THE LOVELY GRIND

SURVIVING THE WORLD'S INSANITY . . . LIVING LIFE MORE SOULFULLY

Spiritual Inspiration

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Are you dealing with prescription drug withdrawal and/or high stress levels? Are you looking for support, direction, and a plan? Message me for more info. if you are struggling with Antidepressant Withdrawal, Benzodiazepine Withdrawal, or issues related to chronic stress. There is a way forward.

CLICK HERE TO REQUEST MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE LOVELY GRIND COACHING SESSIONS.

(Sessions conducted via Skype, phone, WhatsApp, or e-mail)

"“Michael helped me in a way that no doctor or therapist has been able to! His personal experience combined with his optimistic, constructive input and guidance is priceless. I highly recommend his coaching sessions to anyone going through withdrawal.” Shelly, Ohio

"Because of Michael I feel supported and not so alone. It's comforting to talk to someone who has gone through the same ordeal and actually healed from it. The feedback he sends after our talks is very useful and encouraging, and I would definitely recommend his services."

 Kathy, CA

"Michael's Personalized Progress Plan and session notes are extremely helpful; not many coaches online do that sort of thing at all. I would absolutely, 100 percent recommend his coaching services." 

Brooke, OH

"Michael is very encouraging and motivating, and his follow-up notes are invaluable. I would absolutely recommend his services to anyone out there who is going through tapering or withdrawal." Brett, CA

October 2020  at The Lovely Grind

THIS MONTH WE ARE FOCUSING ON

Honoring Our Souls

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Aging is a strange journey, isn’t it? Despite birthday celebrations and pageantry, there is an uneasy sensation that comes with crossing over the threshold of some loaded decade marker—moving into some era that once seemed truly unimaginable, such as our 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s or 70s.


Today, on my birthday, I am simply passing through the undefinable yet mystic door of another “random” year, 43, and yet I still find the experience difficult to process. Like aging itself, a single birthday is many things at once.


Aging: It can be painful in its bodily aches and emotional challenges; poignant in its compulsion to focus on losses, unrealized dreams, and even death; and wisening as it forces us to shed unneeded baggage and focus on finding true perspective, generosity, joy, spiritual connection, and self-actualization.


Each year as the autumn chill begins to creep into the air and another October birthday of mine approaches, an annual call for personal reflection seeps into my soul. I can actually remember this sensation being present as far back as childhood, at age 6 or 7 and then into adolescence. While others were simply playing video games or going through the motions of mindless homework perhaps, I was listening to whatever music stirred me at that stage of life (Michael Jackson, Julian Lennon, Duran Duran, Huey Lewis and the News, Jon Mellencamp, to name a few), and taking stock of life and dreaming about the future.


As the tree leaves turned from vibrant, juicy greens to golden yellows and fiery reds and then fluttered to the ground, I wondered how I ought to change going forward. As certain birds got ready to migrate south and other animals prepared for hibernation, I thought about journeys and transformations. I dreamed about future loves and successes. I wanted to be an actor. I wanted to a basketball player. I knew that I was imperfect and needed to improve myself. I knew that life was both joy and sadness. I knew that I could do something special if I stayed determined. I felt compelled to acknowledge, even at an early age, the soulful headiness that is personhood.


Life is something special, and our souls and these years we have been gifted from God are special: that is, I guess, what I was feeling back then. And that is what I try to focus on each birthday.


Life is poetic and divine. It can be heartbreaking and challenging for sure, but never something to be cheapened or taken for granted (although I guess we all go through periods of doing that, even if subconsciously).


I was reading an old journal of mine the other day, one that dates back to the early 2000s, just as I had recently married and begun writing a novel (still unpublished); just as I had begun navigating the stress of a new career path. In some respects I was thriving, but in other respects I was struggling. I was struggling to find balance and temperance in my life, struggling to deal intellectually and emotionally with past heartaches, struggling to prove myself, and struggling to simply find peace of mind and direction.


At the time I was taking cheap alertness aids from the gas station so that I could stay productive and engaged as I moved through long days, and I was also taking antianxiety medications that had been prescribed to me a few years earlier. Some of the “simple,” well-defined goals that were outlined in that journal of mine, goals like ceasing to take the alertness pills, would be realized in the relatively near term. But others, such as getting the prescription medications out of my life (Paxil, Xanax), would not come to pass for more than a decade.


We rarely get things right on the first try in life. I’ve discovered that there are almost always starts and stops and twists and turns on the way to personal accomplishments and the realization of wisdom and goals. Maybe that’s just me, but I don’t think so.


Quitting those pills was an outlined goal of mine, but reading the subtext of my old journal, I am now, many years later, able to recognize a desire for goals that were and perhaps still are harder to define: getting closer to God, loving myself more fully and unconditionally (“win or lose” in life), loving those in my life more fully and unconditionally, finding greater confidence, finding sustained purpose, finding sustained freedom from anxiety, anger, guilt, boredom, fear, melancholy, and the other emotional banes of human existence, and generally getting healthier and happier.


In many respects I’ve made great strides toward these broader goals in the course of the past decade, but it is still my desire to realize them more fully as I pass through the portal of another birthday and continue to reach for the correct sort of meaning and joy in life.

Toward that end, my posts this month will focus on ways that we can get better with age: happier, healthier, wiser, more accepting of ourselves, and more spiritually connected. As I focus on fruitful self-exploration this fall, I hope that you will join me to find greater progress, love, and peace in your own life.

Getting Better with Age

A few Points of Focus for Personal Growth This Fall





1. Stop trying to make your life fit into a neat box.



It won’t, it can’t, and if someone has one that appears to, then they’ve probably lived as a coward or drone, or they probably have a lot of “behind the scenes” stuff that you aren’t seeing. I think that most of us were brought up with the idea that your study in college, set the foundations of professional and home life in your twenties and maybe thirties, and then “settle in” to that neat little life of storybooks by your forties.

Now, has that actually happened for anyone reading this? If so that’s great, but I would venture to guess that the majority of us have realized that life is a continual process of trying and failing and then trying and finding victory and then doing it all over again. It is a process of realizing that we were dumb twenty years ago in some respects but wise in others. It is a process of continually making changes and setting new goals and at times just trying to hang on without giving up hope.

Embrace your struggles. Embrace your successes and failures. Embrace the unique craziness that is your existence, and realize that life never was a Norman Rockwell or Thomas Kinkade painting, and it never will be. You don’t have to find “the perfect” life, you just have to find one that works for you and embrace it.




2. Love every iteration of yourself. Accept with understanding your history, good and bad.

Show compassion toward the totality of yourself. Show patience, grace, and encouragement to both the old self and the new self and everything in-between.

Think of the different stages of your life. Take a moment and close your eyes, and picture yourself at 7 years old, 17 years old, 27 years old, and so forth. Think of yourself at your worst and at your best. Think of yourself at your sickest and healthiest, at your most scared and most confident.


Now, give your most frightened self a hug and tell him or her that things will be okay. Give your sickest self a stroke on the head and tell him or her that God and time heal. Give your most confused self some direction, give your most accomplished self necessary congratulations, and give your most anxious self some encouragement. Life—this earthly journey through experience and aging—is complex, and none of us can “do” it perfectly. But if we can accept, forgive, love, and encourage the history of ourselves, then we can have a better future and begin to get a clearer picture of our soul and legacy.




3. See yourself as more than yourself.


1. See yourself as connected to the earth, to humanity, to nature, to history, and to eternity. There is a time for getting in touch with your body, and there is a time for getting outside of your own body and mind. There is a spiritual necessity to detaching from your pains and desires and needs, and indeed from the very thought of “you.”

Today, take a moment, close your eyes, and try to focus on yourself as an egoless, eternal soul, hovering over the various landscapes and energy fields of the earth. Hovering through history, connected to the roaming animals, the mountains, and the rainforests. Picture yourself connected to the ancient Egyptians, the Garden of Eden, the Garden of Gethsemane, the American pilgrims, the African American slaves, ancient royalty, ancient jokers, the homeless, the soldier, your grandparents, Christ.

Get comfortable where you sit right now, and take a deep breath. Breathe in through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. Continue doing that, and as you do feel your spirit leaving its body and blowing over the lands and the oceans, time traveling through the centuries; picture it without a career, without a “style,” without money needs, without the stress of any job or relationship or sickness—without the thoughts and physical sensations that have come to define “you.” Picture your soul being free and simply floating through history and geography, making observations and gathering good energy. Picture your soul as much more than what you’ve come to know as your current life. Picture it as shape-shifting and eternal. Erase its limits.

Now, after having done that, pull yourself back to where you sit reading this, and imagine how you can carry that eternal, broader vision with you into daily life. How can you connect on a daily basis more intimately with a more mystic and meaningful vision of your life and what it means to be you?

Think of that question this month, and allow creative answers to begin setting you on new paths.

Remember to think of your life as sacred ground, remember to love every version of yourself, stop trying to force life into a neat little box, and remember to take care of yourself and your dreams. Work to continually discover and nurture yourself so that you are finding greater happiness and peace with age.

Oh, and remember to get outside and get a few good pictures of the beautiful fall colors.

Take care until next time,


Michael

Michael Priebe is a writer and personal development coach who has studied psychology, literature, and print journalism. He holds a journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he graduated with honors. and over the years he has used both fiction and nonfiction formats to write about health, sports, professional life, politics, relationships, and spiritual issues. He puts out a variety of spiritually inspiring content at The Lovely Grind, and he blogs about his life at www.michaelpriebewriter.com. He invites you to find out more about his life coaching here, and he hopes you'll reach out to him on Facebook and Twitter.

“Michael helped me in a way that no doctor or therapist has been able to! His personal experience combined with his optimistic, constructive input and guidance is priceless. I highly recommend his coaching sessions.”

Shelly, Ohio

“I contacted Michael for coaching because he has the ultimate credential of having been through it all himself! I liked his warm, empathetic manner. He is easy to talk to, and I felt as if he were a family member in his warm caring toward me. Michael has a very reassuring way of communicating, and I would highly recommend him.”

Jon - British Columbia, Canada

“I came across Michael’s videos by chance while looking up information on prescription drug withdrawal. I found his YouTube videos to be very informative, honest, and consoling. I was watching one after the other and even converted the sound on the videos to MP3 so that I could listen to his advice while going for walks. That was very soothing for me, and therefore I decided to try his coaching services. Great decision.

"Michael is a great and patient listener, and during our time together I felt that he sincerely cared about my healing progress and had genuine empathy for all those going through withdrawal. He is a positive-minded individual who disseminates hope, and I appreciated the useful, personalized follow-up notes he sent after our session. Most certainly I would recommend his coaching.”

Yasmin - Cairo, Egypt

“No one else is doing what Michael is doing. It truly is a ministry! Michael is willing to make himself vulnerable to help others during their journey in the valley. He is very easy to talk to (I felt like I had known him forever), and I would most definitely recommend his coaching to others.”

Andi, North Carolina

“Michael’s coaching is truly a game-changing experience. I appreciate the level of understanding he brings … tons of knowledge on how to survive the days and get closer to recovery. When you finally get to look someone in the face and know they understand exactly what you’re going through, it can bring a different level of comfort; that is what Michael’s coaching provided me, and without a doubt I would recommend it to everyone going through this.”

Alex, California

“I decided to use Michael’s coaching services because he seemed very genuine and trustworthy. After speaking with him a couple of times, I realized that I am strong enough to overcome certain obstacles, but also realized that I need not rush the process [of becoming medication free]. It was comforting talking to Michael about my withdrawal issues so that I could realize that what I’m going through is common, and it was also useful that Michael took the time to give me feedback in specific areas—like making a schedule and forming realistic expectations for myself. Michael gave me more useful feedback than a lot of mental health counselors I’ve had. Michael has helped me, and I hope he continues to help others. I would definitely recommend his coaching services.”

Catherine, Virginia

“I learned a lot from Michael. At first I was so confused by withdrawal (wondering what I was going through and if I would be this way permanently), but Michael helped me to realize that we do heal and that things do get better. I had a lot of worries, but he helped to ease my mind and he gave me positive feedback regarding how to approach each day in this process. Michael has a caring heart, and I would 100 percent recommend his coaching to others going through this.”

Erikka, South Dakota

“It can be frustrating having to deal with [withdrawal] symptoms for months on end and getting next to no support from doctors or anyone in the medical community (people who for the most part are clueless). Simply getting a chance to speak with Michael—someone who has gone through what I have and is able to offer support—was comforting. I also really enjoyed his follow-up notes. They were insightful and helped me to consider things I hadn’t thought of. I very much enjoyed working with Michael, and I would recommend his coaching to anyone who is going through this process and looking for support.”

Kim, California

“Michael is relatable and non-judgemental. I liked his positivity and follow-up notes. He provided good support overall. I believe that if a person really wants to withdrawal from medication, then support like this, from someone who has personal experience, is invaluable, and for that reason I would recommend Michael’s coaching to others going through this process.”

Leanne – Ontario, Canada

"Because of Michael’s own experiences, he knows what serves and what damages. He helped me to control my intake of negative information, he made me more optimistic, and he gave me a sense of the “whole [healing] picture.” Michael is a good listener and his comments are very precise. I would definitely recommend his coaching to others going through withdrawal."

Miguel, Atlanta, GA

"I really enjoyed my coaching sessions with Michael and looked forward to each call. He is very easy to talk to and offers very good advice. Our conversations gave me hope and coping skills, and his follow-up notes and progress plan were very helpful; I reference them often to stay on track. I found it comforting talking to someone who has been through this and really understands the struggle. I now look at withdrawal as something that can be overcome, something that I can heal from. I felt very comfortable talking to Michael, and I would recommend his coaching services to others going through the withdrawal and healing process."

Eric, MI

“I decided to try Michael’s coaching because, in his videos, he seemed so honest, relatable, upbeat, hopeful, and knowledgeable. I believe I got more out of Michael’s videos and coaching than I got from years of professional counseling. It is very comforting talking to him because it is like talking to a very knowledgeable, long-time, close friend. I have more hope for the future after talking to Michael, and that helps me to survive the times when I am feeling blue. I would recommend his coaching to those going through the withdrawal and healing process.”

John, WA

“I really enjoyed the care that Michael put into every contact with me. I appreciate how he shared his own experiences, found out about my overall context, and made direct suggestions; it was so important to believe that I was not losing control of my mind and body and that I could carry on with living while going through the process. It was also helpful to set goals and a plan and check back in on these things. Michael’s coaching is very professional and authentic, and I would highly recommend him to anyone who is going through the withdrawal and healing process.”

Emma, United Kingdom

“I always refer back to what Michael coached me on in the past regarding dealing with such times during the recovery and healing process. I enjoy working with Michael because he takes his time answering each of my questions in detail. Michael has true answers and guidance. It is comforting being coached by someone who understands my symptoms, and also Michael is a very compassionate person. I would definitely recommend his services to a person in need of help during the withdrawal process.”

Ram, AZ

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WHAT IS YOUR STRUGGLE RIGHT NOW? Difficult coworkers? A lack of professional fulfillment? Financial concerns? Balancing work with the rest of your life?

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Get a copy for yourself and don't forget to order one for a friend or family member who has been feeling fatigued or stressed out lately. Come join THE LOVELY GRIND & start living lovely!

CONTACT ME ABOUT COACHING

If you or someone you know is struggling to survive the pain and confusion of prescription drug withdrawal or chronic stress, I would like to offer my coaching services. Stress can suck the joy out of life, and the withdrawal process can be challenging (I know from experience). However, with the proper tools and mindset, these things can be survived and even used for greater growth. If you or someone you care about is trying to quit antidepressant or benzodiazepine medications (or simply trying to reduce stress levels), please click here to email me about coaching options and availability.


What a year 2020 has been so far! I’d love to be able to say it’s been everything I’d hoped for and more, but at times it’s seemed like more of an exercise in staying sane and above water than it has a joyride or triumph.

The events of the past six months especially have put an unprecedented strain on all of us. Some of us have lost work and financial resources due to government-imposed shutdowns. Some of us have had to learn how to retool our daily lives to accommodate at-home schooling or employment. Some of us have experienced increased anxiety or depression because of hourly “news” updates on TV and social media, and all of us have had our plans disrupted.

I would venture to guess that all of us have felt weakened at times. Weakened by increased health anxiety or by the upheaval of Covid-19 restrictions, bickering, and policy changes.

All of us have felt unsettled at times. Unsettled by violent riots in our great cities and by the political manipulation of our emotions (the sort of manipulation that always seems to occur every four years like clockwork, by the way).

I know that I’ve felt absolutely exhausted at times, befuddled by how 2020 has played out so far.

Despite my best efforts to soldier forward with my life and my goals as if nothing has been different in the world, it has been nearly impossible to ignore the negative energy. At every turn there seems to be someone in government or entertainment or corporate America reminding me that: “Life is different now. It is dangerous. It is tumultuous. It is not fun. It is not meant to be enjoyed, so stay on edge and stay angry and stay defeated and scared while we tell you what to do and think next.”

At every turn there seems to be a political discussion in the background. At every turn there seems to be a Facebook spat.

The collective negative energy of 2020 has drained my spirit at times, leaving me restless, listless, upset, achy, or sleepless. And when such sensations arrive in my body and disrupt my optimism, I know for a fact that it is time to retool and refocus.

When I feel a certain tension seep into my body and mind like a pollutant, I know that the only real solution is to “clean house.”

The only real solution is restoration.

Just as healing is both physical and spiritual, so is restoration. It might involve physical acts like finding increased rest, taking breaks from “news” and social media, taking mini-vacations, becoming more engaging in exercise, spending more time outdoors, engaging in creative work, finding emotional support from others, eating cleaner, or any number of other things. But in my opinion any such acts of physical/mental restoration must be done against a backdrop of spiritual restoration. Or rather built on top of the spiritual.

And what is spiritual restoration? I think it is God’s ability to build back up our strength and joy when those things have waned. I think it is His ability to build back up our sense of self-worth, and our sense of purpose when those things have eroded It is the process of allowing His truths and promises to fortify our will and calm our nerves. It is the process of allowing His love and spirit to cleanse negativity and worry and anger out of our minds and hearts. It is the process of finding true rest when we are weary.

“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

Spiritual restoration is what we all need when we feel as if we’re running on fumes or defeated, and if that is how you’ve been feeling lately (or just plain stressed), I urge you today to join me in refocusing. Together let’s focus on the following Scripture verses so that we can be cleansed, renewed, strengthened, and given the energy and joy we need to move us into the upcoming autumn season with hope and gratitude.

“I will restore to you the years that the swarming locusts have eaten. … You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied. And praise the name of the Lord your God.” Joel 2:25-26

In the above verses from the Old Testament book of Joel, God is speaking to His people, the Israelites, after they’ve experienced a famine due to swarms of locusts that have moved through the land destroying their crops. These locusts (which arrived with God’s permission, by the way) wreaked absolute havoc on the food supply, destroying both seeds saved from previous years and current crops. So, not only was the present food situation wrecked for the people, thus negating all of the hard work that people had done planting seeds in the past, but the seeds that would have been saved for upcoming harvests were threatened, too.

All of the hard work from the past wasn’t paying off, and the future seemed bleak. What was the point of it all?

How great of a metaphor is the above situation for 2020? It seems like this year the locusts have indeed swarmed everywhere throughout our land, threatening to ruin the things that we have worked so hard for up to this point. Threatening to ruin our future plans and the seeds we were going to plant this year for future “harvests” in our lives.

Some people had saved money for years to begin small businesses, only to have those small business cave in the wake of Covid-19 shutdowns. Other people had worked extremely hard on health and self-improvement resolutions, only to have their will to succeed battered by doomsday narrative in the news and by the fact that all the fun had been sucked out of the world by lockdowns and restrictions. Suddenly, certain things didn’t seem so important anymore. Why not eat junk food, smoke, drink to excess, or get on those antianxiety pills that the doctor keeps pushing? Why not, when the world is ending?

Reality turned upside down in 2020 as the locusts swarmed. Suddenly churches, schools, and libraries weren’t the welcoming refuges and bastions of freedom they had once seemed to be. Suddenly sports and entertainment provided agendas instead of upliftment or pleasant distraction. Suddenly vacations were outlawed. Suddenly anxious friends and family members began isolating themselves and treating each other as “asymptomatic carriers” to be guarded against. Suddenly it seemed pointless to plan for a good future when those plans could be decimated in a moment by …. who knows for sure? By something unseen. By someone unseen.

Some young people had worked so hard to get into the college of their choice, only to see the “college experience” become a joke because of virtual reality, masks, and cancelled sporting events. And on and on the tales of disruption go. I’m sure you have many of your own.

Again, we’ve all had our lives disrupted by the “locusts” of 2020, and perhaps we feel as if our years of hard work have been threatened or taken from us. Perhaps we feel as if it doesn’t pay to plant any seeds for the future harvests in our lives.

Maybe there have been times when you’ve thought “I can’t do this anymore. What’s the point?”

But God hasn’t forgotten about you as a person, and He hasn’t forgotten about us as a people. He will always hear us when we seek Him, and He will restore to us everything that has been taken from us this past year and more! Seek Him today and find strength in His promises. Find your restoration this month, little by little, and see how peace, focus, and strength return to you.

Five Ideas for Restoration

1. Journal about how the stressful events of 2020 have affected you. Focus on what you might have lost in the way of relaxation, hope, and fun, and think of little ways to begin getting those things back into your life in the remaining months of the year. Make a weekly plan for this.

2. Turn off the news and take a break from social media. Replace those things with books, and perhaps with more personal journaling and creative work.

3. Spend daily time focusing on your spiritual needs. Read devotions, spend time in prayer, and take notes on how spiritual ideas help you to rise above the “noise” of the world, putting things like money, politics, professional life, daily stress, and yes illness & mortality into the proper perspective.

4. Devote time to physical restoration in the form of relaxation that could include: baths/swimming, stretching/yoga, meditation, reading, napping, walks in nature, running outdoors, visiting parks, cooking, massages, creative projects, and time spent with family or friends.

5. Be patient with your restoration and see it as THE goal for the next 30 days. Remember that you aren’t the only one who’s felt depleted or stressed this year. Remember that you aren’t the only one who’s felt upended, angry, or confused. Be patient with yourself in the next 30 days and truly see them as your period of healing. Focus on cultivating your inner peace, set small goals for the month, get closer to God and to your soul’s needs and purpose, and see restoration as a most worthy goal in its own right.

Thanks for spending time with me. I look forward to checking in again soon. As always, feel free to message me, and don’t forget to take care of yourself and your dreams!

Michael

“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Michael Priebe is a writer and personal development coach who has studied psychology, literature, and print journalism. He holds a journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he graduated with honors. and over the years he has used both fiction and nonfiction formats to write about health, sports, professional life, politics, relationships, and spiritual issues. He puts out a variety of spiritually inspiring content at The Lovely Grind, and he blogs about his life at www.michaelpriebewriter.com. He invites you to find out more about his life coaching here, and he hopes you'll reach out to him on Facebook and Twitter.

“Michael helped me in a way that no doctor or therapist has been able to! His personal experience combined with his optimistic, constructive input and guidance is priceless. I highly recommend his coaching sessions.”

Shelly, Ohio

“I contacted Michael for coaching because he has the ultimate credential of having been through it all himself! I liked his warm, empathetic manner. He is easy to talk to, and I felt as if he were a family member in his warm caring toward me. Michael has a very reassuring way of communicating, and I would highly recommend him.”

Jon - British Columbia, Canada

“I came across Michael’s videos by chance while looking up information on prescription drug withdrawal. I found his YouTube videos to be very informative, honest, and consoling. I was watching one after the other and even converted the sound on the videos to MP3 so that I could listen to his advice while going for walks. That was very soothing for me, and therefore I decided to try his coaching services. Great decision.

"Michael is a great and patient listener, and during our time together I felt that he sincerely cared about my healing progress and had genuine empathy for all those going through withdrawal. He is a positive-minded individual who disseminates hope, and I appreciated the useful, personalized follow-up notes he sent after our session. Most certainly I would recommend his coaching.”

Yasmin - Cairo, Egypt

“No one else is doing what Michael is doing. It truly is a ministry! Michael is willing to make himself vulnerable to help others during their journey in the valley. He is very easy to talk to (I felt like I had known him forever), and I would most definitely recommend his coaching to others.”

Andi, North Carolina

“Michael’s coaching is truly a game-changing experience. I appreciate the level of understanding he brings … tons of knowledge on how to survive the days and get closer to recovery. When you finally get to look someone in the face and know they understand exactly what you’re going through, it can bring a different level of comfort; that is what Michael’s coaching provided me, and without a doubt I would recommend it to everyone going through this.”

Alex, California

“I decided to use Michael’s coaching services because he seemed very genuine and trustworthy. After speaking with him a couple of times, I realized that I am strong enough to overcome certain obstacles, but also realized that I need not rush the process [of becoming medication free]. It was comforting talking to Michael about my withdrawal issues so that I could realize that what I’m going through is common, and it was also useful that Michael took the time to give me feedback in specific areas—like making a schedule and forming realistic expectations for myself. Michael gave me more useful feedback than a lot of mental health counselors I’ve had. Michael has helped me, and I hope he continues to help others. I would definitely recommend his coaching services.”

Catherine, Virginia

“I learned a lot from Michael. At first I was so confused by withdrawal (wondering what I was going through and if I would be this way permanently), but Michael helped me to realize that we do heal and that things do get better. I had a lot of worries, but he helped to ease my mind and he gave me positive feedback regarding how to approach each day in this process. Michael has a caring heart, and I would 100 percent recommend his coaching to others going through this.”

Erikka, South Dakota

“It can be frustrating having to deal with [withdrawal] symptoms for months on end and getting next to no support from doctors or anyone in the medical community (people who for the most part are clueless). Simply getting a chance to speak with Michael—someone who has gone through what I have and is able to offer support—was comforting. I also really enjoyed his follow-up notes. They were insightful and helped me to consider things I hadn’t thought of. I very much enjoyed working with Michael, and I would recommend his coaching to anyone who is going through this process and looking for support.”

Kim, California

“Michael is relatable and non-judgemental. I liked his positivity and follow-up notes. He provided good support overall. I believe that if a person really wants to withdrawal from medication, then support like this, from someone who has personal experience, is invaluable, and for that reason I would recommend Michael’s coaching to others going through this process.”

Leanne – Ontario, Canada

"Because of Michael’s own experiences, he knows what serves and what damages. He helped me to control my intake of negative information, he made me more optimistic, and he gave me a sense of the “whole [healing] picture.” Michael is a good listener and his comments are very precise. I would definitely recommend his coaching to others going through withdrawal."

Miguel, Atlanta, GA

"I really enjoyed my coaching sessions with Michael and looked forward to each call. He is very easy to talk to and offers very good advice. Our conversations gave me hope and coping skills, and his follow-up notes and progress plan were very helpful; I reference them often to stay on track. I found it comforting talking to someone who has been through this and really understands the struggle. I now look at withdrawal as something that can be overcome, something that I can heal from. I felt very comfortable talking to Michael, and I would recommend his coaching services to others going through the withdrawal and healing process."

Eric, MI

“I decided to try Michael’s coaching because, in his videos, he seemed so honest, relatable, upbeat, hopeful, and knowledgeable. I believe I got more out of Michael’s videos and coaching than I got from years of professional counseling. It is very comforting talking to him because it is like talking to a very knowledgeable, long-time, close friend. I have more hope for the future after talking to Michael, and that helps me to survive the times when I am feeling blue. I would recommend his coaching to those going through the withdrawal and healing process.”

John, WA

“I really enjoyed the care that Michael put into every contact with me. I appreciate how he shared his own experiences, found out about my overall context, and made direct suggestions; it was so important to believe that I was not losing control of my mind and body and that I could carry on with living while going through the process. It was also helpful to set goals and a plan and check back in on these things. Michael’s coaching is very professional and authentic, and I would highly recommend him to anyone who is going through the withdrawal and healing process.”

Emma, United Kingdom

“I always refer back to what Michael coached me on in the past regarding dealing with such times during the recovery and healing process. I enjoy working with Michael because he takes his time answering each of my questions in detail. Michael has true answers and guidance. It is comforting being coached by someone who understands my symptoms, and also Michael is a very compassionate person. I would definitely recommend his services to a person in need of help during the withdrawal process.”

Ram, AZ

THE LOVELY GRIND: SPIRITUAL INSPIRATION FOR WORKDAYS offers 90 devotional messages that will help you find rest, renewal, and perspective for your workweek and beyond.

WHAT IS YOUR STRUGGLE RIGHT NOW? Difficult coworkers? A lack of professional fulfillment? Financial concerns? Balancing work with the rest of your life?

By discussing a variety of professional stressors and life challenges and then offering spiritual and thought-provoking perspective on each, THE LOVELY GRIND gives readers a truly unique devotional experience.

Get a copy for yourself and don't forget to order one for a friend or family member who has been feeling fatigued or stressed out lately. Come join THE LOVELY GRIND & start living lovely!

CONTACT ME ABOUT COACHING

If you or someone you know is struggling to survive the pain and confusion of prescription drug withdrawal or chronic stress, I would like to offer my coaching services. Stress can suck the joy out of life, and the withdrawal process can be challenging (I know from experience). However, with the proper tools and mindset, these things can be survived and even used for greater growth. If you or someone you care about is trying to quit antidepressant or benzodiazepine medications (or simply trying to reduce stress levels), please click here to email me about coaching options and availability.


Who doesn’t have a few regrets as they grow older? I know I do. It is so easy, in my forties, to look back at things in my life that could have been approached differently years or even decades ago. Some things, had they been approached or reacted to differently, would have certainly saved me money. More importantly, others would have saved me a lot of emotional and mental anguish.

But growing older is hopefully about growing wiser, not more bitter. So we learn from our mistakes, and we move on and try to grow so that we become smarter, more efficient, more spiritually attuned, and happier.

Over the past month and a half I’ve been reflecting on little pieces of wisdom that I’ve collected over the years from the sayings printed on Yogi brand tea packages, and in this post I continue to explore a few of those teatime ideas. The truth is, we can find inspiration and guidance almost anywhere if we are looking (just as we can find God everywhere if we are so inclined), so please continue to “seek and find” in your own life. And perhaps the following ideas will help you along the way.

“Love has no boundary.”

I tend to see this as a command to steer ourselves away from nitpicking, judgement, and control in our personal lives. If you’re married, as I have been for many years, then perhaps you know what I’m talking about. The love in such a romantic relationship must be unconditional.

But this idea can easily apply to the other relationships in life as well: parents, sons and daughters, siblings, and friends.

We can easily fall into the trap of drawing “boundaries” on our love and thinking: ‘I’ll love this person ‘unconditionally’ if they do the things I want them to do, or if they look the way, act the way, talk the way, or think the way I want them to.” And then, when people fall outside of our boundaries, arguments and a certain “withholding of love” can occur. Resentments and distance are bred.

But true love is truly unconditional, not just conveniently so. That is a divine idea, and another divine idea is to forgive others without limit, even if they have hurt us (or simply frustrated us) multiple times.

Love has no boundary. So forgive, open your heart, and appreciate all of the unique gifts that your loved ones bring into your life to make it richer than you could ever make it alone.

“Listen and you will develop intuition.”

Some of the greatest mistakes in my life have been occurred when I have gone against my intuition, my gut, my inner compass. It’s okay to ask for advice and opinions from others, but first off make sure that those others have your best interests at heart. And then always remember to consult yourself before moving forward.

Get practiced at listening to your inner voice so that you can begin to trust yourself more and react more instinctively with regards to your future. This allows you to navigate decisions more wisely, more quickly, and with more confidence.

“The art of happiness is to serve all.”

Contributing to a better quality of life for those we encounter in this world is a requirement to feeling fulfilled and satisfied. Whether we are building homes for others, counseling them, writing books for them, fixing their cars, or helping them with their taxes, our work simply must have a “service” component to feel good. But two words of caution here. First, there are people out there who use this idea to justify their own self-serving power trips (think some politicians and wealthy business owners), so sincerity is necessary.

Also, we must all set limits. We must all restrict access at times. We must do this to avoid burnout and to avoid being used. People can and will take advantage of kindness, so we must use common sense when deciding how and when to act out our service ideals.

That being said, serve others and you will find your happiness as well.

“Life is a flow of love; your participation is requested.”

I think the main idea that I’ve taken from the above saying is that we all have a part to play in this life. In addition to giving the world your compassion and kindness, what ideas do you have to offer? Ideas of the right variety are a way of expressing love, and giving your productive ideas to the world is participating in its forward flow and contributing to its health.

There are good intentions and bad intentions out there. There are selfish ideas and useful ideas. As a hip-hop song I enjoy says, “There’s nothing wrong with ambition if it does the world good.”

How can you intertwine your ambition, your heart, and your desire to serve others? How can you improve your life and also leave this world a better place than when you found it?

“Use your head to live with your heart.”

I’ve always been somewhat of a romantic soul, an individual whose actions are driven by spiritual pulls, grand dreaming, and the strong intoxication of emotions. And while that has served me well in some respects, there have been other times in my life where it has come back to bite me. There have been times when I haven’t planned well enough or paid enough attention to bottom lines and daily regimens. There have been times when I thought that heart was all that was required—not careful architecture, prudence, financial acumen, preventative care, or even common sense.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve increasingly worked to meld together my heart and my head, my emotion and my intellect, my romance and my discipline. Because if I can work smarter rather than harder, and if I can cease to sabotage myself or leave things up to chance, then I can find increased freedom to truly follow my heart and share that heart with others.

Be romantic, but be sensible, too. Use your smarts and your discipline to make all of the dreams of your heart come true.

Michael Priebe is a writer and personal development coach who has studied psychology, literature, and print journalism. He holds a journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he graduated with honors. and over the years he has used both fiction and nonfiction formats to write about health, sports, professional life, politics, relationships, and spiritual issues. He puts out a variety of spiritually inspiring content at The Lovely Grind, and he blogs about his life at www.michaelpriebewriter.com. He invites you to find out more about his life coaching here, and he hopes you'll reach out to him on Facebook and Twitter.

“Michael helped me in a way that no doctor or therapist has been able to! His personal experience combined with his optimistic, constructive input and guidance is priceless. I highly recommend his coaching sessions.”

Shelly, Ohio

“I contacted Michael for coaching because he has the ultimate credential of having been through it all himself! I liked his warm, empathetic manner. He is easy to talk to, and I felt as if he were a family member in his warm caring toward me. Michael has a very reassuring way of communicating, and I would highly recommend him.”

Jon - British Columbia, Canada

“I came across Michael’s videos by chance while looking up information on prescription drug withdrawal. I found his YouTube videos to be very informative, honest, and consoling. I was watching one after the other and even converted the sound on the videos to MP3 so that I could listen to his advice while going for walks. That was very soothing for me, and therefore I decided to try his coaching services. Great decision.

"Michael is a great and patient listener, and during our time together I felt that he sincerely cared about my healing progress and had genuine empathy for all those going through withdrawal. He is a positive-minded individual who disseminates hope, and I appreciated the useful, personalized follow-up notes he sent after our session. Most certainly I would recommend his coaching.”

Yasmin - Cairo, Egypt

“No one else is doing what Michael is doing. It truly is a ministry! Michael is willing to make himself vulnerable to help others during their journey in the valley. He is very easy to talk to (I felt like I had known him forever), and I would most definitely recommend his coaching to others.”

Andi, North Carolina

“Michael’s coaching is truly a game-changing experience. I appreciate the level of understanding he brings … tons of knowledge on how to survive the days and get closer to recovery. When you finally get to look someone in the face and know they understand exactly what you’re going through, it can bring a different level of comfort; that is what Michael’s coaching provided me, and without a doubt I would recommend it to everyone going through this.”

Alex, California

“I decided to use Michael’s coaching services because he seemed very genuine and trustworthy. After speaking with him a couple of times, I realized that I am strong enough to overcome certain obstacles, but also realized that I need not rush the process [of becoming medication free]. It was comforting talking to Michael about my withdrawal issues so that I could realize that what I’m going through is common, and it was also useful that Michael took the time to give me feedback in specific areas—like making a schedule and forming realistic expectations for myself. Michael gave me more useful feedback than a lot of mental health counselors I’ve had. Michael has helped me, and I hope he continues to help others. I would definitely recommend his coaching services.”

Catherine, Virginia

“I learned a lot from Michael. At first I was so confused by withdrawal (wondering what I was going through and if I would be this way permanently), but Michael helped me to realize that we do heal and that things do get better. I had a lot of worries, but he helped to ease my mind and he gave me positive feedback regarding how to approach each day in this process. Michael has a caring heart, and I would 100 percent recommend his coaching to others going through this.”

Erikka, South Dakota

“It can be frustrating having to deal with [withdrawal] symptoms for months on end and getting next to no support from doctors or anyone in the medical community (people who for the most part are clueless). Simply getting a chance to speak with Michael—someone who has gone through what I have and is able to offer support—was comforting. I also really enjoyed his follow-up notes. They were insightful and helped me to consider things I hadn’t thought of. I very much enjoyed working with Michael, and I would recommend his coaching to anyone who is going through this process and looking for support.”

Kim, California

“Michael is relatable and non-judgemental. I liked his positivity and follow-up notes. He provided good support overall. I believe that if a person really wants to withdrawal from medication, then support like this, from someone who has personal experience, is invaluable, and for that reason I would recommend Michael’s coaching to others going through this process.”

Leanne – Ontario, Canada

"Because of Michael’s own experiences, he knows what serves and what damages. He helped me to control my intake of negative information, he made me more optimistic, and he gave me a sense of the “whole [healing] picture.” Michael is a good listener and his comments are very precise. I would definitely recommend his coaching to others going through withdrawal."

Miguel, Atlanta, GA

"I really enjoyed my coaching sessions with Michael and looked forward to each call. He is very easy to talk to and offers very good advice. Our conversations gave me hope and coping skills, and his follow-up notes and progress plan were very helpful; I reference them often to stay on track. I found it comforting talking to someone who has been through this and really understands the struggle. I now look at withdrawal as something that can be overcome, something that I can heal from. I felt very comfortable talking to Michael, and I would recommend his coaching services to others going through the withdrawal and healing process."

Eric, MI

“I decided to try Michael’s coaching because, in his videos, he seemed so honest, relatable, upbeat, hopeful, and knowledgeable. I believe I got more out of Michael’s videos and coaching than I got from years of professional counseling. It is very comforting talking to him because it is like talking to a very knowledgeable, long-time, close friend. I have more hope for the future after talking to Michael, and that helps me to survive the times when I am feeling blue. I would recommend his coaching to those going through the withdrawal and healing process.”

John, WA

“I really enjoyed the care that Michael put into every contact with me. I appreciate how he shared his own experiences, found out about my overall context, and made direct suggestions; it was so important to believe that I was not losing control of my mind and body and that I could carry on with living while going through the process. It was also helpful to set goals and a plan and check back in on these things. Michael’s coaching is very professional and authentic, and I would highly recommend him to anyone who is going through the withdrawal and healing process.”

Emma, United Kingdom

“I always refer back to what Michael coached me on in the past regarding dealing with such times during the recovery and healing process. I enjoy working with Michael because he takes his time answering each of my questions in detail. Michael has true answers and guidance. It is comforting being coached by someone who understands my symptoms, and also Michael is a very compassionate person. I would definitely recommend his services to a person in need of help during the withdrawal process.”

Ram, AZ

THE LOVELY GRIND: SPIRITUAL INSPIRATION FOR WORKDAYS offers 90 devotional messages that will help you find rest, renewal, and perspective for your workweek and beyond.

WHAT IS YOUR STRUGGLE RIGHT NOW? Difficult coworkers? A lack of professional fulfillment? Financial concerns? Balancing work with the rest of your life?

By discussing a variety of professional stressors and life challenges and then offering spiritual and thought-provoking perspective on each, THE LOVELY GRIND gives readers a truly unique devotional experience.

Get a copy for yourself and don't forget to order one for a friend or family member who has been feeling fatigued or stressed out lately. Come join THE LOVELY GRIND & start living lovely!

CONTACT ME ABOUT COACHING

If you or someone you know is struggling to survive the pain and confusion of prescription drug withdrawal or chronic stress, I would like to offer my coaching services. Stress can suck the joy out of life, and the withdrawal process can be challenging (I know from experience). However, with the proper tools and mindset, these things can be survived and even used for greater growth. If you or someone you care about is trying to quit antidepressant or benzodiazepine medications (or simply trying to reduce stress levels), please click here to email me about coaching options and availability.

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