Tag Archives: dreams

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.

Ten Best Quotes From Albert Einstein

Albert-Einstein1I have a total quote-crush on Albert Einstein. Who doesn’t, amiright?

A new year, a new day and new thoughts to think. Let’s get this party started with a few words from today’s sponsor:

1. “Reality is only an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” It is not an accident I put this quote first. It is the one quote I would take with me to a desert island. It is the thought I pet when I cannot fall asleep.
2. “I have no special talents, I am only passionately curious.” This is the quote that convinces me that Al and I could be great friends. We would be lunch buddies with John Berger and Gandhi.
3. “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” There are so many ways to educate oneself. Why do we put such finite parameters around knowledge?
4. “Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy.” What is left to say…?
5. “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” Yeah, that happened.
6. “Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” If I had a nickel for every time I knew something but didn’t live it and breathe it and understand it…
7. But I take heart, because as Albert would say, “You never fail until you stop trying.”
8. “It is not that I’m so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.” Yeah… That’s what I’m talking about. Stay curious.
9. “In the middle of difficulty is opportunity.” So deeply, satisfyingly true.
10. “The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious ~ the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”

Like, share, comment, tweet and live in the mysterious and question the illusion.

To Hell With Resolutions ~ A List Of Ten Beginnings

New Every Morning

Every day is a fresh beginning,
Listen my soul to the glad refrain.
And, spite of old sorrows
And older sinning,
Troubles forecasted
And possible pain,
Take heart with the day and begin again.

Susan Coolidge

In love with each new beginning, a fresh year offers hope that didn’t feel possible when the year was tired and there was so much to be done for the holidays.

Every year I make my lists, I dream about the things that will be done and seen and experienced in the year to come. This year is not different. But rather than subject you to my own, personal goals which may or may not be quite similar to last year’s – oh I will finally get that weight off – I thought I’d keep the bar low here at Michelle At Play and I’ll share with you a few delights I am planning for myself in the year to come:

1. This is the year I will like myself all year long. When I forget, I will simply remind me to be nice to me. I deserve it. Just ask me.
2. I will say yes. Not like that movie with Jim Carrey, “Yes Man”, but like a person who isn’t afraid and yet knows life is fleeting and there’s more to it than Netflix and the easy way out.
3. And when I succumb to Netflix, as we all must from time to time, I will like myself and say things like, “Good girl. Self care is important,” and “This isn’t who you are, only what you’re doing this moment.”
loveyourself14. I will pay attention to my needs and not toss them into the street like bothersome children. Not that I ever did that to my children or anyone’s children… you get my meaning here.
5. In 2015 I will see the good in other people.
6. Best of all, in all situations I will assume the best. You didn’t call me back? You must be busy with something wonderful…
7. I will have faith. I will have faith in you and in me and in a loving Universe. Because it’s all a story and I’m the one telling it to myself. So I tell it with faith.
8. The year 2015 is the year to search for the magic, find it in every interaction, roadblock and mundane situation. If you search for it, you find it. At least you’re more likely to find it than if you never look for it.
9. This year I will take risks with my heart. I will put myself out there professionally and artistically and even, because I am very, very brave personally.
10. 2015 is the year I will lower the bar, raise the expectations and embrace who I am, who you are and what we can become together.

What about you?

Like, share, comment, tweet and pinch yourself to prove it’s not a dream.

Pixie Dust & Champagne ~ A New Year’s Eve Primer

New Year’s Eve, welcoming in the New Year, it’s cool I guess. I’m not trying to be lukewarm about it, but let’s be honest here. Can you get real with me for a few minutes?

My relationship with New Year’s Eve started off rocky. The first years I can remember were of me at home, alone waiting for the Time Square experience. Pixie Dust and Champagne Dreams raining down like tiny wishes being granted for the year to come.

As it turns out, while Dick Clark may have been partying it up, I have never, not one time, felt a thrill as I watched the ball drop on Time’s Square.

I will cop to the years I may have spent New Year’s Eve in dubious company and questionable sobriety. Sobriety was not my strong suit as a teen anyway and who can blame me for going classic? While I certainly had more company and I was definitely celebrating in the traditional way, still the thrill eluded me.

champagne-glass-confettiYears passed and some of my fondest New Year’s Eve memories included letting my children stay up until midnight east coast time while we were planted firmly on the west coast. Eating festive foods and lighting off a few fireworks was fun. Making magic for children is the only way I know to resurrect the mystic of childhood.

Maybe my fondest New Year’s Eve memory is of my first with Mr Dreamboat. We weren’t married yet and had gone to a young adult dance together. With no buzz to be found there, it was shortly before midnight when we finally left.

We were hungry and it was remarkably hard to find someplace open to ring in 1987. Ultimately we found a Subway Sandwich shop open in the bowels of Southeast Portland. Just as we got out of the car and started walking into the restaurant, bells started ringing and fireworks started popping and I kissed my one, true love in the parking lot.

Thrill found.

It is my experience that the world is a devious storyteller. Hollywood paints some pretty pictures and talented artists do a bang up job with a soundtrack to die for. Ads sell you fairy tales with perfect skin and lives that look flawless and affluent and even if you put all the prescribed pieces in place, it might still be lacking.

Beauty is in the details, in the quiet moments. Life is in the sharing and the little kindnesses we do for others and we do for ourselves. And whether you find yourself celebrating in Time’s Square or Paris, France this year, my hope is that you find pleasure in the details, magic in the making and that you find your thrill, whatever that may be.

Like, share, comment, tweet and can we please find a song to replace Old Lang Sine already?

The Path To Success Is Paved With Cookies

The desire to cook struck me at a young age. I don’t think it was entirely a creative venture for me at that point. Mostly it was baking. I didn’t feel like there were enough cookies in my world and I was willing to do something about it. Not. Ok.

As a young, married woman I delighted in the mental image of a 1950’s style homemaker and I dug into cooking with great fervor and creativity. Not having had a ton of experience, the creativity could have been put on the back burner at least until I had the basics down.

Let’s just say that Mr Dreamboat and I call that time my “Puff Stage”, wherein I covered everything I cooked in filo. It wasn’t a really strong era for me.

The years I was busy with children and their activities and trying to nourish a family of 7 were not always the most fun, to tell the truth. Spinning the plates of taste, nourishment, limited time and food preferences always seemed to leave me depleted at the end of a meal. More than a plate or two was always dropping.

It is for this reason that if you question any one of my children as to what one says when someone offers you a meal, they will reply in unison, “That smells delicious. Thank you.” The sincerity of the gesture really wasn’t pertinent at that time.

I once baked a cake quite similar to this for a fancy party. Fortunately I wasn't suffering from depression or I would have taken it much harder.
I once baked a cake quite similar to this for a fancy party. Fortunately I wasn’t suffering from depression or I would have taken it much harder.

It is not unlikely that the combination of more time to myself, less mouths to feed and years of experience have changed my cooking practice. But what I believe is the main ingredient as I chop fresh herbs and try to cube my vegetables into neat and uniform piles is the willingness to give into the experience.

No longer intent on some outdated image of what I should be, that every meal should be built into a perfectly balanced nutritional experience, I enjoy my time in the kitchen exponentially more.

Shopping, slicing and creating the gifts of flavor for myself and for those I love is now a privilege. Mincing is more meditation than monotony. And more time far more regularly than in years past, the meal is savory and delicious.

The phases and fads we endure as we learn and grow are all equally important. From cookie making to child managing, each of the chapters is significant.

Perhaps the only real control we have over each stage is to give in and enjoy it.

Like, share, comment, tweet and pass along your famous Christmas cookie. If you do, I promise I’ll make it!

Myths Lead To Madness ~ A List Of Ten

It’s amazing to me that we grow up and get jobs, we pay bills, grow plant and people, and yet we somehow miss the memo explaining that not everything we’ve been told, observed or embraced is true.

Maybe it’s that we learned the lesson to respect our elders and authorities too well and we continue to apply it even when it’s no longer relevant. Sometimes the things we’ve been told are no more valid than getting your annual leaching for the sake of good health.

Maybe it’s that we’re so busy growing plants and people that we don’t have time to clean out our misguided belief systems the way we are obligated to clean out our closets.

I am here to save you a bit of work. Think of me as you Psychological Organizer and take my advice on ten things it’s time to throw out to make room for yourself:

Life’s List Of Common Myths

1. You are not “supposed” to be or do anything. No one has ever been, nor will crazy2they ever be you. You do you and throw “supposed” out.
2. Feel what you feel. “I shouldn’t feel this way” is a little silly if you think about it. It’s like looking at the warning lights on your dashboard and thinking “That light shouldn’t be on,” instead of getting to the bottom of why it’s on. Good way to burn up an engine or your brain. Either way.
3. There is NOT only one way to do things. There’s not one belief, a certain job or way of life that fits all. We are individuals and our paths cannot and should not be prescribed by a single line of thought.
4. Exerting control over others is a bad way to control others. It’s sort of counterintuitive, but control leads to lack of control. Just stew on that a bit…
5. What you think something means, good, bad, ugly, whatever, doesn’t necessarily mean what you think it means. Toss out the judgment and wallow in curiosity. Life is more fun that way.
6. Wasting time isn’t automatically time wasted. Unless you do it in a pattern of avoidance and you know if this is you and that is a horse of a different color.
7. Being nice isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Nice is Kind’s ignorant and superficial cousin. Nice is window dressing, kind is charitable and always lovely.
8. Checking boxes to make sure you’re doing everything “right” or the way you’re “supposed” to will not definitively give you exact results. Life is like a Joke Recipe book. You put in the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies and you open the oven to find pumpkin pie. Since this is the case, you might as well throw in the ingredients that make you happy. And who doesn’t love pumpkin pie?
9. If you’re looking at the world and thinking it’s all going to hell in a handbag, you’re focusing on the wrong things. People are good and kind and anyone who tells you different is either in the media or running for office. Check your sources, make adjustments accordingly.
10. Most everything in life is simply made up in your head. “Truth” is often subjective. So if you don’t like the story, change it. You’re the writer. You’re always the writer.

Like, share, comment, tweet and tell me a bedtime story I’m gonna love.

A Post-Holiday Beauty Tip

The other day I received a handwritten letter from my young friend all the way from Paris, France. It makes it feel so deliciously old fashioned to say, “All the way from Paris, France.” Which is why I’ve written it twice.

I suppose it is deliciously old fashioned to receive a hand written letter from anywhere. I speak from experience when I say these things make going to the mailbox much more pleasurable than is otherwise the case.

Not only was my letter from far, far away and so very exotic by location, my friend, though young in age is wise beyond her years. The gift was in receiving a letter, but the wisdom within was even more valuable.

“Have you noticed that people are like 100 times more beautiful when they love themselves wholly?… I want that for myself.”

marc jacobs quoteEach of us has yearnings of the heart. We desire outcomes and sometimes things that we think will make us happy, make us beautiful. The truth is that there’s no real way to control our lives, no real way to control others and in the end we have just a bit of influence over outcomes.

Don’t shoot me, I’m only the messenger.

If we’re lucky and we practice very, very hard, we are sometimes in control of our thoughts. And given enough time and enough focus, we can find the peace within ourselves we’ve historically searched for from outside.

Further down that same path, when we, instead of searching to “become” something “other” and in it’s place focus on accepting that we simply “are”, this is when we are like 100 times more beautiful.

“There is a physical difference, I swear.”

It is not age that makes us wise, it is experiences. Well, it’s experiences if we allow them to make us wise. And it is not physical attributes that make us truly beautiful it is loving ourselves wholly.

Thank you, Beautiful Katie Bird. You are 100 times more beautiful than you even realize.

Like, share, comment, tweet and look in the mirror and simply love.