Michelle Cook

Historian, music teacher, founder of nonprofit

Music teacher, historian, founder of nonprofit

Well, my name is Michelle and I live in Missouri, in a town called Liberty. My daytime job is a music educator and I teach piano and flute and voice. And my other passion, which has also turned into a job, is as a researcher and historian. So that's what keeps me busy most days. 

Before Unravel, I think I would characterize my human journey as one of evolution. I was not necessarily at a peak, but more either in a valley or on the ascending portion of the mountain. I have had a lot of challenges in the last 10 or so years.

Challenges with learning how to pay attention to what I need as much as I pay attention to what other people in my family or in my close friend circle need. So the focus for me has been to learn to identify what I'm feeling, what I'm needing, and to honor myself by doing what I need to do to acknowledge those feelings. And that is an ever present challenge for me. 

I was hoping to leave Unravel with a sense of confirmation that I did actually possess what I needed to get myself to the next level in a project or in my personal life. And that it was okay to ask those things of myself, to pay attention, and to devote my energy to myself as much or more for a period of time than I did to everyone else. And that was a pretty significant choice for me to make at the time.

I have a lot of scarcity mindset, which is fascinating because I am someone who gives and focuses a lot on other people. And scarcity never comes into play with others. But when that is turned toward myself, my financial resources, and my time, the scarcity mentality rears its head.

It was challenging for me to invest a dollar amount in myself.
 It was surprising that there was so much hesitation there. And certainly now on the back end of things, I wouldn't even think about it. I would do it again.

As I have mentioned many times, Unravel was worth tenfold what the dollar amount wasIt seemed like a wild thing to do for myself, but I'm so glad that I made that choice. 

I think if I were describing Unravel to people who were either curious or contemplating investing in themselves in this way, I would say if you've ever wanted to come home more deeply to yourself,
if you've ever wanted to connect more deeply with humanity, if you've ever wanted to find new skills or new tools to help you as you grow as an individual, this is exactly the right thing for you to do.

This program is so meticulously, so carefully crafted and fun. 
I think when we think about introspective work and deep work, we think it's heavy. We are fearful almost of the commitment, not because of the time or money, but because we feel like it's gonna be heavy and it's gonna feel like work and we're already tired. And this never, never felt like that.

It's one part self therapy. It's one part self-discovery. It's one part learning how to human with other humans in a very vulnerable way. It's just a really gorgeous symphony that works together in a way that a traditional therapy or chat group couldn't. Absolutely invaluable.

I left the Unravel journey with so many things. I left the journey with such a deep connective thread that binds me to the other people in our cohort. It was an extraordinary group of humans, gifted, intelligent, but beyond that, they were people who wanted to show up for themselves and they wanted to show up for other people. And when those things combine, magic happens.

I still do communicate with these individuals. They're a joy to me. And I also left with a fuller bag of tools that I can call on when other things aren't working. They are a host of things that I can come back to when I'm feeling a little bit lost, tired, or frankly I kind of just wanna pull the covers over my head and not get out of bed. Those are gifts I think that will stay with me for the rest of my life. And I have extreme gratitude for that.

The process of Unravel has absolutely shaped the way that I live my life. I have a more natural connection to the world. And I'm not afraid anymore to say: I need to rest today.  Or, I need to dig a little deeper today 'cause I need to get this done. And so what tool can I use? Who's showing up for me in this moment? 

Unravel has helped me get reconnected to my physical presence. 
That was like a Jack-in-the-Box, kind of a surprise for me. I am not a person who has ever felt comfortable ever in her body, ever. And I think that I have discovered through Unravel how important it is to stay grounded in the body and to love the body more than I have previously allowed myself too. I'm so grateful for that.

It was such a beautiful gift when you leave something feeling so energized every single week, you know, that you've struck something in yourself, right? You've struck a chord in yourself that has been seeking that. 

Before we started Unravel, I had some really difficult and challenging things happen with some of the work that I'd been doing. And I was able to let go of so much of the anger and frustration of those scenarios. I think that freed me to go ahead and continue down the pathway with other projects, which was so beautiful.

I think as human beings, if something is uncomfortable or rubs us the wrong way, there's an anger response. And, I think we do that to shut off having to deal with a difficult individual or situation. And there has been a transformation for me in saying, "I am not the difficult situation. I am in a difficult situation. I understand my role in the situation, and I don't have to create a wall here." I can just simply let that go.

And it does not have to be that anger response every time.  I can't express the monumental shift that was for me and, to remain in integrity with myself.  So there are multiple ways that Unravel taught me how to manage what I was feeling without crushing what I was feeling. As I said, there's so many things that I can pull from this experience, but that was massive for me.

I 127% agree that Unravel impacts every area of your life. It allows me to move more freely with less tethered parts as I deal with other human beings.

So Unravel has helped me redefine how I take up space in the world and the level of okayness with which I take up space in the world. I feel far more confident in expressing myself and my ideas and leading. 

I have always been somewhat of a natural leader, but I'm more comfortable with being less quiet and I am more comfortable with saying what I know are my truths. And continuing to balance that with listening.

A lot of what leadership requires is vision. And I don't know that I've ever lacked vision, but what I have had to work on is believing that I was worthy enough to carry something out. 

The Cocoon (our community) was such an integral part of this experience. It would've been a beautiful experience anyway, but, the Cocoon was just the icing on the cake. And one of the magical pieces of it is the mutual respect that we have for one another, the care, and the loving comments and the constant support. And it was genuine support. It was people who were really paying attention.

This is a wonderful lesson in that I can pay attention to what I need to be working on, but I can also be present for other people. I can support them as they make their journey. And that is the very best of humanity. The Cocoon is definitely magic, for sure.

Just everyone, everyone in the group, all of the women in the group, all of the men in the group, I really just cannot, I can't say enough about what their presence brought. You know, it's not like when you're 12 and you're worried about what everybody else in the group thinks of you or what you're wearing. I mean, no one caress about that stuff. It was so good to be in a cohort with people who have these very rich outside lives, but who were so open. Oh, I'd love those dear people.

What does Unravel mean to me? Unravel means coming home to myself and learning how to do that and remain in deep integrity with what I knew to be true about myself, while also gaining new tools and deeper insight. We can always go deeper, we can always question ourselves and the way that we're moving through the world, reassess, and shift. Unravel was the perfect opportunity to do that for myself.

For people on the fence about this program, first of all, fences are pokey and not good for sitting. Make the leap, do not hesitate, but when you make the leap to invest in yourself, be present, and give yourself the grace that you need to move through the work. You will not regret it. There are tools that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. Do it, do it, do it.

There is no question that Unravel was worth the money for me. If you can make that happen for yourself, you should choose to make that happen. You will not regret it. You will not for one instant be hesitant when you're in the midst of it. You will know that this was the right decision to make and it is worth 10 times the cost.

 I don't think there is a week of my life that goes by that I don't stop and think of a certain aspect of Unravel and go and, and say to myself, okay, that's resonating with you. Go back and revisit that. What in the program did you learn about yourself in that moment?

It is the gift that you give yourself and the dividends keep paying out. And how many things do we spend money on that aren't as impactful? You know, I had that thought just the other day when I got a coffee. I thought, oh boy, here's $8. You know, you can make things happen. We can make things happen. We're creative. We can make things happen. Don't hesitate! 


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