Take Back Your Life!

Are you hiding behind being busy?

November 30, 2009 by Giulietta Nardone

It’s definitely in vogue these days to be busy, very busy. The assumption being it’s a good thing, a sign you are living a full life, that you are fulfilled, that you are not lonely. Socrates didn’t seem to agree. He said, “Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” And he lived back in 450ish BC. I could be wrong, but I’m guessing people today dash around a lot faster than they did back in his time. Thoreau also addressed the subject, “It is not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: what are we busy about?”

Honestly, I try to avoid using the word busy. It’s never felt like a word I wanted to use to describe my life. It’s full, exciting and dynamic, but not overloaded with busyness. I still have time to self-reflect and think about my choices. If you look up busy in Webster’s, definition #4 says, “Full of distracting detail.” That intrigues me. Does being busy distract you from living the life you want to lead? I’ve had acquaintances who described themselves as “busy” but didn’t seem to get anything out of the busyness or do anything they really wanted to do.

Sometimes I wonder if people get addicted to being busy, to never slowing down long enough to figure out where they are going and if it’s a place they want to go to. But hey, maybe I’m off the mark here, maybe it’s good to be busy doing something all the time.

Not sure if your life is busy or satisfying?

Try following yourself for a day. Write down everything you do, why you’re doing it and what you think would happen if you didn’t do it. Kind of a mini self-evaluation. Then cross check it with things you’d like to be doing. Do the lists match?

Muse thx,


Saving open space is long-term economic development

November 25, 2009 by Giulietta Nardone

Hey wishcasters and others,

I really enjoy Jamie Ridler’s Wednesday Wishcasting circles. The questions send me in new directions. Today’s question: What step do you wish to take? This is an easy one for me. I want to start a huge movement to save open space, to help people see that saving open space is long-term economic development. If land is finite, how can we keep turning it into asphalt fields and not ultimately harm ourselves? Again, the powers that be have us galloping so fast that we don’t even know why we are galloping and where we are galloping. But I can guarantee that is we don’t stop and figure that out, we’re going to be in trouble as a civilization.

There is a huge tract of land behind my home that is home to animals, birds, flowers, plants, sunlight, air, wildness, freedom, rocks, soil, water, history, life. It’s for sale because open space is not valued. If it were, there would be grants available or companies & governments rushing to save it from destruction. I believe that open space saves money in the long run, saves our health in the long run, saves our food supply in the long run, saves our wildness in the long run, saves our creativity in the long run, saves our humanity in the long run.

Did you ever run through fields as a child? Or lay down on your back in a  meadow for a summer nap? Or run through cornfields? The more we lose open space, the more we lose our connection to the Earth and ultimately our connection to each other.

Psst. We need to save open space. Pass it on …

Muse thx, Giulietta

p.s. Here is a local non-profit trying to do the above too! LCA Trust. Stop by …

Dealing with rejection as a writer

November 24, 2009 by Giulietta Nardone


I used to take writing rejections personally, analyzing what might have happened way too long. For example, if an essay was rejected it emotionally paralyzed me.  I thought my writing must be terrible. I should quit. No one wants my writing.

Bring out the violins.

As it turned out, I just needed to take a class, do some tweaking and send it to a different editor.  Once I did, it all fell into place and I learned from the experience. Do I still get my writing rejected? Sure. All writers do. It’s part of the deal when you take on writing. What’s changed is that I keep tweaking and sending it out. I don’t let myself get all teary eyed.

Sometimes the best thing you can do for a piece of writing is to send it out and get it rejected. Like magic, it becomes clear what I need to change. So, I do.

Self-pity is a bad play to visit. It’s o.k. to stop there briefly but if you find yourself showing up with a packed bag, do whatever it takes to get out of self-pity town. It’s filled with writers who couldn’t deal with rejection.

Remember, when someone rejects your writing for whatever reason that’s just that person’s opinion. It’s also a great learning opportunity.

If your writing gets rejected, ask yourself three questions.

Do I know for a fact it was rejected because it wasn’t good?

Does it change who I think I am as a person?

How can I learn from this rejection?

If you believe in a piece of writing, never stop working on it or sending it out. You will find a home for it …

Muse thanks,


Combatting helplessness …

November 18, 2009 by Giulietta Nardone

Hey fellow wishcasters & other interested parties,

Today’s question by Jamie Ridler: What would you like to embrace? Me, I’d like to take my innate ability to produce idea after idea and create more programs around it. People have always said to me, “You are a great brainstormer.” Despite knowing this in my own heart, I embarked on an occupational journey after college that did not connect with brainstorming. I listened to folks who said, “You can’t make money doing that.” I believed their small-time thinking.

It is only in the last 3 or 4 years that I’ve changed my own thinking enough to realize that, yes, I can make money doing things that come naturally to me, like writing inspirational essays, musing and finding greatness in others. Hey, maybe it’s the small-time thinking that’s all wrong.

The economic downturn presents a good example. So many problems to solve, so many innate gifts, yet we all walk around helplessly looking for others to create jobs that tend to be rigid and often soul-deadening. I wonder where we all learned to be helpless, to not follow our innate talents, to believe that the job categories out there represent what people really need to live fulfilling lives.

Any ideas how we became so helpless?

Muse thx, Giulietta

p.s., I know many of you live out of state. If you want to see where I’m going with combatting helplessness, check out Think Milky Way Big

Unpredictable, You?

November 17, 2009 by Giulietta Nardone

Hey lovers of life!

A fun woman I follow on Twitter, picked a word for the day. On a whim, I decided to pick one too! Unpredictable. Today I’m going to mix up my routine as much as I can. Maybe start my daily walk going a different direction. Read a book backwards. Eat desert first. Wear two different socks. Go through the self-service at the supermarket two times. Write an essay beginning with the last sentence. Do three twirls on my way to the mailbox. Make a to do list with only things I WANT to do on it, ad infinitum.

Take a look at your own predictable behavior. Can you mix it up? The best thing about changing my life up is that I get to see things from a different vantage point. You know those “see if you can find the differences between the two photos” exercises at the back of magazines? I often turn the page upside down. It bring a new perspective and makes it easy to find some of the harder to see differences. Reach out and say, “hi” first. Sit in a different seat if you take a class.

Just now I turned to the last page of a book I’ve been reading “forever” called Agenda For A New Economy. Been stuck in the middle for about 4 months. Last two lines?

“We have the power to turn this world around for the sake of ourselves and our children. We are the ones we have been waiting for.” Good words to start the day with. I’m a huge advocate of rescuing yourself. Just get the ball rolling. If it isn’t rolling nothing will happen.

Go forth and be unpredictable!

Muse thx, G.

The Power of Karaoke

November 13, 2009 by Giulietta Nardone

Hi singers and potential singers,

A new karaoke night started in my town. It’s in the place that used to have karaoke a few years ago. A smaller space with great accoustics and a huge song list. My favorite karaoke combos.

Karaoke has the power to change your life. I know because it changed mine. Most us of think we cannot sing. I don’t know where this comes from, but it’s not true. It’s the rare person who cannot carry a tune and even that person may be listening to a pre-programmed voice that started in his or her youth.

I believe singing comes naturally to humans. During my three summers of eight-week overnight camp, we were always belting out tunes. In our cabins, at our meals, on the bus, on hikes in the woods.

Singing liberates. And it’s free! You can sing anytime you want. If you want to liberate your voice, consider a singing teacher. I can recommend someone great in my town! The lessons liberate that which is already there, that which has been supressed.

I’m forming a karaoke club for people who want to sing but don’t want to venture out at night alone. Email me if you’re interested!

Muse thx,


Life is full of gifts

November 10, 2009 by Giulietta Nardone

Hi thankful ones,

On occasion, I buy 9 x 4 inspirational notepads. Love the unique size. Makes it easy to tuck a quick note in with a payment, a small gift or an article. One of my favorite notepads is produced by the fabulous NJ company, “How To Live” (www.how-to-live.com). It says on the top “Life is full of gifts …” and on the bottom “be thankful.”

I first discovered this notepad 5 years ago and have sent individual sheets to many friends. It really got me thinking about life in a new way. Society has us galloping so fast through our days that we rarely have time to stop and smell the daily roses, to be thankful for all the riches we already have. We’re constantly being shuffled toward the next “best” thing to supposedly make us complete and/or happy, which makes it hard to enjoy and be thankful for what’s here right now.

I don’t want to gallop through life. It goes by fast enough on its own without helping it along. I want to savor every delicious moment — hanging out with friends, laughing with my husband, going on walks, singing at karaoke nights, writing essays. If anything I’d like to slow life down to make it last longer.

Do you feel the push or pull to gallop? When you aren’t galloping, what are you thankful for?

Muse thx,


Why You Need To Speak Up

November 6, 2009 by Giulietta Nardone

Hey rebellious ones!

It’s a complete myth that individuals cannot have any impact on the world. People say that out of fear, then hide behind that fear. One shared thought can start a ripple effect, gathering energy and power as it ripples across “Lake Status Quo.”

I participate in my small town’s government because if I don’t, I’ll get what a small group of people want and that might not be the best for me, my neighborhood or the planet. Last night I attended a very alive planning board meeting. A room teaming with life!

Lots of energy with great minds thinking & speaking up.

It’s amazing how good I feel when I’m fully awake participating in my world. When we don’t participate, we can fall into depression because there’s no overriding reason to get up in the morning. I call my twenties the lost decade. I didn’t engage with the world. I just reacted. Not fun.

The good news? If you stop treading water in Lake Status Quo, you’ll be able to swim to many different lakes, lakes you can name yourself. My favorite lake? Lake Participation.

How about you? What lakes have you named?

Are things getting more simple or complex?

November 2, 2009 by Giulietta Nardone

Dear thoughtful reader,

My car is in the shop today for a leaking radiator. What started out as a drip two days ago turned into catastrophic radiator failure this morning. Amazing how fast a car ailment can come on. The car’s getting on in mileage so heftier repair items are happening with more frequency. Once they’re all fixed I hope it’s smooth sailing for another 50,000 miles.

Still cheaper than a new car payment though. When I was younger, I had to have a new car every 3 or 4 years. I struggled with the payment, but it seemed worth it to look cool in my new car. Now, I’ll do anything to avoid a car payment. It feels like an albatross I don’t want to carry around my neck.

Car payments got me thinking of all the monthly items we now have to pay for: cell phone, cable, internet, regular phone, electricity, mortgage, car insurance, home insurance, water delivery. If you commute, you can add on train tickets, parking passes, etc. It’s hard to get ahead with all these seemingly mandatory monthly payments.

Although many of us may crave simplicity, we’re getting complexity disguised as simplicity. At least that’s how I see it. But maybe you disagree with me? Maybe you feel you’re getting more simplicity with all your gadgets and monthly payments?

Please tell me more!

Muse thx. Giulietta