Michelle Cleary

Running Series: Stop the Negative Self-talk

A recent article published by the Mayo Clinic outlines the tie between stress and negative self-talk.  As someone who has never considered myself to be athletic, largely due to my very negative experiences in my grade school gym classes, I have found myself engaged in frequent negative self-talk. My grade school gym teacher was tough,… Read More

Voice Awards Blog Week-Memorial Day

Memorial Day is the day set aside for remembrance of those who have died in our nation’s service.  When this long weekend comes each year, I always attend Marlborough’s Memorial Day ceremonies and participate in a race around our town lake, which makes donations to military families.  This is also a time when I think… Read More

Voice Awards Blog Week-Community

Having the good fortune to travel throughout the country working with states, territories, and the District of Columbia to support the enhancement of the systems that support service members, veterans, and their families (SMVF), I have seen many innovative initiatives in communities.  All of these initiatives are being led by dedicated people who are committed… Read More


Read Dan Abreu’s blog about SongwritingWith:Soldiers, written in 2014. During our recent seminar on Songwriting with Soldiers, our presenter, Mary Judd, the Executive Director of SongwritingWith:Soldiers (SW:S), invited seminar participants to attend a performance during their upcoming retreat weekend. The performances are not open to the public, so I knew this was a special opportunity.… Read More


I ran my first 5k this year!  As I re-read that statement, I am amazed because at 47, I spent 46 and half years convinced that I would never be a runner.  Since I was a kid in gym I hated running.  In high-school my older brother, home from college, encouraged me to run with… Read More

American Flag

On June 19, 2014, President Obama presented the Congressional Medal of Honor to Kyle Carpenter, 24.  Mr. Carpenter was selected as a recipient because of his heroic actions in Afghanistan in 2010 when he threw himself on a grenade to save a fellow Marine.  Kyle sustained significant injuries that are evident in his pictures and… Read More

American Flag

Last month we heard a presentation from the Marines on the SMVF TA Center team who provided us with additional insight into their perspectives and experiences.  As a civilian, I have always found it helpful to hear from service members, veterans, or their family members because the fact is, from the moment they enter the service,… Read More

Blades of Grass

As I considered what I wanted to write for this month’s blog I drafted several concepts. Throughout the month, none of the versions felt right to me, and then yesterday, at the end of the Friends of Recovery-NY 2013 Rally for Recovery in Albany, I realized that I was trying to come up with a… Read More

American Flag

In Flander’s Field by John McCrae In Flanders Fields the poppies blow, Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky, The larks, still bravely singing, fly, Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the dead. Short days ago, We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were… Read More


On Sunday, my uncle Stanley, my dad’s older brother passed away.  In the last weeks I have been reflecting on the time I spent with him and found myself sad at his loss but grateful and hopeful.  My sadness comes mostly because this man, who in his youth was described by my mom as “movie-star… Read More

Conference Room

The Northern Tier Providers Coalition (NTPC) held their 15th Annual Conference in Lake Placid, Nov 6-8.  The NTPC Coalition is composed of chemical dependency programs (treatment and prevention) and Community Service Directors of Essex, Clinton, Franklin Hamilton, Lewis, St. Lawrence Counties and the Akwesasne Reserve.  I have always found their conferences beneficial because of their… Read More