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Don’t hold anyone to who they used to be, especially yourself. Evolution is all of our birthright. Embrace who you are becoming, as an individual, as a friend, a lover, a family member, and in the roles you play across many communities. Give the same ‘gift of grow’ to everyone you know – and to those you need to let go.

Enjoy how the circles of your life bring out different sides of you. At least once a year (your birthday?), have a gathering where the thing most people have in common is you. The new alliances that form will delight you from the heart out.

It’s your birthday twice a day – on the clock, which works in cycles of 12, just like the calendar. For me, that’s 11:14, a.m. and p.m. Celebrate yourself in what you eat, wear, say, dream, cause, do – and in what you no longer do. Birth each new day of your life with some of that same presence and special outlook that you feel on ‘your day.’ What day isn’t your day?

Don’t worry that you will become selfish and ugly if you make yourself happy first. Your true joy is generous by nature. When you live it, you give it.

You can learn to laugh when things go wrong. Remember some of those things that weren’t funny then, that are funny now? Shorten the distance between then and now. A laugh sets you loose when you think you’re losing.

Your feelings are not a crisis. Getting hit by bus is a crisis. Feelings move through you to move you through. Peace and happiness, fun and confidence, many delicious states of mind – sometimes elusive – are all a choice. When you wax woe, rail against joy, resentful, feeling left out or incapable, remember this: remember to remember to choose to be glad. You can decide again to experience peace and fun as many times as you want; there is no limit on sanity.

Move, make, groove, shake… your creativity is your source and your course.

Surround yourself with people who empower you and encourage you. Safety plus daring equals happiness.

In love, you are not looking for the one who ever delights and excites you, lighting your mad passion with their bionic match. Your true matches, in any kind of love, are the ones you also naturally relax around. Where harmony resounds, ‘true you’ abounds. There, your passion is the hottest fashion.

Don’t protect other people with silence. Often, the more honest you are, the more capable they are.

Learn your family’s stories. You will be surprised.

Talk to strangers. You make the world a safer place when you grace our space with your face.

Count your day in memories. When you lay down, lay out what you experienced. Have fun finding a reason to be grateful for the things you didn’t like, as well as the things you adored.

The present is much more interesting than the past or the future. See you there!

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Barbara Ann Michaels, Jester of the Peace, makes a career of the interplay of love, art, and comedy. She is an award-winning wedding officiant in New York City, specializing in highly personalized weddings, including costume and adventure ceremonies. She has been featured on The Learning Channel’s Four Weddings and CNN, in the New York Times, Boston Globe, New York Daily News, New York Magazine, and Huffington Post. She is an Interfaith Minister.

Artistically, Ms. Michaels specializes in audience-interactive and improvisational theater as a clown, dancer, actor, and writer. Her company, Ripple Affection, engages the public, often in streets, using savvy antics to create a current of happiness. She also creates theatrical characters to entertain and educate at corporate and community events across the USA, through Applied Theatrics. She has performed at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the New York Clown Theater Festival, San Francisco Fringe Festival, ImprovBoston, First Night Boston, and on the Discovery Channel.

She holds a BA with honors in Modern Culture and Media from Brown University and an MFA in performance art from Massachusetts College of Art.

Her motto is "Love is Art. Art is Love." Her other motto is "Have Fun. Be True."

For more information, please visit

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. I love this sentiment, and you wrote it well.

    Let it be that I grant all of those who I have dismissed as unwilling or unhappy the ability to change, that I not hold judgments that would keep me blind to positivity.

  2. Full of good advice! There are so many pithy sayings here that are also insightful and instructive. I hope I can remember at least some of them, if not all.I think my favorite–at least for today–is “Don’t protect other people with silence.” Thank you my Sister.

    1. Thank you! Solitude is one thing, silence is another. The famous ACT-UP phrase Silence=Death caught on in its deep truth. There are times when silence will save a life, such as protecting refugees hiding in your house. Silence in meditation can be peace. Yet, often, silence is fear, anxiety, habit, harm, alarm, or shyness. Enjoy saying your piece and your peace.

    1. Hi Mary, cheers for your new chapter in your book of You. Thank you for sharing your feeling of kindred spirit. I am glad for us both. One of my mottos is, “Have Fun, Be True,” and either one can come first and lead to the other. To you!

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