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Death.

It doesn’t just happen when someone seizes to live, it happens a little inside of us as parents when we have to tell our kids that someone they love is dying or has died.

(Something inspiring the book at the moment...)

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Tips to get you back.

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Michelle Ghilotti Mandel

Tips to get time (and you) back.

As a spiritually-motivated woman, writer, creative and success coach whose sweet spot (and past experience in advertising — got... milk? being one of my longest-standing accounts) lies in helping female entrepreneurs and execs re-brand and reinvent themselves, I often talk about sharing the multi-passionate and multi-dimensional you (unapologetic expression), about relating to others as well as to your perceived or “real” problems, about trusting yourself and your ridiculous creativity...

Today, as Josh and I sat out front at lunch watching Malcolm Gladwell’s masterclass on writing (we highly recommend it), I thought about the one thing that makes all those “categories” or practices work better.

In other words, the thing that assists us in feeling like we’re being more honest to all of it/to our own life and that is simply: every day, bit by bit, unsubscribing from the way others are doing it.

Learn from others, yes, but when it starts to quiet your own unique voice or expression and, therefore, makes it so you can’t see your own path, stop or pause most of it (hiding from your uniqueness makes it so success, too, will elude you) —

...unsubscribe from many of the items/things/people that come into your inbox, your home or energetic space, especially those things, courses, newsletters or people you’ve known haven’t been serving your highest good (in order to do great good, we need to be prioritizing our own highest good).

...strategize your social media intake by unfollowing, de-friending or making it so the topics or people
that genuinely align or support you [fill vs deplete you] take up prime real estate (“see first” is an awesome feature).

...de-friend the quiet, but very loud, “I can’t” or “...but I’m not ready” words spoken to yourself weekly and adopt or use this as your next thought ~> “I trust myself to figure it out or to recover if I fall.”

...turn off the notifications on your phone and, at the same time, turn off the need, little by little, to be everything to everyone. Kindness does not mean leave yourself little to no breathing room, with depleted energy or with no time on your own calendar...it’s yours, book yourself in first.

...notify those closest to you, from a place of clarity and excitement, how your perspective has changed and, therefore, what new ways of communicating feel best to you right now (six months ago, I told many of the people and friends who use texting as their main form of communication to email me instead. Not surprisingly, I got more of my life back).

And — in now YOUR newfound spare time:

— go even more high touch while still living high tech (we have to actively search out the old school to feel more connected to ourselves and others),

— enjoy giving time to those subjects and people you’ve been running from or impatient to because you’ve been inundated (literally)...

—and when in doubt, keep asking yourself, what is it that wants to go...what projects...people...next steps that I now have emotional and physical time for are begging for me to take them or BE taken by them?

[More on the idea of magical impeccable timing I spoke about a few days ago (see my post about leaving Mexico) — Josh ran into Malcolm today while they each worked at a cafe in Santa Monica. Having met 15 years ago in Amsterdam, they said hi. Malcom remembered talking to Josh about if Kobe and Shaq would survive on the same team...whose team would it be??].

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[day in the life] 15 seconds of seahorse zen, Barcelona.
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[day in the life] Halloween is serious business until you have to kiss your mom goodbye. Meet Nolan, Secret Agent Mr. Spy (:17).
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I wrote my college essay around how the relationship between me and this sweet boy, my baby brother, sixteen and a half years my junior, changed me. I got into most all of my favorite Southern California schools. I know it wasn't as tough to get into good schools back then but seeing as I only had a 3.5, I like to think that the way I was accepted to the harder universities was, in part, because of how moving it might have been to read an 18-year-old discuss her tender assessment of riches given to her by a new life, energy and love infused into the family... Through my relationship with his baby and toddler known as Dino bambino, I was able to know what true joy felt like. As a result of his nature and our synergy, I also have never more madly or crazily nurtured or *felt* more nurtured by a baby, not even my own. It was this relationship, I wrote in my essay, that taught me about all other relationships I would have thereafter. It was THE relationship that taught me about presence and fully giving yourself to someone. His birth day and the days following changed me forever, as has his death and the days following. I know many of you who have gained and lost can understand. As I've shared with friends and family over the years, it was he, the youngest of two beloved brothers, who taught me how to be a mom and still teaches me today how to grow even more open, how to love, show affection and show UP. And keep showing up. When I woke Nolan up this morning I said something to him as I bent down to kiss him, something that was consciously also meant for Dino: I love you with all my heart (I had to pause)...and then some. I lingered extra long in that kiss while Nolan finally opened his eyes... And this is truthfully how you heal and get through and go on...you give your love away for free, inexhaustibly, wherever and to whomever is near, feeling the very person you've lost. It's easy to remember or recount the sadness around the crash, that it was a day and a half after his graduation or that it happened on Mother's Day, but it's easier still to talk and tell of all that still lives or was given birth to as a result of my parents deciding to grow the family and give birth to this beautiful, creative, extremely loving and bright light of a third child... That's what I honor today. I honor their decision to give our family this love and I honor Dino's soul, who impacts mine, still now... It's beautiful and so like him that on so many days every week, he, too, still finds a way to show up... 🐣💛🔐
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The other night at a bonfire we created at the property, we asked our kids questions from a family question card deck I brought down from L.A.

One of the questions was “What is your favorite thing about your life and what is the least favorite thing about your life?”

The second part of Nolan’s answer ~ “That everything has to end...”

...

✌🏼

There’s both very little and so much to say about that.

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The other night I was asked by my 17 year-old cousin what the happiest day of my life was.

It wasn’t the day Nolan was born (though that felt like the knee-jerk reaction or thing to say) — so what was it, really?

I told her I needed a minute and took about 30 seconds of that to think back on the times that I’ve been happiest and landed on my answer, the one that felt most true...

...

The happiest moment in my life was the first time that, as a mom, with a new life in my hands (literally, I was holding Nolan’s little body above the deep Dutch baby tub, with Josh, smiling or googling at him to my right) that I consciously took in the moment and the home (((a feeling, not a place [namely peace]))) — that I was a part of creating...

It was such a heavenly feeling amidst some trying things like Nolan’s sleep disorder or my PPD or living thousands of miles away from our support network.

And that is still my happiest moment — home [one I’m actively always co-creating], but only, of course, when I allow myself the pause or moment to take it all in; to let it wash over me...

👶🏼 🚿 🏡

Your happiest moment need not be that one time long ago that you‘ll never have again ~ it can be a moment, the same moment that you keep evolving and reliving because you choose to...

Choose to.

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It’s In The Thinking that We Separate....

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Michelle Ghilotti Mandel

It’s In The Thinking That We Separate

We are more connected than ever, yet we feel world’s away from one another, too.

One reason we feel this way beyond, maybe..., that of brains changing with the overuse of tech or screens and our emotional and social intelligence (or more elegant relating ability) being tested in these times is that we genuinely believe that others are doing better, like a lot better, emotionally/physically/spiritually than we are because of the happy/successful/globe trotting/everything matches/“no mess to see here” photos they’re sharing.

But everyone doing better than you (and especially in all areas) is not anymore true than a group of people genuinely thinking negatively of you (you’re “unprofessional” or less of a beautiful human being) if you post a photo of a tender moment you want to share along with a photo of how you really look in the morning (case in point, this photo of me Sunday is two hours post wake-up, this is *not* how I look freshly up), or a photo that shows your wrinkles or your mid 40-something soft skin in the sunlight (something I’ve noticed the last few months)...

The OR list is long ~

Or how you really BE on a typical Thursday night or when it’s been a hard and stressful week, OR — connected — if you happen to share about your real emotions around loss, divorce, or another life transition that aren’t necessarily the norm on platforms like these, but that everyone reading has felt many, many times, either about those experiences or others.

What we are craving and have been craving for some time — our life? — is being more real or ourselves with others and others being more real and themselves with us; to be in the world as we are in *our* world (or close-ish, shrinking the gap). COMFORTABLE, like ‘plop down on my sofa or my bed and let’s talk like we live similar lives, because, hey, we do.

We do. 💍

In other words, asking more of ourselves and creating what we want to be a part of virtually, just as we want to be in life beyond the push of a button, change of a filter or wrinkle brush app.

The virtual realm can act as a wall or barrier, so we get to work to soften it down, to find ways of communicating and connecting that help to alleviate disconnection and a false sense of perfection.

It’s not everyone’s charge or desire and many of us are private people, but I find it fascinating that for those of us who use these platforms TO connect, why aren’t we, then, connecting in all the ways the word implies?

Connection is more than skin deep, it goes beneath and beyond superficial layers.

I challenged us at Creative Heroine to do that ~ to create a new space *within* this space that holds more of each of us, more depth, more, more, more...

The A and B sides are both as much of the real us:

Growing older...real and universal.
Not winning...yup.
Falling down...definitely.
And sometimes a combination of these things at the same human time.

It’s a brave creative practice to be ourselves, and one that, maybe, when practiced more can make us more brave against other odds, harder things or challenges?

I want to keep waking to alllll of that which is universal, to being free of what one thinks or does not think because it’s in the thinking that we separate...

in the feeling
where we
come together.

#creativeheroine
#nofilter

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If I can have a baby, I can do anything.

I will do...anything.

~ said every mama

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For the mothers:

You’re a good mother to good children.

[Cleaning out my Mom’s stuff, I found this tag I made for her — because sometimes we need to be reminded of what’s good...enough.]

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If you admire and/or are jealous of someone, it’s a latent talent within ~ a talent that is in you, but that you haven’t taken the time to develop or express.

It’s your time to develop it, to be able express it.

#creativeheroine...
#brandofwoman

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You know what The Creative Heroine Experience *also* is?

A coming out comeback party that benefits the greater good + (press release for what a coming out comeback party plus a little shakeup of an industry that needs it looks like is in the comments).

Four plus years of the grief journey losing a brother and mother tragically has been rough *and* given me the wisdom, awareness and strength (🔥🎁) to do EVERYTHING I want to do — and support women to do the same.

...

If I thought I was already living like this, it’s grown exponentially.

We think only bad things happen when people die but good things come out of it as well.

It’s time for a new, fresh and radical conversation around death (and all the ways this can take place) so that it is not seen or felt as taboo or secret.

I have shared my story so openly the last handful of years because my story is not unique to me — it’s a universal story, one we need to talk about to humanize and normalize.

It is normal to live and die. And, that’s what we are choosing to do every day with every choice or non choice we make that is in support (or not) of the life we actually want to be living.

It’s time to see death as a part of life, not as something different or “other”.

When we can view it as such, it becomes an empowering fire lit under us that then gives us the energy to live out the days that our beloved ones couldn’t.

Do you need a coming out comeback party that shakes things up and benefits the greater good, too?

💕

[Photo of some of the gifts for the event]

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Heather Chauvin and I hosted the Walking Momtra Show yearssss ago along with our beautiful friend Erin Cox all in support of showing moms how to focus on their happiness to RAISE happiness...

A few months ago Heather and I chatted about being the woman and parent you desire without burning yourself out.

In other words, creativity/zest for life + business + motherhood.

...

Similar to the livestream done this morning, it’s a great listen for moms starting anything new or attempting to get over the hump in business or “coming back” from trials, tests, loss etc.

I share a lot around my own path from problem to solution (what, at the end of the day, creativity IS): https://soundcloud.com/heath…/creativity-business-motherhood

xo

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Heather Chauvin and I hosted the Walking Momtra Show yearssss ago along with our beautiful friend Erin Cox all in support of showing moms how to focus on their ...happiness to RAISE happiness...

A few months ago Heather and I chatted about being the woman and parent you desire without burning yourself out.

In other words, creativity/zest for life + business + motherhood.

Similar to the livestream done this morning, it’s a great listen for moms starting anything new or attempting to get over the hump in business or “coming back” from trials, tests, loss etc.

I share a lot around my own path from problem to solution (what, at the end of the day, creativity IS): https://soundcloud.com/heath…/creativity-business-motherhood

HC 😘
EC 😘

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"Really gorgeous beautiful things happen when we follow the creativity, the soul's voice, honesty and a realness that maybe I would have not been able to tap into if I had not gone through everything
soundcloud.com

Post Traumatic Growth, it’s a thing (expect it)... three things.

“You’re still the woman/man (+) before this happened.”

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Michelle Ghilotti Mandel was live.

Post Traumatic Growth, it’s a thing (expect it)... three things.

“You’re still the woman/man (+) before this happened.”

Scared is one letter away from sacred because that’s how close you are from moving through the fear to something that’s meant for you.

#creativeheroine

How not to psyche yourself out from doing the things you can’t NOT do (surgery story...if you listen to anything ~> 13:03-18:17).

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Michelle Ghilotti Mandel was live.

How not to psyche yourself out from doing the things you can’t NOT do (surgery story...if you listen to anything ~> 13:03-18:17).

Stretching in relationships. Much love and happy weekend, Walking Momtras!!

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Michelle Ghilotti Mandel was live.

Stretching in relationships (this is a ten-minute test).

Today would have been my Mom’s 60th birthday. 60.

I’m 43.

Having a young mom (substitute: human mom) had its joys and its challenges (in my pre-teen and teenage mind mostly).

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The Adjacent Possible (innovating ~ using creative ideas to change industries)

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Michelle Ghilotti Mandel was live.

The Adjacent Possible (innovating ~ using creative ideas to change industries)