Blog Talk

18 Cultural Differences between US and Italy

Posted by on Feb 7, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

With my upcoming Women’s Retreat to Umbria I have decided to start doing a weekly blog on “bel paese d’italia” (beautiful country of Italy)

This first blog will talk about the biggest cultural differences between the US and Italy.

1) the Food

The first thing that I have noticed in Italy have been hearing about the food, for them, it is a true obsession.

Once I have felt three old men in Florence speak of the recipes of their wife’s cake for over an hour, while in America we don’t care about the quality of the food, the important is that it is a lot!

2) the Feelings

The Americans repress all of their emotions up to when they don’t end up losing their head.

The United States is an angry and frustrated place, probably one of the only places in the world in which the people kill each other for driving too slow.

The Italian cannot maintain any of their emotions inside. If they feel something, after a while, in a way or another the whole neighborhood will know about it, through howls, cries, slaps and with dramatic hands.

It seems to be always in a theater, and personally, I adore this thing of them.

3) the Screaming

The majority of the Americans speaks quietly when in public. If you are in a restaurant in the United States it is unlikely that you will hear a voice out of the choir.

In Italy, No!!!

You can easily hear a conversation two restaurants down.

4) Quality of the food

The quality of the food (what you can buy in a normal shop) in the United States is so abysmal in comparison to Italy that I feel guilty to give something to my dog.

“Sorry Oliver, I beg you forgive me, here a radioactive carrot.”

The only positive side of an American supermarket is that there is not a whole pig’s head sitting on a counter in a casual way.

I could live without this in Italy.

5) Bluntly

The Americans love the euphemisms. “You have a cold wound on the lip?”.

In Italy there is not at all euphemism, rather they will bluntly tell you “Oh! You have herpes, how disgusting!!

6) the Thin and the Fat

The weight is a very delicate matter in the United States, in Italy, they speak about it at any damned moment.

“Do you have seen Francesca? So thin!”
“Francesca! Seems that you just run away from a concentration camp!” “Pietro is so fat! He needs a diet!”

It is madly common for the friends, the family to comment your weight.

Once, I was walking down the road and a woman stopped me to say: “you should eat more. You are too much thin”.

7) Speed

When I have moved to Italy, the first thing that I have noticed has been the speed.

The life in Italy is slow.

The Milanese think about themselves, “No! We northerners are fast!”

To be honest, they are faster in comparison to the rest of the country, but they are not yet comparable to an average new yorker.

The United States south is slower, but the Italian is so slow that is possible to spend the greatest part of the decade waiting to send a letter through the postal office.

In the United States, people are so worried about the efficiency and the rhythm that they practically die before they even realize to be alive.

I propose that both countries should meet half the road. Somewhere between the speed of the light and the slow zombies of Walking Dead.

9. Occupational safety

Nobody can be fired in Italy by the Trade Unions, therefore, it is almost sure that Nobody is interested in developing his own job.

At the postal office, I have asked more and more times to the employee: “Are you sending this to Iran, correct ?”.
And he answered me “I-R-A-N, I understand. I am not stupid!!!!!!”

Contrarily, in the United States, people can be fired for the wrong attire, therefore, we pass every second of every day terrorized by the fact that our boss hates our attire and is about to throw us in the street.

10) Children

I have read a study in which is said that the children of all the countries of the first world are becoming more and more spoiled and pampered.

Nevertheless, I have often seen in Italy five-year-old children in a stroller or with the pacifier in mouth.

I have never seen a five-year-old child in a stroller in the United States unless the legs didn’t work for some terrible motive and the pacifier, out of question.

11) Style

If you go to New York or in some of the more “fashion cities” you will find people dressed right, nevertheless, the great part of them seem satisfied without too much effort.

You can see the greatest difference in the USA’s small cities, where you will often see people making shopping with the pants of the overall.

In Italy, I have seen some horrible suits, but generally, there is a good quality also in the small villages.

12) Family

The cultural differences manifest themselves in family situations.

In the United States independence is one of our more precious qualities. A person that asks too much to a partner or to his family it is considered bad.

In the great part of the Italian families, independence is not quite encouraged.

In the United States, we have the tendency to put the career and the finances in front of our consort, children, brothers, , and parents, while for the Italian the family comes first, ever.

13) Age

Italy is similar to New York. People of all the ages go out, to drink and they remain in movement and in action.

Out of New York and of California is not so. People seem to be tied up to their age, surrendering to the boring expectations of what should or should not do.

14) Sex

The roles of the genders are very different between the United States and Italy in many, many ways.

The dynamics between men and women is such that seem that the women dominate the nest in the Italian houses, but truth is that the expectations of the two sexes are very different.

In the USA, the expectations are more or less the same in terms of career, children education, and family responsibility.

While in a lot of parts of Italy, they are still committed to the belief that the domestic matters are for the women, independently from the fact that the women have also a career, they usually make three times more of the men in the house.

Generally, they almost make all the cook, the cleaning and the care of their children while they are balancing a full-time job.

Women are not picked seriously up to intellectual level and the domestic violence is statistically tall in Italy (especially in the South).

Nevertheless, in a certain sense, women are also very respected. I know, it doesn’t seem quite this way, but in a certain sense, it is.

While sexes are becoming equal more and more in the United States, there is a strong hate and blind resentment towards the women in the American culture.

The violence towards the women is extremely tall in the United States that show the dark side of the confused mentality “equal but hated” of the American culture.

Both cultures have indeed a long road to cross in terms of treatment of the women.

15) Romanticism

The Italian culture smell of romanticism. The music, the movies, the attitude in the relationships are very romantic and noble.

The idea to woo a woman is still great in Italy and the boys are also sweet with the girls they liked.

The lunch, the adulation, are common in both the countries but the Americans tend to be more practical (you can also see it in the movies).

16) Space

The United States is enormous, therefore, it doesn’t surprise that the Americans have gotten used to the “space”.

Great cars, great houses, great yards and around two feet of space between you and the other people the whole time.

Italy is not gigantic and in the majority of them live crowded in small apartments.

They don’t need the same personal space.

One of the first things that I noticed that is that the strangers touched me the whole time and nobody will ever say “excuse” or “excuse me.”

In the beginning, I thought that it was because the whole country was full of stupid but then I understood that it is so because there is simply nothing to be sorry for.

Sometimes you’ll touch other people. And? And nothing.

17) Levels of neurosis

Italian culture is so calm in comparison to the American culture.

Sometimes it is annoying as the hell because nothing ever seems a big problem. The things that would send a typical American in cardiac arrest would not usually get more than a shrug from an Italian.

Restaurant service, for example, is slow. If an American have to wait more than ten minutes to order will burn the restaurant. In Italy? Psssh. Keep calm!

The same goes for the chaotic driving or a series of other things that seem the end of the world for the Americans.

Italy really owns the concept to take things with calm, this is probably the reason they live for a so damned long time.

18) Freedom

The United States always boasts that it is “free.” The brands have a lot of freedom but I feel very less “free” in the United States than in Italy.

They don’t feel themselves constantly observed and you know that if you make a small driving error they won’t claim your life.

 Credit to LovingItaly Travel blog!

Felicia Grant is a Certified Advanced Soul Coaching® practitioner,

Certified Spiritual Advisor ™Medium

USUI Holy Fire Reiki Master. 

Join me September 2019 in Umbria, Italy for Eat, Play, Love Women’s Retreat!

FOR MORE DETAILS ON THE UMBRIA ITALY WOMEN’S RETREAT

 

 

You’re not Responsible for other People’s Happiness.

Posted by on Nov 17, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

You can’t Fix Other People’s Problems!

I was inspirited by reading Gabby Bernstein’s new book Judgement Detox and the whole topic of trying to fix other people or taking away their pain and problems……As an empath I struggle with this exact thing myself for many many years. Working with clients that experience the same problems.

Do you often try to help your friends, family members, or even coworkers or acquaintances fix their problems?

This is something I see come up all the time with people who are on a path of spiritual and personal growth — I’ve done it too. When you’re experiencing beautiful shifts and miracles, you often want to help others.

But we have to be careful, because there’s a fine line between supporting others and trying to “fix” them.

If you ever try to fix other people’s problems or make yourself responsible for their happiness, I hope the tips I offer in this post will help you to release that need.

We Can’t Fix Other People’s Problems

A client was telling me about how she was visiting a very close friend of hers. This friend was going through a tough time, and when my friend left, she felt this heavy weight on her. She felt a responsibility to make sure her friend was okay. She also felt inadequate because she couldn’t solve her friend’s problems

I told her, “You can’t be responsible for another person’s happiness.”

This can be really hard at times, especially if you’re a nurturing person or just deeply love the person who’s struggling. You want to be the fixer. You want to help them find the solution, make smart choices and see the light.

It might even feel selfish NOT to intervene and take care of things. After all, aren’t friends and loved ones supposed to support each other?

Yes, of course.

But there’s a difference between loving and supporting someone and trying to fix their problems and make them happy. One you can do. The other you simply cannot. Everyone is responsible for their own happiness. And, in fact, trying to take on the responsibility of another person’s happiness can hurt them in the long run and deprive them of miracles.

3 Steps To Follow When You Want To Fix Other People’s Problems

When you feel the urge to be the fixer, follow the three steps I outline below. You’ll feel immediate relief. You can release the need to be responsible for another person’s happiness. The weight will be lifted and you’ll be able to show up for your loved one AND yourself.

Step 1: Remember that other people have their own guidance system

Just mind your own business and be the light. -Gabby Bernstein | Quote from Judgment DetoxEveryone has their own guidance system, whatever it is they believe in — whether that’s intuition, angels, spirit guides, the Universe or God. Even if they don’t believe, there is a guidance that we believe in that we have to trust is protecting them and guiding them. Have faith in other people’s guidance systems.

Step 2: Recognize you can’t deprive someone of hitting bottom

I learned this a long time ago. You don’t want to deprive somebody of their bottom. Every one of us has experienced turning points in our lives. These are opportunities to pivot, to hit our knees and fully surrender. When you try to fix someone else, you just get in the way of their potential to experience this miracle. I want to encourage you to really own that you are not here to deprive anyone of their bottom. Give them the chance to experience exactly what they need to experience, and don’t be afraid of it.

Step 3: Know that you can’t change anyone who doesn’t want to be changed

We have to be conscious of the fact that it’s not our responsibility to change, or heal, or help, or resurrect anyone from their own issues and feelings. We have to trust that no one will change until they want to be changed. When they’re ready for that change to come into their life, then you’ll be there. You’ll be able to show up for them when they’re ready to show up for themselves.

What you CAN do for others instead of trying to fix them or make them happy

In this process, while you’re allowing them to experience what they need to experience, and trusting that they’re being guided, just give yourself this opportunity to be in prayer for them.

You can pray for them to have it be gentle when they hit bottom, and for them to receive very clear direction when it happens. Send them a lot of love, set positive intentions for them and speak positively about them when you’re not with them. Trust in the power of your intentions and your prayer, and know that they are enough.

THE MOST LOVING THING WE CAN DO FOR SOMEONE IS TO ACCEPT THEM

The most loving thing we can do for someone is to accept them. -Gabby Bernstein | Judgment Detox quote The most loving thing we can do for someone is to accept them. The most unloving thing we can do is try to change them. When you try to change someone you’re effectively saying that you know what is best for them. Your unsolicited “help” is a way of controlling and judging them. People may not be show up the way you want them to, but when you accept them where they are you can let go, forgive and release.

If someone wants to change and asks for your help, you can show up and offer support. But it’s not helpful, kind or loving to try to impose change on anyone. When we invite spirit in through prayer we return to our right mind and find acceptance. A Course in Miracles teaches that spirit accepts and the ego analyzes. Spirit accepts what is true, which is that we are all love.

 

 

My favorite quote and I use it ALL the time …… “Be an Observer not an Absorber!”

Love and Blessings, Felicia

 

Felicia Grant is a Certified Advanced Soul Coaching® practitioner,

Certified Spiritual Advisor ™Medium

USUI Holy Fire Reiki Master. 

Join me September 2019 in Umbria, Italy for Eat, Play, Love Women’s Retreat!

FOR MORE DETAILS ON THE UMBRIA ITALY WOMEN’S RETREAT

Introducing Jill Watson – Yoga Instructor

Posted by on Nov 12, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

 

I am so excited to have Jill Watson joining us as our Yoga instructor for the Eat.Play.Love Umbria retreat in September 2019.  I first met Jill when she attended the Costa Rica DragonflyExperience retreat. Jill is an amazing yoga instructor and a such a positive beautiful soul…….I feel very fortunate to have her as part of our healing team in Italy.

 

Here is her bio:

Jill is a certified yoga teacher, who has been incredibly blessed to learn from many master teachers during her thirteen-year career.  Her love of skating from an early age drew her to yoga, as many of the poses are so similar to moves on the ice, along with the solitary focus and self-discipline that skating fosters.  Further study and powerful personal transformation compelled her to reach out and teach others.  She resides in the serenity of her family farm with her wonderful husband of twenty-seven years, where she teaches and shares the great benefits of yoga practice.  She is also mother to, and in awe of, her amazing twenty-five-year-old twin sons.

Jill is so looking forward to being a part of your personal journey in Italy.

 

Find your Center in Umbria!

 

FOR MORE DETAILS ON THE UMBRIA ITALY WOMEN’S RETREAT

 

Felicia Grant is a Certified Advanced Soul Coaching® practitioner,

Certified Spiritual Advisor ™Medium

USUI Holy Fire Reiki Master. 

 

The Art of Letting Go!

Posted by on Oct 19, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The Art of letting go…..

 

This most recent journey began for me in September 2018 when I had planned a retreat called the Art of Letting Go in Dahlonega Georgia. Little did I know this was going to be the catalyst for one of the biggest lessons in my life.

 

Here is a little background information leading up to this retreat. I have been facilitating and leading retreats at the Dahlonega Spa Resort for the past 8 years. About to turn 60 years old; a milestone birthday on September 6th and a large family celebration starting on September 10th.

 

This past April my father decided that he no longer wanted to have a relationship with me because it was causing him too much stress with his wife and daughter (my half-sister) so he decided to take the path of least resistance and once again push me under the carpet where I’ve been most of my life.

 

Each one of my women’s retreats has a different theme and creates an energy that is felt long long before the retreat ever happens. There is something magical that happens and attracts the women that need the energy of the retreat to heal……Imagine my surprise when I find out I am one of those women!  I guess the old saying “we teach what need to learn” is still ever present in my life.

 

Three weeks before my planned retreat I get an email that Dahlonega Spa Resort was sold to a local vineyard and was moving in a different direction; possibly away from retreats and more towards weddings. I realized that this would most likely be my final retreat at a place that l loved so dearly!  A year earlier when I set the intention for The Art of Letting Go did I realize how pregnant that intention was.  I felt a whole series of emotions leading up to the retreat and how much transformation for my participants and myself had taken place there over the past 8 years. But when one door closes another one opens.

 

My birthday celebration began with a Magical family Disney Cruise and ended with Hurricane Florence ripping thru my home Wilmington North Carolina and displacing my husband and I for over a week before we could get back home. My children and grandchild ending up in a Red Cross Shelter while trying to get home from Florida and a whole host of emotions of what was to come for the small Eastern North Carolina community. We arrived home in the midst of roads being closed and debris everywhere you would see for miles and miles…..By the grace of god we only had minor damage to our home but there was a lot of loss around me. It made me realize that what we have can be gone in the blink of an eye. How things can be alright and next minute the road in front of you is flooding and you end up being rescued by FEMA.  These series of events made me start to think about what was important in my life. My husband, my children and grandchildren and of course our chocolate Lab named Hope.

 

But, what about the rest of my family??  I grew up with the thought that your family was your family no matter what. You loved and respected your family even if you did not get that respect back in return.

As a small child I learned a behavior that I needed to please everyone in my life so that they would love me. Now at 60 I am trying to learn to LET GO of that behavior because it has not served me well and has caused to great pain in trying to understand why people do not think/behave the same way I do.

 

There are people (family members) in my life that I have shown unconditional love over the years even when it was not returned but yet I still tried and tried to get these people to love me in the way I wanted them to love me. I’ve spent countless hours trying to figure out why they don’t return the same love shown to them.

 

After some deep soul searching, it finally dawned on me recently that I was not taking the same advice I shared with clients over and over again about self-love. You know when you love yourself it doesn’t really matter that other people think or do. When you forgive all the wrong doing in your life and most importantly you forgive yourself things magically get better…Right?

I realized that my perception of life and love was different than my family members that have shunned me and turned away and that was alright. It was not up to me to make them see my point of view or see the world thru my eyes because they have their own lens, their own story, their own idea of how I fit into their life and it might not look anything like mine.

 

Turning 60 has given me a whole new way to look at life.  I am now willing to let go of these relationships and stop hanging on to what I want because otherwise it’s just too painful.

Letting people go with love and allow these deep wounds to heal and realize that this is the life I chose after all.  The life I ask for and the lessons I wanted to learn in this lifetime.

These are the people I chose to help me learn the lessons for this life’s journey. So, why would I hold it against them?

 

I’m going to do a better job of loving myself first and foremost and appreciate the people in my life that love and support me no matter what because these are my people these are my tribe!

 

Here’s to letting go of the pain from lost relationships and wasting useless time and energy trying to figure out why? We are only here on this planet for a blink of an eye and it’s time I stopped wasting time and get on with my life.

 

I love this quote from James Van Praagh “It’s none of my business what other people think of me.” If you have relationships that are only one-sided maybe it’s time you send those people off with love and light and join me in living the life you intended full of love, joy and peace.

Felicia Grant is a Certified Advanced Soul Coaching® practitioner,

Certified Spiritual Advisor ™Medium

USUI Holy Fire Reiki Master. 

 

Amazing Sound Healer Mark David joining us in Italy!

Posted by on Oct 3, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Meet Mark David

Mark is internationally known as a gifted Medium and Healer. Throughout his life he has always been a very sensitive soul & is gentle and compassionate toward all.

When Mark was 6 years old, he had a near death experience (NDE). However it was not till later in his life that he was able to put all the events of his life, including his NDE, into perspective and found his true calling, working as a Sound Therapist and Medium. Mark has been involved in numerous spiritual and healing trainings and is Certified as a Sound therapist and sound healer from the Globe Sound Healing Institute. Certified in a modality of the tuning fork therapy from Soma Energetics as well as voice training with Grammy Award Winner Winner Claude Stein.

Mark has recorded several Sound Healing CD’s. To hear Mark’s healing sounds click here!

 

I feel so fortunate to have Mark joining our healing team for the Italy retreat September 14-21, 2019 in Umbria, Italy. At the retreat Mark will be offering a Sound Healing Bath where he will use the crystal bowls in a group setting as a tool to  facilitate a shift in the participant’s consciousness and to allow your body, mind and spirt to relax and let go at profound levels. This allows your body to find its natural balance while creating space for insights. People often find resolution for emotional issues and a sense of coming home to themselves.  As well as working with us in group settings Mark will be available for private Sound Healing Sessions throughout the week.

 

The Sound Bath is a healing session you can experience while resting in a safe and secure place.

A Sound Bath is an experience which is particular to each person. Instruments are played such as the didgeridoo, harmonium, heartbeat drum and Tibetan singing bowls. The results are waves of peace, heightened awareness, and relaxation of the mind, body and spirit. Some people experience emotional healing. others great insights into their lives.

A Sound Bath can be an unforgettable sound experience for those who seek deep relaxation, rejuvenation and an acceleration of their inward journey. Time is suspended as you enter a world of vibration, sensation and experience. Physical injuries can be healed and old emotional traumas released. Great insights can be accessed. You feel truly, vibrantly alive. Once you’ve had your first Sound Bath you’ll want more.

 

I found my way to Sound Healing many years back when I bought my own set of Crystal Sound Healing Bowls in Venice Florida. I wanted more information on the “healing” aspects of the crystal bowsl and was introduced to Dr. Mitchell Gaynor Professor at Cornell Medical Collage. Dr. Gaynor discovered the profound healing aspects of using the bowls with cancer patients to help in the recovery and healing process. Because of Dr. Gaynor Tibetan and Crystal bowls are now found in and around oncology units and used as alternative therapies to assist cancer patients. Here is a YouTube featuring Dr. Gaynor.   

I now incorporate the healing aspects of the crystal bowls into every retreat I offer. The feedback I get from my participants is so positive that they want me to play the bowls everyday of the retreat….LOL!

Having Mark as a part of our healing support in Italy is the “Cherry on top!”

Mark David International Sound Healer

 

For more information on the Italy retreat…..

Felicia Grant is a Certified Advanced Soul Coaching® practitioner,

Certified Spiritual Advisor ™Medium

USUI Holy Fire Reiki Master.