Hi, I’m Michele Penn, author, inspirational speaker, artist, award-winning photographer and creator of the book, Peace in the Present Moment with Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie.
I now live every day with purpose, gratefulness, forgiveness, love, compassion and an attitude of paying it forward. I wasn’t always like this. I was in a verbally abusive marriage for 14 years and couldn’t stand up for myself. I thought because I didn’t have bruises that it wasn’t that bad. But, as everyone who has been where I’ve been knows, it can be just as painful and hard to recover from. In public, and with friends and family, my ex-husband was a wonderful man, in private was another story.
The verbal abuse did become worse over time. But, I got used to it. What I am talking about is intimidating, manipulating, putting down, calling you names, belittling, criticizing, yelling, blaming you for their outbursts or actions, screaming and explosive, strict rules of who your friends are and what you are allowed to tell them. It becomes part of everyday life. I lived in a prepared, on guard state. I lived on hope. I clung to the times when everything seemed normal and believed that, in time, there wouldn’t be so many outbursts. If I tried to discuss my hurt feelings he dismissed them. I don’t know why I kept it such a secret. I was just in fear.
It continued to get worse and eventually in an emotionally violent rage, he threatened to kill me. I finally left him and instead of losing my life, the incident inspired me to find it. Yet for years afterwards I lived with depression, guilt, anger, unforgiveness and blame. I went to therapy and I read as many spiritual, self help, empowerment and verbal abuse books I could. I found I wasn’t alone.
I realized that I needed to take responsibility for my part in the relationship. I taught him to treat me that way. I didn’t know that’s what I was doing, but by letting it happen, I was saying that it was ok to treat me like that. I needed to forgive myself for being weak and not standing up for myself. I realized I didn’t have to live in the past anymore.
“You cannot find yourself by going into the past. You can find yourself by coming into the present.” (Eckhart Tolle)
Your peace is in the present moment.
Just like the title of my book with Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie, Peace in the Present Moment. Eckhart Tolle taught me to be still. He taught me to trust that inner voice and to not listen to anything outside of myself. Eckhart says “Be at least as interested in what goes on inside you as what happens outside. If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.” (continued below under the pictures…)
I learned to control my thoughts. Well, not really control them but watch them. There are different ways to look at life. It all depends upon your attitude. Once you begin to watch your thoughts you may be amazed at how many negative things you think all day. But, don’t be discouraged because this is the beginning of your awakening.
You have the choice to think a different thought, one that serves you well. At first, it will be difficult but, with practice you’ll be able to stop that negative thought before more negative thoughts follow and the snowball gets bigger and bigger. Ahead of time, think of something that makes you feel good. What puts a smile on your face? Now that you have that image in your mind, that’s the image you will switch to when a negative thought comes in. Remember, you can’t solve problems when you are in a negative state. Get to that feel good place, be still and inspiration will come. Start listing all the things you ARE grateful for. Before you know it, that’s what will show up in your life – more things to be grateful for.
Eckhart Tolle says, “Focus attention on the feeling inside you. Know that it is the pain-body. Accept that it is there. Don’t think about it – don’t let the feeling turn into thinking. Don’t judge or analyze. Don’t make an identity for yourself out of it. Stay present, and continue to be the observer of what is happening inside you.
Become aware not only of the emotional pain but also of “the one who observes,” the silent watcher. This is the power of the Now, the power of your own conscious presence. Then see what happens.”
Eckhart Tolle says, “Whenever anything negative happens to you, there is a deep lesson concealed within it, although you may not see it at the time.” When I read that I learned that there is a positive in everything that happens if you look for it. You can wait and see how things turn out or you can look right now into what lessons you will learn from this. Change your perspective and this will keep your vibration high. This will allow all good to flow through you.
Eckhart Tolle says, “…sometimes letting go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.”
Eckhart Tolle says, “Even a stone, and more easily a FLOWER or a bird, could show you the way back to God, to the Source, to yourself. When you look at it or hold it & let it be without imposing a word of mental label on it, a sense of awe, of wonder, arises within you. Its essence silently communicates itself to you and reflects your own essence back to you.” This is what happened to me. Flowers brought me to my source. A sense of awe and wonder DID arise in me. My passion is capturing that moment of beauty in a flower and sharing it with the world. My passion is fueled by the feedback I get from helping people everywhere to open their hearts and souls to the beauty of nature, so they are able to look within. I love combining the beauty I capture with inspirational, motivational and meaningful quotes that lift the soul. My passion is to inspire. Everyone deserves to live the life of their dreams.
I have forgiven my ex-husband. His threat on my life was the catalyst that fueled my spiritual desire and I can be grateful for that.
Live the life you always imagined. Anything is possible. If I could inspire Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie to do a book with me, then imagine what you could do. We all have pasts. We are NOT our past. We can survive, conquer our fears and move on to help others heal. I hope I inspire YOU.
Michele Penn lives in Sarasota, Florida with David, the man of her dreams, where she finds great inspiration from a community rich in art-appreciation.
Michele was raised in Short Hills, New Jersey. She attended Millburn High School and graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University. Her three beautiful children, Freddy, Nicole and Melanie, fill her life with inspiration. As an award-winning photographer, inspiring speaker and business owner, she wants to enrich other people’s lives.
In her book, Peace in the Present Moment, Michele Penn’s breathtaking floral photographs add peace and a deep stillness to the wisdom of Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie.
Michele is also one of 31 authors in Faces Behind the Pages that Inspire. This book is a collaborative effort of some of the most amazing and inspirational pages on Facebook.
In her book, Dance in the Garden, she shares with us her journey as a photographer, collaborating with two New York Times bestselling authors in Peace in the Present Moment. Dance in the Garden is mainly a Floral photography book with inspirational quotes from influential people.
In her most recent book, Conversations that Make a Difference: Shift your Beliefs to Get What You Want, she is one of 38 authors who brought the book to best-seller status Aug. 2014. This compelling page turner is filled with wisdom that may trigger a shift in you and create the momentum needed to shift your beliefs and get what you want. It all begins and ends with the conversation you have with yourself that will make the difference. They offer invaluable perspectives and share remarkable stories of clarity, inner peace, inner truth, the stepping out, walking in, power of the mind, hope, inspiration, letting go, starting over, shifting and going beyond limiting beliefs and MUCH MORE!
“All Photography” Art Exhibition – December 2016 – Life, Space and Time Online Gallery. “The gallery’s competition for 2016 was the 5th Annual “All Photography” Art Competition. The gallery received 255 entries from 12 different countries from around the world, including the Australia, Bermuda, Bosna/Hercegovina, Canada, Croatia, France, Israel, Scotland, Sweden, Türkiye, United Kingdom and Wales. In addition, the gallery also received entries from 24 different states. Overall, the gallery received a broad selection photography, including, film, digital, digital manipulation and alternative processes and the gallery tried to include these styles and processes in this art exhibition. The gallery has included Special Merit awards and Special Recognition awards for outstanding photography into this art exhibition. The photographers in either of these groups could have easily been included in the upper tier of our winners, as their photography was exceptional as well.” These are the two photographs that were given the Special Recognition Award for outstanding photography. I am blessed. www.lifespacetime.com
One of my floral photographs (below) has been accepted into Marie Selby Botanical Gardens 36th Annual Juried Photographic Exhibition 2016. The work of talented photographers from around the country is on display. The exhibit will officially open to the public May 6 to June 21 from 10am to 4:30pm in The Museum of Botany and the Arts, Selby Gardens – Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.
Three of my floral photographs (below) have been accepted into Marie Selby Botanical Gardens 35th Annual Juried Photographic Exhibition 2015. The work of talented photographers from around the country is on display. The exhibit will officially open to the public May 1 to June 12 (7 weeks) from 10am to 4:30pm in The Museum of Botany and the Arts, Selby Gardens – Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.
Two of my floral photographs (below) were accepted into Marie Selby Botanical Gardens 34th Annual Juried Photographic Exhibition 2014. The exhibit will officially open to the public May 2 to June 22, 2014 (7 weeks) from 10am to 4:30pm in The Museum of Botany and the Arts, Selby Gardens – Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.
Three of my floral photographs (below) were accepted into Marie Selby Botanical Gardens 33nd Annual Juried Photographic Exhibition 2013. The exhibit will officially open to the public Apr 25 to June 2 (5 weeks) from 10am to 4:30pm in The Museum of Botany and the Arts, Selby Gardens – Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.
Honorable Mention-Marie Selby Botanical Gardens 32nd Annual Photographic Exhibition 2012 (Clyde Butcher-judge) “Fire and Water.” The exhibit will officially open to the public Apr 25 to June 2 (5 weeks) from 10am to 4:30pm in The Museum of Botany and the Arts, Selby Gardens – Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.
2nd place winner-Marie Selby Botanical Gardens 25nd Annual Juried Photographic Exhibition 2005. The exhibit will officially open to the public Apr 30 to May 30 (5 weeks) from 10am to 4:30pm in The Museum of Botany and the Arts, Selby Gardens – Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.