Joy Ignites Success

Play For Your Health: Renewing the Joy of Service

By  - Friday, August 23, 2013

The very word "caregiver" conjures up images of one who sacrifices him or herself for the good of others. The burnout rate for those working in the field is famously high. In our role as caregivers, we often ignore our own needs and forget to restore ourselves. We dismiss the pain in our back, the constant feeling of dread, or the lack of enthusiasm for life. The innate joy of service is often buried beneath the heaviness associated with obligation and responsibility. A playful spirit and lighthearted approach can ease our days and restore our sense of well-being. Read More

Combining Breath and Sensation to Relieve Stress

By  - Saturday, July 20, 2013

One of the natural responses of the body to stress is a contraction or tightening of muscles.  When feeling pressured by others or outside circumstances, we pull in to ourselves to get away from the external.  This strategy makes sense in theory, but in practice, it results in feeling like there is no space to be.  Which results in being easier to push around.  I often have my clients feel this by having them stand and just think about wanting to get away.  They naturally contract and pull in.  Then I give them a gentle push (with their permission, of course), and they inevitably lose their balance.  When I ask them to let go of the resistance and the contraction and try with the same force to push them, they easily stand their ground, or flow back easily.  
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Shake Your Body for Stress Relief

By  - Saturday, June 22, 2013

I love to shake!  Shake my head, shake my shoulders, shake my booty.  When I shake, things loosen up.  The joints, the muscles, the thoughts, the feelings, everything.  Kinda like bouncing, shaking seems to reset my system.  While I do this instinctively, there is strong evidence for shaking as a way to move trauma and release stress.  Animals shake after surviving attempted attacks and shaking has been shown to bring cortisol (stress hormone) levels down.  One side effect that is of particular interest to me, is that when we bring our cortisol levels down, we reduce the desire to binge.  So, if your goal is around weight loss or being free of alcohol cravings, shaking is a direct route.  
But shaking can support us in attaining all of our goals.  To feel the power of shaking, just stop reading for a moment and shake your arms.  You should immediately start to feel a loosening of the joints, the muscles and possibly your thoughts and emotions.    
Shaking has the ability to reprogram physical, mental, and emotional holding patterns. Read More

Just Lean Into It - SP #14

By  - Friday, March 02, 2012

Success Principle #14:  Just Lean Into It

The Principle in a Nutshell: Start moving in the direction you want to be heading.

Discussion: I really like this principle.  Perhaps because it’s so body-oriented.  When we lean with the body, we get pulled in that direction (unless of course, something or someone pushes us back).  I believe the same principles apply across the board, that leaning into something we want gives us momentum towards exploring and having that.  I am personally living this principle right now.  I am venturing more into the world of coaching small business owners and offering teleconferences.  And, even though I don’t know what I’m doing (not the content part, the marketing and technical parts); I am taking steps in that direction.  I have scheduled a couple of free conferences and am starting to see myself doing coaching for executives and business owners.  It’s important to know that you don’t have to have the big picture and all the answers to lean into something you are passionate about. Read More


About MSI

Melanie Smithson Institute is dedicated to enriching lives through embodied education and training; using movement, play and releasing to connect with innate wisdom and joy.  

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