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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I’m feeling angry and sad

  
I’m feeling really angry.
Really angry and sad.

There’s a deep seated rage, and it wants to lash out.

I feel like I was violated.

And yet… It was just words, and words that came out of care and wanting to protect me.

But they hurt instead.

Why does that happen?
Why do sometimes people hurt us with their caring?

I don’t know.

I just know that it hurts.

That the words left me feeling untrusting of my own self, of my own sense of safety.
My own sense of whether I’m safe or not.

Prior to the words, I’d been feeling happy and loved and supported, choosing to trust in the opportunity laid ahead of me even when it seemed a bit quick and farfetched, though totally doable at the same time.

I chose, despite my learned helplessness about these matters, to trust that the task at hand is possible, because I’m not doing it alone.

And I’ve so wanted to not do it alone for such a long time.

I’m realizing now, I felt a sort of relief about this opportunity.

Relief at the invitation to offer my knowledge and experience in relating to people, and that I wouldn’t have to figure out how all on my own.

And the words triggered the fearful part of me, the part that wonders if I’m being taken advantage of, the part that wants to close off and protect myself.

The part that feels like I’m alone in it.

The part that’s painful, and that I had felt relieved from.

And I’m really mad at this person for saying those words right now.
For projecting her own fears, even if they were out of caring.

It was like the floor dropped out from under me.

It brought me back to that moment when I was 4, and got into the elevator by myself and felt completely fine and safe until I heard my mom freaking out through the elevator doors.

When I go back to that moment, I feel puzzled.
Everything was fine. What was there to freak out about?

And it made me question my sense of things being ok.

It’s why I’m feeling sad now.
Why I’m feeling sad and angry.

And yet, I’m also feeling grateful.

Because I’m getting to practice feeling the rush of sensations in my body.

The feeling that I’m going to explode from the energy of the anger coursing through me, and the feeling of sadness behind my eyes.

And then another sadness comes.

The sadness that I haven’t been letting myself experience my emotions like this in a while, and the sadness that I haven’t been listening to my heart.

I’m so sorry.

And then my heart perks up and expands a bit, feeling heard for the first time in a very long time.

I’m so sorry.

That I’ve been so immersed in surviving, that I’ve forgotten (how) to follow your cues.

I forgive myself.

I want to listen more, and follow suit.
And I’m scared I’m not able to.

But we’ll find a way.

  

Harnessing the Power of the New Moon

moon-circle

Honoring the regenerative space is key.

 

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

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

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

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

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

Nonstop.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Natural cycles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We resist it.

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

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

Nothing is wrong.

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

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

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

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

The down is what builds the momentum.

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

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

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

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

I won’t say it’s easy.

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

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

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

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

1. Remember

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

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

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

2. Breathe and develop trust in the process

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

3. Get curious

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

Get curious about those threads, and follow their lead.

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

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

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

4. Get support

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

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

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

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

5. Beware from comparison despair

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

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

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

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

6. Keep a journal

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

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

7. Pleasure and self-care

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

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

 

 

Let things emerge, gently, slowly, patiently.

 

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

 

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

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

We cannot keep denying the cycles of nature.

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

Grateful Tuesday: Let It Come

Dear Reader,

Welcome to yet another edition of Grateful Tuesday, my weekly shared ritual of listing 5-7 things I’m especially appreciative of. Will you join me in the comments? GrAttitude loves company!

This week has been very social and has brought a lot of insights and inner peace. It all has to do with putting the effort in, and then letting the rest unfold and come to me.

It’s so much better this way!

So very tempting!

So very tempting!

I’ve been longing to visit Thailand (as I usually do when it’s cold in New York) and all my lovely friends who are there the past few weeks. But I reminded myself that warmer weather was right around the corner, and stuck it out. Funnily enough, Thailand ended up coming to me in the shape of several friends I met there in the last few years visiting NYC. I’m grateful for them bringing their particular way of being supportive and loving when I was craving it, and I’m grateful to whatever it is (coincidence or not) that fulfilled my need.

I’m grateful for the strength that has been developing inside me to not take the little voices in my head that want to pull my attention to disempowering thoughts seriously. It’s been such a gift to notice them, not let them run me, know that they will get resolved exactly when they need to get resolved… and to be able to laugh about the whole circus is priceless!

Like this,... but with laughter

Add laughter and you get the picture (and the pun was totally intended)

 

I am most definitely grateful for 80-degree weather and the delicious combination of sun and skin and warmth that enveloped me this morning. After months of dragging myself around (along with 20 extra pounds of winter clothing), every cell in my body sang ‘This! This is exactly what I needed!

I’m also grateful for the rooftop on which I got to work on my tan while I followed up on phone calls, and the fact that I have the option to make that into my office on scrumptiously warm days like today.

Putting my bikini and sarong on today was literally like putting on another Melody. It made me realize that the Melody I’ve been experiencing this winter was just Winter Melody, and that the reason that I’d been concerned was that I thought this sadder and unmotivated version of myself was going to stick around forever, when really she is a seasonal part of me that requires me to be more internal. It just had been 3 years since I had experienced this version of myself, so I thought it was me when it was simply me in a particular context. This insight feels so much better than the subconscious belief I was carrying around, and I’m most certainly grateful to have noticed it.

I’m definitely grateful for all my supportive friends who always hold space for my greatness, reminding me it’s always there… even when I can’t see it. I love you all.

I’m grateful for my sense of humor and my ability to laugh at myself.

So yeah… This week has been full of flow, not because there haven’t been snags but because I’ve been practicing untangling and refocusing on what is in the moment, allowing things to resolve themselves and only intervening when necessary. It feels like good wisdom to have, and I’m grateful for that as well.

What are you grateful for this week, dear Reader? Will you share your grAttitude in the comments section?

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.

20130305-130414.jpg

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

 

Astounding and profound explanation of how Tantra and sex got mixed up. Must read!

Moved, but still in the same place

After these few idyllic days in Raglan, I’m really dreading the prospect of rejoining the Stray bus tomorrow. So much so, that I don’t even want to stay in the lodge when the bus is here. I’ve decided to go stay at the Raglan Backpackers tonight, so that I can avoid the large Stray group at least for one more night.

While the Karioi Lodge is in Whale Bay (a 10-minute ride away from downtown Raglan), Raglan Backpackers is right in the middle of town and close to the 3-block main street.

Both hostels are amazing in their own right. They are both very chill, have great common areas, and the people who are attracted to come to Raglan are always very cool, no matter where they decide to stay. The only difference is that one is more removed from the town, and feels like a little world on its own, while the other is a bit closer to the action.

They are equally great. Where you stay depends on what you want out of your experience.

Sharing good times and dough

Sharing good times and dough

In any case, tonight was Pizza Night at the Raglan Backpackers. The hostel hosts made the dough from all the leftover flour that guests leave, and the rest of us just needed to get a bit of dough, add our own toppings and, voila! We have our very own pizza!

It was great to see everyone involved in making their own version, and it was a way to connect with others.

A few of the guys who worked at the hostel were leaving the next day to go skydive in Taupo, so we all stayed up until late chatting in the lounge. It was a larger group than at the lodge, but still very relaxed.

What do dolphins and Brian Weiss have in common?

The short answer? They both just re-entered my life in a very interesting way.

Here’s the long one

I’m staying at my friends’ place in Houston, TX and having a great time. Both had moved out of Brooklyn over a year ago and I hadn’t seen them since, so I’m loving this opportunity to reconnect in person.

I don’t know if it’s the place, or the people, or just something I’m doing right. But two things happened in the past couple of days that could be construed as coincidences. I choose to see them as signs pointing me in the right direction.

First, since E, one of my Houston friends, is very interested in having a healing practice combined with her passion for acting and creativity, I recommended she take a look at Aleta St. James. Aleta is an energy healer who combines several modalities such as sound, light, movement and affirmations to balance the chakras. If I’m not mistaken, Aleta had a background in acting so I thought perhaps E could draw some inspiration from her.

That was that, and we moved on to other things.

Hot Sunday in Houston, TX

Hot Sunday in Houston, TX

Tarot Time

On Sunday, I sat down with E and she read my cards next to the swimming pool. She told me my guides were with her, and that she thought my animal spirit was a dolphin. Greatly interested, I made a mental note to myself to research dolphins as animal spirits.

Later that day, I decided to send her a few links to websites I thought she might be interested in, and I included Aleta’s in the list.

The thing is, when I went to Aleta’s website myself and checked out her blog, I learned that she had just come back from a retreat in Bimini, where she had been swimming with dolphins. Not only that, but she had written about dolphins’ energy and healing properties.

Some people might think this is just a coincidence. But this tells me something. I should look into this dolphin thing.

But that’s not all

Yesterday, I asked E to recommend some books to me. I’ll be traveling for a while and spending a lot of time on planes, trains and buses. Books are great.

And the first author she brings up is Brian Weiss. I couldn’t believe it.


(Well, I could because I believe in synchronicity and the universe guiding me. But you know what I mean. It’s hard to get rid of the “That’s so weird!” habit, even when you know there’s nothing weird and everything beautiful about it.)

When I met G, the friend who is no longer a friend, he was all about how I absolutely needed to read Brian Weiss’s books. In fact, he was going to pass me all of his audiobooks so I could listen to them while I travel.

I had filed this author in my head under “things to look into in the future.”  But being that E, brought Brian Weiss back into the present… I went to the bookstore that same day and got one of his books.

I’m excited to see where this takes me.