I’m feeling angry and sad

  
I’m feeling really angry.
Really angry and sad.

There’s a deep seated rage, and it wants to lash out.

I feel like I was violated.

And yet… It was just words, and words that came out of care and wanting to protect me.

But they hurt instead.

Why does that happen?
Why do sometimes people hurt us with their caring?

I don’t know.

I just know that it hurts.

That the words left me feeling untrusting of my own self, of my own sense of safety.
My own sense of whether I’m safe or not.

Prior to the words, I’d been feeling happy and loved and supported, choosing to trust in the opportunity laid ahead of me even when it seemed a bit quick and farfetched, though totally doable at the same time.

I chose, despite my learned helplessness about these matters, to trust that the task at hand is possible, because I’m not doing it alone.

And I’ve so wanted to not do it alone for such a long time.

I’m realizing now, I felt a sort of relief about this opportunity.

Relief at the invitation to offer my knowledge and experience in relating to people, and that I wouldn’t have to figure out how all on my own.

And the words triggered the fearful part of me, the part that wonders if I’m being taken advantage of, the part that wants to close off and protect myself.

The part that feels like I’m alone in it.

The part that’s painful, and that I had felt relieved from.

And I’m really mad at this person for saying those words right now.
For projecting her own fears, even if they were out of caring.

It was like the floor dropped out from under me.

It brought me back to that moment when I was 4, and got into the elevator by myself and felt completely fine and safe until I heard my mom freaking out through the elevator doors.

When I go back to that moment, I feel puzzled.
Everything was fine. What was there to freak out about?

And it made me question my sense of things being ok.

It’s why I’m feeling sad now.
Why I’m feeling sad and angry.

And yet, I’m also feeling grateful.

Because I’m getting to practice feeling the rush of sensations in my body.

The feeling that I’m going to explode from the energy of the anger coursing through me, and the feeling of sadness behind my eyes.

And then another sadness comes.

The sadness that I haven’t been letting myself experience my emotions like this in a while, and the sadness that I haven’t been listening to my heart.

I’m so sorry.

And then my heart perks up and expands a bit, feeling heard for the first time in a very long time.

I’m so sorry.

That I’ve been so immersed in surviving, that I’ve forgotten (how) to follow your cues.

I forgive myself.

I want to listen more, and follow suit.
And I’m scared I’m not able to.

But we’ll find a way.

  

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My Workshop on the Huffington Post!

I woke up today and, against my best judgment, grabbed my phone.

Usually, it’s not such a great idea because it’s much better to start my day with some intentionality. With some ritual that centers me, aligns me, connects me to myself and my desires for the day.

But, today was different.

It’s not every day that you wake up to your Self-Appreciation workshop being mentioned in the Huffington Post!

 

When asked about her favorite activity, Lee answered the Self-Appreciation Workshop.

“It was beautiful to see people appreciate certain aspects of their body and then we all went around and commented on each person to let them know what we saw and liked about their body. In a world where we are constantly held to impossible beauty standards and photoshopping and have this culture of body shame, it was a beautiful thing to see women and men only speak lovingly and highly of bodies.”

Perhaps most important, adults felt free and safe to express their emotions without fear of guilt or judgment. “There were a great percentage of men at camp and it was beautiful to witness so many men showing their vulnerability,” Lee added.

 

I taught this particular workshop a couple of weeks ago at Connection Camp, a sleepaway camp for adults that is all about boosting your connection with yourself, with others, with nature, and with your body.

While there were many different workshops, some were a bit more on the fun side and some more on the transformational side.

Mine fell firmly into this last category, as it centered around focused appreciation exercises that eventually led to each person courageously stepping up to share what they appreciate about their body, and then receiving what each person in the group appreciated about their body as well.

Pretty simple, eh?

Yes, but so very powerful!

[I often find the most powerful practices are actually the ones without much hullabaloo].

We are so used to and conditioned to think of and share with others about the parts of our bodies we don’t like, the parts we are so critical about. To speak out loud the parts you do like is a revolutionary act, and actually quite vulnerable.

At some point, the desire to hide comes up, the thought that everyone will think you’re full of yourself or the fear that they won’t like you because of one reason or another.

It’s a very visceral experience.

But then the magic happens when the group gets to share what they appreciate in your body.

It’s not about ‘I love your butt!’

There’s so much more than that. There’s a developing about appreciation for subtler dips, valleys, swells, textures, colors, angularity or curves.

I’m so grateful to everyone that showed up so fully and powerfully for the workshop. It was a pleasure, an honor and a joy to witness each of the participants shine brighter and brighter as they got acknowledged for their already ever-present radiance and inner/outer beauty.

Thanks to Jen Lee for your wonderful words. I’m so happy the workshop had such a positive impact!

Thanks to Taylor Butch for writing the article.

And thanks to Amy Silverman and Jen JJ Kovacevich for putting together such an amazing experience at Connection Camp.

Yay for self-love and connection!

 

 


If you feel you could use a healthier connection to your body, check out my offerings or one of my live weekly classes in NYC (find them in the ‘Upcoming Events’ section of the sidebar).

Something Quite Wonderful Happened the Other Day

Something quite wonderful happened the other day, and it brought a beautiful epiphany with it.

I had the joy and pleasure of spending 2 1/2 weeks with a man that shows up and respects me and loves me up in the best of ways, without making me wrong in any way when I behave in a way that doesn’t suit him.

Talking about it, yes. But no shaming.

It has been beautiful, and now he is back in Germany.

I could share with you at length about how healing this has been in terms of experiencing what it’s like to be with someone that won’t blame me, run away, treat me like a child or shrink himself to avoid confrontations. And maybe I will later on.

But the point of this particular post is something else.

The day he left, while there was some sadness, I was so full.

So at peace.

My heart felt open, my chest expanded, my shoulders back…

And I noticed people, especially other men, interacting with me in a different way.

I found it curious and amusing.

What was different?

Ah! As I walked, there was a calmness about me.

I was so full, that there was none of that internal sense of seeking, wanting, desiring attention or love from others.

I was just walking and enjoying my walk for myself.

It felt good, and I realized that this is the reason for that mysterious ‘when it rains, it pours’ effect that happens whenever we start seeing someone and all of a sudden more people hit on us.

But that wasn’t the epiphany I mentioned at the beginning.

That one came the next day, when I went to Daybreaker, a morning dance party (best way to start your day!).

As I danced, I noticed myself comparing myself to others.

Oh, she dances better! Oh, he’s getting attention! She’s so hot!

I noticed my dance became about getting attention. Out-sexying others.

When I tuned in, I could feel that vacuum feeling of seeking, needing, wanting that love and approval from others.

And I had a mini freak-out, cuz I didn’t want to lose the sense of fullness I had had up until that moment.

I looked around, and I saw so many people doing the same. And others who weren’t at all concerned with that, and just having a good time.

And then I looked within again, and reminded myself that I am loved.

There’s no need to seek it.

And, what’s more, even though that feeling came about this time because of the time I spent with someone else, it didn’t have to come from the outside.

I could just focus on all the love that’s already there.

Loveliness

I closed my eyes, and brought my attention to that. I filled myself up with it again.

And my dance changed.

I danced for me.

I danced because I felt so good that my body was moved.

And throughout the rest of the day, everything that happened was gift after gift after gift!

I reconnected with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while, and there’s a possibility that I might sing in a production.

I got home and took a delicious sleepy warm nap on my couch.

Then I did some work on the computer, and effortlessly (when lately it has taken so much effort) took myself to yoga class.

The class was perfect, and left me feeling so grateful.

Then I glided home, and the most delicious warm and refreshing breeze accompanied me caressing my skin as I walked…

Only to find out that my upstairs neighbor, who practices classical piano every day, had been joined by a violinist.

I swooned!

Could it get any better??

Every single one of my senses had been stimulated, and it was almost too much.

My point is…  this is what happens when I shift my approach in life from seeking love, to knowing I’m already loved.

It has nothing to do with whether there is someone else there to love me, and everything to do with practicing feeling the love that’s already there.

It’s vulnerable… a part of me keeps feeling like it can’t last. But even that feels good, and I know there will be another up as much as there will be a down in this roller coaster of life.

So.. Can you find it?

Can you tune in, remind yourself of all the ways in which you’re already loved?

I’m not saying in a woo woo way, ‘loved by the universe,’ etc.

Whatever.

I’m saying in real, concrete ways.

Do it now.

Fill yourself up with it.

Live your days from this place.

This perspective changes everything.

It’s not that obstacles won’t be there. It’s not that things will just be easy, because of the ‘law of attraction.

It’s much more basic than that.

Approaching life with a sense of already being full changes the way we view obstacles, and we start moving out of a sense of wanting to do something instead of seeking acceptance or proving our worth.

Effort gains purpose, instead of being something we have to do.

Choice becomes available, and a sense of freedom has room to grow.

All through taking a bit of time each day to focus on how loved we already are.

Will you try it?

I want to know how it goes! Will you tell me in the comments?

Grateful Tuesday #12: Thank Goodness!

Hello, darlings!

Let me start right off and say how grateful I am that the train am on at this very moment arrived! The announcement box said I would have to wait 27 minutes, but thank goodness it was only a few. I’m very happy the announcement was lying!

That is #1 (and most present right now) in my weekly list of 5-7 things I’m grateful for.

#2 I’m grateful for by beautiful apartment. It really is gorgeous, and a constant reminder that I can conjure up the perfect thing I want… and it will come with a few bonus pleasant surprises. Mhhhmmm, yes!

#3 I’m grateful for all the support I’m getting in developing a new line of self-care products, and for all the positive feedback from the few samples I’ve given out so far. Very exciting stuff!

#4 I’m grateful for great friends who are not afraid of saying the things that need to be said, no matter how ugly they might sound, in order for me to get out of my own way.

#5 Relatedly, I’m grateful for the courage to actually listen to criticism and take it on, while not taking it personally.

#6 I’m grateful for my willingness to believe in the good of people, the world and the universe… even when all signs point to the contrary and resignation is the most logical thing. In those moments of resignation, that small ember that is always burning… It’s the reason I pick myself up, dust myself off and try again. Yes, I’m grateful for that.

#7 I’m grateful to have ‘problems’ that are not problems for over 99% of the world. I’m so lucky.

What are you grateful for, dear reader?

I’d love to read about what’s good for you this week in the comments section.

Until next week…

With love and grAttitude,

Melody

Grateful Tuesday #11: I Have No Idea

Hello, dear Reader!

As I write this, I’m so tired I have no idea what’s going to come out.

But I’m committed to writing my weekly list of 5-7 things I’m grateful for before it’s Wednesday, so here I go!

One of the things I’m grateful for this week, and right now, is the ability to be in a place of uncertainty and ‘I don’t know.’ In this particular case, the risk is not very big. But in others, the ability to breathe and stay or take action (depending on what’s appropriate) when we have no clue what’s going on is really crucial.

I’m grateful for Bernardo Mendez from yourgreatlifetv.com, and the amazing Skype session we had today. Thank you, Bern!

Surround Yourself

As the quote says, I’m grateful to have people around me who see me and hold me to my greatness, even when I’m having a hard time seeing it and finding it in myself. We all have our days (sometimes weeks and months!), and making sure we have people who love us and remind us of our lighter sides goes a  long way towards preventing complete collapse… or at the very least, helps with the rebuilding.

I’m grateful for my co-conspirators in my two main projects, and all the progress we are making. I couldn’t do it without you, and the world will be a better place and people’s lives will be changed because of you. You rock, and I’m deeply deeply grateful that you’re all moved and inspired to work on these projects.

I’m grateful to Shir Yacov Feit, for taking my desire to contribute musically at our synagogue services seriously. Your guidance in this, as well as in my questions regarding rabbinical school, is precious and very much appreciated.

Despite feeling a bit constrained these days, I’m grateful for the structures I’ve put in place which make it possible for me to have time to work on my projects, take classes, be creative and have fun, socialize, take care of myself with exercise and healthy homemade meals, and even travel to support my family. I’m taking on a lot these days, and it all seems to be working out, somehow fitting into each week and I’m even making good progress!

Lastly, I’m going to get a bit meta, and say I’m grateful for this gratitude practice. It’s extremely nourishing.

Dear Reader, you’re invited to try it as well. Will you share what you’re grateful for in the comments section? I would love your company in this ritual.

Grateful for you as well,

Melody

Grateful Thursday

Hello, dear Reader!

I have to be honest and share with you that, as I write this, I’m feeling very annoyed.

I’m on my way to a seminar that encourages me to do all the things I don’t feel like doing, so I can create the things that I want in my life and the lives if others I want to inspire.

And I’m sleepy.

I just came home from helping my parents with their move, and all I want to do us curl up in bed for the next 12 hours.

Instead, I’m going to a seminar that will trigger me in every way so I can get out if my own way.

And, as annoyed as I am, I’m also grateful. I’m grateful that I’m making choices that support me in moving forward even when I want to dig in my heels and stop.

That’s #1 in my weekly ritual of listing 5-7 things I’m grateful for.

It’s supposed to happen every Tuesday, but hey… Better late than never, I say.

#2 I’m grateful to have been able to travel to Florida and support my parents at a stressful time.

#3 I’m also grateful I kept my cool. Visiting parents is one thing. Combine it with the stress of moving a 5 bedroom house… Ay-ay-ay!

#4 I’m grateful for my new guitar, and so excited to finally learn how to play now that I will be able to practice!

#5 I’m grateful to the amazing Parashakti, whom I always run into at random times and random places. We flew together today, and she reminded me that I can ask for help.

#6 Relatedly, I’m grateful to all the men who complied and helped me lug my suitcase up and down subway stairs. This tired woman really appreciates it!

#7 This one is kind of for the future: I’m so grateful for my delicious soft bed and the embrace it will enfold me in tonight. Hmmm…

What are you grateful for this week? Please share in the comments.

Grateful Tuesday #10

Hello, hello!

How are you, dear Reader?

It’s the 10th edition of my (as of late sort of) weekly gratitude ritual where I list 5-7 things I’m grateful for this week.

It’s been quite an amazing time, when lots of the seeds I’ve planted over the past few months have started germinating. I can even sense a few flower buds coming through, and it feels so good. I’m grateful to have put in the effort.

I’m also grateful for the inspiration these buds lend me. I’m excited for more, and the fruits of the future are calling me forth to keep working hard and having fun doing it.

I’m grateful for my community choir and the cabaret class I’m taking. I chose to add them to my packed schedule because I value fun, art and self-expression and they are bringing exactly that into my life.

I’m grateful for my family, even if this week I sucked at staying in touch. They’ve been on my mind every day.

I’m grateful for everyone that came to the Sensual Meditation and Yoga class on Monday. It was a pleasure sharing these Presence and Embodiment tools with you, and I hope you left feeling delicious, refreshed and enlivened.

I’m grateful for those people in my life that hold me accountable to my greatness, and don’t let me get away with staying small.

That’s it for this week, loves.

What are you grateful for? Please leave your list in the comments section.

With love and grAttitude,

Melody

Grateful Tuesday: Let It Come

Dear Reader,

Welcome to yet another edition of Grateful Tuesday, my weekly shared ritual of listing 5-7 things I’m especially appreciative of. Will you join me in the comments? GrAttitude loves company!

This week has been very social and has brought a lot of insights and inner peace. It all has to do with putting the effort in, and then letting the rest unfold and come to me.

It’s so much better this way!

So very tempting!

So very tempting!

I’ve been longing to visit Thailand (as I usually do when it’s cold in New York) and all my lovely friends who are there the past few weeks. But I reminded myself that warmer weather was right around the corner, and stuck it out. Funnily enough, Thailand ended up coming to me in the shape of several friends I met there in the last few years visiting NYC. I’m grateful for them bringing their particular way of being supportive and loving when I was craving it, and I’m grateful to whatever it is (coincidence or not) that fulfilled my need.

I’m grateful for the strength that has been developing inside me to not take the little voices in my head that want to pull my attention to disempowering thoughts seriously. It’s been such a gift to notice them, not let them run me, know that they will get resolved exactly when they need to get resolved… and to be able to laugh about the whole circus is priceless!

Like this,... but with laughter

Add laughter and you get the picture (and the pun was totally intended)

 

I am most definitely grateful for 80-degree weather and the delicious combination of sun and skin and warmth that enveloped me this morning. After months of dragging myself around (along with 20 extra pounds of winter clothing), every cell in my body sang ‘This! This is exactly what I needed!

I’m also grateful for the rooftop on which I got to work on my tan while I followed up on phone calls, and the fact that I have the option to make that into my office on scrumptiously warm days like today.

Putting my bikini and sarong on today was literally like putting on another Melody. It made me realize that the Melody I’ve been experiencing this winter was just Winter Melody, and that the reason that I’d been concerned was that I thought this sadder and unmotivated version of myself was going to stick around forever, when really she is a seasonal part of me that requires me to be more internal. It just had been 3 years since I had experienced this version of myself, so I thought it was me when it was simply me in a particular context. This insight feels so much better than the subconscious belief I was carrying around, and I’m most certainly grateful to have noticed it.

I’m definitely grateful for all my supportive friends who always hold space for my greatness, reminding me it’s always there… even when I can’t see it. I love you all.

I’m grateful for my sense of humor and my ability to laugh at myself.

So yeah… This week has been full of flow, not because there haven’t been snags but because I’ve been practicing untangling and refocusing on what is in the moment, allowing things to resolve themselves and only intervening when necessary. It feels like good wisdom to have, and I’m grateful for that as well.

What are you grateful for this week, dear Reader? Will you share your grAttitude in the comments section?

Love,

 

Melody

 

Grateful Update

Sweet Readers,

You might have noticed it’s been a couple of weeks without Grateful Tuesday-ing.

Between Passover and all that’s been going on, it’s been hard to find a second to write and share my weekly list of 5-7 things I’m grateful for.

However, just because I didn’t write them down doesn’t mean I haven’t been practicing GrAttitude.

And there’s been so much to be grateful for the past couple of weeks!

I’m grateful for the energy and momentum of Spring gathering behind me and pulling me forward, providing the necessary support for me to lift myself up from limiting beliefs that have been plaguing me this winter.

I’m grateful for Passover and the rituals and community that come with it. The story of liberating ourselves from Egypt (which is translated from the Hebrew word as the ‘narrow places’) has special significance for me this year, and the celebration came at the perfect time. I can see why this holiday happens at the springing of Spring!

This is how I feel!

This is how I feel!

I’m grateful for all the people who have been making this journey with me. While no one else can liberate us from ourselves, it sure is nice to hold hands and walk out to the dessert together, knowing our internal journeys are our own but we can lean and encourage each other to keep trusting and moving forward.

I’m grateful for a fantastic ‘graduation’ dinner the last night of Passover, when we parted and crossed our inner Red Seas together. It was beautiful sharing that with so many lovely people, and having the chance to host and offer a full meal was the best gift I could have given myself (as well as others). Everyone wins!

I’m grateful to be receiving more and more clarity around how to embody a mystic in a post-modern world, connected above and with my feet on the ground. The journey has had its very dark moments, which are ripening (as all dark moments have the potential to) into beautiful insights, deep deep serenity and more opportunities to connect in new and old ways.

I’m grateful for getting a clean report on my health from my last check up.

I’m grateful for the amazing beautiful apartment I live in, and that I get to hold gatherings on my rooftop with a view of the Manhattan skyline.

I’m grateful for all the inspiration and drive I derive from the amazing New York City.

I’m grateful that I get to teach a class on sensual meditation and yoga as part of the BE HERE NOW series, and that I get to share what I know about presence, mysticism, embodiment, emotional release and pleasure (and how they connect) with other seekers.

I’m grateful for deep sharing and the beautiful connection I have with my mom.

I’m grateful for Romemu, and all of the lovely people I’ve been meeting and learning from there. It’s been so nourishing to chat with so many of you, and I’m loving how especially open I am to learning from my elders these days. Yummy!

I’m grateful for all the events, gatherings, and celebrations that I’m invited to… and a bit overwhelmed as well!

I’m grateful for my delicious body, and the warm sunshine that is hitting my skin as I write this and making me feel scrumptious and turned on.

I’m grateful to be grateful, and I’m grateful for this practice.

I’m on a roll now, and there’s so much more I could write about. [I gave myself permission to go over the 5-7 item limit, since I skipped a few weeks].

But I’ll leave it at that. After all, the next Grateful Tuesday is around the corner!

So, dear Reader… what are you grateful for this Friday? I’d love to read about it in the comments section.

Love (and grattitude for you as well),

 

Melody

Grateful (Almost Not) Tuesday #7

Hello, darling Readers!

It’s been another week, and here I am, posting #7 in my weekly ongoing series on grAttitude: Grateful Tuesday.

This week has had it’s up and downs (what else is new?), and it has been intense, productive and fun.

How was yours?

I’d love to read what you’re grateful for this week in the comments section.

As for me, here’s my list of 5-7 things I’m especially appreciating this week:

  • I mentioned reading about mysticism in a recent post, Is Life Not Enough For You?. The inspiration was a series of handouts from my Kabbalah class, which I’m so enjoying. I’m grateful for the classes, my teacher, and the group but I want to take a second here to express   my gratitude for how fulfilling reading from these handouts has been. Sitting with a cup of tea, it’s been so nourishing to take some time to study. Not just read, but actually study and reflect and make notes. It’s actually made me consider going back to school. I had forgotten how much I enjoy all this!
  • I am grateful for all of you who came to my class, Fun & Practical Tools to BE HERE NOW. It was a pleasure and an honor to lead you through your emotional release and awakening to your body.
  • I am grateful for my inner strength and guidance, which shows up and catches me when I feel I’m going to keep falling forever. To know and trust that that resilience is there is priceless.
  • I am grateful that my projects are moving along nicely, at a pace that feels fulfilling and sustainable.
  • I am grateful that, as I am putting more energy and effort into all these new projects, I am also scheduling plenty of opportunities for self-love and self-care in the shape of exercise, time in the sauna, meeting friends for lunch or tea, spending some time massaging moisturizing oils into my skin, meditation, cooking delicious and healthy food for myself, and nutritious study and creativity. It feels so good to take care of me!
Cat nap

How I feel in the morning

  • I am grateful that Daylight Savings Time means the sun is warming me and waking me up in the most delicious way an hour earlier and I have more time to play and create and get things done during the day.
  • Lastly, my family has been a lot on my mind lately. Definitely grateful for them!

Of course, I’m always appreciative of you as well, sweet Readers. I’m very happy we get to keep each other company throughout the weeks.

Love always,

Melody

PS: Don’t forget to share your GrAttitude list below!