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12 Jul

Cycles of Completion- Full Circle of Healing, Part I: Releasing Pain

Michelle Shine / Be Empowered


It was a no-brainer…I booked myself a ticket to Hawaii for the summer in response to a temporary job offer.

My dear friend and coauthor, Keti, had it all set up:

  • a place to stay in exchange for weeding the garden,
  • a car to drive,
  • opportunities to sell our book at a popular hotel,
  • and much more.

The details confirming the  job still weren’t completely settled before my flight took off. I found myself in my inner garden asking about this trip and if I should still go. I heard, “Yes.” So I put myself in a place of trusting that this job would work out and my expenses for airfare, food, and such while in Hawaii would be recouped and I would come home with extra cash. I went to Hawaii on faith from inner garden wisdom.

When I arrived, I was informed the job offer had vaporized.

No job.

Not to worry though, I still had faith that I was in Hawaii for a good reason even though I didn’t know what that was. My faith was strong. I am a believer in creating my own reality and I’ve been practicing this idea of not minding what happens (written by Jiddu Krishnamurti), strengthening my resolve to keep the faith and to trust what is (and not resist what is).

I had lived in Hawaii for eight years, started my family there, was married and divorced there. It is the place where Mana Gardening was born. This trip was the first time back after the divorce was finalized six years ago.

Interestingly, even though I felt grateful for the accommodations and car and opportunities, I was not super excited about this trip. In fact, I felt neutral to slightly off, which is odd because Hawaii is so incredibly beautiful and normally I would be thrilled to go to Hawaii!

Then I found out why I had not felt excited like I thought I should

The night of my arrival in Hawaii, I found myself in the same room where I stayed when my husband and I were separated, at Keti’s house.  As soon as I stepped foot into that room, I felt uneasy about it. I decided to focus on being grateful, rather than acknowledging the uneasiness.

The next morning while sitting on her porch looking out over the gorgeous jagged peaks of the  Ko’olau mountain range, there was no denying the feelings that came up. I remembered all the pain I had experienced, all the tears, the rejection, the disappointment I had experienced several years prior. Tears started flowing and I allowed them to do just that, not resisting them in any way.

After a few minutes of crying, the emotions suddenly subsided. A light rain fell and shortly afterwards a rainbow appeared to welcome me back to the island. My emotions quickly shifted from sadness back to gratefulness as I witnessed the beauty surrounding me.


This place, this island in Hawaii is where much began for me. My marriage began here overlooking the gorgeous Kaneohe Bay, both my kids were made and born here. This is also the place where I experienced the deepest pain of my life as I went through the divorce. This is where I opened up to Kirtan as a melodic, devotional and prayerful way to let go of the darkness and focus on the light.

This is where the priceless makana (gift in Hawaiian) of Mana Gardening came to me. This is where I was introduced, by Master Shen, to the native Hawaiian method of using the inner garden as a place of respite, relaxation, creation and as a way to access my inner guidance for the first time ever. Now I am back in Hawaii at the same exact places where all my pain was felt so deeply.

The next day, I had an interview at a temp agency. Ironically enough, the temp agency was in the same building as the biotech company I had worked for when I lived here 6 years ago. Just seeing that place brought up a whole slew of emotions as I remembered all the times I went down the elevator holding back tears until I got in my car and could let them flow in private. I don’t know how many times I went into that parking garage and locked myself in my car and just cried about losing my idea of family. Those emotions came pouring forth once again as tears welled up and flowed down  my face.

The next morning at 6 AM, while driving towards the north shore to go surfing I had to ask myself Why on Earth am I not happy?

I felt there were plenty of reasons to be incredibly happy, yet there was sadness in the background.  I could not find my joy.

Suddenly I remembered all the times I drove to the north shore to go surfing by myself when in actuality all I had wanted was a family beach day where we all ride to the north shore together, parents take turns surfing, we have a picnic and everyone gets to enjoy their day and be together playing in the waves and digging holes in the sand and such. That was something I very rarely got to experience.

I stopped on the side of the road and felt those emotions for little while. Then I closed my eyes for a moment and entered my inner garden to give myself some peace. I asked myself, What do I need to know from this?

The answer that was provided to me was so beautiful, and so valuable, as always.

My inner wisdom said, Notice all the love.

I realized I had been feeling the pain, the sadness and the the weight of all of the things I dreamed about that never happened. Yet if I take the time to notice all the love, I can start to change my vibration and come to a place that feels happier and more in alignment with my true nature (which is love).

Because pain and love stand side-by-side, if we experience emotional pain, it is because we love so deeply.

I then focused on how much I loved my family and how I didn’t take my pain out on them during those years. I would never have experienced so much pain if I had not love so much.

I focused on how Mana Gardening was the answer to my prayers for tapping into inner wisdom and receiving guidance for my life. I could never have navigated divorce and all those decisions without Mana Gardening. I would have allowed others’ ideas to influence my decisions, not knowing what it was I truly wanted. I was able to make those important decisions in the best interest of myself and my family. I was able to give myself love and nurturing through the divorce with Mana Gardening. I felt deeply thankful for this gift in my life and for the opportunity to share it far and wide (through our book, workshops, trainings, etc).

I was grateful for Kirtan and my Fire Tribe Hawaii friends who I experienced deep connections with time after time. Grateful for friends, for Master Shen, for the ‘Aina of Hawaii and the mana I get to experience daily in my life. Grateful for the lifestyle I now have where I get to be full-on parent, then a parent with free time! (50/50 custody is what the inner garden revealed was my happiest option when navigating the divorce proceedings, and that is what I have and enjoy to the hilt!)  Appreciative of the stunning beauty that surrounded me. This land, this ‘Aina is my friend, my very dear friend.

With this I felt I had come full circle. As if the cycle had come to its completion. From deep grief, sadness and pain back to LOVE, VALUE and APPRECIATION.

Time and time again, and without fail, the inner garden guides us all to focus on positivity, offering us a way to love ourselves continuously, and see our value and worth.

I am incredibly blessed to have been given this gift of Mana Gardening.  Get the book and try it for yourself. It is an easy, fast and fun way to connect to the infinite wisdom that lies within. You’ll feel yourself as empowered to live and love. If books aren’t your thing, try a class or set up a series of sessions with me or Keti. We will be doing podcasts shortly and hope to have an audio book out soon as well. Our mission is to serve our fellow Earthlings, so reach out if you are called.

Many Blessings and Warm Aloha on your Journey!

…To be continued in Parts II and III


29 May

Top 10 Ways to Have a Graceful Break Up

Michelle Shine / Be Empowered Relationships


As a decade-long practitioner of Mana Gardening, I can confidently state that the wisdom of the inner garden can vastly improve your life experience.

When faced with a break up with someone I  was finally excited about, I had a choice in how to handle it:

  • do the old pattern of feeling like a victim,
  • be in total resistance to the break up, ORIMG_0664[1]
  • find a way to be happy with it and trust what was showing up.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Life does not happen to you, it happens FOR you“?

It’s a great mantra that helps you not get too hung up on what happens and to not be in resistance to what is. It is a way to live life more gracefully in general.

Resistance to what is causes great suffering. And that’s the last thing we need more of… suffering.

Instead let’s choose empowerment.

In this case, I chose to believe that this break up was happening FOR me, and not TO me.

So, that is the first step in having a graceful break up: Trusting that this is happening for a good reason, and if we were meant to be together then we would be, or perhaps it could manifest in the future.

With that mantra in my head, I asked my inner garden, How can I make this a graceful break up and feel good about this? 


My inner garden gave me several ideas which I implemented immediately and guess what? Positive feelings are the bulk of my experience with this particular relationship ending. Sure, grief comes up and when it does, I feel the feelings and allow myself to cry or kick the punching bag at the gym (hard).

Someone said that grief is unexpressed love.

This seems perfectly accurate to me, as many times when faced with ending relationships, I cry and feel deep sadness because I can no longer communicate with that person the way I did, can no longer share my life with them, or my love with them. It hurts and there’s no way around it. Feeling it and letting the emotion move is essential.

So between bouts of grief, the following list of actions can help you have a more graceful transition out of a relationship and into your own self-love and grace.


Top 10 ways to make break ups more graceful:

  1. Write a list of the good qualities of the other.
  2. Write a list of things you received from your time together (lessons, knowing yourself better, knowing what you want/don’t want, any clarity you received).
  3. Create a list of what you gave in the relationship (love, support, kindness, TLC, communication, help, etc).
  4. Use the inner garden to resolve any outstanding conflict. Create the ending you need in your imagination. (Our book explains wonderful techniques for this.)
  5. Consciously send love and light to you both and intend a win-win outcome.
  6.  Use your inner garden to create the new effective relationship you desire going forward. Create the wonderful friendship, or the effective and civil co-parenting relationship,  create the space needed, etc. and feel how good it feels to be in that new relationship together.
  7. Love yourself in the inner garden.  Imagine yourself surrounded in a bubble of pure love, being hugged by loved ones, or in any environment where you feel supported, loved and allowed to be who you truly are without consequences.
  8. Send a note of appreciation to yourself and the other (or don’t send, but at least write it down).
  9. When you’re ready to call in your next partner, see yourself with them. Imagine them in the car with you, imagine that they are there cooking breakfast with you and you’re both laughing and happy, imagine feeling loved by them, feeling like you can always be yourself, feeling that you are the best version of you with them. Feel that. Know that it is on its way!
  10. Address grief as it shows up, feel it and be with it. Cry if that helps. Feel sadness, anger, disappointment, etc. The feelings will slowly fade as you spend time with them. It is important to feel our grief and sadness and it is OK to feel our humanness.


With these tips, the majority of your feelings can be of appreciation, grace, and contentment about the transitioning of this relationship into something new. (You may want to revisit any of the tips above to refresh your vibration.)

You got this! I believe in you!

I am available for private sessions, workshops, retreats to serve you and your clients. Our Level 1 Mana Gardening course starts September 19, 2018. Join us for our retreat in Costa Rica August 2018 for a deep dive in creating the reality you desire.


3 Feb

Mana @ work & love!

Keti / Be Empowered


@ work:

Throughout my life, I have been required to attend meetings that drone on for hours, and hours. I am sure you know the drill: your boss goes on and on about nothing.  The senseless complaints are long, the hot air is choking. The only thing that gets accomplished is a waste of your valuable time. I once sat in a two hour business meeting where our CEO explained a basketball story that went something like this.

The coach said, “Only throw the ball overhead.”

The all star player said, “If I do that I won’t make the shot.”

The coach said, “Do what I say, right or wrong.”

The team lost every game,  but they did learn how to do what they were told.

End of story.


What was the point here?

Do what I say, win or lose, right or wrong?


This pretty much sums up my career with this company:  we lost a lot of money, but our CEO got a big fat bonus every year.

Sound familiar?


Anytime I wind up in a meeting that serves no purpose, I reflect on that basketball story.

It really could be so different, it really is easier than this.


There is a simple Mana Gardening-inspired method that goes like this:

Send out an email to stating the problem.

Say, “Short meeting- each person has to present a one sentence simple solution.”

“As your boss, I will start the meeting with my solution. We will take only a few minutes to discuss solutions and choose some to try, the meeting will take less than 20 minutes.”

A CEO should be held responsible to condense the problems into one sentence statements and they should be able to present a one sentence solution to every problem.


@ love:

We should use this same simple approach.

Ever been greeted with the phrase “We need to talk”?

This statement makes me want to cry. I know we are about to play the spin our lives upside and ruin everything good about right now game.

Your loved one is unhappy and does not have a clue what is really wrong or what they really even want.

Next time you find yourself in this place, try this:

Instead of talking, think of a one sentence statement of the exact problem plus a one sentence solution.

When you find those two sentences, then ask your loved one to try the solution together.

What a wonderful world it could be…

The mind, body and soul is a garden, our actions and thoughts are like seeds, let us water the mana, and pull out the weeds.



4 Jan

Peace in Relationships

Michelle Shine / Be Empowered Relationships


On the Second Day of the New Year 2016, PEACE was the Vibe of the Day.

YEScooltreecolorCH10 (1)

As I spent some time reading about the Light and the Dark, and how they both come from the ONE, I learned that the dark exists so the we can experience the extremes in order to come back into balance and remember who we truly are.

I had read these words many years before, but today, they resonated deeply with my being. (When the tears are flowing it means resonance for me.)

I read and cried, read and cried.

It seemed, in those moments of tears, my perspective of the ending of my marriage changed yet a bit more. On a path of resolving the deep pain I experienced, today something even deeper was felt. I felt within my body a thankfulness for the ending of that relationship, one in which I had not felt so strongly before.

And it wasn’t because of the “goodness” or “badness” of that relationship.

It was rather a feeling of profound thankfulness for the TIME I have had to explore my own personal growth when the kids have been with their Dad.


  • Thankfulness for the split custody so we both get equal time with our children, for the (almost) peace between us, thankfulness for the much needed solo time and time off from mommy duties.
  • Thankfulness for him being a great, on-top-of-it Dad, someone I could be at ease with when my kids are not with me.
  • Grateful to be quietly reading, crying and transforming my perspective before my very own eyes.
  • Sincerely grateful for the ability to have this space to myself to know myself and grow!

In the Garden

Feeling this, I took a moment in my inner garden and welcomed my former husband. There, in the sacred Mana Gardening space, at a Mexican beach palapa, I expressed my appreciation for him letting me go (even though I fought against it) and for his awareness in knowing how limited my growth was in that marriage.

Then my mind gravitated to other relationships that were not quite at peace.

One by one, I confronted these individuals in my mana garden and created that peace. With one lady, I knew that I trusted her at the heart level, so I brought her into my inner garden version of Hanakapi’ai falls where I expressed that I am choosing peace between us and that it is my intention to let go of the issues that I have felt between us.

She clearly responded to me with, “ I meant no harm.” I felt that to be true, and with this, I DECIDED to let go of the non-peace that I was feeling with her.

hanakapiai falls 2

I also realized from within that her behavior had triggered some childhood traumas of mine. I asked from within what is needed here. What I did next was what I felt to do from within my inner garden: I envisioned myself hugging my inner child and telling her that it was ok, we can let go of that pain now. I assured her that everything was alright, that we are safe.

She looked up at me, smiled, and I felt her let go of it, as if she sighed a big sigh of relief. I then gave her an even bigger hug, thanking her. This also happened next to my imagined version of beautiful Hanakapi’ai falls on the island of Kauai.


With next gentleman, we were next to the avocado tree within my inner garden. This was a very brief meeting in which I clearly knew we were to speak in person, not solely in my mana garden. I thanked him in advance for his willingness to return to peace with me, whenever that shall occur, and for the opportunity to share my deep feelings with him in person. I felt grateful that he was willing to share that intimacy with me, to fully hear me, and that he was able to handle and contribute to an in-person healing conversation.



Mana gardening can be used to resolve issues within, before addressing people in person, and I use it for this purpose quite often with profound peace being the reward.

The inner mana gardening space allows you to get real with you first, to know yourself, to know what you need, what you want and what is the best path forward. You can then bring people in (or rather, their energies in) and work with them in sacred space to resolve issues and come to Peace from within.

Many times, it is completely cleared using the inner space, yet sometimes you are clearly guided to address this in person. Whole-heartedly trusting your inner guidance and following it using Mana Gardening can bring tremendously positive results that bring you great peace and grace in relationships.

With great reverence for my mana garden I share these words. May my experiences help you along your path.

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If you are interested in learning this valuable technique, please visit the Events page where you can sign up for a personal session, a teleseminar, or a complete course in Mana Gardening.