Take on me-W.I.S.E. Project 2016

Photo credit: Louie Schwartzberg
Photo credit: Louie Schwartzberg

Beauty and seduction are nature’s tools for survival because we protect what we love. ~ Louie Schwartzberg

You may have noticed that a lot of my blog titles are also the titles of classic songs. Yes this is on purpose. I love music and usually the title is something that just pops in my head very quickly. Take on me from the Norwegian band Aha is out of the 1985 vault. That is how I feel today, telling the universe to Take me on, because I am happy and nothing that happens today is going to change that.

Often when I write to you I have these A-ha moments and yesterday I said that I was once told that you will be what you think of most of the time and I always wanted to be happy. In seeking out those opportunities to create happiness every moment of every day it changes your entire focus. It doesn’t mean that I am never sad or angry but it means I know what happiness feels like and though I experience sadness  like everyone else I no longer dwell on it. In the dictionary dwelling is described as a place of residence. Do not dwell in a place of sadness and anger. These are places you visit quickly and leave.

Once again this  months W.I.S.E. Principles are WOW, incredible, stimulate and enthusiasm.

I found just the thing today that was expressive and awe-inspiring, it encouraged further interest and activity and I intensely and eagerly enjoyed. Not bad for day two of June.

Nature’s beauty is a gift that cultivates appreciation and gratitude.

~Louie Schwartzberg

I want to share it with you and I am asking you to take ten thoughtful minutes and watch this. It will stimulate your brain, bring beauty to your eyes and calm over your entire being. If it doesn’t you are cold and dead inside and I cannot help you. Not that I can claim to help you anyway, I am not a doctor. As a regular person giving advice to another regular person here is my prescription for joy today. You’re welcome!!

“The Perfect Art of Doing Nothing” -W.I.S.E. Project 2016


Our minds are similar to our google search history. They carry our past, our present and our future. It’s a stuggle to be mindful and learn to live in the present with 3000 browsers open at once. In learning to be more mindful I need to take myself out of my comfort zone and this past weekend I had an experience that was very unique to me and I believe I used all of my January W.I.S.E. principles; Wonder, Imagination, Smile and Energize.

When I first booked my appointment at Floatique I was looking to energize and I thought it would also be a great tool to help in my quest to be more mindful. 90 minutes in a Float Pod doesn’t allow you the opportunity to do much else so I thought it would be an amazing way to live in the moment.

As the appointment drew closer I found all sorts of ways to stress myself out. Would I be bored for 90 minutes? Would I be claustrophobic? Would I be able to shut my mind off and relax?

The morning of I felt quite excited and the quiet, calming atmosphere of Floatique helped me to clear my mind. The wait area is neat, tidy and uncluttered. I had a few quiet moments with my thoughts and I picked up John C. Lilly’s book The Deep Self-Consciousness Exploration in the isolation tank. The book was written over 20 years ago by Lilly, a great scientist, possibly a generation ahead of his time.  Drawing on the personal testimony of many who tried floating the evidence shows how, by eliminating the presence of shifting physical input patterns, the tank allows participants to dive deep into their subconscious and focus immediately on their inner perceptions.

The young man that greeted me was very friendly and he quickly went over everything that I needed to know before he left me to my own defenses. The room was equip with a rainfall shower and organic bath products to shower before and after. I had already showered that morning but showered again and I honestly had a hard time pulling myself out of the luxurious rain shower. The room is completely private, it comes equipped with a towel and face cloth, ear plugs, Vaseline, a vinegar wash to clean your ears (salt in your ears) and a spray bottle with fresh water in case you get salt water in your eyes, because it can sting (I did get the water in my eyes and it does sting but I learned my lesson and moved on. I might bring swim goggles next time)

There is a help button inside the pod and a button to control the lights, you can float in complete darkness or in ambient light. Immediately upon entering the pod I was impressed by it’s spaciousness and after getting a feel for it I turned off the light to get the full experience. The weightlessness, silence and the darkness made me feel like I was in the middle of the ocean instead of in a tank. Floatation Tanks (or sensory deprivation tanks) contain over a 1000 pounds of Epsom salts dissolved in ten inches of water. Needless to say, you are extremely buoyant.

My mind played ping pong for a bit. I was torn between being extremely relaxed to making a grocery list and recounting the fight I had earlier that morning with my 16 year old daughter. I scolded myself because what I really wanted to experience was a “mind~body~soul” connection, not a repeat of everyday only in a float tank. It’s a hard task to shut your mind off and live in the moment. I am sure with enough training you can treat it like a switch but I am definitely not there yet!

I started repeating “mind~body~soul” over and over, quietly in my head. In doing so I was able to focus on just that and my body began to move to the invisible rhythm. I was able to stretch out completely in the float tank with my arms above my head and just lay there weightlessly and move fluidly. My friend had mentioned wishing that they had had a pillow as it was hard on her neck. Floatique does provide a small noodle for this reason but it is one hundred percent unnecessary. The strain you put on your neck is self induced. You are completely buoyant, all you need to do is trust and relax. If you are unable to do that immediately I would fold your arms behind your head to give you a sense of security.

My first advice is to come with an open mind. This was a fabulous experience for me and I am going to have a hard time putting it into words without sounding like a raving lunatic. You must understand that that we are all unique and therefore our experiences will be as well. Water is a mystical element that can revamp our lives if we are willing to open our hearts and mind to its gifts.

Being alone with my thoughts and feelings was really freeing and eventually my awareness of my senses was altered as well. As with any environment, my senses began to adjust; I was able to focus on the sounds and feelings my body makes, including the soft swoosh of the water as I moved. After a couple minutes the silent “mind~body~soul” became automatic as did the way my body moved to the rhythm.

My movements evolved from small and languidly to larger but effortless flow. It sounds almost silly to say but I became one with the water, or the water became one with me. Because of the buoyancy of the water it was hard to determine what was water and what was air. I imagined myself in the middle of the ocean without a care in the world.

The pod was silent, yet there seemed to be very faint music, I think it was only the rhythm I created with “mind~body~soul” and it led my body in what seemed to be a water dance, a soft, fluent sway.

I can recall my movements becoming more energetic and I was smiling from ear to ear. I felt euphoric and I had no sense of time. I wanted to flip over and swim further into the abyss. I am pretty sure I thought I was a mermaid. I felt like a mermaid. The Epsom salt leaves your body feeling silky smooth. It can actually be quite a sensual experience, with nothing between your satiny skin and the luxurious water.

Because the water is the same temperature as your body after awhile you don’t feel it.  It’s like peeling away the layers of your mind. The first time you may only peel away the first layer but I think if you free yourself you can get to the centre and experience complete and total relaxation. Letting go is a hard thing, but so worth it. What are we saying goodbye to but exhausting stress, anxiety and fear?

My experience was fantastic. I left feeling truly excited and rejuvenated. I went to a place that was void of all stress and fear. It felt euphoric. I felt vibrant and whole. I cannot wait to go back and peel away another layer and go deeper into the ocean. I really think I am a mermaid 😉

I have purchased the monthly float package which gives you a float a month for $59, additional 90 minute floats are $55. You can share the package with another person as well.

If you’re ready to go on a meaningful journey to relaxation and wellness I would recommend giving Floating a try!

In Edmonton you can contact Floatique Rest Centre HERE  or check listings in your city for Floatation Therapy.

Either you decide to stay in the shallow end of the pool or you go out in the ocean


Other Floating references

The Book of Floating -Exploring the private sea by Michael Hutchinson

Tanks for the memories- Floatation Tank Talks by John C. Lilly and E.J. Gold

Float Benefits.

Heightens the senses

Reduces chronic pain

Fosters healing

Maximizes training

Accelerates recovery

Reduces jet lag symptoms

Reduces stress/tension on the body during pregnancy

Lowers blood pressure

Subdues inflammation

Increases immune function

Increases magnesium levels

Provides relief during pregnancy

Be Embodied

Be W.I.S.E. Energize and free your mind. Chat soon. xo Michelle

This is 40…almost


I am almost there. Twelve days and I will be the BIG 4-0. I am not sure what is so big about it but apparently it is a big milestone. My Mom always told me how quick the time would go and as usual she was right! There are several things I intended to do by forty but life got in the way. I decided to make a list of 40 things I intended to do by the time I was forty but haven’t quite gotten around too….YET

1. Write a book (two in the works) It takes lots of time to sift through the swamp of shit in your head to find the scraps of pure gold!

2. Be a C.I.A. Agent. This is one of my most elaborate fantasies. I wanted to be a spy like Jennifer Garner in Alias. It is possible I may actually be a spy because sometimes I think I am dreaming about being a spy and I wake exhausted with unexplained bruises. I hope I am working for the good guys!

3. Take my mom to Graceland (sorry Mom) There was this show when I was young, I think it was called Dreams Come True. I wrote a letter hoping that they would send my parents to Graceland…No Dice!

4. Marry Jon Bon Jovi, admittedly this one was a longshot!

5. Be rich. I am not rich in the way I had planned in actual dollars but I am extremely wealthy in other ways!

6. Went on a Wine Country Tour unless you include the extensive wine section at Liquor Depot.

7. Visited Greece.

8. Visited Ireland.

9. Swam with Dolphins

10. Had a tequila party that I remembered!

11. Rang the mission bell at Hotel California

12. Had beers with Sean Connery

13. Learned to like shrimp eww

14. Drank Crystal from the bottle (or at all)

15. Had an Alien encounter.

16. Completed a thousand pc puzzle without swearing and throwing it in the garbage!

17. Watched E.T. This is just shameless and I really need to do this!

18. Made lemonade out of the lemons life sometimes gives me!

19. Gone to the pizza store to order delivery and get a free ride back to my house!

20. Bought a chocolate fountain.

21. Go out Walkin After Midnight singing Patsy Cline at the top of my lungs!

22. Door to door Christmas Carolling (except my own house)

23. Rock and Roll all night and Party Every day. (THIS IS A BOLD FACED LIE)

24. Prove my Royal Ancestry

25. Befriend the annoying Philly Cream Cheese lady who floats on clouds.

26. Give my bologna a last name.

27. Get myself a mascot called Babs the monkey

28. Played ring around the rosie while I had a pocket full of posies.

29. Given myself a really cool nickname.

30. Gave my arm and leg for something I really wanted.

31. Poked a needle in my eye for lying.

32. Made a mountain out of a mole hill.

33. Learned to fly…cause I ain’t got wings.

34. Dancing on the ceiling!

35. Made my own wine (could be dangerous).

36. Gotten myself caught between the moon and New York City…I know it’s crazy but it’s true!

37. Order and wear a cape that says
“Magnificent One!”

38. Skipped the light fantastic.

39. Wang Chung. (Tonight or any other night)

40. Used the algebra that was so important for me to learn in my daily life.

Ok I started out strong but forty is a lot of things and along the way I started to struggle. Not because there are not a million things I planned to do before 40 but as I was thinking about it they all seemed unimportant compared to what I have done. Being a mom, a wife, reuniting with my son just seems to Trump every “What if”

I can still learn the Argentine Tango in Argentina, I can still pack up my family and move to a simpler life and live off the land, I can still contemplate life along the Cliffs of Moher.

The important thing is that I am happy and I don’t feel that I missed out on anything. I know the best is yet to come! I don’t think of forty as ancient, as the end of the road. I prefer to think of it as a beginning, a right of passage.

I will still see new things with the grace of a child but will embrace hardships with the maturity of a woman.

The end of one journey signifies the beginning of another. “Goodbye Dirty Thirties. We were great friends but I am going to go my own way now. Naughty at forty? Sounds to me that forties is a time to do what makes you happy. No apologies, no regrets”

Come along for the ride!


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Tuesday August 21 1990 is the day I lost my father. 23 long years ago that in a lot of ways seem like yesterday. Sometimes I don’t remember why I walked into a room but I remember everything about that day, one of the most horrible days of my life. I am not going to elaborate too much in this post because I have written about that day, if you haven’t read you can read it below.


My daughter asked me last night what were my biggest fears and I said death and traffic circles. The biggest reason we fear something is that we don’t understand.

There is a quote I like from Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie

“Death ends a life, not a relationship”

My dad will always be my dad, nothing will ever change that. I think a lot of the grieving process is so painful because we are hurting for the person that was taken from us when in reality they have gone on to a better place. It’s the living, us that are left behind to pick up the pieces of our broken hearts and learn to love and laugh again that suffer and lose ourselves in grief. We often shun the things that can help us like friends, family and faith in God. I know that I locked up my heart for a long time and shut out God and light in my life. We think we are protecting our hearts from further pain when in reality we are protecting ourselves from love. LOVE HURTS. Anything that can bring us great joy has the potential to bring us great pain. Loving is one of the most courageous things we can do. I still fear death but I am trying to understand that death is a part of the inevitable circle of life. Today I am trying really hard not to remember that day but to remember the good times and the memories that death cannot take away. I will probably listen to some sad songs and cry a little and maybe listen to some of my dads old favorites and dance around like a fool.

“Love Hurts”

Love hurts, love scars, love wounds
And mars, any heart
Not tough or strong enough
To take a lot of pain, take a lot of pain
Love is like a cloud
Holds a lot of rain
Love hurts……ooh, ooh love hurts

I’m young, I know, but even so
I know a thing or two
And I learned from you
I really learned a lot, really learned a lot
Love is like a flame
It burns you when it’s hot
Love hurts……ooh, ooh love hurts

Some fools think of happiness
Blissfulness, togetherness
Some fools fool themselves I guess
They’re not foolin’ me

[1] I know it isn’t true, I know it isn’t true
Love is just a lie
Made to make you blue
Love hurts……ooh, ooh love hurts
ooh, ooh love hurts

Clean Living


Daily Prompt: From the Collection of the Artist

Posted by michelle w.It’s the year 2113. A major museum is running an exhibition on life and culture as it was in 2013. You’re asked to write an introduction for the show’s brochure. What will it say?Photographers, artists, poets: show us RETROSPCTIVE.

Ladies and gentlemen we are pleased today to offer you a rare glimpse into the past. We are taking you back to 2013. Bear in mind how different our communities were prior to the war of 2080 which resulted in the clean living act.

Our exhibits include cars and trucks with actual gas and diesal powered engines. We also have a motorbike which is a large bike powered by gas as well.

You  will be awed to see battery powered devices such as Ipod music makers and Smart Phones. All devices are in working order and we will be providing a short demo.

The exhibit showcases a replica of an actual fast food restaurant including it’s 2013 menus.  You may be shocked to to see how people ate prior to the clean living act.

There are many other showcases that will capture you and take you back. Please enjoy and be thankful for our advances.

We are pleased to continue to offer free bike parking. The exhibit costs ten hours of your time donated either to a community garden or bike shop, one hour will be deducted for those using their own bike locks today. Roller skates are allowed on all pedways, please be mindful of those traveling on foot.

Welcome to 2013 and enjoy.