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.”

It took me quite a bit of therapy to be true to my own feelings enough to release them. I remember going to basketball games in college where my boyfriend was on the team and not being able to even cheer for him, I was so held in check by my self.

Fortunately, I worked that out or god knows where I would be now. I used to go to my therapy appointments and within 15 minutes I would be unable to stop crying. Appointment after appointment, my bottled up feelings washing my face clean. And for me that was the point of the therapy, although I didn’t quite know it at the time — to allow myself to feel openly and without embarrassment. Sometimes, we don’t know the point of something until years later.

Related to that is a topic I wrote about in an application in early 2016 for a program. I stated that I thought loneliness was one of our greatest problems, one that few talk about. Interestingly enough, I read an article last week in The Boston Globe Magazine that reported how lonely middle age men are because they don’t see their friends much anymore due to overscheduling of family things. Apparently, men don’t want to admit it because they feel like losers.

It seems that many of us, even those with families, might need to find each other and dare to feel. When we are young, we tend to surround ourselves with other young folks. Then we start to pair off, take on time-sucking jobs and those friendships get lost in the shuffle.

But it isn’t good for our health to feel lonely. Perhaps, as a gesture of kindness we could reach out to an old missed friend with a phone call and a real invitation for coffee with a real date written in our date books. (Not just saying, “oh, let’s get together.”)

Did anyone ever hear about the old Pewter Pot restaurants located throughout New England. You could go in and sit with people you didn’t know, which was kind of the whole point of the place. I visited a neat place in Prague where that, too, was the point of the beer hall and foodery, to deliberately go in there and sit with folks you did not know.

That we have so many lonely people in a world exploding with people suggests that we’ve forgotten how to reach out to people and be human. Are we that afraid of each other?

Muse Thanks,
Giulietta

PS, Maybe a multi-age painting program to meet new folks?

Make Tiny Little Paintings!
For children 8+
For parents and grandparents who want to join them.
Everyone loves making these tiny little paintings! I started painting tiny little paintings a year ago and found them tremendously liberating as an artist. I took more risks and it paid off. Golly, now I want to have a tiny little painting art show.

Kids of all ages also gravitate to the tiny little paintings. Recently, I did a program at a local library and the teens loved it. They created such gorgeous paintings. All were unique and spirited. You can seem some examples if you follow the link to my web site, although I forgot my good camera and was just learning on my new phone.

 
Time: 9:45 to noon pm
Date: Wednesday, April 20
Place: Cheryl Cohen’s Mosaic Art Center, Holliston
Cost: $49 for new participants/$45 if returning or signing up for a least 2.
Attitude:
Adventurous, Freeing, Fun.
More info, to read the words of previous participants or to register, please click

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…)

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…)

Is Your Life Too Damn Safe?

July 11, 2016 by Giulietta Nardone

“To live a life of excellence, you will have to take risks. You will have to step into new territory and climb new mountains. If you’re up to something that’s as big as you are, it’s going to be scary. If it feels perfectly safe, you are probably underachieving. To leave your mark in the world, you will have to stand someplace you’ve never been willing to stand before. And you will have to have the courage to aspire to excellence.”

~ Debbie Ford

Despite all the May/June high school and college graduation speeches that encourage those graduating to go for the brass ring, doing so rarely happens in a life time.

The problem with those types of speeches is that everything leading up to them often runs counter to living such a bold and daring life. Those speeches wouldn’t be needed, if we encouraged our young to take chances. The look and feel of young life would be totally different than it is now. Thus, the inspirational speech the adults give to the young as a reminder to themselves to take risks before it is too late. (Note to self.)

Most of our lives are way too scripted and safety oriented. I read a few months ago that colleges are now looking for students who are different! They want something more off beat than the well-rounded students getting all A’s they’ve wanted for several decades. Fascinating but welcomed. Students will be able to follow their own strengths, perhaps.

If you want to always be safe, physically, emotionally, financially, your life will be driven by a lot of fear, a fear of losing instead of gaining. Most folks who make it big in business at one point risked most of the money they had. (more…)

Fun. Do You Really Have Enough Of It In Your Life?

May 24, 2016 by Giulietta Nardone


People rarely succeed unless they have fun with what they are doing.”
~ Dale Carnegie

I view every day as a chance to have fun. What is fun to me might not to be fun to you and vice versa. And that is okay. Only you can decide what passes fun muster for you.

It seems like we are having a fun shortage in the lives of many adults — and, frankly, now even children.

So many are being encouraged to follow generic lives with generic experiences and generic responses to achieve generic accolades given out by folks usually living generic, un-fun lives themselves.

Does that sound at all like you? Never? Sometimes? All the time? (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!

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.

The Power Of Downtime

July 15, 2015 by Giulietta Nardone

The Power of Downtime

My favorite part of a yoga class has always been savasana or corpse pose, the part at the end where I get to fall asleep on the mat with a blanket over me. Golly, I could rest like that for a few hours, but the yoga teachers always wake me up after a measly 5 minutes. I’d love to take a yoga class that was 90% savasana. Or would that be a nap?

Not sure, but naps are awesome as well. I always had a tough time at my 9 to 5 jobs because I like to nap around 3 — I NEED to nap around 3. I would close my eyes in mid afternoon and face the wall. If someone walked in, I’d snap awake. I had another job where I’d lock the door and sleep on the couch. Not sure why businesses don’t have nap rooms for the employees. A tired employee can barely stay awake, let alone perform a job function. It’s 15 minutes well spent by an employee.

I toss walking into my downtime pot as well. It relaxes me to stroll around my neighborhood in non-electronic mode. Not in a race to get anywhere, just ambling along with creative brainstorms flashing across my mind. Maybe that’s why I like to have wine with friends. It’s a slow activity centered around relaxing and conversing.

For me, downtime makes me feel more awake, more alert, more happy. I’d like to see schools implement downtime as well. The kids hop from one activity to another, when I bet a lot of them might like a nap. Why we think naps are just for tiny children makes no sense to me. (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…)

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