"The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all , and then stands back to see if we can find them. The hunt to uncover those jewels - that is creative living. The courage to go on that hunt in the first place - that's what separates a mundane existence from a more enchanted one." Elizabeth Gilbert
Hi. I am Michelle.
I am a professional counselor, painter, performer, speaker, writer, and a mother. I know, I know... it sounds like a lot... One of the first things people ask me when I share my resume is, "HOW?" And, honestly, I'm not sure, I just know I don't feel fully-me if I am not curiously seeking out my passions and creative energies and helping others do the same along the way.
Recently I ended employment as a middle-school counselor to spend more time with my growing family. I am the co-founder of The Bravery Board, a podcast and community-minded organization which hosts monthly gatherings where speakers share on a variety of topics related to wellness, thriving, and taking brave steps toward big goals. I also regularly perform on the late night talk show, The Mystery Hour, and have won an Emmy for my part in writing and acting in one of our videos, Instagram Husband.
I am a connector, do-er, and visionary, always seeking for my best and to connect to the best in others. As someone who has struggled in the past with feeling "enough" to pursue my passions and dreams, I am driven to connect individuals to their overall potential and creativity, and apply my unique blend of artistic expression, self-exploration, vulnerability, and empathy to assist others in thriving in whatever setting I put my mind to.
I reside in Springfield, Missouri with the cutest five-year-old boy you'll ever meet, a new baby who has stolen my heart, and my ever-hilarious husband, Jeff. I love traveling, tacos, podcasts, indie music, good design, photography, and plants... I have a thing for plants.
I am a self-taught artist who as an adult picked up a paint brush for the first time hoping to find a creative outlet, and never looked back. The process I go through to creatively express my ideas through painting is an invaluable way I connect with myself and this messy world around me.
In the majority of my work I explore the uniqueness of the mind-- all the bad, good, weird, and wonderful. Through color, contrast, and bold lines, I desire to show how our thoughts take a trajectory which informs how we view ourselves and the world around us, and how often those thoughts contradict themselves.
I sell my work online and in local venues in and around Springfield, Missouri, where I live. My goal as an artist is to explore and express the many attributes of my own self through the images I create, and to use my work as a platform to show how creativity connects to mental health. You can find more information about my artwork on the artist page or by visiting my online store.
Although I am currently not employed in a counseling role, I hold a masters degree in counseling and am provisionally licensed as a professional counselor. I see myself as a counselor and always will- its just who I am. In time, I plan to start a private practice, but for now I purposely set that aside to stay at home with my two adorable children, and am employed part-time as a Chapter Specialist at the non-profit Care to Learn, which helps children in areas of health, hunger, and hygiene.
In my work as a counselor, my aim is to provide a safe space for individuals seeking to find more contentment in their lives and to develop a curious rather than judgmental approach to how they view themselves and the world around them. I believe that the counseling process does not have to be conventional, stuffy, scary, or clinical. Instead, I view counseling as a gift of self-acceptance and growth, and take a creative approach in assisting others in owning their stories, becoming more resilient, and removing unnecessary boundaries to living a wholehearted life. I take a caring, accepting, and unbiased approach to counseling, and believe that growth and change is possible and accessible to all.
Performer / Writer / Actress
I am a writer and performer for my husband's late night talk show, The Mystery Hour, and regularly appear in sketches and video productions for the show. I have also acted in various commercials for brands such as Honda, Fossil, and American National Insurance.
The Bravery Board
I am the co-founder of a community collective called The Bravery Board, a podcast and organization which offers monthly gatherings on inspiring topics. Our mission is to connect thriving individuals and give them inspiration for their pursuits of personal projects, self-growth, and doing good things for their communities and beyond.
The Bravery Board offers monthly gatherings which give our community access to professionals in their fields talking about topics such as chasing dreams, compassion, setting goals, and resiliency (think TedTalks on a smaller scale). As a reoccurring speaker at our gatherings, I have developed talks on topics such as self care, chasing dreams, creativity, and simplicity, and have developed a public-speaking style of authenticity and approachability. You can listen to some of my talks and others' on The Bravery Board's Podcast.