Joy Ignites Success


Telling Stories to Avoid Feeling

By  - Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Telling Stories to Avoid Feeling

 

Back in 2012 (OMG, that’s 7 years ago!) I wrote a blog about defending yourself to others and how that ramps up the feeling of being under attack. Recently, I started seeing how we do this to ourselves with telling stories about what we’re experiencing.

Here’s an example: The neighbor’s dog runs out into the street and gets hit by a car. I’m devastated. It brings up grief for the family, for the shortening of the dog’s life and the memory of my dog, Elsa, who was also hit and killed by a car. It probably also brings up fear that Beatrice (the current four-legged) will do the same thing.

What the mind likes to do in this situation is to protect us from the feelings. It will do that by making up stories about why that happened. “They weren’t watching the dog close enough”. “They didn’t take the time to train the dog”. “They must have left the gate open”. These are all made up stories (whether there’s an element of truth to them or not) to try to protect ourselves from our own feelings of fear and grief.

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Lets Talk About Play

By  - Thursday, May 09, 2019

Let’s Talk About Play!



Hearing about another school shooting incident in Colorado brought me to tears. Along with grief for victims and family, I feel overwhelming sadness about living in a world where this is becoming the norm. While I’m sure there are many contributing factors, the one I can speak to is the impact of the lack of movement and interactive play.
I wrote my thesis on Reclaiming An Adult Relationship to Play, as I believe it’s critically important for all of us to play throughout our lifetimes. But, today, I am looking at this from what the lack of play is doing to our children and our society.
About 20 years ago, I had the honor of participating in a playshop with my teacher, Christine Caldwell, and Dr.Stuart Brown, a leading researcher on play. Of the many benefits, aspects and implications surrounding play and the lack thereof, one of the most profound things I heard Dr. Brown say during that workshop, was that play deprivation is a leading indicator for mass murder. In fact, I remember him saying that it was the only correlation that could be found among mass murderers.
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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

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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Are you beating the fun out of yourself?

By  - Thursday, May 17, 2018

Are you beating the fun out of yourself?



Would you like to have more fun? Are you waiting and waiting for it to happen?
Most would say they’d like to have more fun. But most are also tyrants with themselves. Thoughts like “there’s no time to play”, “there’s too much to do” and “I’m too tired” rule the day. And too often, the belief is that the way to get things done is to just buckle down and do it.
This is the opposite of the truth. Fun is one of the best (if not the best) motivator there is. Pause for a moment to consider this- someone invites you to an event and it sounds like a lot of fun. You’re likely to say yes immediately, or figure out how to move things in your schedule to get there. In a different scenario, the same person invites you to an event, but this time you think to yourself “I should go because _______”. It doesn’t matter what you fill in the blank with, as soon as you tell yourself you should go, you’re in trouble. Read More

How Do We Let Go?

By  - Tuesday, January 23, 2018

In 30 Ways or Less


It’s one thing to know you should let go and to even want to let go and it’s another thing to know how and actually let go. In this post, you'll find a summary of the three primary ways to let go and a list of 30 suggestions based in movement, play and Sedona releasing.
1.    Move it!
Emotions live in the body (for more about this, check out Molecules of Emotion by Candace Pert). One of the most effective ways to let go of a feeling is to physically move it. Whether you dance with it, run through it or hike it up a mountain; getting conscious to what’s happening in your body will help you to let go. Suggestions 2-4, 11, 12, 18, 19, 22-24 and 27-30 all involve moving.
2.    Play with it!
Many of our habitual patterns developed when we were little trying on adult behaviors. Playing into stuck-ness is a natural way to let go. “In play all definitions slither, dance, combine, break apart, and recombine.” (S. Nachmanovitch, Free Play) Because of its spontaneous nature, play takes us out of strong habitual patterns and brings us into the present moment, where we can make a new choice. Suggestions 5-7, 12, 13, 17, 21, 25 and 26 all stem from play.
3.    Release it!
The Sedona Method is a phenomenal technique for letting go of unwanted thoughts and feelings. I have written many articles about and incorporating the method. The first two are the basics: 5 Ways to Release and The 4 Programs (that underlie thoughts, feelings and behaviors). This link takes you to 25 blogs that reference the Sedona Method. Suggestions 1, 2 and 16 are examples of Sedona Method releases.
 

30 Ways to Let Go of Unwanted Thoughts, Feelings, Sensations

1. Be with what is here is this moment. Allow the thoughts and sensations to do whatever they are doing.  Let go of wanting to change what is.
2. Just drop it. (pen analogy)
3. Use your arms to Give Up. (arms in air)
4. Shake or bounce it loose (thoughts, feelings and sensations).
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Let Go Feel Good

By  - Thursday, November 30, 2017

Why Should I Let Go?




Welcome to part one of Why, How, When and Where to let go. As with anything, when it comes to letting go, the mind wants to know “why should I?” And, of course, if anyone tells you that you should do something, you will likely resist. So finding your own motivation to let go (or release) becomes critically important. In my personal experience and in the experience of my clients gains from releasing have been numerable and significant. Perhaps my personal favorite gain is having let go of a lifelong habit of worrying. Clients have reported new ease in relationships, more clarity about what they want in life, freedom from grief and anxiety and so much more. Here are 5 reasons you might consider letting go:

  1. When you hold on to anger, resentment or hostility in any form, the person who suffers the most is always you. Yes, you might be simultaneously punishing another (though often they don’t even know), but the bottom line is that the feeling of anger is being experienced in your body, not theirs. And the feeling of anger in the body is uncomfortable and can lead to physical and emotional distress.
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Making Fun of Yourself

By  - Wednesday, July 05, 2017

In a most delightful way!



Do you take yourself just a little too seriously?
Most of us do. We think that what we think, what we believe and what we feel (emotionally and physically) is significant, unique to us, and therefore very special.
And I’m certainly not going to be the one to suggest it’s not. But what if you did? What if you could see the humor in your life experiences? Do you think life might just get a little easier? A little more fun? If you’re open to giving it a try, here’s some ways you might be able to play with yourself (yes, I said that).
1. Turn the disturbing thought into a song (using a familiar tune from childhood works well)
2. Use a little sarcasm with yourself (e.g. “really, Melanie, I’m sure you are the only person on the planet to have ever felt this way”).
3. Bounce the thoughts in your mind’s eye, or physically bounce your body (it’s almost impossible to hold onto a thought while bouncing).
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Worry is an expression of fear not of love

By  - Friday, May 12, 2017

Worry is an expression of fear, not of love

 

Do you tell your children, spouse, parents or anyone at all that you worry about them because you love them? If you do, I have a suggestion for you. Stop It. It’s a lie. Worry does not come from love, it is an act based in fear. Fear that you might lose a loved one, or fear that a loved one could get hurt or do something not in their best interest, for sure; but that doesn’t make worry an act of love.

If you think about it from a body perspective, it’s pretty obvious. Love is an expanded state. We feel open and available and soft and warm inside when we simply allow ourselves to love another. We love to love and seek this state of being more than anything else (though often in a very strange way). When we worry, we are experiencing the exact opposite. We are in a contracted state, physically and mentally. Worrying is not comfortable and most people who worry say they wish they could stop. In fact, I’ve never heard anyone say they’d like to worry more.

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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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