Joy Ignites Success

Is it time to forgive yourself?

By  - Tuesday, August 19, 2014

This post was inspired by a question from a facebook friend. It's the third in a series of three. Please share your thoughts and ask your questions!

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A Body-Oriented Perspective on Stress Management and Self Care

By  - Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Don't Kill Me, I'm Just Trying to Help
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By  - Tuesday, February 18, 2014

If you’re human, and I’m guessing you are, you experience feelings of not being capable of meeting the task at hand. These may be occasional, fleeting moments, or they may be familiar and persistent. To handle these opportunities with as much grace and ease as possible, here are some strategies.
1.    Breathe. Deeply inhale and fully exhale several times.
2.    Assess the situation. What aspect of it is most daunting?
3.    Take an inventory: Is this something you’ve done before? Is it similar to anything you’ve ever done before? Is there a manual? Who do you know that knows how to do this?
4.    Acknowledge the internal voices that may be saying you don’t know what you’re doing. For instance, thank them and tell them that what they are saying isn’t helpful at the moment. Ask them what else they’ve got.  Read More

Dealing with Tragedy

By  - Tuesday, April 16, 2013

With yet another incomprehensible act of violence, I thought I might address some of the questions I often hear from my clients.  

How Am I Supposed to Feel?

However you do.  Trying to control what you feel is non-productive and never works.  You may feel sadness, anger, confusion, even numbness in this type of situation.  The incident may bring up past events seemingly unrelated.  If you can take even a moment to notice and name what you are feeling, it will help.

What Am I Supposed to Do About the Feelings?

Feel them.  That’s it.  Every feeling has a sensation in the body and when you can just breathe and be with it, it will naturally dissolve.  Thinking we have to do something with or about the feeling, keeps us stuck in the feeling.  Trying to ignore the feelings may work temporarily, but not in the long run.  

What Am I Supposed to Do About the Situation?
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My Money, My Emotions

By  - Monday, April 01, 2013

We know that money was created as a form of exchange.  We know that it has no intrinsic value.  We know our ancestors (way back when) lived without it.
Yet, we are completely dependent on it and often judge our self worth by how much we have or don’t have.  
When I explore my relationship with money, I find that it is hooked to almost everything in my life.  Some of the fun times I remember with my mother involved shopping and spending money.  But these outings were tainted by knowing that we would lie to my father about how much we spent.  In college, my friends called me ‘the bank’, since I always seemed to have cash.  I felt both an attraction and an aversion to this title.  Since then, I have uncovered beliefs about what I can do and can’t do in the world to have wealth.  
More relationships break up over money than anything else.  Or, at least, money is the presenting issue.   An easy way to start to explore your money ‘hang-ups’ is to ask ‘what does having money say about me?’ and ‘what does not having money say about me?’ And, if you're ready to do a deep dive around money issues, check out my Change Your Money Mindset Program.   Read More

What Do I Do When a Feeling Just Won't Let Go?

By  - Wednesday, March 06, 2013

I get asked this question a lot, and truth be told, I am not immune to the belief that nothing is going to help and that I am going to be stuck with a particular feeling for a very long time.  More than ever, it’s time to let go of resistance.  Let the feeling have its way with you.  Tell the fear ‘bring it on’, tell the anger ‘go ahead, explode’ (not on others!).  I believe when the feeling won’t let go, in part, it’s because we are still suppressing part of it.  When we allow it to become ‘full blown’ any hidden aspects will rise to the surface.  We are also addressing the fear of the feeling, whether it’s fear of fear or any other feeling.  When we give the feeling permission to go full blown, we are actually stepping into courageousness, knowing that we are strong enough to take it.   Read More

Use Feedback to Your Advantage - SP #19

By  - Friday, August 17, 2012

Success Principle #19- Use Feedback to Your Advantage

The Principle in a Nutshell: Feedback shows up verbally and non-verbally; use it constructively.   

Discussion: Whenever we attempt something new and share it with the world, we receive feedback.  Some positive, some negative, some verbal, some non-verbal.  What we do with that feedback makes a huge difference in how we continue.  If we accept all feedback from external sources, we risk cutting off from internal wisdom.  If we reject all external feedback, we risk getting lost in our own illusions.  Learning to be with feedback, trying it on for size and integrating what is helpful and letting go of what is not, is a skill that can serve us well.   Read More

Reject Rejection - SP #18

By  - Friday, August 03, 2012

Success Principle #18:  Reject Rejection

The Principle in a Nutshell: Recognize that the whole concept of rejection is in your head.

Discussion: This principle speaks to how we perceive other people’s responses to us and our requests or proposals.  It recognizes that a ‘no’ response is not a rejection of us.  How many times have you said no to cake or ice cream?  Is it because you don’t like cake or ice cream?  Do you think the cake takes it personally?  Do you think the ice cream will never try to entice you again?  Yes, I am personifying inanimate objects, but maybe we have something to learn from them.  The fifth way of releasing recognizes that there is really nothing personal or attached to us anyway.  So, the fact that someone says no to us, doesn’t have to have any meaning at all. Read More

Ask, Ask, Ask - SP #17

By  - Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Success Principle #17:  Ask, Ask, Ask

The Principle in a Nutshell: If you don’t ask, you don’t know.  Don’t assume you know what the answer will be.

Discussion: An often sited principle by Jack and his coaches, there is more to it than meets the eye.  From a therapist’s perspective, being willing to ask and risk rejection takes a strong sense of self.  But, it goes both ways- being willing to ask and risk rejection can build self-esteem.  We stop ourselves from asking for what we want because we think we know the answer, because we don’t want to be a bother or because we were taught that it was impolite to ask.   Read More

Be Willing to Pay the Price - SP #16

By  - Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Success Principle #16:  Be Willing to Pay the Price

The Principle in a Nutshell: Success doesn’t come without putting in the work.  

Discussion: I think this is a principle worth looking at from a few different angles.  The examples Jack Canfield sites in his book are from sports and music, where practice can fine tune and develop ability. Hale Dwoskin might respond to this principle with a comment like this- ‘unless it does’.  I think that putting in the work  (or paying the price) may be releasing and getting the limitations out of the way.  To me, the key point in this principle is the word willing.  How willing are you to take action if necessary, release when appropriate and stick to it when you feel like giving up? 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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