My Mom’s Bday — What I Did…xo

I had a birthday party of sorts for this cutie patootie, and it was called Honora.

It was sponsored by the Greater Good because I’ve made it a public gathering where we can all gather and honor both the loved ones who we’ve lost as well as the lessons we’ve found within as a result.

And because there’s so much life still in death, beyond the honoring and ritual we’ll engage in tonight, we’ll also make room for all the still – dazzling plans, purpose and dreams that are very much still a part of who we are.

As I shared last week on my personal and business Facebook pages, “in our modern lives, we rarely join in community like this beyond maybe the one-on-one dates with friends during the first week or weeks of a loss (death to divorce as just two examples) to engage in a more deliberate way around the experience of loss and grief and, in addition to that, around who we are now, who we want to become or are [inching or speeding] towards becoming, as a result.

One thing I’m fascinated by is that inside this experience of loss, we rarely discuss the still-dazzling plans and dreams we never lost to continue fully living.

Society may believe that if we’ve set out on a grief journey, that it’s all we feel — grief, but the truth is, oof, there’s much more — a deeper clarity on our purpose, deeper friendships, more intimacy and sensuality, daring, drive, creativity, will, wisdom and a reconnection to our innate and creative wildness!”

To the truth in all of this and to the full and beautiful life she lived, happy birthday to my young mama!!!!

Make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…enjoy your business, enjoy your life! 

Life is good,

michelle-black-sig-md-light
Michelle Ghilotti
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur 

Grief Felt in Not Expressing Yourself!

My late brother Dino just celebrated a birthday…another in heaven.

This last January 6th if he were physically here and of this world still he would have been 28, but I’m clear that where he is today (a world in and of itself, just not this exact one), that he is younger and wiser. 

We all know that we reverse age, but that wisdom speeds there. (;

But, in the world where we sit writing or reading this post, we speak about wisdom as something that we access or grow into as we get on in physical years.

But wisdom is not age-dependent, it is light-inspired. As in, like children, how much light or de-LIGHT and LIFE can you let in? How open or expressive can you be?

Wisdom, as in, feeling more grounded, more sure of your road less traveled path and, generally, feeling less ruffled and more connected vs. disconnected, to family and community, is not so much something gained as it is something given to us souls, seeds and babies from the start that we are attempting to remember every day, passing year or with every relationship, again and again..

It’s no secret that Dino’s early passing (as well as my Mom’s) has changed me, that it’s quickly evolved the work I do and the focus or recommitment I have on relationships, community-building and helping others step into deeper meaning inside their chosen work, while also being able to speak and communicate themselves with sincerity, integrity and charisma — who they are and why they do the work they do.

Because loss isn’t felt solely when losing a loved one, it’s also felt when struggling with the inability to express ourselves fully (don’t hide being what everyone else expects of you), so, the expression/identity part is vital. 

Everything changed the day Dino was born (everything) and everything changed again the day he died (everything). 

I wrote my college essay on the changes a baby has on a teenage household and how beautifully this new little bundle brought everyone together in ways I (we) never expected. 

After he passed, I wrote (and wrote and wrote) many essays, too, but this time about how much losing that bundle changed the family and shaped choices forever…

Younger and wiser ~ 

We are all attempting to get there ~ to feel younger (alive, delighted and excited about life) and to feel a wisdom or peace/comfort inside our skin that signals we’re in the right place for us (not for anyone else, but for *us*) and we get to both by finding, or more, creating purpose.

It’s the conversation I have most these days with friends and clients ~ it’s what we all want to know. What is my purpose? How do I bring together my life and professional experiences to create something fresh and meaningful to me? How do I create more meaning inside what I consider my work or play?

In honor of our beloved Dino’s birth 28 years ago, what is my purpose…

What is my purpose? 

One answer: it lies both deep and on the surface of something known as your life experience. Follow that.

Another answer: you bring your life and professional experience together inside meaning by creating community or communities — bringing people together (better together).

What have you overcome? What has been the dominant story in your life or the life of your family? What pains you most about your past experiences, those that have made you UP (not broken you down) and how might you alleviate the suffering of those who will come after you?

Go find those people. 

Go find where that type of loss or heartbreak exists most. 

Sit with the people who are living a version of what you’ve lived and learned from. Or, sit with those whose situations may be wildly different than yours, but where the human feelings are all too similar (we’re all too similar). 

But most of all bring life or give life where you’ve felt death and create what you want to be a part of ~> community. Specifically or potentially a more enriching, honest, warm and impactful one. 

Whether that’s a new friend, a deeper friendship with an old friend, a not-for-profit *group* project, a for-profit conscious business idea, a book you know will bring people together from across the world, focus on the bringing people together part of the operation most. 

Community is what heals and where you’ll find yourself moved most ~ by the people. 

Create for them, write for them, speak for the joys and ailments that are ours, not just yours, his or hers. 

And if that doesn’t help you feel like you’ve created a path for more meaning in your life, take the creative space that’s been opened inside you as a result of what you’ve lived or who you’ve loved, and bring that story and open heart more decidedly to all projects, people and places you touch. 

Your story told more honestly to connect to one more person, inside one new project or in one new place is purpose. Yours.

Make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…enjoy your business, enjoy your life! 

Life is good,

michelle-black-sig-md-light
Michelle Ghilotti
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur 

I Told My Husband No

We finally put away our Christmas decorations and as we were putting the gold reindeer away that greeted friends on the front porch (my Mom made them years back for our family home), Josh asked if I wanted him to throw away the poinsettias.

Funny enough, I had asked myself that question the day before. I was more pensive about it this year because we’ve never had poinsettias live this long.

Would I want to throw the plants that look like and feel like Christmas away because it wasn’t Christmas anymore? Or because neighbors might think we were late, lazy or not in timing with how things usually work?

I told him that I didn’t want to throw them away (and that I had asked myself that question yesterday) and had come to this answer, telling and/or helpful in other life situations, too: why would I throw something away that clearly has life in it still; that is alive and beautiful just because a particular season has passed?

We do this in our lives. We throw away a friendship because we believe a season has passed for that friendship to be able to continue to blossom. We don’t look for the spark, however small, to breathe life into it again. We get and stay busy and figure it’ll come back if it’s meant to. And though there are many relationships that understandably run their course for various reasons, many times, with more exploration, a smidge more curiosity or courageous conversation, we might realize that the friendship still has another nine lives in it and so much to teach both of us, not to mention much joy in it still, too.

We do that with who we are, too. With our identities. We throw away or ignore one of our primary talents — our life force — thinking that this talent or, maybe, more specifically, the dream tied to our talent was for another time, that it’s too late now…

Maybe worse, we pay who we really are beneath all of the societal layers and expectations little to no mind because we feel others or our industry [the box] won’t understand or accept it (or worse, that we won’t succeed). In other words, that we should play *within* the box because those around us won’t look kindly upon our striking (!) multi-faceted ways and are doing it this other way.

So, we toss…

We toss the friend, the possibility of an even better or deeper friendship and the possibility of an even better professional or creative life. And in doing so, we let a piece of our ultimate purpose, growth, healing, and happiness go.

What if every time we had the knee-jerk and rather impulsive reaction to throw something away, we knew that was the very moment we needed to keep it alive?

Make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…enjoy your business, enjoy your life! 

Life is good,

michelle-black-sig-md-light
Michelle Ghilotti
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur 

The Source of Life

The source of life lies in who and what we love.

Who do you love?

Who do you want to show love to more this year?

What do you truly love and how could you make it even more of your work this year?

Your joy, peace and success are worth all of it!

Make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…enjoy your business, enjoy your life! 

Life is good,

michelle-black-sig-md-light
Michelle Ghilotti
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur