Don’t Do THIS (suffering story)

(In The “Wild” of Our Own Homes)

I felt feelings that in 45 years I had not experienced before.

The drive up to what would be base camp before my days in the wild was exactly that ~ wild.

My mind, because I was allowing it to, ruminated on the days coming without food (water only), no shelter and no social interaction and couldn’t decide which would be hardest.

My body had buzzed with an I can’t wait to do this quality (seven months of prep), then, as it happens, was buzzing with something that felt altogether different.

It makes sense that I would feel new feelings as I had never chosen to do something like this before (plus, I was allowing my mind to do what it wanted with me 🌀), but, that said, I was well-versed in seeing the benefits to my growth inside chosen challenges, which reminds me of two things: 1) if you choose experiences that challenge you, did you know that you suffer less at the hands at the ones that come un-chosen? and 2) if we believe that evolution is based both on the quality of our attention and how we decide and CHOOSE something different when we are inside conflict, then this vision quest and these days or months staying at home during this pandemic can work for us.

Both the idea of chosen challenges and what feels like a solid truth behind our personal development have been such helpful truths for me — over the last decade, especially…

I’ll cut to the chase in this share, but the second that I hugged Josh and Nolan when they picked me up (they had driven me there, too), you know what I said that doesn’t hint at, but that is fully indicative of the experience I allowed myself to have?

[Crying as I hugged him, Josh said and cried through his words, “Now I can tell you that I was so worried about you”, then, I, now shaking from the build up of days that I couldn’t wait to tell them all about: “You didn’t have to worry, it was amazing, (pause, cry, pause, cry), it was so AMAZING.”

This very experience, the one that made me feel like I might throw up on the way there (before I had even ventured out), ended up being one that I now place up there with the birth of my child.

It showed me once and again that pain and joy co-exist, hi and thank you, life, and that there are treasures that can be unpacked and experienced during challenging times.

During stay-at-home orders, and with a high risk person living with me, I’ve been asking myself, how will I choose something different inside any conflict or challenging feelings felt (which I have felt). And, how can I make [how can WE as a family] make this a chosen challenge…we are choosing to stay-at-home, which on some days may feel like a low level challenge (because there are real problems and true challenges going on in the world — we can make what happens inside here something else, to have a different quality and we can come out the other end saying, “No…it was amazing (pause, cry, pause, cry)…”.

All of us genuinely can do this inside the “wild” of our own homes now.

We can take it (the chosen or unchosen challenge 😉) and transform ourselves with seeing it as exactly that — as a transformative time, one word, action, I’m sorry and habit at a time.

Maybe do what I did in going back to the basics every minute/hour/day of each day on my solo journey — when feeling challenged, walk short or long distances, drink a snack of water, ask~ what am I really hungry for in life?, do another meditation, create a ritual, pray, set intentions for the morning/ afternoon/dark of night, write more, get after that burning idea (write more), sit, breathe, look at the tree long to really see it, stare at a leaf in your hand…

In maybe other words, keep your light on.

[PHOTO ABOVE, 8:19pm: The time, at sunset each night in July, that Josh and Nolan said they would pray for me and p.s. I’ve talked about being gentle with yourself during this time, both on social media, my blog and to my clients and newsletter community, but this doesn’t mean sit back and don’t do anything ~ it means doing everything you need to do to not suffer through this…if that means taking a nap, take it, if that means creating your next biggest business, create it, but gift yourself the opposite of the need to suffer unnecessarily, ✨).

🍃 ⛰ 🏠 🕯 🌎


Make happiness (or peace or gentleness) your business — especially now during these stay-at-home orders.

Life is good,




Michelle Ghilotti
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur 

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