My Prison Work (the film!)

Once we become aware, we become accountable.

This is what a dear spiritual teacher taught me years ago and it’s how I feel with what I’m going to share ~ knowing what I now know, I feel accountable to some great thing with great value (~> to many humans with great value).

I want to (and will) continue to make the size of a difference you see, and most importantly feel, in this film…

As the film shows, it’s trauma that is the “gateway” for the vast majority of the guys we work with. That said, the work we do inside the Compassion Prison Project ~ powerful and genuinely transformational.

Take a few-minute feel and watch the film that CPP produced with Fritzi Horstman (CPP lead and Grammy winner for “The Defiant Ones”) with the help of Oscar-nominated Rodrigo Prieto.

It is truthfully-telling and affects me every single time I watch it and I’ve watched it many times (in less than a day we received 100k+ views (way higher total views now) and we’ve received support from the world over and I understand why.

I think for many, it’s the first time they’re seeing or reconfirming visually and in words what it truly means to be behind bars before someone might actually be behind physical ones as an adult.

A few days ago, I came upon this note from my second visit to prison:

”We’re going to spread the word there are humans in here.”

We have — and I add to that: we’re going to spread the word there are humans here whose young boy spirit was deeply traumatized over and over again.

We need to more fully share the realities of their lives to better understand what type of rehabilitation is needed in our system (and that it’s needed, period).

I can’t tell you how much this work means to me. I’m motivated each day, each story and with each human I meet.

Thank you Compassion Prison Project and thank you humanity, high truth and transformation.

~> We are spreading the word there are humans in there.

[If anyone you know would appreciate seeing the film, please share and consider donating if you’re called (

Lastly, if you or anyone you know might be able to translate this film into another language, please do reach out].⁣

#compassionprisonproject #compassioninaction #childhoodtraumabehindbars #childhoodtrauma #childhoodtraumaawareness #prisonreform #prisonreformCA ⁣#stepinsidethecircle #thereisnoshame

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 

Waking… (what my husband planned)

Time has slowed down recently to the speed of souls.

It feels good, they say.

Though much is still being done, wondered, thought and worried about all around the world, many are now waking up multiple times a day…

They’re waking in the most simple way to what feels right and not right for them in relationship, communication and work.

They’re waking to what’s healthy (maybe by way of what feels unhealthy) and to what’s fun (maybe by way of letting it all relax a bit to be able to laugh more) — both in different ways allowing nervous systems, hormones and guts to re-set.

They’re waking to what forgiving the person they can’t see right now OR the one they’re living with really does and means (be ~> for giving), as well as what thankfulness (and each of these polar opposites) do, too.

They’re waking to music, writing, reading and whatever their art once was, feeling more deeply this time ‘round how helpful it is (any of it and for however long they’re able to revel in it amidst the days, craze or daze) when they don’t know what else to do.

They’re waking up to the health benefits for heart of returning to art.

They’re waking to new forms of romance and to taking time to light the candles to keep each of their own lights on.

They’re waking to simple ~ to drinking more water (what is that beautiful thing I just did? I drank water), to using the ceramic tea cup all day vs. the to-go, in traffic kind, to sitting in a chair at a table to eat lunch, maybe even with family, all the way to waking to the second shower, or to not showering at all and how good that, too, feels for the same soul who said this pace, this pace, I want more of it…

They’re waking to the difference between consumerism and presents to presence and creativity-ism.

They’re waking to this latest form of travel and “oh, what an inner world of my thoughts, feelings and desires there is to explore,” they think or say to themselves…

They’re waking to what freedom means and how much of it they feel they do or don’t have, emotionally or energetically in their current lives, as well as how many people around the world don’t a c t u a l l y have much of it at all, nor have much of the simplest helpful realities they, themselves, have while “stuck” at home…

They’re waking to patterns, habits and beliefs held, that have helped them rise and those, too, that have led to pits and falls.

They’re waking to what can continue to take residence within them and at home when “this is over” and/or to taking the one step to the final stand for it to change.

They’re waking to realize that this here life, in whatever form it takes, is one where they still and always get to create what they most want to be part of.


They’re waking —


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 

It’s Ok to FEEL OK (controversial?)

This ones actually called “I Feel Guilty or Disrespectful”…

This morning, another close friend, making it three in a little over a week, shared she was feeling bad for being ok or having many moments where she’s feeling good (~> she’s enjoying quality time in family ~  it having felt necessary, she realized, after a tough last couple years).

I understood the feelings that parade as guilt.

How can I feel good some days or maybe even most days right now when so many people are hurting physically, personally and/or professionally? 

It feels disrespectful, even.


This is my answer to self when I’ve experienced similar feelings (note: this is three weeks after writing a post talking about it being ok to NOT feel ok right now, both = valid, in short, it’s ok to feel *whatever* you are feeling, which may change minute time minute at times):

First, pain and joy co-exist. 

They do and have for always. The world is made up of it/of them both…if one lives, the other, too, can live and has since the beginning of time, without humans trying to change that fact. 

Just as rain falls or light comes every single morning, people have experienced life in wildly different ways.

This happened before Coronavirus/COVID and it will happen after, too. You were hurting while your neighbor played loud music while throwing a party. Or — your neighbor was crying in her car down the street, while you were laughing and tickling your son.

From wherever we’re sitting, just before all of this happened and still very much now, there were and are people in pain because they don’t have enough food or water or shelter. Millions upon millions. 

I hate to say it, but it’s true — that when it hits closer to home it hits us differently, maybe, but the truth isn’t any different and that is that you get to have your own (real) experience.  

You’re not turning a blind eye to the world around you and what’s going on *and* you also don’t have to shut down feeling ok or grateful that parts of you, maybe surprisingly throughout all this, have maybe been returned to a more solid state. 

What’s likely most true is that many of us are feeling the full range from completely tender and unsure to completely grateful and certain (at least about some things in our lives).

So ~ if you feel you can create something in this time, create. If you are mending relationships, wonderful. If you feel happy or peaceful or grounded, or for the first time in years, like the world is working at the speed of your soul, let it work —

It’s not wrong.

I think what it comes down to is that love doesn’t ever take a break. As evidenced by the countless of nurses and doctors who have worked tirelessly to support those  in need right now, love keeps working even as dark times loom…babies are still being born and people are still pledging their love to one other and families are reconnecting in a way they, maybe, haven’t done so in this way before…

And thank God for all the above — we can’t push away moments of might or of feeling good or of gratitude or say they‘re not worthy of living alongside everything else because it’s IN those very moments where love, opportunity and optimism is working…

It’s where we rise from.

It’s where we become well again.

We deeply need people who are feeling well because these are the people who can tip scales, who can give back to their community and world *with* that very wellness and love found or created…

It’s those people who are likely also doing something of great importance, too, inside their own FAMILIES (Mother Theresa‘s response when somebody asked how they, one lone person, could help create peace in the world: “Go home and love your family.”).

The truth is many are getting that very opportunity right now.

Whatever we do, we can’t stop seeing love, creating love or feeling any good feeling we can catch right now. 

We need those feelings very, very much.

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 

While You’re Healing, Help Others Heal

Now that he’s in high school, I drive just under three hours every day to get him to and from school.

We had nine years of first living five doors down from school and then about three blocks from school and now we get to experience a whole new type of departure and arrival and a new, beep beep, part or side of our relationship, too — grateful my business allows me the opportunity to be this mobile.

I think of these three hours: “Look at what they’re allowing me to do, talk about, hear about or to more fully understand, or — look at who I can sit in comfortable silence with, stealing a glance, while hearing hip hop bounce from the one headphone he’ll sometimes put in.”


The cost of something is the connection or growth point to something else. Let’s not look solely at the cost of something (what’s been taken away), but at what’s being put in its place. There’s always some thing —or some one.

[Visiting Crumbs & Whiskers for the second time — this time, I surprised Nolan with a visit while he was healing from a concussion. If you live in LA, check C&W out. You can order tea or coffee and snacks while you and someone you love play with kittens and cats who have been saved from being euthanized. Prrrfect thing, really…while you’re healing, help others heal heal,✌🏽

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