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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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

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.

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.

The fucking number on the scale (and how I stop myself from letting it rule my life)

161.

One-hundred-and-fucking-sixty-one.

That’s how much I weigh right now.

I had just stepped off the elliptical, where I was having a grand time enjoying myself as I danced/worked out to Sade and Sir-Mix-a-Lot, and then had the great idea of weighing myself.

throwing-away-the-weighing-scales-500

I knew I had gained some weight in the last couple of months due to some changes in my lifestyle, but I still felt sexy and attractive.

And seeing that number on the scale, even for me dear Lovers, was threatening to take all that goodness down.

I’m writing this post because you’ve often seen me write praise about my body parts and how much I love my body, but I don’t want to leave you with the impression that it’s always been like that.

I want to be very clear: I still have my insecurities. I am still at risk of being affected by this number.

I am not just blessed with natural confidence about my body image despite not matching the well-marketed version of beauty. I worked (and work) hard to earn it.

In moments like this, when my relationship to a number threatens my sense of self-esteem, I remind myself that just 5 seconds earlier I was enjoying the hell out of my body, feeling alive and sexy and having fun.

And my body weighed the same.

Why should a silly number make that difference?

And I simply don’t let it.

Instead, I think of how grateful I am for my body and how I was deriving so much pleasure from it seconds before. That is still possible; still available to me.

I consciously decouple my ability to enjoy life from how much I weigh, because they have absolutely nothing to do with each other.

It’s just how I relate to that number that threatens my pleasure and joy, not the number itself.

So I get compassionate about it.

I hear myself being upset about it and don’t make myself wrong for it.

I listen to the fears and insecurities of what that part of myself thinks it means that I gained this weight. That I’m less worthy in some way. Less lovable. Less successful.

And while I listen, I also don’t believe it.

Because none of those are true.

I credit my ability to both be self-compassionate with myself and not make myself wrong for having these insecurities while also keeping myself clear with the reality that they are unfounded for my body confidence.

No, it’s not that I don’t have insecurities. They still crop up now and again.

But I don’t let them rule me and I keep my attention on what’s really true.

Soon enough, by virtue of not giving them credibility, the insecurities pass… and as my attention goes back to what’s real and pleasurable in the moment, I remember how much I love this body.

And myself.

Jump in!
Did you find this useful? What’s it like for you when you see that number on the scale?
LovelinessFor more of my personal experiences navigating the full-on intensity of what it takes to have an exciting, scrumptious life that makes you want to lick your fingers, subscribe to my blog.
And if you’re ready to take the plunge, step out of your box, and commit to living your best life ever, go ahead: email me to melody@nakedwellness.com to set up your complimentary connection session. I might poke… but only out of love. 😉

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?

Yummy in My Body

Today, I look at my body’s softness.

The way it rounds and curves and folds and bounces, sometimes ripples…

And I love it!

The protruding roundness rising out of my womb, which is my lower belly… leading up to the lump above my belly button, then separating up to my breasts.

The curve of my shoulders and fleshiness of my arms.

I feel my butt’s heaviness and jiggle as I walk, and instead of judging it, I take pleasure in it.

In how bountiful and juicy it makes me feel (on this particular day at least).

And as I notice these things in myself, I see them in the women around me.

Appreciating their softness and dangliness, and jiggliness… So yummy!

I don’t judge them. I see what men see, in the precious and delectable female form.

And it’s formidable.

Photo credit: Orin Hahn

I love my body [Photo credit: Orin Hahn]

NU Project | Baring It All

Hello, happy shiny people!

It’s been a while since I’ve written here. How have you been?

On my side, it’s been pretty hectic.

Between finalizing details for the upcoming retreat in Belize, and launching Velvet Butter, a new body care product line that focuses on self-appreciation… I haven’t had much time to write anything else.

However, I’ve been very fortunate to have been photographed by Matt Blum for the NU Project.

I’m super excited about it because it’s so aligned with Naked Wellness’ message of knowing how beautiful we are, no matter what we look like. And how when we drop pretenses (and the masks we wear, be it hiding how we really feel or plastering on cake-layers of make up, and using contraptions to hide what our body really looks like), our inner radiance shows up like a delicious explosion.

If you don’t believe me, head on over to their website and take a look at their galleries. These women are every shape, size and color and they are all stunning.

Why? Because they’re being open and vulnerable and REAL.

And, let me tell you, the photoshoot with Matt was sooooo much fun!

And yes, it definitely left me a little jittery from the adrenaline of feeling vulnerable afterwards. Let alone when the pictures went online!

The urge to pick my body apart was battling the powerful display of my beauty, and radiance and sheer freedom in those pictures.

So what if my cellulite shows, or my thighs look large when I’m sitting??

It’s all gorgeous!

Whew! What a rush!

That is the kind of juicy vulnerability that comes up when we are leaning on our edge.

When we are stepping out of our comfort zone to live a life that’s bigger than we’ve led so far.

And that’s why I said yes.

While my offerings focus around self-love and embracing every bit of ourselves (physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual), having nude pictures of myself online for everyone else to see add a whole other layer of nakedness, vulnerability and uncertainty.

What will people think? Would it be pushing the limits for my clients? What if a guy I’m dating googles me and finds these? What will the people at my synagogue think? And my parents???

I have no way of knowing what the consequences will be. Maybe it changes how people see me. Maybe in a good way… Maybe in a judgmental way.

Probably both.

Some people will admire me for it, and hopefully be inspired to get out of their comfort zone in some way. Others will judge me and think I’m exposing myself unnecessarily.

And my practice, as with any time we are revealing something we don’t usually let others see, is to be ok with that and stand strong in my principles and my view of myself.

Plus, asides from being a practice in walking my talk for myself, I hope my posing for the NU Project inspires other women (and people in general) to see the beauty in everyone exactly as they are.

Hiding nothing.

Naked.

In an effort to push the edge a bit further for myself (and teach by example), here I am, announcing it to all. (Ay!)

In addition, Naked Wellness is collaborating with the NU Project on their blog, where they’ve republished my Love Letter to My Body to share it with thousands of women who could benefit from writing a letter like this to their own beautiful vessel.

Go ahead, write your own!

For bonus points, you can leave an appreciation note for your own body in the comments. You have no idea how sharing your experience inspires others!

[Needless to say, I feel pretty vulnerable about posting this. Please be gentle when commenting.

More than anything, I want to know about your relationship with yourself and your body, what you think of Velvet Butter and/or the NU Project, or your reactions to the letter. Thanks!]

There is No There There

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And it loves you!

One thing we hear a lot about this time of year is how to get back in shape for swimsuit season.

Diets, exercise, pills, weird experiments to trick our body into slimming down.

We wage war on our body to get it to look the way we think it should look in order to get what we want, whether it’s the hottie across the street, better job opportunities, our partner’s attention (or sometimes revenge on an ex), or just feeling better about ourselves when we look in the mirror.

We get into a cycle of restriction and control. Don’t eat this, don’t do that, say this thing not that, discipline, discipline, discipline.

This is what will get us there (whatever ‘there’ is, which seems to be some imaginary magical land where the skinny happy forever partying people without problems seem to live).

The thing is… There is no there there.

It doesn’t exist, yet we continually fight ourselves and our bodies to reach it.

I’m not saying there isn’t room for restraint, discipline and effort in this world.

But there is a difference between having these things out of commitment and pleasure instead of out our of ideas of how we should be in order to get the love, appreciation, and power we crave.

What would it be like if we started to listen to our desires, and acted from that place?

This morning, my body was very clear about its need to exercise before I got started with work.

So I took it to the gym.

Guess what? That means I get to be a lot more productive and focused because my body is happy.

When it’s hungry, I ask it what it really wants to eat. What would be the most nourishing thing for it?

It speaks.

But we rarely bother to pay attention to it because we have it that it’s against us, it doesn’t do what we want it to do.

Have you ever thought that perhaps you are not doing it justice either?

What would it be like if we struck a cease-fire and started peace talks with each other?

In my experience, the results of listening to and trusting the wisdom in my body have been

  • A lot more pleasure, not just physical but actually enjoying myself, what I’m doing and where I am
  • More productivity
  • A healthier attitude towards food
  • Actually craving exercise and movement
  • No more emotional eating
  • and, of course, this all results on actually shedding pounds.

The best way to get in shape for swimsuit season is actually to enjoy ourselves in exploring what makes our bodies happy. Regardless of whether weight drops or not, we will feel so much juicier about ourselves and life that it won’t matter:

The love, appreciation and power that we seek will be there anyway because it comes from ourselves.

Adore Your Body in the Morning

Waking up this morning, as every morning, I lounged in my bed and let my senses wake up to be graced by the day.

My attention went to the feeling of my bedsheets caressing my skin, how my muscles felt as a stretched, and air flowed slowly into my body as I breathed.

And then, the question about breakfast came up.

Most of the time it’s

What do I feel like having for breakfast?

But today, it came up in a new and exhilarating way that I’m excited to share with you. I’m liking it very much, and framing things in this way seems a lot more exciting, playful and insightful because it sparks a curiosity and adventureness that tickles me.

Sensual Question

The question was

What breakfast will I adore my body with today?

Isn’t that a completely different way of framing things?

I love it!

It places me in a position of reverence to my body, of loving it so deeply and completely with the food that I will savor and nourish it with.

Of course, it sets the tone for all other sorts of activities with which I can adore this beautiful and amazing vessel.

What activities will I adore my body with today?

What kinds of exercise will I adore my body with today?

What clothing will I adore my body with today?

These are all questions worth asking, for they place the emphasis on reconnecting with our body’s needs and desires, creating a stronger bond that is not only more pleasurable but has repercussions on our health, body image, self-esteem and general well-being.

What are some other ways in which you can show your devotion to your body?