Why Not Rushing Is Always Better

I just had a fantastic massage, and was contemplating whether to follow my original plan of going to synagogue for the first Shabbat of the Jewish year.

The traditionalist in me felt it would be good to do that out of… tradition.

But this other something in me just wanted to sit and lounge and have a cup of tea, and maybe read a few more pages of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (awesome book, by the way!).

In keeping with my (re)commitment to slowness and not rushing, I listened.

At first, I thought I’d go to one of my favorite places and have an alfajor de maizena (an Argentinian gluten free treat), but I walked in and my body was a ‘no.’

I promptly left and wondered down another street to a place where I wasn’t sure they would sit me without ordering dinner. They said I couldn’t have a table, but I could sit in the back or on the front porch.

I checked out the back patio, and there were some people having a very intense NYstyle discussion.

‘No.’

So I went back to the front, and sat on the porch with my tea.. and this guy who was playing guitar and practicing for his solo show tonight.

‘Perfect!’

So I sat, and sipped, and listened as I watched people walk by and brighten up when they heard him play.

It’s always so much better when I slow down, put the ‘shoulds’ aside, and listen.

I’m really enjoying this not rushing thing.

And the funny thing is, this is more in keeping with Shabbat than if I had hurried to make it to services. After all, Shabbat is about rest and reconnection.

And now I still get to go meet my synagogue community for dinner.

Best of both worlds.

What would be possible for you if you stopped rushing?

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Putting the Slow First

As I lay in the sauna with nothing to do except breathe and sweat, I heard it.

It sounded like a whisper at first, but as I noticed it became loud and clear:

You haven’t been paying attention  to me.

That’s what my body was saying.

I was quite surprised. I had been feeling out of alignment and was doing everything I knew to get back into it: eating healthy, exercising, even self-care practices like the sauna…

But it was rote.

I had been going through the motions of what I thought would get me back in touch, the things that had worked in the past.

But I wasn’t really listening.

There was always a barrage of things going through my mind at the same time I did all these things. All the things that I should be doing, that needed to get done.

All the while, my body had been screaming that I needed to slow down but I kept not paying attention because… well, shit needed to get done, bills paid, and slowing down was not an option.

I’d been operating from an ‘I know better’ capacity from my mind, totally immersed on trying to control my experience instead of listening to the wisdom within.

Even I, professing about the wisdom in the body and listening to it, even I fell into this hamster wheel of how things ‘should be’ so I can get the things I want.

I laugh because… Oh, the irony!

I used to teach that slowing down needed to come first and these were the exact things my clients used to tell me.

And I would say that slowing down is how we reconnect and recharge and get clear so all that action is focused instead of all over the place.

Slowing down makes our minds clearer and gets us in touch with another source of intelligence, our bodies. We get more creative and make better decisions which are more fulfilling; we feel more at peace and focused action comes from a place of inspiration instead of from anxiety, stress, and seeking approval.

And it’s still true, but I had forgotten.

Slow and steady wins the race

Slow and steady wins the race

I hadn’t been trusting that wisdom in my body, but when somehow I heard that faint whisper in the sauna… tears started streaming down my cheeks because I remembered.

Re-membered.

It’s not worth it to get the things you want, but not be able to enjoy them because your thoughts are telling you something is not perfect or to get on to the next thing that just appeared in your list.

There’s no enjoyment in that, and life will always feel like a never-ending list of tasks if lived that way.

I’m not bashing the mind; it’s an incredible tool. But it needs to be applied where appropriate and not where it’s not.

And I’ve not been doing a good job of distinguishing that.

Sometimes we need to buckle down and just get shit done even if it’s not what we feel like doing, but that’s not where the difference lies.

The difference is in whether we’re taking action out of creativity or out of trying to compensate for a perceived lack.

The first one will feel great even if we don’t feel like doing the proverbial ass-in-chair method, the second one will always feel draining in the end because we’re chasing the dragon of approval, ours or someone else’s.

Practicing slowing down and putting everything that needs to ‘get done’ aside is an excellent way to fill ourselves up with that approval and self-acceptance that we don’t need to be anything other than what we are right now, so that our actions can come from a place of offering instead of taking.

And so what if progress is slower? It’s still progress and it will feel a hell of a lot better throughout the journey and when we get ‘there’.

It’s time to put the slow first.

Will you join me?


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.

I would love to know what comes up for you when you’re asked to slow down.

For me, the fear is that I won’t get the things I want and I’ll have wasted my life doing nothing. Yet I’ve tried it both ways and seen that it’s not worth it when I get what I want but cannot appreciate it.

There is a precious integration that happens when we can get our ass-in-chair out of inspiration and commitment instead of a perceived sense that we lack something to be lovable or successful.

Your turn to share!

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.

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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]

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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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

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.