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 

Take YOU Over Completely

We slice and dice ourselves into different parts to fit different environments and end up diluting our personalities and power so much that the best someone might get, either professionally or personally, is a lukewarm version of us (we, too, in turn, get a lukewarm version of our life — it’s this lukewarm version that keeps us at least one arm’s length to true contentment and to those feelings of meaning we most want as part of our daily lives).

No loving leader in the world changed it by fitting in or only using part of his or her voice or true expression. We are all leaders (part of what I’ll share this weekend at prison, we are) ~ leading or nurturing families, businesses, corporations, movements, some of which we can essentially call our children (they are our wishes let loose on the world, a  movement if I’ve ever known one). And likely the most important of all – leading ourselves.

Whatever you consider your thing beyond the 9-5 or in addition to it — the thing that you’re madly called to do (what you consider your art, your passion or purpose projects, your use of your wild creativity and/or solutionizing for the greater good etc.) — it all must have (gets to have) the full expression of you baked into it.

That most full expression needs to take you over completely.

YOU, and no one else, need to take you over completely.


[📸: Mayan ruins in my homeland last July]

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 

Brady Bunch & Drinking Water During Quarantine

In 10+ years on Facebook/social media, this is the second meme I’m posting — relevant + funny (I need the humor)…

The first meme I posted weeks BQ/before quarantine related to the four days I fasted in the wild in July solely drinking water: “I used to think coffee was the grown-up drink. Then I thought alcohol was the grown-up drink. Now I have achieved full enlightenment and know that water is the grown-up drink.”

I know this last one ~> 🍸 <~ has likely changed for a lot of people 😊 and in our next LIVEN livestream [Sunday 9:05am Pacific], Josh and I might just tackle the subject and tell you our story of doing the complete opposite…it’s been awesome and so interesting!


#haveasnackofwater 😊

Make happiness (or peace or gentleness) your business — especially now during quarantine.

Life is good,




Michelle Ghilotti
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur 

More Wrinkles, Close Your Eyes & Breathe

All the markings found on our bodies can be gorgeous reference points and honest representations of what we’ve taken in, and of all we’ve let go.

What we’ve held onto or let go, what we tend to call good or bad, is exactly as it is and needs to be.

It’s brought you here, sitting in the passenger seat of a car, with age the sage inside, giving you back thanks for *not* being the passenger in your life…



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