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.

  

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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.

  

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.

  

Playing it BIG

Walk the talk.

I’ve been staying small, and it’s time to go BIG.

Funny how I thought my objections to certain business strategies were about me not liking how they might constrain me, when in reality I didn’t want to take them on because of how visible they required me to be.

A big question has been: should I consolidate all my endeavors into MelodyKiersz.com?

Given how busy I’ve been with Velvet Butter and Paradise Found Retreats (and you haven’t seen my face around here much, have you?), it would make sense to have one hub for everything I’m doing.

My objection was that being my own brand would make it so that I cannot fuck up. That there’s an expectation of who I am, and I cannot be ‘off-brand’ and I don’t want to ever feel like I cannot be myself because of how it might impact my business.

That’s a very real thing but, when my brand and message is about being yourself, that should be null. Right???

But on and on I kept saying I couldn’t do it because of this potential for being constrained in my expression.

Well, I had a call with the awesome Jayc Ryder and he had a fantastic way of bringing it all into perspective without even mentioning what my block really was.

Why was I so against it, even when it made sense that I wouldn’t be constrained because any constraint in my expression would actually be off-brand??

When Jayc made each step so actionable and the possibility of actually having them in place became clear, what came up was this heat around my nose, and a icky pre-sneeze feeling of nostrils opening and that thing that happens right before the eyes get watery.

My heart felt like it stopped and was beating faster simultaneously, there was a lump in my throat and I felt like crying and relieved all at the same time.

And it became so clear that what was actually stopping me was  that I was scared of being that visible.

Of being that BIG.

Like, who am I to be “Melody Kiersz” the brand, the personality, the spokesperson?*

To that I say, “HA! In yo’ face!”, and quite literally.

[*Uh, hello, you are MELODY KIERSZ??? Who else would be that?]

This becomes a matter not just of business, but of spiritual practice. And that’s something I cannot say ‘no’ to.

Time to get out of my comfort zone, especially when (HELLO?!??!!) my message is all about self-love, vulnerability and letting yourself be seen.

In the next few months, I’ll be making upgrades to my business structure and making my offerings a lot clearer.

And I CANNOT wait!

goldfish jumping out of the water

Weeeeee! [This is how I feel]

Jump in!!

What are some areas in which you stay small, but could see making a spiritual practice out of being bigger?

What to Do with Regrets

What to Do with Regrets

Sometimes there’s things we’ve done that we wish we hadn’t. Or things happen that are out of our control. What can we do? While we cannot change the past, we can take a look to see the part we  played … Continue reading

Is Life Not Enough for You?

I was reading about mysticism a couple of days ago. It was an excerpt about someone describing the excruciating pain of coming out of a mystical state, when he realized the horror of having had an experience of ‘God’ or ultimate Union and then coming back to ordinary life. He expressed how such moments continued to come sporadically, but he wanted them constantly.

He says:

I knew so well the satisfaction of losing self in a perception of supreme power and love, that I was unhappy because that perception is not constant.

[NOTE: I apologize for not being able to offer the source of this quote, since it belongs in the footnotes of a handout I received and the origin is not clear].

Reading this, I wondered…

What if the pervasive notion that we are not enough, is really a reflection (projection?) of a sense that this (this life, this right here, this moment) is not enough for us?

It’s so addictive, isn’t it? Once we experienced something that massive and pleasurable, whether it’s the high of Union, orgasm, a drug, the chemistry of falling in love… We want more, and we want it all the time.

We are constantly seeking feeling better, only sporadically being satisfied with life as it is in the moment. Always looking forward to the time when X or Y happens, or when we are finally perfect or enlightened or achieve whatever goal we have in mind.

Perhaps it is not us that are not enough but that life as it is (with its ups and downs, highs and lows, pain and ecstasy) is less than what we think it should be. It should be easier, it should be happier, it should be smoother.

Sometimes we're thrown for a loop!

Sometimes we’re thrown for a loop!

Should it, really?

We then turn those shoulds around and point them to ourselves.

If life is not easier, happier, smoother, it must be because we’re not enough. We’re not doing it right. We just haven’t figured it out. Right?

But there is nothing to figure out.

This is most beautifully and succinctly illustrated by the Buddha’s Flower Sermon.

One day, Buddha sat down in front of all his followers holding a flower, smiling slightly but without saying a word. Everyone was trying to figure out the significance. What was Buddha saying, without saying anything? Why was he holding that flower?

One of his longtime students, Mahakasyapa, kept looking at Buddha and wondering. What was going on??

And then it struck him… and he started laughing. Buddha turned and smiled at him, knowing he got it:

There is nothing to get.

It was just a flower, beautiful/fragrant/’etc adjective’ for being a flower and nothing else.

Life is this flower.

There is nothing to figure out. There is just living it.

But how could that be??

We run away from this realization because it’s so ridiculously uncomfortable.

It’s inevitable conclusion is that there is no rhyme or reason to things, and we have no real basis on which to make choices about how we live our lives. (‘Is this path better than the other?’)

When there is nothing to get, we are left with the complete arbitrariness of our options and that makes us come face to face with not being in control. There must be a reason to pick this over that, otherwise, how can I choose?? How do I know I got it right?

We still try to figure it out.

And around and around we go, in our quest to make life something other than what it is. In our quest to get it right, make it better, grasp the ever elusive prize of a ‘life well-lived’.

Yet it’s the striving for living a life well lived that fills us with the anxiety of us, and/or it, not being enough.

Like a dog chasing its own tail.

Like a dog chasing its own tail.

This anxious striving out of a sense of Life not being what we think it should be, of Life not being enough for us, is exactly what prevents us from being at peace with the moment and feeling content (and maybe even happy) with our lives as they are.

The search prevents the arrival.

When will we learn?

What if we let Life have it’s ups and downs? What if we let go of trying to make it something that it’s not, and lived it on its own terms? What if we forgave it its craziness and unpredictability?

What if we stopped chasing and let Life, and ourselves, be enough?

What if we searched, not out of ‘not enoughness,’ but out of a sense playing this game we call Life?

 

A Return to Sensuality + Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pancakes!

Dear readers,

As those of you who’ve been following me for a while know, I used to teach about pleasure, femininity, and sensuality.

But this year, I’ve been feeling so disconnected from all that.

I’ve felt so disconnected in fact, that I started feeling like it was all fake and forced and inauthentic. Whenever I tried to bring myself to that place of being absorbed in my senses, my mind would start telling me how it would solve nothing and I was doomed.

Despite all this, or maybe because of me not having access to my tools of the past for a while, a lot of blind spots have been uncovered.

Things have been transforming and moving forward in ways that wouldn’t have happened had I not ‘fallen’ from my pleasure stand.

I am grateful for re-discovering the artist in me. The little girl who has always wanted to be a performer and sing on stage in front of people who want to hear me and see me express myself (and them) through my voice.

I am grateful to once again feel the creative impulse to make stuff, like jewelry and clothing and art.

I am grateful to know without a shadow of a doubt that I can pursue these things seriously, and not just as a hobby. Because I say so.

Still, the truth is that 2012 has been very painful for me.

I’ve been pretending that everything was ok when really I wasn’t allowing myself to just be and feel whatever I feel… The way I used to.

I’ve been making myself wrong for not doing enough, and thinking that I have to make a difference in a bigger way than just the medicine for the world that I carry which is myself. I had been disconnected from Tantra and Shamanism, two paths that are very dear to me and that have held so much healing.

The past 10 days have brought me back to mama Earth and to the Tantric practices of allowing my emotions to be there and feeling them fully and ecstatically, no matter what they are (‘positive’ or ‘negative’).

(Remember when I used to talk about that non-stop?)

Last night I went to a women’s circle (Thank you Isis and Cindy, and all the beautiful goddesses who joined me there!), and it brought me the last piece. I now remember why I loved those practices so much and how full they made me feel.

How complete and whole and perfect.

A lot of them center around being in my body, allowing myself to feel my emotions and tuning into my senses. It’s the complete opposite of what I have been practicing lately, which has been so masculine in it’s purpose, focus and goal-orientation.

So now I am excited to live myself into the juicy spot where making a difference the masculine way and allowing myself to be the difference dance a beautiful dance together. I don’t know this dance, but I cannot wait to learn and practice it.

So… My affirmation for the day is:

I am SENSUAL and FOCUSED.

So exciting!

As part of my commitment to my pleasure, today I decided to indulge in some delicious homemade gluten-free buckwheat pancakes. The recipe is below.

Thanks for reading, loves, and I hope you try the recipe out.

With gratitude and love always,

Melody

Fluffy Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pancakes (And I mean FLUFFY!)

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
This recipe made 8 medium pancakes. Adjust your ingredients according to the quantity you desire.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 c. coconut flour
  • 1/3 c. gluten-free flour mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour)
  • 2 tsp. agave syrup
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 c. almond milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. coconut oil

Preparation

  1. In a medium bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
  2. In a separate bowl or glass measuring cup, combine the milk, egg, agave syrup and oil, beating slightly with a whisk (a fork will also do).
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk together well.
  4. Let the batter sit and thicken for a few minutes while you heat a skillet or pan very hot.
  5. Spoon the batter onto the skillet. These brown quickly so turn them as soon as you see bubbles start to pop on top.
  6. Serve on plate with spatula and slather in your favorite syrup. I chose raw honey.

Enjoy!

 

If you liked or identified with what you just read, please ‘Like’ or share this post. And please let me know what moved, touched, and/or inspired you in the comments!

(Remember: at Naked Wellness we have a policy of no unsolicited advice, so please keep your comments to acknowledgement of each other or personal experiences. Thanks!).

Choose Your Story Wisely

Remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books?

Oftentimes, we feel as though life throws things at us and we have no control over anything.

But what if that’s not true? What if all the ways in which we perceive the world were up to us to choose?

I have to admit, this is a lesson that keeps coming up time and time again. I learn it, I apply it, I thrive, I fall off the wagon, and…

DESPAIR. RESISTANCE. ANGER. SADNESS.

All beautiful emotions that make me human. I’m grateful for them, really… They are not the most comfortable thing to feel, but they bring with them so much growth and learning about myself.

And then, I get to FORGIVENESS… And I remember that I get to choose whether I believe the stories my mind spins.

This morning, as I was riding the subway to meet my accountant, it dawned on me for the umpteenth time that I didn’t have to.

So liberating!

In a moment of absolute clarity, the wisdom came from somewhere deep inside me and said there’s nothing to be sad or angry about because they are all just stories.

My mind remembers these things, but then I have to wait until my body catches up when it forgets. This is exactly what happened in that moment.

My body remembered.

And then, out of its own volition, it picked up my phone to type the following words up. I don’t know if it was for my benefit, yours, or ours… But here it is:

Are you plagued by feelings of unworthiness?

Feelings of not being good enough, of not deserving the good things that come your way in life?

What is your reaction when someone compliments you or praises you?

Are you able to fully receive it and feel deep inside…

Yes! I DID do a good job!

Or

Yes! I DO look great!

Or

Yes! I AM a good person/friend/mother/father/etc?

If the feeling that comes up when someone praises you or compliments you in any way, it’s one of distrust, of

Why is this person telling me this?

Or

What do they want from me?

chances are that a part of you doesn’t feel deserving of it. Whatever that person’s motivation is (and that is something to take apart and judge separately), has nothing to do with whether you feel worthy of the praise or not.

So how can we get to the place where we do feel deserving?

Well, the reason we don’t is that at some point in time we have incorporated stories that say we don’t deserve it. That we need to be different from who we are, do things different from the way we would naturally do them, or just work our ass off to deserve anything.

Whether the story comes from your religion, your culture, your parents, teachers at school, or friends… The point is…

It is just a story.

When we recognize it as a story, we can choose to let it go. Or at the very least, choose not to believe it.

Every time this little voice comes up to tell you you are unworthy, not good enough, or undeserving… Take it in, embrace it lovingly and tell it gently that you appreciate it, but don’t believe it.

Agree to disagree.

And firmly add another voice to the party in your head:

I DO deserve this.

And

I AM good enough.

And

It is my birthright.

I love it when my wise body speaks so directly!

What is yours saying? What are some stories you are ready to let go off?

You Say It Like It’s a Bad Thing!

“Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field.
I will meet you there.”

Rumi

 

Have you ever noticed how we call people who dare to be different, or do things outside the norm, ‘shameless’?

We say it like it’s a bad thing.

But is it?

When you make it your life’s mission to guide people as they heal their shame, being shameless is the goal.

I mean… why would anyone want to have shame?

The feeling that comes up when we are scared of showing a part of ourselves we think is wrong or ‘not enough,’ shame by definition creates fragmentation and disconnection in our lives. Exactly the opposite of what we want: union, intimacy, connection.

So why is it that we call others ‘shameless’ as if it was an insult? As if being it is something to be avoided?

Implied in this language is an unconscious way to keep each other down. To stay within the norm and avoid standing out.

To hold back from expressing their true self, which is extraordinary, unique and different by definition.

Being called shameless is, as far as I’m concerned, a compliment. Something to aspire to.

You can be shameless now.

You have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.

As proof, I invite you to be a shame exhibitionist for a while: whenever you feel it, share it. Tell someone about it, and you will see that it’s not the end of the world.

Not just that, but you will realize that that which you’ve been hiding is not as big a deal as it seemed. Most people will understand, and maybe even feel inspired by you to share their own shame.

How do I know this?

It’s one of my clients’ most common epiphanies, and they feel so liberated!

Most of us have been taught that we need to be or do different from how we already are or behave in order to receive/deserve love and appreciation.

This is what sets us up for feeling ‘wrong’ and ‘not enough’… and, yes, feeling shame about it.

When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, take a risk, and show our shame, we will get one of two responses:

1) The other will understand, empathize and perhaps share their own stuff they’ve been afraid to let us know. We will both feel more connected and free to express ourselves.

Or, 2) the other will feel uncomfortable with our openness because of their own fear of making all of themselves visible. But somebody else’s inability to receive our whole self does not make us ‘wrong’ in any way. It’s not something to take personally.

In either case, being open about our shame will dissipate it because, by definition, it’s not shame anymore once we share it.

You can be shameless right now, just by letting go of this idea that you need to be anything other than who you already are. By accepting and loving yourself. No should, rights or wrongs.

Just beautiful, perfect you.

 

Jump in!

What are your thoughts/feelings on this subject? What has been your experience when you finally shared something you’d been keeping in? Please feel free to share.

As always, thie comments section is an advice-free area. We all have our stuff, and this is a place to share it without fear of being judged or told what to do.

When That Small Voice Shows Up

There’s that part of us that wants us to stay small.

 

Despite how painful it might be, staying small is in many ways easier.

 

It’s more comfortable. It’s what we know.

 

So that voice that jumps up and tells you  you can’t, you shouldn’t, your not good enough? That voice is designed to keep you were you are.

 

It’s designed to scare you, but it is not evil as many ego-bashers would have you believe.

 

It scares you because it’s scared, not because it seeks to harm you. It scares you because it’s scared of taking that leap out of your comfort zone and believe what that other voice says:

 

Yes, I can. Yes, I’m strong. Yes, I am enough.

 

And that small voice serves another purpose; it presents a challenge. A choice.

 

In doing so, it plants a seed. A possibility that, if watered, can grow into full bloom.

 

This small voice brings with it potential. Potential for expansion. It brings the opportunity to choose whether we believe it or not.

 

Do we want to stand in our knowledge that we are strong, gorgeous, flowing, sexy, smart, fun, successful, deserving, open goddesses/gods? Or do we want to believe we are small and needy?

 

Who do we choose to be, every moment?

 

The truth is, the largest potential for growth lies in watering the seed, not the full grown tree.

 

That small voice that makes us feel fearful, separate and alone presents us with a choice between terror (hide, run away) and vulnerability (stay open, see what happens).

 

This can be the most fertile soil if we know how to work with it. If we stick around.

 

This is why, when this voice shows up? Notice. Be grateful. Water it with love and appreciation for the role it plays in your journey. For being there for you in your learning.

 

And then try to stay open.

 

See if you can sit in that uncomfortable space without trying to change what is. It’s your opportunity to practice equanimity (or radical acceptance).

 

And as you allow the feelings and thoughts to flow through you without snagging on resistance, you’ll see the nuances… the changes. You’ll see how fickle those thoughts and emotions are.

 

And then you’ll see them float away leaving you feeling more loving towards yourself for not having shut that part of you down.

 

Leaving you feeling courageous for having allowed yourself to be the full expression of you.

 

 

______________________

Jump in!

Did you find this helpful? What are your thoughts? Please leave your comments, reflections and experiences below.