Threads of Experience, My Life’s Tapestry

Common Threads is filled with real life experiences, uplifting quotes, helpful tools for self improvement and numerous resources for personal growth. What you do with what you’ve learned has no limits—know that you are not alone, you are surrounded by people who truly want you to succeed and you are worth it!

Common Threads began on a yellow note pad as talking points for a speaking engagement. As Michelle finalized her bullet point outline she realized she had just written a table of contents rather than talking points, and after three years of soul searching, writing, re-writing, inspirational interviews and documented research, Common Threads is now complete.

Common Threads is a compilation of almost 60 years of Michelle’s personal experiences, ranging from early childhood memories, to adult “ah ha!” moments. It is a collection of little somethings that would later prove to be the cause of big somethings, joyful muses, sad observations, sources of pride, causes of embarrassment, and even periods of disgrace. All are threads of experience that are woven together to make up her life tapestry. There were times when she thought she had more unraveling than weaving going on; times when the texture was loose, the colors were dark, and the pattern was ill conceived. Other times, the edges of the images were precise, the colors were rich, and the big picture was filled with both accomplishment and hope for a brighter tomorrow.

The chapters in Common Threads are complemented with the stories of other women who have been an inspiration to Michelle and who have taken their own artistic license to weave something special when they could have settled for the status quo.

Many of the stories that unfold throughout the pages of Common Threads have never been told before. The courage necessary to dig up old pain and expose it to the world did not come easily. The reward is in the hope that every person who shares in the journeys of the women highlighted in the book will take away something positive, something empowering, and something inspiring that will make life a little easier and more fulfilling.

Excerpt from Common Threads:

From Chapter 5: “If It’s Predictable, It’s Preventable…or is it?”

I had a lot of time to search the dark places in my mind while I was sitting beside Justinʼs hospital bed and haunting the halls of the hospital, questioning my actions, my decisions, and my intentions. If it’s predictable, it’s preventable.  What could I have done differently? How could I have changed the path Justin chose to travel? Thatʼs where the whole philosophy of the humanʼs gift of free agency comes in. We all have the opportunity to make our own decisions, our own choices, for our own reasons.  People donʼt change until they reach their own
personal inflection point—and thatʼs usually a point where something very painful happens to encourage that change. It doesnʼt matter how much we love our children and how clearly we can see that they are making choices that will not be in their best interest; we canʼt control them indefinitely.

What did I learn from this life-changing experience? Family is more important than any occupation or career goal; time seems to stand still when a loved one may not see tomorrow; you canʼt force an adult to do something against his or her will; you must plant positive seeds when a child is very young. And I learned that being available with unconditional love is a wonderful gift for anyone.

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