise. I read something powerful, maybe practice some yoga poses and then, then I practice my favorite feelings, trying them on and observing how accurately I can create them without the triggers.

Don’t get me wrong, as my smart son, Max, reminded me when we discussed this idea, so much of the feeling is about the ritual. My smart husband, Mr Dreamboat, reminded me it’s about community coming together is celebration. And my smart son-in-law Ian reminded me we get choose whatever meaning we want on everything.

It’s not every day I am successful in feeling successful. I admit that fully, but every day I practice is. Every day I wonder how I can do this day and experience this day better than I did yesterday.

I think we’ll go get our tree tomorrow too. It can only help.

Ten Things I Know For Sure

I am in a constant state of wondering. It isn’t uncommon for Mr Dreamboat to admonish me, “You don’t need to analyze it, just give in.” Referring, of course, to whatever it is that is going on; my appetite that day, if I need a nap, my progress or lack thereof on a project. I can become downright tiresome. Even to me.

With all that I wonder and all that I ruminate on ad nauseum, there are a few things I simply know. I know in my bones and in my heart. At least I think I know them. I’ll ruminate on that and get back to you…

Until then:

IMG_09201. Love really does find a way. And it is a kind and gentle way. It persuades and nudges and stays firm in a foundation of generosity. Love’s the best.
2. We receive what we believe. If you don’t like what you get, then change your mind. No, simple doesn’t mean easy.
3. Pie, under the right circumstances is absolutely a breakfast food.
4. Staying connected to the earth in some way or another, going outside for a walk, wiggling our toes in the grass, is imperative to our balance and happiness.
5. Believing the best of circumstances and people is simply a better way to live.
6. Happiness isn’t a right. It’s an obligation to the fact we were even created. Our obligation back to Creation is to become our best, brightest and happiest selves.
7. People are good. There are a few clunkers, sure. But people are good and kind and want to help.
8. One time a woman told me she doesn’t like hemp milk lattes. She even made a face about it. For that alone she lost three Likable Points with me.
9. In every situation there is something to be gained, though the harder the situation the more challenging it might be to find.
10. Doing something you love every day isn’t a luxury but a necessity. It feeds the soul and we all know letting your soul go hungry is bad for everyone involved.

more happy

In Praise Of NOT Doing Your Best

This is not a post about excellence. It is a post about mediocrity. This post isn’t about doing your best. It’s about doing anything at all. This post isn’t about perfection. It’s about good enough. This post isn’t about bringing your A game. It’s about embracing a B-.

For weeks I have tried to write a post. I’ve even been successful three or four times. But the ideas weren’t coming and the posts weren’t excellent. And so I did nothing at all. Hard fail.

I don’t suppose everyone suffers from perfectionism or from “Pedestrian Paralysis”. No. Not everyone. But certainly none of us loves to know we could have done better and there are about a zillion people who “could have done it better” than us.

No. No one likes that.

In a society that elevates the savant and worships youth, we rarely praise The Plodder. And I think it’s a damn shame.

This is a mediocre picture and I embrace it. Mostly...
This is a mediocre picture and I embrace it. Mostly…

The Plodder, as described in literature, is a sorry sort of fellow, who without the grace of the Gazelle trudges through life. He employs no elegant gate, he simply moves along, moves along.

But I submit to you that were you to check back in with her somewhere after the story closes, you would find she’s gone miles and miles further than almost everyone else. Where others simply stay where life is safe, the progression of a good trudge can indeed be remarkable.

The couch dweller, perhaps hoping to be young again, maybe longing to be “the best” at something, anything, never moves at all and often criticizes the lowly place of those who act without perfection.

I admit to my paralysis. I somehow became afraid of the blank page, of what I might say that wasn’t quite perfect, not pretty or profound.

But I have the heart of a plodder, the soul of a person who knows how to doggedly persist. Deep down we each need to understand that in order to accomplish anything, we must first do it poorly.

And so I write this for you. Today. With no apologies.

Further, I invite you to trudge, to fail, to fall on your face and present the world with your most pedestrian mediocrity because if we don’t fail and fall, we will never fly.

Someday, I plan to fly. Come fly with me, friends.

family reunion

Hobbits Are For Real And Life Is Magical: My Surprising Travels To D.C.

I walked the hallowed halls of many historical buildings and through the landscapes of iconic, American monuments.

There were enormous statues, obelisks and parks dedicated to the history of our young nation. I explored museums and culture and something came alive in me that I did not yet know existed.

I had never been to Washington D.C. so how could I know it was the entrance to another existence? Moment by moment I felt intrinsically changed.

hobbit
Isn’t she fantastic!

One such moment came at my personal discovery of the species named homo floresiensis, better nicknamed, Hobbits. These little people who walked the earth some twelve-plus thousand years ago grabbed my attention just a few days ago and they won’t let go.

It is my habit upon discovering something delightful to my sensibility to continue down the rabbit hole of the world and find more things about that.

Upon returning home I discovered our tiny, remote relations are controversial, as any good hobbit should be. They are controversial and some people think they were an anomaly, while others believe they are connected in our “folk memory” to mythological creatures called Ebu Gogo.

Oh. My. Gosh.

I’m undone. I mean truly. Last Thursday as we taxied down the runway I had no idea at all that these were things. Hobbits and folk memory and Ebu Gogo (Which, by the way, means “grandmother who eats anything.” I mean, can you get enough of this stuff???).

My trip to the Capitol surprised me in its delights. Really. I didn’t know I would love it so much. So as we boarded our flight out of Dulles Airport a part of me mourned that it was over. All that discovery. All the sights and sounds and energy I’d never known before.

I’m not much for suffering and so while I simultaneously allowed myself a bit of sadness over the end of a delightful adventure, I wondered at what made me feel so alive, and, more importantly, how I might keep that feeling with me upon my return to home and family and all that is familiar to me.

It is then that I realized what made me come alive wasn’t only all that is wonderful about that particular destination, but it was the learning and discovery. It was seeing things in a new way and learning things about which I knew nothing before.

Correct me if I’m wrong, and I’m really not, but wherever we are, whether traveling or sitting at home on the couch that is intimately familiar to us, there is always something to discover. There are rabbit holes to explore every single moment of every single day. It’s just that kind of limitless world at our fingertips. Boredom, my friends, is the final frontier.

Granted, it’s not every day we discover hobbits actually roamed the earth and not every day we learn about folk memory or grandmothers who eat everything. But I like to think that there are discoveries just as important available to us every day if only we’re willing to look for them.

Isn’t life grand?

best life

Your Best Life Ever

A month ago today I drove the five hours necessary to pick up my new best friend. Mr Dreamboat had done more than his due diligence and hand picked my tiny, puppy companion and the day and hour had arrived for me to take on my new responsibility.

Preacher and I met and instantly fell in love. I with him, because he is cute and he is fluffy. He with me, likely because I give him snacks. Whatever it takes, I’m not proud.

michelleatplaycapedAs the weeks passed I’ve become confident the “Honeymoon Phase” is past and we are in the day to day routine of figuring out how to live together. He has convinced not only me (the easy sell) but Mr Dreamboat (the cynical one) that his rightful place to sleep is in our room. I have persuaded him that… well, he’s a puppy. He does the majority of the convincing in our relationship.

That said, it occurred to me just a few days ago I should be doing some sort of official training with this guy lest he become obnoxious and I rue the day we met.

Turning to the Oracle Of Truth & Enlightenment (The Interwebs), I opted for advice from Cesar, The Dog Whisperer, or whatever his name is. Cesar informs me that my puppy is a pack animal and I should always maintain my position of Alpha. Check.

I’m supposed to go through doors before the little devil does and he should walk beside me or behind me when we’re on a leash about town. Okay. I think we’ve been doing this already. What else ya got, Cesar?

It turns out this puppy thing isn’t as difficult as I thought it might be. Thus far no major mistakes have been made on my part and all the basics were already being covered, apparently on an unconscious level.

Cesar assures me consistency, kindness and gentle praise are the key factors in raising a puppy you won’t regret as an adult. In his words:

“A pack leader is, by definition, strong, stable, and consistent.”

Yes! Yesyesyes!

The rules of dog training, it turns out are no different than the rules of life. If we’re interested in leading the pack, we have to be willing to step out in front of the crowd. Consistency is key and gentle praise an important part of every day communication.

I’m convinced I am raising one of the best dogs of my life. He is smart, sweet and small enough to sit on my lap on a cold winter evening and keep me warm.

Likewise, I am also delighted to be creating a life I love. I do it on a consistent basis. I try to use gentle praise as a key part of my communication, and I try to keep good snacks on hand. Never underestimate the importance of good snacks .

In the end, whether your life is a dog or not, there’s no reason not to make it your bitch;)

michellememefire

You Can Tell “The Man” To SUCK IT!

You should be pissed. I don’t normally prescribe “anger”, but for this, you should get kind of mad. My bet is that it will inspire you to action and that’s what we’re looking for here.

You see, somewhere along the way, someone, whether be default or design, told us to get realistic, stop dreaming and get on with the business of life. And this should make you angry. I know I’m totally pissed.

Just to be clear, this isn’t the kind of fury you ruminate upon. It’s just the kind where you realize there’s been an injustice and you take action to remove its blight from your world.

Let’s get a move on this.

Every week I work with amazing people, like yourself, and every week we throw our best efforts into creating dazzlingly fulfilling lives. Simple enough. Except for it’s not. Maybe life just got the best of you or perhaps you were told to tone down those dreams because you were a girl or flawed or whatever. And that, my friends, is crap.

Les Brown is famous for saying, “Most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss, but that they aim too low and hit.”

It’s probably that too often in the past I found myself smack dab in the middle of that statement. Too busy with the work of life to dream of something better. It’s likely my life was so good that “great” seemed like too much to ask.

And then I got mad. The good kind of mad. The kind that says to “the man”, “You can suck it! I’m totally playing full out and if you don’t like it when I fail, that’s cool. Cuz soon enough you’re going to see me win!”

In the spirit of spreading the love, I just want to ask you one question. And before I ask you, I’m just gonna tell you straight out that it’s kind of hard to start dreaming when the dreaming stuffing has been kicked right out of you. It’s going to take some effort and practice, but I know you can do it.

Keep this question with you always and I promise it will change your life:

What life would I love?

And for my accelerated students:

Then take action toward that life.

Like, share, comment, tweet and you’re welcome:D

Take This Test To See How Well You Know Yourself

My friend once asked me what my favorite food was. It was a reciprocated question. I’d asked her because I was trying to plan something special for her birthday and unexpectedly the tables were turned.

“What’s your favorite food,” she asked? And I didn’t know what to say. I mean, really. My face got all red and I stumbled about for a bit until I finally made something up on the spot so I didn’t have to feel so uncomfortable.

That’s how far away I’d gone from knowing myself.

It’s not uncommon, you know. You may find that particular scenario drop dead easy, but what about when I ask you what you would LOVE in your life. What dreams do you have and do you allow them a part of your daily activities?

Nine times out of ten when I ask people this question, they get red in the face and stumble about like, well, like I just asked them what their favorite food is, and they just don’t know anymore.

If it were my very last meal on earth, I know what I’d have. I’ve given it some thought and I’m certain of what it would be. A black and bleu burger with bacon and sweet potato fries from a little restaurant in Idaho Falls, Idaho called The Snakebite.
dream builder
What about you? What’s your favorite food and more importantly, what do you dream about? What love is missing, what new heights do you wish to achieve?

It is in our very DNA to grow and expand. More life, more love, more energy and knowledge. And if we are not growing then surely we are dying.

The February group coaching session is getting ready to start and I’d love to have you be a part of it. Because it’s February, and I LOVE what I do, I am gifting Discovery sessions, (free to you and normally a $195 cost).

Send me a message requesting a 30 minute, online Discovery session. We’ll see if we’re a good fit for each other and quite possibly embark on your next great adventure. You can find me on this site as well as Michelle At Play on Facebook or michelleatplay@gmail.com.

We might even discover your favorite food.

Feel free to share with friends and lovers, this could be the best Valentine’s Day gift you’ve ever given.

Well THAT Was A Nightmare

It will never be entirely clear to me what kept me going through the fourteen months and one week Mr Dreamboat spent in CampFunAndGames. Certainly loving and caring for my children played a large part, definitely a supportive family and community helped, maybe that first week it was just the ciabatta bread and olive oil that should be thanked.

Who’s to say?

Today though, one ingredient in the recipe for survival stands out loud and bold for me. It was my ability to dream.

While Mr D was away I spent quite a lot of time building the house we’d planned together. I spent hours writing him letters full of itineraries of the things we would one day do together. I cut out pictures from magazines and dreamed about magnificent vacations.

My life wasn’t “okay” during that time, but the life I sometimes allowed myself to live in my dreams was absolutely vibrant.

by fariddean in RAINDIOM
by fariddean in RAINDIOM

I’ve admitted before that once the nightmare of separation ended I began my own, personal trek. Once the dust died down I took a tailspin into the abyss of depression. I would wonder at the good things going on around me and imagine that if I actually had the capacity to feel, they would feel good.

I was tired, I was disoriented, and worst of all I couldn’t dream to save my life.

It’s not as easy as you’d think it is. Unless you’re in the habit of it, dreaming is way more challenging than you understand. That’s why I preach it.

You see, within every dream, no matter how big, there is the seed to make that dream come true. Regardless of the outlandish nature of a dream, when we acknowledge the dream, respect it, we unleash the part of that dream that longs to come alive in our lives.

This week in my group coaching we’re practicing dreaming. And just as I knew it would be, there are struggles and challenges in letting that inner imp have her way, but we must. We need to let him loose, go out for a spin and come home with a big grin in his/her face, ready to enliven our lives.

When my dreams were all dried up and my soul was cracker crisp and ready to crumble in the next hot wind, first I got some meds, and then I gave life to my dreamer. I named her Michelle At Play and every day, to one degree or another, I let that girl out. I let her dream and I never, under any circumstances put her in a box.

She’s not a pet, she’s a lifeline.

Like, share, comment, tweet and dream on!

God Is In The Chip Bag ~ Michelle Church Lists Ten Things

The books in which I’ve recently been indulging have taken me down deep rabbit holes of gratification. I am discovering for myself, philosophers and ideas, artists and adventures of which I was completely unaware. It’s like Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, only it’s reality… only better.

It is the delight of discovering like minds and new thoughts that keeps me going down the rabbit hole and I am blessed with time at the beach to indulge myself in my quasi-erudite pursuits. “Quasi” as I am no more erudite than the next guy. I’m only self-indulgent.

Because I am shoveling in philosophies like potato chips on a lonely night, I have few opinions right now, just a lot of ideas and they’re not yet catalogued.

In an effort not to spout off about things I’m not yet sure of, I give to you a few niblets of the beliefs I retain. Think of them as crumbs from the chip bag of my mind…

1. The best way to live is to seek the good, the positive, the kind. When we look for things to be happy about, we find them.
2. The hugest irony in life is that the more we focus on ourselves the more unhappy we become. God must be giggling as each of us must discover this for ourselves in our own way and our own time. Some of us are slower than others.
3. On the same topic, but seemingly counterintuitive is that we cannot love others until we learn how to love ourselves. No, I’m not talking out of both sides of my mouth, ventriloquism was never my strength. It’s a complicated idea, but both #’s 2 and 3 coexist.

Just because they're crumbs doesn't mean you can't use 'em.
Just because they’re crumbs doesn’t mean you can’t use ’em. Click on the pic for Sunday Dinner.

4. Living my beliefs has nothing to do with making you live my beliefs.
5. The best way to spread “the good word” is to live it. The love part. The love part is the core and the heart. The rest is commentary.
6. The most fundamental truths are universal. They include, but are not limited to, light and love and probably M Theory. Beyond that, I’m not sure.
7. One time I thought I was right and then I found out I should have been thinking more.
8. I know, for sure, that kindness is where it’s at.
9. As soon as I believe I know it all, I’ve stopped learning and growing. This is perhaps the most dangerous belief of all.
10. We are who we are, we believe what we believe and the best line of action to my way of thinking is live as our best selves and allow others the latitude to do so in peace.

I admit it’s not much, but it’s all I’ve got.

Like, share, comment, tweet and you do you. Amen.