Don’t Take It Personal, Mom!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It felt so good to know who & what was waiting at base camp for me in July (my loving guides, sustenance, safety, guidance, companionship etc.) —⁣

For the three days and three nights I continued to fast solo on my vision quest, it added to my settled nature and feelings of ease and  joy, both of which I experienced much of up there, knowing that my guides (and supplies) were there for me should I need them. ⁣

It hit me recently that this is exactly what we are to our teenagers ~ a base camp. A place to refuel and recharge and a place that’s always there, no matter how bad the weather gets.⁣

It’s the place they can count on to be there with guidance (here’s how to get there, hey, take this with you and here’s how to navigate this or that to keep yourself safe or grounded), with endless supplies (lotttts of food and root beer floats) and to be there, not just as a symbol of warmth, but an active representation of it, both in the human and comfy, clean cotton sheet variety. ⁣

All of it adding, hopefully, to their feelings of being more able to meet the wild ways of the big world out there or — of the big world inside themselves they are just as wildly maneuvering.⁣

They may or may not act like they need this ‘should they need it’ base camp often or that they’re happy to have it, but that’s simply because most of their brain and emotional power is going to understanding who they are right now, who others think they are and to deciding if they like any of it or not. ⁣

As real and as natural as the animals in the forest are or the ability of weather, like human personalities, to shift in a matter of seconds, they’re — as genuinely — going through a lot.⁣

It’s true, they may not need us in the ways they once did, and they may be more quiet overall (which may feel like it complicates connection), but as long as we keep the light on for them at base camp and give them some extra matches in all the ways shared above to be able keep their own lights on, we are doing right by them. ⁣

They’ll “come back to us” more fully eventually, but need to be given to themselves right now because teenagehood — > it’s one of the more challenging vision quests around. ⁣

[Sleeping bag shot before we left on our solo journeys + bear-proof food bags high up in the tree, all at base camp + watercolor that someone made me, xo]⁣

#visionquester⁣
#creativeheroine⁣
#brandofwoman

Make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…enjoy your business, enjoy your life!

Life is good,

 

 

 

Michelle Ghilotti
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur

Sexy Heels vs. Hiking Boots

I love a sexy heel, but I’m more comfortable in hiking boots. Ask me to choose between going to a fancy dinner or to trek that next peak or valley (no matter how hot or how heavy the pack), and whether that peak or valley be physical, emotional, intellectual or spiritual, and every time

I’ll choose door number two. 

Never let a woman’s painted nails, profession even — or those heels (that can’t WAIT to come off) fool you!⁣

[Another ecopsychology apprenticeship weekend is now complete. Photos are from the July vision quest ~ appreciated so much having a camera to capture certain moments. Both of these photos come with many thoughts, emotions and special moments attached to Day Two of four of fasting and being alone on the mountain, not to be confused with lonely].⁣

#visionquester⁣
#brandofwoman⁣
#creativeheroine

Make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…enjoy your business, enjoy your life!

Life is good,

 

 

 

Michelle Ghilotti
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur

Prison Day Tomorrow

At this time tomorrow, I will have been driving for two hours to a new prison. ⁣

I won’t know anyone who will have hopped in my car at 5:50am (reminds me ~ I answered a Craigslist ad 10 years ago for a runner to complete a team for Hood to Coast and ended up spending a full day and night in a sweaty van, not sleeping, but running with that crew, one of the more awesome and memorable times). ⁣

Strangers. Friends you simply haven’t met yet. ⁣

Tomorrow’s agenda is forgiveness, being impeccable with your word, depression and more (infinite gratitude, Fritzi and the Compassionate ⁣Prison Project).⁣

This photo is of sentiments shared by a few men from a previous prison visit.⁣

I am often asked why (more like WHY!!??) I would go to prison and my answer, it doesn’t come in words. It’s this —💗 .⁣

It’s the same reason I jumped with excitement to answer the Craigslist ad, tell my kid my own insecurities, let people into my lane in busy LA traffic, say hi and look into the eyes of those homeless in any city when I walk by…[or — if/when I veer from being who I really am, as quickly as possible check myself and get back to that. To 💗].⁣

Strangers. Not and never — really. There’s always something common to find inside our humanity and sweaty imperfection. ⁣

It’s in all of us. The sweaty imperfection and💗. We just get to train our imperfection(s) to use the 💗 to see the💗.

Make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…enjoy your business, enjoy your life!

Life is good,

 

 

 

Michelle Ghilotti
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur

5am & Off I Go (+ powerful Native American story for you)

5am: Off on another ecopsychology weekend with the same guides I vision quested with. The seven month journey comes to a close in November (with the peak being the nine day quest in July). 

Today and tomorrow, we’ll do short “solo journeys” and I’m looking forward to them, as well as all else done during these weekends to bring this work to our industries (thank you to my husband for waking to make sure he dropped me off this morning — note: I’ll never forget the moment of running to each other at the meeting point post quest, both of us beginning to cry inside the embrace: “Now I can tell you, he said, I was so worried about you, worried that you’d be suffering”). 

But contrary to popular belief, there was no suffering. A little pain (expected), but no suffering. 

I can’t tell you how much I loved sharing that with him and with Nolan. Especially as I looked into my teenage boy’s face, I was so grateful to have nurtured the ability to calm myself over the years and not just because I’ve learned it in my line of work, but because real life conflict and challenge has given me the option ~ keep suffering or calm yourself…how many ways can you find to calm yourself?

How to nurture a calm nervous system, especially in this day and age, is one of THE greatest gifts we can give to ourselves and teach/model to our kids. 

From where I stand at the Alaska ticket counter, I’m evermore convinced that we need, and our kids need, more of all of this…immersions in nature and just more time spent in nature to shower ourselves of the blue light, expectations, likes and comparison, not to mention to get away from electricity and cell towers that cause dis-ease both physically and emotionally. 

Just seeing the research we do have and/or talking to today’s teens and knowing the rise of depression should have us all running for the for door — to get outside and also to bring back rites of passage to modern-day culture for our *and* our kids’ spiritual & emotional growth, confidence, connection to self and healing.

This time of morning brings me right back to waking in the wild, remembering how excited I was to start the day, but also wondering how I’d spend another 15-16 hours watching the world go by in my mind, heart and sky (or watching the ants and squirrel-like critters on the ground, which I did a lot of). 

But my main question to those who will listen to me share on the experience ~ > how could this all NOT bring joy and peace as predominant feelings, even without food, shelter or companionship?

It was a privilege. Writing that brings tears to my eyes. 

It’s true, most days over the last month, I still can’t believe that my four days of only drinking water were not painful. We are so used to food, yes, as sustenance, but also as habit or to feel good emotionally (I don’t unconsciously snack anymore, nor do I reach for the sugar in those bars ~ everything food-wise is much more conscious and this is coming from a woman who believes she WAS aware of how she used food— the fasting was a complete reset). 

But, without all the typical creature comforts (or larabars), I felt extremely well-rested, maybe more than ever (because of the fresh scat I saw around my solo site, I know bears were walking near me during the day and/or at night, but, still, the feeling was one of general peace). 

How can one explain that, other than to thank a generous mind, heart and nervous system who ALL leaned into joyyyy, as well as to recognize that nature gives, not taketh away? 

All of this — the awe — was and is real and reality, despite the feelings of #healthyfear I had a month or so before heading out with my 40+ pound pack. 

As I shared at the Greater Good Party, what I brought down from the mountain was not just more light to share with my family, community and inside my work, but the connection to this phrase: nothing true can be threatened. 

Feel free to munch on that with me. 

A short story for you before this plane takes off:

There is a Native American tale that tells of a young boy speaking with his grandmother. She tells the boy that she has the spirit of two wolves living in and battling inside her. One is vengeful and unkind as he sees the world as a threat. The other is loving, secure and nurturing. The little boy asks, which one will end up winning? The grandmother replies: whichever one I feed. 

#whicheveroneyoufeed

#whatareyoureallyhungryfor

#visionquester

#creativeheroine

#brandofwoman

Make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…enjoy your business, enjoy your life!

Life is good,

 

 

 

Michelle Ghilotti
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur