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About Melissa

Writing has always been my first love. Finding inner peace has always been my deepest wish. Through mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and writing, I fuse these practices to help others connect to their own creative spark and the peace that exists within.

I am the editor of the essay collection Going OM:

Real-Life Stories on and off the Yoga Mat (Viva Editions 2014), featuring a foreword by Cheryl Strayed, and the author of two poetry chapbooks.

 

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Love Letters to Fear + Scarcity

July 28, 2019

 

All emotions are energy: think of the sheer potency of anger or lust, or the divine radiance of compassion and gratitude.

 

It’s easy to get swept away in the power of "lower" emotions, such as anxiety, worry, jealousy, frustration, self-doubt, rage...

 

 

...and when you judge yourself for experiencing these energies, it only shoves them deeper down into your unconscious mind, your Shadow— where they can wreak all sorts of havoc on your life.

 

It’s often fear, not the love itself, that blocks us and sabotages our relationships:

our relationships with money, with others, and even our fraught relationship with time.

 

 

This is why I love Shadow Integration so much: even after studying Reiki, yoga, & meditation for 12 years, it wasn't until Shadow Integration that I uncovered SO MUCH healing, inner growth, and insight into the nature of myself and the nature of reality.

 

That's when things really began to shift for the better in my life, using the very same techniques I teach in my new online course Shadow + Light.

 

One simple yet powerful way to externalize these energies and transform our inner state (which ripples out into our own energy, resulting in new mindsets, new behaviors, and new outcomes in life) is the following writing exercise I've created.

 

When you judge yourself for experiencing whatever you’ve labeled as “less than” (anger, self-doubt, procrastination, etc.) you only shove those states deeper into our Shadow, where they remain unconscious — and where they can wreak all kinds of havoc in your life.

 

Externalizing these inner states helps to concretize them and reframe your relationship within yourself (i.e. healing your negative self-talk and quieting a chatty inner critic). Here's the Love Letter Exercise:

 

 Write a Love Letter to Your Shadow 

 

1. Choose a Shadow Aspect you’re currently working to heal and embrace: fear of abandonment, self-doubt, scarcity, fear of being seen, etc. Note: if using “fear,” I suggest making it specific, since fear itself is such a broad emotion.

 

2. Take out a piece of paper and write at the top: Dear {Shadow Aspect you’ve chosen}.

 

3. On the next line, begin by writing, “Thank you…” and fill in the rest. 

 

For example, if using Fear of Death, you can thank your Fear of Death for protecting you from harm, for wanting to help keep you safe, or for making you strong when you felt threatened and you had to stand up for yourself. There are so many ways Fear benefits us, but Fear often gets purely a bad rap. In Shadow Work, nothing is purely good nor bad.

 

In healthy doses, Fear can be our great ally.

 

When shamed and ignored, Fear runs wild within our hearts and minds and reactions, often sabotaging us. Take some time to really consider how Fear has been your friend along your journey.

 

4. Write at least 2 specific examples of how Fear (or whatever Shadow Aspect you've chosen) has helped you.

 

5. Notice, as you write, what potential emotional, mental, physical, or energetic shifts occur.

 

Do you sense a softening around your chest, are the muscles in your face and shoulders loosening their grip, is there a feeling of warmth in your body? Write down any of these sensations at the bottom of your letter or on a separate page.

 

 

Remember, your Shadow is your companion, not your enemy.

 

 

Here’s an example of my own love letter — I wrote it to my scarcity mindset (my warped, unconscious desire to live in financial lack, which was secretly sabotaging my ability to grow, manifest, and receive abundance):

 

Love Letter to My Scarcity Mindset

 

Dear Scarcity,

 

Thank you. I know you only ever meant the best for me. You know I never want to be materialistic, vapid, or caught up in the bullshit cycle of craving the latest shiny object.

 

You’ve definitely protected me from those afflicted states, and I thank you — thing is, you’re really good at your job, Scarcity. So good that you’re not only stopping me from being materialistic, you’re also preventing me for asking for what I’m worth and receiving abundance for my work in the world. 

 

We’ve taken things a bit too far, don’t you think? 

 

We absorbed the conditioned belief that to be broke was to be virtuous. This was the perfect ego trap: by feeling morally superior to the "others" I judged as materialistic, my ego inflated (without me realizing it). 

 

We bought the whole “Starving Artist” mentality hook, line, and sinker. You’ve made me feel ashamed to share my creative work online, for fear I might appear like a sell-out.

 

We believed capitalism was the enemy, and it felt good to have a big, abstract institution to blame and complain about. Let's face it: things are easier when there's someone or something to scapegoat — it's prevented me from doing this deeper inquiry and self-reflection for a long time.

 

Let's also face this big Truth: resentment actually feels good. It feels righteous. And it's addictive. It's been easy and weirdly satisfying to resent money, corporate greed, and vapid strangers. 

 

That's why I fled my well-paying corporate job at an ad agency (also I knew my calling was through teaching, not writing headlines for Sam's Club products) and went back to grad school for creative writing. I thought academia would be a haven from the dumb greed I saw in corporate America. But alas, academia is a business too, and at the end of the day I'm a part of a capitalist engine. 

 

We both realize that we exist in a capitalist society, instead of railing against a system while half-heartedly participating in it, I can embrace the broken system and use money as a catalyst for positive change, which I can't do if I'm hanging out with you, Scarcity, sabotaging my power.

 

Instead of loathing money as “the root of all evil,” I will use the electric force of money for good in the world. Because I do less good in this world when I’m rushing around town from yoga gig to teaching gig, trying to cobble together income doing what I love and feeling weird about asking for higher rates.

 

I am better equipped to create the kind of positive changes I want to see in the world if I have more time, freedom, and resources. Money gives me access to all of these things.

 

Money is not inherently good nor bad — same goes for people, institutions, everything. There is no inherent existence. 

 

So I want to thank you for your services, because I won’t be needing them any longer. 

 

Scarcity, I appreciate you.

You’ve kept me humble (I hope).

You’ve kept my intentions in the right place.

You’ve helped me align with my dharma, to help others discover the inner peace and inner power that exists through yoga, meditation, writing, and Shadow Integration.

 

 

in gratitude,

Melissa

Get your FREE PDF Guide to Rewrite Your Shadow Stories with Money, Love, & Time

 

 

 

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