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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Who’s a Natural Awakenings Reader?: Meet Bonnie Michaels

Sep 30, 2015 07:47AM

Bonnie Michaels

Life’s mission: To live each day as if it were the last. Promoting strategies, actions and values that keep our community sustainable and able to reflect the quality of life that brought me to Naples.

Work: I co-founded Managing Work & Family, Inc., to help individuals create work/life balance. I consult with companies around the world to create policies, services and programs that promote family-friendly environments. My books, including Upside: How to Zig When Life Zags, provide strategies for balance, happiness and life transitions.

Proudest achievements: Working with a network of environmentalists and being inspired to co-create Collier Citizens for Sustainability with Susan Calkins; supporting a troubled grandchild through a difficult time; and volunteering around the world while achieving simplicity—and taking only one suitcase!

Expectations for the future: I am optimistic that individuals will rise to the occasion and understand the importance of sustainability and our natural resources and wildlife that are now threatened. For our future and for our children/grandchildren, it is time for every individual to acknowledge their roles in the protection of our community and quality of life.

Favorite app: WhatsApp.

Favorite websites: and, created by my mentors and spiritual teachers, Joel and Michelle Levey.

Local causes supported: Other than promoting good policy decisions related to the environment with the League of Women Voters and The Conservancy of Southwest Florida, I love volunteering and protecting bird nests with Audubon’s Collier Shorebird Stewardship Program, as well as volunteering at the Conservancy of SW Florida’s Wildlife Clinic. Working with my husband and the Mangrove Action Group to protect Clam Pass Park has also been meaningful.

Favorite thing about Natural Awakenings: It is an inspirational and informative magazine with endless resources. I learn something new with every issue and am grateful for its usefulness.

Most frequented healthy food restaurant: Whole Foods take-out and The Cider Press Café.

How you invest in your community: For more than 13 years, I’ve donated time and money to the Conservancy of SW Florida. I work with Audubon birders and have lobbied for donations for beach signs to alert people to nesting sites. As a former environment chair for the League of Women Voters, I continue to work with the committee to address local environment issues such as sea level rise, climate change and growth management. To support women in achieving their life’s goals, I assist with Gather the Women educational programs.

Favorite quote: “Feel the fear and do it anyway,” by Helen Keller.

What you are doing to be the change you want to see in the world: I am not giving up, but rather persevering by taking one step at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the important local environmental issues affecting our quality of life and future. I continue educating myself so I can successfully inform, write and take actions on these issues. By partnering with dedicated local environmental networks, including Collier Citizens for Sustainability, I hope to influence local government to take notice of the economic costs of not taking action on significant issues such as overdevelopment, sea level rise and loss of natural resources, green space and wildlife. I walk my talk by living simply, respecting all wildlife, conserving water and energy and adapting to change.

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