Uncomfortable Yet Fulfilling Truths

I'm not afraid of my truth anymore and I will not omit pieces of me to make you comfortable / confidence speak up quote

After a few painful experiences that left me lost, confused and without trusting myself, the last couple of years have seen me shrink in my ability to speak up and say what I think out of fear of being wrong, being judged, not being liked or losing friendships or connections.

I doubted the value of what I had to say, so I didn’t say much.

I thought,

Who am I to say this? There’s so many ways of looking at things, what if I’m wrong and this person takes my word for it and their life goes on a different direction because of something I said?

 

I didn’t want to take responsibility for that because I wasn’t sure of what I believed anymore.

This had an effect, not only on my personal life but also in my work. How could I tell other people how to live more fulfilling lives when I was stuck in this cycle? When I was doubting the very foundation of how I live my life?

This is why I hadn’t been as active in my offerings for a while.

Can you relate with this pervasive self-doubt?

Over the last year, I’ve been finding this trust in myself again, being surer of my convictions, how I see life and what’s important.

I’m finding my voice again.

And with that, came the risks of uncomfortable conversations. Sometimes even the guilt of possibly having hurt someone’s feelings or upset them out of being more true to myself.

Ouch!

Just a couple days ago, I was having a conversation with someone in which I shared my point of view on a few things. Unbeknownst to me, this person was upset by what I said and they sent me an email about it later. And I had to sit with it, feeling the consequences of simply saying what I thought about something.

Part of me thought,

I went too far.

I stepped on this person’s toes and it was none of my business!

I shouldn’t have said this. I should have said it in a different way.

I should have waited until another time to say it.

 

And other things along those lines.

But then this other thought came:

I was just sharing what I thought, without any ill intention. It’s unfortunate that’s how this person received it, but I really had no control over that in this particular situation because I really didn’t say anything hurtful. I had no control over how this person would interpret things.

 

There are situations in which we need to be mindful of our words and delivery, for sure.

In this case, I didn’t know the topic was so touchy that I needed to watch out for that. The guilt I felt was unfounded.

So I came to the conclusion that, while I’m sorry the person was upset, I couldn’t have done anything differently… and I wasn’t going to let an incident like this shrink my belief in myself and what I had to say.

Sharing what we think can definitely be unpleasant sometimes, but it’s important that we say YES to ourselves.

Every time we choose to speak up instead of shrink, is an act of self-love. [Tweet it!]

And it builds on itself. We feel more solid each time.

This is not to say that we don’t consider other people’s feelings and how to communicate things before we do (I don’t believe in categorical not caring about what others think/feel as a result of our choices; there is always room for discernment), it just means we consider ourselves first.

Whatever discomfort we have to go through to be truer to ourselves, is worth it.

Living a life held back by fear of what others will think is not only painful, but incredibly unfulfilling. It might feel safer, but we’re the one inside the cage.

So:

I’m not afraid of my truth anymore and I will not omit pieces of me to make you (or myself) comfortable.

 

Who says it with me?

Please share how this resonates in the comments, and share this post with others if you believe in the power that lies in speaking your truth.

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He Strikes Again: Dealing With That Loud Inner Critic

It’s a great practice to not compare ourselves so much with others. Or at the very least, to use it for inspiration instead of tearing ourselves down.

I have to admit, as I do my research to see who my ‘competition’ for my upcoming offerings is and even just as I scroll through my news feeds on various social media platforms, it’s so easy for my insecure inner critic to start telling me how I can’t do what they are doing.

It looks at offerings similar to what I want to do and says that it’s already out there and no one will care. That I shouldn’t even bother.

Give up. You’re not good enough.

Yes. That’s there.

the reason we struggle with insecurity is because we judge ourselves by our content and everyone else by their cover quote Melody Kiersz

Didn’t your mama teach you?

And at the same time, there’s another voice that’s whispering and less audible, but I can hear it.

It says,…

It’s so awesome that those offerings exist because people are getting so much value out of them, feeling better about themselves and gaining power and confidence. That’s what we want, no? Even if it’s not through US.

Plus, your offering is not exactly the same and it comes through you. It has a different voice, and you can reach different people. Isn’t that cool?

And yes, isn’t that cool? I think so.

Of course, I don’t want to make the critic wrong: he is there because he wants me to stay safe, instead of risk what he sees as sure rejection.

I tell it firmly, that just because certain things didn’t work out in the past doesn’t mean they won’t work out now. I’m older and wiser and learned from my mistakes, and I’m also learning a lot more about marketing. And I thank him for his input, because I know he does it out of wanting to take care of me.

Whenever I hear this comparing critic, I thank him for wanting to protect me. Then I look for that other voice which isn’t as strident and pay more attention to what she’s saying. She inspires me to get out of my comfort zone and move forward.

Jump in!

How do you deal with your inner critic? What are some of the voices that keep you from putting your authentic heart desires and offerings out there?

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?

All the intensity. None of the drama.

Watercolor by Marion Bolognesi

These days I’m feeling so much.

So muuuuuuuuuch.

It’s really quite ridiculous.

From the highs of ever-expanding joy, to the highs of deep cracks opening my heart even wider. Receiving all that there is, no matter what it is.

Letting myself be loved and seen and received in whichever way the other party loves, sees and receives me.

Without worrying about where things will go; If I do this, or that. Or don’t.

Just letting the depth of my true, soft vulnerability show in my heart and in my eyes and in my body.

So exquisite!

And so hard to describe.

You probably have no idea what I’m talking about. Or perhaps the sensations are so familiar that my words strike a chord.

This is the moment. The moment in which there is a choice:

To relax into the cracking, or contract around it trying to protect myself.

It’s really not a choice though. What good will it do me to contract?

Hearts were made to be broken, and in their breaking they become larger and more whole, able to contain even more.

That is the paradox.

Freedom From Insecurities?

Hello there, sweethearts!

Happy 4th of July!

In honor of this day, I am writing a post on independence from our fear and insecurities.

Is that even possible? Will there ever be a day when we are not plagued by them at all?

I honestly don’t know.

Some say it is. And some say that those pesky little things will still be there… They just won’t be pesky anymore.

Regardless, I will share a bit about how I interact with my insecurities. Mayhaps it works for you too?

Over the past couple of years, I’ve come to see that my fears and insecurities are my way of getting in my way so I can stay in the safe zone.

Even when I can see the value in letting them go, I sometimes still choose to keep them close to my heart. It’s easier to hurt in that way because it’s familiar. I don’t have to take the risk of aching in a way I don’t know yet. I can just stay comfortable and  keep complaining and not do anything about whatever it is that’s bothering me.

I can blame it on others, society, physics or even use the ‘it’s just not meant to be’ excuse to stay in known territory.

Yes, they can be quite annoying but I hold on to them because there is a payoff. There is something that I get out of holding on, despite the fact that I rant and wail about how much I wish things were different.

Yet, at the same time, there is so much value in the incessant internal dialogue that tells me all the reasons why not, why I couldn’t or even shouldn’t.

My fears and insecurities are as much an enemy, as they a sign post that tells me where to look for the space to grow.

This place is scary and exciting.

In particular, lately I’ve been really present to how I’ve been shooting myself in the foot regarding my interactions with potential romantic partners.

Underneath all my confidence and openness and easygoing attitude around men, I am utterly terrified.

I’ve been talking to you about being vulnerable and haven’t been practicing it myself.

Not really… The kind of vulnerability I’ve been showing, I recently realized, was pretend vulnerability behind which I was hiding my real vulnerability. These are the convoluted things our tricky mind comes up with to protect us!

In fact, this fake vulnerability was not just a protection layer but also a way to make sure men stayed away from me so they couldn’t hurt me.

And under all that is the real insecurity and extremely self-limiting belief: that men cannot be trusted because there is no way that they would ever really be interested in me for more than just sex.

I realize that’s completely untrue, and I’ve even had experiences that showed me the fallacy of that belief.

But that’s the story I’m holding onto.

The story I made up about myself when I was 5 years old and 3 boys from my class came running up to me from behind to lift my skirt, resulting in me falling due to fighting with them to keep my skirt down and then it flying up showing my underwear anyway. They laughed.

It’s silly, eh, how moments like this can affect the way we live our whole lives?

There are many decisions I could have made as a result of what happened with these boys. Many stories I could have told myself about myself.

In hindsight, those boy probably lifted my skirt because they liked me not the other way around. But, as my 5-year-old self, I chose to believe that boys would never like me for me, that they were mean, and that I shouldn’t trust them.

I think I started gaining weight after that, probably as another way of protecting myself.

I’m allowing this to affect me to this day, even though I am now aware of how this disempowering belief about myself came to be and how much of a leap that conclusion was.

I’m not making myself wrong for it. As an adult, I can see little boys do that sort of thing and it’s not a huge deal. But of course my interpretation as a 5-year-old girl is much different.

But the question is, knowing this belief is based on the exaggerated and disempowering interpretation of something that happened ages ago… Why is it so hard to let it go?

And this is where that little voice in my head gets super loud and goes…

But what if it IS true? What if you let it go and find out later you were right when you get hurt again?

And therein lies the rub.

This unknown space. This unfamiliar landscape.

AHHHHHHHHHH! So much uncertainty!

What I do know, however, is that I will never get what I want if I hold on. And the possibility of what I want coming to happen is what gives me the courage to step into the abyss.

Into that unfamiliar landscape where I don’t know who I am anymore… but I am more free to choose who that will be.

Room to share:
Authentic sharing is what enables us to let go, shed our burdens, and find support in each other. I offer my words as part of this ongoing conversation; It makes a difference to me and to others who read this blog when you decide to join it in the comments section.
Please remember: authentic sharing is talking about ourselves without making others wrong or telling them what to do.

How Am I Not Myself?

Sweethearts,

Recently, I re-watched one of my favorite all-time movies, <a title="I I ❤ Huckabees.

It’s one of those movies that, after watching it for the first time, you’re most likely reaction will be a big, fat… “Huh???

It’s a funny and intelligent mess, starting with a string of curses and a poem dedicated to a rock. (You rock, rock! and it certainly does rock.)

Which is why it’s on my list of favorites that I will watch again and again. Each time offers a different level of funniness and insight.
But I digress…

The reason I’m telling you about it is because there’s a line that has stuck with me since I re-watched I ❤ Huckabees a couple of weeks ago, and it keeps cropping up at the most random moments, sending me into loops.

 

How am I not myself?

 

 

Exactly.

How am I not myself? How am I not myself? How am I not myself???

I feel like I’m a character in that other baffling mind-bender of a movie, Being John Malkovich. (“Malkovich, Malkovich? Malkovich. Malkovich?“… You get my point.)

I particularly love this scene because it is a clear display of how we create masks and stories and habits that we repeat over and over again so that others will like us.

 

But the question is… Even if we do create these stories, are we not being ourselves?

How are we not ourselves?

How am I not myself?

I talk a lot about allowing ourselves to be who we are, without masks… But the masks are a part of us too.

They served us in the past, but perhaps no longer do… Perhaps they are keeping us from connecting now, and being ourselves would mean putting the mask down and allowing ourselves to be visible without them.
In any case, the reason I wanted to share this is because by virtue of this line being stuck knocking around in my head like a pinball machine, I’ve been experiencing the most ridiculous moments of silly bliss.

Honestly.

Try it.

After repeating it a couple of times, it’s so ludicrous that you cannot help but start laughing like a liberated idiot.

It’s the best short-cut to meditation ever.

 

Jump in!

How was it? Did you laugh? Did you slip into Beingness? Did you think “Oh boy, somebody must have dropped Melody on her head when she was a baby“?

Leave your reaction in the comments section. Pretty please.

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.

The Power of Vulnerability (and other announcemements)

First of all, I’ve stumbled upon a piece of genius in the shape of a TEDtalk in which brene Brown explains the power of vulnerability.

Which is exactly what Naked Wellness is all about. I’ve never doubted the fact that we find everything we want when we allow ourselves to be visible and vulnerable but, not only is she explaining how it works, she is backing it up with scientific research.

Check it out!

Please share your thoughts on the comment section of this website.

Moving on…

Second, this will be a a quick-fire round of announcements, since I’m currently in beautiful Thailand and the beach is beckoning.

You see, I’m on my day off from the month-long yoga teacher training I’m undertaking in the island of Koh Phangan.

After years of teaching the more philosophical aspects of yoga, in just a week, I will be certified to teach the more physical part of yoga, the asanas (postures).

Which, yes, means that I will be teaching a whole lot of Mo’ning Yoga on my rooftop with a view of the Manhattan skyline once the weather warms up in NYC.

That’s announcement #1.

#2 is the upcoming workshops.

The first one will be on March 29th, and it’s directed to women who would like to rediscover their inner goddess.

The second, on April 12th, is open to all genders and will focus on breathwork for emotional release and clarity.

Please go to the workshops page for more info.

Announcement #3

Since Naked Wellness is about making ourselves visible and stepping into our vulnerability to find our strength, I figured,… what better way to show you what I mean than throwing myself out of the plane without a parachute?

So here’s what’s gonna happen:

On April 20th at 12:00 pm EST, you will call in to the conference line (details coming soon) and will have the opportunity to ask me anything regarding life, the universe,… everything!

And I promise my answer will not be “42.” *

I will not have a clue of what you’ll be throwing at me, but I promise you I will answer to the best of my ability.

Topics I will mostly likely be able to answer with a higher degree of knowledge are:

– Nutrition
– Interpersonal Communication
– Confidence, body image and self-esteem
– Emotional Release
– Spirituality
– Living with purpose

But, seriously, you can ask me whatever you want as long as it’s not a waste of time for the rest of the people on the call. This guarantees that, at the very least, this whole endeavor should be pretty entertaining.

Please RSVP here.

Yippeeee!!

* Side note: if this reference flew over your head, go get yourself a copy of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Using Protection (Or, Safety in Nakedness)

If this was high school, I guess this is where I would explain the whole safe sex thing and bring out all sorts of rubbery contraptions and stinky creams. Oh, and… let’s not forget the banana for practice!

Where am I going with this?

Like sex, practicing the art of leading a naked life pushes a lot of buttons. One of the major ones is the need for protection.

What if we’re there, in all our naked glory for people to see and they judge us? What if they don’t like us?

What if they throw tomatoes or eggs at us?

Or shoes, as Havi says.

When we are naked, there’s no shield. No distance. No barriers.

First of all, this is not entirely true.

While there might be no distance (unless you consciously choose to create some), there is a barrier.

But I’ll discuss that towards the end of the post.

First I need to deal with the whole “need for safety” thing.

Our current safety net is keeping us trapped

What people often forget is that it’s the shields that prevents others from seeing who we really are.

That artificial distance makes a true connection impossible. It makes it extremely hard for people to love us as we are, because we are not taking off the mask.

They just know who we pretend to be for them to like us.

The shield we create for others to appreciate us ends up trapping us in a role we feel we must play.

But it still leaves us feeling lonely at the end of the day because…

What good is it when the appreciation others feel is for a person that is only a version of who we really are?

And what good is it when we don’t feel free to let loose and share what’s really going on inside of us?

Or when we feel like we cannot ask for help or a favor because we believe people will think we are weak or that we are needy and annoying?

Isn’t it quite the paradox that we create distance when what we crave is closeness?

Personally, I’d rather people appreciate and love the whole of me, ugly bits and everything.

Because, you know what? I’m not perfect. And neither are they. Yet I still love them in their imperfection so why couldn’t they love me in mine?

I want to make a point here.

Yes, ideally, we would allow ourselves to be open and trusting and let down the defense mechanisms and masks that we wear to protect ourselves.

Sometimes, this is taken to mean that wanting protection is wrong.

I disagree.

The need to feel safe is completely natural.

The problem doesn’t come from wanting protection.

The issue here is that our perception of where the safety comes from is skewed.

We learned to live our whole lives believing that we are protecting ourselves when we hide a part of ourselves.

If we hide the “less desirable” parts, the parts that we are ashamed of, then people will like us better and we will get what we want which is ultimately to be loved and appreciated.

We might have learned this when daddy or mommy or even our teacher scolded us for certain behaviors and rewarded us for others, or when the kids at school teased us for our looks, habits, clothing, lack of abilities in certain areas, etc. Or it could have been the ballet teacher. Or the grandmother. Or the football coach.

The list is endless, and each situation is unique and yet universal.

We all have our story of how we learned to seek safety in hiding.

But this is not where safety is found.

Here’s a question:

How could we be loved unconditionally, when we are already setting up the conditions in which we feel people will love us?

Furthermore, how could we be loved unconditionally, when there are parts of us that we don’t even love ourselves?

The safety that we seek isn’t in hiding.

The safety is in loving all of ourselves enough that we stand strong and bare, open and vulnerable for others to be able to love us as we are.

The protection lies in believing in ourselves and acting accordingly.

In the knowing of our power and our strength, and the trusting of it.

The strength in the willingness to make ourselves vulnerable, comes from that. It is a product of our conviction that we can deal with whatever comes our way.

Yes, it might sting a little when someone doesn’t like us.

But then we remember that that’s ok. Sometimes we don’t like other people and that has nothing to do with them. It has to do with our preferences.

Nothing personal.

So this is where the barriers are: in knowing how to separate their stuff from our stuff.

In standing strong like a peaceful warrior, showcasing our sexy and our power… and our beautiful soul to all.

Jump in!

Please contribute by leaving a comment. What has been your experience?

A Very Messy Post!

This one might me a tad convoluted.

Actually, scratch the “might.” And the “tad” too, while you’re at it.

This s a collection of ideas I’m playing with in my head. No concrete shape to this thing yet, so please bear with me and be gentle.

The idea that we have to fight life.

We hear this all the time: life is tough, it’s something we have to fight.

The universe is chaos, life is unfair.

Shit happens, and we have to pull ourselves up, dust ourselves off and keep fighting.

That’s life.

Sound familiar? Have you been fighting life? (And have you realized the utter futility of it?)

On the other hand, there’s the idea of flowing with life.

Accepting the things we cannot change and changing the things we can, but always from a place of inclusiveness, love, generosity and appreciation.

Trusting ourselves and our intuition enough to follow the flow, without allowing fear (which will come up) to interrupt.*

*This doesn’t mean there will be no fear at all, merely that while we are aware of it, it doesn’t stop us. It’s saying “Hey, Fear! Thanks for showing up to take care of me. Yeah, this thing I’m doing is scary, but there’s no need to be paralyzed by it. We can hold hands and go through it together. Yes? Awesome!

The quiet strength and resilience of a peaceful warrior.

No ostentation or pretentiousness.

A knowing.

The clear presence of being, the silent power of openness to vulnerability, the entirely non-violent yet defiant stance that says,

I have a role to play here.

That sheer determination.

The accumulation of energy in our belly that rises into our heart and finally explodes into and out of our throat, waiting to be shared and spread around to anyone who is receptive.

The deep and boundless love this warrior itself is a result of.

This compassion that lies at the core of the fight and the surrender.

The idea that we don’t need to be violent or hard to be strong.

We can be like a river that rushes powerfully, bending to its environment and yet adapting the environment to its flow. A formless, yet strong stream of water that cannot be stopped.

Also, the idea that we can stand up for what we believe in, without becoming aggressive, defensive or falling prey to our ego’s reactions.

The feeling of movement within stillness, and stillness within movement.

The quiet current of electricity under our skin when we feel passionate about what’s important to us.

The grounding into purpose and the physical strength of our body, while also rising up to the challenge and reaching for the stars with commitment.

The certainty that change begins with us, that we must be the change we want to see in the world.

Even in the face of all those who tell us we shouldn’t, that we will get hurt, that the world doesn’t operate that way. That the universe won’t support us in our path.

And the knowledge and acceptance of a necessity to take the first step along with all those risks.

Jumping into the pool of uncertainty headfirst, trusting openly that not only will it work out but it’s exactly where you are supposed to be.

Someone has to start and make it easier for those who will follow.

The moment we accept our mission and let go of control over it. That time when all the doubts become part of the background noise, unimportant, because we finally understand what piece we play in this big puzzle.

Having the strength and courage to take responsibility for the health and balance of the people and the world around us.

There’s a power in our bodies that, when it’s freed up, is unstoppable.

It comes with a rush of energy meant to accomplish a very specific mission.

Your mission.

Your baby, or, as Havi says, your tiny sweet thing.

My work is at the intersection of these seemingly opposite forces embodied in the peaceful warrior.

It’s about unleashing this force in you, so that you can do what you came here to do.

I’ve been trying to find a way to explain the work I do around sensuality (the kind that gets you into your senses and sensations), movement, and grounding into the body.

These very unorganized thoughts are an attempt (and a preview) at doing that.

Some stuff that’s floating in my head lately. Or rather, these are more like sensations in my body, which I’m trying to translate into words.

Not the easiest task in the world, but I hope you got my meaning.

If not, try closing your eyes and feeling these sensations in your body yourself.

Your shoulders slipping back and down. Your heart opening and reaching upwards. Your feet planted firmly on the floor. How does that feel?

I’d love to know your reaction. Or if you have any questions. Or opinions.

All welcome!