Take Back Your Life!

Do You Feel Limitless, Like You Can Do Anything?

August 23, 2016 by Giulietta Nardone

“If you tell life what it has to be, you limit it, but if you let life show you what it wants to be it will open doors you never knew existed.”

-Unknown.

Like so many people, I used to feel that I had to follow a certain life plan to be living a “good” life. Do x, y and z and your life will be marvelous.

Well, I did x, y and z and it wasn’t marvelous. It felt phony, empty and meaningless.

Fortunately, a town hall on the verge of a demolition gave me the chance to let my life show me where it wanted to go. I grabbed that opportunity to save the building and followed it – a kind of blind faith – and just like the quote above it led me to places I didn’t no existed. It also led me to parts of myself I didn’t know existed. I emerged as the kind of person, I’d always wanted to be but didn’t think I was.

Funny, how I couldn’t even recognize myself covered with the grime of conformity. I thought I was something completely different and then spent my life battling that phony version of myself. What a waste of energy!

I’m really grateful that opportunity in my town presented itself. The more I let my life lead, the more fabulous opportunities presented themselves. (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…)

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…)

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.

Make Glorious Mistakes

December 23, 2014 by Giulietta Nardone

“Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one’s mistakes.”

Golly, can you remember when you were first taught not to make mistakes? I can’t pinpoint it exactly but believe it was somewhere in elementary school. Not in my second grade class, where my teacher taught me to take chances. But somewhere else. I’m guessing 4th grade. That is when I first started to feel pressure to excel and get good grades on tests.

After that I suffered from this horrible fear of making mistakes (MM). Once, when I got fired from a job at a bathroom accessories showroom during a summer break for making the “mistake” of not being aggressive enough. I became terrified that I would never, ever get another job because I’d gotten fired. Silly when I look back on it. (more…)

Diving Into Your Power By Letting Go

November 22, 2014 by Giulietta Nardone

“Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.” ~ Raymond Lindquist

Looking back, I can see that I was taught to hang onto other people’s ideas, other people’s preferences, other people’s dreams, and other people’s rules.

And that made me feel powerless. And I went through much of youth and young adult life like that — not knowing how to take back my own power. Or, even worse, not knowing that I had any power. I thought everyone else had the power and that I was destined to do what I was told, to never speak up, to never decide my own fate.

It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment or series of moments that I realized that the only way to get my power back was to let go of what others thought my life should look like or what I should look like. It was more like a series of decisions that created the moments that all strung themselves together, like an arching stream of holiday lights welcoming me to a new place.

I spent years letting other folks critique my life. You need to get a conventional job. You need to have children. You need to keep the boat steady. And my appearance. You should cut your hair. You should wear muted lipstick. You should wear capped sleeves. More blah, blah, blah.

Enough I decided.

One of the first things I did to let go was to sign up for an assertiveness training weekend back in my late twenties. The two women that led the class blew my mind away. They had this “give yourself permission” attitude without ever actually saying that.

Before I took their class, I couldn’t even return something to a store that I’d bought on a whim. I was TERRIFIED of the reaction of the clerk. A stranger. And I could not talk back – express opinions – my mother had labelled all such things “talking back” and they were met with a punishment of some kind. And I could not express anger. I was a walking cage, pretty much.

And a year after that program I went to Italy by myself. I went to visit an acquaintance but that turned into a nightmare of sorts, so I ended up traveling by myself to a few cities. It scared me and liberated me at the same time. And it was hilarious because I had to let go of knowing where I was going. In Rome, I ended up getting on a train hoping it was going where I wanted to go — some small village to stay with a friend’s sister I’d never met. I was to call them when I got to the train station but I got off at the wrong one and subsequently had to get back on the train. Meanwhile, they went back to the first stop. So I was still at the wrong station. And I had to get back on the train again …

Once I figured out I felt better every time I let go, I let go a little bit more. A finger here, two fingers there, one arm. Now, I can let go and enjoy the freefall because I know that an adventure awaits me at the end of the fall.

Here a few tips for letting go.

1) Say, “Yes” if it’s something that interests you.

2) Don’t talk yourself out of doing something new by falling back on some “obligation.” The obligations are always there. The something new might be a one-time thing.

3) Find a letting go partner that can support you and who you can support.

4) Spend some time figuring out what it is you want to do in life versus what others want you to do.

5) Ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that can happen if I let go in this particular situation?”

Hope these letting go tips help! If you have any more, please feel free to mention in the comments section.

Thanks! G.

p.s. if you want to sign up for Wild Painting in Holliston on Saturday, December 6th, 2 to 4:30 pm, please follow this link!

Find Your Wild Side!

August 14, 2014 by Giulietta Nardone

I can see from my own life how we tame our young, how we de-wild them so they are willing to sit in a chair for most of their lives. In a way, we break the young like we break a wild horse. We don’t throw a saddle on their backs. Instead we throw a chair on it and then turn them over. If someone told you as a young child that you’d spend most of your young adult and adult life in a chair, would you willingly go along with that?

I’m thankful that I spent a good chunk of my youth pretty free. Those days have somewhat dried up for today’s kids, but I believe it’s going to swing back. Everything swings back on the pendulum of “this is how you do it.”

Did you know Polaroids have made a comeback? They have a freedom to see and touch and hold the picture immediately that digital does not. I love old pictures of relatives and have them all around my home. The sepia that comes from aging looks beautiful to me. How do you do that with digital when it’s the reclamation and degradation of the photo that makes it look so lovely? I think film will be coming back strong as well. Once the power of wildness trickles up to the experts that folks listen to – and, ironically, they tend to be behind the “what’s next curve,” which makes the whole notion of expertdom rather comical at times. (more…)

Taking a much needed social media breather

November 29, 2013 by Giulietta Nardone

Hello Readers,

I’ve been doing social rather than social media. Social – to me – is just hanging out with the folks that live in your immediate area. In my case, my town. Social Media means hanging out with folks who do not live in my immediate area. Both are good. Time wise it can be tricky. I felt exhausted trying to send out two newsletters and a local email. Kind of like Simon Says touch your nose, your heels, your back, and the top of your head all it once. It’s impossible.

Making myself crazy didn’t seem like a good move, mentally, physically or emotionally. So, I stepped back here and forward in other areas.

Things I’ve been doing:

Working on my book. It’s  more than halfway done. (more…)

Do You Encourage Others To Begin Something New?

January 30, 2013 by Giulietta Nardone

Hello all,

Beginning something new can be really hard for people. They get scared they will fail, so they don’t even start. The right answer syndrome is the most likely culprit. Years of being trained to only see one answer acts as an anti-catalyst. People don’t want to be wrong. They don’t want to fail. They don’t want to feel embarrassed.

We all need encouragement to try new things, to go for new adventures, to try all the things we want to do but that often get relegated to life’s back burner. I had a boyfriend encourage me to sing when I’d been told I had a terrible voice. As it turns out, I didn’t have a terrible voice. His encouragement changed my life. Make that, saved my life. It had a ripple effect across my entire being – from my enthusiasm to my attitude to my self-esteem.  Thank you ex-boyfriend! (more…)

Everyone Is Beautiful When They Take Off Their Masks

January 5, 2013 by Giulietta Nardone

About 3 years ago, I wrote a blog post about the masks I’d worn, taken off and still have fragments of to remove. I got nervous right before hitting the send key because I thought, it’s too rad for folks. Well, that post got more comments than just about any post. It spoke to readers.

Yesterday, while patrolling the supermarket aisle in search of organic items (or was it meaning?), the title for this month’s newsletter popped into my head. Everyone Is Beautiful When They Take Off Their Masks.

If you take off your metaphorical mask, you will expose the underneath you, the one you’ve been taught to hide or hold in check or be ashamed to reveal.

The beautiful human you. The vulnerable you.  (more…)

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