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Authors Posts by Melissa Kirkpatrick

Melissa Kirkpatrick

Melissa Kirkpatrick
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Melissa Kirkpatrick is a Transformational Coach and Motivational Speaker. She’s been featured in Cincy Magazine , CincyChic online magazine and is the author of the impactful self-help book “5 Steps to Your Own D.R.I.V.E.” Melissa offers one-on-one services, motivational speaking and hands-on workshops, allowing individuals and teams to shift their drive from stuck to unstoppable. To learn more, visit http://www.findyourowndrive.com or email missy@findyourowndrive.com.

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While they’re magical for many, the holidays don’t always bring comfort and joy. Our life coach columnist offers five tips to help you over holiday hurdles.

Are you in the super excited celebration mode, ready to party like it’s 1999? Or perhaps you’re more of a bah-humbug kind of person, consumed with anxiety and stress this time of year?

The holidays are here, ready or not! And everywhere you look, there is the feeling of magic twinkling in the air. Decorative lights, illuminated trees and the hustle and bustle has begun! The excitement has us believing in the magic and childlike excitement for what’s next as we near the celebration of Christmas and the New Year 2020. 

And yet, for many, you may find this time of year to be challenging.  It brings on the sorrow of lost loved ones, the fear of not accomplishing enough in life and business as another year comes to a close, and sometimes, a general unsettled feeling of not being enough, as the pressure to have a perfect holiday season sets in. 

With all these complex emotions as an undercurrent running through you, you might discover that your best go-to survival tactic is to bottle up anything that makes you feel uncomfortable and put on a smiling face around others.  After all, you don’t want to acknowledge your feelings and emotions around those who seem to have it all together.

I am all too familiar with this feeling and navigating the emotions can be challenging.  You feel like crawling into bed and pulling the covers over your head until the ball drops at midnight. And if that feels good for you to do, then do that!

For myself, and others I’ve worked with, here’s what I find helpful:

  • Be okay with your feelings.
  • Go to places that bring YOU joy.  
  • Read a book or watch a movie that offers laughter and comfort.  
  • Make dates with your closest friends and talk about something other than the holidays.  
  • Schedule a time for some pampering and self-care (my favorite).  

Don’t be so focused on making everything special for everyone else that you forget to get your own needs met. Take the time you need and if you feel you need additional support to shift the bah-humbug into cheer let’s connect. ‘Tis the season to by jolly and my wish is this message resonates with you and today is the tipping point into seeing how you can navigate this time of year with ease. Sending love and light this holiday season.

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Our life coach columnist has a special message for all the working mamas out there, and three things that helped her most when she was in the thick of it, too.

All the emotions that come with being a working mom from “am I doing enough, how can I juggle all of the needs of my family, or how can I show up fully in my greatness?” among other things running rapidly in your mind on a daily basis.

For my family, I’ve always worked. Even when I enrolled in college at age 30 to earn my teaching degree, I worked full time, went to school full time, and attended all my boys’ school and sporting events. Challenging and fulfilling because I created a plan so I would be fully emerged in each moment.

Here’s what allowed me to focus and manage the role as mother, wife, businesswoman, home and finance manager daily:

Quality Over Quantity

You know that feeling when you lose track of time because you are so engrossed in the moment that time stands still? Children want that feeling when they are with you. Even if it is for a brief moment be sure to fully engage in the moment as if time stands still.  The other things can wait, promise.

Schedule Non-Negotiable Time

You know your work schedule and what needs to be done, so block time in the schedule for the kids including things like play dates, outings, or just sitting in their room reading and playing.Allow them to choose what they want to do and just go with it.Have fun and laugh often.  

Love Unconditionally by Filling Your Own Cup

Refuel and rejuvenate your own energy.  Again, plan for time to get that bath, a trip to the spa, out with girlfriends, or taking a nap (when they nap).  Filling your cup brings calmness and love which is spilled over into your child’s life. They just want you to hear them and see them so taking care of you first will open your eyes, ears and heart to be fully connect with them.

Lastly, remember, no matter how tired and frustrated you feel, this too shall pass.  Time moves quickly and before you know those children are adults and they will only remember how their working mom was there when they needed her most.

PS – If no one has told you lately — You rock, Working Momma!

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Our life coach columnist shares three tips to manage the awkwardness when spending time with family and friends during the holidays – or anytime throughout the year.

The holiday season is upon us, and I frequently get requests for extra coaching from my clients who want a strategy and plan to get through the holiday season. 

Yes, it’s time to spread our thanksgiving and gratitude for the season and spend time with others.  However, some gatherings, especially during the holidays, can be challenging and daunting, especially if you only see certain friends or family members once or twice a year, and have nothing in common.  

You may also encounter family gatherings that are stressful because some type of fall out among the family has occurred. This makes it really challenging to put on a bright smiling face and enter the room without feeling awkward and uncomfortable.

Sound familiar? You’ve been there? I have as well, which is why I’m providing you three tips you can practice during the upcoming holiday season (or, actually, anytime) to help release the anxiety and stress associated with gatherings.

1. Aren’t they cute – when you are listening to someone and they are sharing a story or talking about something that doesn’t interest you, or maybe it triggers you, simply think inside your head, “Isn’t she/he cute”, and smile. This is a simple but very effective way of deactivating the lack of interest or trigger.  It gives you a different perspective and can offset your desire to say something you might regret.
 
2. Interesting – this is one word that can end a conversation without having to explain or defend yourself. It has no positive or negative indication; just neutral. When someone says something that triggers you, and you want to blast back, pause and simply say, “Interesting”, and stop at that. Nothing more to say.  If they ask, “What does that mean?”, you can repeat, “I just find it interesting –that’s all.” Then, exit the conversation by going for another bite to eat or seeing someone across the room you want to speak with and excuse yourself.
 
3. Eat the popcorn (metaphorically) – often when you are around a group, you will hear others  gossiping. If you’re not able to move away from the conversation and you don’t want to be included but don’t know how to be removed, envision yourself in a movie theater watching the big screen and eating popcorn.  What you’ll discover, is that listening is more powerful than adding to the conversation. You won’t create an abrupt departure that could cause additional gossip but you won’t be caught up in conversation in which you’d rather not participate.

There you have it. When you find yourself in the middle of holiday gatherings, these three ways will help you interact with folks during those awkward holiday gatherings with more ease and confidence. Give one or all three a try. And, if you feel it’s just too much to even go, give yourself permission to decline the invitation unapologetically. Happy Holidays!

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Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today? Melissa explains how to bring your goals (and energy to get started on them) out of hibernation.

As we are officially moving into the holiday season so let the festivities begin. With Thanksgiving right around the corner and quickly followed by Christmas and New Year time begins to slow day. For many, it’s the time of year for reflection. The colder weather and darkness falling earlier you may find yourself in hibernation mode. No need to do anything and just begin thinking about your new year’s resolutions and what you have or have not completed or accomplished over the past 11 months.

Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today was a statement that took me time to really understand. I get it do it now but why can’t I wait until tomorrow? 

A couple of reasons! One you may not be here and two you want to start now creating your future. By waiting you are only delaying what you truly desire and want. You keep putting it off to where months have passed, and you still can’t understand why you’ve not received what you said you wanted.

How can you begin to start today towards your goals rather than waiting until tomorrow and why?

Here’s my best advice:

– Setting the desire in motion today will allow you to reap the benefits and results faster.  Like the seed being planted in the ground.  The earlier it is planted and nurtured with sunshine and water the faster you will reap the harvest.
– Excitement builds when you know that every day in every moment you are working towards a goal that is going to change you and/or your life for the better.  When those tiny wins show up daily it will keep you moving forward and looking for the results knowing they are building upon one another. Before long you’ve gotten the results and thrilled with the outcome.
– Course correction is important when putting things in motion.  Much like a plane or a boat having to course correct constantly otherwise it will veered off into the wrong direction and miss its destination, your course correcting allows to see daily what’s working and what’s not.  If you feel things need to change you can make those decisions now rather than getting months into your goals and realize it really isn’t going as planned.  Having the opportunity to course correct can get your there faster and get the results you desire.

And when you learn to start each day by feeling into your heart what you truly desire and want to have, you can create a business and life that you love by design.  It’s like magic and feels so good to the system. You’ll wonder why you didn’t do this sooner! So, I challenge you not to put off until tomorrow what you can do today!  

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Too many stumbling blocks thrown on your path? Our life coach columnist explains how to turn them into stepping stones instead.

Life sure can come with uncertainty. All the out-of-the-blue stumbling blocks that knock you flat are super challenging. Have you experienced stumbling blocks in your life?  They come in many situations including loss of a job, ending a relationship, or even poor health and money issues — nothing is off limits.  

Yet what happens when the stumbling block seems too big to manage? It’s torn down all your confidence and has emotionally taken you down to your knees, and it seems like there is no way out?  

If you recall as a child learning to walk you did stumble and fall flat AND you kept getting up and trying again, being encouraged and supported by others. As an adult, you don’t always have that support and encouragement. You navigate the stumbling blocks the best you can with what you know to do.

The key to overcoming stumbling blocks is to change your perspective and looking at the situation as a stepping stone where opportunities that you may never have known existed become evident.

By referring to the blocks as stepping stone, knowing it’s a temporary setback moment, ask yourself how you can step over or around in order to get to the next place of new opportunity. Perspective of going over and around a block may look something like this:

– Health report isn’t good, you don’t have to give up. You can seek answers and solutions.
– Financial circumstances seem bleak you don’t throw your hands up and quit. You find ways to save and make extra money.
– Lost connecting in a relationship, someone else will show up who loves you even more.

The way you manage the stumbling blocks is all based on the decision you make in the moment.  

Simply ask: “How does this support me in moving ahead?” and start doing what you can to get past the block knowing it is there as a steppingstone, moving you into something better.

Oh, and by the way, in those moments of the abrupt ending to a job, relationship, or opportunity –remember it can be the Universe’s way of pushing you out of your current circumstances so it can bring you to something better and greater then you ever imagined. Trust in the process!

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Limiting beliefs are holding you back. Our life coach columnist explains how to remove those restraints, and finally be free to dream and achieve.

What if you knew for sure that you could create anything for yourself IF you are willing to get out of your own way? And if you got out of your own way you could create what you desire with ease and flow? Would you say “Yes, please!?!”

Interesting enough, you can! It all begins when you can get out of your own way (listening to the head talk with the why you can’t) and really drop into your feelings (your heart space that expands knowing that you CAN).  Aligning yourself with your heart and feelings, while quieting the voice in the head, is where you can energetically create the life you want by design with ease and flow.

Working with my clients, I hear it all the time.  The constant repeating of a story of “what they know to be true” as to why they can’t because that is how it is.  

Those stories are called limiting beliefs and will show up all the time just to remind you to stay in your lane of “comfort” and believe that what you have is what you’ll always have – and nothing more.

The best way to move out of your story and level up to your next version of YOU is to plug into those who have gone before you.  Learn from those who paved the way.  Oprah, Steve Jobs, Tiger Woods (just to name a few) – all started life’s journey as we did, putting their pants on one leg at a time, and they had a vision so big, nothing was going to stop them.  

Getting there isn’t always easy, unless you can see it so clear in your mind’s eye and feel it deeply in your heart, that any setback or plot twist won’t stop you from moving forward until you get to where you desire.

Let me remind you when you were a newborn, then a two-year old, to a teen, and now an adult – that definitely wasn’t an easy path but you showed up every day and continued to believe in yourself and what was possible. Nothing stopped you. You persevered and continued to grow and achieve endless goals every step of the way.

From this place, keep your vision strong, don’t lose sight. Be confident in yourself and get support.  Believe you are ready for what’s next, don’t delay. Go after it! No more limiting beliefs – get out of your own way. 

For more inspiration and support, visit my YouTube channel with all my motivation and tune-up videos to jumpstart your day!

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Your inner child may be running the show for you as an adult. Our life coach columnist offers insight and advice!

How often do you find yourself feeling a buildup of frustration or anxiety? Perhaps to the point you are acting like a child, hitting the floor in a full-on tantrum just because you are seeking something, but you can’t seem to get what you want? As an adult you may be frustrated not knowing where the emotions come from. Allow me to introduce you to your inner child. 

As a child you knew being loved, protected and nurtured was all you needed. Your parents did the best job they knew how, and you accepted what was given. However, when you didn’t get those needs met you had a reaction and those events have followed you ever since. 

Experiences you have as a child may relate to areas of trust, validation, shock and anger, sadness, remorse or simply loneliness. If these past experiences have gone unresolved, they may be showing up for you today. This is what is referred to as the “inner child.”

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, “Your inner child is the part of your personality that still reacts and feels like a child.”

Healing the inner child comes with a deeper understanding in how she is not being seen or heard. Like a small child throwing a tantrum, your inner child maybe running the show. The work begins when you allow yourself to listen and understand why these emotions and feelings are coming up in your adult life.

For me, my work began with looking at pictures of myself from when I was a small child. Viewing the photo with a deeper look by focusing on the facial expression and eyes. Doing so, I began to recall more about my childhood than I realized. When looking close at one photograph, I see how my eyes lost their brightness during the time I was shifting into puberty.  

Now you try. Get a photo of yourself and look at the eyes. Do you see joy or is there sadness?  Ask the child in the picture “what do I need to know about you” and stay open and curious by allowing yourself to listen.

Although this process might seem strange or even incomprehensible, try it anyway.  You won’t heal your inner child overnight, but you will gain some deeper insights and begin to connect with her. If you’d like support to make the process easier and more fun let’s connect and get you well on your way to change your life. You’ll be glad you did.

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Our life coach columnist talks about self care this week and explains how to keep yourself at the top of the list without bending your budget or schedule.

In everything you’ve accomplished today, did you take care of you? What if you knew that taking time for yourself would change your life in a way you couldn’t even imagine? Would you strive to do more things for yourself?

As a hardworking businesswoman, mother, wife, and daughter, I know firsthand the balance of taking care of me. Having raised my sons, I still have my heart extended into their lives hoping all is well. As a wife I am committed to always finding ways to keep the relationship new and exciting. As a daughter, I find myself being the caretaker as my mother as she’s aging and needing more of my time. Then, add in business entrepreneur where my energy and time are often unbalanced due to all the needs and desires it takes to build my empire and stay connected and grounded in my life. 

Your body, mind and spirit need to be priority. I know this firsthand from allowing everything else to take priority over my wellbeing. At the end of the day when your head hits the pillow, do you find yourself reflecting on the day to realize you haven’t done a single thing for yourself that day. Or if anything, the bare minimum which is usually personal hygiene and nourishment, and often the personal hygiene may even get skipped.

What steps can you take to ensure that self care is a priority?

Making a list! 

Writing down on a note card or poster board all the things that light YOU up is a proven way to really get yourself aligned for purpose and action. These are things you do at home and don’t require spending money. For instance:

Take a walk, do yoga, stretch, bubble bath, at home mani-pedi, moisturizing your body, facial, read, write, create art, dance to music, etc.

This list is yours and is what will lift your energy and spirit with self care. Each evening, consider doing just one item on the list. And each day there after consider adding one or two more. Build the activities over time for your “me” time knowing that you’ve been taken care of first. From this place you will learn to manage your time, do things you love, and take care of everything else with flow and ease. 

It begins with you claiming your time for you and take action! You’re worth it.

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Our life coach columnist talks about an important tool in her efficiency toolbox — time blocking — and how it helped her go from busy to productive. 

There are so many things to do and get accomplished in the day. You feel overwhelmed and plead for a solution to allow you the freedom and sanity to be able to get it all done!

As someone that has struggled in the past to be organized and get my to-do list completed by the end of the day, I discovered some really good ways to breakdown the list and be more productive and less busy.

Time Blocking. Have you heard of it? Time Blocking is a type of scheduling that can help you manage your time better to get big task done.  And it can also be helpful in just planning your day to be less busy and more productive.

This was my answer and solution not only for myself but for others that I coach. The struggles with getting things done requires motivation and creativity along with a plan. Time block allows for assigned time to specifically focus on the task at hand.

It may look like this — the first hour of your day is about your morning routine. Then what happens? You identify the 2-3 things you must do that day.  Decide each time block you will use to accomplish each task.  

So, if it is grocery shopping you block out the time including the travel and putting the grocery away; say two hours.  This looks like 11 am – 1 pm which includes the driving time, shopping/pick-up, return home, put away in that two-hour window.  Bonus: if any time is left then do something for you.  Sit for a moment and listen to a podcast or YouTube message or pick up a book and read.  

Something that brings you joy because it’s a bonus you have time to do that for YOU.

A twist is the perfect pairing.  I’ve added to my time blocking pair things together.  Not multitasking in the sense that you think but a way to find the perfect pairing with a task.

For instance, in daily activities that include cooking dinner, getting your morning coffee or brushing your teeth, do squats or leg lifts to add some extra fitness moves. This ma ybe all the physical activity you get in for the day but look how it offers “something” on your fitness plan that feels good.

Perhaps while driving you can turn on your voice recorder on your phone and do a brain dump of your grocery list, your to-do’s, a story you want to remember and reflect on more.

Now, go and do some time blocking and be creative with pairing your activities, you’ll be more productive and less busy. 

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Our life coach columnist says everyone has a story to tell and explains the best way to tell it.

Remember those dreaded book reports and term papers required in school. And if you went into higher education you had research reports and thesis to write. Challenging, to say the least. Writing is a passion for so many and all the documents that have been created over time is incredible.  In today’s world, anyone can write and publish their work and spread it like wildfire throughout the world.

As I grow and expand my business, I find that I am writing more often then when I started.  When I first start teaching others the five-step formula for Find Your Own D.R.I.V.E., others encouraged me to put it into book form.  

Since that time, I have published the second revision of the self-help book and have two other books that I have been a contributing author. Pretty exciting considering that wasn’t my passion to write or to be published.  

Why do I share this with you?

I truly believe we all have a story to tell.  If you are someone that prays, writes in a journal, or tells others detailed stories about your experiences, that’s where the story begins.  It lies beneath what you know to be true and lands on the ears of others who are inspired, motivated, and encouraged by your words.

Without the publications of stories, you would not know about world history, research and advances, your family tree, or other key information to allow us to thrive in your life today. 

So, I ask — is there a gift inside of you that you want to tell? Don’t allow the story inside you to die with you —tell the world! Consider starting with a Blog.  Blogging is one of the fastest ways to create a sense of influence for others and easy to start.

If you are struggling to write, do it anyway. If you think you have a story and don’t know where to start, just start. If you want to create a blog, book, or journal, do that! You make it happen.  Don’t delay, don’t second guess, step into your story and begin to write because the world needs that special message that only you can give.

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