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.

get more

We’re always trying to get there, to make it!

So much self help is focused on teaching us how to help ourselves to more.

Get more. Have more.  Earn more.  

 

 

Maybe we could use a bit of help learning how to feel good about what we have.  

Right now.

What we have.

 

And not for any other reason than to feel good right now.

Call it gratitude.

 

Gratitude has become another puffy word, like the words authentic and love.

We toss these words up and fumble to catch them.

Why have they become so hard to hold, gently?  

Could we let them sit within our grasp without squeezing so tight and slipping out of our hands?

 

I invite you to hold gratitude with both hands, with your thoughts, with your BOD and be still. Carry it. See it. Feel it.

Bring it up closer to you.  Take a breath.  

Maybe you’ve missed something.  
Maybe you’ve been out there looking for more when there already exists so much more within you.

Feel grateful not because you’ve learned that doing this will work to bring more to you (though it might), and not because it makes you a good person (though it pretty much could), and not because feeling grateful is a strategy to change your energetic vibration (although it pretty much will).

Don’t feel grateful simply because you wanna ” make something happen”.

Feel grateful because it can illuminate the parts of you and your life that you may have overlooked

(due to all the wanting).

Feel grateful because this moment matters just as much as your next, just as much as 6 months from now, just as much as when you do have the right boyfriend, enough money, perfect abs, a promotion. 

This moment is happening.  It’s your life.

Be in it.  

You and your life are worth Celebrating just as is.

You have made it!  Here.

You are already here.

http://www.sculptedbybernard.com

Life isn’t short. For some, it’s long.

letter to mE

Girl, you have fallen’ into some big ole holes, and I know how much it has hurt you.

I know you can barely breathe down there in your pursuit of “all there is”- down there gasping to create a relationship that validates you, unraveling in a job-change you thought would define you (but is attacking your beliefs about humanity), in the arduous pursuit of sustainable health insurance.

all there is

But you will get another opportunity to choose soon. Really.

In about 5 months you won’t need to keep cranberry juice in the fridge for your vodka and you won’t need to workout twice a day to keep your butt from blowing up because of the chocolate chip cookie dough. 10 years younger me

 

Your angry prayers and creative visualization notebooks will move you to a safer ground.

Don’t stop doing that work!

One thing I learned from you is to state my desired outcome like I know for certain it will happen.

 

Especially when I have no idea how IT will happen, still say IT must.

With no alternative.

 

That worked for you.

Thanks for giving me that.

 

Here’s what I wish to give to you, my 10 year younger mE.  

Stamp these in your belly.

1. Stand with your intuition. When you feel you know, you are correct.  You do.

2. Don’t tell everyone all your detailed feelings.

Explain only when you have established trust.  Folks you can trust will hold your feelings sacred instead of using your life as something casual to talk about.

3. Journal often. Try audio when you’re scared to write.

4. Finish writing ThemKids. It’s really good.  

5. Stop fixing people. Oh God girl, I know it’s your nature, but please stop pushing the fix in your private life.  

It will exhaust you and deplete the enthusiasm you need for your beliefs.

Simply, offer advice if you’re asked, but don’t beg anyone to take it.

6. Respect every woman you see. They are precious. You have so much in common. You do.

7. Protect your spiritual center. Let it expand. It will make you magical.

Life isn’t short for everyone.  For some, it’s long.

Life is precious.
What always amazes me is that we get so many chances to be who we want to be.
Regret isn’t necessary.

You are not going to make a bad decision.

So every time you decide something, be as bold as brass.  It all fits somewhere.

Each year, you’ll see, this life gets more and more meaningful,

and you will learn that sometimes

breaking the conventions and “supposed tos”

is what will bring you the most happiness.

now me. michelle bernard

create

clay earwear with bone

 

sculpt.

from clay.

wearable art.

 

clay and bleu glass by michelle bernard

 

it’s all art, isn’t it?

 

the jewel.

doorway is clay and glass by michelle bernard

the BODy.

the life.

ringing bleu by michelle bernard

create.

take stuff away.

clay earwear by michelle bernard

or add.

green lass and clay by michelle bernard

 

 

 

clay and wood beads by michelle bernard

 

step back and see how it looks.

put it on.  how does it feel?

 

drift by michelle bernard

you can always start again.

you never finish.

we all start again.

michelle bernard wearing jasmine

we’re all wearing art.

 

◎ dedicated to my friend.

 

the jewels are all hand-sculpted from stoneware clay with recycled glass.

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.

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