Being Present

So what does it mean to be present?

I was recently watching a video blog by a motivational speaker about what six things highly successful people know and/or do.   One of the main things he discussed was being present. This made me think about what it means to be present and what prevents us from being present moment to moment.

First, what does it mean to be present? In doing research for this blog, I looked up Webster’s definition as well as reading a few other blogs that discussed the importance of being present, but none of them made it clear to me what this idea or concept of being present really meant.

I have studied mindfulness practices for many years and have a clear understanding that my meditation practice is a tool to help me improve on being present. I have had moments, albeit brief, when I felt that the moment was eternal. However, this actually scared me as the moment felt very big and vast and I likened it to falling in a dream, so much so that I quickly brought myself back to a finite sense of the moment.

So let’s get practical. How do we actualize presence in every moment of our lives? I have heard individuals complain that “life it too busy” or they don’t have time for themselves or cannot even think straight. I am well-acquainted with internal dialogue as I have had it myself for many years.

What I know:

When we fight with what is we will never find peace or presence.

What to do?

Get really acquainted with your life. I mean fully acquainted – study it – the ins and outs of what you do and why you do it and be curious. Notice the moments when you slip into wanting something different or arguing internally with what is.

Byron Katie says, “If you want stress, get a future”. My understanding of this is that when we are constantly living in a state of conflict and desiring something different we feel stressed. That doesn’t mean don’t have a plan or a vision, but be willing and able to create a vision and work toward that vision without negating the present.

Learn to ask yourself moment to moment, “How present am I and at what level am I present?”.

In my practice, there are a number of things I see as obstacles or hurdles which get in the way of many people and prevents them from being fully engaged and present in their lives. I have listed a few of them below. However, more will be covered in later blogs.

Defense mechanisms

Judging the future from the past

Health: lack of self care

Judgment about the topic, the situation.

Stuck in one’s head; planning what you’re going to say next

Our story about whatever, whoever and wherever

Anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges



Lack of investment in the moment or the relationship

These are some of the things we work on in therapy and in our coaching session and if you would like to explore this further feel free to contact me to set up a free 30 minute consultation.

Until next time,




Living From the Heart

When sleeping women wake, mountains move—CHINESE PROVERB

As I prepare for this workshop I find that I am immersed in the material, understandably, of living from the heart, not only in book material but in my actual life.  I find myself consistently checking and asking myself the question, “What does it mean to live from the heart….  am I living from my heart or following someone else’s agenda”

I can tell you that for me living from the heart means actually taking the time to listen to my inner wise woman (or wild woman) depending on the day.  As well as asking internally “Is this what I really want or is there something more that I really I need?”

Often what I find when working with clients is the sabbatour or negative aspect of themselves comes in to tell them they are selfish for taking the time and space they need.

Now we’ve all had negative thoughts that like to come in and sabotage our divine inner guidance by saying things like, “You can’t do that, your too old, too fat, too much…” and on and on and often we choose to listen to those voices due to our own self value.   We hear the, “I tried, I am just not good enough.”  As women (and men do this as well) we make vows to ourselves, “I’m going to play more, rest more, eat healthier” and generally life gets in the way and we find ourselves derailed from our “truth”

I am here to tell you that there is nothing more powerful than truly knowing thy self, knowing your own inner truth!  This includes all the shadowy dark places too, lots of power lives there! Before you pick up another self help book or another diet plan I encourage you to get in touch with what is true for you! Beware though, this sometimes doesn’t feel good.  Sometimes your inner voice can come in and kick your butt into shape if you really listen (its not always touchy feely).

Living from your heart feels much different than living from your ego.  When you live from your heart you feel a deep sense of knowing, of peace, a sort of pull in that direction.  You feel at ease, and in control of yourself.  You lead from this place while learning to care for and love yourself. This is what coaxes your body into balance.  

You see when we forget what matters most to us then we give more homage to the negative, critical voices in our heads.  All of those “I cant’s!” or “I tried!” Things like “Well, I tried to be an artist I guess I’ll have to settle for a job I don’t like.”    The truth? Or is the real truth, “My previous attempts at making a living as an artist didn’t work, but I can still find a way to channel that part of me and call myself and artist”?

Living from the heart means really knowing who we are, knowing  what makes us happy.  It’s knowing our strengths and weaknesses and knowing what makes us tick.  It is important for us to realize that while we are not perfect, we can cherish and foster our own uniqueness. 

My Challenge for you would be for live truthfully, authentically, and honestly, drawing strength and consolation from your work, your family, love and health.  Cultivate and nurture those things, not from your head, where logic always rules, but from your heart where you can feel what is right and real just for you!


A Moment of Creative Pause

To Take a moment of Creative pause in our busy lives is essential.  Some amazing women and I have created a workshop just for this purpose

 The focus of the workshop is living from the heart.

We are centering it around nutrition and getting fully present in our body, mind and spirit.

 As women we get pulled in many different directions.  This seven day retreat is our moment to pause, and tune into what nourishes us as women not only through the food we eat but the joy we create by being with other women embarking together in the study of new things in new places and having the courage and willingness to take new risks and new adventures.

 This workshop is designed to offer tools that lead to a deeper sense of self and body knowledge while at the same time offering plenty of space for self- nurturing and adventure. 


What is your personal mythology?

What is your personal legacy that you wish to leave behind?

How do you give yourself the permission as well as the gift of retreat, the gift of moving to another rhythm or a moment of creative pause to tap back into the greatness that is you?

 When you think of taking time away for yourself is guilt the first thing that pops into your mind?

 How can we step into the knowing that stepping away is a MUST! Its something we must do so that we CAN be more fully present in all the other moments that require so very much of our lives.

 As women we are image-makers, and creative beings we are the powerhouses of our families!  So, tell me what is the shape of your life? 

 Mine, includes a dog, a beautiful young daughter, and a loving partner and I have a craft which is helping others it is a craft I love.  My life has also been shaped by many things as have yours; these are the things we’ll take a look at and make a conscious choice as to whether or not we want our attention to be where it spends most of its time or if we’d like more time for those creative pauses, more time for conscious choice making and heart following.

 These seven days out of 365 are a gift you are giving not only yourself but your family and all the women as well as men you come into contact with, as it represents a gentle reminder to always come back to self to make real choices from the truth of your being.

 We look forward to have you join us on the amazing adventure!


Michelle L. Emery

Habits… soo what is it.. exactly? and how can I change?

Many times when we think of habits we think of negative things like smoking or eating excessively or driving too fast.  But habits in the positive sense can be very useful — I mean who wants to have to motivate themselves every time they have to brush their teeth, hang up their keys or feed the dog?   For that matter who wants to have to motivate their child to feed the dog, hang up their backpack or do their homework?  I don’t know about you but it can be awfully tiring to not only remind yourself but your child as well,  — so let’s break it down a bit.

Just what is a habit?

Habits are those things we do without thinking – things like:

Your drive to work

Washing your hands after the bathroom

Throwing your clothes in the hamper (for some of us)

Making your coffee in the morning

But what are those things that really would get done much easier if they were habits?

Those activities that you either want to do for an extended period of time, like many months or years, or activities you want to do frequently—say one or more times a day even if it’s only for a few weeks.

If we make those things habits they stand a better chance of actually happening so let’s say you want to run every morning or at least a few times a week.  If you make that a habit say every Monday and Wednesday and you get up and put your gear on the better chance this will become a habit and will actually get done!

See it takes energy to first remember to do something and then energy to get motivated to do it.

Let’s say you want to drink more water — or stay in touch with your loved ones or write in a journal and as I am saying these things do you think, “Oh one more thing to do, aggghhh.”   What if you did these things without even thinking about it, without hemming and hawing and sifting through your mind before actually deciding on an action?

Well, here are some core strategies for building your new habits (according to Dr Stephanie A. Burns).

So in order to create a new habit there are only a few steps that need to be taken and these are steps that we all possess and have the willpower to do.

First you have to decide on what you want to be a habit.  It is important that you be as specific as possible.  A habit of drinking more water is problematic whereas a habit of drinking 6 glasses a day is easier to install
You have to set up triggers to help you to remember the action at the time you want to do it.

It is hard to install a new habit if you keep ending up at the end of the day remembering that you were meaning to take the stairs at work instead of the elevator.
During the time before the action becomes a habit (perhaps the first few weeks) you will need to use external triggers or reminders.  Make it easy to remember what you are trying to do

Alarms, notes, friends to call you, rubber bands on your wrist, padlocks or obstacles.
Rituals support remembering – do it in the same place, same time, same surroundings if possible for the first few weeks.
Once you have remembered you have to be able to motivate yourself to act.  SO before we discuss how to do that we should discuss repetition.

Installing new behaviors of any type take repetition over time.   Just like the negative ones we all have had to break and which have been habits instilled over time.   So how much repetition or how long it’s going to take really depends on what you are trying to install.

If for instance it’s something like getting up earlier, writing in a journal or doing a load of laundry, you would do the entire action at one time whereas if you wanted to go for a walk every morning for 30 minutes it might be a little more challenging because of the length of time.

So to instill a habit like this you need to first get up and get out the door.   Not necessarily thinking, “I have to walk 30 minutes” at first just maybe 5 or ten minutes.   The idea here is to keep it short and doable and you go expand your time.

Just get the starting part handled and then build on it from there.

Instilling new habits can take anywhere from two to three weeks to install to upwards of twelve weeks – so try to be patient with yourself, you’ll get there!  It only costs you a little commitment to the action and compassion when you miss doing your action.  It’s okay — just get right back in the game!

Remember to pat yourself on the back every time you are successful at your action! (You deserve it).
Look for small improvements.
Changing behavior is hard so you’re doing great just in making a plan.

And really do whatever it takes for the task for at least the first few weeks


Acquisition of Attraction?


Acquisition Or Attraction, Which One Are You Employing?

How are you? How’s it been going with some of the resolutions or goals you set for yourself in January? If you chose not to set any, how are you doing with that? Are you still going strong or has your will power waned? Maybe you’ve decided on something completely new and exciting… sometimes that’s how it goes, we set out in one direction and end up going a completely different way, but really the idea is just to get moving.

I read a quote the other day by Peter Drucker it goes like this:  “Do you know the best way to predict the future? Create it!”

In our present society we have a mode of thinking that tells us if we want something we just need to get out there and take it.  It’s the mindset of acquisition.  As a culture we reward and admire those individuals who have gone after what they want with enthusiasm and passion and well if they happen to trample on a few people on the way up, well that’s unfortunate but those are the casualties of the moment.

Although this appears to be very dog- eat- dog in mentality (and it is) this mentality has lead to brilliant advances in our modern culture.   As Michael Neill puts it, “This school of acquisition has been in full session for the past 2,500 years but there is another school of thought that has been hidden away in caves and secret societies and this is the teaching of the “Law of Attraction” many of you have probably seen the movie the “Secret” or read some books pertaining to this “Law of Attraction” But for those of you who haven’t, the idea is that:

Like becomes like
Thoughts become things
And you become what you think about

Supposedly the ruling elite suppressed the secret teachings because the leaders were afraid the individuals would realize how much power they actually had.

But now that we have this information and it’s readily available what is stopping individuals from living the life of their dreams?  Why isn’t everyone driving around in the their dream cars, why are people still starving and why do we have such drama in politics?

Well, the problem is that people are using “the secret” or the law of attraction as a new means of acquisition.  So instead of actually shifting their approach to life to planting seeds of kindness, experiencing more joy, expressing more love and kindness, they are looking for a better parking space or a better bank balance by of course thinking the right thoughts.  And many times individuals assume that if they only had “x” then they would feel happier or experience more joy.

But the real trick with the law of attraction and with the energy of happiness is what actually attracts the good things into our lives.  What attracts the energy of joy and excitement, the energy of being in awe every day and which creates power and that power is inevitably creative.

So instead of asking, “What do you want?” — it might be better to ask, “What would I love to create?”

When we step into our lives as creators, we are no longer limited by what we see around us.  We can create what would most fill our hearts with more joy.   You are absolutely and infinitely creative and when you create from all the beauty that already exists inside you, things like success or abundance or loving relationships become the natural outcome of your creation.

Over the next few weeks I invite you to pay attention to how you feel about the events in your life:

Are you absolutely in love with what you are doing?
Can you tap into joy when you’re not feeling it?
It’s through that JOY that you create your masterpiece.

When we don’t get what we want it may be just that its taking longer than we would like or that we haven’t found the way yet, no blame, or shame, no fault.

Filed Under attraction, Life Coaching, mindfulness, Personal Growth |