Joy Ignites Success

At the end of your rope?

By  - Tuesday, September 04, 2018

What to do when every little thing is annoying...
Do you have days (weeks? months?) where everybody and everything gets under your skin? It happens to the best of us. Maybe you haven’t been sleeping well, or you’ve eaten foods that don’t agree, or there’s simply too much on your plate. I’ve created a list of things to do and questions to ask yourself when irritability is getting the best of you.
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My Thoughts are Enough Thanks

By  - Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Do you ever find yourself questioning how you should think or act based on what others might think? If you’re like the rest of us, the answer is likely yes. But is this wise? Is it effective?
There are multiple problems inherent in this behavior. The first glaring issue is that no matter how well you know someone, you are still just guessing what they will think. The deeper complication is that you are attempting to access the wisdom (or lack thereof) of another, rather than tuning in to what you know to be true for yourself.
This behavior eats away at confidence and self-esteem. Read More

2017-The Year of the Pause

By  - Tuesday, January 24, 2017

I recently completed reading the entire text of A Course in Miracles. This was a huge task and one I had set a goal of completing by the end of 2016. A bit out of character, but I completed it. The next task was to read the Manual for Teachers. On January 1, when I opened the book, I immediately felt some resistance. And a deeper voice, saying “not yet”. On exploring this, I starting pondering how quickly we jump from one thing to the next and specifically, from one year to another. I realized that as much as I was ready to be done with 2016, I was not yet ready for 2017. Like the pause between the exhalation of breath that comes before the next inhalation, I needed a pause between years. Read More

Incompetent Coworkers?

By  - Thursday, September 24, 2015


How to stay calm in the face of incompetence.

In the workplace, we don’t always have a say about who we work with. Sometimes, the person we are working with, or reporting to, is incompetent. Or at least it seems that way.
And while I’m sure you wish they would be different, that is not often in your control. Imperturbability, calm and unruffled self-assurance or equanimity, is however, within reach. Here are 5 things you can do in this situation to restore well-being.
Therapeutic Interventions:
1.    Breathe. Deeply inhale and fully exhale several times.
2.    Pause for a moment and ask yourself how their incompetence impacts you.
If it really doesn’t affect you, just let it go. Notice that you don’t have to react to them. Ask yourself, “Do I really want to spend my energy on this?” or “Do I want to let this control me?” With another deep breath, you can imagine dropping the upset you’ve been carrying.
If it does affect you in terms of having to correct their mistakes or redo something, allow yourself to think about doing so and notice what feelings arise.
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Kicking the Worry Habit

By  - Monday, June 29, 2015
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Reaction and Response

By  - Saturday, January 18, 2014

Are Knee-Jerk Reactions Ruining Your Life?
   In our daily interactions, when we feel fully present and engaged, we respond based on current circumstances. At other times, when we may not be quite as present, we get easily triggered and reactive.
We become reactive when the present moment gets associated with an unpleasant experience from the past. The reaction happens so quickly that we don’t recognize what’s happening. Rebecca, a client who came in for couples counseling with her husband, demonstrated reactive behavior beautifully. In one of our early sessions together, Rebecca’s husband suggested that she take some time off. Rebecca immediately flew into a rage and started explaining and defending her need to work eighty hours a week. When we dug under the reaction, Rebecca shared that she felt she was being attacked, and under that, she had feelings of not doing a good enough job as wife and mother. He husband’s comment reminded her of how her father had told her she wasn’t doing it right about many things in her life. She was unable to see that her husband’s comment came out of concern for her well-being.   Read More


By  - Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Are you the one with long to do lists and infinite goals? The one who keeps going in the face of adversity? If so, I’m talking to you. You may be missing an important strategy in your arsenal. GIVING UP!
No, I don’t mean surrender or let go or anything new age or spiritual. I mean give up. Throw the blankets over your head, turn off the computer, your cell phone, and any other device and just give up. Cry if you want to. And for goodness sake, don’t judge yourself. There are plenty of others who will do that for you. Read More

Use Your Breath to Get Unstuck

By  - Wednesday, November 20, 2013

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Are You Really Running Out of Time?

By  - Saturday, October 26, 2013

Philosophers and physicists have debated about the concept of time since Socrates was alive. Carl Sagan believed it might be possible to travel into the future. Einstein said time is an illusion. But tell that to your boss? Or your publisher? Or your five year old? Whether time is real or not, most of us are still stuck with the clock and the calendar. We have deadlines to meet and schedules to keep. What good is it knowing that time doesn’t exist? That’s just another concept.
Concepts can be constraining or useful depending on our response to them. Allowing myself to play with time as an illusion conjures up many images. I think of the White Rabbit (I’m Late, I’m Late), the movie Back to the Future and Salvadore Dali’s  painting of melting clocks . When I think about running out of time in the context of ‘there is no time’, it takes the steam out of the worry engine. Think about it; if time doesn’t exist, how can I run out of it? I never had any to begin with. If there is no such thing as time, it’s pretty silly for me to be trying to manage it. And I notice that my body lets go of the contraction that seems to correlate to time itself contracting.  Read More

But What Will They Think?

By  - Tuesday, October 01, 2013

How much time do you spend wondering and worrying about what someone else may think about about you? If you are like most, it's probably way too much. There’s a book title that I reference to my clients regularly. It’s by Terry Cole-Whittaker: What You Think of Me is None of My Business, and there’s a similar quote "Your Opinion of Me Is None of My Business", credited to several different authors. Whoever said it first doesn’t really matter. It’s true. Approximately 99% (okay, I made that statistic up, but I’m sure it’s close to accurate) of what someone else thinks of you says more about them and their past, than it says about you.
Everybody’s perception, including yours, is colored by personal life experience. 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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