Joy Ignites Success

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

Are you a Bully? Don’t be so quick to say no…

By  - Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others.  The behavior is often repeated and habitual. Behaviors used to assert such domination can include verbal harassment or threat. Wikipedia
Reading this, some of us may admit to occasionally bullying a loved one with a threat designed to intimidate. Think “If you don’t make that phone call or take out the trash, I’m going to…”
But that’s not what I’m referring to. It’s the relationship that you continue to pretend doesn’t matter, doesn’t exist or is not relevant. It’s the relationship with yourself. How often do you condemn, threaten or judge yourself? Yes, that’s bullying too.
 Read More

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!

 Read More

Can you love yourself and yet be overly critical of your actions?

By  - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

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

Can you love yourself and yet be overly critical of your actions?

Absolutely! In the same way we can love our children and partners and be overly critical of them, we can love ourselves and still be in the habit of constantly finding fault with ourselves. If you’re tired of being hard on yourself, here are a few ways to play with breaking the habit.

1.    Recognize that it is a habit and begin by bringing awareness to it. Set an intention to watch for all the times you make yourself wrong and just notice it. As best you can, when you catch it, don’t judge yourself (and add insult to injury).
2.    Ask yourself what you get from being hard on yourself. Do you believe that telling yourself that you are lazy will make you work harder? Or that telling yourself you are fat will dissuade you from eating the chocolate cake?
3.    Notice that whatever you are saying to yourself has in all probability not resulted in the desired behavior correction.
4.    Get curious. “Well, that’s not working, I wonder if there’s a better way to achieve the desired outcome?” Read More

Internal Conflict and Managing Stress

By  - Monday, July 28, 2014

My last two blog posts addressed external conflict. In today’s post we will look at how the same skills can be applied to internal conflict, or feeling conflicted. Too often, when there’s internal conflict, we turn to the mind to find a solution. We try to weigh out both sides of the problem (like the rational adults we are, ha) but more often than not, this leads to feeling more confused and more conflicted.

Similar to external conflict, the first step is self-awareness.  How do you feel about being torn or confused? The mind hates the experience of confusion and will do whatever it can to end it. But we are more than just thinking. We don’t have to follow the mind’s aversion to confusion. Believe it or not, it is possible to love being confused. And, in fact, the more we can allow ourselves to be confused, to not know the answer, the sooner the facts and feelings will sort themselves out.
I am speaking now to the concept you may have heard of ‘what we resist, persists’. When we resist anything, we are giving it energy and it gets stronger.
If we approach internal conflict as an opportunity for growth and change, the same as we approach external conflict, we are transforming the experience into an adventure. We can say, ‘wow, cool, I’m conflicted, so many options, fun!”  
We can take the same exercises and the same tips for dealing with external conflict and apply them to ourselves.

Tip #1- Breathe- easy enough, this is already an individual activity
Tip #2-Acknowledge the feelings- notice if feeling conflicted creates fear, anxiety, anger, sadness..
Tip #3- Shift your body posture- find the posture of not having a clear answer, then find the posture as if you knew the answer Read More

Treat Yourself As You Treat Others

By  - Tuesday, January 28, 2014

  The biblical principle “Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them do Unto You”, commonly known as The Golden Rule stems from Jesus turning Quid Pro Quo upside down. And yes, it’s a great principle. Treating others well is respectful, kind and good for emotional, physical, and spiritual health.
    But I think we have a bigger problem. I believe most of the time, most of us treat others better than we treat ourselves. We are kind and loving and supportive and take time out of our day to do favors and pick friends up when they’re down. But when you’re down? Are you kind and loving and encouraging? Not from what I can see. It’s more likely you follow the “kick them when they’re down” philosophy with yourself.
    Think about it. The last time you overindulged, or didn’t meet a deadline, or said something slightly inappropriate, did you then say to yourself “ there, there sweetie, it’s okay, you’ll do better next time”? I think not. If I know you, and I do, because we’re not so different, you scolded yourself, felt disappointed in yourself, and compared yourself to everyone you know who does it better.
   With every cell in my body I want to scream “Stop It”. It’s not nice. It’s not kind. And it doesn’t work! Beating yourself up is violence. Being cruel to yourself is cruelty just the same as being cruel to another or to an animal. If you wouldn’t do it to them, why is okay to do it to you?  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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