Tag Archives: Michelle Ghilotti

Vulnerability Exercise

Vulnerability Exercise

I did something last week which required much strength and vulnerability. It reminded me that we needn’t solider through life. A Vulnerability Exercise.

Most of us do, however — much of the time not knowing that’s what we’re doing. As kids, we’re not taught this and don’t know of other alternatives.

The days I spent in solitude and without food two summers ago were a regal reminder that although experiences in life, especially those we can’t control, might be painful, we needn’t cause ourselves more suffer-ing [pain, many times, is and can be transient, suffering stays with us, inside all our nooks and crannies].

Said another way, if we allow ourselves to feel sadness and/or pain versus downplaying it, “swallowing” it or spiritual bypassing it, we save ourselves from moving to the more tough phase to get out of called suffering.

I’m convinced more everyday, in my own life, and with clients, too, that everyone needs a grief, divorce or ‘I just went through something hard’ timeout or vacation. Unfortunately, our society, families, and work culture are not set up that way (not in muscle memory, nor in habit/rule)…

I didn’t soldier through my chosen challenge high up in the sequoias. instead, I genuinely and fully enjoyed it. Every day of the nine days with others and the handful without people. I’ve even called it one of the biggest honors of my life. But were there moments that were painful? Absolutely.

And/but have I soldiered or suffered through times off that mountain ~ before and after? Absolutely.

We don’t learn the difference between pain and suffering when young. Nor do we learn how to support our nervous systems or nurture our monkey mind ways of thinking (suffering). But I wish we did and at younger and younger ages. School doesn’t teach us and if our parents don’t know it, we won’t know it.

Last week also reminded me how important parents, better said, *nurturers* are to children and how MUCH they need us to be their advocates, guides and protectors ~ their teachers of how not to suffer in life, but to clear emotion, connect with others, communicate and create a new life or a new you when something tough hits.

One thing I’ve definitely learned over and over again being Nolan‘s mom is: be his *nurturer* not simply his parent.

I got home from my experience last week. I had this post from beloved photographer Sonia Tapia waiting for me. It felt like perfect timing (because it was). 

I‘ve seen this photo before and love it (she took my vision and shot ideas of the work I’m stepping into after 20 years in business and brought it to l i f e). What I loved seeing were the words attached to it and how representative they were of what I experienced earlier that morning — grace…more than anything, grace.  

To the world of women nurturers who are gracefully (which does not mean “not messy”…grace by another name is surrender and surrender is messy) stepping into your next season. Focus more on yourselves after tough life moments that have caused you pain and/or suffering, may you soldier no more (or very, very little)…

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

To the best of the rest of your life. 

Life is good.

Sage Advice From My Late Mother

Ladies, don’t forget about yourselves.

Do for yourself ~ live a life that is (also) very much yours. 

If anything, it makes you more of a [wise] woman, more of a wife, more of a mother…all of it, more. 

Giving from a full cup means you continue to feel full. 

Thank you, Mom!

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

To the best of the rest of your life. 

Life is good.

Adventure Tip (photos from Spain)

There's so much I'd love to share with you about this Summer's travels so far! (We have one more trip to Columbia coming up but just one day ago returned from visiting three cities we love in Europe).  

As a family who is lovingly called "The Gypsies" by their parents, travel and the way it informs our creativity, connection and global citizenship, has always been really important to us.

I was born outside the U.S. and as a young girl and young adult, I studied abroad in France and Spain. Later on as a married woman, my husband and I moved to Holland and Mexico for adventure (aka: to learn more about ourselves through the new and unexpected). 

Though we would love to move to yet another country at some point, these days we get our fix of adventure and the new and unexpected by traveling near and far a few times a year.

Today I'd love to share this photo of my son from the Mama-Sun portion of our European adventure (as well as a couple others below), in addition to some thoughts and tips for how to bring adventure into your life and business and…"how to love the lesson." I'll explain… 

About Adventure and Loving the Lesson, Spain Edition.

Nolan zip lined in Toledo, Spain, a medieval town that used to be the capital of Spain. 

It was a big deal because he was nervous and did it anyway.

I'm happy to report it was so bad that he went down a second time.

Before that new physical adventure, we visited the museum dedicated to El Greco, an artist from the Spanish Renaissance. It was our creative, art history adventure or lesson for the day.

Both experiences and lives — Nolan's and El Greco's — have much to say, so here it is:

Adventure: Just like apples, having one a day keeps the doctor away. That's what Nolan and I talked about in the taxi headed to our next destination. We discussed that living life like a game (except with matters of the heart) was key. I shared that looking at each day, no matter what he was doing, as the 12 or so awake hours he needed to experience at least one new adventure would help him suck the sweet lemon/orange/mango/apple juice out of life.


It could be a letter you write to someone, even though you're a bit nervous or signing up for the talent show at school and walking away before you have a chance to cross your name off the list. Or, it could be, as you get older, I said, planning your next wild trip with a friend during a lunch break. Those examples may not be what light him up as he grows, of course, but I told him he'd definitely know what adventure was and meant to him. Follow those feelings and excitement around your definition of adventure now versus keeping adventure as something you do only once or twice a year, find things that scare or light you up and get after them. When you get after them, you GET a fired-up, purposeful life.

"You'll grow in confidence which will also make life much more enjoyable," I said.

¡Make your bucket list a daily one! 

When we take life too serious, listening too much to that fear voice attempting to keep us safe, we live a serious life.

As I share with clients, you may have to trick yourself into doing the things that will bring joy and purpose to your life (there are all sorts of ways).

Similarly, it takes practice to live this kind of adventurous, confident in self life, however that's something everyone has access to ~ the ability to practice. The key is to start, and keep on keeping on.

One way to get ourselves into practice mode is by re-framing everything we do in life, love or business as experiences which we "get to do" versus those we "have to do" (part of the play factor or game). 

You don't HAVE to do anything. Not at all. But you were given all your human bells and whistles (intellect, intuition, sense of spontaneity and adventure) so you could GET to do a lot of amazing things.

When you re-frame the situations in front of you, you get that much more out of the experience ahead and out of life as a whole, too.

The latter is one of my favorite phrases and truths because when we look at life with this lens, everything, and I mean everything, becomes an opportunity. Fear is an opportunity. No is an opportunity. Yes, is an opportunity. Even grief is an opportunity, as I've learned as of late.

Lesson: Every day, lessons will come. Emotional lessons, art history lessons, you name it. Instead of beating yourself up when the emotional or, in other words, relationship lessons come, at minimum, challenge yourself to be grateful they've arrived (you don't have to be happy about it, but gratitude acknowledges there's value in the timing and weight of the experience). Do see it for what it is ~ the chance to learn the next greatest lesson right now so you can move on more deeply, honestly, and with less burden, enjoying the rest of the adventure. When you learn the lesson the first time it comes around, you don't have to repeat it; something we forget, but that we can absolutely count on.

The lesson for both of us was both an emotional one, in Nolan doing what he was afraid of, and it was also a lesson in purpose, authentic expression and dedication to our brand of joy, learning from Greco's life…

It took 200+ years *after* his death for El Greco's body of work to experience what we might call "success." His dramatic, expressionistic style, rediscovered by romantics and French painters, but misunderstood and rejected throughout much of his life, was finally celebrated and became a great inspiration to new painters, sculptures and architects.

But, he was 'too much' for his time. And to "be too much" and express in exactly the way he did was his purpose. To be 'too much' is your purpose, too.

How could you do that more in the choices you're making in your business, writing, or speaking? How could you be too much and express to your heart's content?

The lesson here: Express, use your voice and show yourself and keep doing so, regardless if others celebrate you or not…

We do the opposite ALL the time. We stop ourselves from moving forward with our art, our writing, our business, our expression in whatever form that takes, because of what others think.

Nolan says do it anyway. Jump, dive, slide, two-step into it, but do it. Your ecstatic joy and success awaits.

Dedicate yourself to your art and to putting it out there with wild abandon every day and know, better yet, BANK on something wild happening.

Set your sights on both the adventure and lesson(s) you'll accept as part of the bold, expressed you today and you won't just experience ecstatic joy, you will embody it.

What one adventure will you create in your life each day?

What self-awareness, gratitude and permission will you tap into to allow in the lessons that wish to inform you, promising to, not only make you a better version of yourself in this moment, but possibly the next most innovative expressionist of your time?

Sending you all my Summer love!

Talk to you soon, couture creation you…

Life is good,