Commit & Celebrate! Follow through on commitments to you! Like all relationships, we have to spend time building or repairing the relationship with ourselves. Our belief in ourselves gets strengthened the more we do what we commit to do, and celebrate ourselves along the way!
As part of my interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Melissa Kathryn. She is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Emotional Eating and Trauma Healer, Hypnotherapist, Body Intuitive, International Best-Selling Author, and Speaker. As the Owner and Founder of Melissa Kathryn Inc, Melissa is dedicated to freeing women from all limiting beliefs, emotional eating, and self-sabotage cycles, helping them to make peace with food, themselves, and their bodies, so they thrive in life in a body they love — fully owning their power, using their voice and standing in their worth. Her soul mission is to bring women back to the truth of who they are before they thought they were “less than” due to a number on the scale or any trauma that occurred in their lives. Melissa has been a featured TEDx speaker, an expert guest on New York Live, The CW, been featured in Parade, NBC, ABC, and a writer for publications such as Real Simple, Mind Body Green, and Shape Magazine.
Thank you so much for joining us! I’d love to begin by asking you to give us the backstory as to what brought you to this specific career path.
I was brought to the specific career path of being a Wholeness Coach and Weight Loss Expert, because I struggled with my weight for most of my life. I didn’t like me or what I saw in the mirror. What I didn’t know was the root cause for my years of struggles stemmed from my lack of self-love and acceptance.
I had become obsessed with dieting, always restricting my food, which resulted in binging. Once I released the weight, without dieting and healed within, I knew I had to help other girls and women so they would never struggle the way I did. After almost a decade of supporting women to transform their bodies and their lives, through my holistic approach, combining mindset and emotional mastery, with nutrition and movement, the results were astounding. I saw clients heal marriages, years of trauma, family dynamics and replace their love of food for loving themselves. This is when I saw the work that I do is meant for all women, not just those who struggle with their weight.
There was a common theme and I saw in all my clients, and I saw it in myself.
The belief that they are not enough’ in some way. The belief they arenot deserving or worthy of having the body, health, wealth, love, and career they really want.
So I began to teach Wholeness, bringing women back to the truth of who they are before they ever believed they were not enough, due to a number on the scale, a trauma or any limiting beliefs.
Once a woman is Whole, she’s unstoppable! She knows she’s enough and is ready to have it all!
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you hope that they might help people along their path to self-understanding or a better sense of wellbeing in their relationships?
Yes, I have my on-going Wholeness Podcast, which is an incredible, free resource of inspiration, weekly coaching for healing, and guidance to live your best life now, in a body you love!
I am also working on my next book, which I’m very excited about as well! The intention for this book is to be a story along with exercises for the reader to grow with the story. My hope is to awaken women to believe they are enough now, and to go for their dreams, that it’s never too late!
This book is about self-discovery and the process of embracing fear as we reprogram our minds to be who we’ve always wanted to be and strip away the layers that are no longer serving us, but have been hurting us.
I’ve had many women in my community share that they don’t know who they are, what makes them happy or what lights them up anymore, or if they ever really did. Many got married, gave up their careers, were mothers and lost themselves along the way.
My goal is to awaken their Inner Empress and support them in their journey to Wholeness which is returning to the truth of who they’ve always been!
That is where your power lies! When you can harness this, there is a feminine flow, an ease where clarity and inspired action are effortless, and we become magnets for the things we want the most.
Lastly I’m launching a new program, called The Whole Woman — Worthy, Wealth & Ready to Have It All!
This is an 8 Week Immersion for the woman who is ready to play big in life and knows she is the only thing standing in the way of her success!
This program is intended to support women to get out of their own way and to learn to love themselves, and this process of up-leveling in life. They breakthrough blocks utilizing hypnosis and other mindset training, gain clarity on their purpose and are held to take inspired actions steps, so they get out of resistance and into inspired action to achieve powerful results in our two months’ time. This program cements in a deep belief in yourself and what you’re capable of while removing limiting beliefs and shifting your consciousness.
Do you have a personal story that you can share with our readers about your struggles or successes along your journey of self-understanding and self-love? Was there ever a tipping point that triggered a change regarding your feelings of self acceptance?
In my journey of self-understand and self-love, I was brought to my knees when I received a cancer diagnosis that literally brought me to my knees. I was at the height of my career and was so excited by life or so I thought at the time. However, in retrospect, I worked all the time, lived in San Diego but had a poor quality of life. Yes, I took “care” of myself, but working out daily, eating clean and getting weekly massages is a misconception of what self-love and self-care really is. Especially if while you’re getting your nails done you’re replying to emails or during your massage your worrying about clients or sales.
That diagnosis was the greatest blessing and gift to my life, because it woke me up. I chose to see it as a sign that something needed to change. I chose to re-evaluate everything. I experienced a spiritual awakening and deepened my faith in a way I had never known and most of all, I fell in love with myself.
I dedicated my time to repair my relationship with myself, meeting myself with endless love and compassion, forgiveness, and then more love. Until, one day, I really felt it and I knew, I had become Whole.
According to a recent study cited in Cosmopolitan, in the US, only about 28 percent of men and 26 percent of women are “very satisfied with their appearance.” Could you talk about what some of the causes might be, as well as the consequences?
The cause for dissatisfaction with one’s appearance in both men are women, I see, as a direct result of society and its pressure to look perfect, through unrealistic photoshopped ads of women and men’s bodies, to stick thin models walking the runways wearing clothes that we are intended to buy. What’s fascinating is the term “perfect” has no real definition. If I surveyed a room full of people what their “perfect” body and appearance would be, they would all have different answers from their hair to their height and weight.
Aside from society, there is immense pressure rooted in family dynamics, where men and women are programmed to believe they need to “be, weigh, dress or look” in “likeness” to a sibling or a parent, or simply to fit into what is deemed acceptable.
There is a plague of the belief that we are not enough exactly as we are, that perpetuates this lack of self-love and acceptance.
When we’ve been conditioned to seek approval, love and acceptance through NOT being ourselves, we grow up believing that no matter what we do, it’s never enough.
This is the flawed premise I am committed to changing.
As cheesy as it might sound to truly understand and “love yourself,” can you share with our readers a few reasons why it’s so important?
Loving yourself is so important because your relationship with you is the most important relationship you’ll have. It’s a measure of your self-worth, and therefore what you believe you are deserving of and allow yourself to have in this lifetime — from the amount of wealth, love, health, happiness and more.
Every decision, action, and relationship stems from your view and relationship to yourself.
Your inner world is a direct reflection of your outer world.
I’ve seen firsthand how a lack of self-love and denial of oneself causes disease in the body.
A few examples of this are poor gut health, eating disorders, cancer, autoimmune diseases and more. When I’ve interviewed clients who have been diagnosed or are struggling without a diagnosis, at the root, a lack of self-love was their number one core wounding that once addressed, supported their body in healing and being disease-free. It did for me.
Why do you think people stay in mediocre relationships? What advice would you give to our readers regarding this?
I think people stay in mediocre relationships out of fear of being alone. I also believe many people do not actually believe they will find the relationship they really want, so they settle for ‘just ok’ because that’s all they believe they are worthy of having.
There is comfort in where people are, even if they aren’t happy, they believe it’s easier to stay than it is to go into the unknown.
When I talk about self-love and understanding I don’t necessarily mean blindly loving and accepting ourselves the way we are. Many times self-understanding requires us to reflect and ask ourselves the tough questions, to realize perhaps where we need to make changes in ourselves to be better not only for ourselves but our relationships. What are some of those tough questions that will cut through the safe space of comfort we like to maintain, that our readers might want to ask themselves?
1) If you died tomorrow, would you have any regrets?
2) What is the one thing you always wanted to do? Did you do it?
3) What is it I really want? Take realism and my current life out of it. Take time to write down what you really want — what would make your soul sing?
4) At what age did you stop believing in yourself? Why?
5) Can you forgive yourself? Can you forgive whoever hurt you?
6) If you had 1 year left to live and failure wasn’t an option and you had unlimited money at your disposal, what would you, where would you go, what would you say, and to whom?
Now, what would it take for you to put #6 into action?
Can you share an example of a time that you had to reflect and realize how you needed to make changes?
In my journey of self-understand and self-love, I was brought to my knees when I received a cancer diagnosis that literally brought me to my knees. I was at the height of my career and was so excited by life or so I thought at the time. However, in retrospect, I worked all the time, lived in San Diego but had a poor quality of life. Yes, I took “care” of myself, but working out daily, eating clean and getting weekly massages is a misconception of what self-love and self-care really are. Especially if while you’re getting your nails done you’re replying to emails or during your massage your worrying about clients or sales.
That diagnosis was the greatest blessing and gift to my life because it woke me up. I chose to see it as a sign that something needed to change. I chose to re-evaluate everything. I experienced a spiritual awakening and deepened my faith in a way I had never known and most of all, I fell in love with myself.
I dedicated my time to repair my relationship with myself, meeting myself with endless love and compassion, forgiveness, and then more love. Until, one day, I really felt it and I knew, I had become Whole.
So many don’t really know how to be alone, or are afraid of it. How important is it for us to have, and practice, that capacity to truly be with ourselves and be alone (literally or metaphorically)?
We are never alone. We are walking with our souls at every step.
No matter your belief systems, whether it’s Source, Universe, God, Mother Nature — we are all light beings with Source energy available to us and in us.
Just look around. It’s so apparent we are not alone, because we are all connected in a multitude of ways. When I awakened to this, I felt immense love and support.
It’s believing we are alone that causes deep pain and separation.
When we walk with spirit, or knowing spirit resides in us, it removes all fear, and there is peace because you know even if you fall, or fail, you will rise back up and be held along the way.
How does achieving a certain level of self-understanding and self-love then affect your ability to connect with and deepen your relationships with others?
The more you love yourself, the more you can love others. The more you accept yourself, the more you’ll accept others. Similar to judgement. Those who judge harshly, are most harshly judging themselves. Those who judge are often the most unhappy.
What we do unto others, we do onto ourselves and vice versa. So, the more we open our hearts, and come from love, compassion and understanding the more we experience this in our interactions and relationships with others.
In your experience, what should a) individuals and b) society, do to help people better understand themselves and accept themselves?
a) For individuals, learn to meet themselves with love and compassion. One of the most powerful mantras to repeat is “I am enough”.
b) For Society as a whole, it would be extremely beneficial and powerful to remove judgment and be more accepting.
The truth is, in shifting the individual, they shift society. If we can all subscribe to the 4 C’s I teach and live by, it would help people better understand and accept themselves.
Compassion, connection, consistency, and commitment.
1. Connection: Connection is about being in a relationship with yourself.
Tip: Place one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly. Breathe deeply in through your nose and out through your nose for 5 very deep breaths. Repeat, “I am more than enough exactly as I am”.
2. Compassion: Really loving you, is about being on a life-long journey to love you. Each day you will be challenged to see everything as a lesson to bring you to your highest good. How can you see your choices and decisions as lessons and blessings to learn from instead of those to cause you to regret, frustration or sadness? Learn to flip the switch to positive over negative with this awesome emotional mastery technique.
Tip: Write down the lessons you learned from your choices and actions yesterday and see them as gifts to learn from, then thank the Universe for guiding you to your goals.
3. Consistency: Each day choose to love yourself up and make it a habit!
Tip: Set a clear intention now to stay consistent with what feels good. Check-in all day long today with this intention.
4. Commitment: Daily commitment to your goals is needed, especially in the beginning to ensure you are aligned with what you truly want and not just doing what your mind wants. Recommit to your goals, to yourself, your body, to the life you want to lead.
Tip: It’s your life, make sure that your commitments are things you want to do, that make you feel good about yourself.
What are 5 strategies that you implement to maintain your connection with and love for yourself, that our readers might learn from? Could you please give a story or example for each?
Here are my top 5 strategies to implement to maintain your connection with and love yourself silly!
1. Name Your Inner Critic! It’s extremely powerful to recognize that there’s an inner mean girl/boy that lives inside each of us. Worse, that is the voice that’s driving most of our decisions and beliefs about ourselves. However, by giving a name to our inner critic, we begin to separate ourselves from the negative mind, and clearly hear how often our “inner critic” is telling us we are not enough.
By naming our “inner critic” we recognize how often our negative voice is leading the show. Once we do this, and separate, we can easily shut our inner critic down, to replace their negative words with encouraging and loving ones.
The more you practice this, the softer your inner critic’s voice becomes and soon, your loving, positive voice is the one making your decisions and calling the shots!
My inner critic’s name is Crystal and I tell her to shut up often! Then I share with her all the reasons why I am amazing, why I can have, be, do anything I desire! Put this simple strategy into practice today and watch how quickly your inner critic goes away!
2. Journal Daily Gratitudes! Putting a pen to paper and recording what you’re grateful for, starting with yourself will not only lift your sense of well-being, but increase your mood and happiness levels. Focus on the little things and continue to build from there. Journaling is scientifically proven to help you know yourself better by helping you to track your emotions. There is increasing evidence that journaling has a positive impact on physical well-being. By writing routinely you will get to know what makes you feel happy and confident. Combining journaling with recording daily gratitude helps to reduce a multitude of toxic emotions while increasing self-love and appreciation.
I used to sporadically record gratitudes as a part of my morning practice, but once I was diagnosed with cancer, I bought a beautiful brown leather journal and dedicated it to daily gratitudes. I knew tough roads were ahead and my daily gratitudes is what kept me in a positive and grateful state of being. I truly believe this helped me heal quickly. I kept gratitudes every day for a year, and continue to do so (not every day always but almost!).
3. Mirror Work! I learned Mirror Work from one of my earliest mentors, Louise Hay. I then took her practice and adapted it. She explained that one of the things humans run from the most is actually seeing themselves — taking a good look and choosing to love what they see, flaws and all. I found her when I did not love myself and didn’t like what I saw. The last thing I wanted to do was look at myself and repeat words that I didn’t believe. But I trusted her guidance and it worked.
Here are the steps to do this powerful practice! Please stick with it, it took me 4 solid months before I felt the shift.
1. )Facing a mirror, step closed and look deep within your eyes. Honor your face with love and gratitude through positive thoughts, affirmations and beautiful compliments on the very details that make you — YOU, the shape of your eyes, your hair, your teeth and smile, your skin for example.
2. ) Move to your body. Be in your underwear or even better naked — notice your immediate thoughts, but be sure not to let them linger. Push out anything negative words or voices.
3.) Breathe deeply in through your nose, out through your mouth and repeat loving affirmations — take into account the body parts you do not like, place your hand over them and look in the mirror and thank them for all they have done for you, for being there for you, for loving you — let them you know you love them and trust your body to work for you, to work with you not against you.
4.) Send love to yourself and to your body. Look with loving eyes and see your inner child looking back at you — the little girl or boy that just needs love, to be held, to be told they are enough and perfect exactly as they are.
*Aim to push out negative thoughts and work to replace them.
Do this exercise each morning while looking and really seeing you and your body. Repeat 20X: “I love myself, I love my body, I am perfect exactly as I am, I am more than enough and deserving and worthy of everything I desire and so much more”.
Ex: I am grateful for my beautiful X (ex: legs) for they are strong and healthy and take me where I need to go.
4. Movement! Being in connection and communing with your body each day builds upon this relationship of love and strength. Think about it, we are animals by nature. We thrive on love and connection. Yet, so many do not even take time to look in the mirror and acknowledge their own existence each day or they don’t even go for a walk. Many give their pets more love than they give themselves.
If you take your dog for a walk each day — why wouldn’t you give yourself the same gift of movement? This is when our lack of love for ourselves is so clear. When we treat our pets better than we treat ourselves.
Movement is a time to be with yourself, a time to commune with your thoughts, move emotions through your body, de-stress, connect and allow for creative flow. This is one of the greatest acts of love we give ourselves each day, but so many don’t and then we wonder why depression is on the rise.
Depression is directly linked to lack of exercise, just as exercise is directly linked is healing depression. Depression and a lack of love are synonymous is disconnection — disconnection from self, from love, and from support.
Movement is the answer that inspires us to choose ourselves and positive habits over unhealthy, negative ones.
It’s a domino effect!
5. Commit & Celebrate! Follow through on commitments to you! Like all relationships, we have to spend time building or repairing the relationship with ourselves. Our belief in ourselves gets strengthened the more we do what we commit to doing, and celebrate ourselves along the way!
Celebration in tandem with commitment is a powerful combo! Prove to yourself that you show up and follow through on your word to you! Be the cheerleader you always wanted your partner to be for you, tell yourself the loving things you always wanted to hear from your parents, or the praise you wanted from teachers, peers and siblings — be for yourself what you always wanted to receive from others!
That is true self-love!
What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources for self-psychology, intimacy, or relationships? What do you love about each one and how does it resonate with you?
Radical Self Love and Acceptance — Tara Brach, The Universe Has Your Back — Gabrielle Bernstein, The Law Of Attraction — Jerry & Esther HIcks, A Return To Love — Marriane Williamson, Love is Letting Go of Fear -Gerald Jampolsky , Shift Happens! — Robert Holden, Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It — Kamal Ravikant, The Universe Always Has A Plan — Matt Khan, The Gifts of Imperfection — Brene Brown, I Am Enough-Marisa Peer, Love Works Method — Nicole Moore Relationship Podcast, Wholeness Podcast with Melissa Kathryn, The Seat Of The Soul — Gary Zukav, A New Earth — Eckhart Tolle, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself — Joe Dispenza, The Power of the Subconscious Mind — Joseph Murphy, Keys to the Kingdom — Alison Armstrong, Queens Code — Alison Armstrong, Attached — Amir Levine, Eat Right For Your Archetype — Melissa Kathryn.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? Maybe we’ll inspire our readers to start it…
I would start a Wholeness Movement, where every man and woman owns the mantra “I AM ENOUGH” using this simple 3-word mantra to step into their dreams and heal within, while being committed to share their incredible, unique gifts and talents with the world!
I would have them claim their ultimate desired dream and own it! Each day, they would take one, inspired, powerful action toward their dream, sharing their results as they go, to infuse positive energy and momentum for all!
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that you use to guide yourself by?
“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right” — Henry Ford
Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life and how our readers might learn to live by it in theirs?
My father gave me this quote engraved on a stone when I was ten years olds one Christmas. For over a decade, I never fully understood what it meant. Until one day, when I was training for my first fitness competition, I was really struggling with my mindset to stay committed and then I saw this quote, and it spoke to me. I saw and experienced first-hand how simple and profound it was.
It was that moment, I realized I’d kept that stone with me for almost 20 years even though I never really “got it” until that moment. For a quote I didn’t fully understand, I seemed to want the reminder with me, and I believe I knew I’d need it for that exact moment.
After that day, I went on to win 2nd place in the International Natural Body Federation Fitness Competition, winning Best Body and then used that very quote in my first TEDx talk, titled, “Dream It, Achieve it, Believe It!”
In short, words matter and our beliefs do create our reality!
Thank you so much for your time and for your inspiring insights!