Author Archives: michelle

My Time in Prison

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You are not alone. 

These words have come out of my mouth many, many times while at the prisons I’ve visited. 

They’re important words for all of us. 

They heal. They make a difference — a difference so big that it gives others the belief that they can do something different than they’ve done before! 

The Compassion Prison Project and Hustle 2.0, projects I have had the honor of being a part of in 2019 (and will continue to in 2020) do outstanding work to help give men on the inside a second chance at life on the outside (translation: they give them a chance at rehabilitation and the greatest chance at not going back, in fact programs like this reduce recidivism upwards of 80%, especially when consistent). 

This purposeful short film produced by some of the women I shared my first Hustle 2.0 experience with gives a look at some of the work that Hustle 2.0, specifically, is doing and what my time at Tehachapi Prison here in CA with the program was like. 

The men are not only learning how to start legal businesses, but they are also learning about compassion, forgiveness, connection, communication and emotional intelligence…

It was life-changing/perspective-altering for me and the men inside, the Mavericks (what Hustle 2.0 calls the men going through their program) also shared with us how this program has changed them, how they want more from their lives and from their time on the outside when released (and, for those in for life, how they want more [peace, purpose] from their time on the inside, too). 

The film: https://youtu.be/4reApYrkfSk 

To donate and help send more Mavericks in CA through the Hustle 2.0 program* ($5, $10, all of it matters): https://thesistersociety.com/cause/#donate

[Incarceration costs $75,000 per inmate, per year and it costs $1200 per Maverick per year to go through the program].

Change inside our system *and* inside human beings, not only can happen, it IS happening. 

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 

On Loneliness (Vision Quest story)

“I have a relationship with them — it’s just not exactly the one I want.”

If you’re feeling any part of this with anyone in your life (it’s not the way you like or love it, you want more), the connection or relationship that may need the most attention is the one with yourself.

When I was in the wild 7,000 feet up and on my own for three days and nights (four days fasting, which this photo is representative of…one pine cone for every day), there was much time to be with myself (I had someone ask me the question the other day that many have asked, what did you do every day??), and you know what I found besides more of me, the woman/a woman who enjoys her own company? 

I found that although I was alone, I was not lonely.

In fact, the night before coming down, I didn’t want to. I wanted to stay up there.

I wanted that connection, no distractions (did I mention I had some of the best sleep of my life)…but, I knew, of course, that that wasn’t real. 

I couldn’t stay up there forever (Josh and Nolan might soon begin to miss me, plus my back might have issues sleeping too many weeks on just a pad — the open air wasn’t an issue, in fact, that felt ridiculously healing).

The true quest, as my wise guide reminded me, though, would actually begin, off the mountain, going back to the way life is there, hopefully, though, bringing the proverbial light down from the mountain — to where disconnection (loneliness) today feels like a societal norm.

And it’s true, the human condition today is one where, no matter if you’re in a marriage or surrounded by people or in nature or in the city, many people feel alone — and lonely. Again, especially these days. 

And it’s due to many things (insert cell phone emoji here), but healing longtime wounds and getting to know ourselves and develop ourselves emotionally are a couple important ones.

Though I went up to say goodbye to a handful of years of tragic loss and to generally challenge myself inside what makes up a vision quest (no shelter, no social interaction and no food…I‘ve always appreciated a good physical, emotional and/or spiritual challenge), I received much around this idea of loneliness, loss and disconnection and what to do about it (folding in a lot of it into my work with women).

And it’s no wonder, too, because the idea of a functioning [it takes a] village or true community, of consistent sitting or gathering together as we once did or as some cultures still do, and, as importantly, of rights of passage, are not usual modern-day practices (but it can be found, and better yet, created~> go, do…create what you want to be a part of!). 

The journey/the challenge/the path/the climb — the purpose — of most lessons or trials today, yesterday or tomorrow are here to assist us in exactly that ~> in being the creatives, the creators, of what we most want and need…

And though this creation does involve other humans (it must, we are social creatures, we need each other!), the part we often leave out or prioritize after everything or everyone else is the one with the person who will *always* be there ~ that relationship within which is THE one we can’t go without. 

#creativeheroine 

#brandofwoman

#visionquester

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

Truths I Hold Self-Evident (hi from Guatemala!)

I’m leaving Guate, once again, filled with the good stuff ~ with a depth of connection…

And it’s exactly that — connection  — anywhere and anytime that keeps my creativity, joy and self expression at the forefront (connection with others when it’s real — deepest — is very much also a connection with self).

I have written about a lot this week because I have held a lot this week.

I hold these truths to be self evident (today and all the days ~ ¡salud!):

~ Guatemala as a country, people and culture [mi familia 🇬🇹 💙] are GORG. 

~ Your consistency in showing up for someone and showing up as exactly who you *are* is a gift to the next person you show up for (or the same person you keep showing up for) who needs to see it in action to be another genuine domino expression of care and individuality.

~ As parents, hold onto your seats, we are not the end all, be all. We get to evolve as people and individuals outside of being parents to have a true and long-lasting fruitful relationship with who “our” kids are as their own people (with their own opinions and desires). 

~ Accepting someone, anyone, a parent, a sibling, a friend etc. for who they are need not mean allowing yourself to not speak your truth in love. 

~ It also need not mean stopping yourself (eyes, ears) from being able to see or hear the love you may not feel you’re receiving at practice in the world (it’s literally everywhere, talk to someone, anyone, for a minute longer than the typical “Can I get a regular coffee please, thank you.”). A beautiful expression of love and appreciation that an older gentleman named John shared with me during my stop in Dallas you may have read about last week: ”If you have a daughter, you have everything.” Oy my heart,💕]

~ When you look to finally and consistently give yourself the love you normally look for on the outside (more time given to yourself or your projects vs. the rush rush rushing, forgiveness, focusing on getting well or in the more full healing of hurts etc.), you feel peace, an almost neutral, yet joyful state of being — a being who needs no one to do, say or change to be content. Self love is the only love with some ONE that lasts.

~ You have a blessed choice to *not* taint or break down your most optimistic and loving relationships because of the pain felt inside or as a result of another relationship, namely the one inside of or with yourself. See earlier point. 

~ Two good people don’t necessarily make a great marriage. When we get comfortable and call being in a marriage enough, we stay in a marriage, not in love. 

~ When you ask someone how they *really* are and wait to genuinely hear the real answer, you give them permission to feel it all. Life IS joy and isn’t only filled with joy, uplifting Facebook posts or “how are you? I’m good!”, it’s a mixture of all colors of the rainbow. People need us to hear them, to give them time, without distraction. It’s this time and “permission“ that breeds the type of connection that helps them/us not feel alone in any experience. It’s also the first way for us to be of deep service to humanity (akin to Mother Theresa’s, ‘if you want to help increase the peace felt in the world, go home and love your family.’). Your purpose is literally all around you.

~ Being real, the full you, the you you know you keep on the lowest volume most or all days, vs. the cool, “perfect”, professional or 2020 influencer-type you think you need to be to be liked, keeps you most loved by…….you. She’s/he’s the most important to receive your full care and connected to what’s real and deep and true.

~ When you feel you can’t hold something, a thought, an energy, a relationship, a feeling, anything, hand it over. Give it to nature or to what’s most natural which is all around us. Give it to source. 

~ Doing what you say you’re going to do doesn’t only create great relationships, businesses or help us to reach goals, it produces a feeling of peace that helps us sleep at night. Our word is our well-being.

~ Helping others heals you. Finding one way or all the ways this can be done creates a place to park pain (because, again, ~> connection…it’s a salve). When you give love away, it finds its way right back to you inside that same experience in the very same moment. Poof, magic!

~ Family. It’s not just a noun, she’s a verb. My Guatemalan family shows me this in subtle and big ways always. Verb: “I’m going to family it today…I’ll speak and act like we are all connected and that IT is all connected because it is.”

~ It’s all happening so fast. I know, I feel it, too, and with what’s baked above, it’ll slow…down. Let’s slow it dowwwn.

           ❤     ❤     ❤     ❤     ❤ 

Thank you, mil gracias y besototes, to my family of origin for the greatest expression of connection I’ve ever known, for deep relating and for always welcoming the fullness of me each and every time with open arms. 50+ to be exact.

¡¡A todos ustedes, mi familia, y a esta vida, los amo!! 

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

What Happens When You’re “Extra” (all parts of you)

A way to know or be in relationship with the deepest parts of yourself, (as well as be more genuinely fulfilled which most or many of us are searching for in this world of celebrity, influencing and short attention spans) is to authentically pursue your calling.

This could mean as a side thing, paid or unpaid thing, or a larger thing…whatever works right now and in the now that will come in a year or 10 from now…

IT (the high call) doesn’t judge the time you give it or how much money you get paid to do it, but do give some THING to it, water it, so it can start bearing real fruit (joy, peace, meaning) in your life.

This thing that calls you, however softly, and maybe not even daily yet, can come folded into or be a passion of yours, it can come wrapped in the blanket of service or flow inside the river of creativity that won’t stop oozing out of you and onto the lists and plans you make on paper.

But leaning into it…doing it and not just once, but consistently, is where the fulfillment lies that you feel a stronger longing for as time passes.

If you don’t know where to start, move here…

Express more of the whole, real you 

inside more of all of your relationships, including the beast known as your industry (in each industry and in most relationships, we are only ever expressing maybe [maybe] half of who we are).

Begin sharing that person…sharing the personality and the gifts and the primary talents and desires to help others that come naturally to her/him…by giving them an outlet, you allow the whisper of that call to become louder, unmistakable.

The deepest part of yourself that you get to know when you do work that means something to you is where joy and peace come from. 

This is how you become, not only maybe highly fulfilled, but how you make life highly expressive, too…your high art.

So, start ~ start with the expression of the full range of you because it is only when you share who you REALLY are that more is revealed.

(This is a real world, working thing).

#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