Greater Good Party Austin! (Photos)

[Hubby and I with our GGP co-hosts in Texas]

The Greater Good Party Austin! It was so good, it was great. Thank you all for attending and welcoming us so warmly!

For those who weren’t there, the inaugural party in Austin went down Saturday night (the first GGP in Texas), the 9th total in the U.S. and the 3rd outside LA and California).

Amanda Russell, dear friend + our brilliant co-host and co-leader, who invited us out to help her create a chapter in Austin, described the GGP absolutely perfectly yesterday:

“In a nutshell, we curated some of the finest people from all industries and walks of life to come together in a 1930’s salon style gathering to put some of the most talented, brilliant and generous minds together for real human connection to see what could happen when you replace the ‘“I” with “we”’ mentality.

From surgeons and scientists, to best-selling authors, performers and top executives at some of the biggest companies on the planet, the GGP has a way of connecting people to cultivate true relationships for the greater good of our lives, and this world. I’ve learned first-hand that the greatest gift we have on this earth are true relationships and those relationships shape, not just our lives, but who we become. Relationships that are not transactional. They are transformational.”

And this is exactly what it’s all about (!), all alongside art, poetry, song and meaningful talk//topics.

In the Spring of 2017, Josh Mandel and I (as with others) felt a reboot of optimistic friends (who weren’t feeling so optimistic) was in order, so we set out to create this experiment called the GGP.

Specifically, we wanted to help more and more people 1) move their purposeful (optimistic) projects off the backburner of their lives to the front burner (an activated person makes for a more fulfilled people) and 2) get their communities together more consistently and in unique ways that push the boundaries of what we think of when we say, “I’m going to a party” and what you do once you get there.

As I said the other day, as Josh and I started traveling to help others plan and curate their own GGPs (NYC, SF and now Austin), what we more deeply started to understand as the value for new co-hosts or founding friends (whether they’ve lived in that city one year or 20) is that it’s helping to connect them to a vibrant *extended* community and to new people from across industries (something most of us don’t even know we desire until we have it and can’t believe we lived so long without it).

In August of 2017, we started the first GGP here in LA as our answer to the above (as well as in response to the question I posed to Josh Mandel: “how can we use the love and mutual respect felt between us for more — for a greater good beyond us?”).

We had created a baby 11.5 years prior, a public grief blog after my baby brother Dino died, helped teach our first college course around the GGP tenets, as well as helping students integrate more of themselves in their next chapter of life — but, now what? What do we focus on as a couple and stick with…as…a…couple (better together is one of the tenets and was also chosen as the theme for the night in Austin)?

The key being to keep with it (whatever that IT is) and remembering that from small things, big things do grow.

Thank you again to Thom Singer who kicked us off inside meaningful storytelling and the topic of compounded generosity and to Alan Stein Jr.. who flew out from D.C. and brilliantly had the room uniquely reflect on potential, as well as around how physical touch raises energy (check out his book Raise Your Game!). Grateful to you both for the energy you brought with you, thank you!

Thank you to our gracious hosts, co-leaders and founding friends, Amanda Russell and Matt Calhoun, beautiful humans, dear friends and powerhouses, as I’ve said before, who put their trust in us and who joined forces with us to pull this off. We love you and love the people you brought together!

Thank you to Ryan Coursey and Ricky for photography and videography to commemorate the evening!

Thank you to Tim Hayden from Brain + Trust Partners for your generosity with the musical talent (true GGP spirit!) and to James Speer and Andrew Crosby (Kana LiVolsi-Crosby) who each helped us fill the room with song.

The 65/70 of us in attendance even closed out the night singing “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey (we passed around lyrics to make sure we got it just right, 🎸 ). ‘Tis a party, after all.

What a room full of talented, warm-hearted people — we are grateful to you all!

Our next stop? A place called Sleep Town. And then a 50 person private GGP here in LA on Wednesday for the Transcendental Meditation organization. We will host another public GGP here in LA likely in April (stay tuned), as well one in Amsterdam that month, too.

Thank you, Josh, for co-creating with me in all the ways that it happens every day, yes with the GGP, but I mean with Nolan and pup Holland in the simplest of ways, which, you know, makes me so happy.

To see all the photos from the greater good party, click HERE!

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 

Higher Calling Found HERE

Somewhere high in the sky LA to Austin, a note for knowing and living our calling:

 

The reason it’s important to develop ourselves (“to grow” as people call it), or, in other words, to create or meet a higher self, someone with a greater awareness of themselves and with a greater capacity to LET more go emotionally is so we can feel the higher calling that’s been placed on our heart. 

 

We each have one.

 

Yet, it’s incredibly difficult to connect to it if we’re constantly bringing ourselves back to the tarmac of small thoughts, disempowering words or revengeful (even in the slightest way) actions.

 

To reach this higher ground of meaning demands higher thoughts [of ourselves & others], higher words [“ “ “] and higher actions 

[“ “ “] (and specifically, the unification of them all). 

 

This is what’s called the high road. 

 

It takes you places, this road — places that can’t and won’t be bought with money or influence, but where ample amounts await with integrity, a clear conscience and heart-opening honesty (also known as the cousin of forgiveness). 

 

When disagreements or perceived problems with others come, we’re being asked to rise to the occasion using higher thoughts, words and actions; to this place where we have even 5% more each day of a 35,000 foot perspective. 

 

Growing or developing self means rising to the occasion known as the everyday. 

 

Because, purpose is not something to find (it’s yours right now and inside at all times), it’s something to rise to (we get plenty of opportunities throughout the mundane Monday to day).

 

What we decide to think, say and do in those everyday moments either creates the space or opening for that higher calling to make itself known a little more (shine its way through) or not….

 

It wants to. 

 

Trust that it always wants to.

 

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 

Don’t Confuse Being Kind

Feeling blocked creatively or not feeling able to reach goals (or being plain unhappy), time and time again can come from this

Confusing being positive, a “light”, spiritual or kind with bending so far that other’s thoughts, words and actions take the lead in our lives.

The way we feel most free and able to accelerate higher calling pursuits comes through using that positive-mindedness, light, spiritual connectedness and kindness to say what we’ve thought about saying many times— to ourselves or others  in fuller service and deeper respect for and to ourselves. 

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 Mushy Question The Greater Good Party Started With

The question I posed to him about a year and a half ago was a mushy one, so for those of you not into gooey love or public shares of affection, close your eyes: 
 

“…how can we use the love and mutual respect felt between us for more?”

Josh Mandel and I had worked together in advertising early on, had created a baby eight years after that and had started a grief “he said, she said” blog after Dino died (eight years after creating the baby), but it had been a while since we had come together to do more with what we had between us. 

There’s so much that can be done (TO be done!) with those that give you life.

Anyway, out of this question, the Greater Good Party was born. That’s the short of the long.

Tomorrow we fly to Austin to co-lead another GGP (our 9th), the new school, old fashioned house party that aims to help communities connect and deepen in relationship, while also moving people to take the purpose or legacy project that’s likely been on the back burner of their life and move it, finally, to the front burner.

For those of you who don’t know, the night is filled with song, poetry, speakers and meaningful conversation with some pretty optimistic people. 

As we travel around, help others plan GGPs, and more deeply understand what it means to do great good, one thing we’ve come to find is that in each city, the GGP is helping to connect hosts with their larger community (something most of us didn’t even know we desired until we have it) — with new friends professionally and personally.

Amanda and Matt, our Austin co-hosts/leaders, are new to the city and have 80 people attending (amazing response for them…lots of new friends and/or deeper relationships being created). 

Three days after returning from Austin, we host 50 people for a GGP, specifically, for the Transcendental Meditation organization here in LA. 

It‘s been some of the busiest months building and keeping MGI and family life going, but when I think about what this is doing, I can’t help but welcome lots more of it (as I type that, a hummingbird is playing outside my window).

I’m grateful to bountiful self-care lately (and — can’t forget this love) for giving me the energy needed to keep pulling life off. 

Austin, here we come! 

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