Join Me in the Fight Against Breast Cancer
Hello Everyone! This spring I will be running the GO! St. Louis Marathon to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. My wonderful Mom, Ann Marie Orlowski, is a breast cancer survivor and may not be with us today if it was not for the amazing research that Susan G. Komen supports. Any amount that you are able to donate towards conquering breast cancer is appreciated more than you know. I'll also be posting positive, and hopefully inspirational, posts daily in my Susan G. Komen blog. So if you need a positivity boost, pull up a chair, grab a hot cup of tea, and enjoy a quick read for happiness sake! This one is for you, Mom!!
You can make a donation online with your credit card by clicking the button above my fundraising thermometer.
As the world’s largest and most impactful breast cancer organization, Susan G. Komen supports more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit outside the U.S. government, while providing real-time help to those facing the disease.
My Personal Web Log
Last but not Least
Well we did it! Thank you to everyone who opened up their hearts in this experience. Whether it was through donating to Susan G. Komen (I thought reaching my goal of $500 was a stretch and we DOUBLED it), reaching out to me to see how training was going, wishing me luck, seeing how I was feeling after the marathon (I'm great but still defrosting!), taking the time to read my blog to hopefully get a happiness boost, standing in the frigid cold just to see me for a total of 10 seconds (Gaye, you made the worst part of the run so much better!), and through so many other ways. All of the love that came from you made the run today so much easier to get through. Mom and Dad, thank you for coming all of the way from MA, waking up at 4:15 this morning, and being freezing all day just to be there for me. You have always been present for the biggest moments in my life no matter how far you've had to travel, and I hope you enjoy making these memories as much as I do. Mary, you are a trooper for being in the cold today! I know you can't read this, but you're strength and resilience have me in awe everyday. Adam, you are where Mary gets her strength, resilience, and heart. Thank you for taking the reigns throughout the long training process, and for never complaining once. I began this blog writing about your faith and unending positivity, and in the end faith and positivity are what I hope everyone who read this blog was able to gain at least a little more of.
Thank you God for making this marathon possible. To him be the glory forever.
by Rachel Micheletti on Sun, Apr 08, 2018 @ 8:37 PM
Happy Marathon Eve! I can't think of a more inspirational post than posting Jim Valvano's speech when he was awarded the inaugural Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award at the first ESPY Awards. His speech will bring anyone back to how life should really be lived.
"To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. Number three is you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special." - Jim Valvano
by Rachel Micheletti on Sat, Apr 07, 2018 @ 3:13 PM
I know this is kind of old news, but I love stories like this! One day you're an accountant, the next day you're playing in an NHL game! Anything is possible.
by Rachel Micheletti on Fri, Apr 06, 2018 @ 9:44 PM
Happy International Calm Day! Today the Calm app has unlocked their daily Calm meditation for everyone. I use this app to meditate everyday, and although it was difficult at first to find time to meditate it's now one of my favorite parts of the night. Enjoy today's daily Calm about inner peace.
by Rachel Micheletti on Thu, Apr 05, 2018 @ 4:31 PM
In the Moment
I have been so blessed to have so many amazing memories from as early as I can remember. Camping as a Girl Scout, flashlight tag in my backyard, and roasting s'mores on the fire at my grandparents' house on the Fourth of July are just a few of my favorites. Wonderful memories often provide me with a happiness boost, but I find it's important to remember that they are just that: memories. They weren't meant to last forever, and every new moment is an opportunity for a happiness boost as well. I'm so lucky to have great memories, but I'm much luckier to be able to be in this moment.
"Life is made up of a collection of moments that are not ours to keep." - Rachel Brathen
by Rachel Micheletti on Wed, Apr 04, 2018 @ 5:00 PM
Visible vs. Invisible
I was recently given a wonderful book called "Jesus Calling." Today's passage talked about how the invisible is everlasting, which made me think of a quote from The Santa Clause (one of my favorite movies of all time): "Seeing isn't believing. Believing is seeing." Sometimes it's difficult for me to see past what's visible, especially when it feels like my faith is being tested to the max. I know I've written about this before, but those are the times when it's important for me to remember to look up at the stars and know in my heart that my guardian angels are watching over me, feel the waves crashing against me to feel nature and a power much greater than I can comprehend, or lend a helping hand to others to give love. All of these things are everlasting.
by Rachel Micheletti on Tue, Apr 03, 2018 @ 3:11 PM
I love this article, because nature often takes my breath away. I haven't walked through a forest in a long time, but even picturing it in my mind provides me with feelings of wonder, calmness, and connectedness.
by Rachel Micheletti on Mon, Apr 02, 2018 @ 9:28 PM
"Cosmic humor, especially about your own predicament, is an important part of your journey." - Ram Dass
Mary tends to "talk loudly" at her swim lessons whenever the instructor is trying to teach the group a certain method. She is also very into "splashy hands" when we're near other people which results in water splashing everywhere. It is during these moments that I have my best and truest laughter. There's nothing I can do about her drowning out the instructor or splashing water all over everyone, but what I can do is laugh and smile and learn from Mary that life is too short to resist "splashy hands".
by Rachel Micheletti on Sun, Apr 01, 2018 @ 9:34 PM
Need a mini-fun break? Find out what your name would be if you were born today, in the 1950s, 1920s, etc. I had no idea that "Rachel" was the 13th most popular girl's name in 1985. I only knew one other Rachel growing up!
by Rachel Micheletti on Sat, Mar 31, 2018 @ 9:40 PM
"Here comes the sun, and I say, it's alright" - The Beatles
If you live in the St. Louis area you know the abundance of rain and clouds we have had over the last couple of weeks. I'm not going to lie, I have let this weather get the best of my emotions, especially when it prevents me from spending time outdoors. I would ask myself, "Does it really have to rain AGAIN today?" This morning, not only did I get to go for a run but I got to see the sunrise! It was so amazing, mostly in part because I was able to appreciate the sun so much more after not seeing it for a while. And guess what? All of that rain made everyone's grass an absolutely radiant green. It may have been a monsoon these last couple of weeks, and they're predicting snow on Easter, but that's okay. Right now everything is good, and if it snows then that will only make the grass greener the next day as it melts away.
"But I don't think of the future, or the past, I feast on the moment. This is the secret of happiness, but only reached now in middle age." - Virginia Woolf
by Rachel Micheletti on Fri, Mar 30, 2018 @ 10:01 PM
Wisdom of Michael Scott
Now that reruns of The Office are on Comedy Central, Adam and I try to watch them when we get a chance. I forgot how hilarious this show is! If you haven't watched it, I recommend starting from the beginning and getting ready for some hearty laughs. "Would I rather be feared or loved? Easy. Both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me." - Michael Scott, The Office
by Rachel Micheletti on Thu, Mar 29, 2018 @ 9:59 PM
Part of my New Year's resolution is to find my purpose. This short video on finding your purpose helped me get a little closer to my goal.
by Rachel Micheletti on Wed, Mar 28, 2018 @ 9:42 PM
Ever since I can remember I have always LOVED being outdoors. Through rain, snow, wind, and anything else nature throws my way I still feel like I will go crazy if I don't get outside at least once a day. The benefits of being outdoors, no matter if you live in a major city or in the middle of nowhere (I have experienced both), are far too important for us to pass up.
by Rachel Micheletti on Tue, Mar 27, 2018 @ 9:54 PM
I wanted to share a wonderful "try this at home" from Gretchen Rubin's Happier podcast. Instead of making a to-do list or getting discouraged about all of the things you didn't get to accomplish in your day, make a ta-da list of everything that you DID get to do! This technique has helped me immensely when I get discouraged that I might not get to finish everything I want to accomplish in a day. For example, if I start getting panicky that I might not get to go do the three errands I set out to do in the morning, I think to myself, "but I DID ship a birthday gift, sing to Mary, and write that email to the group!" It makes me feel so much better every time I think about my ta-das rather than my to-dos.
by Rachel Micheletti on Mon, Mar 26, 2018 @ 9:15 PM
A Return to Love
I was in church today, admittedly thinking about something other than what the Priest was talking about at the time, and this girl walked into a pew a few rows ahead of me. On the back of her sweatshirt was a part of this quote by Marianne Williamson: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us." When I read that I thought, "Bingo!" When I am fearful I tend to focus on the darkness, but could my fear actually be a fear of how strong I actually am? What an amazing thought.
by Rachel Micheletti on Sun, Mar 25, 2018 @ 9:41 PM
Well and con Amore
"It makes me happy to encounter goodness, love of work, humane intelligence, and people no matter at what kind of job, be it ever so humble, or ever so exalted, who do it well and con amore." - Bernard Berenson
This quote was sent in one of Gretchen Rubin's daily "Moment of Happiness" emails this week. There is nothing like encountering someone who is so passionate about what they are doing because their joy and dedication are so contagious. These people always make me feel so happy and energized. To do something well and to do it with love is the best combination.
by Rachel Micheletti on Sat, Mar 24, 2018 @ 9:43 PM
What a great article about Sister Jean!
"Whether we win or lose, God is still with us." - Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt
by Rachel Micheletti on Fri, Mar 23, 2018 @ 8:05 PM
Happy National Poetry Month! Check out all of the great ways to celebrate and incorporate poetry into your life, including signing up for a poem-a-day.
by Rachel Micheletti on Thu, Mar 22, 2018 @ 9:41 PM
The Warmth of the Sun
Today I made sure to take a walk in the sun since rain and clouds are predicted for the next few days. As I was walking through the park today I showed Mary the branches of the trees that had tiny green buds on them. It made me think of The Secret Garden, which was one of my favorite books/movies/plays growing up. I continue to love the story so much because to me it is about the beauty of life, nature, and the possibilities of new beginnings no matter what happened in the past or what is currently happening now.
"If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden." - Frances Hodgson Burnett
by Rachel Micheletti on Wed, Mar 21, 2018 @ 9:56 PM
Beneath the Surface
"Deep below the shimmering surface lies a vast reservoir of awareness, sometimes forgotten, but always there." - Tamara Levitt
Last night I did a guided "lake meditation" on my calm app, which consisted mostly of picturing a lake and all of its beautiful attributes. I LOVE the water, so this meditation was right up my alley. I could swim in the ocean or my grandparents' pool for HOURS when I was growing up, and one of my favorite things to do in the pool was to dive below and then look up at the beauty of the shimmering surface. I love the quote above not only for its reference to water, but as a reminder of the beauty of awareness and it's ability to make me calm and present.
Happy first day of spring!
by Rachel Micheletti on Tue, Mar 20, 2018 @ 10:22 PM
"Pause practice creates an open doorway to the sacredness of the place in which you find yourself." - Pema Chodron
When I feel like I'm going a million miles per minute or get caught up in my thoughts I try to remind myself to hit the pause button. This might consist of taking a minute to sing a Mary Poppins song that I barely know the lyrics to, eating an apple or RXBAR, saying thank you, or allowing my mind to become a blank palette. When I pause I feel like I become me, which is my theme for this year.
by Rachel Micheletti on Mon, Mar 19, 2018 @ 10:00 PM
Today is a gratitude post for sure! Thank you Mom for giving birth to me 33 years ago today and for teaching me how to make everyday a special and happy day. Thank you for teaching me the importance and gratefulness of celebrating birthdays, and really the importance of celebrating all holidays with enthusiasm and joy.
by Rachel Micheletti on Sun, Mar 18, 2018 @ 10:34 PM
The Coming of Spring
"With the coming of spring, I am calm again." - Gustav Mahler
Just the thought of spring in three days makes me feel so excited. I love having the four seasons, and there's something so peaceful about the transition from winter to spring. The plants coming up from the ground and the smells of flowers and rain all remind me of fresh starts and the possibilities of new beginnings.
by Rachel Micheletti on Sat, Mar 17, 2018 @ 10:20 PM
I want to visit ALL of these countries! What a treat it would be to be immersed in their cultures and find out firsthand why the UN has deemed them such wonderful places to live.
by Rachel Micheletti on Fri, Mar 16, 2018 @ 9:56 PM
"The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities." - Stephen Covey
Woah, talk about a quote that blew my mind! It makes me excited for tomorrow's schedule of priorities:
1. Have a great time at Mary's swim lesson
2. Hug Adam
3. Hug Teddy
4. Appreciate the rain
5. Enjoy lunch at Panera with an old friend
7. Say thank you as much as I can
by Rachel Micheletti on Thu, Mar 15, 2018 @ 10:15 PM
St. Therese of Lisieux
"Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right thing and doing it all for love." - St. Therese of Lisieux
by Rachel Micheletti on Wed, Mar 14, 2018 @ 9:40 PM
"When you pay attention to boredom, it gets unbelievably interesting." - Jon Kabat-Zinn
Even though I'm not technically "still" or "bored" when I run or go for a walk, it is during these times and also when I'm in my rocking chair that I have my best thoughts and ideas. I can daydream and let my cares melt away with the sound of the rocker, the chirp of the birds, or the rain starting to fall on my jacket.
by Rachel Micheletti on Tue, Mar 13, 2018 @ 9:46 PM
"The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers. " - Thich Nhat Hanh
I would love to improve upon listening to others and really being present when I'm with someone or talking with someone on the phone. It's such a gift to be able to have a real conversation with someone without stopping to look at our phones, thinking about our to-do lists, or waiting for the other person to stop talking so that we can communicate our thoughts. If we could all practice the art of actually listening to someone I think our relationships would be much healthier and more fulfilling.
by Rachel Micheletti on Mon, Mar 12, 2018 @ 10:03 PM
Every Sunday during Lent I receive a Lenten reflection email from Boston College. This year, Associate Professor Marina McCoy is writing the reflections and she always does an amazing job of capturing the essence of the readings during Lent. This reflection was especially intriguing to me because I was unaware of the difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. This reflection is a great reminder of the joy and freedom forgiveness and reconciliation brings, even though they can be so difficult to do.
by Rachel Micheletti on Sun, Mar 11, 2018 @ 4:28 PM
While You Were Sleeping
Here's one of my favorite parts from one of my favorite movies:
Lucy: You give up your seat every day in the train.
Peter: Well... But that's not heroic.
Lucy: It is to the person who sits in it.
- While You Were Sleeping
by Rachel Micheletti on Sat, Mar 10, 2018 @ 10:24 PM
I began a gratitude journal on January 1st of this year, and every night (with the exception of a couple of nights that I missed) I write about three things that I am grateful for from each day. I find that it helps me relax at night, since I've learned that it's impossible to feel gratitude and anxiety at the same time. For today, I am thankful for:
1. The people on the path that smiled and said hi to me while I ran. Today was the longest training run I will have, and the smiles from strangers kept me going and gave me energy boosts when I desperately needed them.
2. For the warmer weather that allowed us to take Mary and Teddy for a walk
3. For the generosity of our family and friends. My Dad helped us paint two rooms of our house and they came out so great. I didn't have the first clue about how to paint before he helped us.
by Rachel Micheletti on Fri, Mar 09, 2018 @ 10:33 PM
Of course I was listening to Gretchen Rubin's podcast "Happier" this morning, and she was talking about the "arrival fallacy" in the episode I was listening to. She does a great job of explaining what this is in the above link, and when she was explaining it in her podcast today all I could think was, "I do this ALL of the time!" Many times I think, "I'll be happier when I get to point A, I'll be happier when the marathon is completed, etc.", but once I complete a goal I'm often left less thrilled than I thought I was going to feel. It's the ability to enjoy each second in the present that will bring us true happiness. This can be much easier said than done at times for me, but I know that with practice on reeling myself back to the present, back to each breath, I will enjoy the journey so much more.
by Rachel Micheletti on Thu, Mar 08, 2018 @ 9:36 PM
Oh, the Places You'll Go!
We went to the Missouri History Museum today (one of our faves on chilly days), and even though I've been there before I never noticed the following T.S. Eliot quote displayed throughout the Museum until today: "We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." I read the quote aloud to Mary, and I've been thinking about it all day. I love this quote because to me it embodies how important exploration and knowledge are as parts of our daily lives.
by Rachel Micheletti on Wed, Mar 07, 2018 @ 10:06 PM
To Look Through the Lens of a Child
"In the beginner's mind there are so many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few." - Shunryu Suzuki
by Rachel Micheletti on Tue, Mar 06, 2018 @ 9:50 PM
The podcast I cannot get enough of is Gretchen Rubin's "Happier". She often talks about her Habits Manifesto, and I love, "When we give more to ourselves, we can ask more from ourselves." When I take some time to do something for me, I always find I have a lot more pep in my step in everything that I do for the rest of that day and am able to accomplish a lot more with a more positive attitude.
by Rachel Micheletti on Mon, Mar 05, 2018 @ 9:54 PM
This is an awesome, hilarious, and inspirational "A Little Happier." It definitely gave me a reminder during my long run today on why to never give up on my dreams.
by Rachel Micheletti on Sun, Mar 04, 2018 @ 10:37 PM
Go with your Gut
So I'll admit, I haven't been the best at taking "rest" days, but this morning I think I get a pass. When I woke up something told me to get out there in the cold before the sun rises and go for a run. As soon as I closed the front door who do I see but a dear friend of mine starting her run right in front of my house! I had written yesterday about how I really would like to strengthen my relationships, and I feel like God was pushing me to run this morning just so I could enjoy some time with my friend and make my relationship goal happen. Sometimes when you feel like you're being nudged in a certain direction it pays to listen to your instinct!
by Rachel Micheletti on Sat, Mar 03, 2018 @ 9:23 PM
Two Turtle Doves
Part of my New Year's resolution for 2018 is to enjoy life. To me, a huge part of enjoying life is spending time with friends. I have met so many great people in each place that we've lived in, and I really would love to either strengthen the relationships I have now or reconnect with those I lost touch with but mean so much to me. I'm so fortunate to have an almost weekly breakfast date with a dear friend, and I am so grateful for this and will definitely make sure to keep this going. I haven't been the best at keeping friendships in the past, and this is something that I really want to work on in 2018.
by Rachel Micheletti on Fri, Mar 02, 2018 @ 10:27 PM
Lately I've been thinking about how certain scents can instantly take me back to certain places and times in my life. The smells of black tea, wood being burned, and pine needles all make me feel calm and at home. It would be great to incorporate more of my favorite scents into my daily life.
by Rachel Micheletti on Thu, Mar 01, 2018 @ 9:12 PM
I think all of us who grew up watching Mister Rogers' Neighborhood learned kindness and compassion among many other attributes from the show. I know it was one of my favorites.
by Rachel Micheletti on Wed, Feb 28, 2018 @ 9:52 PM
This video always makes me laugh, especially since my family includes two cats and a St. Bernard.
by Rachel Micheletti on Tue, Feb 27, 2018 @ 10:02 PM
With spring around the corner we're beginning to notice more blue birds, the ground getting greener, and everyone wearing brighter colors. Color is one of the many blessings of this earth, and if I had to pick one place to go on this list it would be the flowering desert in Chile.
by Rachel Micheletti on Mon, Feb 26, 2018 @ 6:13 PM
Today I listened to the Happier podcast with Gretchen Ruben during my run. One of the episodes talked about making a one-word or one-phrase theme for the year. It only took me a few minutes to come up with mine: Be me. I love to laugh (the kind of laugh where you can barely breathe afterwards), I have a secret desire to write a children's book, I love to talk to random people to hear more about their stories and lives, I love to visit family, and the list goes on. In 2018, I need to be a little more me. What's your theme for the year?
by Rachel Micheletti on Sun, Feb 25, 2018 @ 9:59 PM
The Untethered Soul
"Think of how much energy is wasted resisting what has already happened. Since the event has already passed, you are actually struggling with yourself, not with the event. In addition, contemplate how much energy is wasted resisting what might happen. Since most of the things you think might happen never do, you are just throwing your energy away." - Michael Singer, The Untethered Soul
by Rachel Micheletti on Sat, Feb 24, 2018 @ 11:14 PM
Dogs have such amazing hearts and souls. Those who foster animals that need a home are just amazing in my book.
by Rachel Micheletti on Fri, Feb 23, 2018 @ 10:29 PM
Lately I've been yearning to read young-adult literature, but I kept thinking that I'm too old to do so. Apparently this is not the case, and I am so happy that I'm not alone in my love of children's and young-adult literature! I love this list by Gretchen Rubin, and plan to read Little Women as one of my next books.
by Rachel Micheletti on Thu, Feb 22, 2018 @ 9:55 PM
Check out this great interview Gretchen Rubin does with John Leland! We can learn so much from the Greatest Generation if we take the time to soak up their wisdom and listen to their stories and life lessons.
by Rachel Micheletti on Wed, Feb 21, 2018 @ 9:52 PM
No matter where I live, whether it be a major city or a smaller town, I've always been fortunate enough to be close to nature. This photo of the northern lights is a reminder to me of how mysterious and beautiful nature is. As the much needed rain is pouring down on a chilly St. Louis night, the sound of the drops is just as wonderful to me as the sight of a light snowfall or the Midwest summer sky.
by Rachel Micheletti on Tue, Feb 20, 2018 @ 10:03 PM
What an amazing story of friendship and unity!
by Rachel Micheletti on Mon, Feb 19, 2018 @ 10:04 PM
So I totally missed Random Acts of Kindness Week (whoops!), but the stories on the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation website are definitely worth a read. I am a huge believer in the power of random acts of kindness, and one recent act that comes to mind is our good friend Dawn reaching out to us and offering to watch Mary on Valentine's Day. She went out of her way to offer to watch her even though she and her husband could have gone out that night themselves, and it meant the world to us that we were able to go out and enjoy a great dinner. No matter where I live or how much time passes, the many acts of kindness that people have done for me are what I remember and cherish the most.
by Rachel Micheletti on Sun, Feb 18, 2018 @ 5:57 PM
If you have a cat, like cats, enjoy The Far Side, or get the humor of cats, here are some Far Side comics that will give you some chuckles.
by Rachel Micheletti on Sat, Feb 17, 2018 @ 9:54 PM
"There is freedom waiting for you, on the breezes of the sky. And you ask, 'What if I fall?' Oh but my darling, what if you fly?" - Erin Hanson
by Rachel Micheletti on Fri, Feb 16, 2018 @ 10:42 PM
Bikini Weather in St. Louis
As I was walking to an appointment today I had a thousand different worries, things to do, etc. on my mind. A woman walked by me, smiled, and said, "If I had known it would be this warm out I would have worn my bikini!" She made me smile and laugh, and immediately my previous thoughts and worries melted away like anything would have melted on this balmy February day. I overheard her tell her joke to the person that was walking some distance behind me as well, and I'm sure she made that person smile and laugh too. It's amazing how reaching out to a complete stranger with a funny joke or kind word can make a world of a difference. It truly is a simple act that can accomplish great things.
by Rachel Micheletti on Thu, Feb 15, 2018 @ 9:52 PM
Great clip from Oprah's interview with Brother David Steindl-Rast about trust, faith, and getting through the tough times in life.
by Rachel Micheletti on Wed, Feb 14, 2018 @ 10:38 PM
Only Peyton Manning can make Modern Family even more hilarious than it already is. Thought I would post this clip if anyone needed a chuckle!
by Rachel Micheletti on Tue, Feb 13, 2018 @ 9:04 PM
Please check out Curvature Wines, which raise awareness and funding for the fight against breast cancer. Is there a better combination than great wine and an even more wonderful cause? I don't think so!
by Rachel Micheletti on Mon, Feb 12, 2018 @ 9:02 PM
I did a type of meditation called "mountain meditation" today. It made me think about hiking a beautiful trail in Colorado Springs up to a place called Seven Falls. One time when I was going back down the trail after visiting the Falls I could see that a thunderstorm was heading my way. As I went down the mountain I stayed calm and didn't rush, repeating my favorite saying, "slow and steady wins the race." No matter what nature throws at the mountain (rain, snow, storms, etc.) it remains steady and unwavering. This is the lesson that I got out of the mountain meditation today, and if you enjoy meditating or want to learn more about this type of meditation I would highly recommend it.
"Our peace shall stand as firm as rocky mountains " - William Shakespeare
by Rachel Micheletti on Sun, Feb 11, 2018 @ 5:21 PM
I've been thinking a lot about poetry lately, and how I wish I could read more of it. Poetry always makes me think deeply about its meaning and intention. I thought this would be a great poem to post for the chilly night we are having.
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
- Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
by Rachel Micheletti on Sat, Feb 10, 2018 @ 10:04 PM
I have to admit, I was somewhat hesitant about doing a marathon this April. I didn't know what the weather would be like to train in (they're predicting snow and freezing rain here tomorrow!), I wasn't sure I would have enough time to train, I wasn't sure if my body would be up to the challenge, etc. It was like running into the ocean without knowing what the temperature is! I'm so glad I decided to do this marathon, and I could never have imagined that we would be able to raise so much money for Susan G. Komen! It just goes to show you that sometimes you can't wait for the stars to align perfectly in order to start a new journey or challenge. Most of the the time, my thoughts of the plunge are way worse than the feeling of of the icy cold waves and the aliveness that they bring.
by Rachel Micheletti on Fri, Feb 09, 2018 @ 9:07 PM
Recently I started listening to classical musical in the car. I felt like there were way too many commercials on the other radio stations and the other music was not very relaxing. Having a seven month old, I only get a finite amount of time in the car so I need to make it count! I noticed I began feeling more relaxed once the classical music came on, and this article makes me want to continue listening to my Mozart jams!
by Rachel Micheletti on Thu, Feb 08, 2018 @ 9:27 PM
The Starry Night
I find that for every long run I do there is something during the run that keeps me going. Last week it was a hawk that kept flying and stopping in front of me. It was like the hawk was playing a game with me because it knew I couldn't catch up to it. It definitely took my mind off of how many miles I had left to go. Today it was the sky. It started off bright blue, and each time I turned around and reversed my route it turned the most beautiful shades of orange, pink, lavender, grey, and then deep blue. When I find myself facing a challenge, I think I need to remember that there are always gifts that are given to us to help keep us going if we are able to realize them for what they are.
by Rachel Micheletti on Wed, Feb 07, 2018 @ 10:10 PM
State of Mind
This quote came up for me after a meditation in the Calm app and it really struck a chord with me. It reminds me of my Pepere (grandfather in French Canadian). He is the most positive person that I know, and his life reflects that in every way.
"The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind." - Dr. Wayne Dyer
by Rachel Micheletti on Tue, Feb 06, 2018 @ 9:39 PM
Think you might be overdoing it with technology and social media? I found a great article about the benefits of a "digital detox".
by Rachel Micheletti on Mon, Feb 05, 2018 @ 9:28 PM
I heard this wonderful story on NPR this morning about two Girl Scouts and their tale of their reunion fifty years later. Linda Walker got the chance to finally thank the fellow Girl Scout who saved her life.
by Rachel Micheletti on Sun, Feb 04, 2018 @ 5:19 PM
I wanted to share this amazing recipe I use for granola! Technically the recipe is for breakfast bars but mine always get so crumbly that I don't even bother trying to shape the ingredients into bars. There are so many great ingredients in it, and it's so nice to add with yogurt in the morning, afternoon, as a bedtime snack, or whenever. Enjoy!
by Rachel Micheletti on Sat, Feb 03, 2018 @ 7:41 PM
Teddy's New Favorite Chair
Today we were given a beautiful chair by a dear friend of ours. On the drive home from picking up the chair I was thinking about one of Nate Berkus' top decorating tips: fill your home with meaningful objects. Most of the furniture that we have in our home was given to us by people that we love. This chair will be a part of our story and hold great meaning to us. To me, it's not about how much furniture costs or what store it is from, but how many wonderful memories it holds and the meaning behind it.
by Rachel Micheletti on Fri, Feb 02, 2018 @ 7:33 PM
Art is Prayer
Winter came back to St. Louis today, so our outside walk was brought inside to the beautiful St. Louis Art Museum. On the drive home from the museum I was thinking about all of the magnificent pieces of art that we saw, and remembered the interview that Oprah did on the Super Soul Sunday podcast with Rainn Wilson. They were discussing how art is a form of prayer. All of the works of art that we saw today at the museum were so majestical in their own way, just like the power of prayer. Also, how awesome is it to create something? Whether it be a panting or mixing ingredients together for fresh granola, being able to create something is one of the best things we can do for ourselves.
"The making of art is no different than prayer...Being creative and being a creator is the ultimate testament to the Great Creator, God." - Rainn Wilson
by Rachel Micheletti on Thu, Feb 01, 2018 @ 9:34 PM
Super Blue Blood Moon
Did you notice how beautiful the moon was tonight? To me, the super moon is just another reminder of how awesome the universe is and how there are so many wonders to be in awe of.
by Rachel Micheletti on Wed, Jan 31, 2018 @ 9:39 PM
My Guardian Angels
Whenever I go for my early morning runs (this morning I got to go with a dear friend!), I look up at the sky as soon as I close the front door. To me, at least a few of those stars that I see in the deep, black sky are my guardian angels. I can't explain it, but I know for sure that my Godparents are looking down on me, protecting me, and guiding me everyday. I look up to see them before every early morning run, and am comforted to know that they are watching over me. As I start my run in the darkness of early morning, I always feel a sense of comfort knowing that they're with me, and for that I am eternally grateful.
by Rachel Micheletti on Tue, Jan 30, 2018 @ 7:47 PM
Happy Birthday Oprah!
Tonight I thought a quote from Oprah Winfrey might be great to post, and when I was Googling "Oprah Winfrey quotes" I found out that it is her birthday today. Coincidence? Oprah would agree with me that there are no coincidences! Tonight's post was definitely meant to be Oprah's!
"My primary and most essential goal in life is to remain connected to the world of spirit. Everything else will take care of itself--this I know for sure. And my number-one spiritual practice is trying to live in the present moment . . . to resist projecting into the future, or lamenting past mistakes . . . to feel the real power of now. That, my friends, is the secret to a joyful life." - Oprah Winfrey
by Rachel Micheletti on Mon, Jan 29, 2018 @ 8:39 PM
This morning I went for a run (shocking, right?) in the brisk but sunny weather. It was just a gorgeous morning, and I heard the birds chirping which always means the temperature is going to warm up in the afternoon (I don't know how the birds know these things!). We've been so fortunate here in St. Louis to have our chilly, cloudy winter days peppered with days like today. It makes me think of some great wisdom that my Aunt once told me, "The sun will shine again." No matter what we're going through or how dark, stormy, and cold life can get, the sun will shine again. She was totally right. The sun will always shine again.
by Rachel Micheletti on Sun, Jan 28, 2018 @ 6:10 PM
I recently had the privilege of joining St. Anselm's Parish Council. At my first meeting, representatives from our Society of St. Vincent DePaul talked to us about the blessing bags that they give to those that are homeless. Blessing bags contain a variety of items such as healthy snacks, water, a McDonald's gift card, socks, hand warmers, etc. This is such an awesome idea, and I plan to always have at least one blessing bag in my car to give out. I had never heard of blessing bags before, and I wanted to share this in case others may not have heard of them as well.
by Rachel Micheletti on Sat, Jan 27, 2018 @ 11:47 PM
Intention and Heart
One of my favorite episodes of Oprah's Super Soul Sunday (I listen to the podcast while I run) is the interview Oprah did with Cheryl Strayed. Her quotes are so inspirational, and this one really hits home for me: "What's important is that you make the leap. Jump high and hard with intention and heart. Pay no mind to the vision that the commission made up. It's up to you to make your life. Take what you have and stack it up like a tower of teetering blocks. Build your dream around that." We are the writers of our own story, which may seem a little scary at first (at least it does to me) but this means that the sky is the limit!
by Rachel Micheletti on Fri, Jan 26, 2018 @ 11:02 PM
I started this morning off with a meditation called, "Take Time to Play" in the Calm app (this app is awesome by the way). In the beginning of the meditation, the guide was talking about the importance of laughter in our lives and how children laugh up to 300 times a day, while for adults it's about 17 times. I realize we adults have way more responsibilities than children and that these duties do not often coincide with comedy and humor, but I think we seriously need to amp up our laughter game. I was so fortunate to get in my laughing quota today since Dave, one of Adam's best friends since childhood and one of the funniest people that I know, got to visit us, and I would definitely love to laugh everyday as much as I did today. The article "6 Reasons Why Laughter Is the Best Medicine" was a great place for me to start learning how I can get more chuckles on a daily basis and why it's so important that I do so. I hope you're able to learn from it too.
by Rachel Micheletti on Thu, Jan 25, 2018 @ 9:55 PM
Did you look both ways?
Today was my "rest" day as part of my training program. "Rest" is something that I am not good at / not used to. Before training, what free time I had would be used for activities with Mary, trying to accomplish something on the never ending list of things that need to be done around the house, etc. However, there's something about that big "R" on my calendar for rest days that has made me realize that I really do need to take the time to actually rest. Rest is so important for our physical and mental health, and it's funny that it took training for a marathon for me to finally understand that. When Adam takes Teddy for a walk he makes him rest at every street corner and jokingly asks him, "Did you look both ways?" These moments of rest actually make Teddy have a better walk, which means a much better treat to devour when he gets home. Rest is a powerful thing, and even if you have to write big "R"s on your calendar I encourage you to take time each day to pause and just be.
by Rachel Micheletti on Wed, Jan 24, 2018 @ 7:57 PM
With all of the negativity in the news, I thought it would be nice to post a pretty awesome and positive news story. Can you imagine how happy these penguins were to be going back home?!?
by Rachel Micheletti on Tue, Jan 23, 2018 @ 8:56 PM
Was that a coyote?
I just finished the last chapter of Tony Robbins' book Unshakeable. There are so many great lessons in this chapter called "Real Wealth", but one of the points that really hit home for me was the power of gratitude. It is impossible to feel emotions like fear or anger while feeling grateful at the same time. Learning to overcome my fears is a process that I'm taking one day at a time, but I can tell you that whenever a fear pops up in my mind, I immediately think of something that I'm grateful for and that fear takes a hike. For example, I ran a new path the other day right after hearing about more coyote sightings in our area. As I was running, the fear of having a coyote cross my path became a constant thought. Instead of continuing along with the fear and perhaps pepper spraying an innocent bicyclist who I would have mistaken for a ravenous coyote, I thought about how grateful I was for the trees I was running by, how awesome it was that I'm able to have really good running shoes, how great it is that Oprah's Super Soul Sunday is a podcast, until before I knew it I was running without fear. Tony, you were exactly right!
"Take all of your negative thoughts and all of your negative emotions, trade them for appreciation, and your whole life changes in an instant." - Tony Robbins, Unshakeable
by Rachel Micheletti on Mon, Jan 22, 2018 @ 9:17 PM
Like a Rock
Today the weather was absolutely gorgeous here in St. Louis. As we were walking through the park I realized that my seven month old daughter, Mary, was seeing many things for the first time: a bubbling stream, geese, moss, etc. Watching her as she felt her first rock brought such a sense of wonder and awe to both her and I. Mary truly experiences every moment in the present and has such wonder and curiosity about everything. She's still amazed every time our St. Bernard, Teddy, walks by her even though this happens about 100 times a day. As I was doing the dishes later on today I looked up at some hydrangeas and really took the time to appreciate their beauty and life. Just like Mary holding a rock for the first time, wouldn't it be great if we could all take a second in our day to look at objects with wonder and a fresh perspective? I definitely need to start doing that more often.
by Rachel Micheletti on Sun, Jan 21, 2018 @ 6:12 PM
85 years ago today my Memere (the French Canadian word for grandmother) was born in a huge snowstorm in Canada. Today my family is celebrating her birthday with scrumptious cream cake, beautiful decorations, and joyous conversation. Growing up, my Memere always put on the best get togethers and found a reason to put on a celebration no matter how big or small the occasion. Whether it was a tea party, craft party, or a party to make rosaries, the list goes on and on for what my Memere brought us all together to enjoy with tea, cookies, and love. Although I can't be there to celebrate with my Memere today, we bought a little French cheese that we can enjoy to celebrate this day 85 years ago. Cheers to my Memere on her 85th birthday, and for teaching us that everyday there is a reason to celebrate.
by Rachel Micheletti on Sat, Jan 20, 2018 @ 3:24 PM
Let's Go Colts!
Today I felt like the knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail who is running to charge the castle but doesn't seem to be making any progress. This is never a good sign when you're only at mile 3 of 14. Of course I was wearing the Colts sweatshirt that I "borrowed" from Adam in order to stay warm. When I saw the Colts logo as I was looking down, I couldn't help but think about Adam's constant faith in the Colts. No matter the trials and tribulations that the Colts endure year, after year, after year, he truly believes that this is "their year!" While others may turn off the game when the Colts are down big time, Adam watches the entire game with faith that they could actually come back and win. His daily faith and positive attitude in all aspects of life are to be learned from for sure. Today I was beginning to question whether my body could handle the aches and pains of training for a marathon, and as I thought about Adam's faith I began to have my own faith that I could finish this run. I encourage you to take a lesson from Adam's playbook, and believe that you can and will succeed no matter what obstacles or doubts you may have. 230 more days until the next football season. Let's go Colts!
by Rachel Micheletti on Fri, Jan 19, 2018 @ 3:33 PM
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