Why I Do Identity Work (Personal Story)

Your identity is who you say you are, not what others or who others say you are, nor the stories or limitations you may feel you come from…

I was born Kryshnna Michelle Boy to Nancy Carolina Motta de Rivera and Willy (Wilhelm) Boy de Gallego.

They were married at 15 and 19 years old, respectively.

I actually liked the name my young parents gave me (ended up liking it even more after starting my yoga practice 12 years ago), but life and my soul’s path had other plans.

Life is the adventure it is so we may learn (remember) that, although the outside can be ever-changing, we’re to find that place inside where there’s always calm…

Listen to the space between the words…

Values, passions, beliefs, truth and a connection to spirit or a spirituality is what gives you identity and longevity (and what keeps you feeling grounded, safe, aligned and in integrity).

I remember receiving one of my first credit reports many, many years ago and seeing about three of the following names on it and laughing. It was a deeply pensive time and yet laughter, my go to, was always in the back pocket of the jeans or jean shorts I loved wearing (laughter ~ a human way to cope or get through AND spirit’s tool as well, likely for a similar reason):

Michelle Kryshnna Boy — five year- old girl living in Guatemala one minute and leaving Guatemala the next on a PanAm flight to a home filled with more gentleness.

Michelle Boy — Twelve-year-old to an eighteen-year-old girl whose grandmother had planned the escape years earlier and embarrassed of the name Kryshnna, took it upon herself to wipe records clean of the name, regardless of what my Mom thought about it. She was one cheeky, strong lady.

Michelle Boy-Ghilotti — Adopted by a new Dad, as gentle as the grandfather I had lived with for seven years, but holding on by a thin dash to a life I wanted to know more about…tell me more about, Oma/Mom. I’d get pieces…but I couldn’t really put them together just so (can’t help but hear Dolly Parton’s “Coat of Many Colors” lyrics here).

Michelle Ghilotti — The cling was a fling and I became a full-fledged Ghilotti, excited to be one thing only realizing, of course, that we are many things from the many different people that had a hand…I didn’t talk openly for years to come about the life that preceded that dash. But, it felt good to live and move on and, at the same time, was confusing — for others as much as myself. What was the real story and, in turn, the real Kryshnna… Michelle…?

Michelle Ghilotti Mandel — The story came full circle, no dash found and now I was both adopted and married. {I had to pause reading this back, gulp}. I wasn’t confused 16 years ago, having asked most, if not all of the tough questions I most needed answers to. I had also told many good friends the real truth and nothing but the truth in regards to this life story and the many details I’m leaving out right now. In fact, it had been years of truth-telling and diving deeper into the story of self, which is likely why taking on the names of these two gorgeous guys felt more than ok, though there was always a part of me who wanted to buck the old-school system…I am not owned and I have my own identity (and am more than at peace with the history inside originally given names), but thank you. Ever felt this way?

In fact, it’s the happiest I remember being throughout this journey of names, people, stories and places. Likely because the two gentlemen I said yes to at 18 and 27 said yes to me with the same verve. In fact, they both asked with such love in their hearts that in many ways, they said yes first. Name X or name Y, I knew who I was ~ deeply loved…isn’t that all we have to know…and give?

Isn’t that all we have to know…and give?

Looking down at that credit report many moons ago, I thought about all the lives we feel we live inside one life: the names, relationships, losses, gains, experiences…they all create a wide spectrum of emotion, resilience, story, perspective, and personality.

When we welcome it all, with a dash — of light or lightness — we’re able to create one hell of a storybook (not to be confused with perfect) life…

It’s no surprise sitting here today, with three total gentlemen in front of me (one a gentle pup), that, coming from that first household which shut a woman down for being herself and coming from a life where my identity was constantly changing, that I do identity work AND that I adopted myself and married into homes that build women up…

God has a sense of humor and gives us exactly the story and life experience needed to do sacred and profound work in the world because we, ourselves, are sacred and profound works…

Though I was confused growing up, it was hard to feel too confused inside love (which I had a lot of) — or, inside the feeling of peace that eventually comes with telling your true story ~ first, of course, to yourself.

Tell your story from yesterday and, as importantly, tell the one you’re stepping into today and tomorrow’s tomorrow.

It’s both that will set you free.

You come from love and are made anew each day inside it…

[My name tag and place card from last night’s event which made me sentimental, thinking all about all of the above. More humor: the name I added to my credit report ~ “Mandel” ~ is Josh’s adopted name as well, so, somewhere in between, maybe inside Nolan, the real and whole truth lies.

Enjoy your business, enjoy your life! 

Life is good,

michelle-black-sig-md-light
 

Michelle Ghilotti
Couture Brand Creator & Success Coach

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