her.

I hear them say to me ” hey gorgeous” or “you’re so beautiful” and I stop to question, well, they must have missed these gray hairs?

Do they see what life has done to my crown? It has exposed me. Made me odd and old and riddled me with this self-judgment.

How could they have missed them? There’re so many. Surely when they see them, they’ll reassess my status of beauty, status of presence. I will become invisible once they see that I am not what they thought I was.

Why do I do that? 

Even when I was 32 and only one day after I won a body building contest– ripped and leaner than I’d been in my entire life– I pondered whether to wear my cut-off shorts and tomato red heels to the Village for lunch.  

You know, because I thought maybe my legs showed cellulite, too much water-weight on the back.  

I had just won a bodybuilding show and still thought “they’re gonna find out I WAS fat just 3 months ago.”

Geezo, even with less than 10% bodyfat I felt like an imposter.

And I look at women all around the city; so many gorgeous, luscious women, and I can’t help but hope they realize their pretty is profound. So profound. So unique. Stunning.

Like art.

The Woman with dark brown skin, pure and unblemished.  Glowing gorgeousness.  A chocolate face that shines. Does she see how My breath slows when I look at her face? Maybe, she doesn’t know how exquisite she is, just as she is.

 

The round Woman with hips like ruby rose petals bursting in May . I think they are paintable and sculptable and climbable.

She may not know that she radiates like a maternal goddess, that she reminds me that we’re all mothering someone, even us women without our own child. She is my mirror, and I thank her for letting me see myself that way.

 

The Lady behind glasses masking the mystery in her knowing eyes;  on a face with warrior markings, touched with reds and pinks and greens and black lines of clarity.  Reading her library labeled book.  A thinker, a lover of words and sounds and silence magnified.

When these women turn and catch my gaze, I let a smile stream between us.  

 

Does she know of her lovely? 

 

I, too, wanna feel beautiful beyond my failed control over the gray that commands my head. I wanna feel beautiful even with the patch of cellulite on the side of my rump, when I am without pink and red powders, while wearing my writing glasses and tapping letters on my iPad, while feeling the flow of tears when I write stuff that really matters to me.  

And I wanna let HER know she is– the one I’m smiling at–the lady sitting across from me on the train– the one who keeps staring at me–I want her to know she’s stunning.

108_5114-1.jpg

made it to the future.

shakti gawain quote

Shakti Gawain wrote Creative Visualization, a remarkable little book that gave birth to the whole law of attraction child!

I read it when I was about 28.  My Saturn Returns was simply horrible. During that tunnel through darkness, I wrote poetry on the floor of my Los Angeles apartment trying to forgive myself for living a wandering adult life. 

I deeply felt life was punishing me for being an artist,

accusing me for continually desiring new palates,

shaking a finger at my operation to shape and sculpt new experiences because

monotony bored my senses.

With the right college degrees and wherewithal to manage, train, and supervise, why did I voluntarily seek a life path that promised instability, that guaranteed uncertainty?

 

The tone of my journals keep indicating my unresolved obsession with that same question every 10 years.  Now at 47, I face another internal and external rumbling for change.

I’ll have to create a pathway to a land of dreams using my tools:  faith and art.

I must let myself

be.

Let go of ideals and losses.  Be who I am.

In retrospect of the 47 years of fear and curiosity, life is as life does, meanwhile

I have created a me I like and trust.

This year, I have been helped into a better acceptance of knowing myself with support from these pieces of art.

The War of Art, Steven Pressfield – Confronts the courage to create
#Girlboss, Sophia Amorusa   Tells how she created a lucrative business with only a-being-herself business plan.
Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert – Reflects on creating: the acknowledgement and acceptance
re-reading The Artist’s Way – Navigates the way the artist unlocks creation
The Motivation Manifesto, Brandon Burhard – Strong call to action: spend deliberate time and energy interacting with living!

 

plus

30 days to write yourself alive  –  an online writing course with Andrea Balt

and

listening to stories from my courageous girlfriends – not naming them, obviously, but insert your people here…

 

So, to the liberated art (artists) – THANK YOU  for showing me myself

by showing yourself

 

rumi bewilderment

Stepping into more, here’s to the wild future – 2016.

 

sophia quote

image
You: the art.

 

thanks for reading today,

michelle bernard

http://www.sculptedbybernard.com

I am in love

I am in love

with

my imagination.

The relationship I have with it now as an adult with a bank account,

mortgage,

and mutual funds

is more challenging than the one I had in my basement when I was 13.
I would lie in my bedroom with wallpaper-flowers, the Prince record blasting up to the kitchen, letting my mind play pictures and fantasies of what I wanted to experience.
Wishes and real-feeling scenes so far unlike the Iowa town where I lived.

It was ritual – to daydream. Daily.

I called it planning.

As a grown-up

I remember

my imagination is still my best partner, my friend

when I stop making it my enemy.

I understand

I must pause

breathe

and dream the same way I did in my bedroom with flowers.

A daydream, a plan, a mental massage that I truly love.

show and tell

We’re a quarter of the way through this glorious year, mate!

Remember your big dreams for 2015?

They are worth your attention and discipline!

 

For many of our goals, we need to assemble with groups of like-minded, focused, tenacious souls who simply recognize our greatness and cheer us on.

You and I, we can do that for each other… right here!

 

Here are a few of my beLoved goals for the year:

✘ Publish my book for sale on Amazon

✘ Submit articles to my favorite online magazines like Rebelle Society, The Phoenix Soul, Blackberry A Magazine

✘ Use my TRX once a week

✘ Do scorpion pose

✘ Get THE WANDERING PEBBLE up and filled with art

✘ Make a fitness/wellness video every month!

Expect to see a new VID here every month!

 

So please, join me in fulfilling your passions.

 

What do you want to see come from your vastness of possibility?

 

Tell me.

Then come back through and show me your realized goal!

 

http://www.sculptedbybernard.com

When life scares the sh*t outta you

This month 3 of my friends have called to unpack some sucky fears about the trajectory of their lives.

 

One faces the end of a 14-year marriage, one is struggling with finances and is straining to establish a career of purpose, one is moving her family to a new town where everybody has to get jobs and create a new support system.  

 

What has compounded their issues is that all three are in their mid-forties.

 

Really and seriously, life has scared the sh*t outta me in all my adult decades so far.  

 

I chose a transition that just ripped me open in my late-twenties, I lost a ton of hope when certain ideals were crushed in my mid-thirties, and I went through bouts of fiery anger in my late thirties

[that makes it twice-sh*tty in one decade!!].

look into my eyes

 

I told my friend-folks to do what I did when I got stuck

 

1  Get away from all the voices.

 

Too many opinions are NOT good for you.

Your inner ONE will give you the best advice.  

However, that inner ONE will NOT give you every single morsel of bread that you need all at once.

It will give you advice that will lead you where you need to go RIGHT NOW.

 

Stick with what’s in front of you RIGHT NOW and trust that you’ll get more information when it’s time to make the next move.

 

Listen and TRUST your inner ONE, and you’ll build confidence and focus.

A scary life gets spooked away by CONFIDENCE and FOCUS.

 

 

2  Understand that life will periodically swing toward sh*tty, and then back to swell again.

from sh*t to swell

Life doesn’t do perfectionism and there is NO certainty in anything, so don’t expect it.

But do expect that aspects of your vision will appear when life swings back to swell.

 

So get a vision that supports you!!

 

 

3   Just as much as we need to listen to our inner ONE, we need to have a “small” support crew to let us  dump out fear and gives us a lift.

 

Make sure you choose that crew wisely.

If your crew lets you wallow in darkness all the time, lose ’em.

You need a small task force that encourages and helps you exchange your fears for a vision.

 

Your pendulum is gonna swing back to swell, it will!  

And members of your crew will one day need you to help them move through some of their sh*t later.

 

light as a feather

In the meantime, find somebody to serve {for money or for free}.

God, it felt like a such goody goody cliché to write this.

But I mean it.

 

I used to be the person who believed we were on some linear train toward riches and fame and marriage and the seemingly successful life like the ones billed on tv.  Seriously!

 

I used to feel embarrassed and emptied out by my failures, as if I was more flawed for effing up.

My life would move from swell to sh*t like ::

I’d make good money and get my graduate degree, but then regress to having less in my bank account and needing to move into a crap-apartment;

or from being in numerous, degrading relationships to finding a supportive one for many years and then wandering back into choosing a player.

Each bloody-time my life dipped below tolerable, I’d get some space away from everything so I could shut up all the outside voices to hear my own.  

I’d turn to [a few] superhero friends who believed in the small part of me that still had confidence.

And most recently, I engage my talents in service outside of myself.

This is a new realization.  Service.  

For money or free.

 

What it feels like is a flow of self through me, through someone else, back to me.

How else can I articulate that?!

Like Connection.

For me that means writing and performing poetry, painting, teaching yoga to kids, rolling around with my dogs, singing at a senior center, making time for my friends to talk about how to handle their fear.

 

Service has shown me that I am the same as everybody outside of me ➩ happy, terrified, clear, lost, dark, lonely, brave, confused, curious, needy, hopeful.

Dig-able gifting you can do this time of year

here are 8 really swell gifts people might actually use and really dig for the holiday exchange thang this time of year :: 

1. Amazon gift card  ✌  some people think it’s impersonal to give a gift card or money as a gift.  I’m here telling you,people really love to receive them, so give one.  

It’s easiest to send the gift card via email ( only 10 minutes online to order and ➠ ba da- bing, ba ca-boom ☈  press send).  You can choose funky, animated cards that sing when they’re opened, plus you get to write something heartfelt in the message blank.  Believe me, the message you write is the real gift anyway!

2. iTunes gift card  ✾  no, this is not going to be a post about giving gift cards, however, if your giftee is a music soul, you will have delighted them with glee if you do this.  An iTunes gift card will be golden!( and it’s likely to get used within the week!)

 

3. Shutterfly mugs or blankets  🐼   they are personal favs of mine.  I have gifted both to smiling receivers.  Shutterfly.com is an online photography developer/ editor at your fingertips.  Upload photos and store them until you’re ready to edit and make a photo album or  order copies.  

You get to paste your pictures onto the mugs and blankets and even write a little blurb.  Now who wouldn’t think it swell to have a photo album blanket wrapped around them during a cold, January, hot-cocoa kind of night?

4. A pack of sessions for yoga classes, Zumba classes, Pilates classes, soul cycle…   ☮  If you give someone money cuz they want to start taking these classes, don’t necessarily believe they’ll follow through.  Things come up, you know.  

If someone has expressed a great desire to start taking “an exercise class”, well, help em out. Put the tickets in their hands!

5. An herb garden ( in a big ole basket, of course)  ⚛  stuff the basket with the necessary grow-goodies   ➠  soil, 5-6  4″pots, organic seeds, a hand shovel, and gloves-optional

( I don’t use gloves.  My mother told me I should caress the soil.  It makes the plants grow)
They can house the herbs on a windowsill, or see Pinterest for cool ideas for displaying. Plus, maybe they’ll buy a helpful book on planting with their dig-able amazon gift card.
 

6. A groupon for a massage  ☮   holy moly, do I need to explain how this will please the gifted? 

7. Headphones  ❢   for iPods, iPads, iPhones ( sorry, I’m kinda a Mac person). Headphones always get tangled, lost, shorted out, stepped on.  Trust me, lots of people need new ones.

8. Take someone on a holiday night out  ⚛   forget having your giftee exchange your gift for something better.
                                  Give ’em an event {something you can share} , instead.  Dress up. Make a day into night of it.  Bustle around in your hat and mittens with a hot cocoa in hand.  Listen to music/ carolers.  See the town tree.  Take pictures like a tourist.  Film close-up video footage. 

Window gaze at macys, saks, perhaps jcpenney in some towns.  Ice skate for an hour. At tea time, choose mulled wine. Find a cozy spot for dinner.  A place with a wood fire place.  Chuckle.  
 
To me, these are just the greatest dig-able holiday gifts ever.
To you, 
                 be merry and   ☀    bright. Image

Don’t lose your apples and spend gobs and gobs of your moolah trying to do perfect gifting.  
Be creative.  Get personal.  
Dig-able gifts aren’t so complicated to find.
❥ Spend time with peoplewho you really really dig.  Tell them so.
 Image
Here’s to your big ole, simple holiday season, sweetee!

Cheers!
9. A good ole bottle of wine is always an appreciated gift (for me, at least).  Plus, we can share it.www.sculptedbybernard.com

How do you stop an interrogator from pissing you off?

So the real question here is
” how do you stop a snooping, over-opinionated, know-it-all from thinking your business is her business”?
 

Tell em to bud-out.

 
Nah!  That’ll probably start fight.
 
I have two go-tos when some pain in the ass starts interrogating me.
 
(Pardon my a*s, but I really don’t like to be interrogated.  Am I in good company?  
 
To be clear, I define an interrogator as someone who challenges my intuitive decisions, questions my knowledge when they don’t have a background in the subject they’re challenging, and/or plays a devil’s advocate ➤  cuz I don’t particularly like the devil butting into my conversations.  
 
To be more clear, pushy interrogators are usually wrong about most of their thoughts and ideas for you!)
 
Given that… Here’s how you can avoid these types of energies.
 
1.  Run the yellow light and Turn left.
 
Ever had someone following you in your car, you run the yellow, and turn the corner?  
 
Well, the car following your won’t make the light.  While they are held up at the red one  ✧ it’ll be 2 minutes before they can get back behind you.
 
Ah… 2 minutes, just enough time to change the frickn subject with a question.
 
Instead of answering the interrogators next question, ask a question.  
It’s gotta be a good question, one that commands a long winded answer.  It’s gotta be personal, cuz folks love to talk about themselves, no problem.
 
In order for you to for you to find the right question, you’ll need to master 
➢  the 5 breath energy bath.   (This is number 2) 
 
 Take 5 deep slow breaths at exactly the moment you begin to feel your blood boil.
 
You see, at that time, your energy has begun to get whipped up into the cyclone of the interrogator’s critical judgment and bad -idea bruising.  
 
You need to bathe in the purity of self-trust.
Each breath needs to be slow.  
 
The during the first two breaths, smile like you’re listening – all the while you’re visualizing a place in nature that really makes you feel happy.  
 
During the next two breaths, make a noise.  Say ” ahh huh” or ” mmm” or something that shows you’re listening ( you’re not).  
 
During breath 5, when you are deeply relaxed in, let’s say a garden with a bubbling brook and only hearing the dripping water, think of a question – you know, you are about to run the yellow light and turn left!
 
However, if the interrogator is a professional hit-person, the kind that pressures you for an answer, give one.
 
3. Give an answer and flee as fast as you can.
I have three answers that help me escape the pro interrogator – but I sometimes need to use these in gentler situations, as well.
 
Say, ” it’s a long story”
If they say they have time, ↰repeat but add “really” to long story.  
 
Still they have time, then you’d better run the yellow light.
 
Or say, “wow, what interesting ideas.  I’ll think about those.”
 
Or say, “mmm, I don’t know yet.” No bulls*itting ✜ really.  
Always say yet because you actually do know or you intuitively know which means you kinda know ( which is good enough as far as knowing goes) and you need to stick with your very own intuitive knowing because it counts for a LOT.
 
[You might need a 5 breath energy bath even after way #3.  Take the bath.] 
 
What’s most important to remember is    ✾
an interrogation is a cyclone of someone else’s judgment and personal criticism
that can harm your self- esteem and zap all your positive energy.  
 
Don’t defend yourself, be yourself.
 
Trust your self.  
Examine your self on your own, often, and if you invite someone to help you,
 
 
make sure they are caring, supportive, and honor your highest truths.
 
Live your truth.
Support one another.

 Blowin’ you kisses, 

your trainer ☀ michelle bernard

you are fabulous today and every day!

 

www.sculptedbybernard.com