Tag Archives: Michelle Ghilotti

Love Or Respect?

Love Or Respect?

He started helping rollies pollies get across the sidewalk when he was a little boy…

It was an expression of the purest love, yes, but really of what comes from that love ~ respect…

And that’s what I saw each time, the respect he held for life. 

He’s still this way now. 

His choices are my life coaches. 

And this is, to the T, how I feel about him.

I LOVE him, undoubtedly, but r e s p e c t him, maybe MOST of all…the kind others might only think about showing to a grown adult who “commands” it. 

But the cheeky thing about love and respecting life is that the very things and beings who do *not* “command” it, say, in the traditional way, deserve the utmost. 

Because from little things big things grow. From those more quiet or even silent dear little rollie pollies, we learn…

I don’t just continue to watch my Nolie Rollie Pollie (his actual nickname for about 10 years) move about the world with a vast emotional availability and astuteness, but I listen and listen closely to the space between his words…


Let’s make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…

To the best of the rest of your life!

Life is good.

Syrian Refugee Camp

During this time of giving gratitude and spending time with the people that matter most, I ran across this blog from six years ago…

I’m sharing it again below.

May we continue to marshal all our life energy to do the work in the world we most care about ~ it needn’t be anything but that which connects deeply with your creativity, truth, values and how you make sense of things in the world (how you *create* meaning).

Happy holiday season to you! 

REFUGEE SUPPORT STORY, Day 2: Today I held a baby. It was a lesson is receiving.  

Though the Syrian and Afghan community here don’t speak Greek: efkaristo ~ thank you.

As volunteers, we are here to give — giving is why we came. 

But, as we have walked to pass out tickets, giving families specific times to “shop” for clothes, they’ve invited us in as friends. 

They’ve proudly asked us in to show us how they’ve decorated their new pods (they moved from their tents a day before I arrived after heavy rains).

Some had created pretty living rooms to one side of their bedrooms (each “room” about two feet away from one other). 

Others hung tarps in front of their pods to create additional sitting space to hang out in the morning, or at night, and to protect the front of it from the rain. Some of the shoes they had received earlier were now just outside the doors sitting on makeshift shelving.

Not all the receiving was easy for them, but, we each tried to find a way to ease those feelings by saying I’m sorry, I know and it makes me sad, too.

Yesterday, I think back to one family making and breaking bread outside on and around the fire. They had offered us some….

No, no, no…but, thank you.

They offered again.

No, no, (please — take), oh, no, ok, ok THANK YOU. Thank you so much. (Not all the receiving was easy for them — us — but, we each tried…). 

Cutting to this afternoon, as it started to rain, a couple of us were out again to pass out a few more tickets. 

A man, as he was sitting near the fire with his family, beginning to chat with us about when he could come get shoes and clothes, said, We make coffee. You see? (showing us the coffee in his glass cup), Please…try, you want to try? Try, try…

It smelled delicious. 

No, n- ok, (he’s handing us some) ok, THANK YOU. Thank you so much. 

Today was a lesson in saying yes to receiving, while also deeply respecting that the relationships made and ended here will likely pain both the volunteer and refugee (do relationships made ever, actually, end or does the feeling started always live, therefore the connection always lives?).

This pause — simply entertaining the question is a lesson in saying yes to receiving.

In short, even knowing the camp guidelines of not getting too close are clear and understandable, the experience was one of not being able to fight connection. 

We may love to give, it may even be the job at hand, but might we be denying others their human right of giving and what that, too, feels like, and enlivens and heals in us? 

The last two hours of the day gifted me with holding a three-month-old baby while his mom and dad tried on clothes — a baby whose very essence gives and receives, at the same time, is ultimately unique. There’s no seesawing to decide which, or if, just both, and easily at same time. 

Our essence is both, and easily, at the same time.

Creative Heroine

Creative Heroine

After my brother died in a car accident at 22, I started calling him the “fireplace” of our family (exactly what he was). 

Whatever he did (and, more than anything — who he was) brought us all closer together. 

We all wanted to huddle around him as a baby/ toddler (he was 16.5 years my junior) and on it went like this until University of Miami graduation day, one day before he died.

Creative Heroine

The Creative Heroine event was inspired both by loss, as well as by joy (gain!), and as much by the men in my life (artists like my baby bird Dino), as by artists like Frida Kahlo and modern-day artists aka entrepreneurs pictured here such as Arlan Hamilton, a venture capital fund for good that invests in “underestimated founders” (women, people of color & members of the LGBTQ community), Christina Rasmussen, intervention counselor and author of Second Firsts, introducing a new model of grief based on the science of neuroplasticity, changing the way we see our lives after loss) and Paige Bradley, sculptor known for bronze sculptures with emotional qualities, creating pieces so we could SEE ourselves in the art — all who, like many of you reading this, have persevered after unique trials.

Those trials inspiring their greatest creations that inspire us to evolve, perhaps more quickly…

These women/people are representative of the “fireplaces” of our communities today who, through their art, bring us together to talk about the most important topics of our time.

How can we use our creativity for great good?

Creative Heroine

The wound is where the light enters you (Rumi quote) ~ heard that high truth? That’s Paige’s “Expansion” sculpture to a T (photo below).

To all people of deep life experience, toiling away in such honest, intentional and creative ways, THANK YOU. 

And to my roommate/bff Whitney Fusion from college in the third to last photo, thank YOUUU…you have been loyal and ever-present in all moments, especially through the days of tragic loss. 

We could say there’s an artistry to being a good friend. 

Creative Heroine

It doesn’t come easy to most, yet there are those chosen few (who our grandmother said we would be able to count on one hand at the end of our lives) like Whitney who it does come so naturally to (xo). 

To the people in our lives & communities who do what they do, and, most importantly, BE who they BE and, as a result, change our world, day and outlook, what oh what would we do without you? We wouldn’t!

Creative Heroine

Let’s make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…

To the best of the rest of your life!

Life is good,

Date Night

Date Night

I took myself on a date recently on a Saturday night. Hot date. Planned for two weeks. 

As partnered people, we have to work harder at this, but for women especially, it’s vital to keep reminding ourselves that although being in relationship is damn amazing, it’s really us who brings the magic and the party within. 

Yes, we’re social creatures and ‘need’ or better yet, want others in our lives, but we know all about that…society and hormones teaches us to hook up and be connected and be in relationship when we’re quite young (it’s natural and normal), but what it does not teach us that we need to teach or remind ourselves (and our girls, nieces and friends, young and old alike) is how to enjoy your own company and how oh how to be alone, but not lonely. 

You can be alone and not feel lonely.

Date Night

More than the dinner or the exercise of doing special “out in the world” things (usually reserved for couples), the important part I find myself sharing with friends, clients and myself, alike, is always: your partner, though an amazing part of your life, isn’t ever the one in charge of your peace or happiness, it’s you in charge of it and that’s awesome (it’s awesome to be in charge of what makes us feel full — something I did not know the way I know it now in my teens, 20s and early 30s).

So, insert your own “here she is” and know that, yes, there you are — for you! You *got* you.

Date Night

You/we can be these individuated, joyful, self-fulfilled women (=sexy) who do more than take ourselves out, but know ourselves from deep within to then bring THAT to our partnership (see the above photo for the one I really, really enjoy :).

Let’s make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…

To the best of the rest of your life!

Life is good.