The Most Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift is NOT Self-Love

Hi Lovers!

It’s been a rollercoaster ride the last couple years, but I had a pretty huge epiphany recently that the reason I haven’t been s clear and powerful as I had in the past (or that’s how I see it anyway) is that I haven’t been being honest with myself.

I’ve been scared of my own self-judgment, and that has made me so sensitive and reactive to that of others. Even when it’s not judgment but loving constructive criticism, I haven’t been able to receive it because it requires me to look at the stuff that I don’t want to see.

All the stuff I’m not liking about myself.

All the stuff that’s lurking underneath, which I cannot see.

The stuff I’m ashamed of, but I don’t know it yet.

Whenever someone tries to help me and support me in my pursuit of happiness, I feel really stressed out and vulnerable and I want to push them away.

I get defensive because, to me, it’s as if they were saying “Hey! Look at this! Look at all the stuff that’s wrong with you that you’re trying really hard not to see!’

Ugh. And I really don’t want to see it… But I can’t keep going like this because I’m hurting myself by doing so. I’m shooting myself in the foot.

So, I’ve arrived at this place again, where I get to practice looking inwards paired with not making myself wrong in the deepest of ways.

As I say, just cuz I don’t like it, it doesn’t mean I cannot love it.

This means that self-love alone is not enough.

As powerful as positive affirmations can be, we’re not really loving ourselves if we’re glossing over the things we have a hard time looking at with an ‘I love myself.

No matter how sincere it is and how much we want to believe it, if the shame or criticism is deep enough, saying that will only trigger thoughts of how that’s not true.

No.

Really loving ourselves takes the courage to look at all our shit, and once we’re clear on what it is we are NOT loving, only then can we start developing our compassion for ourselves.

Start to soften our harshness and self-judgment and drop the self-criticism, even while we don’t make ourselves wrong for criticizing ourselves.

And only after THAT, can we begin to have the conversations we need to have with these parts of ourselves. Practice some deep listening to see what they are scared of, what it is that they serve.

There’s always some way in which these little voices of criticism are trying to protect us, or serve a deep need.

And by knowing what that need is, we can come up with a healthier way to fulfill it that doesn’t get in the way of our living a life that we really love.

Developing that business.
Meeting that life partner.
Creating our masterpiece.
Having deeply satisfying friendships.
Putting ourselves out in the world.

On this Valentine’s Day, make sure you practice some REAL self-love by making some time to get honest with yourself.

truth_or_consequences

So let’s be honest… What’s the thing you’re not wanting to look at? What’s the reason you don’t want to see it?

In the upcoming posts, I’ll be looking at all the ways we keep ourselves from being true to ourselves and why. And as I go through the process of untangling myself, I will also share what I’m doing to develop the courage to stop running away and look within.

Stay tuned.

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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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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 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

 

Choose Your Story Wisely

Remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books?

Oftentimes, we feel as though life throws things at us and we have no control over anything.

But what if that’s not true? What if all the ways in which we perceive the world were up to us to choose?

I have to admit, this is a lesson that keeps coming up time and time again. I learn it, I apply it, I thrive, I fall off the wagon, and…

DESPAIR. RESISTANCE. ANGER. SADNESS.

All beautiful emotions that make me human. I’m grateful for them, really… They are not the most comfortable thing to feel, but they bring with them so much growth and learning about myself.

And then, I get to FORGIVENESS… And I remember that I get to choose whether I believe the stories my mind spins.

This morning, as I was riding the subway to meet my accountant, it dawned on me for the umpteenth time that I didn’t have to.

So liberating!

In a moment of absolute clarity, the wisdom came from somewhere deep inside me and said there’s nothing to be sad or angry about because they are all just stories.

My mind remembers these things, but then I have to wait until my body catches up when it forgets. This is exactly what happened in that moment.

My body remembered.

And then, out of its own volition, it picked up my phone to type the following words up. I don’t know if it was for my benefit, yours, or ours… But here it is:

Are you plagued by feelings of unworthiness?

Feelings of not being good enough, of not deserving the good things that come your way in life?

What is your reaction when someone compliments you or praises you?

Are you able to fully receive it and feel deep inside…

Yes! I DID do a good job!

Or

Yes! I DO look great!

Or

Yes! I AM a good person/friend/mother/father/etc?

If the feeling that comes up when someone praises you or compliments you in any way, it’s one of distrust, of

Why is this person telling me this?

Or

What do they want from me?

chances are that a part of you doesn’t feel deserving of it. Whatever that person’s motivation is (and that is something to take apart and judge separately), has nothing to do with whether you feel worthy of the praise or not.

So how can we get to the place where we do feel deserving?

Well, the reason we don’t is that at some point in time we have incorporated stories that say we don’t deserve it. That we need to be different from who we are, do things different from the way we would naturally do them, or just work our ass off to deserve anything.

Whether the story comes from your religion, your culture, your parents, teachers at school, or friends… The point is…

It is just a story.

When we recognize it as a story, we can choose to let it go. Or at the very least, choose not to believe it.

Every time this little voice comes up to tell you you are unworthy, not good enough, or undeserving… Take it in, embrace it lovingly and tell it gently that you appreciate it, but don’t believe it.

Agree to disagree.

And firmly add another voice to the party in your head:

I DO deserve this.

And

I AM good enough.

And

It is my birthright.

I love it when my wise body speaks so directly!

What is yours saying? What are some stories you are ready to let go off?

You Say It Like It’s a Bad Thing!

“Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field.
I will meet you there.”

Rumi

 

Have you ever noticed how we call people who dare to be different, or do things outside the norm, ‘shameless’?

We say it like it’s a bad thing.

But is it?

When you make it your life’s mission to guide people as they heal their shame, being shameless is the goal.

I mean… why would anyone want to have shame?

The feeling that comes up when we are scared of showing a part of ourselves we think is wrong or ‘not enough,’ shame by definition creates fragmentation and disconnection in our lives. Exactly the opposite of what we want: union, intimacy, connection.

So why is it that we call others ‘shameless’ as if it was an insult? As if being it is something to be avoided?

Implied in this language is an unconscious way to keep each other down. To stay within the norm and avoid standing out.

To hold back from expressing their true self, which is extraordinary, unique and different by definition.

Being called shameless is, as far as I’m concerned, a compliment. Something to aspire to.

You can be shameless now.

You have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.

As proof, I invite you to be a shame exhibitionist for a while: whenever you feel it, share it. Tell someone about it, and you will see that it’s not the end of the world.

Not just that, but you will realize that that which you’ve been hiding is not as big a deal as it seemed. Most people will understand, and maybe even feel inspired by you to share their own shame.

How do I know this?

It’s one of my clients’ most common epiphanies, and they feel so liberated!

Most of us have been taught that we need to be or do different from how we already are or behave in order to receive/deserve love and appreciation.

This is what sets us up for feeling ‘wrong’ and ‘not enough’… and, yes, feeling shame about it.

When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, take a risk, and show our shame, we will get one of two responses:

1) The other will understand, empathize and perhaps share their own stuff they’ve been afraid to let us know. We will both feel more connected and free to express ourselves.

Or, 2) the other will feel uncomfortable with our openness because of their own fear of making all of themselves visible. But somebody else’s inability to receive our whole self does not make us ‘wrong’ in any way. It’s not something to take personally.

In either case, being open about our shame will dissipate it because, by definition, it’s not shame anymore once we share it.

You can be shameless right now, just by letting go of this idea that you need to be anything other than who you already are. By accepting and loving yourself. No should, rights or wrongs.

Just beautiful, perfect you.

 

Jump in!

What are your thoughts/feelings on this subject? What has been your experience when you finally shared something you’d been keeping in? Please feel free to share.

As always, thie comments section is an advice-free area. We all have our stuff, and this is a place to share it without fear of being judged or told what to do.

You Are Beautiful

If I lose weight, he will like me

If I look like a model, I will attract my partner

If I had bigger boobs, he would want me

If I have a six-pack, she wouln’t resist me

If I wasn’t so shy, my life would be more exciting

If I were nicer, people would stick around

If I dressed with more expensive clothes, people would take me more seriously

If I were funnier, smarter, had a larger penis nicer car, , a more “important” job, better taste in music… blah, blah blah!

 

Aren’t you tired of this?

 

When will we realize that we are enough just the way we are?

 

Society would have us believe otherwise because no one would buy any of the crap that advertisers throw in front of our eyeballs and ears 24/7 if people didn’t feel they are not good enough.

 

My skin should be tighter, look younger, less wrinkles!

My boobs should look perkier

My shlong should be… shlonger?

 

Bullshit.

 

For a very long time I felt the same way.

 

But now that I am (mostly) on the other side, it makes me so mad to see perfectly lovely and loveable desirable sexy people beat themselves up over stuff that isn’t true.

 

This is why I’m so passionate about showing you the truth.

 

When you strip away all the pretenses, the fake smiles, the plastic surgery, penis enlargement supplements, make-up, butt-enhancing pantihose, push-up bras, the career that doesn’t suit you but you feel will make people see you’re worthy of being valued, the expensive cars/gadgets/XL houses that are supposed to make up for your self-perceived faults…

 

Yes, perhaps some of your insecurities linger.

 

Maybe you feel vulnerable.

 

But you are beautiful. Not in spite of that, but because of it.

 

Just as you are.

 

And if you let me, I will show you.

Thank You (+ Gift)

To my beautiful Naked Wellness family:

 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

 

Thank you for your warmth and support. Thank you for reading my words and being interested in what I have to say and offer.

 

Thank you for your inspiration.

 

Everything I do is an offering to you. It might seem like it comes from me, but it is your silent asking that pulls it out of the center of my being so that we can engage in this beautiful dance of give and receive called Life.

 

And by the way, I’m not always the one doing the giving. I’m eternally grateful to you for giving me the chance to be of service.

 

Thank you for your trust and confidence in me.

 

Thank you for understanding that, like you, I’m human and have my ups and downs.

 

Thank you for sticking with me through my long absences from the Blogosphere and Twitterverse.

 

Thank you for putting your faith in me

 

I am incredibly grateful and excited for all the opportunities that are springing up in my life. I can’t wait to tell you about all the changes and things I have in store.

 

Like what?

 

I’ve been focusing a lot on developing an offline community in Brooklyn, where I and other healing practitioners will be holding space for fun, exploration and transformation.

 

I have no doubt that this will bring a lot of movement, inspiration and creativity that will spill over into my online endeavors.

 

It’s already happening, but I have had to make an effort and focus on one thing at a time. For now, the offline community is what I am concentrating on.

 

This is why you haven’t seen me around these parts very much lately. I’ve been involved with moving into the new space, making it welcoming and inviting, connecting with other practitioners, shaping a schedule, making all the necessary investments….

 

And it’s finally happening!

 

I’m having a launch party on December 5th at 6:00 pm. Taking advantage of the new moon, we will bless the space and set intentions for it.

 

There will also be free sample Thai massage sessions, and raffles for reiki, tarot readings, Thai massage, sound healing and, of course, a free intuitive healing session with me.

 

If you find yourself around Brooklyn on December 5th, and are interested in coming, please don’t hesitate to contact me at melody@melodykiersz.com to ask for the details.

 

I will post more details on the upcoming workshops and the new website for the space (which I will be simply caling “Home“) soon.

 

The “Gift” part…

 

Lastly, as a token of my appreciation for your presence in my life, I’ve decided to partake in the Black Friday tradition and offer a %20 discount on any of my programs.

 

Just contact me before December 1st, and the discount is yours.

 

Whether I’ve met you or not, whether we’re new or old friends,… I love you all from the bottom of my soul.

 

Thank you for being.

 

Thank you.