Coaching by G

Finding My Way

August is the month that ushers in so much loss for me. It is the month that school starts.  The summer months are full of kids back from college and high school kids lifting and learning in my studio. In August, though, there is an abrupt ending with kids leaving for college.  It is a time of grieving for me, not because I didn’t think they would leave, but because we grow together through deepening connections and I feel the loss of their presence, even though they almost always return for many years.

Looming even larger is the anniversary of my mothers death, August 26, 2019. Four years ago my mother turned 85 and 8 days later lay down for an afternoon nap and never woke up.

In the months after my mothers death, I would awaken each night with alarming precision at 2:14 A.M.  In the glow of the moon, the experiences of the sweetness of my mother came to me. I had spent the better part of a lifetime huddled in the cold, dark cellar of my resentments of her.  Many years ago, I had made peace with her and with myself.  Especially when we are bereaved, we seek comfort.  I find some comfort in the piece I wrote for her memorial one of those early early mornings. 

When I recall these parts, these very real pieces, of my mother, I recall her loving presence. 

She was everything.  She was the fiercest, meanest, kindest, warmest, coolest, loveliest, cruelest, gentlest.  She gave tirelessly of herself to nature, art, children, friends, and to family.

She was my mother, my source.  She was my first heart break. 

The role of mother is the role of everything: the life giver, the channel for the Great Mystery to move through, the Earth, the moist rich soil of nothing and therefore of ALL creation.  It is no mystery that I am not a mother.  I prefer my role of Auntie.

My best friend became a mother at 48.  I was shocked.  She had moved to DC.  I was in grad school and preoccupied with my own existence (which turns out to have been a really poor excuse for letting friendship lag) and she sent me a card with a picture of her at about 8 months pregnant with twins!!!! I mean you have never seen anyone this pregnant. And then she gave birth to these babies and one day she was gracious enough to bring them to me and I fell in love instantly and the rest is history.  

This whole life is about how we survive breaking our own hearts.  How we survive our perceptions of other peoples trespasses, foibles, transgressions, etc……..

I spent my whole life CERTAIN that my mother had been the source of my deepest pain. I wanted her to fix it, make it go away, all the things we imagine are our mothers duties.  And, for sure, I’d known exactly how she had devastated me and so I knew exactly how she should repair that wound….

It doesn’t work that way, I’ve discovered. I was pretty much wrong about it all.

Even had she accepted responsibility for all the pain of my life, which she did not,  there is no way to take away another persons pain.  We each must be willing to let it go, to recycle it all back to Spirit, to leave it to grow something new in the compost of life. 

I spent years grasping for relief. What I was attached to turns out to have been the narrative I created to seemingly assuage my pain.  I was not forgiving her, for sure, and I was not forgiving myself. What I discovered along the way is what Nelson Mandela said: 

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”  

It is common to keep our own healing at bay by blaming something or someone outside of us for our pain.  It helps us feel into the role of victim. “They” is an ephemeral.  They did this to me.  If I am a victim I am surely absolved of responsibility? But the truth is I am not ever absolved of the responsibility for my own life. Whatever happened, whatever I am experiencing in my life, with other people, situations, etc is ALL mine.  Everything that comes up is coming up so that I can clear it.   

When I went to my mother and asked her wtf and learned that she would not be offering me any relief, I understood it was mine alone, and, finally, willingly, undertook the journey toward myself.

I had found the rock bottom, so to speak.  The hard place that I could, at last,  push off from.

And it took me on a wild ride.

It started in movement.  I was fortunate to have always been able to find my way into my heart through physical activity.  Then I began meditation, another practice undertaken on a path to finding inner peace. 

I’d sit in meditation and say “I am willing to forgive you for not being what I needed.”

And that softened into forgiveness and then that softened into forgiving myself.  

Or, at least, a beginning. I began learning Breathwork techniques as a means to open further and followed my own inner guidance to learning about the root causes of pain, illness, and diseases.  

Self forgiveness is really what I was after, all along.  Self love is the journey we are all on, it turns out.

I was a little bitty baby girl and I survived so much.  I survived the things that people aren’t supposed to have to survive, or so we tell ourselves.  In reading books, many of which were given me by my mother, I learned that, in fact, everyone has to survive.  It’s really just biology.  We are all victims or survivors or whatever word we choose to define our relationship and our exchange with this one precious life. Birth is painful.  If you watch any creature being born, the incredible brutality of it will change you forever.  

We are all fighting like hell to get here. 

Why is that? 

Can you imagine yourself being born? What is it you fought so hard to get here to do? Is there a story about your birth? What is it that we are doing here? 

I realized I wasn’t here on earth to blame my mother.  But, the blaming showed up in me as physical dis-ease and pain.  The blaming showed up as dysplasia, eczema, ulcers, irritable bowel, excess body fat, a herniated disc and a tumor in my breast…

Bleeding from my nipple was really the last straw. The way the body speaks to us is a metaphor that only we can untangle for ourselves.  Whatever is coming up in or on my body is showing me my blind spots.

The great thing about me, though, is I have used every physical ailment as a point for change. 

All the things I have held onto in an effort to hurt someone else have only hurt me. And all of those things taught me a lesson in letting go.

So how did forgiveness create the life I want?

It let me release the life I don’t want.

This healing journey started many moons ago. The most current path I have chosen includes Breathwork and working with the root causes of pain, illness, disease, in addition to my lifelong practices of weightlifting and meditation. There is nothing linear about a human’s evolution, either in the macro or in the micro.  We are all on a unique path. As it is with physical development, spiritual development is individual. We all learn on our own time.  The curriculum, while ours alone, is not optional, only the time we take it is ours to choose. The life we have is ours to unfold.  No one can know it for us or explain it to us.  

I learned to be wary of the people who have the answers. Most of them likely did not understand the question.  And none of them can know me as I know myself. 

You are the power.  You are the answer.  You are the light.  You are born complete.  You don’t have any missing pieces.  Your life is your medicine and holds all of your answers and all the questions.  This is all accessible to us. Breathwork and a deeper inquiry in root cause practices can bring us closer to ourselves by quieting the mind in a space of deep compassion. 

“I’ve never felt more grounded and yet I also felt that I was floating!  That is the first time my mind has ever been quiet.”  

J.R. Oak Park Breathwork client.

You cannot smash open an acorn and find an oak tree, or rip open a rosebud to make the flower appear, even though you know the acorn will become a massive oak tree and the rose bud a rose.  

Life is an unfolding, an ebb and flow, a becoming, a birth and a growing and a dying and a rebirth over and over and over again.  The acorn takes the time it takes to grow into an oak.  Your job is to simply allow it.  How can you nurture its growth? Like the seasons floating in upon the breeze, none of us can make them appear faster or slower, none of us is making them come or go or linger longer.  Each of us can put a fence around the oak sapling, water it, and tell it how big and strong it will become, providing homes for many creatures and shade for many more, and food, and fun, like a swing or place to sit high above the earth to read or get a different view.

Everything the oak needs is already baked in the acorn, just as everything that you need is already in you; you were born perfect. Your only job is to allow your own becoming.

I help people find their own way.  My tools are Breathwork, Root Cause Practice, weightlifting, meditation, and nutrition.  I weave these together depending on the needs and desires of each individual.  I help people open to their own unfolding through compassionate inquiry and some physical work, either through breathing or lifting weights or literally, through whatever moves you forward on your own path.

From my heart to yours,

Giulia signature

Reflections About Alcohol and Life

I reflect upon my life choices regularly. I work at acknowledging the many ways I have lived against myself following “stinking thinking” patterns and I am working on acknowledging some of the ways I have lived toward myself. I am enough

“We are all spiritually powerless, however, not just those who are physically addicted to a substance…….Alcoholics just have their powerlessness visible for all to see.  The rest of us disguise it in different ways, and overcompensate for our more hidden and subtle addiction and attachments, especially our addiction to our way of thinking.”

Richard Rohr

I reflect upon my life choices regularly.  I work at acknowledging the many ways I have lived against myself following “stinking thinking” patterns and I am working on acknowledging some of the ways I have lived toward myself.  

I have tried to right my wrongs and I will continue to do so as long as I live, Goddess willing.

I was reflecting on some choices recently when talking to my very best friend in the world, Susan.  She has somehow been in my life, voluntarily, since 1990, when the dinosaurs roamed the earth. 🙂

I have been connected to her daughters almost since they were born and she was relating a story to me recently where she was discussing drinking alcohol** with her now college aged daughters who described little interest in booze partly because of the alcoholism they know of in their lineage.  

One of them was counting the alcoholics in the family and listed me—and while I am not biologically connected—we are kin in a way that is unbreakable. My friend said ”Wait a minute! Aunt Giulia is NOT an alcoholic.”

We talked about it a bit and I sat down and wrote this letter to my “niece.”  

Here is the letter I wrote:

“Dear “Niece”,

I was talking to your mom and she was telling me about a conversation you guys were having about alcohol and that you thought I am an alcoholic. I must admit, I really do not know if I am an alcoholic and I don’t mind the label—it seems like saying—I had a not great relationship with booze. Alcohol did not make my life uncontrollable.  My life started out uncontrollable and I tried to get a grip in all the wrong ways and in some of the right ways…….

 Alcoholism is a self diagnosis—kind of like everything, really.  I never felt like I had a “healthy” relationship to alcohol—but there was never any kind of relationship in my life that felt healthy.  I was not taught anything about health and wellness—except mostly what not to do, which I only learned by paying attention to other people’s pain, and that it would probably never be accessible to me, because I was never going to amount to anything.  I never could imagine living to even 30 years old.

My parents did the very best they could with the information and life experiences they had.  All of us are always doing the best we can—even when it’s not enough for other people.  As a little girl, I was abandoned in many ways.  My parents were unable or unwilling to heal their own wounds and so they perpetuated their wounds in the way I was raised—with no touch and in total chaos.  I have lived most of my life afraid of adults and of authority.  I have had to overcome a great distrust of other people because I grew up in an environment with lots of alcohol, violent rage, constant criticism, sexual assault, and belittlement.  

I certainly tried a lot of things to find a way to feel better—or to feel nothing.  Not unlike an eating disorder—I used alcohol, drugs, sex, binge eating, smoking cigarettes, work, and exercise to change the way I felt.  

Every single thing a human being does is to change the way we feel.

Growing up in a home with chaos leads a person to not trust anything.  I had to learn to make my own ground, I had to find my own center. (Though we all must—I didn’t realize it and was never shown how). No one ever made me feel safe to explore my creativity, my athleticism, my intellect, my body, my sexual orientation.  No matter what I did or said I was told I was too fat, too stupid, too sensitive, too judgmental, too masculine, too muscular, too queer, ……anything but perfect.


Because it is what I chose, somehow. 

I have used everything that has been given to me—the good and the not so good——

Every scrap of my ragged life was a gift FOR me. 

I spent a lot of years lamenting my childhood, blaming my parents and feeling sorry for myself—I did drink too much sometimes and it fed my shame.  Am I an alcoholic? I don’t think so.  I have been able to give up so many things in my life that even if addiction has played a role—it’s not one thing—it’s everything. I have done a lot of things that were very dangerous and life threatening.

We are all addicted to something.  Giving up drinking was easy for me. Giving up sugar is mostly easy—but sometimes really tough, lol.

The thing in life that I continue to find incredibly difficult and often heartbreaking is letting go of the belief that I am not enough. I just still do not know how to give up believing that I am wrong, that I was born wrong.

We all develop defenses for survival when we are little.  Even if your childhood was idyllic—you had to learn to get what you needed from your caregivers.  We are not born with language and as you know, even when people speak the same language—there is often incredible difficulty understanding what each others words really mean.  This all goes back to our experiences and our perceptions of our feelings. We learn to do things and to be certain ways that allow us to survive—but then we still don’t know how to let go those survival mechanisms.

How did we get here?

I don’t know and mostly I really don’t care.  Explaining how I got here is a long and boring story because its a litany of what I survived which is only another way of saying I am here—I AM alive.

To be fully alive is to be in the process of surviving whilst also finding a way to thrive.

We thrive when we are healing ourselves and sharing what we have learned with others: helping is how we heal. 

On my worst day, I can offer a smile to someone who needs it more that I will ever understand. I can open a door, let a car go first, etc I can be grateful for everything I have even when I think I need more……..

My incredible opportunity to work with children has saved MY life, not theirs.  I am not here to save anyone but me and I can only do that when I am connected; tuned in, turned on, and plugged in to the beauty and connection of community. Communion. Nature and my body and my feelings are all my connections to this life.

The opportunity to know you is something I almost missed in my life.  I was wrapped up in my own pain and drama when your mom married your dad.  I didn’t have money to travel to WV to the wedding and when Susan sent me a card announcing she was pregnant I was so out of touch with everything that had transpired in her life that I was just shocked.  I do not even know what I did —but it was not enough and I wasn’t there to support her through the pregnancy.  Your mother is part of her mother, who was in many ways a saint—an angel on earth, as is your mom.  Your mom never gave up on me.  She somehow believed that I was worth hanging onto, though I cannot fathom why.

The only reason I even know you is because she was gracious enough to bring you to Louisville and invited me to come meet you.  Dumb and wounded as I am —I somehow made it to that hotel and it was really one of the happiest days of my life. I no longer have the picture of your sister on my lap—but I swear you could have been my children. 

Life is long, if we are lucky, and labels are short.

I don’t know what I am still, but I know enough to know that love is ALL there is.  Your mom is one of the ONLY people in the whole world who has supported me and loved me no matter how fucking stupid, egotistical, selfish, wounded I have been. 

She has never been anything less than the very best friend in the whole world.  I have so many gifts because of her generous spirit, not the least of which is a beautiful relationship with you and your sister.

I am so many things—as are you, as are we all. 

I have done a million things and I have at least a million more to do—but all I want is to be in love.  In love with life and with the people who show up in my life.  Its not how they show up that makes me love them-it is simply THAT they are there.  My God, my spirit, my soul, knows after all this time and all this shame and blame and worry that it was there ALL the time—inside of ME—everything I need is already baked in. Just like in The Wizard of Oz.

If it is happening in my life—it is FOR me—ALL of it—the pain, the joy, the peace, the fear—everything and everyone is for me. If something comes up in my body—illness, disease, injury, pain—it is MINE.  This is my body and everything that happens in it is mine and if its mine—its for me to learn something.

The body shows us where we are blind—literally. It shows us where our emotional wounds are and it we pay attention —it shows us how to heal everything.  Healing is not symptom relief—it is peace and when we have peace many symptoms go away. 

I hope I can teach that to as many people as possible before I die. 

To be loved unconditionally is a self love journey—and we can help others see their worth through our eyes—our vision—(I’m not making a joke about your vision—I am trying to make a point though—that you can see just fine through your heart). 

Every single thing each of us needs is already inside of us.  The journey is to learn to stop letting our fears stop our wild and unique expression of who TF we are.

I know this was totally unsolicited—

I hope it lands as intended—with love.

We have to face the hard things in our lives to discover our truest selves—and that journey never ends——I don’t even think it ends with physical death—but I will let you know after I transition—hopefully many years from now.

I will love you forever, unconditionally. 

You were born as perfect as any seed with everything you need  to become fully you already inside.  

The work is to find it all and set it free. 

Give it ALL away.  We can only ever keep what we give freely……

I know you will—I know you are already and I hope I get to celebrate a lot of milestones with you along the way.

All my love, always, ALL ways,

Your aunt, 

Giulia “


**If you think you have a problem with alcohol or drugs,  you do.

If you need help please find a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous 

If you were raised with alcoholics or addicts and/or you have an eating disorder or any other addiction, please seek help. You can text me or email me or call me and I will personally help you find the help that works for you.  

“We are all just walking each other home.” Ram Das 


Sometimes the Blockage is the Way to Acceptance

Yoni blockage

Yoni. What does that even mean, I wondered. 

It is the place from which we are all born.  The sacred place. The source, shakti, the Divine Feminine.  In the literal act of baptism, the baptized pass through a giant yoni and are then said to be born-again.

What comes from birth is more than your life. 

It is a lot of pain.  Sometimes pieces of DNA that you might not want get stuck on you or in you, like Bowen’s disease.  They told me it was genetic.  This was before epigenetic was a buzzword —they told me I didn’t cause it but I probably triggered it, which sounded as much like blame as anything.

I was 24.  I had a precancerous growth on my vulva. What’s a vulva? See yoni.

The precancerous growth started as a virus-HPV, to be exact.  So, perhaps I was born with HPV from my moms yoni, but I didn’t trigger it evidently until I was 24 and deep into the stressors of living against myself.  This was long before I put the pieces together of how smoking and drinking and whatever other horrible things I was doing to my body, mind, and sprit in my youth were killing me. I just ran right smack into it. 

This is life.  This is how it is.  There is no escape.  All the things we do to escape the pain lead us right back into it. 

I teach this now: how to live toward yourself versus against.  I really wish I could just tell you to put down the chips, booze, device, joint, drug, whatever you are using to run away and just sit with it.  There are no weapons that can win the wars we wage against our past, present, or future pains. 

I built my life on avoiding pain. I know this shit inside out. 

I made it another 32 years into this life before the next episode of yoni expressed herself in me. This time growing on and in my uterus—taking up space, blocking exit or entry to my uterus—my creative energy.

I had this growth removed, surgically.  I sent it off to the lab for a biopsy: BENIGN.

The best we can hope for is a benign blockage. But what is growing? What I know to be true is that there is no benign anything.  Biology dictates that everything is either growing or dying.  Everything has a purpose.  Everything is here for a reason.  When I make jokes about why in the world biology thought to create mosquitos, I realize they are to feed the bats and their larva to feed to glorious angels we call dragonflies.  There is purpose everywhere—even if we don’t understand it.  

When I assume this to be true I can see that everything is already perfect, and everything is going from perfect to perfect versus from imperfect to perfect. It shifts my whole experience.  There is so much Grace in acceptance.  I can imagine that my life is emerging.  

I frequently ask myself what it means to accept what is?

Acceptance for me is surrendering to what is. Surrender is not giving up—its giving over.  How does an acorn know to become an oak tree? It simply emerges as itself—it does not perseverate about whether it should be a Ginkgo or a Maple or a Burr Oak, for it is already baked in the recipe of the acorn.  So too, the fertilized egg. What if we imagine some upstream point where the energy chose to be an acorn or a fertilized egg? It is one possibility. For me, it is a recognition that whatever I feel about a given situation does not change the situation. 

I use the example of freight trains: I am driving and then stopped at the railroad crossing—there is nothing to do.  I watch the drivers around me itching to accelerate—trying to find a path through, whipping around the stopped cars, driving into oncoming traffic lanes, anything to avoid the stillness.  I find it the most beautiful experience of being with what is.  No one has changed the fact that there is a train blocking passage. No one has sped up the situation.  But this is not the story they tell themselves—in their mind—they are smarter than the train—they know a way around it. They are making things happen!

This also applies at the grocery store. The line at the check out is long—all the lines are long—your egoic mind wants to imagine that it can calculate a quicker route—first it says—not this line, not the line you are in.  Anything is better than this. 

Malcolm Gladwell published a book—I cannot recall which one—that details that in fact this is false.  There is no faster way.  Someone will argue with this.   The mental space required to edge out your perceived competition in the grocery store checkout line or at the train tracks is not small potatoes.  It occupies your entire experience.  You may have scored the best groceries—the freshest fruit and vegetables, the most beautiful piece of fish, full of life force energy—the ingredients to cook a delicious meal for the absolute love of your life—and all of this will be overshadowed by your need for speed.

What if you waited your turn?  What if while waiting you just observed the insanity around you and discerned that you would rather have peace? What if you waited and dreamt of the meal you will be cooking, the look on your lovers’ face as they experience the cuisine you prepared with love, the ingredients hand picked and perfectly embodying the flavors you intended? That is just one thing you could occupy yourself with as you wait your turn.  Instead, you might leave the grocery store full of anger or impatience and self righteous fury forgetting all about the love with which you had shopped for the food.

We live in a world of me first.  There is an overwhelming sense that we are not supposed to have to wait in line, or for the internet speed, or for a train, or for anything or anyone. What is waiting? You really get to decide at every moment if you are waiting for something or if you are just being, here and now. 

Our ability or inability to get still is linked with every facet of our well being.  There is no way to be well if you are always thinking that you can get ahead—because with that you are never present in the now—and guess what? There is no other time than now.  

I know—there are so many who will argue with that last statement, too.  They say, “well you have to be thinking about your future and processing your past!” Mmmmmmmmm, perhaps integrating your experiences by being fully present in them is more important.  Have you ever tried that?

The essential understanding here is that all of life is experiential.  Until you stop thinking that you know the way to get “there” you are just chasing your tail.  You keep doing the same thing —your mind is on a perennial treadmill and you have no awareness.  The scenery never changes and you don’t even notice it.  You are so attached to knowing what is coming next that you miss everything that is actually happening and you define it as waiting in line—always getting the slowest, dumbest cashier (no judgment there:), getting stopped by the train (as if it were personal—only stopping you—targeted at you, even), but really all you are doing is waiting for your life to begin.

Until you allow consciousness to rise up in your patterns—you are just a puppet on a string of your own egoic mind.  You define every experience as happening to you as opposed to happening for you, or all the things you HAVE to do, instead of all the things you have chosen……..

It’s really simple—but its not easy.  Everything is.  Every single thing you experience is only exactly as YOU define it.  So I remind you to choose again. If you are not enjoying your life, choose again.  If you think you are waiting for some idiot, choose again.  Start to notice how you put yourself at the absolute center of every experience —it’s all about you in your mind.  But if you were to think the cashier thinks it is really all about them you’d be outraged.  

There is no place where one person ends and the other begins. There is no other person out there.  There is only you in there. 

So I am here now with a growth in my uterus.  Does it matter the origin? Does assigning it to my mother or to anything somehow save me? Does assuming I “know” the cause make me have to deal with what is happening differently? I wonder this when people say “x” is happening because “y”.  This is happening because of my mother. I mean, first of all, so what.  Second of all, how in the world does assigning responsibility to another person actually save me? It doesn’t.  I am still here with a growth in my uterus. 

What if I accept 100% responsibility for everything that is happening in my life? What if I assume the “acorn” knows what it is doing.  I respond to what is emerging rather than trying to push it away, trying to not feel what comes up, or even not hate it as though it were invading my pristine body? What if I KNOW that it is supposed to be happening?  What if I just wonder why? What if I wonder how I allowed something to grow and how I participated in its emergence instead of assuming it is wrong? 

Nothing I think or do or say can change what is happening.  

Next time you are in line waiting for anything see if you can notice how your mind assigns your impatience to other people.  It says you are waiting because of someone else. You would rather blame a stranger than recognize what you are projecting out of yourself. Choose again. You can remind yourself that you are choosing to be there.  You can remind yourself to stop centering your attention on roadblocks. Focusing on roadblocks will drain you of your life force energy through distraction. Whatever you are feeling is coming from inside of you.  If you feel anger, rage, impatience, hate, fear, love, joy happiness, peace, grounded—these emotions are in you.  If you say I am mad because…… are assigning your feelings to other.  But they are your feelings. They are in you.  Events and people and situations only trigger what is already inside of us.  There is no cause.   Re-center your awareness on what you truly desire to experience and choose again.

I choose to see the uterine growth as an opportunity to clear away blocks to my creative power.  This is a chance to next level my awareness of my physical body and the connection between my thoughts and my experiences and my feelings.  This is another chance to gain some clarity on what is emerging.  I can allow it to shift and change as all things do.  I can be with it at every stage of it’s emergence as much as I am able. If I keep wondering it gives me space to allow for what is instead of assigning some meaning to it and then acting on it based on the meaning I have given it.

Its very different to assume that this growth is some horrible vestige of my past, or some bit of DNA from birth (which was really a long time ago, LOL) or some growth trying to zap my life, versus imagining that this is something for me to gain more awareness about my body, my life, my choices, my future. My power lies in my ability to shift my thoughts. 

There is a very clear difference between force and power. Force is linear and finite.  Power is  infinite and non linear.  Power grows with use, force is eliminated with use.  

I choose to tap into the source of infinite power—to allow the field of possibility to be etheric and beyond my puny mind’s ideas and to recognize that forcing anything only makes me tired and brings me down. 

What I am saying is different, but it is not difficult.  What I am saying is shift. 

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