You’ve got some stuff going on.

You work hard – really hard – and those scary questions that have been out on the periphery are starting to creep in.

They find you in those quiet moments late at night just as you’re drifting to sleep.

They float in as you mindlessly fold the days 4th load of laundry.

They hit while you pass between the meetings and the appointments and the expectations and the obligations.

“I’ve worked so hard and invested so much. to what end? at what cost?”

“I did all the things I was supposed to do. Why didn’t it work? Why aren’t I happy?”

“How long can I keep this up?”

Maybe you’re in a time of transition. The ebbs and flows that used to feel as natural as breathing are now irrelevant.

“Where… am I?”

“How… am I supposed to be now?”

Maybe you’re bored. Disappointed. Disgruntled.

“Is this it? This can’t be it. Tell me this isn’t it.”

This is big stuff – important stuff – real stuff – and it’s the kind of stuff that can build and fester and take us to places of exhaustion and defeat.

We suffer quietly. Time passes. We long for something different – another way – but we can’t imagine how things could ever get from here to there.

We’re tired. We can’t fathom having the courage or strength that it would ask of us.

Friends. I certainly don’t have all the answers and I certainly won’t assure that the road is easy, but I can say – with humble confidence – that there is another way. 

There is another way. 

There is another way.

It’s hard to imagine. It was for me, too. That’s ok.

It’s hard to imagine, but trust me and know. There is another way.

General Outdoor (7) - Noe Khalfa.JPG

Hi. I’m Michelle. I’m really glad to meet you. 

If you would’ve told me 10 years ago that someday I would grow up to feel glad about…
anything… I wouldn’t have believed you.

But here I am. I am a woman who found another way.

I grew up in small Midwestern community where the customs were as old as the land. As a girl I had – as I have now – a sweet and sensitive soul. I had – as I have since resurrected –a colorful personality.
The rural farmlands were a harsh place for this creative spirit.

I learned young – as many do – that the world is not as safe as we need it to be. I learned how to protect and conceal. I learned how to be small. I learned how to fight and defend. 

I held firm to this way of being into adulthood. I believed that the world was dangerous and that I would be defeated if I loosened my grip.

Holding on for dear life was the only thing I had energy for. I was not growing into a person. I was getting older, but I wasn’t growing up. I didn’t have the capacity for romance, for hobbies, for friendships. I wasn’t able to organize my emotions. I didn’t know how to think. All of my energy was kept fighting the invisible battle of self-preservation. I wasn’t living. I was barely surviving.

In 2008, committed and desperate to find another way, I moved to Seattle to pursue a Masters in Counseling Psychology. 

Slowly, steadily, humbly… I took steps forward.

Slowly, steadily, humbly… I took more steps forward.

Slowly, steadily, humbly… I took more steps forward.

In time, sure enough, the story began to shift. The strength of my fear lessened. My grip loosened. Slowly, steadily, humbly… I opened. I blossomed.

I am a woman who found another way by taking small (sometimes invisibly small) intentional steps forward.

As a therapist I’ve traded the traditional four walls of an office for the slow, steady humility of the open road. I work in high integrity, low razz environments to explore, confront, contemplate, wrestle with, and celebrate the breathtaking (…and often maddening) nuances of being human.

How do we get from here to there? Together. We get there together, through the beauty and the pain and the clarity and the confusion, one step at a time.