The Flowering of Consciousness: Michele’s Story

Michele Penn’s life’s work centres around her breathtaking floral photographs. In her newest book, Dance in the Garden, she shares her journey as a photographer, and combines her floral photography with inspirational quotes. Through Eckhart, she found the power to change her life. This is her story.

Tell us about your life before you found Eckhart.

My life was a big secret. Verbally abused by my ex-husband for 14 years, fear kept me from telling anyone. I convinced myself it wasn’t that bad because I didn’t have bruises. Eventually, he threatened to kill me in a wild, vicious rage that scared me to my core and I left. Feeling guilty for leaving, guilty for staying and angry, I continued to attract negativity into my life. Three years later, I remarried and moved to Florida. This marriage cost me substantial alimony I would have received for the rest of my life, but

I needed distance between my ex-husband and myself. Four months after our marriage and our move, my new husband cheated and left me for our real estate broker who sold us our house. She was my only friend here. No husband, no alimony. I was lost.

What was it about Eckhart’s teachings that was able to help you change your life?

Eckhart taught me about the power of the present moment, a place in which I rarely lived. At a time I most needed it, he taught me how to let go of my past, guilt, ego, anger and resentment. Because of Eckhart, I am able to forgive both my ex-husbands and myself. I am grateful for these experiences, because if I hadn’t gone through that, I wouldn’t have been able to inspire and encourage others to live a better life.

You have said in the past that you have been drawn to flowers, to observing and photographing them. Why do you think that is?

They filled me with a peace I never knew before. Suddenly drawn to flowers after my second divorce, I intensely studied and photographed them. Where had they been my whole life? Why had I not seen them before? I noticed the chatter in my head stopped. That voice was silent for the first time ever and I was in the present moment. I was feeling connected to a source inside myself, a feeling I hadn’t known before. One day I picked up A New Earth and was floored as I read Chapter 1, The Flowering of Human Consciousness. It was as if Eckhart was in my head. He made clear why I was obsessed with photographing and looking at flowers. Flowers were awakening me!

How did you get inspired to do more with your life?

While in the silent presence of a flower, where I had let go of all thought, inspiration hit. I saw, in my mind, a book with quotes from A New Earth, combined with my floral photographs. My “soul shots” were an exact representation of the awakening of which Eckhart has spoken. I knew that when Eckhart saw my flowers, he would agree that this collaboration was meant to be. If I was going to manifest this, then I was going to have to follow Eckhart’s teaching down to every detail. I lived in the present, I let go of the past and I didn’t worry about the future. I didn’t worry whether Eckhart would get to see the book or even whether he would like it. I knew he would. I lived as if it were done. I used positive affirmations all day, every day, saying out loud how grateful I was that I was already published with Eckhart Tolle. Eckhart knew exactly what I felt photographing these images. I knew he would feel my connection to the universe through my flowers just as I did his words.

What was the result of this inspiration?

Not knowing how I was going to manifest my inspiration, I designed a sample book thinking I might as well be prepared. At a conference soon after, I bought a candle and had it shipped. It arrived in the wrong color. I called and the woman said “no problem, things happen for a reason.” I believed that, but couldn’t imagine what the reason could be. Continuing to talk, we seemed to have a lot in common. I told her of my intention to have my flower photographs printed with Eckhart Tolle’s quotes. She said, “hmm, my publisher just wrote a children’s book with Eckhart Tolle. I’ll call him for you and see if he’ll take a look at your idea.” They loved it, but said there wasn’t any way Eckhart Tolle would agree to this, this isn’t how things worked. They said there was a possibility to place my flower images with another New York Times best-selling author, Neale Donald Walsch since they published his book, Conversations with God . . . but that wasn’t my dream.

Filled with passion and determination, and with my book in hand, I flew to see the publisher and CEO of Hampton Roads Publishing and conveyed my vision. They decided to send my mock-up book to Eckhart’s publisher, Namaste. If they liked the book, only if they liked it, would they show it to Eckhart. Weeks turned into months without hearing, but I still Believed it was Done and I was grateful for it. And guess what? Long story short . . . it worked! Peace in the Present Moment was published in October 2010. As a result of that, I am living my true purpose telling my story, sharing Eckhart’s teachings and showing people that their past doesn’t define them.

What was it like meeting Eckhart in person?

Meeting Eckhart was almost indescribable. His energy is so calming, yet I was thrilled beyond words. He embraced me with a long warm, loving, peaceful, spiritual kind of hug. I wouldn’t let go until he did. Reminding myself to be present, I savored every moment. We sat on the couch and spoke of the “miraculous” (his word) way I got to him. He told me that he knew I would do great things in this world. He was right.

What would you like to pass on from your own life experience to others?

I’d like to pass on three lessons I’ve learned. First, you can live in the present moment and still make your dreams come true. Second, forgiveness releases blame and resentment and allows you to fully experience the present. And third, being grateful for something that is already done brings it to you. I like to say “If you believe it and feel it, you will become it.” I hope that my flowers are the source of inspiration and awakening for millions of people to their own true selves.

For more inspiration and floral beauty please visit Michele’s website,

36 responses to “The Flowering of Consciousness: Michele’s Story

    1. Thank you Kelly. That was so nice of you to comment. I’m proud of you too for working on living in the present moment. Your life will improve tremendously. Peace and love, Michele

  1. Thank you for your beautiful story, and explanation of the events that came from it. It deeply resonated with me. A New Earth is my favorite book, and almost like my bible. I can’t wait to check out your book 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Winnie for your wonderful comment. A New Earth is definitely like my bible too! It’s amazing how much we can learn from Eckhart Tolle. He is filled with such incredible wisdom. I’m glad my story touched you deeply. I hope you enjoy our book, Peace in the Present Moment. Peace and love, Michele

  2. What a nice story – I like what you said “you can live in the present moment and still make your dreams come true” I keep thinking that in order for me to be presence I can not think about my dreams because they are in the future.. I am grateful I read your story – thank you :)))xx

    1. Thank you Suzy. I am so glad that my story resonated with you. You are right, the present moment is really all we have. Even the future when it comes will be in the present moment. Much success on your journey. Peace and love, Michele

    1. Hi Doris, thank you for your comments. I am so glad I was able to give you hope. My intention is to always inspire you to take action and be the best you can be. When that happens, what you hope for will manifest. Peace and love to you, Michele

  3. While reading, I was able to hear your voice in my head, it was peaceful and soothing and I cried on each paragraph. Thank you 🙂

    1. Awwwww. You touched MY heart. I’m so glad I could connect to you through my voice. I’m glad you found it peaceful and soothing. Have a wonderful day 😉 Peace and love, Michele

  4. As I have just read your story I am brought to tears by the beauty of how your life has unfolded. Eckhardt inspired me when I hit my rock bottom and ended up in a clinic as a potential suicide risk, alcohol and drug addiction had consumed my life. I read a new earth cover to cover while in clinic and have been applying all Eckhardt and various other inspirational teachers have taught me. I am proud to say that I am just short of 300 days sober and like you I hope to make my dreams come true. I felt humbled and blessed by your story and thank you for sharing. May your book be an inspiration and success. Namaste, Love and Sunshine Belinda

      1. Thank you Sunny 🙂 I hope my honesty has really inspired you on your journey. Peace is always in the present moment. Letting go of my past was key. Peace and love, Michele

    1. Thank you Belinda, for those wonderful words from your heart. I am so proud of YOU. Wow 300 days sober – that is absolutely incredible. If you can do that…you can do ANYTHING. I see an awesome future for you. Your dreams are coming true.
      I’m so glad that my story touched you. Success, love, fulfillment and happiness to you!!!! Peace and love, Michele

  5. I am up at 4am and found you thru Echert Tolle. I love his writings and have been a fan for many years. You have just added another piece of the puzzle for me. I love flowers and the peace I find in my little garden with the colors and the beauty of God keep me going. Thank you for your book and your beautiful thoughts. I cherish them.

  6. Michele..I am crying reading your story….I feel loved and centered….How extraordinary it is to go through such difficulties and forgive everyone who you thought caused you pain including yourself….I want to do that too…thank you Michele indeed…

    1. To continue Sunny . . . yes, forgiveness is so important. It wasn’t easy, but I finally realized that I had to do it for me. Holding on to anger and resentment was only making my present miserable. YOU can also forgive – just be willing to do it. Do it for you because it will make you feel better. You can’t change the past anyway. By forgiving, you are not condoning what the person did, you are just accepting that you can’t change the past.
      I’m so glad that my story touched you. I hope it encourages you as well. Peace and love on your journey, Michele

  7. Hi Michele, glad i found this article.. it’s so funny to see that i can relate and find that which you speak of; i can see through your eyes even though i come from one quite opposite road.. we both see how life listens to or senses in its own misterious way our hearts desires…. but in my case i went through life having no dreams. Many times i felt awkward that i can’t find anything i can walk toward as everyone else. But i didn’t have any dreams. I still don’t. I developed in time music and writing skills without attending any school so i can enjoy creative movement as composing and poetry writing and making little videos but without any dreams or desire they be appreciated publicly… As a little girl, at a very young age, i was told that there is God and that he can see and hear everything so i tried to get his attention and uttered my bigest desire in my own way and God, naturally, never responded… it was such deep dissapontment that left me completely desireless ever since. Like it was the only dream i ever had. First and last. Perhaps that developed a fear of dissapointment…. i don’t know. But that did not quiet down feelings of fear and derived dissatisfaction, which occur occationally, even though i know wherever i go and whatever i do, i will also tag that along… i will soon find reasons to explain those feelings… i know now they came in the package. Isn’t that funny. But that happens only rarely and here i come to that which we both speak of in our own different ways: it happens to me almost continuously that i find myself by chance at the right place in the right time. So precisely right that it always leaves me amazed and awed. That happens every day even though i have no dreams or goals that i go to. Like life listens and knows and brings about beautiful things and people, one can only wish for… i hope i was able to relay clearly enough that which i noticed when i read your article. If not, well.. its ok … it’s just one window.

    Oh and yes, show us some of your photographs, i would appreciate that very much. Good shots and best regards to you Michele

  8. Do you want to know what was the dream uttered to God?
    It was most greediest thing one can ever desire: i wanted a ring by which i will obtain every single thing whenever i want it and anything whatsoever. Because i was so young, i utterly believed, through and through, that God will just drop it from the sky… which did not happen. Hence – dissapointment beyond belief

  9. It keeps just flowing:

    But what does it mean to ask for a wishing well?

    Ok God – things that i dream of but are not delivered are like limitation in being fulfilled… so bring to me the means by which i truly be limitless (fulfilled) – give me freedom to have effortlessly… in other words … because the physical reality can not provide that, the only way God can meet that request is by taking you beyond all desires and voila, there you have your feet dipped into abundance- desireless, effortless pleasure in anything at hand, fulfilled by anything..

    It appears God responded immediately and granted my only desire….

    Funny coincidence: my name translates from Croatian into English – Little wish

    Now i am done laughing out loud

    1. Wow Zelika – thank you for being so open and honest about your feelings. As Eckhart Tolle says “sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.” It seems by letting go, you are in the right place at the right time – “it happens to me almost continuously that i find myself by chance at the right place in the right time. So precisely right that it always leaves me amazed and awed. That happens every day.”
      Being grateful for that will bring you even more! Gratitude is a huge key to success. If you are grateful for what you already have in life, then more of that will manifest.

      Instead of continually asking for something you desire, be confident in what you have asked for. Believe that it has already happened. Live as if it is already true and it will become true.

      Eckhart Tolle’s wisdom is the best teaching of all. He has changed my life along with millions of others. I am grateful to him!!

      And, I love that your name means “little wish.” How appropriate!

      Since you asked to see some of my photographs, you can go to this link –

      Have a wonderful day. I wish you peace and love, Michele

  10. Thank you for those wonderful words from your heart. I am so proud of YOU. Wow 300 days sober – that is absolutely incredible. If you can do that…you can do ANYTHING. I see an awesome future for you. Your dreams are coming true.
    I’m so glad that my story touched you. Success, love, fulfillment and happiness to you!!!! Peace and love, Michele

  11. What a great story… I loved it! How cool it was to walk through the process of your manifestation, in such a clear concise way. If anyone has a dream and doesn’t know how to go about making it a reality … They can literally follow your lead!
    Very well done piece. Thanks for sharing. Joy

    1. Thank you Joy for your wonderful, thoughtful comments. Coming from you, a woman who Owns her Magnificence, it is truly an honor. I appreciate you taking the time to support me 🙂 Peace and love, Michele

  12. Michele, thank you for your inspirational story. Your words are helping me in ways I don’t fully comprehend. I will watch & see what happens next. Thank you a million times over & I will pass along your website to others. Blessings in abundance to you.

  13. Inspiring words of a life-changing story! Thank you, Michele!
    I can relate to how you feel about Mr. Tolle and his teachings. I received his New Earth as a gift while in the hospital for an emergency hip revision. I could not handle it and put it away. In a few months I brought out again and devoured it, going back to it daily. He was one of the few that changed my life, my attitude, my thoughts, words and actions, my awareness of each moment of the day.

    Grateful to have found this site!
    Blessings and light!


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