Take Back Your Life!

How Do We Find Each Other And Feel?

March 27, 2017 by Giulietta Nardone
“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.”   

~ James Thurber, The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty

Okay, I finally watched the “new” Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, recommended by a good friend three years ago. .

I loved it! From the soundtrack to the story to the acting to the scenery and most importantly, to the message — it all spoke to me.

Walter works at Life Magazine, where there is the coolest quote in the lobby.

“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.”

And it flashes up many times. At first, I had to rewind a few times to read it over and over. (The glory of the rewind button of second chances.)

I love all of the quote. Today, I decided to zoom into the later part, “to find each  other and to feel.”

People seem to be afraid to feel today. I remember when Princess Diana died in 1997  and everyone was crying all over the world, mainly people who had never met her — I immediately thought — it is a chance to feel something, to openly weep — things we are not encouraged to do.

In all my writing classes in person, there has always been one person who sheds a tear or even students who will not read because they fear shedding a tear. I always say the same thing, “It is okay to cry, it means something needs to come out through a tear.” (more…)

Refuse To Live A Boring Life

February 26, 2017 by Giulietta Nardone
“Boredom is a pleasing antidote for fear.”  ~ Daphne du Maurier

A lot of American appear to be bored, especially in the work arena. Studies report that 70% of Americans are not engaged with their jobs. Just long, long days spent getting to 5 or 6. The lives most of us are encouraged to follow don’t have a lot of purpose or meaning. Buy that next “simon says to buy” thing. Get that next bigger thing. Shop for that even next bigger, bigger thing.

My twenties were filled with boredom. There I was young and attractive with the world at my youthful fingertips, yet everything bored me. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I didn’t know how to take a hobby and pursue it. Sure, I went to the gym to work out so I’d look good, but doing something because it felt good, because it made me want to get up in the morning. That didn’t exist.It wasn’t until I hit my mid-thirties and began taking acting classes and singing at karaoke clubs that I sparked back to life. Finally, I had a purpose!

Once I woke myself up to the glory of my own life, things picked up. I went back to painting and writing. I got involved in my community. I stood up for defenseless things. But for a while before that happened, I was worried about my self. Every day was a chore, a trudge to a stupid job, a stupid date, a stupid club.

Thank God, I woke myself up. I saw an ad in a local paper, circled it and got right into my car and drove down to the theater where I volunteered for the stage crew.

Mel Robbins, the inspirational speaker who lives a few towns over, just wrote a new book called “The Five Second Rule.” She says if you take longer than 5 seconds to make a decision you probably will not do it.

For the most part it is true. (more…)

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…)

Are You True To Yourself Or Who You Think Others Want You To Be?

November 20, 2016 by Giulietta Nardone

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” – Oscar Wilde

About 7 years ago, I ran a local program called, “Let Go Of Who You Aren’t: Be Your Perfectly Imperfect Self.” It had a few brave people in attendance. Honestly, like so many of my ideas it was simply ahead of its time. More and more, I’m hearing people discuss that topic. Sometimes, I’m just too early for the party.

Okay, we come into the world screaming to be ourselves and for awhile we are. Little kids tend to be honest and forthright. They speak their own little truths and its so refreshing. I worked with some children a few years ago. One of the little girls — an old soul in a young body — gave me a wonderful compliment: “You let us go wild in a good way.”

I loved that!

As for myself, I was wild for a lot longer than most because my mother did not send me to kindergarten. I went briefly to a nursery school in the bottom of our church where all we did was sit on our blankets, take naps and eat crackers. I remember doing little else and I have an excellent memory. (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…)

Getting More “Me” Time

July 7, 2014 by Giulietta Nardone

Getting More Me Time.

Most of us are overloaded with responsibilities. So much so that we can feel guilty taking time out for ourselves to do something we really need, something that makes us feel connected to ourselves.

If this sounds like you, please sit yourself down in a quiet space with a cup of tea/java and take a few deep breaths. Then ask your “inner busy bee” where your hyper responsibility comes from and why you feel that someone else’s life will fall apart if you take out time for yourself. I say this, because that’s what folks have told me. “I have to do X or my “fill-in-the-blank” won’t get “fill-in-the-blank.” (more…)

Go For It! Yes, You.

May 24, 2014 by Giulietta Nardone

“Whatever it is your heart desires, please go for it, it’s yours to have.” ~ Gloria Estefan

Too many of us put off living our most glorious lives. We use all sorts of excuses to stay emotionally safe: when I get more money, when the kids get older, when I retire, when we downsize, etc.
The problem with the do-it-later philosophy is that today’s excuses get replaced with tomorrow’s excuses. Ten years go by and you are still meaning to take that improv class or hike up Mt. Fuji or write a memoir about your childhood roaming through the rain forests of Borneo.

We act like our lives will last forever and we’ve got plenty of time to do that “X” we’ve always wanted to do. It’s hard to know how much time any of us has on the planet. All I’m sure about is that I have today and that’s the best time to commit to something new. Don’t think you are alone. I put off things as well. (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…)

Survival Of The Nicest

March 25, 2013 by Giulietta Nardone

I love Yes! Magazine and its tagline: Powerful Ideas, Practical actions. Every issue comes jam packed with new ways to look at the way we humans do things.

The article titled “Survival of the Nicest” in the spring 2013 issue caught my eye right away. Runs contrary to what I’ve been raised to believe about my fellow humans.

The gist of the article states that Andrew Carnegie’s interpretation of Darwin’s theories in The Descent of Man were wrong. Darwin’s theories and observations did not support the notion that the corporate economy should concentrate the wealth in the hands of the few — that the hierarchal model emphasizing maximum profit would best benefit humanity.
Instead, new interpretations of Darwin’s research suggests that humans have succeeded through wealth-sharing and cooperation. “Those communities which included the greatest number of the most sympathetic members would flourish best…” (more…)
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