PR 117 | In Search Of Happiness


People often think that our identity is something that we are born with. However, identity changes from time to time, especially when we are looking for our purpose in life. Michelle Villalobos, a speaker and the founder of the Superstar Activator, takes us back into the time she was searching for happiness and meaning, and felt that something was gravely missing in her life. Going through one major pivot to another – from bad relationships, alcohol, and drama – led her to change, starting with finding her identity. Michelle walks us through how she re-examined her identity, took responsibility for her life, and created the Superstar Business Model in her business to cultivate influence, generate income, and make an impact.

Get the newest Conscious PIVOT Podcast episodes delivered directly to you – subscribe here. And, if you’re enjoying the podcast, please give us a 5-star rating on iTunes! For instructions click here

DOING THIS for 10 Seconds Can Change Your Life! Click here to watch Adam’s Inspiring TEDx Talk!

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the Episode Here:

Read the Show Notes Here:

Pivoting: In Search Of Happiness And Meaning with Michelle Villalobos

I have been sitting here feeling incredibly blessed and lucky. Lucky in many ways that I won’t take the time and bore everybody with everything I feel grateful for. It’s the basic stuff and the most profound things at the same time. I feel blessed to be alive, to be breathing, to be in the presence of all of you virtually. It’s a funny thing. Time is a bit of a figment of our imagination. I don’t know if you’ve ever considered how unreal time is, but if you think back many years ago to something you were doing or someplace you were living or people you were hanging around with or even back to childhood for that matter, what’s the distance between that moment and now? It’s a nanosecond. There isn’t even a second between the two things. Time collapses on itself. It falls on itself. I feel like we’re eternal beings. This moment is as beautiful as any other moment in my life, whether it was to witness the birth of children or to get married or any other thing that I look back with joy. I feel that great sense of joy even at this moment to take this breath.

With that, I’m happy to be able to have a conversation with a lovely person and an incredible woman. I’m going to read her bio and then share a little bit about other things. We’re going to get into a conversation about pivoting. What’s juicier than that? All those twists and turns in our lives. Let’s start with the basics and that is first to introduce her. Her name is Michelle Villalobos. She is the Founder of the Superstar Activator, a company that helps leaders, game changers and entrepreneurs to leverage their expertise and grow their businesses by offering transformational events, retreats and coaching programs.

Michelle is also a speaker. As a speaker, she conducts presentations that inspire professionals to integrate work and play in a productive way and see new possibilities for the work-life alignment. That ever elusive thing that sometimes people call balance, but I might call it harmony. As a result of working with Michelle and her team, people often share that they not only stabilize their income and free up their time, but also feel more fulfilled while making a bigger impact. What a beautiful collection of things that when we can have both of those things working together, life is really good. On a personal note, Michelle took a short ten-month road trip around the USA in her itty-bitty Mini Cooper. That’s way cool. Michelle, welcome to our show.

Thank you so much. Thank you for that beautiful introduction about gratitude and I felt your gratitude. I do appreciate the integration of the spiritual angle into this conversation. Thanks for introducing that right up front.

I loved your introduction. You’ve done incredible things with your life. What’s not written in that introduction that you would love for people to know about you?

My fascination lately, especially with all things transrational, I spent the first 40 years of my life being a very rational person, a self-described atheist or agnostic, pin-balling back and forth for years between those two. I studied psychology and math in college. I had got an MBA. I was a straight-A student. I did all the things that you’re supposed to do, to have all the things that you’re supposed to want to have. Ultimately, it came up short and I realized that my life didn’t feel very fulfilling. It didn’t feel very exciting. It felt flat. What I’d like for people to know is that I’ve had an awakening in the last few years and that is the thing that brings me joy and gratitude every day. I wake up in a whole different attitude and with a whole different outlook by changing and by deciding to explore and be open to things that I don’t understand with the brain.

The word humility comes up for me, an idea that maybe we don’t know as much as we think we know or something like that, that curiosity.

I’m not judge-y, but I was pretty righteous. I knew I had a lot more answers than I did. You are right. It was a lack of humility. It’s a great word.

You and I have a very similar path I suppose because I was also doing what made conventional sense and wise. I was making my parents proud and all that stuff. Along the way, I felt like I was selling myself short. Even worse, I sometimes describe it as my misery. I felt I was selling my soul for money. What did it feel like for you? What were the telltale signs? Were there any telltale signs? A lot of the folks that are in this community are engaged in their pivot. They’re more consciously aware that they’re making the change and maybe they’re dealing with their fear of change. I say that because we all have to come to grip with that. As Ram Dass said, “The goal is to make friends with change.” It is powerful to see change as something friendly to you, that’s there for your highest good and not necessarily, “This thing is going to take me out and this is going to leave me broke, destitute or alone,” or any other fill in the blank that scares us. What was that experience like for you and were there any telltale signs that you were coming to that proverbial or more figurative fork in the road?

I’ll start with the telltale signs and then I’ll tell you about the final breakdown that did me in. The telltale signs were happening for years. That’s an important thing because for years I ignored them, resisted them and denied them. Some of the signs were when I would wake up, it was hard to get out of bed in the mornings. It was hard for me to pull myself to my work. This was back when I was an employee. This was even when I was an entrepreneur. Without realizing it, I subconsciously was burying myself in my work so that I could avoid the big questions, “Am I on my path? Am I living into my destiny?” I didn’t even know to ask those questions. I didn’t go there. I was plugged into the matrix and I felt like something was missing and I felt like something was off. I didn’t take the time to explore that because I was scared of what I was going to find, which is that I was on the wrong path, that I wasn’t aligned to my highest good or my highest self.

I knew all of those things deep down but my conscious mind was holding my subconscious mind under the sand to avoid it, ignore it and resist it. There was a lot of alcohol involved in this numbing. There were bad relationships. There was a lot of drama because as you well know, when you’re doing that, then you couldn’t take responsibility. I couldn’t take responsibility for my life. I had to blame everybody else for all the things that were wrong. There was a lot of blame. There were a lot of complaints, a lot of dissatisfaction. The way that I was trying to get my needs met was through the traditional ways that we’re taught was more success, more achievement, more money, nicer car, more status, better title. That’s what I focused my whole life on. I kept achieving those goals because I was nothing, if not an overachiever but the real me, my heart, my soul, my highest self was getting buried in all of that.

There are many places where our paths crisscrossed. The idea of holding something down is exhausting.

PR 117 | In Search Of Happiness

In Search Of Happiness: We bury ourselves in our work to avoid the big questions like are we on our path and are we living our destiny?


I was exhausted. Part of the big breakdown was I got sick. That was the only one part of it. My body was trying to save me and said, “We’re not going to let you keep doing this. If it takes us taking you down and out, that’s what we’re going to do.” I started getting sick. I started having stomach problems and skin issues and what was an autoimmune situation, adrenal fatigue. I had been pumping cortisol through my system for years. I remember when I did my MBA, I had a full-time job, I was doing an executive MBA and I was partying like a rock star. I would go to sleep at 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning. I’d wake up to start my 9:00 AM MBA class and I graduated with a 4.0, number one in the class. I pulled off a full-time job getting the A’s and the MBA and drinking.

Was there an internal dialogue that was happening then? What was it looking like? There’s a group of people that are going to identify with this. Maybe they will or won’t identify with that whole perfect grade thing. That’s not even the issue. It’s the getting through, “I’ll take this challenge on,” and then you would you accomplish it, whatever that looks like. Whether it’s to get the degree or I went back to law school. Whatever those things are, we muscle our way through it. We get to the other end of it. Whereas a lot of people we know don’t get to the other end, that whole chasing or striving to achieve. Drive, strive and end up in a ditch exhausted on the other end of that thing.

Be like, “Where’s my happiness? I did all the things, I’m popular, I have friends, I party. I get straight A’s. I have an amazing job and making lots of money. Where’s my happiness?”

What was missing? What was the problem?

The problem was that my values were out of whack. I did not know what my values were. I had adopted my values. I had adopted them from my family, from the world around me. In a nutshell, my family is Cuban immigrants. They had a very strong need to rebuild. For them, it was very important for us to achieve, to be self-sufficient and to make money because they lost everything. There’s an evolution of consciousness. Even in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, where my parents were when I was a child was in this need to make it. That was the energy that I’ve worked. When I would make it, when I would get A’s, I’d get a lot of praise and love. I was in school and that’s what I latched onto as my identity, “I’m an achiever. I’m a good girl.” When I was in this world of doing my MBA and all that, I was in the world of the magazines. I worked in a lifestyle magazine. I was hanging out with celebrities and going to the Latin Grammys, getting pictures taken on the red carpet. That was appealing to my need for approval and love. I felt that was what was going to fulfill me, but it didn’t because ultimately it’s very empty. Everybody knows that deep down.

What do you think everybody is looking for? I have a particular reason why I want to I ask you this.

When you're contributing to others, you're valuable. Click To Tweet

I think love is big. I wanted love and significance and to matter. With those Hierarchies of Needs or Tony Robbins’ six human needs: safety, security, variety, love, significance. Ultimately, those higher needs are where the magic is in growth and contribution. Once you get into focusing on your personal growth, expansion and contributing to others, then all those other needs are much more easily get met anyways. When you’re contributing to others, you’re valuable. People are going to pay for you. People are going to want what you’ve got. I feel like one of the pivots in my life was to shift the focus from getting my needs met to how I can become a better version of me and contribute more to others.

It’s so interesting if you look at the difference between getting by taking versus getting by giving. There’s an incredible book that I’ve talked about in previous conversations with people called The Presence Process. I haven’t brought it up but Michael Brown wrote this incredible book all about unconditional love and how it is that ultimately that’s what we’re all looking for anyway. Our definition of unconditional love was formed when we were very young. It was formed before we started to think. There’s that cognitive stage of development that comes. It’s emotional development, cognitive development and physical development. That period from seven to fourteen before puberty starts is when our mind starts to tell us what things mean. It’s in our emotional development from birth until about seven where without having language for it or an understanding of what it means, develop our sense of self. Meaning, what does love mean to us? What’s our definition of love? It sounds on some level, not to go psychological here with you, your part of how you defined love for yourself was equating it with doing, with healing. There’s this idea of self-worth.

Specifically, with math. That’s the only time that he would spend with me was drilling me on my math problems and if I got the answer right. That’s how I ended up studying math even though I hate it.

This is the journey that in many of the cases we’re all on. We are searching and sometimes not knowing that we’re even searching for something. At least my opinion is that we’re searching for this unconditional acceptance, this unconditional love, which may be the highest or maybe that part at the top of Maslow’s pyramid, which is called self-actualization or self-realization. We are at peace because we truly accept ourselves. We truly love ourselves. The key to that is that’s where the world shifts and transforms when more and more people have that pursuit of unconditional self-love. In that loving and understanding of what love means, at least coming from my own opinion, but that true definition of love. That ultimately becomes how it is that we give to others, how it is that we love. We can’t love anyone any better than we love ourselves. Think about this.

If you buy into that we can’t love anybody any better than we love ourselves, then we can understand why there is so much drama in the world. Why people are even addicted to drama in some ways, and why it is that we don’t treat each other that well. For the most part, look at how you speak to yourself on any given day. The way you treat yourself, the judgments and the criticism and everything else in the withholding of love. At a certain point for me, it was, “If I do this, I will have done something worthy. I will have done something I can respect or someone else might respect, whether it’s my wife, my father or mother, whoever it is.” At that moment, then I’ll approve of myself. It’s this constant, vicious cycle of continuing to try to prove yourself.

You’re getting little hits and it doesn’t even last. It’s a hit or whatever. I’ve never tried crack but it feels like you get the hit. It’s like, “Where’s the next one?”

PR 117 | In Search Of Happiness

The Presence Process – A Journey Into Present Moment Awareness

“I am okay now for a moment,” and then you wake up the next morning, you put your feet on the floor and it’s back. There are a lot of people out there that have those moments in the morning when it’s a question of, “Do I get back in bed or do I put on my big boy and big girl panties,” as my wife would say, “and get on with the day?” A lot of people do that. They get on with the day. I did that for years, putting my feet on the floor knowing something was off and something was wrong. I’m going to be a big boy and take care of four kids, houses and responsibilities.

One year ran into the next and the next, and I feel like I lost decades of my life that I can’t even remember because there was no substance to it.

You blink your eyes and like that old Pink Floyd song, ten years goes by. No one told you when to run. You missed the starting gun and decades can go by that way. Let’s get to this point. This is an inflection point. Probably people reading this are thinking, “They’re describing me or I’m feeling this thing. I didn’t even know how to put words to it.” Maybe they had words for it, but they had to ignore it because the bills have to get paid. We all get the realities here. For me, my plan ended up becoming that book, Pivot, which was all about a two and a half year period where I had to do something with that feeling, that misery, otherwise, it was going to take me out.

I was going to keep going in the misery. I was going to keep it going. I had no intention of stopping.

What was the low water mark for you that became that pivot point where you said, “I’ve got to do something differently?” What was it that you started to do?

I was in my late 30s feeling the clicking of time because I was an overachiever and I had not yet gotten married or had any kids. The clock was ticking and finally, I met somebody, and I jumped into this relationship that lasted about two and a half years. I got engaged and in April of 2014, I ended up taking this man that I had been dating for two and a half years to the hospital because he was having hallucinations. I found out that he was a con artist who had been lying to me about his whole life for two and a half years. He had fake jobs. He had fake business trips. He had fake bank accounts. He wasn’t who he said he was.

A lasting shift doesn't come at the level of doing, it comes at the level of being. Click To Tweet

It was one of these dateline NBC types of stories that most likely he’s disappeared. I don’t know whatever happened to him. He’s gone and disappeared from all social media. I’m sure he has maybe another identity. I don’t know but I’m sure it wasn’t going to end pretty. Fate intervened and saved me because I found everything out all in the span of about five days. This was a big drama. What happened was in the process of processing this whole situation and the drama of it, there were intense emotions. There was a lot of self-recrimination. There was a lot of self-loathing, “How could I have allowed that?” It was bad. It lasted about two to three months of deep in it.

When I came up for air, my business hadn’t made any money in those three months. I hadn’t booked any new business. On top of the whole relationship breakdown, on top of the physical illness that I was finding out about around the same time. I was diagnosed pre-diabetic. My blood work was all messed up, autoimmune. That was the second piece. The third piece was my business fell apart. I say my business but it wasn’t really a business. It was a glorified job that didn’t allow me to even spend two or three months taking care of myself after this traumatic experience. I had a wake-up call that I didn’t have a real business. I didn’t have a real relationship. My body was breaking down and all of it was a result of choices that I had made up to that point in my life. Taking responsibility was the inflection point. That was the pivot when I said, “This is mine. I made this, I created this. No matter what anybody did to me, no matter how unfair it might be, this is mine.”

Why did you do that? I want to explore that a little bit because I’ve said it too many times to count and I’ve heard it so many times. People have heard it a lot at this point. Maybe if it was ten years ago, this whole idea of owning it and what’s mine and all that, it was good. It was the right language at the time. I’m not being skeptical, but I want to dive a little deeper into it. Was it a spiritual book? You were a self-described atheist or agnostic. Was it something spiritual? Was it someone that looked you in the eye? Were you scratching at the mirror? What happened that had you go, “This is on me. I’m the common denominator in all this.” No one would have denied you the right to be a victim there. Who would do that and be cruel? People would have to have no compassion to have looked at you in that situation and say, “You did this all to yourself.”

I’m trying to remember. I don’t know. That happened in April, my business tanked. Life sucked. It was awful. In June, July I met a mentor and it might have been them. That’s the house where I’m in right now in San Francisco. They have a culture of what I’m in now, what you’re in now, the way we talk and all of that. That’s who they are. Being in their environment, being in their culture, starting to work with them had me slowly take responsibility and wake up. I don’t think I took responsibility for all of it at the same time. I first took responsibility for him for having attracted that, for having lived with it, for ignoring the red flag. That was first.

From there, I was able to take responsibility for the other stuff little by little. It was a process. It didn’t happen overnight, but it definitely was a pivot in that year. In March of the following year, I was at a mastermind with these guys in Breckenridge, Colorado and I was on a ski lift by myself. We were in Breckenridge, we had an afternoon off so I decided to go and ski. I was going up the ski lift and I started bawling. I don’t know why, but I had the download, the new awareness, the awakening that I had been living my whole life like a child waiting for the adults to take care of everything for me. On that ski lift on my way up the mountain at 39 years old, I realized that it was time that I had to be the adult for myself and for the world. At that moment was when I took responsibility for all of it.

I want to reflect back a few of those things that people can hear that because what you said was so powerful. In what you’ve described, I’m a big fan of the process. I wasn’t like that. I was very adverse to those things at a point. Now I appreciate how important it is when we see the sequence of things in our lives because what does it mean to own something? In this case, we’re talking about over the period of maybe nine months or even a year. It started out with some new language. In my TED Talk that I gave in September, one of the things I said, which was important to me to say was when we have the words, we also have the way. Words are important, language is important. For you to get a new language and to be around people, those mentors that could provide you some new language. It gave you a new way to see everything. It expanded your horizons. You want to see a whole new vista, just turn around and look in a different direction. The world is that big.

PR 117 | In Search Of Happiness

In Search Of Happiness: Taking responsibility for stuff little by little is a process and doesn’t happen overnight.


The new language, the fact that it was a part of a process, that took time. You went one piece at a time. It was not like you decided, “I’m going to own it all.” It was like, “I started with this and then I moved to this, then I went to that.” Over time like dominoes, you tipped over the next and the next until at a certain point you’re on a ski lift in Breckenridge, Colorado. You have an experience of humility, honesty and ultimate transparency. You were bawling and going, “I’ve been a child. This is me as a child. I’m crying.” Crying is an adult activity, not a child’s activity, “I’ve been a child and waiting for adults to handle things in my life.” What a moment of sheer truth, self-truth.

It was powerful. What’s possible if everybody felt this way, if everybody decided to become an adult, if everybody said I am responsible for everything? That’s when I finally tapped into the first true version of my North Star, of my purpose, which was, “How can I help everybody have this experience?” That was the beginning of it.

That’s beautiful. What a great origin story for your business.

Let me tell you a little bit about what pivoted because we’ve talked about my personal emotional pivot. There was also I changed my business model. I changed how I operate. I changed everything as a result, but first I had to change me. The core of my model that I teach and that I speak about from the stage is the seven-step thing and step one is identity. When we have a shift at the level of identity, that is real. That is something that will last. A lasting shift doesn’t come at the level of doing. It comes at the level of being so much shifted, once I shifted who I was committed, who I was and who I was being. That involved taking stock of, “Who am I really? Do I love math? Am I this person, this overachiever or am I somebody else?” That’s when I started remembering I was a little superstar as a kid. I love to dance, sing, perform, make people laugh, have fun and all of that. I lost that along the way. That was party Michelle. That was drinking and partying that gave me permission to be that.

Isn’t that true too that people often think that their identity is something they were born with? They get this confused. I got it confused. The idea that you’re born for a reason and have a purpose, somehow that means that you’re born with it and you spend your life trying to find it when our identity changes. Your identity at eighteen is very different than your identity at 28. It’s a very different identity. It’s certainly going to be different when you’re 42.

I call it the identity spiral. It came to me visually. Let’s say right here, right now, I’m at this point, identity zero, identity sub-zero. That’s my math. We started at this point. From this point, we look at, “What do I want? Who am I? Who am I right now? What are my desires? What are my values?” Tapping into the desire of what I want, what my mission is, what I want to create. Once I have that, then I have to create a plan to get there and do this stuff, “Here’s who I am, here’s what I want. This is what I do to get there.” In that process, I traveled this journey and I become somebody new. I become this new version of me, identity sub-one.

We're constantly evolving and, at the same time, there's this thread of who we are and what we want that traverses all of it. Click To Tweet

This new identity might want different things. It might want to create something new in the world. In the process of creating that, we travel another path and then the identity evolves again in the process of being and doing. There’s this identity spiral ideally upward. We’re constantly evolving and at the same time, there’s this thread of who we are and what we want that traverses all of it. That’s part of us from birth to death. There’s something that’s there that’s consistent, that’s permanent. Maybe our soul or I don’t know what you’d call it, but there’s a thread there that stays. That’s me that was there when I was three years old that wanted to be expressed and that wanted to be with people, wanted to love and wanted to play. That part of me is still part of me.

We all learn in different modalities for where we’re more comfortable, learning is different. I love visuals and I love analogies for that so that I can create a visual of what it looks like. It was helpful the way you were describing that. I kept thinking to myself just as you were saying that. Here’s the thing about identity. It changes and we evolve. It doesn’t mean that a former identity is like a part of you that doesn’t exist anymore. It’s almost like a snowball. If you think of snowball, if you roll it and roll it, it’s that evolutionary process of becoming different and more. Ultimately, the first little piece of that snowball is right there in the core. It’s in the middle. It is important to look back and think. There’s a part in the book, Pivot, where you talk about how it is that you re-examine identity. That’s a foundational element of your teaching, starting with identity. I know we won’t have time to go through in detail for all seven, but would you walk us through what those seven are?

This is my model for a Superstar Business. It starts with identity. From that identity, the next level is the lifestyle piece. What do you want out of your life? How do you want to live your life? What is the vision that you have for yourself? The third step is what’s the business model that aligns with that vision? Notice each layer of the pyramid builds on the layer prior and the whole idea is to have them be in alignment. What you want is your vision for your life has to be aligned with your values and with who you are, what you love to do, your strengths, your gifts, your talents. That’s why we do personality testing and StrengthsFinder and things like that. The identity, the lifestyle, then the business model to align with that.

From the business model, which is the way that you’re going to turn that magic that you have into money, we create the brand and the brand is the fourth step. How do you put your identity now out into the world? Who are you declaring yourself to be to the world? There are five layers of branding. There’s the inner work. There’s the higher work of aligning to something bigger than you like a North Star. There’s the creative work of identifying how are you different, how are you unique, how are you special? There’s the strategic work of looking at the market and what the market needs and wants. Finally, there’s the actual implementation or execution work. Those are the five layers of the brand piece.

From branding, there’s marketing. How do you put the brand out into the world consistently in a way that’s energy-rich and aligned with your personality? If you hate writing, we’re not going to say go create a blog necessarily. Having all these pieces be in alignment. From marketing, obviously marketing is monetization, it’s selling. How do you convert? How do you enroll? How do you bring people into your programs with integrity? That’s a big part of our sales as a service. Finally, from sales, once you’ve got that money being generated, then we can look at where do we take some of this profit that we’re creating and reinvest it to scale and optimize the operation? That’s the overview of the seven layers of what we call the Superstar Business Model. A superstar is someone who is cultivating influence and generating income to make an impact. That’s the core of what it means to be a superstar. People who are messengers, they are supporters, they are leaders, they are thought leaders, game changers, people who are bringing something of value to the world in order to make the world a better place.

It’s a seven-layer cake. I’m not even a cake eater, but that’s what came up for me. I love this conversation. What are some of the things that you do? Once you’ve got that blueprint for what misery looks like or being unfulfilled and the things we were talking about and drama, because a lot of people are addicted to it.

PR 117 | In Search Of Happiness

In Search Of Happiness: A superstar is someone who is cultivating influence and generating income to make an impact.


You have drama. Everything is always us. If you have drama, it is doubly and triply important to decide to own it.

In any event, whether the drama is an addiction or it’s not, it’s definitely something we can feel in the world all around us. What are the things that you do on a daily basis to help you to rise above that? We call those rituals. What are the rituals that you have for your recovery, your resilience or whatever you might call it that helps you to rise above the drama of all this stuff going on around us?

I have several rituals. I have a list of all the different things I can do in a day. Some of them I do every day, no matter what like meditate. The first thing I do in the morning is twenty minutes of meditation. The other things that I do are I do this disgusting green smoothie every morning that’s good for my body and my insides. I do a lot of yoga, probably four or five times a week. I get a lot of massages too. I do something called empty presence periodically. I don’t do it every day although I should. It’s a practice that comes from a lineage of feminine priestesses. It’s a practice that I learned from one of my mentors that help you tap into your inner knowing, your intuition, into your connection to the divine, whatever you want to call that. You stare at the mirror into my left eye listening to what’s called the Devi prayer and do that for twenty minutes. It is a powerful practice for connecting inward and to your inner knowing.

My mentor, I should mention her, she’s amazing. Her name is NaniLea Diamond. I did an interview with her on my podcast. She’s incredible. I’ve learned a lot of these feminine practices. A lot of what I do are feminine practices because what I realized was that part of what I’d done all my life was gotten through the hustle and through a very masculine approach to life. It’s totally a different energy. I’d very much push down my feminine energy. The point is that it wasn’t healthy. It wasn’t expressed in a healthy way necessarily. What I’ve been doing a lot in the practices are to tap back into that feminine energy.

We won’t have time to get into this. Maybe we’ll have a second show to discuss this as well. Maybe it’s appropriate for me to moderate that show and have Randi, my wife, join you on that one to discuss it. She’s done a lot of women’s retreat work over the years and led women’s circles. One of the things she used to say more often when she was doing some of that work was that there were a lot of women who conduct business pretending like men. This is one of the greatest challenges. I can’t speak as a woman. I’m married for almost 30 years. We have three daughters as well as a son. I’ve earned the right on the level of having spent so much time around women. I love my girls beyond words. I feel that women have some confusion about what is right for them in terms of how they live, being not doing. We get what comes from doing. You can get the big house doing. You can get the big job. You can get a lot of things doing. I’m not sure that men who may have done more of the doing in that area for a long time and have achieved some of that status.

I don’t know that they’re the best example for women to have followed because heart disease and cancer and suicide, all of these things are radically up for women. What’s scary when you look at statistics about suicide, for example, among women that are in the 40, 50, 60 range. That demographic shows the highest incidents of increased suicide and depression. Even though the sheer numbers are that more men do that, more men are in that space, the change in that direction is greater among women and also, interestingly enough, among teenage girls. This is definitely something worth exploring and finding that harmony. That is what Yin and Yang is about. It’s not a symbol for balance. It’s a symbol for harmony. It is male and female energy, that’s Yin and Yang.

The work that you’ve been doing in Empty Presence, how beautiful, NaniLea Diamond. It’s always wonderful to acknowledge the people that we’ve learned from. How great that you’ve had an incredible mentor. I have enjoyed this conversation with you, Michelle. I’m sure everybody has enjoyed it as well. For those of you who are inclined to leave a comment and we appreciate that so much, you can go to and leave a comment. We’ll reply there. You can leave a review on iTunes. You can join us on Start My PIVOT Community on Facebook or go to to get the front row right there as well.

The last thing I want to share as we depart is something that’s a part of the ritual of this show, which is that we begin with being present to gratitude, to feeling it as we did at the beginning, how lucky we are to be breathing and alive. As we conclude, my prayer is that we all get to wake up again. I asked this question, it’s rhetorical because people can’t answer now in the moment, how many of you are willing to wake up? That’s the question. You’ve got to wake up. You are not guaranteed that. That was not set in stone that when you went to bed, that you get to wake up another day. There’s something to be grateful for.

When you wake up again and you get to feel that moment of waking and that first conscious breath, you can be aware that there were people who will be taking their last breath at that moment as well. Babies are being born too. Lots of things are happening. It’s a sacred moment. It’s special. My request and maybe more of an intention I suppose is that you take ten seconds as you are waking up, put your feet on the floor, which is a blessing all by itself. Feel gratitude and appreciation for yourself at that moment. If you’re so inclined to say these words out loud, you can say, “I love my life. I love my life. I love my life.” What a blessing it’s been to spend some time together. Michelle, thank you again.

Thank you, Adam. I appreciate it.

Ciao for now.


Important Links:

About Michelle Villalobos

PR 117 | In Search Of HappinessMichelle Villalobos is the Founder of The Superstar Activator, a company that helps leaders, game-changers, and entrepreneurs want to leverage their expertise and grow their businesses by offering transformational events, retreats, and coaching programs.

As a speaker, Michelle conducts presentations that inspire professionals to integrate work and play in a productive way and see new possibilities for work/life alignment.

As a result of working with Michelle and her team, people often share that they not only stabilize their income and free up their time, but also feel more fulfilled while making a bigger impact! On a personal note, Michelle recently took a short, 10-month road trip around the USA in her itty-bitty mini-cooper.