Take Back Your Life!

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…)

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…)

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…)

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.

Do You Take Enough Chances?

October 17, 2014 by Giulietta Nardone

“A lifetime isn’t forever, so take the first chance, don’t wait for the second one! Because sometimes, there aren’t second chances! And if it turns out to be a mistake? So what! This is life! A whole bunch of mistakes! But if you never get a second chance at something you didn’t take a first chance at? That’s true failure.”

~ C. Joy Bell

I love taking chances, especially emotional because I find those are harder than taking physical or or financial ones. Trying something new that pushes me emotionally keeps me feeling alive and kickin’. Has really helped me step out of my protective shell aka prison.

But I know that isn’t the norm. Folks have been conditioned to be frightened of taking chances, of trusting their own guts, of taking leaps into the unknown.

Yet, the irony is that life is one BIG unknown, so why we get afraid of the unknown inside the unknown can get perplexing.

People seem to be terrified everywhere of doing something new, of breaking some tradition, of making someone angry. I am convinced most of the strife in the world happens when folks feel so bottled up by not taking chances that they explode and do horrible things to each other. (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…)

Believe In Yourself: A Love Letter To The Johnathans Of The World

December 6, 2012 by Giulietta Nardone

Dear Reader,

Today is Day Five of the 12 Days of Love Letter Writing, a terrific holiday program started by the kind and caring Hannah Brencher. You can read about Hannah, the genesis of this program and listen to her Ted Talk at More Love Letters. These are not gushy love letters. They are letters of encouragement and support written with love.

Hannah asked me to write a love letter to Johnathan. His friend described Johnathan’s situation as follows:

“Johnathan celebrated sixth months sober just a few days ago. In his short two decades of life he’s seen parents divorce, a brother die, and numerous friends stunted by drug addiction. He was just recently promoted at work and is finally feeling better about his life and his self. His letter requester wrote, ‘I believe that I will not always be a part of his life, although we are both major supports for each other right now. I want for Johnathan to learn and always remember that no matter how many people he loses, there will always be more love to be found and that he will never have to be alone as long as he remembers never to stop searching for the light.'” (more…)

Finding the Hidden and Making It Visible

November 28, 2012 by Giulietta Nardone

I sometimes pick up Origin, the conscious culture magazine. It’s got alternative viewpoints on a wide variety of topics. New ways of thinking about old things. Interviews with folks whose ideas lives closer to the fringes.

The article “Subterranean Cathedral” stopped me in my skimming tracks. James Ramsey and Daniel Barasch heard about the vast, abandoned underground spaces that lie dormant under New York City and approached the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to turn it into an underground park illuminated with their invention of redirected sunlight. Fascinated with how they will do that. The forgotten world reminded me of the 1987ish show Beauty and the Beast. In that show, The Beast and a bunch of other folks lived under New York City. (more…)

Do You Live An Unscripted Life?

August 23, 2012 by Giulietta Nardone

I’m reading Improv Wisdom and the subtitle is “Don’t prepare, just show up.”

It reminded me to live my life unscripted as much as possible.

For example, last night I went to a stacked Town Meeting knowing I was going to speak against the crowd. It was for more money for an athletic complex that has gone way over budget because they stuck with the plan when they hit significant financial issues early on. Many voters felt like they were stuck between a rock and a hard place. We’ve spent millions and they wanted another million and say they will come back again for even more. (more…)

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