Joy Ignites Success

What is all this resistance about?

By  - Tuesday, February 02, 2021

 What is all the resistance about? Read More

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

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.
  2.  Read More

Break the habit of looking for happiness

By  - Wednesday, July 06, 2016

What do I really want? (and how can I get it?)


“I need, I want” are mantras for most living in this century. Almost nobody would say they don’t want more of something and less of something else. But most of our wants are at the surface level. It’s rare that we stop and ask questions such as, “If I had more money, what would that give me?”  “If my boss were nicer, how would that affect me?”
Most of the time, when we drill down far enough, the answer to all the questions is the same. If I had more money, I would be happier. If my boss were kind, I’d feel safe and have more peace. If my husband would bring me a present, I would feel joyful.  We all ultimately want peace, joy, love, happiness.
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I Could Choose Peace Instead of This

By  - Thursday, March 24, 2016



Many, many years ago, while I was still single and living in NYC, I read Gerald Jampolsky’s book, Say Good-Bye to Guilt. Of the many brilliant things he wrote about, one piece I chose to work with at that time was the 34th lesson from A Course in Miracles “I could see peace instead of this”. Somehow in my mind, I had translated the word see to choose, but I don’t think it had an effect on how I worked with the lesson. Over 30 years later, I still find this to be one of my most useful lessons.
What the lesson tells us is that peace is always an option because it is an inside job. The ability to find peace even in the most tumultuous situations lies within. This is poignantly demonstrated in the book, Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl, a concentration camp survivor who writes about psychologically overcoming even the most unbearable of situations.
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Move from Lethargy and Heaviness to Joy and Freedom

By  - Wednesday, August 12, 2015

4 Do’s and Don’ts to Move from Lethargy and Heaviness to Joy and Freedom


Sometimes crappy moods happen. Blame it on the weather, moon cycles, sugar intake, your business partner or hormones. And sometimes, you may have an awareness that you’d rather feel differently. But, contrary to what some may say,  just “choosing to be happy” often doesn’t work.

Here are my 4 Do’s and Don’ts to move from lethargy and heaviness to joy and freedom.


1.    Beat yourself up for feeling the way you do. It happens.
2.    Self-soothe with substances that provide temporarily relief. You will likely regret it later and feel even worse.
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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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Can We Really Choose to Be Happy?

By  - Tuesday, October 08, 2013

After several people commented to me the other day about choosing to be happy, I had an opportunity to see if it could be that simple.
I woke up in a crappy mood, the reason not important. So, I said to myself, “Well, you could just choose to be happy”.
Guess what? It didn’t work. Not even a little bit. And I gave it my very best effort, willing to be wrong about what I previously believed.
Instead, I am writing this blog about why we can’t just choose to be happy.
Humans (and animals) experience their emotions first in the body at a cellular level. Humans feel a sensation, and then, with the pre-frontal cortex, label the sensation and only then do we feel angry, sad, happy, scared. Without the label we just have a sensation.
For example, if my body starts to tremble, I could identify that as fear, excitement or a response to the chill in the air. Without the label, I just have trembling.
The other morning, my crappy mood was accompanied by feelings of heaviness that I labeled dread. There was no way I could ethically call that feeling happiness. Sure, I could get up and lie to my husband and myself about what I was feeling, but that would not change the heaviness into happiness.  Read More

Feeling Stuck?

By  - Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Do Something, or Do Nothing
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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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