Updated: Jun 4
This week’s episode of Lit AF features Michelle Pellizzon the founder of Holisticism. She is a badass boss bitch making wellness accessible to everyone. Holisticism is an amazing resource library for spiritual and wellness practices as well as software for holistic practitioners. She blends the two worlds of business and holistic practices into one and provides guidance on how to do this effectively.
Michelle came to the wellness space through a miraculous event. At the age of seventeen, Michelle was suffering from seizures. Western medicine did not offer a cure, just a bunch of medicine and a pat on the shoulder. She finally turned to a holistic practitioner and after just one session she has never experienced another seizure again. Michelle went on to become a nutritionist and then an early employee at a tech startup. Using experience from both of these worlds she created Holisticism.
We discuss the reality of bringing spiritual practices into business. How to honor your intuition and ignore dogma or structures that don’t work for you. And she gives us her best tips on how to make diversity inclusion a radical everyday practice.
I had a blast talking with her. Michelle has a business brain, so much spiritual/wellness knowledge to share, and a wonderful sense of humor. She is delightfully outspoken and I am so grateful to have her shaking up the wellness industry.
Book - Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Podcast - How I Built This with Guy Raz
Book - Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Chögyam Trungpa
Workbook about white supremacy in the workplace by Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun
Quotes from Michelle Pellizzon:
“What we do at Holisticism is we make wellness as inclusive and as accessible as possible because wellness as a word and as an industry has really been conflated with elitist thin white women.”
“I went to their Brooklyn walk up and did a past life regression and energetic healing and some other crazy stuff. I walked out of that session and I never had another seizure again.”
“I went back to school and became a nutritionist and was sort of a celebrity trainer nutritionist person. And then woke up one morning and realized that I really didn't want to help rich white people get skinny anymore.”
“Fall in love with the problem, not your solution to the problem. When I stay in love with the problem, that means that I keep listening or I try to keep listening as much as I can.”
“The point I think for me, of everything that we do, is getting back to our intuition because when we are in touch with ourselves and our intuition and we know ourselves. It's impossible to make a wrong move or wrong choice for us when we have personal sovereignty and wellbeing. Wellness is such an integral part of knowing your intuition.”
“I feel like every time I set a goal in my life, I’m like hamstrung, [it has] kept me small... my brain can't even understand what I'm capable of or what the future could hold for me. So why would I be as small as what I only know right now?”
“I know so many people who've raised money, venture capital and it is so different than what it looks like on Instagram or how it looks in Forbes.”
“Instagram is its own weird world. All I call it the hologram, because it's not my real life, but it's like parts of my life, but it's not my real life.”
“I have this awesome community of people and I feel like people ask me all the time about imposter syndrome as if I don't have it, everyone has imposter syndrome.”
“I always want to ratchet it up and make it better and harder and more magnificent. I think that might come from a lot of female-identifying people, who've been told that they can't do something. It's as if we like to recreate structures of impossibility where we can continue to prove them wrong, but we don't need to do that.”
“I wished that I'd listened a little bit more to myself in the beginning, rather then looking outside. I was looking to so many mentors and guides. I got really lucky and I got to be a part of some accelerator programs, some tech accelerators. And I felt like no one was speaking my language and no one was listening to me and no one really understood where I was coming from.”
“Get an accountant before you think you need one before you're making lots of money because they'll help you set up foundations and practical, reasonable goals and expectations and all that good stuff.“
“Intuitive business at the root is listening to your intuition when you're in business.”
“We are attracted to this space because we were recovering from burnout from our perfectionist tendencies and ways.”
“And at the end of the day, it's all about personal sovereignty and empowering you to make the best choices for yourself.”
“I think that building a business is like the best personal development work you can do. Because all your shit that you avoid and relationships that you avoid with your parents, it comes up in your business and you either get to address it or your business fails.”
“I really do think that your work is you channeling something beyond you, that's when the best work happens.”
“That's the cool thing about being clear on your purpose because there's a million ways to live your purpose, right? There are a million solutions. You can build software, you can make capes, you can have a podcast. Like it doesn't matter just as long as you have that sort of North star.”
“We live in an oppressive capitalist, patriarchal system and structure and white supremacists demand structure. All of our systems are set up to keep things that way. And so that's what we've been inculcated in and that's how we talk and that's how we interact and that's our norm. It takes a lot of energy to take ourselves out of the norm.”
“It's actually really dangerous to bring people into a white supremacist organization just for the sake of diversifying.”
“Anyone who's listening who's in the wellness or wellbeing space or who is a wellness enthusiast, I would say, go question everything and be a badass and trust yourself. Don't be afraid to be radical in what you do and make your wellness political.”