Take Back Your Life!

Ruby Slippers, Anyone?

February 15, 2017 by Giulietta Nardone

Hello there,

This is a post I wrote back in March 2008 when I was blogger for the month at Skirt! Magazine. That was near the beginning of the blogging craze.

Thought you might get something out of it!

Thanks, G.

~

Ruby Slippers, Anyone?

I enjoy writing essays because they force me to reveal my vulnerable side not only to the reader, but also to myself. Back in my late teens and twenties, I often felt trapped behind a locked emotional door. I’d bang, bang, bang on that little windowpane hoping somebody, anybody would unlock it, but no one ever did. Knuckles bruised and bleeding, I’d slump down against the door and wonder, “Is anyone ever going to rescue me?”

Many life experiences later, I discovered that the only person powerful enough to rescue me from behind that door was Giulietta. That I have always been the heroine of my own life.

And so have you.

You see, the “theys” don’t want us to know that each one of us has a pair of ruby slippers tucked away in a locked room. Special designer shoes capable of transforming our tentative womanistas into confident, powerful heroines who can leap tall solar-powered shopping carts in a single glass pump bound. The “theys” prefer we shuffle around with our heads down waiting to be rescued by a bouquet, a mate, a job title, a compliment, a new hair color. (more…)

Dive Into Life. Take Risks. Be Foolish.

February 8, 2017 by Giulietta Nardone
   “Until you’re ready to look foolish, you’ll never have the possibility of being great.”
~ Cher.”


My husband and I went to an Isley Brothers concert in RI a few weeks ago. It was great. I loved seeing folks in their 60’s and 70’s just singing and playing their hearts up there. For some of the tunes, we got up and danced in our tiny seat area. Interestingly enough, this wasn’t a big dancing crowd. In my twenties, I would have felt foolish doing this without a dance floor, but now I was like, “who cares?”I’d love to see a National Be Foolish Day. Yes, I know we have April Fool’s but that is about playing pranks on folks. This about doing something yourself that makes you feel emotionally naked in some way. Like just start dancing in the middle of the supermarket. Or walk up to folks and say, “I love life!” (If you do..)When I walk around the block, I sometimes do twirls or fancy footwork just so I can act a bit foolish. Once I got foolishness out of the way, it was easier to do the things I wanted in life. Easier to get that voice in my head to “be quiet already.”Speaking of that voice in my head, until I was 25 I thought I was the only one with someone else living up there. I thought I was crazy. Then, my sister and I were visiting a friend from another country here to learn English and she gave us a tour of her apartment. In her bedroom, I noticed a cross over the bed and said, “What’s that for?””Oh, the voice in my head tells me to reach up and touch it every night or something bad will happen.”I said, “Wait, you’ve got a voice in your head, too?” (more…)

Be Brave With Your Life

October 12, 2016 by Giulietta Nardone

Be Brave With Your Life

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think. ” ~ Winnie The Pooh.”

Recently, I got two confident little kittens: Cleopatra and Spartacus. They are quite small, but that doesn’t stop them from exploring every inch of their new home and jumping to new heights every day.

When we first brought them home, they attempted to jump on the bed, making it about halfway. I’d un-cling them from the sides and help them up. Each day, they made it a little bit higher until they could get up on their own.

Today, I found Spartacus way up on the pinball machine and have no idea how this tiny kitten managed to get up there.

Clearly, he jumped. Even Cleopatra was looking at him trying to figure out how she could get up there as well.

They love to try new things, jump to new heights, tightrope across dressers and bureaus, often falling down between the sides. Sometimes, I find them clinging to the sides, other times they fall down and meander out the bottom like nothing ever happened. A few times I’ve seen them fall all the way down. They just pick themselves up and gallop down the hallway.

The kittens don’t know that they are technically too small to reach all these places, so they follow their own instincts and go after whatever attracts their interest. They keep trying until they get to the place they wish to be.

When I was a small child I did similar brave things. I’d scale rock-faced hills in my neighborhood, forge across streams, wander off from my home into nearby meadows.

A little bit older, I’d gallop my horse down hills over jumps, do back flips into the swimming pool, climb as high as I could into the trees in my backyard, walk alone through the woods for three miles to the barn my horse was kept at.

Honestly, I felt invincible.

That fearlessness got taken away from me of us by the time I entered my senior year in high school. I grew increasingly cautious and scared about doing all sorts of things. Physical and emotional. If I had an issue with someone as a child, I’d confront them. That became less frequent as I grew older, until I often said, “that’s okay,” when it wasn’t. The problem with “that’s okays,” is that they merge with previous “that’s okays” into a giant, festering “that’s okay” which makes you feel like the cowardly lion.

It’s okay to say “that’s not okay” and instead say what you want. At least that way you get your wants out into the open with the other person’s wants and it creates an opportunity to both get more of what you want.

Letting others push you around doesn’t help them or you. Once you grow up, others can’t send you to your room without your permission.

The more you flex your brave-heart, the easier it will be to stand up for what you want and even go after what you want. And, believe it or not, people will look up to you more when you assert yourself.

So, where do you say “that’s okay” too much? Good place to start the journey to being more brave..

(more…)

Experiment Like A Mad, Creativity Scientist

March 9, 2016 by Giulietta Nardone

“Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

It strikes me as ironic how liberated in thought were some of the folks who lived over 100 years ago. Folks like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Thoreau. They didn’t have access to the Internet and all the mega knowledge you can find on there, yet they seemed to have this intuitive grasp of the human condition.

I’m big on experimenting with life because it leads you to places the “permission” and “perfection” blueprints would never take you. I know I say this a lot, but children are naturally curious and explorative. Yet, we decide around first grade that only certain people should have the power to decide what are youngest folks will do. Why not let the children take on more responsibility for their own lives? They are wiser than we believe them to be. That will empower them to achieve full selfdom instead of molded, someone else’s selfdom.Lately, I’ve been a mad, creative scientist of art! Trying all sorts of art techniques, mixing it, freeing it and I must say, wild experimenting! is super fun and liberating. Talk about a natural high. In one painting, I might start with watercolor, then add acrylic paints, then scribble with acrylic or water color markers or regular markers or add some fibre paste or glitter or stick-on bling. (more…)

What Are You Resisting That Might Really Be Good For You?

February 8, 2016 by Giulietta Nardone

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Okay, so I’ve had this history of jumping around from one new program I create to the next. The thought of doing something twice can put me into a creative tailspin. I’d spend a lot of time creating a program, offer it once and then move on to the next one. My program content was piling up on my hard drive!Yet, two of my friends kept urging me to run my programs monthly. The. Same. Ones. The horror, I thought, of doing something more than once.So I resisted. And resisted. And years went by. I spent a lot of time continuously creating new programs. Because … that is what creative folks do, right? (Read, crazy folks?)Finally, I agreed to try what my friends said and am running my writing and wild painting programs on a regular basis.You know what?

They were right. It works. People sign up more often when they see a program running over and over. They might not be able to take it in January, but they can take it in February or May or November. It helps you and them plan.

Yet, I resisted this notion!

Sometimes, even rebellious folks can get in a rut. You can jump out of one rut and land in a different rut and not even know it because you are blinded by your own narrow field of vision.

Thank god, I listened to them and experimented like Mr. Emerson suggests above. It’s made a huge difference!

Now onto you.

Is there anything you are resisting that might actually be good for you? In business? In life?

If there is, try to dive into that resistance and see what you swim up to the surface with in your teeth.

Do you have it? Yes? Great.

Okay. How can this thing you’ve been resisting help you enhance your own life? How can you embrace it and experiment using it in a different way? A way that probably makes you want to stomp your feet and scream that it is going against your own personality grain?

Take this pièce de ré·sis·tance and work it into your life. Then see what happens!

Muse thanks!

PS, interested in joining us in Holliston for Painting Wild and Imperfect Faces. Click HERE

Fire Up Your Soul With Personal Writing

October 7, 2015 by Giulietta Nardone
I felt pretty lost in the world, until I reconnected with writing, something I loved from an early age. It helped me make sense of my world by forcing me to go inward to ask the big questions instead of outward to find the big answers. Before that I never even thought about asking myself questions like How Do I Want To Live My Life? Instead I searched in vain for the answers in new clothes or tv shows or other things that did not require me to get in touch with my inner self.It all started at a corporate job where four of us — all desperate to find something to keep us alive during the creativity numbing 8-hour day — formed a reading and writing group. Once a week, we met to read books and write stories. God, I looked forward to that weekly gathering.A year later, three of us got laid off or left … which sent me on a different writing trajectory as a small business owner.Looking back, though, that little group helped return me to the land of creativity.Since then I’ve written quite a bit, most recently short plays, which I find a lot of fun to do and soul fulfilling. I’ve seen three of my plays performed on stage. One a monologue performed by me. Two performed by others. They all share a serious issue told in a humorous way. What’s so cool about playwriting is that the actors and actresses take your words and add their own emotional and theatrical footprints. The results have been glorious.It’s also terrific to see my words in print – in publications I can hold in my hands or on-line – in publications I see on the Internet. It feels good to be able to share my thoughts with a large audience. I’ve had many people contact me, even from other states. They told me that my stories spoke to them, influenced them or helped them in some way. (more…)

Do You Love Your Life?

August 24, 2015 by Giulietta Nardone

Do You Love Your Life?

In my twenties, I had trouble loving my life. After being told what to do for so long by others I didn’t know how to give myself permission to have fun, to play, to explore, to carve my own way through life.

Honestly, I was a person with a shell around me that kept the good stuff out. It was lonely and depressing and meaningless. And it dragged. Every day felt like 50 years long. All the things I’d done naturally as a child — laugh, explore, sing, dance, rebel, learn — disappeared in a fog of fear when I got into high school and beyond. I felt like that young elephant who has been chained for so long that when they remove the chain, she still stands in the same place — unaware the chain has been removed.

I saw a few others living a life they loved. They just filled the room with their enthusiasm about this adventure or that project. Yet, I didn’t know how to join them. Nor did I have the courage to ask them how they got to such a place.

Instead, I cowered behind the fears I’d developed along the way. Fear of saying hello. Fear of making the first move. Fear of speaking my truth. Fear of talking back. Fear of speaking up first. Fear of making a scene. Fear of showing my emotions. Fear of taking a chance. Fear of going for the brass ring. Fear of being human. Fear of overcoming Fear. Ad Nauseam.

It’s sad how a child that loved life gets trained to be afraid to love life. But it happens. It’s important to beat the life out of people so they follow the beaten path – the one that you wouldn’t normally get on because it looks drab and worn out. I didn’t want to get on it but felt like I had no other choice. And it was as bland and soulless as I’d imagined.

How do I get off this ugly path, I wondered?

Fortunately, when a miraculous portal opened to “love your life land,” I stepped through it or got pushed by a friend or the wind blew me into it. Not sure exactly. Somehow I made it to the other side of the looking and wishing glass and it was beautiful over there. Scary, but exhilarating because a life that you love requires you to be fully alive and that means taking chances and busting through your own status quo and bad life training.

Over time, I chose the path of what Robert Frost called the Road Less Traveled. And it is true, it did make all the difference. The first time I read that poem, I felt it was speaking to my trapped soul! God, how can I ever get onto that other path? How do I get there from the one I’m on? They don’t seem to connect. Little did I know I had to create my own connection to the path I wanted to get on.

When I start to feel too comfortable, I look down and notice I somehow migrated back towards the beaten path. At those times, I pick up an imaginary sickle and bushwhack my way back to the path less traveled.

At this moment, you may want to pause and take your own life inventory.

Do you love your life? I mean really love it. Or are you settling for good or okay? And if it’s the latter, is it really the life you want to live? Or it is the default life?

The easiest way to tell the difference? The life you love makes you want to leap out of bed in the morning because you know in your heart that the world needs you to be you because by doing so you’ll be encouraging someone else to step through their own magic portal to find the life they’ll love.
If you want to leap out of bed in the morning and don’t already, please check out my two How To Live A Kickass Life program – on-line and in -person.

Reawaken The Spirit Of Your Intuition

January 31, 2015 by Giulietta Nardone

Reawaken The Spirit Of Your Intuition

Young children follow their hearts and intuition. Mine guided me into the woods where I spent most of my days hanging with the trees, the fields and the streams. They spoke to me. They told me to be wild. They told me to question everything. They told me to find my own path.

Unfortunately, we teach children to stop listening to themselves and listen to others. If they don’t stop listening to themselves, they get a punishment of some sort. Something to keep them in line.

“Well, they have to be quiet, so they can learn,” education czars say. Is that true? Can you not learn and feel alive at the same time? Maybe we need to redefine learning.

It’s interesting but I wrote most of my college speeches in a room booming with disco and rock music. I found that the music loosened me up and allowed me to write really imaginative stuff. I aced all my speech classes and had a reputation on campus as giving the best speeches.

Some folks like to write in a quiet place. Some like to write with some background noise. And some like it really loud. No right or wrong way. Just what works for you.

At the time I wrote those speeches I didn’t even know what intuition was. No one really spoke about spirit or intuition that I recall. Looking back, I can see that my intuition guided me to write in noisy places.

Just going with your inner flow and self-knowing is what I encourage folks to do in my Wild Painting! and Wild Writing! classes. Let “it” go and see where you go. The “it” being the voices of others you hear in your head. The ones that say, “You’re doing it wrong” or “that looks terrible” or “you’re no good” or “you look foolish.”

It can be difficult to let go after a lifetime of being told what to do. It’s unlearning what you learned so you can learn from the inside out.

Pablo Picasso said, “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.

If someone sees your “let it go” work and says with a frown, “that’s childlike,” understand that you are on the right path to reclaiming your spirit of intuition because children are naturally in touch with it. They paint with feeling rather than thinking.

Reclaiming your own intuition will empower and allow you to take responsibility for your own decisions. The earlier you do this, the more powerful you will feel.

Here is something to try: Finger paint to music. It’s fun and liberating and messy and glorious. If you want to protect your fingers, buy some barrier cream. Don’t try to make it look like anything. Let it look like something your intuition dreamed up.

What Emotion Do You Fear Most?

September 10, 2014 by Giulietta Nardone

I spent my first 25 years suppressing every emotion but humor (mirth). It took quite a few years of therapy to allow me to show love, anger, compassion, happiness, courage, etc. Not giving myself permission to express the full range of emotions turned me into a zombie-like wreck. Once I set myself emotionally free, my depression or whatever you call it lifted like a cement block off my chest. Life then became wonderful, lighter and I couldn’t wait to get up in the morning.

Because it took me so long to show emotion, I go nuts when I attend business or government events and the facilitator says, “We will check our emotions at the door.”

Huh?

Why would anyone want to suggest doing that? Golly, I think the lack of showing emotion is one of the main problems with work as we know it, with society as we know it, with the world as we know it. The boys who tend to go into a school and shoot it up are always described as quiet loners who didn’t show much emotion. It makes you feel dead inside to not be able to feel or feel you can’t express what you feel or even what you don’t feel. (more…)

Stand Up For Yourself

April 15, 2014 by Giulietta Nardone

As a young child, I felt powerful.

I used to speak my mind, entertain adults with my provocative personality and roam the neighborhood in search of adventures. School definitely put a lid on my power. Way too many of my teachers wanted to tame me, put me in a box, turn me into some obedient little clone. I tried to fight it and ended up in corners, in hallways, in detention, etc.

They just keep working me until I retreated into myself and went along with the mind and soul numbing program.

Why do we do this to kids and young adults and think it’s a good idea? (more…)

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