Photos from My Vision Quest (Water!)









There’s still so much to share (and maybe there always will be) about the vision quest ~ nine days, four days fasting, three nights and three days solo in the wild, no shelter…

I shared for about 40 minutes at the Greater Good Party Friday and I merely scratched the surface, but I cried in closing.

This particular share isn’t exactly or traditionally emotional, but it does feel simply or practically transformative.

What has come to mind as I drink water these last many weeks post quest is how awesomely engrained it is for me to now ask this question: do I need a snack of water? (I realize, of course, how much deeper the river runs beyond or beneath this question). 

The four days in nature drinking only water did even more for me than gift me this question, but it was big as I now realize how habitual eating can be when many times food is not what we’re/I’m hungry for. 

At least half the time pre-quest, I would grab for a bar to snack on between meals as habit, as something to enjoy or to keep me “busy” (not necessarily out of hunger — keep metabolism going, they say, too, so eat). But what I understand now that I wanted every other time was actually something else —

A walk.

A talk.

More honesty.

Greater purpose.

Water (all the above acting, of course, as a type of water ~ cleansing acts).


I think of the bars I’d reach for and though they were “healthy”, those with a few simple clean ingredients (upon further review, with a good dose of sugar in them, too), they were substitutes at times for other inner life-enhancing things. 

I think we all do this in one way or another: substitute to the thing that’s closest or easiest when what we want to munch on is deeper inside our souls.

My sugar intake pre-quest was already low, but it’s lower now because of the inquiry and learning that came from the time away from it all given to the longer conscious pause:

Do I need a snack of water? (I do drink a lot more water now).

And, the deeper question that came up on the mountain and every day since: 

What am I really hungry for?

What part of me do I get to connect or be closer to, more honest with? To express more?

I think it’s a valid question to ask for greater peace and success in so far as emotional life results (peace, fulfillment, self love) go: what are we really hungry for that we’ve been substituting with food (no matter how “healthy”), alcohol, working out, arguments, work, travel even or general busyness? 

What or who (inside) haven’t we sat with long enough to see and hear more deeply from them? And what haven’t we learned from THAT guru?






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

Celebrating THIS (Grab someone you love)

We couldn’t be happier— or sweatier this morning. 

Exactly two years ago, we founded the Greater Good Party on the premise that the goings on around the world which made us feel sad/mad like we needed to be making more of a difference would be made better by getting back in physical touch with one another and having the kinds of conversations that have made us fall in love with people, places or experiences throughout our lives — those I want to marry you conversations. ;))

Our living room turned into a loving room, as some started to call it, and we began bringing speakers and poets and singers to the space to increase the good vibes felt, not just inside our four walls, but in the world (light brought to one room here or there does very much fill the energetic world room/womb).

Each night has always been filled with song, poetry and presenters/speakers on important topics, as well as with others telling their unique and touching stories of the “you’re not alone” variety, of using their creativity for great good, of integrating more of all of themselves into a calling that didn’t exist yet (of finding purpose) and/or of folding all kinds of unique meaning into their lives. 

The intention at GGP was that each night always feel like a great gift. As a guest, you needn’t do (or pay) anything, but, simply be there to receive (what many of you/us givers need practice in) ~ bringing your own killer high energy and love the only unspoken ask?

At least half of the room has always been filled with people we didn’t know (as shared again last night, the intention was never to simply get our friends together, but to bring strangers together from different industries and parts of LA (and beyond) to genuinely create a vibrant, greater and sweeter community for us all. Casting the web out as far and wide as possible is how you do that.

That same good net brought us to New York, San Francisco and Austin and keeps us toiling away at creating them here in Los Angeles and wherever someone will have us throughout the country or world. 

Last night was our 11th GGP and to share words received that touched me first thing this morning ~> Thank you so much, KG: “What an absolutely deep and meaningful evening last night. Jason and I are so thankful to have been included. So proud of you both for this amazing thing you’re doing. We could feel the energy in the Loving Room last night. And I am so inspired by your idea to share this great love that you have for each other with the world, and lighting the way. Beautiful and moving messages, and souls who shared them! A divine and sacred evening!

In short, this salon-style gathering we started to “use the love and mutual respect between us for great good” was meant to spark meaningful conversation, to enable us to talk honestly, bringing our full selves (no one’s got time for surface, I want something from you/from this interaction, or look at me convos right now!), to get us off our phones and move us from virtual/text connecting and bring us back to old-school real, in person contact — it’s done exactly that. 

We wrapped at 1:30am this morning with a new “late crew” who stayed (we couldn’t rip ourselves away from the important conversation we were in for one of our beloved OGs of the GGP).

Infinite love and gratitude to Hadley Fitzgerald, Debbi Dachinger & Kat Magill for your talent in the way of song, the smart and soulful sharing and for poetry that moved many internal mountains last night. Thank you! 

Thank you again to all of you, gracious listeners, while I, too, shared about my “Solo Journey” (the theme last night) while on vision quest. 

One last thanks — to all that’s good in the world, seen and unseen: you give us a sign, a seed, an idea and we’ll…grow it. Or him — we’ll “grow” him (Nolan), too. (-:

Grab someone(s) you love.

Start a thing. Any kind of thing — grow it…grow each other.

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

Hard To Let Him GO! (You Been Through This?)


While smores fixings sit on the table waiting to be eaten after running across our first rattlesnake, we read under the stars that have yet to show themselves to us tonight, the same stars that as a family, we will sleep under soon, and without shelter, just as I did in the wild a month and a half ago. 

I walk behind Nolan and realize that without trying, we are now both on the same chapter of Beautiful Boy, a father’s story of his son’s addiction [when we decided this would be Nolan’s next life homework read, I ended up giving him the book I was reading and bought the audio version to finish it (Josh just started the book and is reading it on his iPad)].

I find both this moment and my boy, beautiful. This year and these days/this last month, with high school starting soon, I find myself watching him longer, recognizing more the man in him than the boy and feeling his independence ~ the quiet and healthy space between us that still fits so much of the closeness created in the wonder years.

I feel excitement! I keep telling him how FUN high school is and I see his eyes widen (though he doesn’t know anyone in his freshman class, it’s not nerves he feels, he says, but excitement, I’m proud and happy to hear that). 

At the same time, I also feel sad ~ sad that a long (13-14 year) season of another kind of young boy connection and physical closeness is shifting. I’m learning a new way…

And it’s the biggest shift yet in the way we’ve known one another, not just me knowing him, but, to my surprise, him knowing me, too, as his comment after my nine day vision quest shares so sweetly: “I’m proud of you Mama. Over the last year or so, I’ve realized that you’re more than just my Mama.”

This was one of my favorite moments, realizations, truths (and embraces) of all time, and I understand that this new chapter in his life, and me continuing to see HIM as more than MY son, will be, too. 

I want so much for his safety and joy in this next season of life and realize deeply today as I write this how much this is his job more than mine, especially in the years to come in high school and college etc. 

I can continue to have open conversations with him which we both enjoy (I do get to be more creative now though, as parents of growing humans understand), create “rules” or guidelines that play at keeping him safe, but his choices are part of this ~ his life.  

That’s exciting! I tell him. You get to continue to feel into who you truly are and express that person, choosing life at your speed and in just the way you want. 

He seems happy about that, each time I mention it in new and slightly different ways (ode again to being creative in how you discuss, open and close things with humans at this age). 

I was here for your dependence and I’m also present, as available and excited for your independence, I say, as I swallow with more water in my eyes than in my throat…

In the background of these conversations with him, I more deeply understand how much more the guidance (and the letting go!) really steps up in these years (read: if we thought we were needing to be available, present and guiding them (or letting go!) in the toddler years, we see and feel a whooooole new level now.

And it IS a whole new level now. 

IIIII am the toddler! Learning how to walk and talk. 

How can I express my love (and my trust in him that we can have the deeper, more adult or tougher conversations) as well as the desire to continue to be close in the ways where HE will most feel it?

That’s the question.

How can we continue to grow this human to human relationship, recognizing that mother and son has just been one way to describe it? 

How can I love him by letting him go? 

These are the questions, my own present life homework and next quest for truth. . .



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

Human’ing Vs. Parenting

Human’ing. Different from parenting. 

The truth is (I’ve come to this again and again over the last year as Nolan begins to more deeply experience teenage life)~> I’m a parent second, and a human first and it’s THIS person I want Nolan to know (especially now), to, in turn, know that most true person inside himself.  

I may want it, but I don’t need him to know his role or identity as a son as much as I deeply desire for him to know the role and responsibility that he has to himself (high truth). 

That’s how much I love him.


Parenting. That’s where we stay close, like a watchful bird, helping them reach something, feeding them a few times a day to make sure they physically grow, creating boundaries or rules that play at keeping them from hurting themselves (of course, there’s emotional teachings here, too, but the core is made up each day of the former). 

Human’ing. This feels like the evolution of this very important role of keeping them safe — alive — to connection and prioritizing that they grow emotionally and spiritually; to having planted seeds when they were young, maybe, that might mean that now at their most tender ages, they feel able (comfort-able) to USE us as those humans first & parents second who have had experiences with like and love and letdowns (of course, there may also be guidelines about safety and other rules, too, but the days carry more of the weight of larger life lessons and relat-ing…relationship). 

In essence, human’ing says: use us as the built-in therapists or healers we are (as their nurturers we come with deeply healing powers). 

This doesn’t mean we have all the “right” answers, but it does mean we make the right decision to take the time at 10:49pm when we wanted to go to bed at 10pm to tell them you understand, to talk to them about your own experience with that same issue and sit with them. And sit. And sit.

I’m here with you — not just physically, but I’m here AND over there with you as a human who knows, I really know, my sweet love.

Our love for our kids ~ is there another deeper or more able healing power?  

Use us, use us, we say…see me, see me as a human for then you will see that you are never ever alone.  

So how do we encourage young adults to let us in? So we can help them through the normal stuff we all go through at this stage? And so we can all feel less alone and us as parents experience the closeness we always envisioned — as well as having THEM truly enjoy what it feels like to know their parents, really know their HUMAN parents.

As individuals (and as families), we are different, but our humanness is the same and it’s that thick gold thread-turned-rope that sustains deep and everlasting connection, the kind that can sail over the roughest waters. 

We want those who love us to sit with us and sit some more (true at any age), to more deeply and genuinely SEE us.

That’s it and it’s a lot.


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