Life

Unlikely Brand Thoughts

Anything that grows you, grows your movement (the thing we confusingly call your business).

Spend less time worrying about what makes you look good and more on what makes you grow good.

Self awareness + responsibility in all the ways that comes.

Tough conversations.

Break ups.

Make ups.

Travel.

Supporting others who will never become your clients (service/true generosity).

Eventually what makes you look good is what’s grown you — good. More now than ever in your world, these two need to become the same thing.

Personal development IS brand development.

In fact, it’s everything development.

Enjoy your business, enjoy your life!

Life is good,

michelle-black-sig-md-light

 

 

 

p.s. If you’d like to learn more about CEO Soul Circle, our next business mastermind group (+ service trip) starting in February, email us back and we’ll send you the PDF on it!

Two Words All Businesses Need

 

nolan-giving-2

Instead of focusing solely on growing your business to get, focus on growing it so you can give.
Enjoy your business, enjoy your life!
Life is good,

michelle-black-sig-md-light

 

 

 

p.s. Short and sweet. Two words all brands and marketers like us also need. :)

Expectations for the Modern Day Woman

Photo taken two weeks ago working with Syrian refugees in Greece.

Social justice + sacred activism + being extra human(itarian)…

Take away the fancy labels that may or may not have connected with you in the past, and realize that TODAY, this is you.

It’s us.

Those with a fire in our belly and activated voices, those, not just with ideas, but newfound energy to go anywhere it’s needed, emotionally or physically, knowing that, guided by the soul’s voice, we know exactly what to say, to whom and who, with joined hands and a fierce devotion, to create a solid, loud and consistent safety net around.

Those of us with voices (all of us, young and old) and those with platforms, need not only see ourselves in the light of these three ways of being in the world (social justice + sacred activism + bring extra human(itarian)), but begin to infuse more of the specifics of these elements into our programs, walking others through and waking them up to how they, too, can do more from their experience of feeling more than they have in a long, long time.

I went to a local ladies pow-wow with Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg yesterday (thank you again, Francine) and it was further confirmation of the responsibility to see that our care, concern and feelings of anger, fear or frustration are expressed in how we take responsibility for how we keep war, separation, fear and inequality alive in our homes, thoughts and daily actions, as well as in what we financially support, tolerate and, of course, how we do business.

Bye, bye to time business as usual.

I can’t wait to share more about my process delving further into these topics and infusing more of these ways of being in the world into my groups and programs.

In thanks giving for the energy to support, not only an actively female-friendly society, but an everyone-friendly world and doing it alongside you.

Life is good,

michelle-black-sig-md-light

 

 

Adventure Tip (photos from Spain)

There's so much I'd love to share with you about this Summer's travels so far! (We have one more trip to Columbia coming up but just one day ago returned from visiting three cities we love in Europe).  

As a family who is lovingly called "The Gypsies" by their parents, travel and the way it informs our creativity, connection and global citizenship, has always been really important to us.

I was born outside the U.S. and as a young girl and young adult, I studied abroad in France and Spain. Later on as a married woman, my husband and I moved to Holland and Mexico for adventure (aka: to learn more about ourselves through the new and unexpected). 

Though we would love to move to yet another country at some point, these days we get our fix of adventure and the new and unexpected by traveling near and far a few times a year.

Today I'd love to share this photo of my son from the Mama-Sun portion of our European adventure (as well as a couple others below), in addition to some thoughts and tips for how to bring adventure into your life and business and…"how to love the lesson." I'll explain… 

About Adventure and Loving the Lesson, Spain Edition.

Nolan zip lined in Toledo, Spain, a medieval town that used to be the capital of Spain. 

It was a big deal because he was nervous and did it anyway.

I'm happy to report it was so bad that he went down a second time.

Before that new physical adventure, we visited the museum dedicated to El Greco, an artist from the Spanish Renaissance. It was our creative, art history adventure or lesson for the day.

Both experiences and lives — Nolan's and El Greco's — have much to say, so here it is:

Adventure: Just like apples, having one a day keeps the doctor away. That's what Nolan and I talked about in the taxi headed to our next destination. We discussed that living life like a game (except with matters of the heart) was key. I shared that looking at each day, no matter what he was doing, as the 12 or so awake hours he needed to experience at least one new adventure would help him suck the sweet lemon/orange/mango/apple juice out of life.

SUCK THE JUICE OUT OF LIFE.

It could be a letter you write to someone, even though you're a bit nervous or signing up for the talent show at school and walking away before you have a chance to cross your name off the list. Or, it could be, as you get older, I said, planning your next wild trip with a friend during a lunch break. Those examples may not be what light him up as he grows, of course, but I told him he'd definitely know what adventure was and meant to him. Follow those feelings and excitement around your definition of adventure now versus keeping adventure as something you do only once or twice a year, find things that scare or light you up and get after them. When you get after them, you GET a fired-up, purposeful life.

"You'll grow in confidence which will also make life much more enjoyable," I said.

¡Make your bucket list a daily one! 

When we take life too serious, listening too much to that fear voice attempting to keep us safe, we live a serious life.

As I share with clients, you may have to trick yourself into doing the things that will bring joy and purpose to your life (there are all sorts of ways).

Similarly, it takes practice to live this kind of adventurous, confident in self life, however that's something everyone has access to ~ the ability to practice. The key is to start, and keep on keeping on.

One way to get ourselves into practice mode is by re-framing everything we do in life, love or business as experiences which we "get to do" versus those we "have to do" (part of the play factor or game). 

You don't HAVE to do anything. Not at all. But you were given all your human bells and whistles (intellect, intuition, sense of spontaneity and adventure) so you could GET to do a lot of amazing things.

When you re-frame the situations in front of you, you get that much more out of the experience ahead and out of life as a whole, too.

The latter is one of my favorite phrases and truths because when we look at life with this lens, everything, and I mean everything, becomes an opportunity. Fear is an opportunity. No is an opportunity. Yes, is an opportunity. Even grief is an opportunity, as I've learned as of late.

Lesson: Every day, lessons will come. Emotional lessons, art history lessons, you name it. Instead of beating yourself up when the emotional or, in other words, relationship lessons come, at minimum, challenge yourself to be grateful they've arrived (you don't have to be happy about it, but gratitude acknowledges there's value in the timing and weight of the experience). Do see it for what it is ~ the chance to learn the next greatest lesson right now so you can move on more deeply, honestly, and with less burden, enjoying the rest of the adventure. When you learn the lesson the first time it comes around, you don't have to repeat it; something we forget, but that we can absolutely count on.

The lesson for both of us was both an emotional one, in Nolan doing what he was afraid of, and it was also a lesson in purpose, authentic expression and dedication to our brand of joy, learning from Greco's life…

It took 200+ years *after* his death for El Greco's body of work to experience what we might call "success." His dramatic, expressionistic style, rediscovered by romantics and French painters, but misunderstood and rejected throughout much of his life, was finally celebrated and became a great inspiration to new painters, sculptures and architects.

But, he was 'too much' for his time. And to "be too much" and express in exactly the way he did was his purpose. To be 'too much' is your purpose, too.

How could you do that more in the choices you're making in your business, writing, or speaking? How could you be too much and express to your heart's content?

The lesson here: Express, use your voice and show yourself and keep doing so, regardless if others celebrate you or not…

We do the opposite ALL the time. We stop ourselves from moving forward with our art, our writing, our business, our expression in whatever form that takes, because of what others think.

Nolan says do it anyway. Jump, dive, slide, two-step into it, but do it. Your ecstatic joy and success awaits.

Dedicate yourself to your art and to putting it out there with wild abandon every day and know, better yet, BANK on something wild happening.

Set your sights on both the adventure and lesson(s) you'll accept as part of the bold, expressed you today and you won't just experience ecstatic joy, you will embody it.

What one adventure will you create in your life each day?

What self-awareness, gratitude and permission will you tap into to allow in the lessons that wish to inform you, promising to, not only make you a better version of yourself in this moment, but possibly the next most innovative expressionist of your time?

Sending you all my Summer love!

Talk to you soon, couture creation you…

Life is good,

michelle-black-sig-md-light