photo : Lawerence of Roots And Culture
by Coach Mel | Insights By Mel
When it comes to being in relationship with another human being, there are always, literally always, opportunities to practice conscious choice, build compassion, let go of self- judgment, learn more about yourself and gain insight into non-serving patterns you have attached to that are no longer useful or valuable. In the midst of shifting who and how you are, for the better, there will also be moments where you slip backwards into default ways of relating to yourself and others that may have proved beneficial or served as a barrier of protection before, but in the present, are not warranted. Or, you may declare new values that you have every intention to align with, but there may be a moment where you act in a way contrary to your values. Practice patience with yourself. Basic human error is a thing that does exist from which none of us are exempt. This month I have been experiencing some rude awakenings and blatant lessons around the importance of trust, communication and transparency when in relationships. Here are my insights:
2. Granting yourself and whoever you are in relationship with permission and space for natural, normal human error is suuuuper clutch. None of us are perfect, we are all evolving, including YOU. So yes, we can offer understanding to ourselves and others even in the midst of growing together. Everyone falls backwards sometimes. Cutting each other slack is necessary.
3. Transparency is the key to just going ahead and letting someone else see you. Let them see you. If you want ot build, want to grow, want to develop meaningful partnership and companionship, want to be more of who you say you want to be in the presence of yourself and those outside of you…you gotta let them see you, know you and feel you.
#ConsciousRelationship is one realm of The Conscious Life. Hopefully the insights I offer will help you take a step in.
by Coach Mel | Insights By Mel
When was the last time you cried in gratitude? Cried because you were so grateful for something that tears were the only way you could express your surrender to that moment? The last time for me, was earlier today. Personally, I have been in a space of questioning, re-evaluating and confusion, the same space in which I usually meet my clients. In tandem with this state of being, I have had moments of feeling defeated with the slow but sure journey deeper into entrepreneurship and my vision for where I thought I would be. And as I attempt to mentally, emotionally and energetically juggle all of this normal, human stuff, I have forgotten how powerful gratitude has been on my journey and how, no matter what the circumstance, when I return to this, my center begins to reveal itself to me, again. Gratitude is the currency of abundance. Gratitude is the key that opens up a state of being content with, curious of and in awe of all that is already here. Saying "thank you" is more than just a common courtesy to someone else, it is a statement of humility, surrender and a spiritual and energetic investment in oneself.
So as I offer this reminder to myself today, I also offer it to you, with the deep knowing that you too will be able to shift the trajectory and perspective of this moment, this day, this week, this month, by simply saying, "thank you."
by Coach Mel | Insights By Mel
Have you taken a moment to really assess the state of your mind? Is it soft and open, or hard and closed? Does the state of your mind serve as a prison for unwanted memories and grudges or a refuge for new perspective and growth? Simply put, the state of our minds tells a story about the state of our hearts. True, our thoughts are powerful and the importance of becoming more conscious of them is not just for the sake of your mind-health and mindset but also for the sake of becoming more conscious of our heart-health and heart-set. Nourish your mind; a new mind set will create a new heart-set!
by Coach Mel | #yogaoffthemat
Our minds are made to think. Thinking is the nature of our mind. Period. However, we can fall into the trap of acting, living, choosing and being “through” our thoughts instead of remembering that our thoughts are, indeed, separate from us. They are simply something we have and not something we are. Becoming an observer or witness to the thoughts that flow in and out of our mind allows us to create space to release judgment of them as right or wrong and we create opportunity to choose which we want to entertain and which do not serve us and our growth. You have thoughts; you are not your thoughts. So, look at them, not through them.
Join me Wednesday, February 22nd @ 8pm CST on Instagram for a live chat!!
by Coach Mel | #yogaoffthemat
For many of us over-thinkers, thinking is our comfort zone. Our intellect is our coping mechanism, our safeguard. And in the same breath, can also be our handicap. Its an easy way to avoid vulnerability, to yield from perceived harm and to attempt inner peace. But, spending so much time dwelling in our head, leaves no time or room for anything else. Give your mind a break. I have found that no matter how long I’ve thought about something, I couldn’t change the outcome. I also found that when I overthink, it was never a positive simulation. But, when I make the choice to loosen the reigns on my destructive thought pattern and begin to think less and feel more, I embody more positivity. So I had to ask myself, what is it costing me to stay in my head? So I ask you, what is it costing you, to overthink?
Join me on Instagram Wednesday, February 22nd @ 8pm CST for a live chat
by Coach Mel | #yogaoffthemat
It’s extremely easy to settle on the non-truth that we can’t think what we want to. It’s true, many thoughts we have throughout the day (and we have thousands) come into our consciousness, involuntarily. Sometimes it's the result of default patterns from our past. Sometimes it's a result of a heavy state of being we are in that is influencing what we are focusing on. Regardless of what is influencing our stream of thoughts, we always have the ability to decide what we continue to think or what we would rather choose to think.
How Mel? Well...this is exactly how you practice conscious thought. Becoming aware of your stream of thoughts and deciding, for yourself, “is this what I want to think?” If the answer is no, then yes, you have the power to decide what you want to think. Allow yourself to think, not involuntarily, but on purpose. Think what you want to think, on purpose.
by Coach Mel | #yogaoffthemat
There is a misconception that setting boundaries when in relationship with another person, is limiting or implies that you are not allowing yourself to be free or "go with the flow." I am here to tell you, that is bullshit. When you make the choice to set a boundary with someone, you are making a choice to take responsibility for your emotional, mental and spiritual/energetic health and experience on your daily journey. When you are able to voice what you are and aren't comfortable with, what you will and won't accept or how much you are willing to engage in a relationship with another person, you are honoring yourself and where you are at this moment in your life. Without healthy boundaries, we cannot have healthy relationships. Period.
This lesson has been a pretty prominent theme in my life as I develop new relationships as an adult, single woman. The push back I receive from men trying to pursue me when I say, "I really am not ready to offer anything more than friendship right now," is eye-opening. What is most times understood is that, at this specific time in my life, I am setting this boundary, not out of fear, but out of the strong desire to facilitate healing within myself. What I've found is that I find freedom in setting certain boundaries with others because I solidify more alignment with myself, my values and it is a direct act and practice of self love and self care. If you don't respect and honor our own boundaries, who else will? Self alignment, is freedom.
by Coach Mel | #yogaoffthemat
Often, when people hear the word “relationship” their mind defaults to two or more people. In reality, there is another type of relationship; it’s the relationship that you have with yourself. How often do you pay homage to the relationship you have built with yourself that has allowed you to be in relationship with others? How often do you sit back, recall where you have been, what you’ve experienced, what you’ve learned, how you’ve grown, evolved, survived and cultivated that has paved the way for you to be exactly where and who you are today? Acknowledge your damn self!
When we intentionally acknowledge and affirm ourselves and our journey, we then attract others who will acknowledge and affirm our journey and our existence in their lives, but it starts with you. There you were and here you are. Acknowledge it all. Affirm it all. It truly is a victory.
Join me on Periscope to chat more about the Life Realm, Conscious Relationships,
Wednesday January 25th at 8pm CST (@therealcoachmel_)
by Coach Mel | #yogaoffthemat
We see others through the lens of how we see ourselves. When we place judgment on another person about how they look, talk, act (negatively) we are simply projecting what we see in them that we either don’t like about ourselves or what we “wish” we were or could be that we see in that person. Even deeper, our experiences and beliefs create our worldview and set the premise for what we think is “good” or “bad” and judgment comes on line when we attempt to force another person to take off their lenses to look through our own. Which, again, has everything to do with us (you) and nothing to do with them.
Before you attempt to judge what someone is or isn’t doing, look at what you’re doing. Before you attempt to judge someone for the way they look or dress, look at yourself in the mirror. Before you attempt to judge someone about who they are, ask yourself who you are.
Join me for a live chat about Conscious Relationships on Periscope January 25th at 8pm (@therealcoachmel_)
by Coach Mel | #yogaoffthemat
Have you ever heard someone blame their heartbreaks on Love? Or say that Love is what gets them or other people hurt? I used to be one of those people. I claimed Love as the culprit for the circumstances of my relationships. It wasn’t until I gained a perspective of Love outside of what I had been spoon fed by media, society and my peers, that I began to understand and define Love in its purest form, separate from interpersonal relationships.
Just like everything in the universe carries a vibration or energy, so does Love. Love is a positive, high vibration. Love is a frequency. Love is an energy. Love is a state of being. And although human beings have limited it by calling it an emotion or a feeling designated for romantic relationships or family members, it is much, much more than that. The vibration of Love always remains the same, it is what it is; it is a constant. It exists no matter what. The only thing that ever changes when Love is involved, is the nature of the relationship. The circumstance of a relationship changes, but the energy of Love remains the same. Love is not to blame. Our inclination to place blame on an intangible force keeps us from our human responsibility to be accountable for and invest in our own growth in relationship with ourselves and our relationship with others. Today, allow a shift in perspective to shift your relationship with Love.
by Coach Mel | #yogaoffthemat
I have been in many conversations with men and women who cringe when they even think about being vulnerable. Over time and generations, vulnerability has been viewed as a sign of weakness or state of being that should be avoided and kept at Heisman's length. And as a result, by domino effect, it has also become normal to run away, hide, stuff down, numb, deny and fear our emotions and feelings which has created a culture that is very much out of touch with themselves. A culture full of people that live lives designed to sheild them from experiencing life directly. All of this has come to fruition simply because we have attached to a mis-informed ideal of the very thing that makes us most human, most alive--vulnerability.
To be alive is to feel. Period
When you are in a state of vulnerability, you are present with pain, hurt, dis-comfort, fear and you are also present with happiness, abundance, love and the span of other sensations that are a apart of being human. Being vulnerable is not a state of being designated to "negative" emotions and feelings. In this state of being most human, is also when you are most alive because it is when you are most present with your humanity. Move towards aliveness. We become alive by living. We live by being present with our human experience. We become present with our human experience, by being open to experiencing everything that is human. Allow vulnerability in order to allow life, into your life.
photo by: Taste.Yoga Photography
by Coach Mel | December #yogaoffthemat
If you have been following the Grow Your Lovespace movement, you already know the 9 Life Realms of The Conscious Life. One of them is Conscious Engagement which involves bringing awareness to how you are engaging your time, energy and senses. All three factors greatly contribute to how you show up on your daily journey and in the world. Are you spending your time in places and with people that raise your vibe? Are you expending your energy on things that matter? Are you surrounding yourself with objects, colors, aromas and images that engage your senses, positively? Being present with and moving deliberately though your life journey aware of your relationship with your time, energy and senses is Conscious Engagement.
The Super Sense
In this day and age where our senses are constantly being infiltrated with synthetic products and polluted on many different levels, I find it important to create a shift in how to empower ourselves by choosing to engage our senses, positively, in ways that that promote well being and re-connection of our mind, body and spirit. Of our senses, the most powerful, is our sense of smell. When Grow Your Lovespace began incorporating our All Is Mantra Candles, there were a lot of questions about why.
This quote says it all,
"To be immersed in a scent world, even temporarily, is to shift your consciousness and to awaken to the moment fully." - Mandy Aftel
Have you ever been in a slump or low mood and got a whiff of an aroma that immediately made you feel calm, peaceful and uplifted? That is the power of smell. Through our sense of smell, we are able to alter our state of being, shift our mood, leave troubles behind, shift our pespective and lead ourselves to higher levels of well being while dissolving blockages that would otherwise stand in our way.
Let me tell you.
1. Smell hits our brain first because it takes a direct path to our brain. Our response to smell is primal and intense because we process olfactory stimuli (smell) through our limbic system, which is the area of our brain responsible for memory, stored learned responses, emotions, feelings, lust, hunger and imagination. This is important to note because it directly explains how scents affect conscious thought and action.
2. Our sense of smell makes the most intense impression of all the senses and scent has a direct influence on our state of mind. No other sensual function reaches the information stored within our unconscious as directly as our sense of smell. Our response to smell is experienced in the right, creative, intuitive, free-spirited side of our brain, so we are hard wired to feel respones to smells before we have a chance to formulate any thoughts about them.
3. For my skeptics and far left-brainers, I got you. There is actually science behind the claims about how our sense of smell has such a great affect on our state of being, psychonueroimmunology to be exact. This area of study looks at the positive and negative experiences of and interactions among, the psychological, nuerological and immunological systems.
4. Aromatherapy, as a term, is fairly new, but the practice of engaging our sense of smell with essential oils, aromatic plants, flowers and resins to positively and consciously alter physical, mental and spiritual well being, is ancient. Essential oils can correct imbalance, harmonize energy, heal and prevent disease, cleanse, purify, evoke relaxation and create an internal and external "climate" that can aid in restoring harmony to mind, body and spirit, opening you to being more present, mindful, insightful and awake, in several realms of your life.
So there you have it. These are just a few reasons why our All Is Mantra Candles have become a staple. Check them out here. Get the 2 for $20 deal using the code: HOLIDAY16 at check out!
Take a step into #theconsciouslife.
by Coach Mel | November #yogaoffthemat
Raising consciousness is often explained and perceived as a big, abstract concept that is unattainable for the person who lives their life in modern society without the luxury of living in seclusion, away from the world. I understand this feeling, because I used to think and feel the exact same away.
However, truth is, becoming more conscious does not have to be big and abstract. Truth is, becoming more conscious is very, very attainable to anyone who is willing and intentional about living life consciously. Anyone who chooses to step into The Conscious Life. As a Conscious Lifestyle Expert, it is important that I simplify the journey of becoming more conscious and to share ways in which you can live consciously, which is simply living life awake.
I am sure some of you are thinking, "ok Mel, so what is The Conscious Life?" Well, lets break down the word conscious, first.
What Is The Conscious Life?
* Having knowledge of something. Present
* Aware of and responding to one's surroundings
* (Of an action or feeling) deliberate and intentional
The Conscious Life is a deliberate life where you are living, right now, and not waiting to live later. It is being present with your human experience and being fed by life experience. Creating and connecting to your life as it is happening. A life where you find and create meaning and purpose for everything you experience, moving through and showing up in the world embodying who and how you want to be. It is being present and tuned into yourself, your inner and outer world. Stepping into The Conscious Life allows you to be more mindful, insightful, empowered, aware, awake and present. The Conscious Life consists of 9 life-realms: Conscious Relationships, Conscious Thought, Conscious Belief, Conscious Action, Conscious Choice, Conscious Language, Conscious Daily Practice, Conscious Spending and Conscious Engagement.
To facilitate your first steps into The Conscious Life, here are 9 tips for living life awake!
Conscious Relationships: Practice Forgiveness
Forgiveness is one of the most imperative self healing tools that facilitate a shift from the past to the present. Forgiving others and especially forgiving yourself, frees up a lot of mental, physical and energetic resources that allow you to be awake to the hear and now
Conscious Thought: Tell Yourself The Truth (Practice Truthfulness)
We all have a tendency to create assumptions and interpretations about something or someone when we settle on a thought loop or simulation (a mental story you create about something you anticipate) about it or them. In most cases just telling yourself the truth about what you do and don't know about this thing or person will allow you to move to the next moment, absent of assumption, inaccurate interpretation and less judgement.
Conscious Belief: Incorporate mantras into your day
We can believe ourselves out of a lot of experiences that are set on our path to help us step into exactly who and how we want to be. Simply taking some to break through your limiting beliefs, in the moment, by repeating a mantra that affirms your limitlessness, can shift you from a place of self doubt to self confidence. I post several, every week here!
Conscious Engagement: Turn Off The TV
TV has made the sedentary lifestyle "the norm". It is not. Try turning off the TV and engaging your senses, your energy, your time doing something else that gives you life, versus taking life away from you.
Conscious Language: Exchange "Have to's" to "want to's"
The language we use can be very limiting and dis-empowering. "Have to" implies that you have no power or no choice...you ALWAYS have a choice. "Want to" asserts that you are choosing something, consciously. Empower yourself through the language you use.
Conscious Spending: Invest In Yourself
One of the best investments you can make, is in yourself. Is there something you have been wanting to do for yourself, but just haven't done because "it costs too much?" Take inventory on all the useless ways you spend money through out the week or month, then re-evaluate.
Conscious Daily Practice: Create A Morning Ritual
Building your peace before stepping into the world is imperative. There is sacredness in repetition, in ritual. Even starting with one thing you do each morning to tune into yourself, can make a world of difference.
Conscious Choice: Say Yes to What Energizes You
Make choices that are yours. Refrain from making a choice your parents, your friends, your peers, your significant other would make. If it is something that makes you feel alive, energized and abundant, just. say, yes.
Conscious Action: Do What You Know Makes You Feel Whole
So often when we fall out of balance or flow, we know exactly what we can do to bring us back into balance, however, we rarely do it. Practice Conscious Action...by actually doing it! You know you will feel centered, re-aligned and peaceful afterwards...so, come one; you know what Nike said...
by Coach Mel | October #yogaoffthemat
So here’s the deal, in the culture of the millennial, ‘petty’ has become a household word that has become normalized behavior. What is being petty? Its often making something out of nothing. Feeling the need to take something to whole new, outer space levels when it really may not be warranted in that time, in that space or at all. Adding that last comment to the conversation to grasp the upper hand. Or making a subliminal, yet overt insult in the last moments of a conversation or argument, just so someone near by can hear…yea, you’re petty…petty wop.
Now, I wouldn’t be Mel if I didn’t take this shallow subject/concept/behavior and dug deeper. Quite frankly, digging deeper is apart of living life consciously; living life deliberately, awake and with purpose. Often times, taking something at face value can be dis-empowering because no space is left to be inquisitive, to challenge, to connect and be in relationship to it in a way that serves you.
Let's briefly address some underlying, root reasons why you, or another person engages in petty behavior.
1. Loss of Control
Often the desire or need to be petty is the result of feeling a loss of power or control in a situation. There is usually a strong inclination to tip the scales by performing a petty act in order to feel as though the control or power is restored, temporarily.
2. Instant Self-Gratification
You know that feeling of “I got ‘em, I got they ass”? Yea…that instant satisfaction you get from insulting or shitting on someone with the false idea that you will fell better. And you find out every time, that the ‘feel better’ always fades.
3. Incomplete processing of emotions
Usually when, and I speak from experience, you get the urge to be petty, you haven’t processed how you feel about what you are reacting to. 99% of the time, its hurt you're feeling and in that moment you simply want to ‘transfer’ that hurt to the other person. In the moment, your lack of emotional awareness, clouds your judgment causing you to react. Being petty is a reaction, not a response
Conscious Thought is one realm of the conscious life. I have assembled 5 questions to ask yourself in the moments before committing a petty act to allow you to practice being mindful and present with your actions, instead of acting, unconsciously. Moving into your decision to be or not to be petty, with some internal awareness and insight.
Question One: Why?
Ask yourself why would you be petty in this moment. Identify your why in order to begin the process of self awareness.
Question Two: How will being petty benefit me?
Is this truly worth my extremely valuable time?
Assert if doing this is even worth fitting into your life’s schedule. If its even worth the energy, the words, the muscle movement of your thumb across your phone keyboard.
Question Three: One week from now, will this be important?
I love this question, because if the answer is no, then its not important in the moment either. HINT: The answer is usually no.
Question Four: Is what I’m about to do or say in
alignment with who and how I want to be?
Same as question three, if the answer is no…..abort! abort!
Question Five: What is the high vibe option?
How can you choose up in the moment. Not necessarily take ‘the higher road’ but choose the higher, positive vibe. Whats the option that will allow you to vibrate higher?
Whether you choose to commit the petty act, or not, is not the point. Whatever choice you make certainly deserves no judgement, what is important is that you made your choice, consciously. You made your choice after taking a pause to contemplate and consider. And that is just one way to step into, the conscious life.
Photo by Osman Gallery : @osmangallery
By Coach Mel | September #yogaoffthemat
I often get the question, "How do I take control of my life and live free doing things that make me feel alive?"
And you know what, the simple answer is...take control of your life, live free and do the things that make you feel alive. The human race often makes the simplest things complex, not always intentionally but definitely habitually, none the less. "Easier said than done" is out-dated, over-rated and limiting. It does not have to be the truth for you. Things become easy to do when we declare that they are things we need to do in order to feel free, peaceful, empowered and alive. When we step into action with positive intention and self- trust, we always learn and experience amazing things.
I recently experienced this in expansive proportion this past week when I took a trip to New York for my birthday. Historically, I have hated visiting New York because I've always felt overwhelmed, claustrophobic and like my aura was being crushed by all the action. I always dreaded going even though my cousin, one of my favorite beings in the universe, lives there. I was always excited to see her, but all the other negative things I associated with New York always trumped my joy. However, this time before my trip I asked myself "how can I feel free and alive while I'm there?" The answer came to me right away. I told myself that this trip would be different, that it would be transformative. That I would be free, meet amazing people and say yes to everything that felt good. And as the days went on, this shift in thought transformed into a deep knowing and this deep knowing transformed into my actual experience. When I got off the plane, I immediately felt like I was being anchored and guided by my positive intention and my deep knowing that everything that would happen while I was there would be for me, for my growth, for my peace and for my evolution and it was; all of it. I literally had one of the best times of my life. Not necessarily because of fun things I did, but because of the synchronicites that occurred every-single-day that blatantly affirmed that I was supposed to be there. Watching what I knew would happen, happen before my eyes.
From attending an open mic hosted by a woman that I LOVE and follow on social media, which led me to meeting an amazing soul and photographer, which led to a totally unplanned street photo shoot two days later, which led to hanging out with friends I knew from Austin who randomly happened to be two blocks away from me when we attempted to link up, which led to literally running into my loctician of 7 years, who lives in Minnesota, who saw I was in New York via Snap Chat and happened to be 10 minutes away from where I was when we attempted to link up, which led to me having dinner with a fellow Howard Alum I haven't seen in 8 years. I mean, I can go on and on and on.
You get the point.
Imagine life being filled with synchronicity after synchronicity. Well, it can definitely be reality, So, I want to share some lessons that were re-affirmed for me during my New York trip that will assist you in stepping into that reality, because they continue to help me do it too.
6 Lessons From The Big Apple
1. Stay Open To Everything: Our human experience is school. Life is school, period. When we open up to all that it has to teach us through simply living, openly, we create openings for our reality, our comfort zones and our experiences to shift, for the good. Stay open.
2. Always Stay Lit (lesson from Stewie): This is your life. Live it, how you want to live it. Smile, laugh, love, dance, cuss, hug, feel, enjoy, yell, scream, be in the moment, be present, always. Let "lit" be your permanent state of being.
3. Say Yes: Let your heart lead. Lose your mind, often. Say yes to everything that you get a good feeling or good vibe about. Say yes. Say yes. Say yes. If something shows up and your first feeling is "yes", then say it out loud. If it's showing up, then it's for you.
4. When You Listen To Yourself, The Flow Finds You: We always know. But we often forget to listen to ourselves when the answer is revealed. But when we do listen, we fall in the pocket of life because listening to yourself means listening to the truth. Walking in the truth, is flow.
5. Spontaneity Is Self Love In Action: Moving into the unknown trusting we will learn, grow and expand is self love. Voluntarily and freely moving into life, whatever it offers, is spontaneity and it is self love in action. Life isn't a planned journey. Spontaneity is living and living your life, instead of existing in it, is self love, in action.
6. 86 Saying "Back To Reality" When Returning From Your Travels: What you experience and who you are when you travel is reality. It is simply a different reality than what you are currently choosing in your everyday life. Don't confuse this. You can integrate who you are on your travels into who you are when you are not. Its all reality, just choose the one that makes you feel most alive.
By Coach Mel | August #yogaoffthemat
Mel, what do you mean when you say "Yoga off the mat?"
I knew that when I become a yoga guide that it would be imperative to educate my students and all willing souls about yoga beyond asana (physical postures). Yoga is a lifestyle. In fact, asana is only one limb of this healing art slash science slash technology slash philosophy. The first limbs are the Yamas and Niyamas, which are suggestions of behavioral and attitudinal conduct with and towards the self and others that evoke more peace and less suffering. Yoga philosophy is intrinsically practiced while you are moving through through postures on your mat, however, being in the flow with yourself, your breath, your mind and your body off the mat, is where magic reveals itself.
One of the Niyamas that has been an intentional theme in my life for the past 4 years is Svadhyaya (pronounced Svad-yaya). Svadhyaya is self study, introspection and self reflection. It's the practice of self reflective consciousness and cultivating body awareness in order to uncover our strengths, weaknesses, imbalances, habitual/limiting patterns, positive and adverse tendencies of our mind and body; which affect our energy and spirit. This past month, for me, has been a very "comfort zone stretching" one. It's been filled with new opportunities for me to reach my full potential and face limiting, debilitating beliefs that I thought I had already dissolved. As I continue to walk through this season of transition and transformation, fear pops up----often, and I am constantly reminded to practice personal presence. With fear, often times we experience adverse shifts in our body language, body presence and breath and we can become disconnected from all three, which pushes us out of our body and intuitive nature, into out head and intellect for safety.
Connecting to your body is crucial as your body offers so much information and feedback in regards to your responses to what is happening in your external (and internal) environment. Do you know how fear shows up in your body? I know my stomach tightens up, my shoulders rise near my ears, I often stop breathing or my breath sits in my chest and becomes shallow. I challenge you to pay attention to what happens in your body the next time you experience fear. Take personal inventory, go inside. Pay attention to and observe what you may normally neglect when you are encountering different experiences. Why is this important? Because as we build keen awareness of our body and mind as we navigate life experiences and interact with other human beings, we develop our intuitive faculty and grow the ability to self check, self correct and self heal. This is one dimension of Svadhyaya. This is yoga off the mat. Practice, daily.
By Coach Mel | July #yogaoffthemat
Have you ever been in a position where you have attempted to defend yourself against a “character claim” someone else put on you, that you never claimed yourself? If that confused you don’t worry, it should.
A couple weeks ago I shared a rant on Facebook about an argument I had with a significant person in my life. Putting things into context, with minor details…I had just woken up from a deep sleep and was pmsing. This person called right as I was waking up and apparently my un-intentional tone of voice rubbed them the wrong way. Next thing I knew, an argument sparked, which was based on assumption, misunderstanding and a dis-placed power struggle. And yes, Inner Peace Coach Mel cussed them clean out, right before hanging up the phone. Shortly after, I received several texts from this person and one stood out. It read “To be enlightened, you sure lose it quick.” I immediately envisioned another cuss out session filled with low blows and thorough defense against that passive aggressive insult. I was ready to defend why I snapped, why I was right, why I deserved an apology. On and on. But, I soon realized, none of that mattered now or would matter an hour, a day, a month or a year from now. So, before I took action, I took a breath. I responded with an apology for my part in the argument, but still felt........off about the details of their comment. I asked myself, “why are you feeling defensive and what are you defending?” Almost instantaneously, I reminded myself that I have never thought of or referred to myself as “enlightened,” ever. In the midst of being comfortable with being mad and angry. In the midst of trying to prove a point. In the midst of trying to defend my honor, I almost missed this person’s attempt to insult and belittle me by labeling me in a way they see me, which comically, is never a way I have asserted that I see myself. As I settled in that awareness, my defenses dropped. I realized , although that comment stood out, it was not relevant to me. I was so eager to accept and defend a characteristic that someone else “put on me” that I never “put on me.” Funny.
Oftentimes, others try to place their view of us, on us, using words they see fit. And too often, without noticing, we cause ourselves suffering when we take on, protect and defend labels, beliefs and non-truths that we forget are not our own. When we take a moment to realize we have no business defending a definition of who or what we are that we didn’t define for ourselves. No business entertaining an attempted insult that has more to do with what the person attempting the insult us thinks of us versus what we think of us. It’s in these moments that it behooves us to slow down and create pauses and space in our interactions with others in order to diminish patterns of dis-empowerment. Patterns of putting on what others want us to take on. As a result, we begin to suffer less because we become less inclined to defend an “us” that someone else created.
By Coach Mel | June Thought
Last week I was forced to have a conversation I had been dreading. You know the conversation or moment you avoid with all your will and strength because you know will it be extremely awkward? Yeah, that one.
So specifics. Last week I had the chance to catch up with an ex-boyfriend I hadn't spoken to in a while. During the whole conversation, I could feel the awkward moment approaching. I just knew it was inevitable because it fell in line with a lot of other, shall we say "growth inducing" happenings that week. It was just a gut feeling. I could feel myself mustering up some imaginary reason for me to get off the phone, but before I could lie, he said the person he has been dating was coming back into town that week and that he was pretty sure that he loved her. I immediately shut down. I know my silence spoke volumes because he asked "are you still there?" That good ol' "awkward moment" energy shot through me and held me hostage. And as we humans like to do, sometimes, I wanted to run away (hang up the phone rather), BUT, I knew I needed to sit in the awkwardness and get the conversation over with. Granted, he and I definitely have resolve with our relationship and are genuinely friends. But, you just assume that your exes will remain single forever after you, right? Is that just me? (lol). But this wasn't about that. It was about the awkwardness of that moment. That moment was fucking awkward, to say the least. But again, I knew I needed to surrender to it in order to move on and let go of my attachment to it. And that's exactly what happened on the other side.
Awkward moments are good for us. We need them. We can get a good inclination of how much we need them by how much we want to avoid them. Awkward moments grow us. They are moments of vulnerability that allow us to face things we don't want to face. That we've been avoiding and running from. Often, we allow them to become bigger than they are by ruminating on all the negative outcomes that may come from them. Focus on creating negative simulations that occupy so much mind, head and heart space. So much room in our consciousness that it becomes an obsession and then the obsession becomes bigger than the awkward moment. Chiiiiiiillllllll.
Awkward moments are no less and no more than impromptu spaces and opportunities for us to face ourselves, face the reflections of ourselves (others) and deal with the matters of life that we desire to sweep under the rug.
Awkward moments are opportunities to grow, learn, be vulnerable, practice self awareness and settle deeper into our humanness. To let go of assumptions, find truth, speak truth and practice being comfortable with being uncomfortable (My Self Love and Inner Peace Key #10.....by the way).
Then, once we experience the awkward moment, we get it out of the way. It dissolves and becomes one less thing to worry, obsess and have anxiety about. One less thing to think about. One more document to delete from our "untouchables" file.
Lean in. Process it. Contemplate it. Let it go. And move on. Because you will come out alive, on the other side.
By Coach Mel | May Thought
How many of you have placed blame and responsibility on someone for something that had absolutely nothing to do with them? Where you made your "stuff" their "stuff?" I will wait while everyone reading this raises their hand.
If you're not ready to admit it, that's ok too. Soon come.
I have definitely fallen victim to bestowing the responsibility of my reactions, feeling and emotions on someone else. No matter how much inner peace we gain, how enlightened we perceive (or others perceive) ourselves to be; we are still human beings, with human egos. And believe it or not, this phenomenon I speak of is a very normal, human one. We learn, from a young age, that someone else's actions "to" or "towards" us is the cause of all of our suffering. But, we do not have to hold on to this limiting belief. Allowing intentional space for self study and introspection creates room for the possibility of this phenomenon to become a fleeting experience instead of a habitual one.
My most recent experience with this theme happened about a month ago. I was on the phone with someone and the conversation took a sharp turn when I requested something of them that I thought would result in undoubted willingness. To my genuine surprise, they rejected my request. Which, of course, meant they were rejecting my entire being, my needs, my wants, our relationship, everything we had built, our friendship, my entire life, my family name, every-single-thing....right??? Cause that's what I thought.
So, after calling them an asshole in my head several times, I abruptly ended that phone call. I immediately began judging them and saying to myself, "how could they, after all I've done," "wow, really? If they really want us to remain connected, they should be willing to do this," "why aren't they willing," "they aren't putting any effort into this," "can't they see how selfish they are?" The rant went on and on. Later that night, with an attitude and sense of entitlement, I called them back. Silently seeking an apology for their rejection. Silently seeking their affirmation of my emotions. Silently seeking control and for my request to be granted, still. Silently hoping that they had now magically understood why my anger was warranted and why my stank attitude was appropriate.
I didn't get shit. And I hung up.
Later that night, I was so upset. And then, it hit me. I asked myself, "yo Mel, what is this really about. Why are you so upset?" In that moment, I realized, this is and was always, about me. This was about my desire to have another person fulfill a need for me that I refused to fulfill myself. This was about my unwillingness to articulate myself because I felt like I didn't need to. This was about my desire to push someone to push a boundary they weren't ready to push. This was about me feeling entitled. This was about me wanting someone else to be responsible, for me. This was about me feeling like the cause of my suffering should be the fault of someone outside myself; not my own. This was about me. Just that small shift in perspective allowed me to realize how foolish I been acting and after a few hours of drowning in a combination of peaceful self realization and agonizing self judgement, I called the person back and apologized for making my own issues, about them.
When we refuse to remember this. When we unconsciously chose to deny our self-created suffering and involve another human being in that process, we unknowingly cause them suffering, when it is not theirs to take on. No one, except us, has a responsibility to the things we don't want to face. No one, expect us, has a responsibility to meet a need that we are not willing to meet for ourselves. It's not them, it's you. And it's time to take back responsibility, for you.
By Coach Mel | April Thought
This week has been filled with a lot of…experiences. Ups, downs and definitely some frustrating moments. But, it has also been filled with a lot of growth and insights as well. I recently went on a short Snap Chat rant earlier this week sharing my thoughts about a specific ways we cause ourselves more suffering, for no warranted reason.
Think about a time when you were so passionate, moved and influenced by something ( a movie, a video, a quote, a song, a subject). Go ahead. Think abut it. I’ll wait….
You were so excited that you couldn’t hold it in or keep it to yourself. And because of that, you felt compelled to share it with someone. Someone you thought and assumed would feel just as passionate, moved and influenced as you did. And then, when you told them or showed them, they either didn't have a reaction at all or didn't feel as affected, excited or lively as you did or as you assumed they would be. Do you remember how you felt?
Speaking from my experience with this situation, I can point out three ways I have (and still do) felt.
That moment you think “really, you don’t get how amazing this is?” “You can’t see how this applies to you?” “What do you mean, its alright’?” “You don’t feel moved or emotional?” “You don’t like it?” You confirm in your mind, they are officially, a hater.
You were so excited and knew, in your mind, that the person you shared with would feel exactly how you felt because there is no way everyone else wouldn’t feel passionately about [this]. Your expectation of their reaction was not met.
After a few moments you began to think, “well, maybe it wasn’t that great. Maybe I am over reacting.”
In a split moment, we create a helluva lot of suffering for ourselves by placing an expectation on another person, hoping our assumption was correct. Minimizing our experience and doubting that our joy is valid. All of this suffering caused in mere moments. We belittle our joy because another person didn’t bask in it with us, with the same intensity.
In these moments it is important to ask ourselves “why?” Why did I just diminish myself and my joy? Why am I faulting someone for something that is not their fault? Why am I placing expectations on someone to validate my happiness?
I invite you to re-think your judgment. To re-think your disappointment. To re-think your self doubt. If there is something in this world that was grand enough to make you feel full of life and alive; then that is enough. The reaction, or lack there of, from someone else is not a factor. Shine and float on in your passion and excitement. Because in that moment, that’s all that matters. And now, that’s all that matters.
Melanie is a Conscious Lifestyle Coach. Her mission is to inspire, motivate, challenge and empower men and women to live life, awake; the conscious life.