The Grateful Life

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 By Michele Hall
By Michele Hall

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” –Denis Waitley

Welcome to the first of what will be a bi-monthly column sharing my thoughts about what’s going on in our town. For those of you I don’t know from living here my whole life or that I didn’t meet during my campaign, last year I was a first time candidate for local office. Having been involved in many volunteer organizations in our town for years, I was extraordinarily grateful to voters for listening to my ideas and giving me enough support to be the first runner up in the 2014 City Council election.

Being a candidate is both humbling and inspiring (and sometimes unpleasant!), but the best part is meeting so many amazing people in our town, making new friends and connecting with old friends. We are so lucky to live in this amazing and unique town, not only because of Laguna’s natural beauty and desirable climate, but even more so because of the people who call Laguna Beach home.

Artists, activists, seniors, parents, kids, dog lovers, skaters, surfers, yogis, foodies, liberals, moderates and conservatives, the list goes on — each one of us is a unique thread that when woven together makes up the beautiful fabric of Laguna Beach.

Taking from my own personal experiences and those of other locals, it is my goal for this column to explore more about what makes Laguna so special. I had a lot of fun running for office and learned a lot. During the campaign, I made a promise to make programs for our kids a top priority. I believe that too often young people are marginalized among other city issues due to competing demands such as the village entrance project. I am still determined to work on making our kids a priority.

Recently, I was appointed to serve on the city’s Parks and Recreation Committee, responsible for recommending a location for a long-sought skateboard park. I look forward to working with a broad coalition of residents to finally get this project realized.

So whether it’s a hot topic, a local who is making a difference or someone with an interesting story, I will share these and other stories with you. I believe in living a life of gratitude and I am grateful every day for the opportunity to live here in our wonderful town. It is my hope that in writing about the special things that enrich our lives, you too will enjoy a sense of gratitude.


Michele Oliver Hall grew up in Three Arch Bay and graduated from Laguna Beach High School in 1985. She has two children, Austin a freshman at Southern Methodist University; and Teddie, a junior at LBHS. She is the former executive director of United Laguna, past president of Laguna Beach Republicans and a Bikram yoga instructor.

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