Life

My Poem For You (if feeling rough, definitely OPEN)

May that flow

May that peace flow into the work you do in the world.

May your relationships be filled with the kind of peace that becomes the golden thread known as your life.inspire the steady stream of true, kind and compassionate words that cross your lips.

May you cross arms around loved ones often, keeping physical touch high on your get to do list. May you also cross many borders, emotional and physical, making friends and opening the mind.

May you not mind the sun kissing your sweet face (it will often) and may you face all that comes with the grace of a golden Buddha.

Happy trails to you!

Make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…enjoy your business, enjoy your life! 

Life is good,

michelle-black-sig-md-light
Michelle Ghilotti
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur 

My First Honora Salon (+ tip for you)

This is not a picture of the event I hosted last night. I’ll tell you about this photo in a minute, but for those of you who read about it when I posted yesterday, the very first Honora Evening Salon started and ended as I had envisioned it: a lovely, real, raw and moving event honoring our departed beloveds.

There was sound healing, meditation, song + more by the talented Nish Fox, then a sharing of writings I had asked everyone to prepare, storytelling + more…

What started out as an idea to honor my Mom, throw her a little birthday party (it was her day yesterday), grew into so much more.

What I shared with two clients today: when you have an idea that bubbles inside that’s so clearly aligned with the evolution of who you are today or of your work in the world, an idea that wants to GO, follow it. Don’t overthink or overjudge, just DO yourself a favor.

Do…

Because when you follow what’s meant to be (which is why it feels the way it does when it first lands in you), it does exactly that ~ the [super aligned] thing you started grows into more. Always!

One big thing that caught our attention last night and the real reason I’m writing is that of the women who were here honoring a person, a physical loss (there were various other types of loss present), 90% of them — of us — had lost mothers. Mothers.

This gets me all over again.

Seeing all the beautiful photos and one CA driver’s license of a sweet mama (-; on the altar was striking.

Mothers.

Most all of them.

Our lifelines.

Whether we had a good or a challenging relationship with her (or the person who was our main nurturer or mama figure), most in attendance would have agreed that you feel a lifeline being severed very much, no matter what.

I personally described it like a floating balloon. Untethered. Like –you can be in a room full of people or have a great, affectionate partner you live with or really enjoy the close bond between you and your child, but because your mother is no longer of this earth, you feel alone.

It’s a curious thing. I never thought that’s how I’d describe it, but it’s true, totally and completely real and true. We each agreed.

Ode to the importance of mothers or mother figures…to how important key nurturers are to our existence, both the physical, emotional and spiritual kinds of existence.

And not just parents, but true nurturers, those who are present with us, who work to understand us and our love language, parents who we’re creating new memories with, no matter how simple or small or how far apart those times physically come (or came), but always trusting they *would* come and bring about joy feelings.

Hearing the women speak so beautifully of their mothers last night was profound. It touched a part of my soul that will continue to live and mother even more aware tonight, tomorrow and tomorrow’s tomorrow…

This is a photo of Nolan and me the other afternoon.

We’ve been chatting a lot lately about what it means to be close and have a meaningful relationship in his teens and, really, throughout his life.

Our latest chats have, specifically, been about physical affection and following up seeing someone with loving eyes (those moments you’re filled with appreciation or love for someone) with showing them how you feel in a physical way, with affection.

A hand on the shoulder, a playful tickle (he’s good at those, though they’ve started to really hurt, love hurts), a hug…you know, not being afraid to complete the circle we so often don’t or didn’t when we were younger, because we thought it wasn’t cool or accepted.

I said there will be times (shh, they’re already here) where you’ll feel that you want to be affectionate with us (or anyone, really), but where your next decision will be not to do it.

Breakthrough that emotional barrier and just see how it feels to do what the initial love, kindness or closeness was moving you to do. (And this goes for us adults, too!).

It’s sweet — ever since we had this specific chat (there have been a few of them about affection now), he’s been more expressive physically. It’s like he gave himself permission to at least do that ~ to test it out. And keep testing.

This was us waiting in line to get him a burrito after school. There was a stool I sat on while we waited in line and as we stood there, he came over a couple steps and rested his head, his 13-year-old, I shave now head, on my shoulder.

We hugged for a good 15-20 seconds.

My heart melted, expanded, and created three new rooms and five new penthouse suites and I snapped this shot because I wanted to remember what conversation and playfulness does forever…

This love…
forever.

Make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…enjoy your business, enjoy your life! 

Life is good,

michelle-black-sig-md-light
Michelle Ghilotti
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur 

My Mom’s Bday — What I Did…xo

I had a birthday party of sorts for this cutie patootie, and it was called Honora.

It was sponsored by the Greater Good because I’ve made it a public gathering where we can all gather and honor both the loved ones who we’ve lost as well as the lessons we’ve found within as a result.

And because there’s so much life still in death, beyond the honoring and ritual we’ll engage in tonight, we’ll also make room for all the still – dazzling plans, purpose and dreams that are very much still a part of who we are.

As I shared last week on my personal and business Facebook pages, “in our modern lives, we rarely join in community like this beyond maybe the one-on-one dates with friends during the first week or weeks of a loss (death to divorce as just two examples) to engage in a more deliberate way around the experience of loss and grief and, in addition to that, around who we are now, who we want to become or are [inching or speeding] towards becoming, as a result.

One thing I’m fascinated by is that inside this experience of loss, we rarely discuss the still-dazzling plans and dreams we never lost to continue fully living.

Society may believe that if we’ve set out on a grief journey, that it’s all we feel — grief, but the truth is, oof, there’s much more — a deeper clarity on our purpose, deeper friendships, more intimacy and sensuality, daring, drive, creativity, will, wisdom and a reconnection to our innate and creative wildness!”

To the truth in all of this and to the full and beautiful life she lived, happy birthday to my young mama!!!!

Make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…enjoy your business, enjoy your life! 

Life is good,

michelle-black-sig-md-light
Michelle Ghilotti
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur 

Grief Felt in Not Expressing Yourself!

My late brother Dino just celebrated a birthday…another in heaven.

This last January 6th if he were physically here and of this world still he would have been 28, but I’m clear that where he is today (a world in and of itself, just not this exact one), that he is younger and wiser. 

We all know that we reverse age, but that wisdom speeds there. (;

But, in the world where we sit writing or reading this post, we speak about wisdom as something that we access or grow into as we get on in physical years.

But wisdom is not age-dependent, it is light-inspired. As in, like children, how much light or de-LIGHT and LIFE can you let in? How open or expressive can you be?

Wisdom, as in, feeling more grounded, more sure of your road less traveled path and, generally, feeling less ruffled and more connected vs. disconnected, to family and community, is not so much something gained as it is something given to us souls, seeds and babies from the start that we are attempting to remember every day, passing year or with every relationship, again and again..

It’s no secret that Dino’s early passing (as well as my Mom’s) has changed me, that it’s quickly evolved the work I do and the focus or recommitment I have on relationships, community-building and helping others step into deeper meaning inside their chosen work, while also being able to speak and communicate themselves with sincerity, integrity and charisma — who they are and why they do the work they do.

Because loss isn’t felt solely when losing a loved one, it’s also felt when struggling with the inability to express ourselves fully (don’t hide being what everyone else expects of you), so, the expression/identity part is vital. 

Everything changed the day Dino was born (everything) and everything changed again the day he died (everything). 

I wrote my college essay on the changes a baby has on a teenage household and how beautifully this new little bundle brought everyone together in ways I (we) never expected. 

After he passed, I wrote (and wrote and wrote) many essays, too, but this time about how much losing that bundle changed the family and shaped choices forever…

Younger and wiser ~ 

We are all attempting to get there ~ to feel younger (alive, delighted and excited about life) and to feel a wisdom or peace/comfort inside our skin that signals we’re in the right place for us (not for anyone else, but for *us*) and we get to both by finding, or more, creating purpose.

It’s the conversation I have most these days with friends and clients ~ it’s what we all want to know. What is my purpose? How do I bring together my life and professional experiences to create something fresh and meaningful to me? How do I create more meaning inside what I consider my work or play?

In honor of our beloved Dino’s birth 28 years ago, what is my purpose…

What is my purpose? 

One answer: it lies both deep and on the surface of something known as your life experience. Follow that.

Another answer: you bring your life and professional experience together inside meaning by creating community or communities — bringing people together (better together).

What have you overcome? What has been the dominant story in your life or the life of your family? What pains you most about your past experiences, those that have made you UP (not broken you down) and how might you alleviate the suffering of those who will come after you?

Go find those people. 

Go find where that type of loss or heartbreak exists most. 

Sit with the people who are living a version of what you’ve lived and learned from. Or, sit with those whose situations may be wildly different than yours, but where the human feelings are all too similar (we’re all too similar). 

But most of all bring life or give life where you’ve felt death and create what you want to be a part of ~> community. Specifically or potentially a more enriching, honest, warm and impactful one. 

Whether that’s a new friend, a deeper friendship with an old friend, a not-for-profit *group* project, a for-profit conscious business idea, a book you know will bring people together from across the world, focus on the bringing people together part of the operation most. 

Community is what heals and where you’ll find yourself moved most ~ by the people. 

Create for them, write for them, speak for the joys and ailments that are ours, not just yours, his or hers. 

And if that doesn’t help you feel like you’ve created a path for more meaning in your life, take the creative space that’s been opened inside you as a result of what you’ve lived or who you’ve loved, and bring that story and open heart more decidedly to all projects, people and places you touch. 

Your story told more honestly to connect to one more person, inside one new project or in one new place is purpose. Yours.

Make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…enjoy your business, enjoy your life! 

Life is good,

michelle-black-sig-md-light
Michelle Ghilotti
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur