I’m feeling sad and angry

Woke up feeling sad and pissed off. And I’m not going to ‘fix’ it.

Sometimes (most times, I would argue), you just need to let the feelings be instead of judging them and calling them wrong.

Trying to manage and change your emotional experience all the time not only is exhausting, but also sends a signal to yourself that you’re not ok as you are.

That there’s something wrong with you for feeling the way you feel.

And even when you have no clue why you’re feeling that way, it’s best to practice acceptance of what is.

It’s a practice of self-love, no matter how you feel.

And the other gift it brings, asides from confidence, freedom and enjoyment, is that in letting yourself feel the feeling, you gain insights on yourself and your patterns that you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.

Don’t chop yourself off from your feelings.

It’s inflicting self-violence and it only leads to fragmentation and disconnection.

So take a deep breath, and feel what’s there to feel without judgment.

I promise you’ll feel massive amounts of self-love, gratitude, and love for people and life.

  

It All Counts (On Softening, Trust and Gratitude)

  I’m proud of myself that I started my day with answering a few emails, and then immediately jumping onto my mat and doing an hour of stretching/yoga.

It felt good to spend time with my body again, even if my mind was wandering most of the time.

It will come.

Towards the end, when I was doing some simple sun salutations, I was filled with gratitude and chose to practice some self-forgiveness.

I’ve been so hard on myself in the last few years,  keeping myself in a holding belt of constant self-judgment, criticism, and bullshit that led to self-doubt, sticky stuckness, and the inability to trust myself.

And then beating myself up for not being able to move past all this, on top of it.

[Note: yes, even I, get into loops of stuckness and paralysis born out of self-punishing thoughts. It’s time I shed the layers of shame about it, and show up as I am: human.]

I felt myself soften today.

Felt so much gratitude for just being alive. For this experience and all the experiences I’ve had in this life, the good and the bad.

Even if the bad are not completely resolved and I don’t know if they will be.

I’m grateful to be alive.

And I guess it doesn’t much matter what I do with this life as much as it matters that I live it and that I’m alive.

It all counts.

It’s all experience.

I feel softer, slightly, towards myself.

The choices I’ve made have brought me to this moment, and this moment, feeling this gratitude filling every corner of my being, is precious.

I want to cry but the tears aren’t coming yet.

All in due time.

I know my undoing is coming, and it’s coming softly.

Unravel. Unfold. Unfurl.

The chrysalis comes to mind. That mush that isn’t formed, which will become a butterfly but has no shape yet.

In this place, I trust.

  

Wake Up with Me

I recently committed to 3 hours of movement per week.

My body has been asking for it, and I’ve been much too sedentary since I’ve been working so much with my computer.

I fell into a rut of feeling too tired to exercise, which was enabling a downward spiral of staying put >> low energy >> staying put.

I did pretty goody the first week, but it felt constraining after, and I’ve been moving around so much that making it to the gym has been a bit of a challenge.

I thought my commitment to movement had to be something like working out at the gym or some formal class.

Instead of giving up, I decided to include movement in all forms, and counting dance breaks and walks and stretching into the 3-hours per week commitment.

The last few days I started adding back a practice of stretching and dancing in the morning, to warm up my muscles, wake up my body and ground into it to start the day deliciously.

This is the result:

 

I’ve found, or rather ‘re-membered,’ that this morning ritual shifts completely whatever I was feeling, that I can tap into the wisdom in my body, and it wakes up my appetite for something healthy and nourishing, as opposed to some sweet treat in the morning.

It frees up my back, I feel lighter and more nimble, and it sets me up to make decisions based on what is good for me instead of what feels good in the moment.

I find myself fighting less with myself and having to use my will power a lot less. Instead, I just feel like doing what I need to be doing for myself.

It’s fantastic, and I’m so happy I’m remembering this practice and feel so committed to continuing it.

And it occurred to me, that perhaps you’d like to come along for the ride.

Soooo…. I’ve been toying with the idea of a series called Wake Up With Melody, where I post a video of my morning routine, share about the music, and thoughts on current events and something to inspire you.

What do you think? What kinds of things would you like to see in this series?

Don’t be shy! Let me know in the comments!

And if you’d like to receive these, please sign up for the mailing list here.

This is your formal invitation into a more intimate slice of my life, where you get to wake up with me and maybe dance along.

Big love and gratitude always,

 

Melody

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.

  

Harnessing the Power of the New Moon

moon-circle

Honoring the regenerative space is key.

 

So often in this modern life we are go, go, GO.

Always feeling like we need to be doing more, accomplishing more, taking care of everything.

We hold ourselves to impossibly high standards of having our shit together, which requires juggling 10 things at the same time.

We’ve gotten to the point of feeling guilty if we’re stopping for just a wee bit to catch our breath.

If we’re not being productive around our professional lives, we should be out with friends, or with a partner, or at the gym, or working on a project, or taking care of the kids, or learning something new.

Nonstop.

Where is the time to even take a shower, one that isn’t rushed?

There’s a certain guilt that comes up, if we’re not always on.

At least where I live, in New York City, people pride themselves on being busy. It means they are important with important things to get done.

But this post isn’t just about busyness and the need to slow down and have moments of self-care.

Even if we don’t put it into practice, all of us have an idea that we need to be doing that for ourselves.

What I’m writing about today, is the idea that we should always be ‘on’ (meaning on the way upward), when the most natural thing is for things in life to fluctuate between going ‘up’ and going ‘down.’

 

Natural cycles

Have you ever noticed that there’s an inhale and an exhale to each breath? Like, really noticed?

Could you keep inhaling over and over and over and over without exhaling? How long could you do that for?

Or have you noticed that the moon has phases, and the year has seasons?

These are not just things that are, but things that point to a natural order of things: things are born, they grow, they decay, they die… then they are recycled in some way and the cycle starts again.

But in this modern life we have this idea that we should always, ALWAYS, be at the peak.

Always at the top or, at the very least, on our way there.

It’s not just improbable to live like this, but actually impossible.

It’s not natural, and we run ourselves to the ground. We make ourselves stressed, and later sick, and then dead, emotionally, spiritually and in some occasions even physically.

This is not just unsustainable, but it makes us miserable.

We’re not very good at being with the experiences of things going south, and the experiences of being in that death/rebirth space.

We resist it.

Things are great until we get to the peak, and then as soon as we start feeling ourselves sliding down, we freak out and think something is very very wrong.

We desperately try to get back up, fighting against what’s natural, which is incredibly depleting because we’re swimming against the current of what is happening.

Nothing is wrong.

It’s just the nature of things that what goes up comes down, and then goes up again, and so on.

If we didn’t resist the down and the transitional space, we would find that it is very regenerative to let ourselves be down without judgment.

We would find that, while this space of uncertainty can be a bit uncomfortable, especially when others around us seem to be moving ahead at full speed, it actually feels good to let ourselves gather our energy inwards to build the foundation of what wants to be birthed next.

And we would also find that, if we stopped resisting, we would go back up a lot more effortlessly once we went through the contraction and let ourselves come back up the other side.

The down is what builds the momentum.

When you find yourself going past the peak and starting the slide down, throw your hands up in the air and enjoy the plunge the same way you would on a rollercoaster.

Trust the cycle of nature and let yourself relax into the slope. Know that just as you’re going down, you’ll come back up.

You’ll come to a space of what feels like waiting, a space that is full of not knowing and, yes, it can be a bit unsettling.

Let yourself soak in that dark, in the uncertainty of that potential state.

I won’t say it’s easy.

Society trains us to think we should be doing the complete opposite, that we should be taking more action to get back up instead of letting the cycle complete.

But it’s so very worth it, because you won’t be fragmenting yourself into the part that needs the down and the part that’s working hard to get back up.

Instead, you will come out the other side whole, and that wholeness means you can put yourself 100% behind whatever actions the next growth period requires.

Here are some tips to make your way through the regenerative phase with less freakout and more ease.

1. Remember

The negative bias of our mind is what has kept our species alive for thousands of years. This means that our mind is conditioned to find problems, even when there aren’t any.

But as the saying goes, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’

Remind yourself that there is nothing wrong with having periods of feeling lost, unclear, or confused. We all go through them from time to time, and there’s no shame in that.

2. Breathe and develop trust in the process

When your mind is trying to tell you how much more you need to be doing, that you need to figure things out now, take a deep breath and repeat #1 to yourself until you can accept that you’re exactly where you need to be right now.

3. Get curious

Get in touch with that part of yourself that can sense the little threads of what wants to happen next, even if they aren’t in full focus yet.

Get curious about those threads, and follow their lead.

Maybe you want to experiment with photography, or want to learn more about physics, or feel like starting a new exercise regimen.

We don’t know where these things will lead, but following those threads will slowly lead you towards the right next direction for you, we just don’t know how it all comes together yet.

The ‘how’ doesn’t matter, as long as you get curious about what wants to be explored and follow the clues.

4. Get support

Because we all learn the same go, go, GO mentality, it’s likely that your friends and loved ones will be urging you to get your shit together before you’re ready.

They want to help you and support you in your happiness, but don’t understand that this is not the kind of support you need at this time. That this kind of support stresses you out, paralyzes you, makes you feel like shit, and actually stalls the process.

Explain to them that you’re ok (or trying to get ok) with where you are and feel this is a time to explore new things and see where they lead. They might understand, or maybe not.

If not, find people who will and surround yourself with people who will support you and accept you as you are in this transition.

5. Beware from comparison despair

Again, your mind will look around and try to find all the ways in which you’re a fuck up so that it can solve the problem.

One of those ways is looking at what others are doing, and comparing yourself to them.

Remind yourself that you have no clue what’s actually going on behind the scenes for those people. For all you know, they might be just as insecure as you are feeling right now. They might even be comparing themselves to you!

What’s more, it doesn’t matter. Remember point #1: we all go through phases of ups and downs. Just because that person is up right now doesn’t mean anything. You’ve also been up, and now you’re down, and you’ll be up again.

6. Keep a journal

Let all of your thoughts out, judgmental or not, onto paper.

This helps loosen their charge, making it easier to let them go. It’s also useful because we can look back later on and see the patterns of ups and downs, which help us to trust the process more easily next time we’re on the downswing.

7. Pleasure and self-care

Throughout this whole period, when you’re not having a clear sense of direction yet, make sure you’re taking good care of yourself by finding pleasurable activities that bring you joy and/or relaxation.

Read a book, go to the spa, go out with friends… Don’t deprive yourself of joy just because you are not at the peak.

 

 

Let things emerge, gently, slowly, patiently.

 

This process might take a few hours, a few days, or a few years, but the more you resist and try to get back up before it’s time, the longer it will take.

 

No, we certainly haven’t built our modern lives, cities and economies in agreement with this process, but it’s our responsibility to build a world that is.

For our sake, for the sake of our children, the planet, and all life.

We cannot keep denying the cycles of nature.

Or Nature, being wise, will create her own balance without our cooperation, and come and bite us in the ass in the shape of a breakdown, depression, disease or sudden death.

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).

I Can’t Keep Living a Lie

  
Is it courage? Maybe… Or maybe it’s just necessity.

I can’t keep living a lie… Or maybe not a lie, but the things that are not as true for me as this.

(Sometimes I think I lack conviction, but this here is proof that it’s not true… I actually have a lot of it. Maybe too much.)

Maybe this is reckless and not how ‘life should be lived.’

But there’s so many ways to live life. Why listen to those who don’t choose deliberately, but follow and conform to the default?

Are they happier?

Not really… They are just more comfortable.

[Excerpt from my written musings this morning. Picture taken of chocolat chaud and a cafe creme at Cafe de Flore, one of the oldest and most prestigious coffee houses in Paris, where (eventually) famous writers and philosophers used to sit, ponder and discuss life].

I Used to Hate My Thighs

I used to hate my thighs, and yet there were so many guys I was with who would exclaim, completely unprompted by me, how much they loved my thick thighs.

It took a while, but I eventually dropped these negative thoughts about them.And the thing that did it, was when I realized that of course my thighs are that thick… cuz how else would my body carry all of the juiciness necessary to create life??
  It was a really profound moment when I looked down, saw my thighs, and saw myself as a living breathing fertility sculpture.
There’s a reason why those are always round and juicy!

And when I say fertility, I don’t just mean to make babies but the whole arena of creation. That’s what us women are: the full life force of CREATION.

Our flesh carries in it the potential and juice to literally create and push life forward in the shape of babies, art, projects, nurturing, businesses, and anything else that wants to be birthed through us.
And that’s a great great thing!
Tell me, is there a part of your body you spend a lot of time trying to camouflage, hide, wishing others didn’t see or make smaller?

Share in the comments and I’ll share with you ways to stop the madness and start loving your body, yourself and your life.

He Strikes Again: Dealing With That Loud Inner Critic

It’s a great practice to not compare ourselves so much with others. Or at the very least, to use it for inspiration instead of tearing ourselves down.

I have to admit, as I do my research to see who my ‘competition’ for my upcoming offerings is and even just as I scroll through my news feeds on various social media platforms, it’s so easy for my insecure inner critic to start telling me how I can’t do what they are doing.

It looks at offerings similar to what I want to do and says that it’s already out there and no one will care. That I shouldn’t even bother.

Give up. You’re not good enough.

Yes. That’s there.

the reason we struggle with insecurity is because we judge ourselves by our content and everyone else by their cover quote Melody Kiersz

Didn’t your mama teach you?

And at the same time, there’s another voice that’s whispering and less audible, but I can hear it.

It says,…

It’s so awesome that those offerings exist because people are getting so much value out of them, feeling better about themselves and gaining power and confidence. That’s what we want, no? Even if it’s not through US.

Plus, your offering is not exactly the same and it comes through you. It has a different voice, and you can reach different people. Isn’t that cool?

And yes, isn’t that cool? I think so.

Of course, I don’t want to make the critic wrong: he is there because he wants me to stay safe, instead of risk what he sees as sure rejection.

I tell it firmly, that just because certain things didn’t work out in the past doesn’t mean they won’t work out now. I’m older and wiser and learned from my mistakes, and I’m also learning a lot more about marketing. And I thank him for his input, because I know he does it out of wanting to take care of me.

Whenever I hear this comparing critic, I thank him for wanting to protect me. Then I look for that other voice which isn’t as strident and pay more attention to what she’s saying. She inspires me to get out of my comfort zone and move forward.

Jump in!

How do you deal with your inner critic? What are some of the voices that keep you from putting your authentic heart desires and offerings out there?

The Most Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift is NOT Self-Love

Hi Lovers!

It’s been a rollercoaster ride the last couple years, but I had a pretty huge epiphany recently that the reason I haven’t been s clear and powerful as I had in the past (or that’s how I see it anyway) is that I haven’t been being honest with myself.

I’ve been scared of my own self-judgment, and that has made me so sensitive and reactive to that of others. Even when it’s not judgment but loving constructive criticism, I haven’t been able to receive it because it requires me to look at the stuff that I don’t want to see.

All the stuff I’m not liking about myself.

All the stuff that’s lurking underneath, which I cannot see.

The stuff I’m ashamed of, but I don’t know it yet.

Whenever someone tries to help me and support me in my pursuit of happiness, I feel really stressed out and vulnerable and I want to push them away.

I get defensive because, to me, it’s as if they were saying “Hey! Look at this! Look at all the stuff that’s wrong with you that you’re trying really hard not to see!’

Ugh. And I really don’t want to see it… But I can’t keep going like this because I’m hurting myself by doing so. I’m shooting myself in the foot.

So, I’ve arrived at this place again, where I get to practice looking inwards paired with not making myself wrong in the deepest of ways.

As I say, just cuz I don’t like it, it doesn’t mean I cannot love it.

This means that self-love alone is not enough.

As powerful as positive affirmations can be, we’re not really loving ourselves if we’re glossing over the things we have a hard time looking at with an ‘I love myself.

No matter how sincere it is and how much we want to believe it, if the shame or criticism is deep enough, saying that will only trigger thoughts of how that’s not true.

No.

Really loving ourselves takes the courage to look at all our shit, and once we’re clear on what it is we are NOT loving, only then can we start developing our compassion for ourselves.

Start to soften our harshness and self-judgment and drop the self-criticism, even while we don’t make ourselves wrong for criticizing ourselves.

And only after THAT, can we begin to have the conversations we need to have with these parts of ourselves. Practice some deep listening to see what they are scared of, what it is that they serve.

There’s always some way in which these little voices of criticism are trying to protect us, or serve a deep need.

And by knowing what that need is, we can come up with a healthier way to fulfill it that doesn’t get in the way of our living a life that we really love.

Developing that business.
Meeting that life partner.
Creating our masterpiece.
Having deeply satisfying friendships.
Putting ourselves out in the world.

On this Valentine’s Day, make sure you practice some REAL self-love by making some time to get honest with yourself.

truth_or_consequences

So let’s be honest… What’s the thing you’re not wanting to look at? What’s the reason you don’t want to see it?

In the upcoming posts, I’ll be looking at all the ways we keep ourselves from being true to ourselves and why. And as I go through the process of untangling myself, I will also share what I’m doing to develop the courage to stop running away and look within.

Stay tuned.