Joy Ignites Success

Practicing KIndness

By  - Tuesday, April 02, 2019

8 Ways to Be Kind to Self




All too often, when I suggest to a client that they learn to be kinder to themselves, I am looked at as if I have three heads. I get it, if the only thing we learned growing up was pressure, blame and criticism, it can be hard to know where to begin in changing the way we treat ourselves.


So, I made a list. It’s an on-going list, consider this part 1.


  1. Slow Down- rushing creates a sense of panic in the body and sends an internal message of not doing enough and/or being enough
  2. Drive Kind- it’s far too easy to get pulled into franticness when driving; when you slow down to allow others to make that turn, pull onto the highway, etc., it feels good. Practicing random acts of kindness is good for both giver and receiver.
  3.  Read More

Was that a gift?

By  - Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Was that a gift?


Or maybe you meant to say contract?

In our Course in Miracles group last Saturday (during a discussion about giving without wanting anything in return), the question was asked about what to do when a gift comes with expectations.
With the holidays arriving soon, it feels like a good time to review the difference between a gift and a contract.
A gift, by definition, is given freely, without compensation. Gifts can come in the form of material objects for sure; but also in kind words, listening, sharing and so much more.  In giving a gift, we have the opportunity to find joy in our ability to give, to enjoy another’s delight and to bask in the energy of gratitude (either from the other, or from ourselves for ourselves). For some, the joy is in finding the perfect gift. For others, no shopping is required.
A contract, on the other hand, to be legally binding, includes promises from both parties. I’ll mow your lawn and you’ll give me money. Read More

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

Washing the Dishes as an Act of Self-Care

By  - Thursday, February 09, 2017



At the time of this writing, I am on a mini retreat of my own. I find that taking myself out of my normal routine and environment is most conducive to a productive writing experience. The act itself is a monumental act of self-care. Being willing to leave the day-to-day running of the clinic and household to my husband is no small task. The ego self likes to believe things will fall apart without my presence for a day. The wiser part of me knows this is a lie and that taking care of self is indeed the most important act for well-being. And individual well-being is the foundation for relationship, community and world well-being. We build outwards from where we stand. If standing on shaking ground (which results from a lack of self-care), we cannot build the world we wish to live in.
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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

Attitude or Gratitude?

By  - Friday, November 20, 2015

 5 Tips for Allowing More Gratitude in Your Life



Last week I had an appointment in Boulder at 9am in the morning. At that hour, they say it will take about 65 minutes to complete the 35 mile drive from Lakewood. I made a conscious decision not to complain (especially not to myself). So I woke up bright and early, got ready and hit the road. The drive up Route 93 was perfectly fine, and I took the turn-off in South Boulder that took me through the back roads that feel very rural. As I was driving, I experienced a profound wave of gratitude. The sights were beautiful, my body was happy and comfortable in my new car and I was excited for my day.
I was consciously aware of how good I was feeling and grateful to be feeling grateful. Definitely something I would be happy to experience daily.
We all know how good gratitude is for us. (To learn the proven benefits, check out these articles http://bit.ly/1Facc2H , http://happierhuman.com/benefits-of-gratitude/) But sometimes, we just don’t feel grateful. And trying to force gratitude when you’re not feeling it is a bad idea.  Read More

Beyond Frustrated

By  - Wednesday, July 29, 2015

How do I get my happy back?



 

I am being given yet another opportunity today to practice what I preach. I am dealing with a situation where I have been told repeatedly that a product I ordered (and paid for in November 2014) will be in soon and will be mailed to me when it arrives. I have followed through on my end with reminder emails and phone calls. There is no other source for this particular product and I am dealing with a volunteer organization.

What I really want to do is rip someone’s hair out (not mine) and shake them until they are blue in the face?
Have you ever felt this way?
Here’s how we can handle these feelings:
1.    Validate the feeling.  It’s appropriate, it’s allowed and you have a right to feel what you feel.
2.    Imagine doing whatever it is that you’d really like to do to that person if no one would ever know and there would be no consequences. Have fun with this. (I’m doing it as I write)
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Hug More, Cough Less

By  - Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I will not play tug o' war. I'd rather play hug o' war.
Where everyone hugs instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles and rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses, and everyone grins,
and everyone cuddles, and everyone wins.
Shel Silverstein

We all know that hugs feel good (from someone we feel good about). But did you know that hugging is also good for physical and emotional well-being? We now have scientific proof that a hug a day (okay 8-12 hugs) keeps the doctor away.

 

From the Huffington Post article 7 Reasons why we should be giving more hugs.
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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

Tips for Being with Physical Pain

By  - Tuesday, December 03, 2013

When we are experiencing uncomfortable sensations in the body, we often feel emotionally fragile as well. Energy is automatically directed to handling or fixing physical pain leaving a shortage of energy for dealing with life. Also, when we are in pain, our belief in our own invincibility is threatened. On top of this, we may have many negative beliefs about pain from childhood—such as “anyone with pain is a whiner, crybaby, etc.,” “you should be able to handle this,” or “something’s wrong with you.” Here are some ideas for being with pain:

Awareness and Attention: with real pain, ignoring it will not make it go away. Pain may be a call for attention and an indicator that something is amiss. Get curious about your pain; is it warning you about a serious imbalance in your system? Is it letting you know something about someone or something in your environment? Keep in mind that when we ignore our pain, it often escalates; much like a child wanting to be noticed. 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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