Author Archives: Susan Lucibello

REFUGEE SUPPORT STORY, Day 6: Going home and the greatest (daily) romance debate.

Before I arrived to the refugee camp a week ago this past Sunday, I thought the greatest romance was that with your beloved. You be loved, Josh, and madly.

Monday, I remembered it was that which you have with yourself. You can’t love anybody else if you don’t see the possibility of great love when you look at yourself.

Tuesday came and I sat on the ground helping a man in his new normal try on used shoes for winter and wanted to shout, it’s the men, the men, LOVE your men, honor them, listen to them, laugh with them. The greatest global romance comes back to, I wanted to keep shouting, how deeply (key word, spread it) our men feel seen, heard and understood from a young age.

Wednesday rolled in and I was invited inside the pod/upgraded tent of a Syrian family by a fierce mama and, later that afternoon, I thought of my work with women at home and wrote these three words down on a scratch piece of paper: my soul’s sister. I remembered then, my gorgeous sister, who doesn’t look much different than me, that, although we were born to different families and to different parts of the world, you are me and I am you. Romance. This was it — feeling as one. Two things are always the same for all of us, I wanted to be able to keep telling her — our feelings, each one of ours run the gamut between deep sadness or fear and happiness and elation — please know that I have felt all, too, in my own way. And, of course, we are sisters swimming in the same deep desire wanting our families to be healthy and, rather simply, happy, dignity intact. Though I’ve never lived through war, I would have continued, my heart wants to know your pain and that is the greatest of love, too. Loving you as myself, sitting with you as I have sat nurturing myself and, of course, with thoughts, words and actions, using the energy of my own fierce mama heart to fight for your full protection, helping to pull you up once you’re finally able or ready, and not stopping until that happens. This is the great work of the greatest romance between true sisters. At the heart of every forever romance is remembering that without woman, there is no life. LOVE her, acknowledge her and tend to that fire within her, every day.

Then, Thursday, as with the days prior, I spoke with one thing only: my hands. I realized, then, that I held the key to the greatest romance in the same place — my hands…and, add to that, my eyes and expressions that did not want to stop until we each felt fully understood. It can be done. We can understand each other more, to the left, to the right and deep down, with time. But it can’t be rushed, so, we create the time for this greatest of romances. In this daytime dream Thursday, language was entirely optional, but compassion, striving to communicate in other ways and working for the greatest good are and were not. For a world that is just, these fine details for a great romance — a great life — is a must.

Friday came quick and I was brought along into the temporary homes of war-torn Syrian families who had just delivered babies. Teeny tiny babies! Seeing the babies asleep, I woke up. Later, looking into their eyes, I thought of Nolan, my niece and nephews and all the children I loved up on this week and prayed for this kind of great romance — that love from all sides and colors — white, black, red, yellow, and beyond would encircle all children and create the well and loving village of acceptance they would learn from to share with others, whether that someone was similar to them or not. As we arrived to the second home, I realized I needed to add this: the greatest love is the decision you make, possibly even the most difficult in that very moment, to fill yourself with the beauty of that person, any person in front of you, at any given moment. Children, though often unseen by many, cannot be, for us to move forward in peace vs. pieces. LOVE them with your ears, mouth and time.

Saturday, as I prepped to leave physically, but not emotionally, I am worlds more aware and responsible for the greatest romance that exists in us all — romance or, in other words, the curiosity of seeing in ourselves the fear, the war, the anger and separation we, ourselves, have perpetuated in our lives. This energy counts when you look at the goings on for the whole.

To everyone I served this week and to all my friends, family and neighbors, near and far, I am sorry for my part in ever keeping fear, the opposite of love and romance, alive.

Shall we all take note?

Sunday, I vowed to spend the day in bed with the truest of all greatest romances, which is all encompassing and which means putting genuine love, soul salve and solution into everything and to everyone who shows up.

In essence, cozying up, cool sheets and warm pillow, to commitment and responsibility to come back to any place, inside or outside, near or far, that desperately needs love, compassion, healing, freedom, or an activation of our realness or humanity.

To all of you, especially my family and clients, who have emailed or posted: next time, I vow to bring you with me. This will be the plan I work on romancing Monday, but, for now, I look toward nothing but this, my day of rest with Important Responsibility.

Whatever and whoever lies before me tonight or tomorrow’s tomorrow, is and will always be, my greatest romance.

Life is good,

michelle-black-sig-md-light

 

 

Women Are My Heroes

Women are my heroes, the heroines of optimism.

That’s the thought flowing as I share love and thoughts with VIP clients coming into town or those I’ll be flying out to see.

We must be (are) our own heroines (friends, presidents, husbands, ideal-sized bodies or bank accounts will never be).

We must play that role, be that model, reminder and walking prayer for other women, so they, and, as a result, the world’s youngest ladies, feel they are their own leaders and the first ladies of their own lives.

We must become the most amazing story we want to tell, not for what it will look like to others, but for what it means to our growth, our young and our ultimate peace and happiness.

This is the truest of love and the deepest of romances.

Shall we? We must.

Life is good,

michelle-black-sig-md-light

 

 

 

THIS at My Spiritual Retreat Last Week

I call this share ~ Lush Life Soup.

After getting my melt on, I’ll soon land at home (home home, as in SF/Marin).

The one thing I’m keen to share and that I’m more certain of after a week of solitude and some of the longest meditations I’ve been a part of (meditations that ushered me into rich 13 hour sleeps I haven’t had since I was 13 or 23), is this:

We’re not searching for balance, not between the personal and professional, the physical and spiritual, the kids and spouse, work and family, nor work and travel…

More specifically, we crave a feeling similar in weight to having all the time in the world (you do, you have all the time in the world –siiiiiiiit, give yourself time), coupled with the drive, commitment and wisdom to act as if it could all end tomorrow (it could all end tomorrow — siiiiiiiiit, give yourself time).

Sometimes the mix will be a soup of 60/40, 40/60, 35/65 or 65/35, who knows, we’re not counting, it’s lush either way, the idea is to more consistently feel like you are creating the most memorable stolen moments of your life vs. being (the victim, the exhausted, the getting further away from what you want, the no time for me), where it feels like (may or may not be true) others are stealing them from you.

I talk to many women in my line of work where versions of this come up…we may be spending so much, too much (?) time attempting to create balance when maybe it’s simply a good fucking life because we let go, while every day tapping into a couple solid truths of this LIFE and TIME: you got a lot of it AND you don’t have that much left at all.

Siiiiiiiiit and be [stead]faaaast in the getting after it.

Life is good,

michelle-black-sig-md-light

 

 

 

Adventure Tip (photos from Spain)

There's so much I'd love to share with you about this Summer's travels so far! (We have one more trip to Columbia coming up but just one day ago returned from visiting three cities we love in Europe).  

As a family who is lovingly called "The Gypsies" by their parents, travel and the way it informs our creativity, connection and global citizenship, has always been really important to us.

I was born outside the U.S. and as a young girl and young adult, I studied abroad in France and Spain. Later on as a married woman, my husband and I moved to Holland and Mexico for adventure (aka: to learn more about ourselves through the new and unexpected). 

Though we would love to move to yet another country at some point, these days we get our fix of adventure and the new and unexpected by traveling near and far a few times a year.

Today I'd love to share this photo of my son from the Mama-Sun portion of our European adventure (as well as a couple others below), in addition to some thoughts and tips for how to bring adventure into your life and business and…"how to love the lesson." I'll explain… 

About Adventure and Loving the Lesson, Spain Edition.

Nolan zip lined in Toledo, Spain, a medieval town that used to be the capital of Spain. 

It was a big deal because he was nervous and did it anyway.

I'm happy to report it was so bad that he went down a second time.

Before that new physical adventure, we visited the museum dedicated to El Greco, an artist from the Spanish Renaissance. It was our creative, art history adventure or lesson for the day.

Both experiences and lives — Nolan's and El Greco's — have much to say, so here it is:

Adventure: Just like apples, having one a day keeps the doctor away. That's what Nolan and I talked about in the taxi headed to our next destination. We discussed that living life like a game (except with matters of the heart) was key. I shared that looking at each day, no matter what he was doing, as the 12 or so awake hours he needed to experience at least one new adventure would help him suck the sweet lemon/orange/mango/apple juice out of life.

SUCK THE JUICE OUT OF LIFE.

It could be a letter you write to someone, even though you're a bit nervous or signing up for the talent show at school and walking away before you have a chance to cross your name off the list. Or, it could be, as you get older, I said, planning your next wild trip with a friend during a lunch break. Those examples may not be what light him up as he grows, of course, but I told him he'd definitely know what adventure was and meant to him. Follow those feelings and excitement around your definition of adventure now versus keeping adventure as something you do only once or twice a year, find things that scare or light you up and get after them. When you get after them, you GET a fired-up, purposeful life.

"You'll grow in confidence which will also make life much more enjoyable," I said.

¡Make your bucket list a daily one! 

When we take life too serious, listening too much to that fear voice attempting to keep us safe, we live a serious life.

As I share with clients, you may have to trick yourself into doing the things that will bring joy and purpose to your life (there are all sorts of ways).

Similarly, it takes practice to live this kind of adventurous, confident in self life, however that's something everyone has access to ~ the ability to practice. The key is to start, and keep on keeping on.

One way to get ourselves into practice mode is by re-framing everything we do in life, love or business as experiences which we "get to do" versus those we "have to do" (part of the play factor or game). 

You don't HAVE to do anything. Not at all. But you were given all your human bells and whistles (intellect, intuition, sense of spontaneity and adventure) so you could GET to do a lot of amazing things.

When you re-frame the situations in front of you, you get that much more out of the experience ahead and out of life as a whole, too.

The latter is one of my favorite phrases and truths because when we look at life with this lens, everything, and I mean everything, becomes an opportunity. Fear is an opportunity. No is an opportunity. Yes, is an opportunity. Even grief is an opportunity, as I've learned as of late.

Lesson: Every day, lessons will come. Emotional lessons, art history lessons, you name it. Instead of beating yourself up when the emotional or, in other words, relationship lessons come, at minimum, challenge yourself to be grateful they've arrived (you don't have to be happy about it, but gratitude acknowledges there's value in the timing and weight of the experience). Do see it for what it is ~ the chance to learn the next greatest lesson right now so you can move on more deeply, honestly, and with less burden, enjoying the rest of the adventure. When you learn the lesson the first time it comes around, you don't have to repeat it; something we forget, but that we can absolutely count on.

The lesson for both of us was both an emotional one, in Nolan doing what he was afraid of, and it was also a lesson in purpose, authentic expression and dedication to our brand of joy, learning from Greco's life…

It took 200+ years *after* his death for El Greco's body of work to experience what we might call "success." His dramatic, expressionistic style, rediscovered by romantics and French painters, but misunderstood and rejected throughout much of his life, was finally celebrated and became a great inspiration to new painters, sculptures and architects.

But, he was 'too much' for his time. And to "be too much" and express in exactly the way he did was his purpose. To be 'too much' is your purpose, too.

How could you do that more in the choices you're making in your business, writing, or speaking? How could you be too much and express to your heart's content?

The lesson here: Express, use your voice and show yourself and keep doing so, regardless if others celebrate you or not…

We do the opposite ALL the time. We stop ourselves from moving forward with our art, our writing, our business, our expression in whatever form that takes, because of what others think.

Nolan says do it anyway. Jump, dive, slide, two-step into it, but do it. Your ecstatic joy and success awaits.

Dedicate yourself to your art and to putting it out there with wild abandon every day and know, better yet, BANK on something wild happening.

Set your sights on both the adventure and lesson(s) you'll accept as part of the bold, expressed you today and you won't just experience ecstatic joy, you will embody it.

What one adventure will you create in your life each day?

What self-awareness, gratitude and permission will you tap into to allow in the lessons that wish to inform you, promising to, not only make you a better version of yourself in this moment, but possibly the next most innovative expressionist of your time?

Sending you all my Summer love!

Talk to you soon, couture creation you…

Life is good,

michelle-black-sig-md-light