Life

Meaning Leads to Happiness (a little bit about my talk at Allegheny College)

Last week, we spoke all day, in friendship and (in) love…

First, a breakfast with a new friend. Then, answering questions on video for an hour, followed by a lunch with both Allegheny faculty and students asking questions (laughter, empowerment through the lens of philosophy and I even snuck in the story of how Josh and I met to Josh’s surprise).

After a walk in the snow to quickly watch the Tibetan monks on campus working inside one of their mandalas (so beautiful), we did our respective talks, coming back together at the end to close it out with final thoughts which felt as light and breezy as they were serious and important.

The Q&A was one of our favorite parts, followed by a reception and breakout sessions which lasted until 7pm.

Josh and I have talked about writing a “He Said, She Said” type book for a long time, but instead the universe gifted us with the opportunity to do these “She Said, He Said” talks about doing what you love (what you want shows up in unique clothing (couture/one-of-a-kind), watch for it). But it was more than that…isn’t everything ‘more than’?

It was a display of Josh’s and my friendship. Nietzsche, who faculty brought up quite a bit yesterday, said it’s not a lack of love that breaks up marriages, but a lack of friendship. Agree?

It was a display of taking what we do and find creativity in and continuing to make giving from that energy or those businesses/entities a must; taking giving donations **to being the donation** and getting on planes and getting hands dirty, while getting so tired from answering questions that you can’t wait to do it again…

It was a display of respect for my partner, for romantic partnership and what it can mean in 2017, not just for the world, but for one guy we love more than anything: Nolan.

It was a display for how much one can give and give and be, simultaneously, filled back up and up.

It was a display of the power of story told from two distinct perspectives, but that, at the end of the day, have the same beating heart.

…a display for the respect for life and lives who need what you have to say, but get more from feeling how much you actually live it, than from what you are telling them…

This was all part of what was shared yesterday — pause at what’s expected of you, question the thinking and **feel** instead…see things not just for what they seem, but for what they ARE bringing you in terms of meaning, aliveness and quality relationships (p.s. when you experience closed doors or perceived problems/ challenges, know that you’re simply being asked to study solution — getting into this practice and, ultimately, being known as solution or solution-oriented will do more for your life and professional experience than most anything.)

Unless, of course, you ask yourself to always find meaning. That’ll do a lot, too.

You’ll find happiness.

Enjoy your business, enjoy your life!

michelle-black-sig-md-light

How to Explain Your Multi-Passionate Ways

They are each my people, equally, though in the world of love and loving there really is no equal and there is no balance, this is what I’ve come to find out, there’s only a well that replenishes itself as needed, so you can continue to give of and express your true self to who and what’s most important to you.

These are cards I gave Nolan and Josh a couple weeks ago. They stared at me extra long this morning, so I could share this ~

You don’t have to choose between your purpose and your purpose.

You don’t have to choose between your passion and your passion. 

You don’t have to choose.

You can love up on a family and do amazing work in the world, outside of them.

If you have kids and are also someone creating a movement in the world through what we call your business, service or passion project, I know that each of them are important to you and that both make you feel on-purpose…it’s ok, be honest and live that life ~ yours.

Both are mine, without a doubt: growing a conscious, loving family and marriage and being there emotionally for a growing-way-too-fast Nolan is a 10+.

And (not or) growing something outside of him and outside of US as a unit (that only supports our growth as a unit) is also a 10+. When we realize this last one — this last purpose — is truly about growing oneself, we’ve touched upon the ultimate success.

I get that each side fuels you in unique ways, so don’t choose!

It’s also ok to stop making the conversation about what’s more important.

For you, they’re both ‘more important’ to your path of meaning.

They are both, and it is ALL, your thing; your multi-purpose and multi-passionate thing…

I know what your next question is (it was mine 11 years ago), you will have time to do it all — to love up on all parts of the fully expressed you — because time will rise to meet your rising.

Sending you love, Creative Heroine!

Enjoy your business, enjoy your life!

michelle-black-sig-md-light

 

 

 

p.s. Infuse more meaning into your business and brand and follow along with the CEO Changemaker Mastermind group for the next six months (all the valuable resources for $97 per month vs. $697 per month)! Let us know if you’d like more information. Until then, cheering on your multi-passionate ways…

CEO Changemaker (3 seats OPEN)

Would you like to be part of the CEO Changemaker Mastermind that begins this March? (*For those of you who had heard about this group before, we have changed the name from CEO Soul Circle).

Though I normally fill my mastermind programs with past clients or ladies, due to transitions and other circumstances of past clients who were set to be part of our group, we have three (3) spots open.

I would love to tell you about The CEO Changemaker Mastermind below (it is very near and dear to my heart).

Though all my groups have received amazing reviews, with clients landing inside their goals and receiving beautiful results, dare I say, this group might top them all…

Here are just two of my clients and their thoughts, Whitney, CEO of a successful event planning company and Emily, creator of the Self Made Woman Way (TM):

As the mothers of the planet and compassionate hearts of the universe, it’s time to keep growing our businesses-turned-movements with all the soul and purpose we can muster (the world needs the beauty, transformation, support and empowerment you stand for, more now than ever), AND use our voices and able bodies in service of the greatest good for humanity yet. Your humanitarianism, or sacred activism, or, in other words, how you actively engage or take action towards what you most care about, outside of you, family and business, is today’s thought leadership.

In this mastermind circle, we will get after it all, business and service, and, ultimately, do for the world what we’d most like to see for our own families. In short, we will grow our businesses from a place of depth and purpose, while we also grow the consciousness and love felt on the planet.

Here’s how…

This is what The CEO Changemaker Mastermind is about and what you will receive in it that’s unique from other group business programs:

–>  BUSINESS/BRAND: Support, Resources and Weekly Coaching to Launch a Small to Medium Business or Brand Goal in 90 days, with 90 Days To Execute (although we will be focusing some time on service, this is still considered a business mastermind).

–>  PURPOSE: Guided Accountability to Connect to Your Newfound or Re-Activated Purpose Each & Every Week (this will be our guiding light, more than it ever has been before).

–>  CAUSE: Support, Resources and Weekly Coaching to Launch a Cause Close to Your Heart (and as a result, get yourself and your brand better known, receiving higher engagement on everything you do, launch and market).

–>  EVENTS: The Ability to Attend Other Industry Events with Your Mastermind Sisters and the Coaching Afterward to Get the Most from That Event Possible.

–>  POWER OF FIVE: The Minds of Five to Seven Other Women to Bounce Ideas Off Of.

–>  SERVICE TRIP: Attending a Service Trip as CEO Changemaker Mastermind Sisters (we will discuss and vote on date and place and service assignment).

At MGI we don’t loooove sales pages, so we do things as high touch as possible, which is why, below we’ve included an extended “cheat sheet” of sorts of what we will cover throughout our six months together, both LIVE and virtually. Dance your way through it and let us know if you’d like to APPLY, by, well, applying. We will send you the rest of the information you need after this step.

You will…

1.    GET AFTER ONE (1) CHOSEN (SMALL TO MEDIUM) BUSINESS, BRAND OR PASSION PROJECT/GOAL WITH SOUL, THE ONE YOU KEEP PUTTING OFF BECAUSE YOU DON’T KNOW IF THE REVENUE WILL FOLLOW (BUT YOU KNOW THE JOY WOULD), THE ONE THAT IS MOST CONNECTED TO YOUR SOUL AND CREATIVITY, AND THAT IS ULTIMATELY INSPIRED BY ONE THING: YOUR PURPOSE. 

In The CEO Changemaker Mastermind (“Mom to Mogul with Soul 2.0″ for those who were in that intimate mastermind program), we will be using one thing — your purpose — to get clear on and fuel the chosen project/goal/ program/event that truly LIGHTS YOU UP, the one you keep thinking about it, but not moving on for a million reasons (one of which being that others keep telling you it won’t make money or, perhaps, you’re telling yourself it isn’t what you “should” be spending your time on right now). I can tell you this — if you go for the things you actually deeply want to create, you will eventually get the results and happiness you desire, especially if ultimately it’s also grounded in strategy and something that will truly make the world better. Really go for it. Play the whole tape through and let’s witness you get the results you want with a business goal or passion project you’ve wanted to get after for a while.

A note on how the six month timing will work: 

First 90 days: Gain further clarity and receive support with ideas and the overall branding of it, then create it in the first 90 days (March through May 2017).

Second 90 days: Birth it and be in the act of it; accountability. (Pause for Summer, then back on for September, October and November). We will set you up with a plan for Summer success and momentum so that when you come back to the business and cause of choice, you can hit the ground running (please note that there will be two BONUS trainings and BONUS 1-on-1 calls in June to do just that  –  set you up with a Summer Success Plan.

Did I mention that we get to be changemakers yet and be part of changing the world together?

2.    GROW A CAUSE CLOSE TO YOUR HEART THAT TIES BACK TO YOUR PURPOSE AND BUSINESS THAT HELPS COMMUNICATE THE CORE OF WHAT YOU’RE ABOUT (FOLD GREATER GENEROSITY INTO YOUR BUSINESS
MODEL AND GET BETTER KNOWN AND EXPERIENCE GREATER VISIBILITY, AS A RESULT). 

Over our six months together, you will receive support around the plan and specifics to fold generosity and acts of service into your bottom line. In other words, you will use that big heart of yours, the gut feeling you’ve had for a while “to do something” and whatever extra time you have to start or grow a local cause, or grow a national or international cause locally. In short, and as a result, get better known, increase brand awareness, engagement and visibility by diving deeper into a cause of your choice.

To be generous is to be abundant.

You needn’t be a millionaire to give back (please don’t wait until that happens) and you certainly don’t need to abandon your worldly possessions or live and give like Mother Theresa 24/7, but the idea, especially as entrepreneurs and mothers of our own reinventions, is to use the wellspring of creative energy we have to give back, possibly in a larger way than you have ever have, to the community and world you love and are grateful for. In other words, to grow your business not just to get, but to give…

A word from Danielle LaPorte. This aligns beautifully with the soul of this group and the season that I feel so many of us are in. With all the love in my heart and with all due respect, networking and focusing on growing your business only for you is so 2016, a life of meaning is yours in 2017  –  you can and will have BOTH…

You may hear this as an order, an invitation, or as the opportunity of lifetimes.

How you listen is how you live. Can you hear the women crying?

Can you hear the soul gasping for clean air? And did you hear that?

That’s the sound of a good man asking, how can I serve?

Only with all of you. Mostly by being informed. Entirely with your longing.
Root your life so deeply into your Soul that comparisons, and materialism, and

status quo idealism, and the lie called media cannot possibly sway your Truth.

You won’t be a sucker for motivation. You will be a devotee of inspiration.

You want to serve? (Please say yes.) Then do what ambition tells you not to do.
Forget your goals and your regimen. Be very still and lean in to listen to the pain
of the world. And then it will be very clear what to do when you know the Truth.
You will let your heart blaze. And your solutions will be fierce with love,
fast with delivery, and sustaining.

You will walk into any room and you will bring joy to bear on the situation.

And it will sound like this:

I am listening.

I know who I am.

And I am here to serve.

— Danielle LaPorte

3.   BE A WALKING MOMTRA. MAKE WHEREVER YOUR FEET TOUCH SACRED GROUND.

As a group, we will go on one (1) service trip at the end of our time together (date and details to come after. As a group, we will discuss the top three options, both near and far, and vote in early April). I intend for this group and overall experience to change your life. I have felt it with my hospice, my own brand of activism or action support group creation and Syrian refugee work in Greece as of late and now want to bring YOU with me. Figuratively and physically, maybe not as far as Greece (we may stay in the US depending on how everyone votes), but the intention still being to make a huge difference wherever we go, and for however long we go. Note: We would love to get local TV coverage on the service element of the group and/or around our final service trip, so, stay tuned.

Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.

– Unknown

4. ATTEND ONE TO TWO (1-2) INDUSTRY EVENTS AS A GROUP, AND DOWNLOAD AS A GROUP ON THOSE EVENTS WITH COACHING AND MASTERMINDING AFTERWARD.

Different than past masterminds where we met at my home for multiple retreats, MGI will be researching the best entrepreneur events between San Diego and Napa/Sonoma to attend together, then, downloading on it in the evening to leave you with the most relevant and top two (2) nuggets or action items to integrate into your soulful and elegant, purposeful business.

5. PRIVATE BUSINESS COACHING, GROUP TRAININGS AND Q&As, WEEKLY ACCOUNTABILITY, CUSTOM AND PERSONAL RECORDINGS FOR EACH WOMAN IN BETWEEN OUR PRIVATE PHONE SESSIONS. 

See possible weekly and monthly themes below. More detail to come once we receive your application. You can APPLY here.

Did I mention that we get to be changemakers yet and be part of changing the world together?

6. AND LASTLY, FOR NOW, A QUICK NOTE ON THE POTENTIAL THEMES FOR EACH BUSINESS WORKSHEET EACH MONTH. THESE ARE SOME IDEAS COMING DOWN THE PIKE THOUGH THERE MAY BE SHIFTS AS WE BEGIN AND I LEARN WHAT EACH OF YOU NEEDS MOST

(that said, though the MGI workbooks have been one of the most talked about and valuable extras from each of my groups every month, I will only be doing worksheets that are 1-10 pages in length, ensuring that we can all get through them each month, you know, setting you up for success):

  • Brand Review (180 degree assessment by Michelle with private 20 minute feedback via MP3 and one BONUS 30 minute call to discuss your authentic brand to make sure our six months ) Goal: Fine-Tuning Brand Elements For Deeper Engagement.
  • Creativity and How It Can Support Beloved Passion Projects.
  • Elevating Your Social Media Experience (Both For You & Your Audience).
  • Service Elevates Your Personal Brand and Gets Your Business Better Known.
  • Manifesting Magic (How to Take What You May Know to What You DO).
  • Writing (and Humor) That Moves People (Training with Karen Salmansohn, Oprah Columnist with over 1,000,000 books sold).
  • How to Hustle with Soul.
  • How to Make Money With Ease.
  • Tips on Infusing Generosity into Your Business Model.
  • Being Real and Elegant at The Same Time (Elegance in Communication).
  • Service as a Path to Your Greatest Thought Leadership.
  • Growing Your Social Media Following Another 500 people within Six Months.
  • The Difference Between Strength and Soul Strength (Life Credibility/Challenges)  – The Path of the Creative Heroine (and How to Share About Your Challenges).
  • From Idea to Money-Maker on 24-hours.
  • How to Avoid Stress as You Grow Yourself or Your Business

TIMING: We will meet March through May 2017, pause June through August, then pick up again at the start of September 2017 through November 2017. Again, sometime towards the end of our six months, we will take our service trip and there will be strategy, detailed homework and a Summer plan in place for everyone so you feel set up for success during this purposeful pause.

There will be two bonus calls and a bonus private call for each of you in June (dates tbd) to help make sure we are setting you up for success come Fall. I want you to feel prepped, at peace and set up to come back to the group, your goals and your business with gusto come September, October and November and also know that many of my clients take different part of the Summer to travel, be with family and recharge.

TUITION: Because I am firm believer in never letting money be the thing that stops us. I would encourage you to APPLY first, and then we can discuss the tuition (there are so many ways to work this, as past clients know). I can, however, tell you this…it is absolutely a doable amount every month for the value, results, unique theme of the group and how hands on I am as a coach. In short, we are SO happy to share the tuition info with you once we see your application hit our desks. APPLY here.

Did I mention that we get to be changemakers yet and be part of changing the world together?

Please note: this does not include the cost of the events we will attend, though we will research those events that have tremendous value without breaking the bank, then immediately let you know so you can plan. Stay tuned for more. The tuition also doesn’t include the cost of the service trip, however, we will not necessarily (have to) go that far. As mentioned previously, we will research a few options, then discuss as a group early on, to decide where and exactly when we will go and make a difference.

With that, get ready for a growth experience, a joy experience and an experience that will take you and your business to places you may have never gone or been to, as fast as you will in this group. We will bake a generosity of spirit throughout everything you do over the next six months, one that is not easily ignored, and we won’t stop there. It will overflow so much that all those who need it most will also absolutely benefit…

I take my hat off to you, brave ones, changemakers, and Creative Heroines, and bow to you in gratitude for your soulful leadership, your creativity, purpose, passion and service.

We look forward to receiving your application. APPLY here and we will be in touch just as soon as we receive it!

As always, enjoy your business and enjoy your life…

Life is good,

michelle-black-sig-md-light

 

 
 
 
p.s. I would love to have you APPLY for one of the three (3) spots open in this intimate group (maximum — eight women) if you feel that unique brand of excitement in your belly. And, listen to this, if the group isn’t right for you right now (though it’s always the right time to be a part of the change in the world!), I invite you to email us back anyway to let us know that you’d like to be put you on our list of interested ladies for the next round. That said, and, as importantly, I invite you to email me back to ask ANY question you may have on getting more involved in your community or world, I’m all ears and would love to help you! Talk soon, xo!

Walked from SF to D.C.! (STORY)

Imagine walking from San Francisco to Washington D.C. in support of something you strongly believe in?

Over the last few months, in meditation and beyond, I’ve asked that I be shown, in no uncertain terms, where I need to be and what I need to do in service of greater peace, equality and in love and protection of those who need it most in the world right now.

That voice or voices, you can call it many things, one of them being intuition, guided me to Greece to help where I could at the refugee camp, guided me to begin creating the model for action support groups that we’ll host in LA at our home, it’s what moved Josh and I both, as creatives, to begin speaking at colleges (first talk together will be this March back East) all around creating your own career path (being in charge of your own success — no glass ceilings) and, lastly, generally, this connection or trust — you can call it my own surrender experiment — also guided me to get more involved at the local level with causes that align with my values. I spoke to the ACLU last night and they will be in attendance for Josh’s and my first group here.

I share tonight because it’s incredible what happens, and in such a short amount of time, when we are committed and devoted to doing all it takes, no matter what, in support of what we believe.

As most magical things come these days, in an email last week I received a message from hospice, where I volunteer as a companion, telling me that they had found my first ongoing hospice assignment (they place you with whomever lives in closest driving distance to you).

I hadn’t been placed with one person yet last year, but instead, had been bouncing around visiting different families who needed someone, who lived about an hour or so away. All wonderful. Again, when you go where you’re needed, you’re promised many xxl heart opening experiences, as a result.

Going where I’m being asked to go “in no uncertain terms” and, hands down, every time this last year, in service work, family, friendship or my brand and coaching business, it’s exactly where I’ve needed to be. In no uncertain terms, yet as simple as a smile, maybe my Mom’s name, or with the flash of a number eight, I’ve gotten that confirmation.

I continued to read about my first official assignment tonight, all about the woman I have the privilege to befriend for the remaining days of her life and I couldn’t believe my eyes (well, I could because magical things happen all the time, why? Because I expect them to, I’m eagerly waiting for them)…

She’s a goddess, a 96-year-old woman who raised seven children as a single mom, worked in civil rights and walked from S.F. to D.C. to take a stand against nuclear war.

It said she *was* a writer (once a writer, *always* a writer — it’s not always about being able to put pen to paper, but about a way of looking at, and continuing to feel the world).

The note from the director at hospice also mentioned she was eager to talk about her life and loved, loved, loved engaging in stimulating conversation.

{my phone rang as I was typing this post, here’s what just happened…}

It was my new friend’s daughter. We spoke for 20 minutes all about her beautiful mom and my first visit tomorrow, about her fun and playful personality, what to expect, what she might like etc.

Her daughter said she was a very funny lady (too smart for her own good), loves poetry, wants to listen to Ted Talks or podcasts with me and that an easy in tomorrow might be dogs (easy, I told her, I have photos of Holland at the ready).

I asked her if there was anything I could bring her tomorrow and, another intuitive hunch gone right…tomorrow is her BIRTHDAY, her daughter said, so maybe something colorful like balloons?

She loves her birthday, she continued. Ok, we will talk about that tomorrow, I said, I also love birthdays and I love my birthday.

Her daughter told me she had written “97” on the cover of her January calendar when she first got it. It had been the only thing she wrote on it.

I shared with her that she might not believe it, but that when I first contacted her to set up a day for me to come, something in me said, ask if you can come Thursday, so I mentioned Thursday. (I knew that I could have probably said next week, but I felt I needed to go sooner than that, Thursday, specifically, even though it would not be the easiest for me, necessarily).

We laughed at first at the serendipity (life magic) and then, I could hear her holding back tears. It’s a lot to handle losing someone. That’s what I was thinking and feeling inside, but all I said was, I know, I know…

Once she spoke again, she said, one thing I wanted to do with her before the stroke, which she was excited about, was color…maybe you can color with her? I have an empty coloring book, I told her, we will fill up as much as she wants and has energy for.

Great, that’s wonderful, she said.

I will color with her, my kindred spirit, I thought to myself…

And, I’ll show up and up and up, like her balloons.

And just like that, from one moment to the next, I get to create and be a part of a birthday party tomorrow for a friend (who almost shares a birthday with my own Mom — by three days) and who had it written in her stars, too, that we’d meet, a woman who believed strongly in something, in seven children and in a cause called peace, in humor and in words that move people to love and feel light…

I get to sit in for her daughter tomorrow. I get to love a mom, as if she were my mom. And do it week, after week…

Here’s the thing. What we believe we will receive, we receive…

And what we support, supports us.

This assignment — life — is so beautiful and interesting and filled with opportunities to seize the day that some nights I feel I could fall over in observance of it all.

I really think I might tonight, but before I do, I have a mini birthday party to plan!

Happy birthday and thank you, beauty, all 97 years young of you. I can’t wait to meet you on the day you were born, it is, in no uncertain terms, exaaaactly where I need to be tomorrow.

Enjoy your business, enjoy your life!

Life is good,

michelle-black-sig-md-light

 
 
 
 

p.s. If you’re craving to get more involved and go where you’re most needed, let me know…I want to help you!