Love the Life You Lead. Fall 2015. Day TWO: Melanie Dewberry

Love the Life You Lead. Fall 2015. Day TWO
Melanie Dewberry


Dear Lover of Life,
A local yogi friend named Kerry McClure and I met for a visit the other day. It had been a long time since I’d seen her deep blue eyes and shared wisdom over Moroccan mint tea.

Kerry was scheduled to speak at a workshop shortly, and I asked what she would be exploring in her talk.

She replied, “I’m going to pose a question to my listeners, so I’ll ask you the same one.”

Here is what she said:

“What do you touch first when you wake up in the morning or come home from work at night? Is it your phone or is it your partner?”

I sighed with a smile. Ah, Kerry, indeed. How quickly my rituals of love go out the window with exhaustion and my ever-present “to do” lists of life.

I’m been on more business trips this year than any previously in my entire career. I don’t say that to stroke my own ego, but rather as a reality that ironically grounds me in my following reflections about relevance and remembering.

As is the case for most of us, so many things need attention immediately upon our return home from a trip—business or otherwise. I can easily be catapulted into overwhelm by the tasks at hand. I forget what gives me relevance isn’t vacuuming after a long trip. It isn’t washing all my dirty clothes, either. And it is certainly not the “grouchy pants” (my husband’s endearing term) I become because I feel time slipping through my fingers and panic setting in.

Thankfully, I quickly recall that it is the ceremonies, the rituals of love and beauty that matter most to me and that truly welcome me home, in the truest sense of the word.

What rituals do you let go of in times of hurry and stress?

Remember your ceremonies, your rituals and your loves. Keep those close.

When I’m out and about with work trips and commitments, the logistics of travel (including jet lag) through me off balance. I can (and at times, do) lose myself to them. I forget to touch my soul first.

My ritual of waking up early to meditate is usually the first to go when I’m traveling in different time zones. My ceremony of calling in the love and expressing gratitude to my ancestors often follows. Zoning out in front of the hotel television becomes more relevant than prayer. Wine became more relevant than stillness. In the fog of logistics, it’s easy to lose one’s way. I can quickly begin to feel lost and ungrounded.

Thank goodness for the love and generosity of people who bring me back, whose steadfast belief in me holds me steady.

Does this all sound familiar to you? I’d like to invite you—without shame or mental punishment—to give yourself a break.

I have discovered a few things I’ll share that I find helpful for me:

If I sense I am complaining all the time and feel lost, confused and not on track, I ask two trusted friends to ask me three things:
When is the last time you’ve taken a walk in nature?
Are you giving yourself to rest during the day?
Are there things you could let go of to lessen the stress that you are holding onto?

Can you find one or two people that will ask as questions that will remind you of who you are and what you need to be who you are again?

In my personal list of three above (specifically the third bullet point), cooking is something I definitely could let go of. Contemplating making (or even eating!) three meals a day is a huge commitment that I do not adore. I can spend far too much mental space considering what I should eat now or cook later.

So, I’ve “retooled” my attitude about cooking and now it feels incredibly easy and healthy. I cook only those things that I can do in five minutes in the morning and twenty at night, including prep time. I eat a lot of salads with protein. And yes, I go out to dinner about twice a week so I can sit and talk with my hubby over a meal that is served to us!

Things I also do to help me stay grounded and steady in my life:

Beauty all around you…….
I place flowers throughout my home so that I see nature’s beauty and feel it within.
After morning meditation, I sage myself to reconnect to the wisdom of my Red Road Path.
I pray.
First thing in the morning when I wake and before I sleep I thank the Universe for this day, for the gift of being alive. I offer my gratitude to my elders, the universe, myself, my friends, husband, animals and I reconcile and apologize for any thoughtless behaviors I yesterday in preparation for the new day ahead.
If I’m having a tough day and I need a cry, I read some poetry, listen to music, or watch a movie until the tears spill.
I intentionally make time for my closest friends.
I nap.

What is in alignment with your highest self that you can bring forward with intention?

Many would deem this self-care. To be sure, it is that, and moreover, it is my spiritual practice that reminds me to remember who I am, to re-engage my call to Original Medicine, and remain to in relationship to all that is sacred. It’s incredibly easy for the practice to get kicked out of my daily schedule. Trust me, I know better, and yet it happens.

Give yourself permission to take time for yourself. It’s a precious gift at any age. Re-imagine how you living and make it congruent with what gives you ease and what grants priority to your soul.

Your home doesn’t have to be perfectly clean, does it? What looks like a “have to” is in actuality an option. Think about it. Can you let go the grip of what you have always thought was necessary for the love of your self that is the true necessary?

I know you’ve heard it a million times and here I go, too, taking an inventory of the digital world and its negative impact on modern culture and life:

Do you really need to touch your smart phone as much as you do?
Is social media really filling you up or distancing you?
Is there someone else who could use your touch more (including your Self)?
Do you really have to respond to every chime and text right now?

Your life is sacred. It’s a creative and beautiful force. A miracle. Shouldn’t it be engaged it as such? We would never look at or closely hold a newborn any other way. How do we lose touch with the miracle called YOU? When did responsibility come to mean there is no room to breathe?

What would happen if we didn’t ascribe to the belief of “there is so much I have to do?” or “there isn’t enough time in the day?” Can you hear how this sort of language creates an unconscious panic and anxiety?

Consider adopting the following ideas and directives—for just one week. See what happens:

There is time for what is precious; I know what that is.
I give myself all the time that I need.
I reduce what I do to refuel who I am.
I get enough done with one or two things a day.
Nothing terrible will happen if I don’t _________________.
The house will still stand if it is not perfectly clean.

And if I may pose one more question for parents:

What are you making overly important for your child that isn’t really so?

Moms can be so hard on themselves. Can you find ways to be kinder to yourself and realize you are a loving and kind parent?

Be the medicine for your soul.

Please write to me and tell me what you found for yourself or even where you struggle.

I promise to respond because I have time.

Time doesn’t have me.

Love, love, love,
Melanie DewBerry


About melindarabrams

Melinda Abrams, CPCC, MSA is a champion of the shared experience. She consistently moves individuals and groups to deeper levels of connection and support, and models ‘being moved’ by what is present in the space. She believes that in this creative combustion, capacity expands ….simply, naturally, magnificently. In addition to coaching corporate executives, Melinda takes great pleasure collecting and sharing messages about Loving the Life you Lead on facebook and her blog Moving Leaders. She loves coaching, delivering experiential programs at outdoor education centers, teaching teleclasses, holding weekend retreats, and guiding leaders to MOVE. Melinda brings over 20 years of teaching and leadership development to Moving Leaders. Her work spans experiences with youth, corporate clients, and both business and medical graduate students at Duke, University of North Carolina, North Carolina State and Wake Forest Universities. Her commitment is to serve emerging leaders as they move towards shared enthusiastic leadership. And YES! Melinda is also an artist. She creates unique handpainted scarves. In my art, my coaching, and my spiritual practice I consistently return to wonder and awe. As I turn to wonder and create from there I experience a profound connection with source. This movement brings me to this latest series of scarves. I love the idea of wrapping oneself in an idea–an intention– a possibility, and creating beauty with that intention. My hope is that when one chooses this scarf to wear, they turn from disconnected bland to soulful brilliant. Of course when the scarf is open and hung you can read the message, yet when it is draped and worn, the message is simply seen as a design. My promise is that the wearer is reminded to turn towards the message and that the message is shared through the wearers actions and interactions with others. Melinda Abrams Melinda loves living in Chapel Hill, NC with her husband and three children.
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