Take Back Your Life!

There’s no such thing as a grown up person …

August 31, 2010 by Giulietta Nardone

Hey folks!

I’m going to be disobedient and start my post today with a shameless plug for my upcoming on-line essay writing class. To learn more about it, please click on “Secrets of Personal Essay Writing.” Once you learn the secrets, writing a publishable essay becomes a whole lot easier. My in-depth comments on your writing assignments are well worth the price of admission.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about being a “grown up.” The title of this article is a quote by Andre Malraux, a french novelist. I found it in a fab book I’m reading called, “Last Child in the Woods.”  Real juicy if you like to hang out in forests, talk to animals or look at the stars. (more…)

You’re looking for obstacles rather than magic.

August 24, 2010 by Giulietta Nardone

Hey cerebral readers,

The other night, I happened to watch a movie called, “My Life In Ruins.” Georgia, a college professor with man troubles, comes to Greece to be a tour guide when she loses her teaching job back in the states. Her tourists find her Greek history talks to be dull and boring, so they consistently give her bad evaluations. She doesn’t learn from her bad evaluations and continues to be out of touch with her tourists and herself.  She complains that all the Greeks do is dance! If their lives are going well — they dance. If their lives are going badly — they dance.

Then she gets assigned a bedraggled bus driver named Poupi who doesn’t speak English. (more…)

Welcome to Distracted Nation

August 17, 2010 by Giulietta Nardone

Dear great thinkers,

Am I crazy or are more and more of us experiencing distraction overload?

About five years ago, I was in a Whole Foods parking lot unloading my groceries. Then my mind started to drift. When I “came to” my cart with a few bags still in it had rolled down the slight grade into the hands of a twenty something young man who caught it before, presumably, it dented his car.

I have never forgotten what he said as he returned the cart to me, “You weren’t in the moment.”

Until he said that, I’d never given any thought to being in the moment. Now, I’m aware how easily we can be distracted and the consequences it has for our safety, for our emotional health, for the direction of our government and for the quality of our lives. (more…)

Redefining the Good Life

August 10, 2010 by Giulietta Nardone

I’m so tired of reading in the paper that consumers have to “hit the malls and shop more” to get this economy going that I’ve decided to write my next newspaper column on that topic. This article will be a warm-up.

One of the reasons the economy tanked before was because we all shopped until we dropped. Only we couldn’t get up this time. We’d hit the shopping wall. In all my years of being a consumer trained to buy stuff I didn’t need, I’ve never seen such a shopping frenzy as I did during the years leading up to the crash. People maxing out on 5 credit cards and borrowing against the equity in their homes to buy endless amounts of stuff. Or getting a raise/promotion and running out and buying a new, more expensive home — thus, negating the raise and then some. (Saw this many times.)

I’m sure many of you know that buying junk we don’t need is an addiction. The “high” doesn’t last very long and it’s always followed by the scary and depressing realization that you have to pay for it by prolonging your stint as an indentured servant to a corporation, a credit card company or someone else. (Not to mention it all ends up in the landfills and/or the oceans.) (more…)

What’s wrong with getting in trouble?

August 3, 2010 by Giulietta Nardone

Hey rebellious folks,

On the way out of my painting class, one of my classmates said, “Stay out of trouble.”

I responded, “Actually, I look for trouble.”

Trouble to me means challenging the status quo. Curious what it meant to others so I looked it up in the dictionary. All negative definitions such as “the quality or state of being troubled esp. mentally” and “a negative feature: drawback.”

But is flirting with “trouble” really negative? Or is staying out of trouble — being obedient — negative as well?

Do we pay an emotional price for staying out of trouble? For doing what we’re told? For being good little boys and girls even when we are adults?

Beginning in elementary school, I seemed to butt heads with some of the teachers — mainly the ones that wanted complete control. I spent quite a bit of time standing in corners or being sent outside the room. Did I harm anyone or myself? No.

I simply didn’t agree with what the teacher either said or did not do what s/he asked me to do — like stop laughing (yes, if you can believe it.).

If we’re all being raised to be obedient and ultra polite, how can we ever change the world? Won’t we be too scared to stand up to folks or systems that aren’t good for us? (more…)