Author Archives: michelle

Write Ten Names on One Post-It

photo of my husband and son when we lived in Portland, Oregon.

With virtual communication being the norm *and* people (many of us) taking email, text and all the various other ways there are to communicate or get a hold of someone as a way to hide (we hide as the senders and we hide as the receivers of virtual comm), old-school comm, painting with a high touch paintbrush and simple presence when you’re with someone have become more important.

It’s how we are judging which family members, friends and businesses to align ourselves with.

We’re so hungry for IT — we’re suffering from palpable and meaningful emotional connections. In other words, we are feeling so much emotional distance (+ our emotional IQ has gone down as a virtual people).

It’s the last thing we want — for that to decrease, especially when there are plenty of other things in life, in our country and planet that feel like dying vs. growing, but, it is, in fact, happening…

As a result, these things are becoming ever more important:

  • Phone calls
  • Snail mail
  • If the many options are exactly that ~ too many ~ and overwhelming (it got there for me), choosing/focusing on one or two and letting people know that’s where you’re choosing to spend your time and to contact you there (Josh and I did that and it’s been extremely helpful).
  • Going out of your way to see people, to ask how they’re doing and caring to know the response.
  • Responding to emails, invitations, text messages — and if you can’t [and especially if you’re a business owner or a family member (part of one of the best inventions ever ~> family), having systems (or one day devoted to communication) in place where you’re being responsive to clients or family members is vital to your contentment, because relationships that’ll be there for you for the long run are vital to it]

I liken this conversation to the “let’s do something!” “Yeah, I’ll call you!” of yesteryear.

I remember moving back from Amsterdam 12 years ago (after four years learning a different way) and telling Josh I wasn’t going to knee-jerk say what I didn’t think about before saying it anymore (the Dutch were so precise — clear — in their communication and grounded honesty).

We have become desensitized as a culture, brushing off disconnection and even behavior that doesn’t feel aligned with who we are by saying things like “oh, she’s/he’s just not good with responding” or “she’s just not good with RSVPing” as normal.

If you’re not making excuses for yourself anymore in this realm, why make excuses for others in your life? Or — if you want to have a life and relationships that are different, elevated and engaged, then only do life business with the person that has become aware, too.

It is not “normal” for you to ghost or for friends, family or clients to ghost you (or — let’s not make it so?). Sure, they might be busy or, maybe, you’re busy (another emotional epidemic), or yes, you could ask where in your own life you are ghosting people you love or care about and maybe that’s why you’re experiencing it so much in your own life, but, the bottom line is that there’s (also) something larger at play.

As a society we are looking at virtual as a type of daily virtual reality, bot or AI situation, something not fully real and, therefore, not fully something (someone) we need to engage with as real.

Real people *are* on the other end of the thread, chain, computer or smartphone.

We’re not so advanced or smart if we allow our EQ to dip. We’re not. Our EQ — and our genuine presence — is one of the things that help bring this whole thing…this existence, evolution, and humanity UP from e v e r y t h i n g we dislike right now.


About a year and a half ago, realizing all this to be true for myself and for many around me (doesn’t matter the level as a sinking ship dips quickly), I wrote 10 names on a post-it.

They were the names of friends, acquaintances or family members that I was going to make a more concerted effort to love in all the ways that were available to me…being “better” on and through virtual communication with them was one, but this only came with a clear re-commitment to physical presence and all the presents that come with that, not just for them but for me, too.

Ever since that re-commitment, my daily life has been filled with more peace and joy; focusing on what’s important is important.

I placed that post-it next to my computer (it’s still in my office on my desk next to photos of Josh and Nolan) and it’s supported that devotion ever since. Having had chats with these people, too, that this was happening (that I wanted this to happen) completed the circle.

These days we have to stop and notice what we’re doing and cold turkey, start doing, not just something new, but something more important. And if you can get your family on that train, perfect.

Let’s get them — let’s get ourselves! — on that train and into deeper, more meaningful re-la-tion-ships…

Enjoy your business, enjoy your life! 

Life is good,

Michelle Ghilotti
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur 

p.s. How are you hiding behind virtual communication?

You Are Your Mama’s Greatest _____!

Nolan’s passport birth announcement, July 2005

Telling our story can be as soothing as a spa day, yoga or both.

It’s what our mamas wanted for us since the start (of our time here). They wanted us to not be afraid to speak our mind in life, to life and to the many who would need us to speak love and boundaries throughout it.

Part of speaking our mind is speaking our story.

Think of all the stories they told us growing up, the ones they read to us from books, pulled from a distant memory or went through albums to tell us.

Some were light and easy to tell, others harder to admit, but all interesting and telling of the cells, fibers and energetic fabric that both made us and keeps us today, especially when and because we share from that fabric and legacy, equal parts feisty, loving, raw, biting, imperfect and fascinating…

We are fascinating beings, inclusive, not exclusive of the harder moments. Fascinating.

Being human and coming from love as well as bumps and bruises is every bit lovable, not the opposite.

Stories — all types of them — are our natural expression and, as such, they’re an exercise in accepting ourselves. They fuel understanding, perspective and, ultimately, self-love.

If you want to release the many (other) stories that aren’t serving daily contentment and acceptance of self, serve yourself the opportunity of telling more of all of your story, not solely part(s).

You are not the parts.

You are the whole and acknowledging all parts (light-hearted or heavy-handed) keeps you feeling that way ~ whole.

If it’s too painful to share or give of yourself (back to yourself) or to others in this way, finding yourself saying “I (want to), but I can’t,” take that as the nudge or opportunity to try another level deeper of the development work necessary to make it less so.

  • What if telling your story mended that which needed mending?
  • What if it emptied part of the heavy backpack you’ve been carrying, so you could fit the other cool things you need for the adventure or trek you’ve consciously chosen to take next?
  • What if it brings you closer to those you love or those relationships you’re attempting to grow?
  • What if that healing heals what you deem the inability to keep or hold onto whatever seems to keep slipping through your hands…money, a deeper romantic relationship, _______?
  • What if the practice gained helps you find the strength to use your voice in the other and multiple positive ways she’s meant to?

At GGP and through the presenters this last weekend, in many ways, we spoke about and gave insights and solutions for this age of disconnection (each GGP does that in its own way; it’s a golden thread).

But there’s a similar something in the air outside GGP and in the grand collective, too, because I keep having conversations with friends about how passionately they want more communication.

Specifically, the kind of communication that allows for real and deeper friendships, marriages or businesses.

The kind of communication that shares who we genuinely are (the B sides as much as the A sides), where we come from…all the stuff that is real, brilliant, raw, light, darker or, maybe, just simply h a p p e n i n g  RIGHT NOW. All important to discuss and receive human connection and understanding around.

If we can’t talk about what’s real, is anything that we create, write, share, grow or build real?

Speaking of real (love), back to our mamas…

Here’s how I view the connection between mothers [parents, really] and our true expression. It’s simple or simplified, either way, it seems to aid in promoting authentic expression that promotes better relationships…

If I’m my Mom’s wish let loose on the world (and I am), you are, too, then we might consider the speaking of our mind and speaking of our true story a legacy project (purpose) a way to LET ourselves loose.

Though there were many things I know my Mom wanted for me, she very much wanted and wants for me to be fully expressed, in all ways that may happen.

Your mama, whether she’s here or there, wants that, too. Sometimes we don’t know how to tell our kids, “hey, in the telling of your truth or your story, you become the writer of it,” but that’s exactly what happens.

The storyteller becomes the writer.

You are your mama’s greatest wish, story and writer let loose on the world…

Enjoy your business, enjoy your life!

Life is good,

Michelle Ghilotti
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur 

My Son Wrote Me This and I…

Dear mamas all across the land…

It made me laugh and cry.

Enjoy your business, enjoy your life!

Life is good,

Michelle Ghilotti
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur 

p.s. for all that you’re nurturing at the moment, make sure to give to the most important person and life project you’re working on: YOU. Or/and…let others give to you.

You definitely want to be racing in the INDY 500 vs. just cruising the 405! 🙂  

Just Because You’re Good At Something

Simply because you’re good at something doesn’t mean it’s good for you. 

What things are you good, maybe even great at, that are leaving you more depleted than filled up?

What courageous conversations or decisions can (and will) be made to maximize your daily life experience?

Enjoy your business, enjoy your life!

Life is good,

Michelle Ghilotti
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur