Interview with Michele Rae of The Center Within

Today I have the pleasure of speaking with Michele Rae, of the Center Within and author of Living From the Center Within: Co-Creating Who You Are Becoming. Michele is a participant in Brush and Pen: Festival for Artists and Authors,

Welcome, Michele! It’s an honor to spend time with you today!

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Katelyn- Let’s start off with you telling us a bit about yourself that isn’t writing related.

Michele-I have a passion for supporting humanity as we choose timelines that have the most positive outcomes for the greater good during this time of tremendous transformation. It has been my heartsong for many years now. I founded The Center Within, LLC in 2001 and provide intuitive holistic life coaching designed to accelerate and support personal, professional and organizational transformation. While working with me, clients tell me they become more confident and engaged as they enhance their gifts, talents, wisdom, and passions. Part of this process of transformation also requires we all gain clarity and power as we expose and unblock limiting beliefs, stuck patterns, and fears. As an empath, my abilities in deep listening, intuition, appreciative inquiry, spiritual practices, mindfulness, presence and emotional intelligence are supportive as clients create self-directed strategies to implement the changes they desire to create a life they love.

I also offer classes and retreats through the Center Within. In addition, I am a graduate faculty at the University of Minnesota in the Center for Spirituality & Healing, The Humphrey Institute and the College of Pharmacy. I teach about mindfulness leadership, Mind-Body Science, spirituality and human development. I will talk and teach about these topics wherever I get invited! Supporting people on their journey to wholeness and full discovery of their holiness is a true delight!

Katelyn- You are teaching powerful information which is so needed right now. People need to learn to be self-empowered to be able to navigate the waters of change we are in right now.

I am always curious to learn what inspires an author to write. Can you tell our readers what inspired you to start writing?

Michele- I had clients, students, friends and family ask if I had the information we talked about in one place so they could read more and share it within their circles. This prompted me to write blogs and articles that eventually made their way into this book.

Katelyn- I think a lot of authors start by writing a blog.  I know I did and it helped me to get more clarity on my thoughts before jumping into a book. I imagine your clients and students are grateful that you put your wisdom into Living From the Center Within!


Do you have a genre that you prefer to write in and to read?

Michele-Spirituality, human development, self-care, transformation, the evolution of consciousness, mindfulness

Katelyn- Those are some of my favorites too. I have found that authors have all kinds of reasons for choosing to write.  I am interested in why you write.

Michele-I write because we are living amidst a huge shift and in a transformative period which is creating lots of confusion, uncertainty, and change. This book is a roadmap for us to utilize as we move towards a new way of being human. Cultivating higher consciousness in myself and others brings me joy. This book invites the readers to join more deeply into this conversation so that together we may build our capacity to live at higher levels of consciousness. I encourage all who read it to connect and build the community of people living with intention and expanding our awareness. I invite each of us to support one another as we co-create who we are each becoming with love and compassion.

Katelyn- I think it is so important for those of us who have been on the path for a long time to pass our wisdom along to others, which is what you are doing. Those who are newer on the path, as you say, are faced with confusion and uncertainty and books like yours will give them more of a sense of peace as they move through the change.

As an author and creative, I am sure you get creative blocks at times.  What do you do when you get a creative block?

Michele- In the book I have a chapter dedicated to transforming practices and have utilized all of them at different times when I have a creative block. In the book, I define transforming practices as activities designed to center, quiet, and open the mind-body-heart. They help us focus attention and awareness in the present moment. These mindfulness practices encourage open receptivity, accepting and observing without evaluation or judgment. Here are a few from the list:

  • Breathwork: patterns of breathing
  • Meditation: mindfulness, concentrative, moving, open
  • Music: listening to chant, singing, toning
  • Silence: binge in quiet
  • Smell: aromatherapy
  • Mindful eating: intentionally prepare and eat a meal
  • Body Movement: exercise, yoga, qi gong, tai chi, stretch, walk a labyrinth, dance
  • Guided Imagery: autogenics, visualizations
  • Journal: writing and reflecting, creating a gratitude journal
  • Art: writing, drawing, sculpting, creating mandalas, making collages
  • Biofeedback: using instruments that provide feedback on physiological changes  
  • Being in nature: walking, sitting, observing
  • Contemplation and study: sacred text, poetry, koans, myths, symbols, metaphor, archetypes
  • Ritual: a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, and objects that support an intention
  • Dreams: recording, contemplating, exploring meaning and insights in dreams

Katelyn- That is a fabulous list of ways to move through any kind of block.  Many of them I have used myself and know that they work.  It looks like there is a lot of valuable information in Living from the Center Within.

I am sure you have read a lot of books over the years. Do you have writers who inspire you and can you tell us why?

Michele- I am inspired by other’s who are visible in leading conversations and building community during this time of transformation. They are envisioning a new world and providing tools and insights for us all.  A few include:

Deepak Chopra, A.H. Almaas, Wayne Dyer, David Hawkins, Ken Wilbur, Barbara Marx

Hubbard, Gregg Braden, Bruce Lipton, Jon Kabat-Zinn

I also find great wisdom in the sacred teachings and poetry

Katelyn- A great list of leaders in the new world movement. Anyone of them would be a great place to start if someone is interested in exploring this field in more depth.

I imagine there are people reading this blog who might want to write a book themselves someday. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?


Let your writing be a dance. Let it move you, show you new ways to know yourself and the material that is presenting. Let it transform you. Write from the heart, let the head, details and how unfold like magic to support your art expressing into the world. Create routine time and space in your life for your writing, just like setting aside time for spiritual practice.

Katelyn- That’s a beautiful way to look at. I love the metaphors you use. You are speaking my language!

As we end this conversation I would like the readers to know how they can support you in your work?

Michele- People can buy my book, write a review, share my book with other likeminded lightworkers, way showers and those interested in living a life they love. You can also support my writing by sending me feedback on the book, participating in one or many of the many classes I offer or come in for a coaching session.

Katelyn-What is your web address or where can people find your book and connect with you are coaching or speaking? or contact her at or 612-465-9775

Direct links to more about my book:


Local Artist Interview with Marilyn Indahl

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Katelyn: Today I am interviewing another participant in Brush and Pen: Festival for Artists and Authors, Marilyn Indahl.
Hi Marilyn, thanks for taking the time to share a bit about yourself with our readers.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself that isn’t writing related?

Marilyn: I’m a sports photographer.  Although art influences my photographs, I see sports photography more about skill and anticipation. One needs to know the sport well enough to anticipate how the play will proceed and capture action at its peak moment.  I began photographing sports because I found it challenging to capture a fast-moving subject.  Later on, I discovered I enjoy the intensity and emotion that most athletes experience.  Hopefully, I capture that in my photographs as well.
Katelyn: I looked at your photography and there are some amazing shots.  You captured the moment perfectly!  Can you tell us what inspired you to start creating art?  I encourage people look at Marilyn’s website.
MLB: AUG 19 Indians at Twins
Marilyn: Since I was very young, I needed to make things, so I don’t really remember a  beginning.  I always loved art class in school and tried many media including acrylic painting, clay pottery,(not ceramics), photography and finally glass, fused glass, stained leaded glass and blown glass.
Katelyn: I think its true of many artists that it was something we started when we were kids and just kept doing it. Do you have a favorite medium?
Marilyn:  Glass is my favorite!  When I can’t blow glass any longer I’ll return to fusing and stained, leaded glass. My interest in glass began as a fascination with me since I was a child.  How something that captures and transforms light into a mixture of dazzling colors and nondescript shapes could start as a lava hot liquid was truly a miracle to my young mind.  Once the item cools, it is solid enough to hold.  Completely smooth, pleasant to touch and even more incredible to look through.
Katelyn: I find glass fascinating too.  I watched someone blow a piece one time and it was amazing.  Can you tell us why you make art?
Marilyn: I need to…  I can’t really explain why, but there is a strong yearning to create something I consider beautiful.  And it is extra special when others like what I create.  It is actually an honor when someone wants to purchase something I’ve made.  To know that my creations bring joy to others is a rewarding feeling of satisfaction.
Katelyn: I totally get the creative pull! You just have to follow it, don’t you?  Most of us get creative blocks at times. What do you do when you get a creative block?
Marilyn:  Good question…  I consider new colors and ways to apply them to my glass.  I also look through pictures of other glass artists.  Then I go back to making what I know and see what evolves from there.
Katelyn:  That’s a great way to move past it! Speaking of the work of other artists, do you have someone who inspires you and can you tell us why?
Marilyn: Lino Tagliapietra is whom I admire most.  He is from Murano, the small island in Italy where glass blowing has been done for centuries.  He can create the most delicate vessels and also create beautiful works on a very large scale.  Many of his pieces depict fluidity, almost suggesting motion.  And at the end of the day, he goes home and helps cook dinner!
Katelyn: Oh my gosh, I had to go and look up Lino Tagliapietra, his work is gorgeous.  What advice would you give an aspiring artist?
Marilyn: Find what you enjoy and work at it.  Work hard at your craft, skills come with practice and experience.
Katelyn: How can people support your work?
Marilyn:  I’ve never thought of that…  If people like what they see, I can only ask they share it with others.
Thank you, that was fun.  You had me thinking about things I hadn’t considered before.

Is This Synchronicity?


I love synchronicity. I even love the word. I am experiencing it more and more these days because of this place of non-resistance I am in.

My word for the year is joy, so every morning I pose the question in my journal about how to line up with joy today. So I did that and my higher wisdom said “keep doing what you are doing.”

so I have been playing with the word joy, and this phrase “I don’t know how ________”

Yesterday we got about 10 inches of snow and I had to move my car off the street before 8 AM this morning, because the city was going to plow our street. I really wasn’t looking forward to digging out so I said out loud. ”

***I don’t know how but it will be easy to move my car!” In my mind I could see my car moving easily down the street, through the snow.

I got bundled up warm, unlocked the door and walked out. There were my neighbors Roger and Mary removing all the snow from my car! I started the car to warm it up and Roger cleared the windows. He told me he would get it out of the snow bank and onto the road so it would be easier for me to drive. Instead he moved it out of the snowbank, down the street and parked it! At the same time another neighbor was shoveling my walk.

Synchronicity? Great intending? Who knows. All I know is it raised the joy vibration of my day 10 fold ❤️

All of this magic took place in 30 minutes!!!

Cracking Open Creatively

Our Wild, creative nature

Medicine Woman Art

I finally did it! My first painting in 5 years. I have done some small work which you can find in my 30 Day Art Practice, in this blog, but this is the first serious, visionary piece I have done. I have my last painting on my wall. It was painted in September of 2006.

I wasn’t sure what made me stop except a long list of excuses, including not enough time, nothing to paint and all of the usual things. Of course there was something deeper, there always is.

The painting above is an integration piece for me and the real reason I stopped painting. I didn’t know it at the time but I felt invisible. I felt like no one cared about my work but me, so why even paint. For years I painted at least one painting a week, sometimes more than that. Many artists feel that…

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My Psyche’s Journey


I have posted this painting before but I am learning more about it…

As many of you know, my artwork is prophetic. The message may be for someone else but often times it’s for me. Many times there are layers of meaning, as people who I have done soul portraits find out.

I woke up thinking about this painting. When I painted it In Spain in Nov 2015, I thought it was Psyche floating over the River Styx at the end of a journey, which it was at the time, but it turns out to be the beginning of a journey too.

Psyche and Eros is an epic love story. In the story Psyche is given four tasks that she must complete in order to love and marry Eros. The tasks are life threatening or impossible and it is Venus’ hope that one of them will kill her, which they didn’t because she found a way to get through each of them. She came out stronger and more determined with each task.

Not long after painting this painting I started the epic journey of my heart. My four tasks were three heart attacks and open heart surgery. All of them life threatening tasks. Each one of them difficult yet transformed me and made me stronger.  Like Psyche I didn’t know the next task was coming and I wasn’t sure I could complete each task

Just like Psyche my impossible journey has opened my heart to love again. For many years I was in conflict about love. A big part of me wanted a partner and another part of me was committed to staying single until hell froze over. I had done 30 years worth of personal work and couldn’t understand why I wasn’t in a relationship.  There was good reason that I chose to protect my heart in that way and in the end I had to have my heart opened surgically.

After I had the first heart attack the inner conflict became very clear to me. There was no way I was going to attract anyone with that program running. My aura was sending that message out to every man who came near me. It took Four difficult, life threatening tasks to clear it out.

Now I am ready to love again.


Unleash Your Wild Creativity



When I use the word ‘wild’ I don’t mean out of control. In it’s original sense, it means to live a natural life with innate integrity and healthy boundaries. When you are in touch with your innate nature you are in union with your creativity.

In our natural state we carry everything we need for healing and staying in balance. We are in touch with our deep knowing. We don’t censor ourselves and we live authentic lives.  We are in touch with our dreams, desires, personal signs and symbols and have the tools to access them.

As a society we have lost touch with the instructive psyche, our inner guide and we rely on outside sources to guide our behavior and decisions. The inspiration, insight and images and dreams we carry are not allowed to develop.

Would you like to get in touch with your innate creative nature which is part of all of us? Would you like to revive your spirit of play and have fun?

Most people lose touch with their spirit of creativity around 10 years old whe someone criticizes something they created. That sense of play gets shut down and life gets serious. Creativity is a skill that when developed is life changing.

How can you activate your creativity?

Here are a few ideas:

  1. Learn meditation
  2. Finger paint
  3. Start a journal
  4. Create a collage
  5. Dance like no one is watching
  6. Sing in the shower and make up the words
  7. Start a Garden
  8. Go to the Zoo and talk to the animals
  9. Watch a funny movie
  10. Start a blog
  11. Play with children
  12. Do a zigsaw puzzle
  13. Go to the craft store and pick out a new craft and dive in.
  14. Walk in nature and talk to the trees and see if they talk back
  15. Record your dreams in the morning and see if you can decide what they mean
  16. Lay on the ground and see if you can see things in the clouds, like animals, birds, angels
  17. Have a tea party with friends and have everyone dress up.
  18. Read a science fiction novel
  19. Write a poem
  20. Talk to your pets like they are human. Tell them a story

Ready, Set, GO!





Prophetic Art

I am posting this because it is a beautiful painting but because I noticed something interesting that I didn’t see before that is very profound. I hope you read the interpretation.

I am a visionary artist, so much of my artwork is prophetic. I paint my vision from a higher perspective. When I paint I am not thinking about what is coming through, I just listen and painted what I “hear” and “see” at a higher level.

I painted this on November 4th. If you look at the right side of the heart it looks like there is a bypass coming out of the side. It actually goes up and connects into the DNA/Tree of Life. I found out on the 8th that I needed to have the bypass, so 4 days after I painted this.

The painting is full of beauty, new beginnings (the eggs), Life (the tree of Life) and change ( the number 5) fertility (the earth) and it says that I am going to be amazing after the surgery. Life is actually coming out of the arteries in the form of eggs. The DNA is transforming into the tree of life. The crystalline core of the earth is sending energy to the heart. WOW!

I usually don’t get messages this fast, sometimes it takes years for me to understand what a painting is saying. This might not have meaning to anyone else but it is profoundly healing to me.

This message makes me really happy and gives me a lot of peace. I am so blessed to have this prophetic gift.


The base of the DNA in the painting that goes into the heart is almost the same as the actual bypass. See the drawing of the surgery on the heart pillow drawn by my surgeon. So the bypass has opened me to a new level of life.

When will Wholeness become as Important as Chocolate?



“Giving chocolate to others is an intimate form of communication, a sharing of deep, dark secrets.”

Milton Zeiman, publisher  of “Chocolate News

” Healing may not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn’t you-all of the expectations, all of the beliefs – and becoming who you are.”

The title of this article is a bit tongue in cheek and what I mean by it is, when will becoming our authentic selves become as important as our addictions?  Americans are so hooked to materialistic satisfactions that spiritual health and well-being are neglected. In this article I am using chocolate as a metaphor for things we do to excess, because chocolate can be one of those things.  How many people can eat just a corner of a chocolate bar?  I know I can’t!

Many people don’t think twice about spending  100’s of dollars a month on coffee, cigarettes, snacks, etc. but when it comes to healing and self discovery there is a lot of thought and rationalization about how much it will cost to eat healthy, buy supplements, get a massage, do shamanic healing, a workshop or intuitive reading that might move you higher.  How many people do you know who rationalize why they don’t have time to exercise or do a spiritual practice that will support wholeness yet they spend hours in front of the computer or television?

Many people think that if you need to heal there must be something wrong with you.  The word implies that and that is why I would rather use the word wellness.  For this article I will stick with the word healing because we all know what it means.

I define healing as the path one consciously chooses  to achieve wholeness of body, mind and spirit.  Healing is remembering who you really are and letting go of those things that are blocking that experience.  We are all whole and complete beings who can create wonderous lives, we just don’t realize it.  Most people live in a very limited circle of their potential, doing the same things they have done for years because it is comfortable.   On the other hand if we live a path of authenticity all possibilities are among the choices we have as we live in the present moment.

Spiritual, emotional and physical balance are key ingredient to living a peaceful fulfilled life in these times of global chaos.  If wholeness is so important than why do so many of us hesitate to do what it takes to remember our authentic self. Many stay away from remembering who they really are because the process of getting there can be painful, messy and take time. It doesn’t happen over night! My personal experience of self discovery has including all three of those.  I am so compelled to know who I really am that I am willing to walk through the fire but most are not.  A lot of people are just waiting for that quick fix.

What does chocolate have to do with healing and wholeness for gosh sake?  Chocolate can be equated to the quick fix. Most of us believe that the chocolate bar will satisfy our craving, without giving it a lot of thought. We grab the chocolate bar at the checkout counter even if it’s cheap, bad chocolate. Stores place them there on purpose because they know people will spontaneously grab them.  I have.  What if we had the same attitude about health and well-being?  What if we believed without a shadow of a doubt that we could live healthy lives no matter what our age? Would we give up “chocolate”?


As a metaphor, chocolate can mean nurturing and satisfaction.  Both Serotonin and Endorphins are released when we eat chocolate. Eating dark chocolate induces serotonin a neurotransmitter, which communicates a feeling of calm and helps stabilize the mood.  Endorphins send high levels of energy and feelings of euphoria to the brain and is a natural pain reliever.  When we eat chocolate we feel good!  Chocolate raises the level of trytophan which is a associated with pleasure and is suspected of being  the chemical mediator of the “falling in love’ feeling, which may explain chocolate’s alleged aphrodisiac qualities.  Other chemicals found in chocolate have the ability to mimic the psychoactive effects of marijuana, producing euphoria and heightened sensitivity.  Who knew!  No wonder is is so addicting!

Our addiction have the same effect on us as chocolate does!

The ecstatic experience of eating something sweet is a metaphor for exploring the deeper mysteries of life.  When you bite into a chocolate truffle and you are filled with a feeling of bliss, you want it to last FOREVER!  Eventually you have to swallow the chocolate and the sensation fades leaving a longing for your next encounter of happiness.

Don’t get me wrong, I had to stop eating chocolate because the kind of chocolate I reached for was not the dark, unsweetened kind that can have health benefits, it was the kind filled with added fat and sugar.  I had to acquire a taste for the good kind because I had gotten use to the bad kind.   As you see, chocolate has ingredients in it that is good for you but only if you eat it dark and unsweetened, which is usually not the kind that we are craving and in moderation.  We have spent too much time waiting in line at checkout counters where bad chocolate fills the shelves. We have eaten those bars and felt temporarily satisfied.  That’s why every time you get to the checkout counter you grab another.

Americans are consuming chocolate at a rate of 3.3 billion pounds per year, which means many of us our craving a feeling of calm and peace and happiness. Take a pound of Godiva chocolate, for example, which cost $85.00 and multiply it by billions of pounds that Americans are consuming  and you have a lot of money!  I can’t imagine how much is spent on coffee, cigarettes and alcohol to achieve similar experiences.  Think of what would happen if we could pass up that candy bar and channel that money into something that could help us on a deeper level and have lasting effects such as our personal evolution.

Chocolate is a symptom of our addictive natures.

 The addictive craving for chocolate may be due to the mood-altering power of several of its components, which I mentioned above. Chocolate is just a symptom of our addictive nature.

I heard the late Angeles Arrien PH.D speak at a conference years ago, about conflict resolution across cultures.  In her book, The Four Fold Way she identifies four universal addictions.  Our individual addictions, be it chocolate, drugs and alcohol, sex, shopping, eating or gambling are actually symptoms of these deeper patterns of addiction that are shared with people around the world.

      The four universal addictions she identified are:

1. The addiction to intensity. This shows up when love is lacking. The addiction to intensity is a low tolerance for boredom. If things become too dull or too routine, people addicted to intensity will dramatize, sensationalize, and exaggerate their life experience in order to feel alive.

2. The addiction to perfection. This appears when true excellence is misunderstood and true power is unrealized. The addiction to perfection leaves no room for mistakes. People addicted to perfection struggle to cultivate and maintain their self-image, a façade covering up who they really are. They have little tolerance for the vulnerability of authenticity. People with this addiction think vulnerability is a weakness.

3. The addiction to knowledge. This is the opposite of wisdom. The addiction to knowledge is a compulsive desire to understand and control. People with this addiction don’t like surprises. They need to know the outcome: how things are going to turn out. In other words, they have trust issues.  I can relate to this one because “figuring things out” use to give me a feeling of control.

4. The addiction to focusing on what’s not working rather than what is working. What’s missing here is seeing the big picture. This addiction is fueled by the negative bias our brains have. The fourth basic human addiction is focusing on what is not working instead of what is working. The truth is that 99.99% of our life is working. We’ve all experienced illness; even a tiny splinter can be incredibly uncomfortable. Our bodies are continually orchestrating countless processes that would, if they weren’t working perfectly, give us pain and dis-ease. The same is true outside our bodies. Everything in the universe, far beyond our awareness, is holding in place this precious planet and our fragile life. If you think back to any accidents you’ve experienced, you know how easily things can “go wrong.”

Which addiction do you relate too?  That is the place to start, if you want to start living an authentic life. Explore how it plays out in your life and start making changes. Try reducing the amount of time you spend in the addiction. It might be difficult to give up your newly discovered addiction so as you get started go out and buy a healthy chocolate bar!




Figuring Things out is Just Resistance


We are taught to “figure things out” in our lives. I have gotten really good at it over the years. Until I realized that “figuring things out” was resisting what is and creating a story. What does this mean, what does that mean? Storytelling is our way of making sense of things but it takes us out of the moment and being in acceptance of the present.

I have learned through this heart journey that I might think I know what is going on and what it all means, but I don’t really know. Anything I decide is just speculation and storytelling so I feel a sense of control, power and safety.

My recent bypass stripped that all away. My heart was “opened, exposed and vulnerable ” both literally and metaphorically. I have surrendered my need to know and understand what it means and am allowing what is, the good, the bad, the ugly, it’s all part of the experience. Because of this surrender I am healing quickly and know in my heart I will recover completely.

I am at peace and in that peace all things are possible.