Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Internet Dating. The New Modern form of Arranged Marriage?

It's crazy, isn't it? This modern, high tech version of dating that we have progressed into. In fact, I think in some ways, I may even compare it to the antiquated arranged marriages. Seriously folks, in years past and in some cultures currently, the parents of both the bride and groom finitely choose who in theory, they believe would be the best fit for their child. Sometimes they even hire expert matchmakers to come in and determine who is best suited based on the earnings of the parents, the hierarchal ancestry, the education, physical beauty, and overall health. The only thing that isn't necessarily taken into consideration, is attraction and chemistry. Really, "love".

So, here we are in the modern era, essentially going online and doing the same thing. And, instead of your mother and grandmother popping in their two cents about Little Bobby (who has a drooling problem) being the catch of a lifetime because his father owns the bank, instead you have the computer database linking attributes that would make two people potentially compatible. Now, the good news is this: with computer dating, you can see that Little Bobby has the drooling problem based on the wet mark on his shirt in his profile picture. There is no need to proceed further, all the information you need is presented, despite his father's best efforts!

So, we put our information out there, into never-never land and hope that someone with good, strong genes, that doesn't smoke or do drugs, who wants 2 kids (a boy and a girl), will pop up with a good picture, a pleasing voice and then... finally, pheromones to die for! A sense of humor that you actually understand, the bonus! But, what exactly are we getting when we do this? Do we really have the opportunity to meet our "soulmate", or are we potentially missing out on our one and only because we are too busy perusing profiles on Plenty of Fish?

The single most important question that I have is this: Are you being authentic when you describe yourself? Do you have the ability to see yourself accurately? Yes! And, of course not! We all want to be honest about who we are, at least, some of us do... hahaha... But, having the ability to be honest is a totally different story, because we are such multi-dimensional human beings. We could have a friend write our profiles for us, but then we would only have the perspective that they see in us, tainted by their judgments both good and bad, and the parts of us that we show them, not necessarily the perspective that a future love interest would see. We all know that we are a bit chameleon by nature, different people bring out different sides of us. So then, what if we choose to interview several close friends and relatives, get a very well-rounded perspective that may show us accurately in 3-D? Couple that with our own inner sanctuary of thoughts, feelings, and ideas and what we choose to share. That, I think, is the only way to really be 100% accurate in our assessments. Then bears the question, what about the people that don't have a lot of close friends (or any?) or living relatives that can help them out with this advanced profiling technique? I guess they're just S.O.L. Darn. I may have wanted to "wink" at them, but not now that I don't really get to know them before I meet them....

I know what you are thinking... Melanie is jaded. However, that isn't really true, not entirely that is. I'm not jaded. I do believe in love. And, I also believe that in some cases, internet dating is an exceptional way to meet people. I'm actually doing the "online" thing currently, as I have in the past. I think I just have different questions this time around. Want to hear them? Okay, I'll share with you my questions that I ask myself, yes, I said myself, NOT them.

How do I feel when I talk with them?

When I'm looking into their eyes, do I sense sincerity? Attraction? Discomfort? Ease?

What does my stomach say?

What is my very first reaction upon meeting them?

Do I feel comfortable, does conversation come easy?

Can I imagine being naked with them??? (Would I feel confident in my own skin? Would I want to rub skin and pink parts at some point in the relationship?)

Am I interested enough to know more that I am willing to sacrifice my precious time in order to share it with them. If I hesitate even a little, then the answer is no. And, although I may see them once more to confirm the suspicion, there is no sense wasting anyones time in dragging out the inevitable.

Listening to my inner voice is fundamental in finding a love that fits, whether you meet the man on Match.com or whether your Great Aunt Susan sets you up. It will tell you everything you will ever need to know. And, from what I understand, if you listen carefully, your would-be partner will too...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Think on This...

What would you think about if you weren't taught what to think about?

My first reaction to this question is, "I think about what I want, dammit! My thoughts are my own!" My second reaction is, "Oh my... my thoughts are 100% tainted by the environment and people around me."

Case in point, a client tells me the other day while I'm giving him a massage about the best sushi in Santa Cruz. We debate the pro's and con's of the various cafes, meanwhile salivating heavily, almost obnoxiously, while massaging his back. It's been four days of craving sushi now. I will have to submit sometime soon, because my mind is so wrapped around the idea of eating sushi. Would I have automatically started craving sushi at this exact moment in time had it not been for that conversation? I think not. I'm relatively sure that a person who has never tasted sushi or doesn't live in an area that serves sushi, wouldn't have a spontaneous and lasting sushi craving. Therefore, it must have been a thought that was planted by my conversation.

Now, I do understand that he wasn't setting out to "teach" me what to think. So, I slanted the thought process a bit, but the overall truth is that in some way or another, we are taught, encouraged, pushed into thinking about things a certain way.

And, our families.... whoa... that's a whole other story! Imagine just from the time you are the littlest baby, over time you are taught to cry to alert your parents to your needs. Then you are taught what foods to eat, based on what foods your parents choose to buy at the store and feed you. Then you are taught a specific language, with a certain accent, because you are parroting what you hear around you. Then you decide what type of God, or none at all, that you believe in because your family makes you go to church, or temple, or you live in a New Age hippie commune. You're taught right from wrong, based solely on the mores of your immediate society, which has been so diluted from our intrinsic truths, that we can't even trace back with complete accuracy whomever made the rules of "right and wrong" in the first place!

It's crazy, isn't it?

My head spins in circles as I ponder what is true for me, and what I think I may have always believed to be true because I unquestionably trusted that it was. And, now that I have this consciousness, it is my right and responsibility to do my own self-exploration to know, without a doubt, what I believe and why. And, then to live my truth without feeling like I need to push it on others. I think there is plenty of pushing to go around, so I'll bow out of that experiment!

Ladies and gentlemen, I implore you to think on this. Learn who you are and what you believe and why you believe it. Test your beliefs against your gut. If you get a twinge of fear, negativity, doubt, or just the physical feeling of "yuckiness", it's probably your intuition that's telling you the belief isn't authentic. And, that's your cue to dig deeper, get more clear, so you can live fully, thinking your own thoughts.

If you want some help in this process, call me and set up an appointment for either in person or the phone. I'm not going to tell you what you should believer, but I will walk you through some different tools that will open up your own self-discovery!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Words are Just Words

Words are just words, of course, but when they are put together in a way that touches the reader, that makes one think differently, that opens up new perspectives... well, that makes words wonderful.  It's my desire to put words together in such a way that you, the reader, will be lifted and inspired into your own truths and aspirations.  Thank you for reading my truths.

Monday, October 25, 2010

In the words of Goethe

Melanie Sargent - Mirror Image
In the words of Goethe: 

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events ensues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”
What exactly are you waiting for? You can choose to move forward or move in circles. Which direction will produce greater results? When you inspect your life, what do you see? What aspects of yourself are worthy of pride? Where are you weak or reactive, where you can let go of the ties that bind you to that negativity?
Explore within. Brainstorm. Allow the thoughts, ideas and feelings to flow as if from the wellspring of Spirit itself, for that is what you are and where you came from. When you have created your list of who you think you are and what you think you are capable of, check in with it. Is this accurate? Is there more? Perhaps even check in with someone who is positive and close to you. Perhaps they see greatness where it has been hidden from you. Perhaps there is an untapped strength that will be the driving force behind you manifesting your greatness!
Once you have fully let it all out, then clarify. Isolate down where your strengths are and where you need a power partner to help you with your weaker areas. Create a manifestation list of what you want to make happen in your life; your relationships, your career, your loves, your fitness level, where you live... whatever comes up for you. Make it pretty or strong using nice paper or colored pens, etc., so you'll enjoy looking at the list and absorbing the information, feeling empowered as you do.
Then, put it into action. Make it happen with one little step or one giant leap! Start. Just start doing something and stop letting life slip past you without letting your light shine.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Go Big, or Go Home!

Life is the ultimate challenge. Just living. Getting up in the morning, plugging away through your day, going to bed in the evening... and all the minutia in-between. It can be such a drag at times or at other times, the best thing ever!

Why is it that some evenings I muster every ounce of strength that I have just to cook up a pot of Top Ramen, finding no pleasure in the cooking process, the eating or the clean-up. Although other nights I feel inspired and create masterpieces of creative cuisine, loving the chopping, sautèing, washing the dishes, presenting the dishes, eating the meal, washing more dishes... ah... the memories of my fondness for cooking settles over me with a smile. But, let me tell you, the mundane daily must-do's can really bore me and get me down!

I was thinking about all the ways I prescribe to changing my outlook, and therefore, my mood, around these ordinary tasks and I was struck with the concept that I shake it up! I get out there! I DO things, go places, visit people, throw parties, exercise, tickle my teenager until he wants tackle me into submission! I create new experiences so that my life constantly has to evolve and grow, so it never really becomes too repetitious. Right down to the food I cook... rarely do I ever produce the same thing twice!

Life is an adventure that needs to be explored! We live on a planet that is full of opportunity! And, I know what you may be thinking... "Well, with this economy, there needs to be cut-backs and sacrifices. Can't just run off to RomeHiking Nevada Falls in Yosemite, CA to see the Pantheon, now can we?" lol Perhaps not. But, I would wager to say that most of you haven't even explored your own backyard, much less the community that you live in. So, check out what's happening in your home town. What do tourists want to see when they come to your town? Have you ever gone to check it out? You may live in NYC, and you see the Statue of Liberty every day from your office window, but have you ever actually taken the ferry out to it, paid for a ticket and explored the Statue itself?

Get creative. Get moving. Get curious.

Go big in life, with colorful things that please you, surround yourself with people that warm your heart or stretch your mind, take that trek to the beach that you've waited all your life to do, taste a bite of that ethnic food that scares you, take a painting class knowing full well that your 5th grade art teacher told your parents you had no talent for art, sing in the shower, take an algebra class at the community college if that's your thing, take pictures of inanimate objects and use them as your facebook profile picture, just do something! Or, just go home!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Story

"All of these lines across my face. Tell you the story, of who I am. So many stories of where I've been. And, how I've got to where I am. But, these stories don't mean anything, if you've got no one to tell them to. It's true, I was made for you."

Brandi Carlile croons these lyrics in her song, The Story. And, oh what a song... that lady has some serious pipes!

The reason I bring these lyrics up is because I've realized that I am getting old. Well, at least, older. I'm getting the telltale crinkles around my eyes, the darker sun spots on my face and hands. Some of my skin is getting crepe-y. I catch myself on occasion wanting to fight it! Fight these signs that steal my youth! Spend countless dollars on services to delay the inevitable! Alas, my budget won't allow for fancy treatments or plastic surgery and I wonder if I'd go back to smoother skin if it meant that I would have to erase the many smiles that created the permanent crinkles. The hours worshiping the sun, playing outside and laughing with my friends, to rid myself of some age spots. The manual labor of gardening and massaging people, chopping wood, painting color on my walls... would I go back and do it differently, just to have the delicate, beautiful hands of nobility?

I don't think so. Actually I know I wouldn't. Every line, wrinkle, spot and sag is a story. It's my story. It's my experience, my memory, my life. It hasn't all been good, but it's been mine. Now, about those gray hairs springing up! Those, I think, are because of my son! :) But again, wouldn't trade 'em for nothing!

Here I am, sharing my thoughts and feelings through the medium of this blog, unsure if anyone ever reads it or even cares. But, perhaps it really doesn't matter anyway? I'm putting the words out there, the thoughts that may or may not hold relevancy for someone. I'm expressing myself and sharing my story, and like Brandi says, paraphrased, your story doesn't mean anything if you haven't someone to share it with....

So, thank you. Whoever you are, for letting me share my story, parts of me, the old and sagging parts, the young and invigorating memories... with you.

Monday, March 22, 2010

I Don't Want Your Weeds Infesting MY Garden!

Michael Caine once said, "I have a policy. I never listen to anyone explain why they CAN'T do something." he added that it was because he didn't want to be convinced by it.

That's so intuitive, isn't it? How often do we allow ourselves to be talked out of a great idea just because the person we were talking to had a bad experience with something similar. Life is so subjective. You take one person who gave up everything to pursue his dream and ends up losing everything, dying a pauper. And another person, with similar dream who also gives up everything, and hits the nail on the head and is able to manifest her passion and have the life she'd always dreamed of! The difference between those two people may be something big, or something very minute. (see anything written by Malcolm Gladwell for more information on this phenomenon)

Imagine talking to the man about how you would like to manifest your passion and what advice he may give you. Then imagine talking to the woman about the same concept. Understandably, the two people are likely to give very, very different advice. And, are either one correct? Is the woman correct, just because she was successful? Was the man correct because he was not? Likely there would be valuable information to gain from talking to each of them. The problem arises when you take on the outcome with their story and let it taint your experience.

Each of us are so wonderfully unique, with strengths and weaknesses that accommodate for greatness, or act as Murphy's Law for others. So, it's important to evaluate ourselves constructively before we dive in to anything headfirst. Make lists.

1. What am I good at? What am I poor at?

2. Am I an introvert or an extrovert, and how does that play into my idea I'm wanting to manifest?

3. Who and what are my resources?

4. What type of financial backing do I need to manifest this? Where will I get the necessary funding?

5. Do I work best alone or in a team? What is my motivation factor?

Once you do the initial brainstorming about who you are in this world, then you can see if it would be prudent for you to gather a team and/or investors. Then take some time to write out an outline of your 5 yr. goal and how to get there step by step, writing it in the present tense with measurable results. Continue doing this for your 4, 3, 2, 1 year goals and 6 months, 3 months, 1 month goals. All of these goal writing steps should be taken in specific, strategic, results oriented language.

Using your Goals as your guide, create a plan of ACTION. How are you going to implement your skills and those of others in order to go the distance with manifesting your dreams? What things do you need to do daily? Weekly? Monthly?

All the while you are putting together the outline for your future, remember when and if you choose to share your ideas with others, that you don't allow their negative interpretations to become your reality! Their stories are their own. Go forth and create your own reality, your own story! And, allow it to be fruitful!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Go-Giver

I was just thinking the other day about this brilliant little book that I was given to read by a friend of mine called, The Go-Giver, by Bob Burg and John David Mann. This little jewel can be read in the course of an afternoon. It reads much like a story, with lessons intertwined. The format reminded me of the book, The Celestine Prophesy, that I read many years ago, where the main character goes about doing his thing and a series of "coincidences" or "learnings" appear that teach the reader simultaneously with the character.

The thing that I really enjoyed about The Go-Giver was the way that the authors were able to craft an enjoyable story with the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success. These "laws" exact the components of very successful people, with the idea that if you apply these Five Laws, you can also become successful. So, here they are:


Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.


Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.


Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people's interests first.


The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.


The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving."

~by Bob Burg and John David Mann

For a long time in my life, I held the belief that for me to be a good person, I needed to give, give, give and it wasn't necessary for me to receive (much). But, what happens when you do that is that you deprive other people of the joy of being able to give too. My former husband told me repeatedly that I was a really good giver, but a terrible receiver, and ultimately, it played a role in destruction of our marriage. Part of that equation was that he was a really good receiver... I suppose that was the attraction, the opposites attract phenomenon, until it got old for both of us.

It HAS to be reciprocal, cause when it's not, everything falls apart! So, when we go about our business, as well as, our personal lives, if we make a concerted effort to give more than we intend to receive, and yet still keep ourselves open to reception, the universe will cooperate and give, give, give! Both needs met simultaneously!

I encourage each of you to open yourself up to these five laws and explore how to fit them into your lives. Allow the success to follow, and ENJOY!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

You lead, I'll follow... or, maybe I should Lead?

A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be.~ Rosalynn Carter

Isn't it terribly uncomfortable, this thing we call living? Here we are, going through the motions, day in and day out, and constantly wanting. We continue to do what we do, and we continue to dream of what we want. My question is, when did we decide that the two ideas were mutually exclusive? When did we back ourselves into the closet, pull the door closed, and then proceed to lock the door. From the inside. When did we decide that life had to be so hard and unsatisfying?

I believe that life is hard. And, satisfying. It's hard because I push myself towards new challenges. I ask tough questions. I think and feel deeply, I often over-analyze and explain my feelings to people until they are bored into oblivion or they feel condescended. So, in some ways, I guess I contribute to life being hard not only for myself, but for others as well!

As we push one another and ourselves though, we push through our self-taught limitations. We dip our toes into the metaphorical pool of possibilities. And, we find that the water feels good... Much like diving into a cool pool on a hot day, shocking and uncomfortable at first, then stimulating, refreshing, soothing, enlightening later! All new things are unnerving at first. And yet, typically, once we fully dive in, they become normal and safe in a hurry.

I think it's important to look at what is normal and safe in our lives and see if that resonates as a "good" thing or a "bad" thing. Look for small changes you can make that will motivate you towards fulfillment and joy! Maybe it's something just as simple as rearranging your living room to start. Maybe it's hiring a life coach to help you carve out and give form to your ideas so you can manifest your deepest desires. However you decide to do it, do it! Make some changes. Try something new. Carve your path and make your own torch to light your way!

Check out this awesome, yet bumpy, video clip on being a leader!


Leadership Lessons learned from Dancing Guy. Read transcript at http://sivers.org/ff Original video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GA8z7f7a2Pk

Friday, January 29, 2010

Riding the Wave!

The metaphor is a bit cliché, but I like it though for my purpose of todays topic. You see, it's versatile as well as, ambitious! For instance, have you ever tried to surf? It takes time and practice, over and over getting tossed by the waves, wondering if you are ever going to resurface, wondering if ever it's going to be easy... until finally one day your feet find themselves beneath you and you are standing, perhaps a little wobbly, and being propelled towards the beach by an undeniable wave! This, my friends, is the way life often operates.

And, it is also the path to success.

Those who make it big in life are those that choose to keep trying. To fall again and again, refining and perfecting their entrance, their exit, their posture, their timing, their proposal... tweaking all of their approach to align themselves with success!

I believe that all of us are meant to ride the wave. We are all meant for success, we only have to define what success means to us individually. I don't mean what society has told us it's supposed to mean, but the meaning that is clear to us on the deepest, most cellular level. Only we can know that and often it is a very private understanding.

My thought for today is, what is your definition of success? Are you living it? What steps do you need to take in order for you to metaphorically stand up on your board and ride your wave? Who do you need to talk to? When you sit quietly, what does God or your intuition tell you? If you were to die now, would you be pleased with your life? What would you change?

Write out what comes to you and I challenge you to start taking action and manifest your own success. One baby step at a time, learning from all the times you have fallen and will fall, Ride YOUR Wave!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

It's NOT Who We ARE, Not Really, Anyway...

I was having a deep conversation with one of my friends last night and she made a comment about emotions, and how she felt often disconnected from them. It hit me in a very profound way, as I've often noticed that my emotions so often feel disproportionate to the event that caused, or sometimes didn't cause, the actual emotion.

I'm wondering if there are many others out there that feel this way? I'll try to explain more in depth what I mean...

Sometimes, in the midst of a deep emotion, I'm struck by the thought that if I were on the spiritual plane, I wouldn't be emoting at all. Likely, I would just be reflecting upon the learnings the event provided. It sounds cold and callous to even write that, because there are certain events that are surely worthy of deep emotion. I do believe this. I just sometimes also believe that if I were in Spirit form, or rather, sometimes when I am more aligned with my spiritual self, the emotions wouldn't be so profound because I would understand fully the continuance of everything. For example, my humanness allows me to cry when my Grandmother passed away. I'm crying for selfish reasons because I will miss her and do miss her in my life in the physical form. My spiritual form sees it as a wonderful opportunity for my Grandmother to shed the body that was no longer serving her and to move on to new challenges. My Spirit sees it as a rebirth into the next phase of the life cycle. My Human self sees it as the death and loss of something valuable.

The contradiction is obtuse. And, conversely, acute. Eckhart Tolle talks much in his book, The New Earth, about how to better align ourselves with our Spirit self. And, I agree so much. And, I disagree in part as well. His brilliant book was groundbreaking in many ways and so elegant and helpful. The part that I disagree with are minor, but huge in the big picture. I believe that we choose as Spirits to have human experiences and that we aren't meant to experience life solely from an esoteric perspective. We choose to be here. We choose to experience hurt, joy, frustrations, love, empowerment and impoverishment. We choose to feel deeply and fully a myriad of emotions and experiences.

So, sometimes in the midst of an emotional outburst, I will chastise myself for the emotion. I will go into a disconnect with my feelings, trying to explore the highest good of the situation and why or how my emotion is acceptable, or not, and how to improve it later. I think its okay to do that, as it may help me in my journey to understanding myself and what I am doing here, but I also think its important allow human expression as it radiates.

And so, I come back to the idea that we are NOT our emotions, just as we are NOT our occupations, or anything else that we align our selves with. We are not nouns, but an abundance of adjectives!

We are Spiritual beings that have chosen to have a Human experience. And, that doesn't just involve positive experiences! While we are in human form, it is only natural and necessary to have human emotions. That's what we signed up for and that's what we are getting.

I encourage you to explore when and how you most emote. When is it acceptable in human form? When is it unacceptable? What can you do to balance your humanness with your spirituality? If you look at the way you emote from a higher perspective, what do you see? What do you feel? What type of human experience do you want to have? Chunk up or down your perspective so that you can find the balance that will best serve you and others and enlighten you at the same time!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Welcome 2010! OMG! What Do I Do Now?!

I'm regrouping and reframing here in Santa Cruz County, California! Between apartment hunting and searching for my essentials in a massive 26 foot moving van, and not having a steady income flowing, I think I'm holding it pretty well together!

Did I mention that this is scary?! Holy crud, making a humongous leap of faith like this kind of move is like being set on the edge of a cliff, blind-folded, spun around 10 times (like the game "Pin the Tail on the Donkey"), and then told to walk forward and trust that the Universe isn't going to let you walk off the edge! But, alas, I am doing just that, trusting my instincts, trusting the Universe, and allowing it to flow. And, it will flow... right?!

So, I'm drinking my coffee on this lazy Sunday morning and wondering, when is the last time you've done something that you've really, really wanted to do and have felt the cosmic "pull" towards doing, even though it's scary and the end result is unclear? Have you pushed through and done it? Have knocked on the door of the unknown and walked through?

So, let me be frank when I say that if you are really, really wanting to rob a bank and you think that the Universe if guiding you to become an infamous bank robber, it's likely NOT the Universe, it's mental illness. You see, the Universe will call you to action and change and steadfastness only with things that are ecological (good for you, others and the world) and stealing isn't ecological... even when you're good at it!

What is the Universe calling you to do? It's now 2010 and the world is your oyster. I know there has been a lot of gloom and doom talk about the economy. I know that the "economy" has become the #1 excuse for all the problems of the world.

And, I think it's crap.

The economy cycles, when we get more "up" financially, people start getting greedy and then Karma comes in and hands out tickets. Then we start falling into a "down" cycle and people start depending more upon one another and helping out for the greatest good. So, my point being, don't let the down economy stop you from manifesting your aspirations! Now is the time to take your well designed goals and turn them into reality!

Be brave, young soldiers, step up and out of your comfort zone and trust that the Universe will guide you in your quest. And, I will heed my own advice and keep plugging away with all of the details to make my dreams a reality too!

Happy New Year!