We had the good fortune of connecting with Gabrielle Pelicci and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gabrielle, do you disagree with some advice that is more or less universally accepted?
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there…” Rumi Remember when you were a kid and you believed in Santa and Superman and the Tooth Fairy? Remember when, one by one, you realized that each of these entities had a spirit of truth, but did not actually exist in reality. Remember how you were cool with it, because it made you feel like you discovered a secret. Well, welcome to my field beyond failure. Nothing in life has ever been quite as real to me as Success and Failure. Success is a sassy blond, like Marilyn Monroe, who purrs when she talks and is desired by all. Diamonds are her best friend and she dies young and immortal. Failure, on the other hand, is falling from grace like Big Edie in Grey Gardens, living in squalor and isolation for decades, surrounded by cats, fleas and raccoons. Both of these legendary women have been very real to me for a very long time. They’ve danced around me, seductive and haunting, celebrating or mocking my choices, guiding my life with an invisible hand. I’m guessing that you have some version of these two characters in your life as well. These ladies locked me in a wicked dance. They were born from my parents values, dreams and nightmares. They shape-shifted over time. Success became a modern billionaire like Sarah Blakely or Whitney Wolfe. Failure became a composite of every sad story in the media about a woman who lost her looks, her health or her sanity. I climbed hard and fast towards ideals that were wrapped in misguided truth and surreal reality, trying desperately to avoid a life less than extraordinary. Then the unimaginable happened. I achieved the biggest love, the best job, the most beautiful life that I could possible want. I felt like I had arrived. I made it to the top. I was invincible. And then, in an instant, I was ejected from all of it. I felt myself falling harder and faster towards a bottomless pit of heartache and despair. Nothing to hold on to. Nothing to save me. And I fell and I fell and I fell…until I realized, I wasn’t actually falling. There is no Santa Clause, Superman or Tooth Fairy. My relentless striving and epic suffering were made possible by my belief that my worth is measured by how hard I work, how much money I make, my sex appeal, and the accomplishment of my goals. Anything less than perfect was unacceptable. My freedom is discovering the secret that my value is inherent. I am gifted, beautiful and powerful. I have the capacity to dispel the illusion of Failure and Success and redefine how I want to live. You can’t fail if you don’t believe in Failure. In a recent grief-stricken moment, I was retelling the story of my Failure to a friend and he said, “So, it didn’t turn out the way that you wanted.” So simple. So easy. So true. What if our ideas about Success and Failure are nothing more than getting what we want or not getting what we want? Desire is a bitch, obviously. We want what we want. And loss hurts like hell. Nobody wants to give up their favorite toy to the kid next door. But, at the end of the day, what if it’s just fulfilled or unfulfilled desire? What if it’s just your hand reaching for the cookie jar and finding it empty or full? Is that such a big deal, really? Do you want it to be such a big deal? I don’t. I want to stand out in that field, beyond Success and Failure, and realize that I am still complete. I am enough. “…when the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.” Rumi
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
In my swift 46 years, I been a fashion model -> psychology student -> US Dept of Education employee -> massage therapist -> yoga teacher -> addictions counselor -> PhD university professor -> sailor -> startup consultant -> entrepreneur -> retreat director -> Earthship builder -> farmer I’ve traveled to 40 countries -> driven cross-country 9 times -> lived on a sailboat, in a treehouse, in an Earthship…. You get the idea. How is this possible???? Well, I am someone who cannot ignore the impulse to live life to the fullest. I’ve been called irresponsible, selfish, impulsive, difficult, naive, and a host of other insults by people who don’t like my life choices. I’ve also been called amazing, inspiring, passionate, badass, and cool AF by people who admire my spunk and tenacity. Opinions are like butts, everybody’s got one. Do you feel the calling to be a selfish and inspiring human? An irresponsible and amazing human? A badass unconventional unique and impulsive human being like me?
1. Acknowledge the calling -> if you want it, you want it. Ain’t nothing you can do about it. You can’t eat, drink, work, or numb yourself enough to stop feeling it. So accept it.
2. Pay attention -> you’ll be drawn to a person, place or thing. You will feel devastated or blissful when you see something that represents your calling. You will have a dream, a premonition, a synchronicity that speaks to you. Stop, look, listen.
3. Follow the impulses even if they don’t make sense -> you’re called to reach out to someone, sign up for a class, go to a certain destination, pick up a book. Just do it. Don’t overthink it. These are the breadcrumbs of your personal path.
4. Let go of what you thought your life was going to be -> (hardest part for me) — you had goals and dreams, they used to make sense, maybe you don’t even know who you would be without your current identity. Let that sh*t go. Stay in the discomfort of not knowing who you are, not knowing where you’re going, not knowing what you’re doing or where you will end up. All roads lead somewhere.
5. Downsize -> (this has been critical for me) if you have too much sh*t, it is harder to be fluid, flexible and free. Everything I own fits in a 5X5 locker. If you have more stuff than me, you have too much stuff. Purge, baby, purge.
6 Follow the leaders -> someone has already done the thing that you want to do. Find them. Talk to them. Volunteer for them. Live with them. Whatever you need to do. Hands-on experience is the most valuable way to ground you on your new path and teach you what you need to know to succeed.
7. Maintain your finances -> I always have $avings and I always have a side-hustle. I’ve earned money 1000+ different ways — and you can too. If you’re living for free on a farm and making $10/hr as an uber driver in your spare time, you’re good. You don’t need $$$$$ all the time. You just need to be able to take care of your basic needs.
8. Stop freaking out -> use your TOOLS to stay calm and centered. Phone a friend. Go for a walk. Do a meditation. Write in your journal. The more you worry, the less clarity and confidence that you will have. It’s normal to experience self-doubt frustration, loneliness, and insecurity on this path. There is nothing wrong with you. You are fine.
9. Envision the future possibilities -> let your mind wander and roam into impossible future scenarios — maybe you will start your own business, maybe you will shave your head and join a monastery, doesn’t matter. Use your imagination to dream, explore, invent, fantasize, and expand. This is the space that you will eventually step into. This is the reality that will eventually become manifest.
10. Aim for a target — don’t stay in fantasy forever. Pick a target. Get a certification. Buy some land. Land the job. Incorporate the company. I usually do this within 1–3 years of starting a new journey. I give myself a few months to deconstruct. A few months to learn. A few months to imagine. And then, a few months to create the plan. Then I run like a wild cheetah in the direction of my dream.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Start off in the morning with a beach walk on Key Biscayne followed by brunch in Coral Gables on Giralda Plaza. Afternoon spa session at the Standard Hotel followed by happy hour at Area 31 overlooking the Miami river. Dinner in Wynwood and late night at E11even nightclub.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Paradise Farms in Homestead, FL