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You’re a smart, generous, emotionally intelligent person. And while communication comes pretty naturally to you, maybe you freeze up when emotions run high, or when it’s time to say the ‘big thing.’

You like to keep your ideas, feelings, and concerns to yourself until you’ve had time to do some inner-work, fully think them through, and find the right words to express them... even though you know that’s not always possible. And after the fact, you almost always think of the perfect brave, clear thing you wish you’d said in the moment – and you kick yourself for not thinking of it sooner.

I feel you. I really do. And I can help.

 

My mission is to help wise, compassionate people develop the tools to communicate clearly and confidently – without shrinking themselves, or sacrificing their innate warmth and kindness.


 
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About Michelle

My Story & How I got here

 

About me

I’ve always been a words person. It’s been baked into what I do and how I help for a long time – as a former English tutor with a Linguistics degree, a copy editor with a ruthless red pen, and the friend ‘my people’ call when there’s a horribly-uncomfortable text that needs responding to.

I’ve also always been a sensitive person. And for a long time, I saw words as something I’d mastered, and feelings as my downfall. If I was quietly suffering at work or in a relationship and couldn’t fix it, I thought the fix looked like ‘better stress management’ or ‘coping skills’. It never occurred to me that these were areas where I struggled to communicate — with others, and with myself.

What I’ve learned since then is that most of the time, my suffering persisted because of the things I wasn’t saying, or the conversations I avoided having.

And it wasn’t until I had more stomach-churning hard conversations under my belt (strictly out of necessity, trust me) that things really started to shift — and my whole attitude around hard conversations changed.

I Believe:


You don’t have to change who you are to be a great communicator.

Agreement isn’t the only way to be kind, or forge connection.

Confident, clear communication creates a sense of possibility.

Taking action from a place of laser-sharp clarity is magical.

People are allowed to feel uncomfortable in your presence. It’s not yours to fix.

It isn't anyone else’s job to read your mind, or advocate for you.

Personal pleasure has a ripple effect, and it benefits everyone around you.

 

I started seeing how building and deepening certain skills allowed me to be an agent for real change in my own life, and in the world – not by finding a diplomatic way to wiggle out of hard conversations, but by tapping into a new mindset that helped me step into them with clarity, confidence, and optimism.


 
 

And I want to help you do the same.

 

About The Hearty Fig

The Story Behind the name

 

What does “The Hearty Fig” mean?

When I created my first ‘real’ blog and started sharing my thoughts online in 2013, finding the right name for my blog felt really important. I knew I wanted something that alluded to personal growth and strength, without being too literal. I knew I wanted it to evoke the right feeling, and the right imagery. With help from friends, I landed on Bloomology — and for the first year or two, that name felt really, really good.

But as I got deeper into the work, something started to feel ‘off’.

As I kept experiencing and exploring what it means to be a strong, sensitive person, I started to realize that it was less about beautiful blooms, and more about having strong, sturdy roots. And when I thought of roots, I immediately thought of a banyan tree. They’re actually a type of fig tree, and if you’ve ever seen a mature one, you know they have these incredible root systems above ground that look like thick, gnarly trunks and vines. They’re gorgeous, even sacred in some cultures.

Lessons We Can Learn
from Banyan Trees:


They produce tons of sweet fruit, which helps sustain long lists of other species.

Their dense, broad canopies provide shade, which is a true gift in the hot, sunny climates where they grow.

They have healing powers. Their bark, leaves, and roots have been used for thousands of years to treat disease.

They’re resilient, often living for hundreds of years while offering up all these gifts, without compromising their own vitality.

 

These trees felt beautifully symbolic to me. First, there’s the strength and vitality. Their ability to continually support themselves by sprouting new roots (called ‘areal prop roots’) that develop into thick, supportive trunks over time. But beyond their strength, they also manage to be deeply generous in what they provide.

 
 

These fig trees are hearty plants, in both senses of the word; they’re strong and resilient, and deeply heartfelt in the gifts they offer. And, they can sustain their own generosity because of their solid, healthy foundation.


 

I love the duality of being both deeply generous, and rooted in strength and self-reliance. And so, The Hearty Fig serves as both a reminder and an aspiration to truly invest in developing strong roots – the tools and skills that support a strong self-relationship – that allow us to show up fully and generously for the communities and causes we want to serve.

 

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