It All Counts (On Softening, Trust and Gratitude)

  I’m proud of myself that I started my day with answering a few emails, and then immediately jumping onto my mat and doing an hour of stretching/yoga.

It felt good to spend time with my body again, even if my mind was wandering most of the time.

It will come.

Towards the end, when I was doing some simple sun salutations, I was filled with gratitude and chose to practice some self-forgiveness.

I’ve been so hard on myself in the last few years,  keeping myself in a holding belt of constant self-judgment, criticism, and bullshit that led to self-doubt, sticky stuckness, and the inability to trust myself.

And then beating myself up for not being able to move past all this, on top of it.

[Note: yes, even I, get into loops of stuckness and paralysis born out of self-punishing thoughts. It’s time I shed the layers of shame about it, and show up as I am: human.]

I felt myself soften today.

Felt so much gratitude for just being alive. For this experience and all the experiences I’ve had in this life, the good and the bad.

Even if the bad are not completely resolved and I don’t know if they will be.

I’m grateful to be alive.

And I guess it doesn’t much matter what I do with this life as much as it matters that I live it and that I’m alive.

It all counts.

It’s all experience.

I feel softer, slightly, towards myself.

The choices I’ve made have brought me to this moment, and this moment, feeling this gratitude filling every corner of my being, is precious.

I want to cry but the tears aren’t coming yet.

All in due time.

I know my undoing is coming, and it’s coming softly.

Unravel. Unfold. Unfurl.

The chrysalis comes to mind. That mush that isn’t formed, which will become a butterfly but has no shape yet.

In this place, I trust.

  

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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

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

Grateful Tuesday #11: I Have No Idea

Hello, dear Reader!

As I write this, I’m so tired I have no idea what’s going to come out.

But I’m committed to writing my weekly list of 5-7 things I’m grateful for before it’s Wednesday, so here I go!

One of the things I’m grateful for this week, and right now, is the ability to be in a place of uncertainty and ‘I don’t know.’ In this particular case, the risk is not very big. But in others, the ability to breathe and stay or take action (depending on what’s appropriate) when we have no clue what’s going on is really crucial.

I’m grateful for Bernardo Mendez from yourgreatlifetv.com, and the amazing Skype session we had today. Thank you, Bern!

Surround Yourself

As the quote says, I’m grateful to have people around me who see me and hold me to my greatness, even when I’m having a hard time seeing it and finding it in myself. We all have our days (sometimes weeks and months!), and making sure we have people who love us and remind us of our lighter sides goes a  long way towards preventing complete collapse… or at the very least, helps with the rebuilding.

I’m grateful for my co-conspirators in my two main projects, and all the progress we are making. I couldn’t do it without you, and the world will be a better place and people’s lives will be changed because of you. You rock, and I’m deeply deeply grateful that you’re all moved and inspired to work on these projects.

I’m grateful to Shir Yacov Feit, for taking my desire to contribute musically at our synagogue services seriously. Your guidance in this, as well as in my questions regarding rabbinical school, is precious and very much appreciated.

Despite feeling a bit constrained these days, I’m grateful for the structures I’ve put in place which make it possible for me to have time to work on my projects, take classes, be creative and have fun, socialize, take care of myself with exercise and healthy homemade meals, and even travel to support my family. I’m taking on a lot these days, and it all seems to be working out, somehow fitting into each week and I’m even making good progress!

Lastly, I’m going to get a bit meta, and say I’m grateful for this gratitude practice. It’s extremely nourishing.

Dear Reader, you’re invited to try it as well. Will you share what you’re grateful for in the comments section? I would love your company in this ritual.

Grateful for you as well,

Melody

Grateful Thursday

Hello, dear Reader!

I have to be honest and share with you that, as I write this, I’m feeling very annoyed.

I’m on my way to a seminar that encourages me to do all the things I don’t feel like doing, so I can create the things that I want in my life and the lives if others I want to inspire.

And I’m sleepy.

I just came home from helping my parents with their move, and all I want to do us curl up in bed for the next 12 hours.

Instead, I’m going to a seminar that will trigger me in every way so I can get out if my own way.

And, as annoyed as I am, I’m also grateful. I’m grateful that I’m making choices that support me in moving forward even when I want to dig in my heels and stop.

That’s #1 in my weekly ritual of listing 5-7 things I’m grateful for.

It’s supposed to happen every Tuesday, but hey… Better late than never, I say.

#2 I’m grateful to have been able to travel to Florida and support my parents at a stressful time.

#3 I’m also grateful I kept my cool. Visiting parents is one thing. Combine it with the stress of moving a 5 bedroom house… Ay-ay-ay!

#4 I’m grateful for my new guitar, and so excited to finally learn how to play now that I will be able to practice!

#5 I’m grateful to the amazing Parashakti, whom I always run into at random times and random places. We flew together today, and she reminded me that I can ask for help.

#6 Relatedly, I’m grateful to all the men who complied and helped me lug my suitcase up and down subway stairs. This tired woman really appreciates it!

#7 This one is kind of for the future: I’m so grateful for my delicious soft bed and the embrace it will enfold me in tonight. Hmmm…

What are you grateful for this week? Please share in the comments.

Grateful Tuesday #10

Hello, hello!

How are you, dear Reader?

It’s the 10th edition of my (as of late sort of) weekly gratitude ritual where I list 5-7 things I’m grateful for this week.

It’s been quite an amazing time, when lots of the seeds I’ve planted over the past few months have started germinating. I can even sense a few flower buds coming through, and it feels so good. I’m grateful to have put in the effort.

I’m also grateful for the inspiration these buds lend me. I’m excited for more, and the fruits of the future are calling me forth to keep working hard and having fun doing it.

I’m grateful for my community choir and the cabaret class I’m taking. I chose to add them to my packed schedule because I value fun, art and self-expression and they are bringing exactly that into my life.

I’m grateful for my family, even if this week I sucked at staying in touch. They’ve been on my mind every day.

I’m grateful for everyone that came to the Sensual Meditation and Yoga class on Monday. It was a pleasure sharing these Presence and Embodiment tools with you, and I hope you left feeling delicious, refreshed and enlivened.

I’m grateful for those people in my life that hold me accountable to my greatness, and don’t let me get away with staying small.

That’s it for this week, loves.

What are you grateful for? Please leave your list in the comments section.

With love and grAttitude,

Melody

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 (Almost Not) Tuesday #7

Hello, darling Readers!

It’s been another week, and here I am, posting #7 in my weekly ongoing series on grAttitude: Grateful Tuesday.

This week has had it’s up and downs (what else is new?), and it has been intense, productive and fun.

How was yours?

I’d love to read what you’re grateful for this week in the comments section.

As for me, here’s my list of 5-7 things I’m especially appreciating this week:

  • I mentioned reading about mysticism in a recent post, Is Life Not Enough For You?. The inspiration was a series of handouts from my Kabbalah class, which I’m so enjoying. I’m grateful for the classes, my teacher, and the group but I want to take a second here to express   my gratitude for how fulfilling reading from these handouts has been. Sitting with a cup of tea, it’s been so nourishing to take some time to study. Not just read, but actually study and reflect and make notes. It’s actually made me consider going back to school. I had forgotten how much I enjoy all this!
  • I am grateful for all of you who came to my class, Fun & Practical Tools to BE HERE NOW. It was a pleasure and an honor to lead you through your emotional release and awakening to your body.
  • I am grateful for my inner strength and guidance, which shows up and catches me when I feel I’m going to keep falling forever. To know and trust that that resilience is there is priceless.
  • I am grateful that my projects are moving along nicely, at a pace that feels fulfilling and sustainable.
  • I am grateful that, as I am putting more energy and effort into all these new projects, I am also scheduling plenty of opportunities for self-love and self-care in the shape of exercise, time in the sauna, meeting friends for lunch or tea, spending some time massaging moisturizing oils into my skin, meditation, cooking delicious and healthy food for myself, and nutritious study and creativity. It feels so good to take care of me!
Cat nap

How I feel in the morning

  • I am grateful that Daylight Savings Time means the sun is warming me and waking me up in the most delicious way an hour earlier and I have more time to play and create and get things done during the day.
  • Lastly, my family has been a lot on my mind lately. Definitely grateful for them!

Of course, I’m always appreciative of you as well, sweet Readers. I’m very happy we get to keep each other company throughout the weeks.

Love always,

Melody

PS: Don’t forget to share your GrAttitude list below!

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.

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