On Loneliness (Vision Quest story)

“I have a relationship with them — it’s just not exactly the one I want.”

If you’re feeling any part of this with anyone in your life (it’s not the way you like or love it, you want more), the connection or relationship that may need the most attention is the one with yourself.

When I was in the wild 7,000 feet up and on my own for three days and nights (four days fasting, which this photo is representative of…one pine cone for every day), there was much time to be with myself (I had someone ask me the question the other day that many have asked, what did you do every day??), and you know what I found besides more of me, the woman/a woman who enjoys her own company? 

I found that although I was alone, I was not lonely.

In fact, the night before coming down, I didn’t want to. I wanted to stay up there.

I wanted that connection, no distractions (did I mention I had some of the best sleep of my life)…but, I knew, of course, that that wasn’t real. 

I couldn’t stay up there forever (Josh and Nolan might soon begin to miss me, plus my back might have issues sleeping too many weeks on just a pad — the open air wasn’t an issue, in fact, that felt ridiculously healing).

The true quest, as my wise guide reminded me, though, would actually begin, off the mountain, going back to the way life is there, hopefully, though, bringing the proverbial light down from the mountain — to where disconnection (loneliness) today feels like a societal norm.

And it’s true, the human condition today is one where, no matter if you’re in a marriage or surrounded by people or in nature or in the city, many people feel alone — and lonely. Again, especially these days. 

And it’s due to many things (insert cell phone emoji here), but healing longtime wounds and getting to know ourselves and develop ourselves emotionally are a couple important ones.

Though I went up to say goodbye to a handful of years of tragic loss and to generally challenge myself inside what makes up a vision quest (no shelter, no social interaction and no food…I‘ve always appreciated a good physical, emotional and/or spiritual challenge), I received much around this idea of loneliness, loss and disconnection and what to do about it (folding in a lot of it into my work with women).

And it’s no wonder, too, because the idea of a functioning [it takes a] village or true community, of consistent sitting or gathering together as we once did or as some cultures still do, and, as importantly, of rights of passage, are not usual modern-day practices (but it can be found, and better yet, created~> go, do…create what you want to be a part of!). 

The journey/the challenge/the path/the climb — the purpose — of most lessons or trials today, yesterday or tomorrow are here to assist us in exactly that ~> in being the creatives, the creators, of what we most want and need…

And though this creation does involve other humans (it must, we are social creatures, we need each other!), the part we often leave out or prioritize after everything or everyone else is the one with the person who will *always* be there ~ that relationship within which is THE one we can’t go without. 

#creativeheroine 

#brandofwoman

#visionquester

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

Truths I Hold Self-Evident (hi from Guatemala!)

I’m leaving Guate, once again, filled with the good stuff ~ with a depth of connection…

And it’s exactly that — connection  — anywhere and anytime that keeps my creativity, joy and self expression at the forefront (connection with others when it’s real — deepest — is very much also a connection with self).

I have written about a lot this week because I have held a lot this week.

I hold these truths to be self evident (today and all the days ~ ¡salud!):

~ Guatemala as a country, people and culture [mi familia 🇬🇹 💙] are GORG. 

~ Your consistency in showing up for someone and showing up as exactly who you *are* is a gift to the next person you show up for (or the same person you keep showing up for) who needs to see it in action to be another genuine domino expression of care and individuality.

~ As parents, hold onto your seats, we are not the end all, be all. We get to evolve as people and individuals outside of being parents to have a true and long-lasting fruitful relationship with who “our” kids are as their own people (with their own opinions and desires). 

~ Accepting someone, anyone, a parent, a sibling, a friend etc. for who they are need not mean allowing yourself to not speak your truth in love. 

~ It also need not mean stopping yourself (eyes, ears) from being able to see or hear the love you may not feel you’re receiving at practice in the world (it’s literally everywhere, talk to someone, anyone, for a minute longer than the typical “Can I get a regular coffee please, thank you.”). A beautiful expression of love and appreciation that an older gentleman named John shared with me during my stop in Dallas you may have read about last week: ”If you have a daughter, you have everything.” Oy my heart,💕]

~ When you look to finally and consistently give yourself the love you normally look for on the outside (more time given to yourself or your projects vs. the rush rush rushing, forgiveness, focusing on getting well or in the more full healing of hurts etc.), you feel peace, an almost neutral, yet joyful state of being — a being who needs no one to do, say or change to be content. Self love is the only love with some ONE that lasts.

~ You have a blessed choice to *not* taint or break down your most optimistic and loving relationships because of the pain felt inside or as a result of another relationship, namely the one inside of or with yourself. See earlier point. 

~ Two good people don’t necessarily make a great marriage. When we get comfortable and call being in a marriage enough, we stay in a marriage, not in love. 

~ When you ask someone how they *really* are and wait to genuinely hear the real answer, you give them permission to feel it all. Life IS joy and isn’t only filled with joy, uplifting Facebook posts or “how are you? I’m good!”, it’s a mixture of all colors of the rainbow. People need us to hear them, to give them time, without distraction. It’s this time and “permission“ that breeds the type of connection that helps them/us not feel alone in any experience. It’s also the first way for us to be of deep service to humanity (akin to Mother Theresa’s, ‘if you want to help increase the peace felt in the world, go home and love your family.’). Your purpose is literally all around you.

~ Being real, the full you, the you you know you keep on the lowest volume most or all days, vs. the cool, “perfect”, professional or 2020 influencer-type you think you need to be to be liked, keeps you most loved by…….you. She’s/he’s the most important to receive your full care and connected to what’s real and deep and true.

~ When you feel you can’t hold something, a thought, an energy, a relationship, a feeling, anything, hand it over. Give it to nature or to what’s most natural which is all around us. Give it to source. 

~ Doing what you say you’re going to do doesn’t only create great relationships, businesses or help us to reach goals, it produces a feeling of peace that helps us sleep at night. Our word is our well-being.

~ Helping others heals you. Finding one way or all the ways this can be done creates a place to park pain (because, again, ~> connection…it’s a salve). When you give love away, it finds its way right back to you inside that same experience in the very same moment. Poof, magic!

~ Family. It’s not just a noun, she’s a verb. My Guatemalan family shows me this in subtle and big ways always. Verb: “I’m going to family it today…I’ll speak and act like we are all connected and that IT is all connected because it is.”

~ It’s all happening so fast. I know, I feel it, too, and with what’s baked above, it’ll slow…down. Let’s slow it dowwwn.

           ❤     ❤     ❤     ❤     ❤ 

Thank you, mil gracias y besototes, to my family of origin for the greatest expression of connection I’ve ever known, for deep relating and for always welcoming the fullness of me each and every time with open arms. 50+ to be exact.

¡¡A todos ustedes, mi familia, y a esta vida, los amo!! 

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

What Happens When You’re “Extra” (all parts of you)

A way to know or be in relationship with the deepest parts of yourself, (as well as be more genuinely fulfilled which most or many of us are searching for in this world of celebrity, influencing and short attention spans) is to authentically pursue your calling.

This could mean as a side thing, paid or unpaid thing, or a larger thing…whatever works right now and in the now that will come in a year or 10 from now…

IT (the high call) doesn’t judge the time you give it or how much money you get paid to do it, but do give some THING to it, water it, so it can start bearing real fruit (joy, peace, meaning) in your life.

This thing that calls you, however softly, and maybe not even daily yet, can come folded into or be a passion of yours, it can come wrapped in the blanket of service or flow inside the river of creativity that won’t stop oozing out of you and onto the lists and plans you make on paper.

But leaning into it…doing it and not just once, but consistently, is where the fulfillment lies that you feel a stronger longing for as time passes.

If you don’t know where to start, move here…

Express more of the whole, real you 

inside more of all of your relationships, including the beast known as your industry (in each industry and in most relationships, we are only ever expressing maybe [maybe] half of who we are).

Begin sharing that person…sharing the personality and the gifts and the primary talents and desires to help others that come naturally to her/him…by giving them an outlet, you allow the whisper of that call to become louder, unmistakable.

The deepest part of yourself that you get to know when you do work that means something to you is where joy and peace come from. 

This is how you become, not only maybe highly fulfilled, but how you make life highly expressive, too…your high art.

So, start ~ start with the expression of the full range of you because it is only when you share who you REALLY are that more is revealed.

(This is a real world, working thing).

#creativeheroine

#brandofwoman

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

The Greater Good Party

     

YOU’RE NOT BOUND. Don’t hold back.

Two years ago when we took a walk around the ol’ block and I told Josh my idea, I said, almost jokingly, that this ongoing gathering, community or party I was thinking about would be a sort of “support group”.

#greatergoodparty
#ggp

We laughed about how serious that felt (it was post election), it was true and there was more…

Twelve Greater Good parties later and having loved up on LA, Austin, NYC and SF with spoken word, song and meaningful speakers who have brought stories of optimism, purpose and passion to life, what was truly sparked from that simple walk and my deep desire is a community that has:

• Taken a fresh look at how we “party” and created a new way to do it that leaves you high for the entire weekend (what a couple people shared after this past Sunday’s party, photos are from the night).

• Taken us off our phones to actually seeeee and hearrrr one another. We have such important things to talk about!

• Changed the way we drop in with strangers (and friends). The only surface you’ll find at GGP HQ or any GGP anywhere are likely things like marble, carpet or wood in the loving rooms and kitchens.

• Moved many throughout the two plus years to get after their passion-turned-high calling (ie, one of the speakers Sunday, prolific reality producer and talent manager (and much more), Kristin Giese, wrote and published her book after feeling the pull here at GGP two years ago (see video). Others shared, too, that the GGP supported them in finally moving on their passion or purpose project, higher call and/or business.

• Motivated people to use their creativity, their romance/marriage, their time, their loving energy etc for great good.

• Supported the proverbial light ~ that which can only be brought to the world by art and artists bringing their voices, sung or spoken etc (!) to more people. (We start each connection with spoken word/poetry and song to help people more deeply land inside the space).

• Helped people quiet or transform the doubt to more readily connect to the part of themselves who dare…dare to live bigger or louder, dare to care, dare to more fully use their creativity.

• Been co-created by now hundreds of different people who have walked through the doors (we make sure that each party has approx. 30-40% new people/friends…we were clear from day one that this was not a party just for our friends, but for your friends and their friends and their spouses and their neighbors and their neighbor’s neighbor ~ inclusive not exclusive which, to us, is true community and it was intentionally created that way to have each participant breathe life to their own optimistic endeavor).

• Been inspired to create their own positively and creatively charged (and beautifully poetic and warm) salon nights and community experiences.

• [Connected to it all] brought people much insight, ahas, lightness, comfort, humor, camaraderie, understanding and support (group). 🙂

A huge thanks to everyone who has attended over the last 2+ years. You’ve helped us co-create since the beginning and we are so grateful.

And thank you again to the talented Kristin GieseVish ChatterjiJosh Mandel and Rachel Kann who blew the house/hearts wide open on 10/20.

Kristin, Vish & Rachel’s magnificent books:

Kristin‘s book, (un)verified: Two Strangers. One Crazy Lie.: https://amzn.to/2N0jcMG

Vish’s book, The Business Casual Yogi: Take Charge of Your Body, Mind and Career: https://amzn.to/31AclyD

Rachel’s book of poetry, How to Bless the New Moon: https://amzn.to/2N0f4fv

And Rachel‘s book release party: https://bit.ly/32CEhmR

If you have a passion or purpose project or high call you know you must return soon ☎️, take the first bigger-sized move in that direction (micro likely won’t cut it right now) and once you start, know that one of the most important things you can do is keep following the feeling.

That directed or enlivened feeling you feel each time you work on it and get it out there? That’s your fuel. The way others are also feeling as a result of you finally putting sustained gusto into it? Follow that, too.

Keep following the feeling until it’s SOME thing.

Right now, that project or calling need not pay the bills. It’s not the point right now (and may never be?) and the you whose plugged in already knows it.

Stop putting the old rules of an industry, of your title or what you’ve been known for or what your business has been on something that is not to be boxed or labeled…

This thing, your thing? It’s a breathing, living one, not bound by the same rules, identity or paths taken a decade or two ago or even one yesterday ago.

The point is this: keep doing your “main” thing *and/but* do this, too. For something as important as this, you will flex time to be able. You will.

Whatever you do, don’t hold back on you, that connected and feeling part of you, *as well as* the other humans who need to feel themselves more during this time in the world’s/ society’s existence, too.

There are more parties coming by those wanting to host in the South Bay here in the LA area and more on the west side, too (one in December and one in January).

Also, if you have ideas for new cities in 2020, we’d love to hear them. We will help you get the talent secured, plan the entire evening with you and show up to help you present that connected experience to your friends and your friends’ friends and on.

Life is good and there’s much good to do. What will you choose?

To watch clips of the brilliant speakers, please enjoy them HERE.

———————-

Thank you so much for your words Alan, Brett, Sheila & Vivianne👬👭:

Michelle and Josh,

Attending your Greater Good Party was a deeply profound and inspiring experience.

The openness of the people and the amazing transformations they have experienced by you asking one simple question blew my mind, my wife and I have not stopped speaking about it since we left the event.

The power of being with like-minded people in person and those individuals having a place to speak their deepest truth about what they really want in life created a container that perpetuated others to just claim their dreams.

It was perfect timing for Jolette and I as we are just starting new endeavors that have been “back burner” things for many years.

The simplicity of the process is so powerful that Jolette and I are inspired to share this.

Thank you Michelle and Josh for creating this magnificent environment of possibility. You truly are serving the Greater Good!

•••••••••••••••••••••
Hey guys,

I’m still buzzing from last night. I came home and stayed up till 3am writing cause there was no way I could sleep.

To try to describe a Greater Good Party to someone is like trying to describe the concept of light to someone who has lived in complete darkness their entire life. Words and comparisons simply fail to explain something that needs to be witnessed to be understood. However, you could make the same argument for love, and that hasn’t stopped anyone from trying to put it into words for as long as we’ve had language, so I’m just gonna go for it.

Walking into a GGP event is like entering into a room of strangers who have been routing for you your entire life. Unlike the world we’ve come to know, you are happily welcomed by every person you come in contact with. You’ll find yourself in conversation with someone and come to realize that neither of you even know the person whose living room you are standing in. This awkward shared revelation that neither of you know what the fuck this thing is even about becomes the first of many bonds that will be formed that night. All you know is that your friend, or co-worker, or parent, or child said you NEEDED to go and now you’re there.

And just as the panic starts to set in, they introduce the first speaker of the night….who does spoken word poetry. Now you’re really confused. No one in the history of pyramid selling has gone “I know how we’ll hook ‘em in! Spoken word poetry!”. Your hands unclench and you lower your defense wall a little.

Over the next couple hours, as speaker after speaker take their turn, it becomes clear. It’s not a sale pitch. It’s not a cult. It’s a collective. A collective of creatives who still believe that good exists in this world. Who want to inspire and be inspired by others. Who know they have a gift, but are unsure if they are ready to share it. Who, despite all the negative, divisive, awful things the news pounds into our heads everyday, still have hope in people. The only thing they are trying to sell is the idea that we all have the power to help each other.

By the end of the night, the room is literally vibrating. If you could bottle the energy that is created in those few hours, you could power every Tesla in Los Angeles for a week.

When it finally ends, people don’t so much leave as they do float out the door.

These simple little parties, these gatherings of strangers and new friends, they’ve changed my entire life. The way I view the world. The way I view myself and what I am capable of. They’ve confirmed I was right not to lose my faith in humanity. That there are other people out there, lots of people, who take joy in the lifting up of others. And that as much as the world would like us to believe we are all in competition with each other up this mountain of life, the fastest way to the top is actually to climb as a group. To catch each other as we fall. To tell the person behind you how to navigate the tricky bits and push each other to do things you didn’t think you were capable of.

We call the Greater Good a party, but only because there is no word that exists that really captures its true essence. And as outrageous and hyperbolic as any attempt I’ve made sounds, it’s still not even close to the explaining the magic that happens in that space.
••••••••••••••••••
Having thousands of friends on social media cannot and will not ever replace having in-person connections. The Greater Good party provides a loving space to foster relationships. It’s a place to spread the light and positivity that is frequently lacking in our day to day lives. It’s so rare for me to be able to spend time in a room full of like-minded and like-hearted people, and to go home knowing that I have new friends. Regardless of age, ethnicity, or social status, everyone at the GGP is equal because our hearts are all the same. I’m genuinely grateful for each and every person I meet at your gatherings. I often get teary-eyed as I drive home from your house as I’m reminded of the good in the world, and that I’m able to contribute to it with all of you. Together, we shine so bright. Thank you for being such a wonderful host and bringing us all together.
••••••••••••••••••
Yesterday I was one of the lucky people who got to attend the GREATER GOOD PARTY! Imagine yourself in a room full of conscious caring people that just want the best for each other and the world. Not only that, but truly are taking action for that to happen and help each other. It was a night filled with learning! Great insightful speakers with books I can’t wait to read, inspiring and deep poetry and spoken words by Josh Mandel and Rachel Kann and all the while MCd by the hosts and visionaries of this wonderful event Michelle and Josh. A night I will never forget.

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