Episode 156 Meet My Friend Arielle Nobile

December 29, 2023

Constance: Good morning from Milano. It is Friday, December 29th, the last episode of the year for Dear Constance, episode 156. I’m so glad you’re here, and I’m delighted to share this conversation with my friend Arielle Nobile. I really enjoyed, my conversation with Eric Egan, and thank you to those of you who wrote to me. I got so many messages. People really enjoyed the conversation with Eric and if you missed that, it’s episode 151 from December 18th.

I had this strange thing happen. When I was in Buenos Aires, I found myself hosting an old pal, Arielle, who actually lives in Argentina. I thought, wow, this is a great opportunity to have another conversation. Actually, when I set out on my five-month experiment, or adventure, however we want to call that, I was thinking that I’d be doing a lot more of these conversations. Then when that didn’t happen, I thought oh well, I guess that’s not what I’m meant to do. So,  I love that these have come up so organically.

I want to invite you to get to know Arielle without spewing at you all of her professional accolades, of which she has many, because that’s not how I relate to her. She is a woman I met at a conference, and it didn’t matter that we hadn’t seen each other for many years. Without hesitation, I invited her to spend the night. My conversations with her have always been extremely energizing and interesting to me because they are raw and real. So I hope you enjoy it.

I will add a few comments at the end and I want to apologize in advance for the poor sound quality. You may have to turn your volume up. With no further ado, my conversation with my dear buddy, Arielle Nobile.

Good morning, Arielle. One thing I wanted to start with is – it’s funny because when I opened the door downstairs, I thought to myself wait, I don’t even really remember how we met. And this morning when I thought oh, I’m going to have a conversation with Arielle, let me look up a little bit about her background because I literally don’t relate to you as anything of your professional hats. In fact, yesterday when we were talking, you have a lot of different professional hats what I call iterations and I didn’t know about it. so this morning I went on LinkedIn and I thought, let me just take a quick look here. And the second I started looking, I stopped. Because that’s not what’s important to me. So before we get started, can you give some context without reading your resume? Like who are you? And you can say whatever you want, like maybe what are your most recent iterations?

Arielle: I was raised to be an artist, so I’m creative.  I’m a creator of different mediums and things. I’ve always been playing with creativity. I started doing theater when I was nine, but not like normal theater, like experimental ish, like improv things. And I’m from Chicago, big on improv, big on playing with energy. So, I feel like really I’m an energy worker. I would say, if I had to like sum it all up of all the connections and everything, I do think that all of the work I do involves healing of some kind myself and other people, healing through creativity and through telling our stories and through, telling each other’s stories and being witness of each other’s stories and seeing and Acknowledging and, holding each other in that way. I think that’s what we’re here to do. So I try to do it in all different ways. And I’ve, I make documentaries, I make music, I read tarot cards. I do all kinds of things that help people and myself to just evolve hopefully and grow more aware and conscious.

Constance: Okay. So wait, wait, wait, from a creative. Let’s just say a creative magician, if you will, let’s say you have practiced in different mediums, and you’ve dabbled.

Arielle: I was an actor too, I mean, yeah,

Constance: Can you give us a little glimpse into your film maker hat?

Arielle: Oh, okay. So, I’ve been making films and private documentaries. I’ve made probably over 150 documentaries at this point, but they’re all private.

Constance: You’re kidding me.

Arielle: No. So private families for the last 20 years have hired me to come into their family system, basically, and listen to their stories and then mirror them back to them. Professionally, through HBO-worthy documentaries. It was an idea that came through a Jungian therapist I had in my 20s.  It was a great way to squelch the ego a lot, right? Like what filmmaker wants to make films with nobody that not massive people are going to see? Well, I became that filmmaker.

And then I saw how powerful just the storytelling aspect of it is and the craft of it is in what it can do to be witnessed in that way. So it’s like, there’s multiple layers of it. There’s the layer of just giving people a chance to really, I mean, I sit with people for like the main storytellers about 16 hours total. And each session is like four hours, so you can imagine how deep the connection gets. And when do we ever get to tell our story like that? Basically, never. so there’s that layer of just the process of getting the stories out there, we’re working on some amazing stories right now that are really connected to my ancestry, actually, synchronistically, and I’m learning so much. People who are from a part of the world where there seems to be a lot of war forever and the damaging, generationally-traumatic, damaging way that that cycles. I’m really interested in generational trauma, but also in healing. And I love, I don’t know who coined this, but post traumatic wisdom. I last heard it in a book. Post traumatic wisdom.

Constance Wow. That’s a great word.

Arielle That’s Oprah and the psychiatrist just wrote a book called ‘What Happened To You.’

Constance: So can you briefly tell me about how the filmmaking and the storytelling works? Like, why would someone contact you?

Arielle: It’s a niche at this point. Okay. I started out being very general of like, okay, anyone wants to tell me their story?  Throwing spaghetti at the walls. Now it’s become, mostly extremely ultra-high net worth families that They are probably looking at passing down a ton of money and they’re really nervous that their families doesn’t understand what it’s for, what the history of it is, and there’s just a lot of lost connections.

So it’s beyond the wealth, right? It’s like, what is this legacy really about? The word legacy has like a tombstone effect sometimes and it is related to financial matters in a lot of ways in the U. S. at least. But there’s so much more beyond that. And so I really help people focus on their history and what we can learn from it. Their present and then their vision for the future. At this point, we only work with families that will let us talk to three generations at least because it has to have all those voices. I learned that that’s where the healing comes in. Because if you just have the elder generation sort of barking what their story is at you, most people don’t want to hear it. And vice versa. If it’s just the sort of Oh, my mom’s so great – like the BS of people blowing smoke up someone’s ass because they’re maybe going to inherit something That’s also not going to work.

I’m like looking for the clues of where are the missing connections? What are those connections that need to be fostered? Where is the healing potential? Now some people don’t want anything to do with the word healing or anything like that And I don’t bring it up unless I can feel I’m very intuitive. I can feel like that’s a place There’s usually one person in the family who’s very open and wants that, but also I imagine that it could be someone in a hundred years that watches these films and says, Oh gosh, now I understand everything about what went down. And there’s like this adage in the wealth industry of especially the high net worth and ultra-high net worth space. Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations, which means most wealth is gained and lost within three generations. So it’s kind of like a cautionary tale and people are all freaked out about it. I’m not a wealth advisor. It’s just, those are people who can afford to hire me, but it’s possible that the next three generations will have nothing, and they’ll have this story to look back on.

What to me is more interesting and more important is the way that we rise and we fall and we survive it all, and we do it through how we frame our stories. Because you can have a very like disempowering frame that stops you completely and makes you weak in a way, and energetically unstable and sick really, or you can be empowered by your story and no matter what has happened to you, you look at siblings and a family There’s such a gamut of experience and they have the same “upbringing”. But what I do always look for are the common threads and it’s not a pollyanna story, but it’s also not an expose. I’m trying to bring out the soul of the family, the soul of the individual because the information is actually secondary.

Constance: Have you had experiences where the films you’re making about these families. serve as a catalyst for reframing?

Arielle: I think yes. And again, I think it ends up somewhat more being about the – I think everyone has their own experience. You know, families as a unit are complex animals. I know that individuals within the families have had major shifts.

I have this amazing dear friend, someone who’s become a dear friend. She was my client. She’s in her eighties. And, her Mother was still alive. She was in her seventies. Her mother was like 90 something. She wasn’t even going to have me interview her. It was about her husband’s family cause they had the money. And I was like, well, I think you have daughters. All daughters. And you have granddaughters. I think the women’s story should be told too. So, I got to interview her mother. And she said the first time she watched it, she just cried the whole way through. Just sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. It was super healing. She had an intense relationship and her mother’s since passed away and I think for her mother to tell me her stories was also like really it was so taboo She’d had a mother who was extremely -really, really – alcoholic. Like, you know, blacking out. And her great grandmother had been. And I knew about this from my clients, and her brother, but the Mother when I asked about it made me pause and said Am I supposed to talk about this?

And so part of the power of this all being private is that you can talk about anything. And I always say, if you say something to me, and you wish you hadn’t said it, no one will ever hear it. I’m not trying to get you. Yes. And that’s where trust is built.

Constance: Would it be fair to say that you became a power listener by default?

Arielle: That’s a good question. I’ve never thought of that term. Hhm what does that mean?

Constance: I don’t know. I think there’s a lot of power in listening and it’s a skill, and I can’t imagine that you haven’t honed your listening skills and your connection between listening and intuition.

Arielle: That’s where I feel like the acting piece, the theater piece really comes in, because really good actors – which I was a good actor, I just didn’t want to pursue the whole career –  are the best listeners. It’s not about speaking. It’s about being present with the other person in the scene or with the story. So I learned how to do that from a really young age and not even just listening to each other. Listening to the space. Listening to the energy of what wants to emerge. I don’t like the words active listening. I call it revolutionary listening. I did a TEDx talk about that.

Constance: Oh, I love that term revolutionary listening. That was the name of your Ted talk. Say more. Tell us more about that.

Arielle:  I’ve come to see that listening can transform both the person being listened to and the person doing the listening. I have never not been transformed by listening to someone deeply

Constance: That’s interesting cause before you said that, I was going to ask you how has all of your really countless hours of listening informed your own life

Arielle: in every way. I mean, I know without a doubt that you have to be as present as you can in each moment and really as alive as you can in each moment. I’m not saying I live a perfect life, but my life is pretty great. And I think it’s mostly because of that listening because I’ve also listened to what people didn’t do and the regrets people have. It’s not even the regrets of like, Oh, I wish I had moved to this house or done this thing. It’s more of the deeper layer of being regrets.

And I think it’s also in the questions we ask when we’re listening. And the questions we ask ourselves. And honestly, having to hold myself back from – I’m listening to somebody and oh my gosh, there’s so many juicy connections I have that I want to make and tell them, and sometimes I do share because that helps bring people out – but a lot of times just having to sit on my own impulse to interact in an interview is so powerful.

It’s helped me be so much more patient, present, and also seeing myself as a vessel instead of a role, I guess. And again, that ego piece. We’re never going to kill our ego. I don’t want to. It keeps me safe. But also being open. I’ve always been extremely open to energy, to people, to experiences. But I think the listening in this way, for many hours, I mean it’s my favorite thing to do.

And it’s kind of what’s coming through with music now. I feel like when I’m writing songs, I’m listening. I’m playing a note and I’m listening for what’s going to come. What are the words that are coming? I’m not inventing them. I’m not being clever. I’m not thinking it. I think it’s that dropping into your energy body, your heart, your spirit, and letting go of the mind. My mind is – it’s very active. It’s very fast. And I have also really learned through many things, but through the listening to not believe my thoughts, and actively not believe them. Because I hear how many people live their lives through the mode of their mind and how that went.

And then there’s so many people I’ve worked with and these are highly successful people, whatever quote unquote, you know, modern day success. Yeah. So much of it was led through intuition or instinct or just, you know, I had a feeling I just have learned so much from these amazing people I’ve gotten to sit with. So I feel very privileged and fortunate just to have been in these rooms with people. And also, one of the things I had to do, especially because I was so young when I started my business, I was 25. And I was interviewing, CEOs of billion dollar companies, and I was then sort of the granddaughter character, right, coming to them. But I just was like, from the beginning, first name, first name. There’s no hierarchy here. We’re two humans having a conversation. , I had to do that to psych myself into doing it and not be, you know, nervous. But it really served well because status, I mean, status is another big thing I learned from theater. I taught at Second City in Chicago, and we taught ..status is how you, as a character, as an actor, you walk into the space, your body language, your energy, denotes the status and there’s so much power play there where you talk about power listening. So maybe, yes, maybe I have been, been using power listening without calling it that, but I, I mean, do you know how many, and this is something Oprah talked about in this book that I, I loved it, how many people who seem really, you know, tough and strong and they’ve got it together, there’s one man who is such a character. Owned some big sports teams and, you know, high powered attorney. And he asked me at the end of the interviews, like, was that good? Was it, was it good?

Constance: Oh my gosh, I love that. And that’s, that was one of the things that Oprah said of all of her work. At the end of the day, everybody wants

Arielle: to be validated and seen. Everybody wants to be seen and heard. I think that is the universal human condition. We want to be seen and heard. We mostly don’t feel it. We get interrupted. I mean, I come from a family of interrupters. That was how I started it.  I have that tendency too. My daughter’s, since she heard me doing that talk, she’s constantly, mom, you’re interrupted me. And I’m like, I’m sorry it’s not like I was born a perfect listener. I don’t think I felt listened to. I don’t have a big family, but when we’re together, there’s just bit, bit, bit. Everyone’s talking. It’s excitement, but I’m a really sensitive soul. So it made me shut down a bit because I was like, well, fine, you don’t want to hear me. I’m not going to talk.

Constance: Gosh, thank you for sharing. I thought it would be fun to do a rapid-fire session. Tell me a little bit about what comes up for you when I say certain words. Slowing down.

Arielle: Oh my god, it’s the best. Say more. I have just changed my entire life and moved to a small city in northern Argentina where there’s A siesta every day. The whole city shuts down. I mean, you really can’t hear anything. From 1pm to 4. 30pm, it is a ghost town and I love it.

I love how slow everything is. Drove me crazy at first. I’ve been on a fast track for a long time. Um, you know, that was something I really learned in the pandemic that I loved the, this time is our most valuable resource. We do not get it back. We do not have extra time. And there’s so many expressions and idioms about time, kill time, spend time. I’m like, I just want to slow time down. I think it comes with parenthood too. Like my daughter is growing up so fast and I just love being a mom and I want. To just savor it, even though she’s a teenager now, and sometimes I want to pause. Slowing down has allowed me to, I mean, it can be so painful, too, because your feelings, there’s a lot more feelings when you slow down, you can’t speed through things. But it’s just, there’s a luxury in slowing down.

Constance: What about stepping away from, I mean, before coming to the decision to change your life and move to a small town out two and a half hours outside of Buenos Aires, did you have fear of losing connection to the real world, as we say?

Arielle: I would call it, my dad always called it the rat race. And I think I had heard that a lot as a kid, just him wanting to sort of escape from it. I feel very connected. I feel like I can be just as connected as I was before. but as I get to. I have like a dial with the energy. You know, most of my interactions in the week are through zoom with people in the States and I love that. I love the technology lets me be here. The time difference works really well because it’s, I’m not liking to talk in the morning. So, my work day can start at noon and that’s 9 a. m. in Chicago.

Constance: Okay. The next one is friendship. And I bring this up because I talk a lot about making the effort to connect to people and to show up And I think that you and I are actually quite a good example of that. I’m relating to you out of curiosity, out of a sense of adventure, and I think it’s a beautiful thing. So, say something to me about friendship or take that wherever you want.

Arielle: Hmm. I mean friendships have been some of the most transformational connections of my life. I have some friends I’ve had since I was five, and I have friends I made last week. I love humans. and I think we’re all, I know we’re all connected, there’s a tarot card that I love which is called relating. It’s about creating a way of relating to someone versus creating a relationship. my intuitive teacher is Sonia Choquette. I’ve studied a lot with her and she calls it, connecting soul to soul versus role to role. Oh, I love that. What’s Sonia’s last name? Can you spell that? Sonia Choquette. C H O Q U E T T E. She’s amazing. Sonia Choquette dot net, I think. But she has taught me a lot about that. And if you, because we are all spirit in human form. And so I can connect to you as this person, this New Yorker, this powerhouse. Where I can like see beyond all that and just see your beautiful smile and your glow and your sparkle I mean, when we first met, I feel like I remember just looking at your eyes. I’m like, Oh, here’s this beautiful spirit. I want to know more. So how did we meet? I actually don’t remember. We met at a women’s conference I think, in Colorado.

Constance: What conference was that?

Arielle: Emerging Women. And we sat next to each other in one of the main stage things.  I just sat next to you, and I think it came out that. I had gone to NYU and you lived in New York and that was sort of the beginning. That was a long time ago. It was either 2015 or 16, I don’t remember.

Constance: And we’ve only seen each other twice or something since then. And here we are spending, we’re having a sleepover, so here we are spending the night having a sleepover and having the time of our life connecting. Yes. What was it you said before?

Arielle: Connecting Soul to soul.

Constance: Yeah. Connecting soul to soul. I literally had to look up your role this morning before you woke up.  All right, let’s move on. Synchronicity. I’ve noticed that you’ve been using that word a lot. Say more

Arielle: It’s the magic that weaves my day together, and I’m always paying attention to it. I don’t believe that things are random or just haphazard or coincidence. I believe that, literally one of my morning prayers is, I pray for beautiful surprises and miracles. And I’m constantly fascinated. At the end of the day, I then write a list of what they were. And so I’m paying attention to the magic

That was something I had a coach years ago who really helped me. So I had this coach who had me create this structure in my day where I started the day attuning to miracles. It was a miracle game she had me play, and that was anything that I had a desire for but didn’t express but happened anyway. And so at the end of the day, I would write a list of three miracles that had happened

Constance: So tell us how it works. tell us the little formula. How does it work?

Arielle: It’s a game. It’s a game. I play. Oh, I love it. It’s a game I play. A life game. It could be, oh, I really want so and so to call me, or I really want to talk to this person, right? You just, they cross your mind. Then they call you, or they reach out. I mean, I am not kidding, with you, this week, I was thinking about you. I was like, I wonder if she came to South America after all. And I checked my other phone, which I don’t check every day, and there you were that same day, writing to me. And it’s so powerful because we are synced up. That’s what synchronicity is. It’s like the way that we’re all connected and synchronized and, it helps me to sync up with my own ability to create the life I want to live.


Constance: for me, there are two things that are important about that. One is I always talk about my awareness practice It doesn’t matter what your awareness practice is. Capturing synchronicities is a sort of an awareness practice and what it does is it makes you more present to your life, of course. But in my mind, it creates a sense of positive expectation because what you focus on is what you see more of So you actually can frame that for yourself or carve out the way you see things Through simple life hacks like what’s it called? It’s a miracle game. I love that. I’m going to play the miracle game.

Okay, let’s end with this.  We had a really intense moment yesterday  talking about this one word and I want you to talk to me – it’s going to make me cry. I want you to, you know, I ….

Arielle: can I say something about your tears? So I am someone who I don’t cry that easily, but I don’t like to cry. That was told not to cry as a kid a lot. And Sonia, I did a small salon in her apartment in Paris once. And I immediately started crying when it was my turn to speak, like a lot.

Constance: Welcome to the plague of being Constance Klein.

Arielle: and I always try to like stuff it. And she said, let those tears out. Tears are the most healing liquid in the body. When you let your tears out, you are releasing all of that trauma. literally it’s like, it’s biochemical healing. It’s alchemical healing that those tears hold. When you let them flow, you transform yourself. Doesn’t mean I like to cry, but it does mean that I view tears differently. They’re cleansing.

Constance: Yes, I know that. I believe that, and it doesn’t make it any easier for me. So, that leads me to what I was trying to say before I lost my shit.  Talk to me about the word voice.

Arielle: Hmm. The vulnerability of voice. Well, we were talking about how I feel that voice and singing, particularly for me, has been the most, the thing I’ve hidden from the most because it’s where I feel the most raw and seen and freaked out by that.

And you, then, made this connection with like maybe where we have their most power is in our voice. And I think that so many people silence themselves or are silenced and you know, we are there’s so many self-help things about getting your voice out.  I mean I studied at NYU one of the techniques we studied for voice was freeing the natural voice, and I feel like I have been trying my whole life and failing. I mean I was once in a voice workshop, improv voice, and I couldn’t feel vibration. Because voice is about vibration too. I couldn’t feel it anywhere below, like here. And I was just weeping. Because I felt like everyone else can do this and I can’t connect to my voice. But I feel like I finally am.

Constance: I think an important thing about voice that we discussed is this. There are many ways to express your voice. It can be in songwriting. It can be in the spoken word, in a poem, in this podcast, there are many different forms and you obviously have been your whole life playing with your voice as an actor, as a filmmaker, as a writer. And I think what we touched upon yesterday is – when you told me, and I was shocked that you said – you feel most raw and vulnerable and seen singing. I found that so interesting because I think that’s really what we’re talking about here. Which iteration, which manifestation of your voice is…..

Arielle: is the edge? To me, it’s about the edge, right? It’s the edge. It’s where, Oh my God, I’m at the cliff. I’m like, so I love Milan Kundera. And I love his book, ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being’. Because of this one part about vertigo. Vertigo not being the fear of falling, but the fear of wanting to leap. And I read that and I just was like, oh shit, like that’s all of this for me.

I think that’s what singing is. Because when I’m in my voice fully, I have such a huge range and I can go all over and I can be so raw and emotional, but when I’m, when I feel unsafe or I’m feeling judged or I’m judging myself, it just closes up and it’s gone.

Constance: And that’s kind of when you know that that’s what you’re supposed to be doing.

Arielle: Right. Cause here’s the thing that’s so weird about me. like acting. Never scared me. speaking. I could speak in front of a lot of people and doesn’t make me nervous. I can do things that most people are terrified to do and it doesn’t make me flinch this Makes me it excites me in a different way. It doesn’t make me scared Like I want to throw up it makes me like oh like was I born for this? Like maybe I was I’ve been wanting to do this since I was a little girl. Oh my gosh. I love that idea.

Constance: It’s interesting because I found myself actually at the Black History Museum in Washington, D. C. and I guess, it somehow reconnected me with this lifelong interest I’ve had in orators and the spoken word. And I have had so many people tell me that I have a beautiful voice and I started to believe it.

Arielle: Yes. It’s well, so here’s what I’ll say. All the practices that I’ve committed myself to because they’re nurturing to me all revolve around self-love. I was not, most people are not taught to love themselves. It’s not really something that was discussed. I don’t know about younger generations out, I’m definitely teaching it to my daughter and, But all of it is about self-love to me. So now that I can, like, improvise a song on my frickin phone and then listen to it and love the way it sounds and fall in love with my voice and fall in love with the sound, it makes me so joyful because I’m like, I love myself. I finally do. I’ve gotten there and I, I mean, that is the thing

I think that it is connected to self-love and self-acceptance. Last year, my word of the year was radical acceptance. I was going through a lot. The move was really hard and I was just like accepting.

Constance: That’s so interesting that you talked about your word of the year, because I think it brings us full circle on this.  For 2023, actually, my thing that I had written at the front of my book was to put myself in the way of interesting people.

Arielle: Mmm, and you’re doing it.

Constance: Here you are. The universe delivered Arielle Nobile. Thank you so much. It’s been so incredible to connect.

Arielle: it has been. And it’s, you know what I love about connection with other spirits and souls is that it’s timeless. I hope I see you soon, but I could see you in 10 years and we would just pick up.

Constance: Yeah, it’s a beautiful thing.

Arielle: It’s a miracle.

Constance: It’s going to be on my, what’s it called? The magic? your miracle list. My miracle list. There you go.

Thank you.

Arielle: Thank you. Safe travels home.

Constance: Thank you for listening in. I hope you enjoyed getting to know Arielle. We had an absolute blast together, not only recording the conversation, but sharing meals, walking the streets of Buenos Aires and talking about everything under the sun.

If you’d like to learn more about Arielle and her work, I would direct you to a website called Belonging in the USA. She has a three-part documentary coming up on PBS and it’s called ‘Belonging in the USA: Stories from Our Neighbors’. And here’s what it says on the website a film trilogy about people who were supposed to remain silent, who told their stories anyway, told by society that they didn’t belong and shouldn’t even exist. These courageous storytellers quest for justice and identity lead them to true belonging, purpose, and community.

As she says on the website, the underlying premise of this work is this. If you exist, you belong, period.

On the about section of the website, you can learn all about her colorful, fascinating past.

I’ll end with Arrivederci to 2023. . I so look forward to sharing 2024 with you. Until then, from my heart to yours.

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