Michael Modzelewski Author and Adventurer

 

Michael Modzelewski is the author of Inside Passage: Living with Killer Whales, Bald Eagles and Kwakiutl Indians; North Through Paradise; Angeles Crest: A Memoir; and Wild Life: The Miss-Adventures of a Cosmo Bachelor. When not writing books, hosting adventure-travel TV shows or giving motivational speeches, Michael enjoys exploring the Alaskan fjords and leading walking safaris in Tanzania, Africa.

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Spring it on!!

It is my most favorite time of year when everything seems possible, the weeds are still at bay, and my tongue jumps at the thought of all the lovely deliciousness my bounty will enjoy.  But let’s keep it real!  This is like the early days of a new relationship when the socks in the middle of the floor make you smile while you blissfully float in a bubble of gooey love.  Come July this particular relationship will be fraught with ups and downs, and pleasure will not seem nearly worth half the pain.  I digress…

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My 21 Day Journey to Self

When I started my journey a year ago I began the process with a 21 Day Consciousness Cleanse from DailyOm.  It was three weeks of learning, growth and, often, tears.  I had to acknowledge some hard truths about myself with the willingness to accept blame when it was due AND to release blame that was not mine to claim.  In the end there were three main things that kept coming up ~ self-forgiveness, releasing the past and learning to thank myself,

Self-forgiveness is one of those things that is hard for a lot of us.  How can we forgive ourselves if we are not willing to look at what we’re forgiving ourselves for?  We have a hard time looking into the past or too deeply at ourselves because the introspection often leads to feeling guilt and shame.  Why?  We did it (or didn’t do it), it’s in the past and it’s done.  We cannot change the past, but we have the opportunity to change the future.  If we do not not forgive ourselves for our mistakes and missteps we can’t use the past as an opportunity to learn how to create a better future. 

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Breathing in Nature

I recall being asked some time in my early 20s where I found religion.  My immediate response was ‘in nature and I call it spirituality’.  Nature, the earth, gives me all that I have to be thankful for ~ food, clothes, medicine ~ how could I not view it as some sort of temple or sacred place.  The Japanese practice of Shinrin Yoku asks that you experience nature with all of your senses and leave the rest of the world behind.DSC_0440

Have you ever felt cooped up in your life with no real way to escape?  I know I have.  Life, work, children and all your other responsibilities make it impossible for you to see a way out, but maybe what you really need is a way in.  We often think that we need to ‘just get away from it all’.  Sure a vacation or road trip sounds nice, but that takes planning, money and time.  Some time with yourself in nature can be the only prescription you need.

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Let’s make Kombucha!

A few weeks ago I conquered growing my very own baby SCOBY.  Now I’m going to tell you how to make and flavor your Kombucha.  There are so many sites that offer great insight on brewing Kombucha.  I can’t claim to have used one recipe, but rather combined a few processes and then developed flavors based on what I like.

First, you want to make sure that you are using the right ingredients.  After I had started the process I found a great article on Cultures for Health that really helps you to understand the proper and best ingredients to use.  Luckily, I had chosen the most highly recommended items so I’m feeling good about the outcome of my finished product.  Let’s get started.

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Stairway to Starting

Before I begin let me apologize for not having a ton of before, during and after photos.  When I began these projects I hadn’t decided to write blog posts about the process.  The projects are part of what started me on this blogging path.

This particular project was the beginning of me learning to love my home.  I had done other larger projects, which I will share, but they did not send me into a whirlwind of home improvements like this one did.  With this project I chose to go with something annoying that I could easily fix…my stairs.

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Let’s get yardy!

About this time of year I begin to get antsy about my yard.  I plan and diagram, browse and plan, envision and delight…right, right, you get it.  On the first real warm day (well not for real warm because 80 is just barely hitting warm in my mind) I bound into my yard like a prepubescent teen set free from study hall when, SCREEEECH, the glee flees as I am confronted with the vestiges of last years leftover plantings, a brand new sprightly crop of weeds, and the realization that there are hours of work ahead of me.  Every year I kick myself for not doing a better job with the end of season prep that would make light work for the year ahead.

Well, not this year! ~ Confession: I did not prep for this year at all, but I have a plan. ~  Let’s pretend to be time travelers and take a look back at the fall.  Normally by the end of the season my garden is chock full of weeds, I’m tired of eating cucumbers, it’s starting to get cold and I just don’t want to…well, want to anything actually.   So, I do my normal nominal amount of work and tell myself I did the best I can and shut the door.  My pathetic routine has gotten to the point that this year I had planned to use EarthBoxes and plant a pollinator garden instead, but thanks to a great little blurb on raised garden beds I’ve decided to give it another try.

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Where I’m coming from.

In order to understand what this is all about it is probably a good idea to understand where I am coming from.  I  didn’t always know that this was my path though I have definitely done some variation of this (write, coach, cook, etc.) my whole life.  It’s like the cosmos was trying to tell me something and for whatever reason I just wasn’t listening.

A little over a year ago I was a busy mother working for a nonprofit tech company that I helped to start.  My average work week was 50 hours plus, not including the hours I spent on the road or in airports.  My children (and I) spent over 10 hours a week in swim practice and another 4 hours at swim meets.  My spare time I devoted to three nonprofit organizations as a board member and with what was left of my time I tried to get to hot yoga at least twice week.  Then there was still dinner, homework, laundry… you get the picture.  This story is not unique, nor do I expect applause.  Not the point of this story.

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