Take Back Your Life!

Ruby Slippers, Anyone?

February 15, 2017 by Giulietta Nardone

Hello there,

This is a post I wrote back in March 2008 when I was blogger for the month at Skirt! Magazine. That was near the beginning of the blogging craze.

Thought you might get something out of it!

Thanks, G.

~

Ruby Slippers, Anyone?

I enjoy writing essays because they force me to reveal my vulnerable side not only to the reader, but also to myself. Back in my late teens and twenties, I often felt trapped behind a locked emotional door. I’d bang, bang, bang on that little windowpane hoping somebody, anybody would unlock it, but no one ever did. Knuckles bruised and bleeding, I’d slump down against the door and wonder, “Is anyone ever going to rescue me?”

Many life experiences later, I discovered that the only person powerful enough to rescue me from behind that door was Giulietta. That I have always been the heroine of my own life.

And so have you.

You see, the “theys” don’t want us to know that each one of us has a pair of ruby slippers tucked away in a locked room. Special designer shoes capable of transforming our tentative womanistas into confident, powerful heroines who can leap tall solar-powered shopping carts in a single glass pump bound. The “theys” prefer we shuffle around with our heads down waiting to be rescued by a bouquet, a mate, a job title, a compliment, a new hair color. (more…)

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…)

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..

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Do What You Love And The Money MAY Follow

September 21, 2016 by Giulietta Nardone
“If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to help them build theirs.” ~ Dhirubhai Ambani

About 15 years ago when I was working at a corporation, I stumbled on a book in a used bookstore called, Do What You Love And The Money Will Follow.

It was the first time I gave any thought to opening my own creativity-based business, which was odd given that my grandmother, grandfather and my father all owned their own individual businesses. My grandmother, back in the roaring twenties, owned her own dance studio. She produced local plays and recitals after graduating from Emerson College. If she were still around, I’d tell her that I’ve followed in her creative footsteps.When I did open my own business, even though I loved what I was doing the money did not follow very much.

Making your creative business thrive is a little more complicated that doing what you love. You have to deal with what I call the psychology of your business. If that is not addressed properly, you can learn to dislike what you love and end up back helping someone else build their dream.

The most important rule of business I have learned:

Whatever dogs you in life will follow you into your business. I sometimes think the greatest gift a business can give its owner is to highlight what dogs you in life. It is easy to get around this “dog” when you work for someone else. Much easier to hide from yourself in a cubicle. Most corporations don’t really want you to be the best you can be. The job description may state that, but it isn’t really wanted from what I observed.
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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…)

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.

True Love Can Never Be Erased

June 2, 2015 by Giulietta Nardone

True Love Can Never Be Erased

This weekend I watched the 2004 film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet. Not sure how I missed it ten years ago, but my library’s DVD collection gave me a second chance to view it.

I loved it.

Creative. Clever. Complicated. Compelling.

Without giving the entire movie away, it’s a maze-like romantic tale about the staying power of true love. You can try to erase it, but true love will always try to find its way back into your life. In the case of the movie, this love was between two people. Outside of this movie, this love can also be between a person and the things in life that make his or her heart sing. I’m sure you’ve heard of Thoreau’s quote: Most men lead quiet lives of desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them. And he wrote that back in the 1800’s.

If we try to repress our true loves, we end up repressing ourselves. I am convinced that much of the brawls that break out around the world happen because the people involved have been divorced from the activities that would make their hearts sing. You may have noticed that most brawls happen to younger folks in their twenties. It’s a weird decade for many. The one decade I would never want to repeat.

Somehow in my twenties I got disconnected from everything I loved in life. It didn’t happen over night, it just became more apparent when I graduated from college and had to carve my own path through life and wasn’t sure how. Young adults go from being told what to do, to being held responsible for their lives. The endless waiting and preparation to do most anything can stifle a person’s natural ability to just go for it, like I did as a young girl.

The best advice we can give the young is to say at an early age, “Just go for it.” It gets harder to do that once you’ve been told, “Don’t go for it, until you have all your ducks lined up.”  (more…)

What Emotion Do You Fear Most?

September 10, 2014 by Giulietta Nardone

I spent my first 25 years suppressing every emotion but humor (mirth). It took quite a few years of therapy to allow me to show love, anger, compassion, happiness, courage, etc. Not giving myself permission to express the full range of emotions turned me into a zombie-like wreck. Once I set myself emotionally free, my depression or whatever you call it lifted like a cement block off my chest. Life then became wonderful, lighter and I couldn’t wait to get up in the morning.

Because it took me so long to show emotion, I go nuts when I attend business or government events and the facilitator says, “We will check our emotions at the door.”

Huh?

Why would anyone want to suggest doing that? Golly, I think the lack of showing emotion is one of the main problems with work as we know it, with society as we know it, with the world as we know it. The boys who tend to go into a school and shoot it up are always described as quiet loners who didn’t show much emotion. It makes you feel dead inside to not be able to feel or feel you can’t express what you feel or even what you don’t feel. (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…)

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