What My Wrinkles Have Shown Me (and questions to ask yourself)

This is the woman who wants to (will) jump out of a plane.

This is the same woman clinging to her son on top of the Shanghai TV Tower (used to be one of the tallest buildings similar to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai which I‘ve been atop and had a similar nerve-wracking experience at).

It’s funny, really, and expresses how much I desire to conquer the feelings I have about heights. I’ve been paragliding, zip lining, love to hike as high as I can go, have been on top of the tallest buildings I can muster while traveling and even signed up for trapeze school a couple years ago to massage the fear out (more like climb, shake and hang it out). 

And I *am* noticing the fear dissipates each time, but it’s still there (I wish we had a video of the experience here in Shanghai).

I know, of course, the things most of us reach success at, we do or we get there regardless of the fear. Want to reach your version of successful? Chip away at what normally stops you in your tracks — is it heights…the relationship with your father?  Love up on it. Wrestle with it if you have to…but whatever you do, be consistent at it and do it regardless if it feels good that day. This is how I’ve succeeded in other areas and so I’m doing the same with these mixed’ish feelings around heights.

I could stop sharing there (and I was going to), but when I look at these photos again and see both the joy and fear (the three of us were in tears — Josh and Nolan laughing with and *at* me), I think about the beneath the surface conversation that may be helpful to other women, too, that I’ve had with Josh on this trip as our teenager sleeps or reads his book.

I‘m not shy about outing my wrinkles, my tears or my joy (original post about the wrinkles here,  and this trip I noticed something in photos and videos I had thought privately before but wasn’t ready to fully discuss or own.

I realized that as a woman who hasn’t intervened with any wrinkle-be-gone methods, that the years of losing my brother and mother have progressively shown themselves on my face. That love, those lessons, and that life are there.

I said to Josh, “I understand that it’s not just about age, but the years I’ve spent both living the sadness, the crying and the stress and the years (within those years) that, as a result, I’ve recommitted to living, crying out of laughter and enjoying life even more than I already was (#friendshipexperiment). All of it is memorialized on my face, but the difficult years through grief maybe taking the lead.”

It’s been a reconfirmation for me of what I know I also need, I told him ~> more continued honesty in my friendships and extended family and generally — and, of course, more discussing aging by way of asking “but how am I living/how are we living?”…

(Above all the compassionate and real things Josh said, this gem: “…yes, you, like I, have more wrinkles now than we were younger.”). Simple. Truth. 🤣

Fear and joy or tears and laughter show on our faces. Yes, we can change it, cover it, filter it (all good), but the truth remains ~ can we, as we have with the other harder truths of our time, surrender or soften into it? Be like water?

And — are we pausing long enough during the fast pace to take inventory of the life we’ve lived (what does it mean? what are my life experiences pulling me toward?) and of what we need emotionally *over* physically, time and time again?

Sometimes we live out or commit to, unconsciously maybe, to the human or physical experience so much that we forget to tend to the internal environment. We’ve heard that beauty comes from here, too, but I don’t think we genuinely understand how deep that river of truth runs most of the time. 

It’s not always about changing the fact that we have (way) more wrinkles or softer skin (definitely what I’m noticing), maybe [unless we truly want to which I support women in doing], but also about more fully understanding what the rings of our tree of life mean and what of that life experience we can use to champion or “back” our purpose or the meaning we pump into our work and personal life.

That and understanding why we’re even noticing the wrinkles more ~ what aren’t we talking about (what’s our kryptonite)? What do we need emotionally? Who do we want to spend more time with and who don’t we? What part of our life aren’t we yet living? What has come to a close and what is just beginning?

What — for you — is just beginning?

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

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