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.

To Force or to Let Go?

Happy ChooseDay, Beloveds!

I’ve been pondering a lot on one of the biggest lessons I learned while I was long-term traveling abroad by myself for the first time.

Things come back in this ever shifting spiral of experiences that we call Life, always deepening the roots of the lessons we have to learn.

I had *trained* myself to be a ‘good spiritual person;’ someone who doesn’t judge or get angry, who is always compassionate, and coming from a place of ‘oneness.’

I had a healing from the wonderful Ciara Kirby, and all that was wiped off.

I found all the anger I didn’t even know I had inside, and found myself being easily irritated by the smallest things. Things that I would have brushed off so easily before, they wouldn’t even have registered as irritants.

I did not like it one bit.

And I was scared that I was going to be like this for the rest of my life.


I had to let go of my past self, but what if I didn’t like the me I would become?

I had to develop such strong trust and faith in the process.

In the end, everything I has *trained* myself into came about again, but naturally and not from who I thought I ‘should’ be.

In loving myself as I was, even in those dark places I hadn’t known in me before, I found there was room for the anger, and the judgment, and the compassion, and the ‘oneness.’

After all, how could there be compassion for others if I wasn’t compassionate towards my own human emotions?

This goes for everyone.

You can try to force yourself into becoming the person you think you should be, or you can let go, trust the process, and melt into the person you are meant to be.

We live in a society that’s very much about achieving through discipline and force.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

There’s something beautiful and magical about the combination of letting go, and having trust, and having compassion for ourselves as we move through the process. It leads to a very powerful balance that feels right and true because we’re not shutting out any part of us.

We feel loved and enough because we are loved and enough by ourselves.

And that’s some powerful shit.

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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.

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

Larger Than Life

Dearests,

How is the renewal of Spring treating you?

On my end, I’m really feeling the pull of the almost frenetic energy of Nature’s revival, tantalizing me with so many possibilities for adventure, expression and self-development/exploration.

Like WHOA!

Like WHOA!

With so many projects I’m spearheading, classes I’m taking and leading, people to connect with, places to visit, and self-care… it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed.

Are you feeling it too?

But taking deep breaths, focusing on what’s in front of me at the moment, and alchemizing the feeling of overwhelm into the sensation of excitement… It all feels like very yummy opportunities for fun and growth!

I hope you’re taking the time to do the same, turning any ‘too muchness’ into something to enjoy growing into instead of dread.

If life feels like too much to handle, don’t shrink it… Make yourself larger! [Tweet it!]

Learn how to hold more.

There’s so many precious things we want to experience, and it’s all about how we organize ourselves to do so while turning around feelings of overwhelm into the very thing that fuels us.

If you’d like to have support around this (or a couple other things listed below) you’re in luck:

I’m opening up 5 private coaching spots this Spring.

If you want to…

  • Experience what it’s like to stop putting stuff off and be able to take on more with pleasure
  • Reconnect with the beauty in your body and/or in yourself as it is
  • Let go of feelings of inadequacy and shame, and feel powerful and free to express yourself in any situation
  • Create more connection and opportunities for love and appreciation in your life

you might want to consider contacting me for an initial consultation.

Everyone wins!

One of the things I’m consciously stepping into more and more this year is practicing the art of gifting, both as a pleasure practice and as a way to get out of my comfort zone when I’m giving of myself beyond what I know I can handle.

It feels so great to expand the limits of my generosity, and it works so nicely for the receiving party as well!

So… I’m doing something crazy in the spirit of Spring and renewal, and

offering my initial consultations for $50 for the next month.

If you’ve been wondering what working with me is like, now is your chance to try it out for a ri-di-cu-lous price.

[Seriously… My initial consultations are usually $127].

In addition, anyone who pre-registers for one of my BE HERE NOW classes in New York City (the next one is Sensual Meditation + Yoga on April 22), will receive a FREE 30-minute phone/Skype session with me.

Like... WHO-HO-AH!!!!

Like… WHO-HO-AH!!!!

Just because Spring makes me happy.

Take advantage of it!

With love, cherry blossoms and gratitude,

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 Tuesday #6: Spring Forth! Edition

Hello, dear Reader!

How was your week? I’m very curious to know. Will you share your list of 5-7 things you’re grateful for this week in the comments, and let me know how you’ve been?

I’ll start with mine.

[For those of you who don’t know, Tuesdays are when I keep my weekly GrAttitude ritual and invite you to keep me company in the comments section. This is installment #6.]

I’m listening to the fantastic Bonobo as I write this, and I’m most certainly grateful for his delicious music. It’s inspiring, slinkily sexy, and puts me in touch with my turn on and pleasure. It’s energizing and uplifting and just plain scrrrumptious. He’s on my top 5 favorite artists list, and you should definitely check out his ambient jazzy deliciousness pronto. What’s not to be grateful for?

[Here. You don’t even have to search for it!]

I’m grateful for these last few days of staying in during winter storms. So cozy, and perfect opportunities for self-care.

I’m grateful for the increase in offerings and conversations around men’s self-expression. There’s been so much offered to women in this area, and I’m happy to see more come up for men. I am inspired to be a part of that movement. Not sure the exact shape it’s going to take yet (One-on-one? Workshops? Retreats?), but I’m open to clarity and opportunities around that.

[Check out the Men’s Story Project and the Good Men Project if you want to learn more].

I’m grateful for NYC’s public transportation system. As much as we complain about it, it really is one of the best in the world. These trains and buses not only take me everywhere I need to be, but they also are awesome opportunities to peoplewatch, learn about the human experience, and meet awesome new people.

I’m grateful for my beautiful and radiant home. After over 2 years, I’m still in love with it and can’t believe how lucky I am.

I’m grateful for my health. I just took a deep breath of after-rain fresh air and it reminded me how precious it is to be alive.

Lastly, I’m grateful to all of you who read this. Thank you for sharing this journey with me.

Will you also share your grAttitude?

Love,

Melody

Grateful Tuesday #5: Breaking Whole Edition

Hello, darlings!

This is #5 in my weekly grAttitude ritual, in which I list 5-7 things I’m appreciative of this week.

Rituals can be even better when shared, so you’re totally invited to add your very own grAttitude list in the comments section. Let’s keep each other in appreciation mode!

Last week’s installment came in (oops!) late, as my Tuesday was so scrumptious that I forgot to share it with you. I can be a bit self-absorbed sometimes.

This week, I’m grateful for whole different reasons. There’s been plenty of restless moments, and keeping an attitude of gratitude (when we least feel like it) makes the most difference in times like this.

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Without further ado,…

  • I’m grateful for my brokenness
  • Related to this, I’m grateful for my ability to hold and love myself in this brokenness, and for the constant self-reminder that I’m the most whole when I’m broken.
  • I’m grateful to have developed the ability to find pleasure and juiciness in the bitter and sweet aching split of cracking open. Over and over again.
  • I’m grateful for my tenacity and determination to get back up, dust myself off and go at it again, no matter how tired I am.
  • I’m grateful for the company of great friends, mentors, clients, blog readers, spiritual and non-spiritual teachers from whom I learn and draw inspiration every day. I hope I can contribute to your lives in the same way.
  • I’m grateful for this winter season of going inward, and that the weather is finally starting to warm up. I can feel Spring right around the corner!
  • Lastly, it’s not all gloomy. I’m super grateful for my co-conspirators in a series of projects that I’m very excited about sharing with you… soon!

Thank you for sharing in this practice with me, dear Reader. I’d love to know what you’re especially appreciative of this week. Will you share that in the comments?

Much love,

Melody