Take Back Your Life!

You Are Way More Powerful Than You Think

December 26, 2016 by Giulietta Nardone
Happy 2017! May it be the year you feel powerful.

“When someone tells you that you can’t do something, perhaps you should consider that they are only telling you what they can’t do.” ~ Sheldon Cahoon

It’s common for people to tell you, “oh, you can’t pull that off” or “why do you want to try that?” or “that’s impossible.”

If there is something you want to do, please don’t listen to other people who tell you it can’t be done. They might not be able to do it, but most of us can usually accomplish anything we put our minds to. Try it yourself and then decide if you can’t do it. Chances are good, though, that you can.

Many, many years ago, I quit my research job to make a career change to graphic design. I went to a head hunter and said I want the following things in a job: Flexible hours, the ability to mold it to myself and a boss that believes in me enough to let me be free. She said, “Those jobs don’t exist. But if I do find one, I’m taking it for myself.”

I didn’t sign up with that firm and went to another one and repeated my dream job to another headhunter. She said, “Let’s try to find it.”

A few weeks later, she called about a job.

I went on the interview and knew the minute I walked into the office that this potential boss was different than all the other managers I’d worked for. We talked. I showed him my design portfolio. He was interested in hiring me.

I said, “I need to be honest with you about who I am and shared my three wishes for the job.” (more…)

Wake Up From Your Sleepwalking

April 8, 2016 by Giulietta Nardone

My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know. Everybody you see. Everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant total amazement.” ~ Patricia Graynamore, Joe Versus The Volcano

Too many people go through their entire lives sleepwalking, like they are on some kind of autopilot that they can’t wake up from.

I used to be on autopilot to the point that sometimes I’d get in my car and find myself going somewhere I wasn’t intending to go. Once I found myself on the Mass Pike without any change in my purse for the tolls. I had to scrounge around the console and glove box gathering up 4o cents to get off at the next toll exit.

Once I got off, I pulled over and subjected myself to a flurry of rather frank self-talk, “What is wrong with you? How did you end up on a major highway when you were going to the Natick mall?” (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…)

Believe In The Beauty Of Your Own Dreams

January 11, 2016 by Giulietta Nardone

Believe In The Beauty of Your Own Dreams!

“Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.”

~ Anais Nin

When we are children, we have lots of dreams. By the time we reach young adulthood, we’ve already begun saying, “It’s too late.”At 23, I looked in the mirror and thought I looked old. I felt like I was washed up and I hadn’t even started. Looking way back, I can say with all certainty I didn’t look old at all. And I hadn’t taken any real chances. And I wasn’t washed up.

How did a young woman at the beginning of adult life develop such feelings of despair?

I soon discovered I wasn’t alone in my feelings of “life has passed me by.” A lot of my friends felt that way as well.

We force folks into a life of despair by separating them from the things in life that make them feel alive. That is done during the “molding” process where we not only get molded, but become spiritually and soulfully moldy. And today’s kids are encouraged to get moldy earlier and earlier.

The wildness extraction process begins at younger and younger ages because folks of any age running around making noise makes folks who’ve been trained not to do that, “very, very nervous.”

They seem to want young children to pick their life path by the time they get out of preschool, to get serious about learning ONLY in seats, to see fun and self-expression as some personality disorder that needs to be squelched.

(Check out in The Jan/February Atlantic Monthly the article: The Preschool Trend That Is Crushing Kids.)

More and more kids are being labelled hyperactive because children are not allowed to run free anymore through the woods. First of all, it’s hard to find any woods that aren’t golf courses or wetlands. But then if you do, you don’t have time because you’ve got hours of homework every night.

Fortunately, my feelings of “too lateness” passed when I returned to my childhood love of all things creative. Writing and painting and singing. That reconnection opened up my life for me!

I can now share that I have done the greatest things in my life since the age of 40. I plan on continuing to do great things as long as I’m alive. Stereotypes about who should act like “something” at a certain age will not stop me!

You can do anything you want as long as you stick with it … and tell the folks who try to stop you to “get out of your way, thank you.”

Now, what is it that you want to do?

Best wishes for achieving your dreams,

ps please consider joining me for wild painting!

Let Out Your Inner Wildness

October 26, 2015 by Giulietta Nardone
Modern dance inventor Isadora had it right. We came into the world wild and before long we were anything but wild. I fought the de-wildification as best I could and managed to survive school and work with bit of wildness still left inside. In the past 15 years, I managed to get a good deal of my wildness back. Frankly, I feel a hell of a lot better. Walking around with an imaginary bit in your mouth is not fun. It hurts and you can’t say what you need to say because you think you’ve got a mouth full of metal. Why we insist on doing this to young people so they’ll stand in line politely at the bank is beyond me. Sometimes, someone really ought to yell, “Can you please get another teller out here?” (I did say that once. It felt really good.)I’m convinced that the more wild we feel inside, the more we can love our own lives. Like any trapped animal, you start to go crazy in captivity. You long to kick up your heels and run free if you want. Hand and hand with trying to suppress the wild is trying to suppress anything mysterious. (more…)

3 Ways To Take Back Your Power

September 18, 2015 by Giulietta Nardone

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” 

I got the idea for this Giulietta the Muse business after I did a thirty day guest blog for Skirt! Magazine in March 2008. Back then, blogging was still pretty new and I was the only one blogging for the entire month at the request of the Assistant Editor. I’d never blogged before and felt apprehensive: What if I have nothing to say? But I took the leap of self faith anyway. Interestingly enough, the words that poured out of me all revolved around encouraging others (including myself) to Take Back Their Power.

I’m convinced the words came to me through divine intervention because I’d never really thought about power as something I could acquire, something I could take back, something I could stop giving away. I always thought it was something big, burly dudes had.

Boy, did I have that wrong!

Anyone can take their own power back if they start doing certain things. It’s important to be aware that you have power to begin with like Alice says above. You had power at birth and gradually gave it up in exchange for things like safety and pats on the back and adults calling you a good little boy or girl. I felt so powerful when I was a sassy little girl saying provocative things to adults. I felt unstoppable.

I’d like to share three of my favorites with you. (more…)

Begin Anywhere

June 23, 2015 by Giulietta Nardone

Begin Anywhere

What I’ve observed in life is that many people do not have the courage to begin the things they really want to do. Sure, they’ll begin something that falls into the default living category. But the juicy life things that will free them from some captured element of themselves — those can be hard to begin. They involve a “go for it attitude” and a leap of self-faith. Unfortunately, the ability to trust ourselves to set our own course in life has been repressed until it’s so well hidden even we can’t find it within ourselves.

The good news: it’s still there. You just need some gentle coaxing to get you to take that first step Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu calls the journey of a thousand miles.

We have many fears about taking that first step: we’ll disappear into journey quicksand, we’ll get lost in the unknown mist, we’ll be scared once we leave the beaten path.

To me those fears are the point. I don’t know where I’m going and scared as I may be, I know that to live a wild, juicy life I need to step into the unknown, embrace it as something that will be cool and unforgettable. (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…)

Wild Painting!

April 25, 2014 by Giulietta Nardone

I’ve discovered that imagination gets rusty when we don’t use it. As a young elementary school kid, I painted all kinds of wild pictures with nothing but my mind. No photos, no books, no anything.

I could conjure up what folks looked like, images, scenes from my yard. And I had a distinct style of semi-distortion. Over time, I stopped painting/drawing completely and then when I retook it up around the age of 39, I found it difficult to paint anything without some kind of crutch like a photo, etc

About two years ago, I took a drawing class and forced myself to draw only from my mind. I got better and better over time. In between classes, I might look at a picture of a ferris wheel, but once in class, I painted “wild.” (more…)

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