I was named after a Beatles song. "Miiiichelle, ma bellllle..." You know the one? The year was 1977, my Mom had large circular tinted glasses and bell bottom pants, and my Dad's hair was almost as long as hers. ☮
For years I joked I was a closet hippie, as if being a hippie was incompatible with the rest me. As I've become older, wiser and more certain of what I stand for, I've realised that we don't have to shove ourselves into predefined categories. I can be educated and intellectual while also being intuitive and heart-based. I can wear harem pants one day and high heels the next. I can be an activist for animal liberation and still love my friends and family who are not there with me (yet 😉). I can be quite imperfect and also be perfectly enough.
What is incompatible with who I am is to see all of the injustice in the world and do nothing, say nothing, change nothing. Speciesism, racism, poverty, greed, factory farming, violence towards humans and animals, irreversible pollution, complete disrespect for the Earth we live in. I envision a peaceful, compassionate and sustainable world for my kids and grandkids. We cannot keep doing the same things as we do today, and expect a better world tomorrow. The Beatles were known for peace and counterculture. Coincidence, or is the writing in the stars?
As I celebrate my 42nd orbit around the sun this week, I am full of inspiration and hope for the future. It is motivating to see the changes that have happened in less than 2 years of sharing yoga, mindfulness, Swiss Vegan Families community and peaceful, heart-based activism. Recently several people with similar visions have fallen into my path and we are working on a few bigger projects to help create the world we wish to see. Inspiring change by growing our hearts to include ourselves, other humans, animals and the Earth in our circle of compassion.
None of us can do everything, but each one of us can do something. You matter. I matter. Thank you for following and supporting me on this journey! Together we can make shift happen!
Let's dance through life, even if it means falling 1,000 times and getting back up 1,000 times.
If we always give in to our fears and play it safe, we also keep ourselves closed off to our deepest desires. Do you truly know what your soul wants and needs in this lifetime? This year? Today? Do you know what fears are holding you back?
There is no fail proof formula or straight trajectory to the life we dream of creating. Instead it is a daily dance between moving forward and stepping back, expanding and integrating, trying new things and going deep into what we already know.
As my 42nd orbit around the sun comes to a close tonight, I am filled with gratitude for those friends - old and new - who choose to dance along with me. You know who you are 💝.
"Creativity is oxygen for our souls." ~ Julia Cameron
Ever since I was a teenager, at least a few times a year I would rearrange all of the furniture in my bedroom. I enjoyed creating new spaces without necessarily buying something new. I loved the feeling of new perspectives and fresh energy.
Have you also noticed that the state of your surroundings can have such an impact on the state of your mind? When I start seeing patterns, like continually having difficulty focusing or feeling weighed down in a particular room in my house, then I know it is time for a change.
My latest home project was to declutter our living room and make it a more peaceful place to be. All of the STUFF we had was driving me crazy. I got rid of things we no longer use, moved what we don't use regularly to the attic, and refurbished some furniture pieces into a calming grey/white theme with a shabby chic flair.
That included giving a metal cabinet I bought from Ikea 15+ yrs ago a new life by coating it in grey chalk paint and adding some little details to give it a softer, more unique feel. This part of project "living room rehab" took less than 2 hours (excluding drying time)! I forgot to take a "before" picture, so the one below is an Ikea photo ;-).
Do you play around with your environment too? Would love to be inspired by new ideas!
Lately my focus has been pulled away from social media and into two seemingly contrasting inner worlds.
On the one hand, I've been going through a really emotionally intense time that started in December. My energy shifted in the weeks leading up to my Mom's birthday (2nd without her), with her appearing in my dreams more often, many flashbacks from her illness, and frequent signs that her energy is ever present. It was...intense...and not easy to navigate, especially amidst the daily responsibilities of being a Mother and homemaker, among other roles.
On the other hand, in the same time period, some big dreams I have had for several years have shifted very quickly from dreams to visions and plans. Suddenly I am effortlessly meeting other people who share the same dreams and who are driven to envision them together and develop plans to make them real. These are the same dreams my Mom and I spent hours talking about and painting into visions. 💖
A few days ago I realised these two experiences - the weight of this heavy emotional time and the buoyancy of dreams in the pipeline - are fully interconnected. They are the yin and yang of life, the dance between light and dark, between being pulled backward and propelled forward. It is so easy to want just the feel-good emotions and to resist the wtf-this-sucks ones.
But together they provide depth, richness and balance to life, even if it doesn't feel that way in the thick of it. And it is no accident that one of the things I miss the most about my Mom - our endless brainstorming sessions of business ideas and life dreams and plans - is now coming back into my life at this time, in the form of making possible the dreams she and I envisioned right up until she died.
Thank you, Universe, for all of it. .
Michelle Borner, a mom on 23 missions, blogs about her Deep Thoughts on a wide range of topics from parenting to conscious living to lessons from brain cancer.
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