Michelle Pelizzon is the Founder/CEO and HWIC (Head Witch In Charge, duh) of Holisticism. At 17, she was diagnosed with epilepsy and told to take some prescription drugs that really messed her up for life. A few years later, she saw a holistic practitioner on a whim and hasn't had a seizure (or taken anti-seizure medication) since.
She uses her background in tech, personal health experiences, and mystical practices to democratize the wellness industry with Holisticism, a weekly digital magazine and online platform committed to make well-being less stigmatized, more normal, and more accessible.
Q+A with Michelle
Tell us how you're changing in the wellness industry?
I’m extremely interested in fing up the wellness industry as much as possible :) Unfortunately, wellness has become a luxury associated with wealth and power — it shouldn’t be. Well-being is an innate right. It’s turned into this sort of hyper-precious, ultra-curated lifestyle. I want the wellness industry to be hyper inclusive and ultra fun.
What's your ultimate goal for Holisticism?
My ultimate goal is to keep showing up, be prolific, be radical, and help make this industry as accessible as I can. There are a million ways to do that, so I’ll probably experiment with hundreds of different approaches by the time I hang up my hat at Holisticism.
What’s been your greatest learning experience in running your business?
The greatest lesson I’ve learned is that no matter how good you are, how kind you are, how radical you are, how creative you are, people will always have something to criticize. That sounds negative, but I promise it’s not! I wish I had known at the beginning of this journey that there were people who just weren’t going to like me and my work, no matter what I did. I know now that I can’t control how other people choose to perceive me, no matter how hard I try. So I just have to show up and do my thing.
Tell us about that one time you went zero waste and why?
Ah, that one time! I went zero waste for almost a year. I had been running marathons and ultramarathons for a while, getting into nature a lot, and talking to a lot of eco-fashion brands about production and waste. I totally got hit over the head with eco-anxiety. I felt like no one in my family or in my group of friends cared about the planet meaningfully, and no one was taking climate change seriously. That made me feel really helpless. I wanted an action I could do immediately that would make me feel better, and going zero waste was that. Then I got a dog and the whole zero waste thing became a lot harder!
What's your favorite place in nature?
I love Stormking Sculpture Park in upstate New York because it’s a nature/art combo. Limekiln Campground is one of my favorite local spots to reconnect to Earth. Es Vedra in Ibiza is one of my favorite, most breath-taking spots I’ve ever seen. But nothing beats a shady tree with a good patch of grass for reading a book.
What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability means longevity and regenerative practices. That’s how I want to live my life. I don’t want to burn out — I don’t want to expire. I want everything I do to contribute to my longevity and to be generative; to be life-giving.
How do you reconnect with your inner light when you feel off balance or like you want to give up?
Going into nature is a good place to remember who you are and why you’re here. I find the best in me is often reflected in the people I love the most. If I can see the good in them, I start to remember the good in myself.
What do you tell your inner child when you want to go to the next level in your business?
Ha! Depends. Usually when I’m coming from an unconscious place, I say, “If they can do it, I can do it.” But something I always have to consciously remind my inner child is that achieving and accomplishing doesn’t make you good and love-able — you’re already good and love-able. I often ask my inner child, “What would make this more fun?”
If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be?
Fall in love with the problem you’re trying to solve, not your solution to the problem.