Episode # 318 Micaela Passeri
Natalie: Hi, I’m Natalie Ledwell and this is the Inspiration Show. And today my special guest is Micaela Passeri. How are you Micaela?
Micaela: I’m well. How are you?
N: I’m absolutely fantastic, thank you. Now, I have you here today because you have a very inspiring story to share and you’re working on a really amazing project that I wanted to share with all of our community. So why don’t we start first of all with your story and your background on how you got into what it is that you do?
M: Yes. So, I’m an inspirational fashion designer and what that means is I actually put inspirational messages and mainly love messages on clothes. And I’ve been a designer for over 20 years. I started out, I was born and raised in Florence, Italy, and I started out manufacturing leather handbags in Florence and them to America. But at about the age of 32, I had wonderful, beautiful baby girl and that’s when kind of my world shifted, right, in many, many ways. One of it is in my work and specifically that’s when I shifted from just creating a product, which is a handbag, to something that could actually contribute to the world that my daughter is going to growing up in. That was really my first motivation was to really do something so that my daughter will grow up in a world that I would want to grow up in and would support her and her development. And so what happened is, when she was about 4 years old, we were walking, I live in Los Angeles now and we were down the 3rd street promenade in sta. monica, I saw this beautiful, beautiful blonde girl and she was sporting this t-shirt that had a really empowering message and as a woman specifically a new mother, I just thought to myself, wow, you know, why would somebody do that and the message went something like, I’m cuter than you and I’m going to steal your boyfriend, something to that effect, and I just thought you know, she’s so beautiful why does she need to do that? And my first thought was somebody needs to put some inspiring and positive messages on these clothes not these kind of disempowering ones. And that’s when the light bulb kind of went on for me, because wait a minute you know how to put on a design, you know how to manufacture, you can produce the product and that’s kind of how the journey started for me and it’s taken a really different aspect since then. And so instead of just the product, the shirts that I design are really tools, tools for personal transformation and inspiration and empowerment. And that kinds of leads us to the project that’s going on right now.
N: Right. So share with us some of the, because I agree with you, I see young girls walk around with and they think it’s kind of funny and cool or whatever but it’s really not, you know. It’s like having a role model like Paris Hilton or buddy Kardashians, don’t even get me started. So what are some of the messages that you put on your clothes that you find them more empowering?
M: Well, actually the first message that I designed and that is still going on strong right now and is leading my campaign at the moment is I love who I am. And that is actually really kind of the intrinsic message to my clothing line because it’s all about loving and accepting who it is that you are from the inside out. And that actually ended up being my journey. So when I first got the idea of creating this line, it was really from a place of own self-discovery and my own coming into my understanding and valuing my worth. And loving and accepting all parts of me. The reason is I see so many of us women, we kind of fit in to a lot of societal stuff that we’re fed, whether you know, seeing it in the media, you know, you have to be this tall, this skinny, this color, you know, this successful, you know, the society feeds us with a lot of things that we think we need to be and do and follow but in reality it takes us away from really our core which we truly are. So obviously I was a victim of that as well, I grew up in a culture that was very male-oriented, women were kind of oppressed and suppressed and I experienced a lot of that, and so my self-esteem and my self-worth was pretty much non-existent. And I didn’t realize it at that time but when I designed the I love who I am t-shirt it was really my own cathartic process, the journey to self-worth and self-love and self-acceptance and building my own confidence was really what kind of instilled it and then I’ve noticed that a lot of the women that I was interacting with was kind of experiencing the same thing. So it’s really just about taking that message whether it’s I love who I am or another t-shirt is love has no boundaries, got loved, just simple little messages that make you think a little bit.
N: Yeah. Even the I love who I am, like I know they are words and I know that we’re talking about t-shirts here, it actually empowers yourself to wear that out in public and really stand for that and really step into the I really do love who I am, I mean all of us, every woman in the planet, myself included, we have moments where we’re just like we look at ourselves and we pick out all the things, all the flaws, all of the things that we don’t like about ourselves and not just physically but mentally, I mean, sometimes we talk to ourselves in our heads worse than we ever talk to another human being on the planet.
M: We are our own worse critics, really. I know I am (laughs).
N: Absolutely. I am my own worst critic as well.
M: I think that’s part of our humanity but I think that that’s what also comes, in accepting who we are, we can also bring self-forgiveness, self-compassion. I can speak for my own journey, when I moved to this country I was 20 years old and a year into living here my father died in a horrible car accident in Bulgaria and my world was shattered. That’s when really to create a sense of protection for myself and to numb the pain, I created the bitch, can I say that? The bitch. She was born in 1992 when my father died. And obviously in that moment and the years following, I didn’t know that was what happened, right but I was living that part of myself and after a few years I realized, wait a minute, who is this person? Who am I? This isn’t who I am. And so as I started to do my own self-discovery period and personal work, I realized, wait a minute, she’s part of me. You know I went from oh I don’t like it that’s, I hate myself when I’m that way, to wait a minute, she actually was there to protect me. So bringing compassion to that side of myself, instead of bringing hatred, ooh, I don’t want that, I don’t like that and having all the negative thoughts around that side of yourself, I finally, years later, wait a minute, I love her. I love that part of myself because she came out to protect me and it protected me from pain and to really help me survive that really terrifying and sad and hurtful period of my life. So when I was able to bring that compassion, then things started loosening up, things started shifting, she doesn’t have to come out as often anymore. Things like that, looking at those parts of ourselves, not only physically but also internally and bringing compassion and love and forgiveness and that’s all part of loving who we are and accepting ourselves in that manner, you know.
N: Absolutely, absolutely. I think all of us has a certain program or a certain behavior that we step into when we, to protect us from hurt. May be there’s a certain you know coping mechanism we pick up as a child and we don’t realize until we come into that situation as an adult, whether it be a breakdown of a marriage or whether it be the death of a parent or whatever that is, we kind of step into that not realizing that that’s what we’re doing but what it’s doing is to protect us and I think when we become aware of it, we can choose whether we step into that or not because you know, it’s like what you said, we need to love the bitch, we need to love the person that persona that helps to get through that and then we get to choose when that persona comes out. Let’s start talking about the project as well. What are you working on now?
M: So, what I’m working on right now is a campaign around the I love who I am tshirts and it’s 1 million I love who I am t-shirts for 1 million women. So the goal is really to empower women. To stand into confidence, empower women to accept who they are as they are, flaws and imperfections and all through a simple tool that we can wear on a regular basis. I mean, we’re going to wear something, we might as well wear something that makes us feel good and inspires us and empowers us. And so it’s basically they’re tool support, every woman in their journey wherever they’re at, wherever they are, it’s perfect because the universe has always an imperfect door, but the tool kind of meets you there. So wherever you are you can use that to remind yourself on a daily, daily basis, anchor yourself bring yourself kind of back to that, oh wait a minute let me be compassionate with myself today, you know. When you notice those negative thoughts like we said, the critic, it’s like, oh, wait a minute, you know, bringing yourself back to the awareness you know, hey you are doing the best that you can with what you know, you got your humanity and you can love and accept who you are and no matter what. And yes, it’s really exciting. We’ve had several women who already joined the campaign and it’s spreading, we actually had our first international order to Switzerland two days ago, so it’s really exciting.
N: Cool. So how can women get involve with this? What is the project about? Is it about buying a t-shirt? Are we joining a group? Is there a website that we can go to?
M: Yeah, absolutely. It is basically about purchasing a t-shirt so you would go to a website, you can go to ilovewhoiamtshirt.com and purchase a t-shirt there and we ask women to share their pictures with us on the social media and our Facebook page which is I love who I am Tee on Facebook and share their stories, their aha moments, their may be reservations, I mean, we’ve had a lot of women that would feel connected to the t-shirt and the message but then I get messages, oh I bought your t-shirt two or three weeks ago but I can’t wear it. I’m scared to wear it because I’ve realized that I don’t love myself. So I feel like a fraud or women that will wear the shirt and say, I had this on and I realized that when I do this, this is when I sabotage myself. Or it’s really just about having the t-shirt as a tool and it’s going to work itself differently for each woman in their journey.
M: So, again the website is ilovewhoiamtshirt.com.
N: I know my t-shirt is coming soon.
M: Yes, it is actually. We have to schedule your photo shoot, next week because they’re in.
N: People that are part of the mind movies community and part of the Inspiration Show community, I really encourage you to explore this. To jump online and grab a t-shirt, even if you’re wearing it underneath another shirt or something to begin with but if you really step into that, because this is really a conversation I seem to be having more and more often at the moment, about really stepping into this awareness of who we really are. Getting back to you know, like everything that we need is really inside of us and loving that part, and loving the vehicle that which carries that is really such an important journey, because really it is the basis and the foundation of everything. When we can love ourselves and operate from that paradigm of love or that program of love, then it permeates everything that we do in our life. So, tell me some of the awesome feedback in women that you’ve met through the project so far?
M: Oh wow, let’s see, I’ll start with actually one that I just had a conversation with yesterday, which is this lady in Switzerland, who, she is really having a tough time just stepping into her power and she felt connected to the message because she’s been wanting to find that voice within herself. And so, it’s anywhere from a woman like that to may be even children and teenagers, I’ve had quite a few teenagers that have come on board and just, for them, it’s more about standing for the love as they grow up, not only but also standing, there’s a lot of bullying and a lot of things that are going on in school, it’s, I have on little girl, she’s 12, and she’s like, this is going to help me find that courage when I’m confronted at school. It’s really from all kinds of ages, from 8 to 58, you know, I mean and beyond and all walks of life, from professional women to teachers to stay at home moms, so it’s kind of the gamut.
N: Yeah, cool. It’s so awesome Micaela. I’m so glad that you joined me today and was able to share this message and like I said, as soon as I get my tshirt, I will be posting my photo online as well. And like what I said, I’m truly behind this work and the love that you’re spreading throughout the world because I think it’s a message that’s really, the time has come.
M: It (overlaps with Natalie).
N: (Overlaps with Micaela) it is. So thanks again for joining me Micaela
M: Thank you, thank you for joining us as well, the campaign. So, thank you very much and we’ll try to fly in for our date next week.
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