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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Henderson

Mind, Body, Spirit: Navigating the Path to Inspired Living


Inspired living
Transformative Journey

In the labyrinth of life's journey, we often seek guides who illuminate our path, igniting the flames of wisdom within us. Michael DiPietro and Marcey Donnelly stand as beacons of inspiration, offering profound insights and transformative tools to navigate the intricate landscapes of self-discovery and spiritual growth. Their collaborative work, encapsulated in the book "The Inside Guide: Breaking Through to Intuitive Wisdom and Inspired Living," serves as a roadmap for those yearning to embark on a journey towards authenticity, purpose, and inner fulfillment.

 

Michael DiPietro, a seasoned guide with over two decades of experience, combines his background in engineering with expertise in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), martial arts, and meditation. His journey towards self-discovery commenced with an awakening experience at the age of 30, propelling him into a profound exploration of spirituality and personal development. Through years of introspection, meditation, and acquiring diverse tools, Michael honed his ability to empower others in their quest for authenticity and purpose.

 

On the other hand, Marcey Donnelly, a senior VP in finance, brings a unique perspective to their collaboration. Rooted in project management and process improvement, Marcey's journey towards self-discovery led her to explore avenues of meditation, Reiki, and energy work. Her convergence with Michael's teachings catalyzed a profound transformation, prompting her to channel her newfound wisdom into co-authoring "The Inside Guide."

 

Their collaboration embodies the harmonious fusion of complementary backgrounds, weaving together the intricacies of spiritual wisdom with pragmatic insights. As they embark on their mission to inspire and uplift, Michael and Marcey emphasize the importance of listening to one's inner voice and embracing the unique gifts and talents that each individual possesses.

 

"The Inside Guide" serves as a compendium of transformative wisdom, offering a comprehensive framework for inner exploration and growth. Divided into four distinct levels – Inquiry, Acceptance, Transformation, and Transcendence – the book invites readers to embark on a journey of self-discovery, guided by the principles of mindfulness, acceptance, and spiritual awareness.

 

At the Inquiry level, primary focus rests on the body, inviting readers to delve into the sensations and experiences that manifest within their physical being. Through mindful awareness of bodily sensations, individuals gain insight into the interconnectedness of mind, body, and spirit, laying the foundation for deeper introspection.

 

Transitioning to the Acceptance level, the focus shifts towards acknowledging and embracing the full spectrum of emotions that arise within. By cultivating a space of non-judgmental acceptance, individuals liberate themselves from the shackles of self-criticism and limitation, opening the door to profound healing and inner peace.

 

As readers progress to the Transformation level, emphasis is placed on harnessing the power of the mind to reframe limiting beliefs and patterns. Through introspective inquiry and cognitive reprogramming, individuals embark on a journey of profound transformation, aligning their thoughts and intentions with their highest potential.

 

Finally, at the pinnacle of the journey lies the Transcendence level, where primary focus shifts towards spiritual awakening and connection with the divine. Here, individuals transcend the confines of egoic identification, embracing their inherent divinity and interconnectedness with all of creation.

 

Through their book, workshops, and online events, Michael and Marcey extend a guiding hand to all who seek to embark on a journey of self-discovery and spiritual growth. Their message is clear: within each individual resides a wellspring of wisdom and potential waiting to be unearthed. By delving into the depths of our being and aligning with our true essence, we unlock the door to a life of boundless inspiration, purpose, and fulfillment.

 

In a world fraught with challenges and uncertainties, the wisdom of Michael DiPietro and Marcey Donnelly serves as a guiding light, illuminating the path towards a brighter, more awakened existence. As we heed their teachings and embark on our own transformative journey, may we embrace the fullness of our being and journey towards a life of inspired living.




Episode Transcript:


Michelle Henderson :

Welcome to Inspire Your Essence. I'm Michelle, your guide Through Captivating Conversations with Inspiring Individuals. Today we are joined by two extraordinary ordinary guests, Michael Drio and Marcy Donnelly. They are authors of the book, the Inside Guide, breaking through to Intuitive Wisdom and Inspired Living. Michael, a season guide for over 20 years blends his engineering background with expertise in NLP martial arts and meditation to empower others on their journey to authenticity and purpose. Meanwhile, Marcy, a senior VP in finance, leverages her skills and leadership and process improvement to create positive change. Join us as we dive into the transformative stories, exploring lives, pivotal moments in the pursuit of meaning. Of course, welcome to this podcast episode that will spark inspiration in fuel self-discovery. So I have read their book and I am so excited to hear about their inspiration behind the book. Hello and welcome Michael and Marcy.


Michael DiPietro :

Thank you.


Marcey Donnelly :

Thanks Michelle. Thanks for having us.


Michelle Henderson:

Absolutely. Whenever I looked at the book, I thought, oh my gosh, I've got to have them on. I love it that there are two of you that co-created this book because to me it's just a wonderful thing to see the team effort. And I'm going to let everybody know this. Whenever you read the book after they talk about a certain topic, Marcy and Michael have a little conversation about a particular topic and I love that because it extends whatever the book is trying to tell you. So of course, let's go ahead and dive straight into the book, the Inside Guide, breaking through to intuitive wisdom and Inspired Living. So my first question is, what inspired you to get this knowledge out to say, you know what? I think the world needs this information at this time.


Michael DiPietro :

Well, I had this book brewing in my mind and heart for about 20 years, and I think we have to get to a point in our development where for me, it had to emerge with inspiration. It had to be just the right time and it coincided with the pandemic and we needed a project to work on. But I just feel like in my own journey, I got far enough along where I felt confident in what I was presenting to the world to organize it and put it out. And it seems timely. It seems like the world needs this right now too. So it felt like that alignment between your own passion and what your purpose is and what the world is really needing. And so I contacted Marcy. We had been working together. She was a client for years and it just turned out to be the most amazing collaboration and we've grown so close in working together. And so I just feel like it's our purpose and we're really living our purpose and we feel inspired to create a community around people getting well, leading their best life and feeling inspired to break through the challenges that get in the way. So that's really a lot of what we're doing here.


Marcey Donnelly:

And my inspiration, as Michael said, was kind of this journey of self-development that I've been on for years and it brought me to Michael and his work. And through that I've learned so much and I'm sure we'll talk about it in terms of going within myself. And so in this journey of self-discovery, knowing that there was something more outside of my work, my family, my daily tasks that I just had this craving to do something more with the knowledge, the tools, the insight that would come to me when I felt like I was kind of living my purpose, but I had no idea of the medium that it would show up. So in terms of inspiration, I had no idea that the work that I had been doing with affirmations and vision boards and meditation, I had no idea that the medium where I could express my love for learning and self-discovery and being connected with others in this community was through a book.

So the funny story is I got this phone call and usually I call Michael, he called me and it was unusual and I called and he said, are you interested in writing a book with me? And I said, absolutely. And by the way, I've never written a book. I know nothing about publishing. I'm a project manager by trade. He said, I know, I don't know why your name keeps coming up, but in his quiet times it just continues to come up. And he is such an amazing example of trusting where life is leading him. And so I just trusted it also and hopped on board. It was one of the best decisions of my life.


Michelle Henderson :

And I agree with you totally. Trusting is very difficult and writing a book is very, very difficult. So it's good that both of you have something to give whenever writing this book. So let me ask you about your backgrounds. So what in your background gave you this information to put into this book?


Michael DiPietro :

Well, for me, I'm pushing 60 this year. So I feel like my real spiritual journey started at 30. So I was pretty asleep. And then I had an awakening experience around age 30, and it really set me on my own spiritual path of self-development and knowing self and really delving into why am I really here? What is my purpose? And so I got into meditation, I got into martial arts, I did massage therapy through the years through my thirties and forties. I just kept amassing tools, I kept learning. I kept filling my toolbox with ways that I could be more effective and working with people. That was, as I merged through my own process, I realized I just need to be of service. I need to help people break through, be happy, be fulfilled, find what you're really here to do. And as I took that journey in myself, I became more and more effective in helping other people do that.

So for me, getting to the content of the book and the release of the book was an evolution over 30 years really. So it just was a lot of my own inner work and periods of intense joy and periods of intense suffering, but getting on the other side of a lot of these patterns that get in the way and things from childhood that are still running interference on our wellbeing and on our natural goodness that resides within us. So I think for each of us, we're on a journey. We're on a path. And the inside territory is once we begin to make friends with that, that's where we can really make some rapid progress in the journey. And I'm sure Marcy has another perspective on


Marcey Donnelly:

Really the tools that I brought to the book project into this work, kind of took a left turn while Michael was honing his skills of helping others and learning you've talked about in his all of these tools and then meshing them with his own intuition. I went the business path with spreadsheets and project management and delivery. So sometimes I laugh that I'm kind of left brain on this project, but really throughout my past I also learned tools. And actually it's the beauty of this book I was looking at external, oh, I'm sorry, I don't know what happened. Okay, yeah, here we go. I was looking for external tools, which brought me to Michael's work. So I learned meditation. I'm Reiki trained. I've taken classes on Oracle cards and angel work and I love, I love all different variations of energy work, but I was continuing to look outside of me for filling something that felt like a hole within me. And so while I amassed this tool set, it really was in terms of producing the book, kind of my development skills and my project management skills. But now I've really learned that all of those tools that I was learning through classes, courses, conferences, and books really are my version of self-development tools that I'm able now to integrate in these great conversations and workshops working with other people. So my background is a little bit different, but it's kind of complimentary. I mean, we definitely each bring something different to the table,


Michelle Henderson :

And I love that word complimentary because that's what I saw in the book, I think it is. So you can have so many different audiences reading it or readers reading it because there are so many different levels that somebody can say, okay, I can see it. I'm right there. So you really are able to educate everybody wherever they've experienced, wherever they are in their spiritual journey. This book is really good because they can just kind of look at it and see where they are and learn more or learn more about what they didn't see whenever they're going into their spiritual journey. So let's look at the different, and I absolutely love this, the method of loving, presence, embodiment, and there are four different stages. So if you don't mind, let's go through each one and I'll read it and you kind of explain what that means.

And you can find this in the book as well, but I thought it was kind of a general overall. Again, this book has so much information, it would take a week to sit y'all down and talk about it. I just want to show everybody I have all my notes because it's one of those books that everything I loved I would write down and I would have to soak it all in and then go to the next chapter. But anyway, let's look at the first level, inquiry level, primary focus on the body. So explain what this means in general terms.


Michael DiPietro :

When we start our journey, the first we have to start to look inward. So the first part thing we need to do is have an inquiry and it's inquiry. So we're really focused on an inquiry, and that means beginning to ask a question. But one of the ways we can get a very fast inquiry is to start to notice at the body level, start to notice the sensations and the experiences we're actually having in the body. A lot of times we want to intellectually understand something, but if we begin to enter into the body first, if we say, okay, I'm going to start to notice what I'm actually experiencing, the body is a fast track. And so a lot of times we want to enter in through the mind, which is also an entry point. And some people want to understand something before they jump in.

But if you want to get really fast progress, if you want to jump in and accelerate entering in through the bodily experience, through the felt experience in your body as a fast track. So we really invite people to begin to look at what are you actually experiencing? What's the felt experience you're having in your body? So say someone's challenged with anxiety, where are you feeling it? In my solar plexus, I'm having this uncomfortable experience and actually getting into the energy and the felt experience in the particular place in the body. So that's the inquiry level. That's a starting point, an entry point to help you get into what's happening for you.


Marcey Donnelly:

Right, Michelle? One common experience that we've continued to hear is that people are really disconnected from body, that a lot of people have this fast moving supercomputer of their brain, and that's how they process things. And it spins and spins, but sometimes you really can't get to the core of what's going on unconsciously. And Michael could talk more about that until you connect with your body. And that almost causes you to slow down a little bit and really stop and feel what's going on at a different level. And that was a big shift for me as a left brain, primarily dominant person. I felt for most of my life that I lived from the neck up and it served me. I'm task oriented, I could get stuff done, but it really disconnected me from what was truly going on and what I truly want and how things actually felt. And I use that now as a navigator for choices that I make. I stop and I really check into my body, which is something new.


Michael DiPietro :

The body has this brilliant intelligence to it too. And if we start to actually listen, it starts to guide us. It's part of our guidance system so we can get caught up if we're trying to navigate our life from a mental place, especially as the world gets more complex, this thing is a beautiful tool to execute, to task, to. I'm using it to communicate with you right now, but it's not the best GPS. It's not the best guidance system for your spiritual direction and where you're going to find your fulfillment and joy in life. And the body already knows that. And so one of the things about the body is there's the gross and the subtle levels. So as you get more acuity in noticing and being present with your body, there can be subtler and subtler sensations that have more of a profound impact at a subtle level to what's going on and to actually starting to feel more alive in the body, letting our life force our vitality or our qi energy flow through the body. And that's part of the body.


Michelle Henderson :

I love it. I love it. And I learned a lot through the acceptance level, primary focus on feelings.


Michael DiPietro :

So as we begin to inquiry, sometimes we begin to uncover things. And if there's a limiting pattern or something that's been getting in the way an obstacle in our life, a lot of times our mind will begin to judge it. That means there's something wrong that I have to fix. So as we foster acceptance, it allows us to open in the scary places, the uncomfortable places, the difficult places in a safe and comfortable way. Acceptance doesn't mean I'm going to condone it, it just means I'm allowing what's happening to arise. I'm creating a space for whatever uncomfortable emotions might arise and saying, it's okay. It's okay for me to feel that. And it's actually a sign of wellness sometimes as we open up something deep inside of us, we think something's wrong, but that's actually a healthy thing to do. That's actually the path to wellness is getting into these patterns and these hidden things that reside under the surface that we're not normally in touch with. And being able to open that up in a safe and comfortable way that allows us to get to the next stage.


Marcey Donnelly:

It's amazing. One thing that I think is something that your listeners could start to observe is if something isn't going as planned, or maybe we're coming upon the first of the year new year's resolutions, we'll have this great list of all these things to accomplish. And then you may be doing really well, and then you backtrack. A lot of times we beat ourselves up and so not are you backtracking and need to get back on course, but then you're also judging and almost punishing yourself for making that mistake. And so now you have two things to resolve. So the sense of, and the tool of acceptance is really powerful because you're almost an observer to say, gosh, that was interesting here. I thought I had this really strong goal and I've been doing so well and I just made a decision contrary to what I thought I should do. So let's sit with that. Let's sit with what's going on in my life, how does it feel? Can I observe anything? And a lot of times that will uncover answers, but then you only have one thing to do, which is to get back on track and not have to resolve your judging mind and have two things to work on.


Michelle Henderson :

Absolutely. And I love that because we're about to start a new year, so when you do a vision board, you've got to really feel into it. Right. Okay. So the next level is number three, transformation level, primary focus on the mind.


Michael DiPietro :

Yeah. So we're not talking about your everyday thoughts here. We're talking about how to transform. So a lot of times, let's say we got a goal, we're moving towards something, and like Marcy was saying, maybe something doesn't work out as planned and suddenly I'm crashing into a disappointed experience or something that is counter to my vision of what I want to create. And a lot of times as we set an intention and we move to our next stage of life, sometimes it pulls up the limiting things that are going to keep us from that. And so this is really what the whole process is about, is creating your vision, having that intention moving forward in your life, but also being able to create that space of acceptance to deal with the backlash, to deal with the things from our past that get in the way of that.

And so as those things begin to arise, we want to have a transformative process that allows us to deal with that. So first we're going to notice through the inquiry, then we're going to accept what's arising, even if it feels counter to where I want to go. And then we want to dive into the transformative process to revise and shift that part of our experience that's getting in the way. So we're doing two things. We're holding the vision for where we're moving to and we're clearing the past. We're clearing the things that are no longer useful in our life. And so that transformation, that focus on mind is really a focus on the unconscious mind. It's a focus on how a particular experience is actually getting created at the neurological level and of the day it's sensory based information. So we put together these programs in our mind and as we begin to work with someone, we can decode the program, we can get to how the program is getting created and then bring resolution to things that have been hindering us spring resolution if we understand how it's getting created.

So that's a transformative process that we're doing. And when we work with people in our workshops or when I work with clients, one-on-one, really getting into the nuts and bolts of how something is getting created outside of our conscious awareness. All this stuff is happening very fast in our neurology, our brain runs 24 frames of information every second. So it's running data and we're processing processing. We can't tend to all of that. So there's a lot happening outside of our awareness, but when we're dealing with an issue or an obstacle, we can slow down that process, get in there, open up the program and move the wires around. So it begins to shift and the person naturally starts to move towards their goals more easily.


Michelle Henderson :

Just like a computer


Michael DiPietro :

Kind of except for you,


Michelle Henderson :

Right? Yes, absolutely.


Marcey Donnelly:

And this is really fascinating because the work that Michael and I did together six years ago, I often say that I cannot remember what it felt like to be me six years ago, because the work of going in and opening up the program and changing it seems like a simple process. And sometimes it makes sense. And you think of past where some of these programs were written and you think, oh, yeah, I remember that. That wasn't great for my childhood, but oh, well, I've kind of gotten over it. But really there are programs that are running where you continue to get that software triggered and it becomes one of those buttons. I've had some buttons that would set me off. And it's interesting to go in and shift those because then you don't run that program anymore in the way that you ran it in the past. And different things start showing up in your life, whether it's energetic, metaphysically, spiritually, or you're just looking through the world through different lenses. But things cease to be issues, which is really, I love hearing stories after workshops on people tell us like, gosh, something has actually changed. This doesn't bother me anymore. And it's through this work of the mind, and it's pretty fascinating.


Michelle Henderson :

Yeah, absolutely. Love that. All right, let's go to the last one, transcendence, if I can say that correctly. Transcendence level, primary focus on spirit.


Michael DiPietro :

So this is where we begin to move beyond experience into a mystical state. And when we say spirit, let's qualify that because spirit conjures up so many different meanings for people, but we're talking really about the infinite space of love and peace inside everyone's heart. And the access point is when we get still and quiet. And so if we are busy in our day-to-day lives, and we're doing this process of getting to transformation, when you break through something, there's a sense of relief, there's a sense of feeling lighter, feeling more ourselves. And as we get deeper into ourself, and so one of the things we do is make a distinction between who you are and what you experience. So in those levels of processing, that's experience, what you do, what you feel, what you think are all part of your experience. And then you are the one having the experiences of your life.

And so who is that you? Who is that you, that's having the experience? And that's what we talk about when we talk about transcendence and spirit is beginning to point to this higher self, this greater part of us that is there all the time. And a lot of times the mind can't get around it. So it's almost challenging to talk about, but I want to give your audience a sense of something greater within themselves that is always working for their wellness. That's always present. You could call it love, you could call it peace, you could call it God, you could call it by a lot of different names. But it's at the center of who we are, and it's integrates and embraces and includes not just ourselves, but our loved ones and everything that's good and wonderful and whole about who we are and the life we're living.

So that's kind of what we're pointing at when we say transcendence is beginning to get people identified with who they really are. And sometimes people have been, if there's been a challenge, they can get identified with something that is not true about them. So I've worked with a lot. One very common issue we hear is, I don't feel worthy, or am I really good enough to go out there and have this life that I dream of? Well, the I'm not worthy or the I'm not good enough is based in a childhood experience usually. And it's not true. Your natural state is worth and always more than enough to do whatever you need to do in life. And so you have to debunk that and get to the truth of who you really are and when you live from that place, as Marcy mentioned earlier, things change, your perspective change. We notice more providence, more synchronicities, more going through life in a richer, deeper, I use the word mystical a lot because to me it really is a mystery and we're each a mystery unfolding and living this life, and we need to live it through our individuality, but really at a deeper level, we're infinite and we're one with everything. So that's a pointing at it a little bit, but it's kind of hard.


Michelle Henderson :

Absolutely love it.


Marcey Donnelly:

And really quickly, our subtitle has inspired living because we have this analogy in the book about the fact that we've all had these mountaintop experiences through meditation, through other work conferences, holding a baby for the first time. You feel connected and you feel that sense of spirit, but how do we bring that into our daily living? So living through spirit, in spirit, through your daily life is really what makes this different than other work that I've experienced in the past.


Michelle Henderson :

And I know that it's a lot of work on a spiritual journey, but it is very well worth it that way. We can find, like you said, our authentic selves and you see your higher self and it's like, it's almost like you come to peace with it. It's like, Ooh, this is really good feeling. So I absolutely love it. So I'm going to change the topic a little bit. If somebody needs some type of inspiration, generally, what inspiration statement do you usually tell people to help them get inspired about life?


Michael DiPietro :

Well, one of the things I think that's important in that is that it needs to be unique to who each person is. So listen to who you really are, do the work, but begin to follow what you're really passionate about, what really lights you up in life. And if we stop following social media, following what the world is saying and start really listening, each of us has a gift and something to share with the world just in truly being ourselves in an authentic way. So I'd say if you really want to be inspired, listen to who you are.


Michelle Henderson :

Love it,


Marcey Donnelly:

Life purpose. Yeah, what are the things that get you excited? What are your tools and natural gifts and talents? And then get creative, brainstorm. Stop limiting yourself. It doesn't have to be a whole career, it could just be a hobby or something else to check into, but just being inspired by, like Michael said, what your natural gifts and talents are. And that's why we're doing this work to build a community of people living an inspired life. And the power of us coming together with this love and peace is really what we believe the world needs right now.


Michelle Henderson :

Oh, absolutely. Love both of those statements. Alright guys, are you ready for the will?


Marcey Donnelly:

Yes.


Michelle Henderson :

The last question. Everybody goes, okay, let's do it. It's like, I wish I had a million dollars to give. I love this. Oh, I couldn't tell. Oh God. Okay. And I absolutely love this because your book explains that you are writing your own story, you've got your own canvas. So what is your favorite movie and why?


Michael DiPietro :

I always have issue with favorite anything, but I'll take a stab at it. One of the movies that always comes to mind for me, I just love it, is Shawshank Redemption. And the reason I love that movie so much is he's unjustly imprisoned and he makes the best of his situation and he really goes on his own journey and he uses where he is, which is a less than ideal environment for instead of collapsing in on a negative experience, he brings light to the experience and he changes, and eventually he frees himself from that. And it's that path to freedom I think that really inspires me about that movie.


Michelle Henderson :

I love it. Absolutely. I love it.


Marcey Donnelly:

Michelle. I'm not a movie buffer, a movie person, and this isn't probably the best answer, but one movie that just sits in my heart that if it's on, I'll watch it only because, not necessarily because of the movie, but Breakfast at Tiffany's I saw years and years and years ago, and it really, the beauty of Audrey Hepburn and just overwhelmed me and just her class and sophistication. And then I read about her personal story, and that's really what was so inspiring is she had a really difficult childhood and in Hollywood, and we've mentioned social media and just what we think beauty is, she basically put that all aside and lived a life of service. So if that was ever on, I love it because I love, I'm a Libra, as Michael likes to remind me. So I love beautiful things and luxury. So I love this story, that part of it, but I just am in awe of her and her life story. So it's not quite because of the movie, but that's the one that comes to mind.


Michelle Henderson :

Well, Michael and Marcene, thank you so much for sharing all of your wise knowledge and helping people through their spiritual journeys with your book. Where can they reach you? Where can they go? You know what? I don't need to talk to Michael and Marcy. Where do's your favorite? Like what we said, social media, where can they reach you?


Marcey Donnelly:

We are on Facebook and Instagram, but our website is really the best place. So www.love guides us. So love guides us. And Michelle, you're Inspiration Hour inspired us. So we set up a coupon code for, if you're your listeners, use the word inspired. They'll receive a 25% discount off our book. But we also have a once a quarter newsletter and workshops and free online events. So the website's really the place to enroll and get more information. And then if they're interested in the book to use that coupon code.


Michael DiPietro :

They can purchase the book right on the website and then just enter Inspire and they'll get the 25% off. We also next week, like Marcy said, we do a free virtual gathering every month. So our next week, next Thursday the 14th, we have an event coming up if people want to check in on that. And that's on the website as well.


Michelle Henderson :

Oh, awesome. Oh my goodness. Y'all just keep going. Lots of great energy, lots of great energy. Well, I'm going to end this episode with this wonderful quote. There's several in your book, but this one, I don't know, it resonated and I thought hopefully it resonates with others as well, but by Carl Young. And he stated, who looks outside dreams, who looks inside awakens. And I think that is really where your book really shines, is that people are able to go inside and find their authentic self, their true self, so that they can have a fabulous journey. Alright, everybody, I will see you next week. If you love this episode, please share it with others who want to hear this message or need to hear this message. So I appreciate you and we'll see you next week.


 

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