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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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Our life coach columnist discusses the difference between burning and crossing various bridges on your journey, and which moves you toward a higher level of fulfillment.

Growing up you may have heard the expression “don’t burn a bridge” meaning not to end a relationship (personal or professional) in such a way you make it impossible to return if you need to go back that way. And although there is validation to this statement, what if instead of not burning the bridge you simply just cross the bridge? This thought came about when I read an affirmation from the Louise Hay calendar saying, “Every bridge I cross brings me to a higher level of fulfillment.”

Nothing in that statement implies to burn the bridge but it does indicate forward progress. And if you think about it long enough you will discover crossing the bridge to higher level keeps you in forward motion and not looking back. Therefore, a burned bridge isn’t the issue, it’s the staying connected to the past that limits you in moving toward a higher level of fulfillment.

In this moment, I encourage you to pause and think about the bridges that you cross (and perhaps burned) that are keeping you from moving forward and continually to look back. What’s “back there” that you haven’t resolved or come to an understanding from the experience? How are you allowing it to keep you in story that doesn’t serve you today? And, when will you be ready to let it go and move forward out of the past? 

Crossing those bridges that didn’t serve will often bring on the same pattern moving forward if you haven’t fully released the energy around the experience.  

Here’s what I suggest moving forward from the past: Set a clear intention that you will no longer allow that moment in time to hold you back. From there, you can visualize walking across the bridge in confidence that you no longer have the time or energy to hold onto that story and are free to let it go. Now be open to find new bridges to cross that brings you to a higher level of fulfilling.

Sending you love and light,

Melissa

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Being grounded at home takes on a whole new meaning as an adult. Our life coach explains how to use this extra homebound time for growth and realignment.

One thing I know for sure that being in quarantine you sure get to spend an extra amount of time in your home. Discovering things that you no longer like in your home, or finding the cobwebs that you’ve overlooked for some time, all you can do is just embrace the life of being within your home.

What does it look like when you find yourself stuck at home? The freedom to not go out, to not be engaging with others like you once did, and even having to work from home?

Although it feels like a big struggle with the transition, because change is always difficult especially when you don’t expect it, I often find the balance comes when you can really embrace what is.

When I think about coming home, or being at home, I think about grounding myself inside of my body.

This was something I learned a long time ago not realizing how out of my body I lived my life. When I learned to calm my thoughts and be still I could bring back all those pieces that were “out there” and move them into a safe space that is within my heart. 

Your mind runs the show so often and you follow it without resistance. But when you begin to realize that your heart is the one that really has all the answers, and knows what’s best, it will allow your mind to quiet so that that feeling inside of yourself allows you to make those better decisions, feel good about yourself, and just live in the happiness, most joyful way that is available for you.

Don’t ever limit yourself to what you can achieve in your lifetime. Knowing that everything is working out to your highest good and that all things happen in divine timing will lead the way. 

So get grounded. Allow yourself to be still to quiet the mind and go within your heart space and see what you find. As it was said in the Wizard of Oz by Dorothy “there’s no place like home!”

Sending Love & Light,

Melissa

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Many successful people attribute their prosperity to a solid morning routine.  Our life coach columnist shares tips for creating one that works for you.

The choices you make that first hour upon waking may determine how you will manage your day forward. Many successful people all have a solid morning routine and they attribute a lot of their progress to this routine. Do you have an established morning routine that has you jumping out of bed in the morning? Or do you find mornings to be a challenge? You hit the snooze numerous times and bury your head under the pillow?

I know for me I look at other successful people and think what are they doing that I’m not? Is there a secret formula? So, I began the research and discovered that those individuals following a morning routine do gain greater control of their life having a morning routine. The research also indicated that they all do it differently! Yes, they are not cookie cutter approaches. They all discovered what they desired, implemented a plan, and developed a routine that met their personal needs and desires as well as fit to their morning schedule.

Yes, they had similar activities but in a different order, or even for shorter or longer amounts of time such as meditation, getting ready, or workouts.

From this discovery, I believe that if you want to start or improve a morning routine there are a few things to build into the development of your plan.

Mantra: “I am ready to make the morning count no matter what the day may bring!” This allows you to think differently about the morning and gives you validation you can manage your day.

New Belief: “one size fit all” –NOT. Sometimes we are “programmed” to belief certain things and this one my dear is not one of them. 

Decide: Experiment with options. Giving yourself permission to say yes to what feels good and no to what seems like a struggle.  The decision is yours alone and you choose based on flow and ease.

Action: After you define the habits you would like to bring into your morning routine take action. Begin with learning to quite your mind and doing the routine knowing you are boosting your productivity and success.

Remember: “A carefully choreographed morning routine is the key to a productive day”.

Sending Love & Light,

Melissa

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What should you think in those moments that hold you back? Our life coach offers insight and a free workshop to reprogram your mornings for more positive and productive days ahead.

Can you remember a time when you were at the top of your day feeling happy, alive, and excited? A time that was going so well you didn’t realize it was about to be changed by one unfortunate misguided action — on your part. Like, you felt so good you almost had to blow things up to bring you back down off the high because no one should ever feel this good?

Whatever the scenario, know that you have a choice to make. Either spend time worrying about something that happened in the past or regroup and align with the present. What can you do in this moment to allow yourself to not hold onto the energy of what happened that makes you feel the guilt and shame? You can choose to take the path of knowing you can release those emotions and conversation going on in your head. You can let it go and reframe the story.

Easier said than done, I hear ya. There are still events that pop in my mind from things that happened that I wish I could change and the zing in those thoughts take me back to reliving the event.  

What I have found to be helpful is when I can pause and ask, “what do I need to know about this situation”? “What are the limiting beliefs showing up for me to let go of that no longer feel true”? “What am I doing now that brought that memory back onto my radar?” “How will this serve me moving forward?”

When you can focus on the experience with eyes of love and understanding, you receive what is clearly there to learn.  When it is from the eyes of guilt or shame you receive more of that. Law of attraction stays like-attracts-like. 

If it still seems difficult to move through the story try releasing by crying, punching pillows, writing out the story and burn the paper, and when you find you are back to thinking about it just shift into “I deeply and completely love and accept myself” which allows you to come back to you and in your heart space. And remember just breathe. You are human and things happen. It won’t be the first and certainly won’t be the last. Keep moving forward. The past is the past. Stay present in the moment!

Also, if you’re interested in creating new habits and learning how to start each day with a routine that sets you up for success — personally and professionally — I invite you to join me this Thursday for a free Morning Routine Virtual Workshop. It’s July 16 from 8-9pm via Zoom. You can learn more and RSVP at www.cincy.live/events/morning. Hope to “see” you there!

Sending love and light,

Melissa

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We adapt to constantly changing seasons and unexpected weather well, while other inconveniences and disruptions aren't as easy. Our life coach columnist shares tips on weathering life's storms as well as the real ones.

Is it just me or do you find weather to be fascinating? Or perhaps you find it annoying. The hot sun, the cool rain, brisk breeze, wild winters – all the seasons and if you are lucky enough you may have experienced them all in one day, especially in Cincinnati.  

This article is not about weather. The message is allowing you to open your mind up to realize how you navigate weather conditions is how you navigate your life. 

For example, when it is raining you grab an umbrella, when it is cold you grab a coat, and when it is hot, well, less clothing is best! Weather is weather, you just dress differently. These decisions are made unconsciously. You just know what to do. You have been taught by others, you have made your own assumptions, and now you are able to navigate the weather with ease.

Oh, I get it, it doesn’t always make you happy, and sometimes it’s even frustrating, especially when you have plans that can be affected by the weather, and times weather will disappoint and spoil your plans. That is when you pivot and adjust the plans.

I am sharing this because I realize that how you listen to the weather forecast, react, and dress, accordingly, is a match in how you navigate the thoughts in your mind. Bottom line is, at any given moment the weather can change – just as your thoughts can change. 

As with weather, wouldn’t it be amazing if you could just turn the dial at any given moment to set the weather according to what you want to experience? Now although you cannot do that with the weather, you certainly can do that with your thoughts. Your thoughts become things, and the more that you can focus on the positive changes, desires, and the vision, the more that dial is at your fingertips. 

Learning to control that dial of the mind and your thoughts is key and as you learn to dial it up you will begin to create new thought patterns, a new process in making decisions, and a whole new way of stepping into a different version of you. As the weather changes you dress differently, so when life changes you think differently.

Sending love and light, 

Melissa

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It’s not easy to navigate today’s uncharted waters, especially with little ones. Our life coach columnist share four important tips for smooth sailing ahead.

I read a meme the other day saying “August – we buying school clothes or more alcohol” and although it offered a chuckle my heart was feeling the impact of what schools will look like if they do open back up this fall.

Watching parents on social media sharing their day-to-day and how they are navigating the situation of quarantine has many being challenged beyond what they ever imagined.

For the kiddos, I felt it was important to share my thoughts about ways you can support them during this time of confusion, uncertainty, and life interrupted: Focus on what they already understand and know to be true.

Talk about what needs to be talked about. Teach them how important it is to have a strong and healthy immune system and how eating nutritional foods, drinking water, and taking vitamin supplements will boost their immune system. Speak about germs, proper hand washing, etc., in a way that can support their personal hygiene practice but not to lead to being a germaphobe.

Encourage the excitement around the “new normal”. You are home together like a vacation.  Discover new ways to entertain.  Clean out closets together, look at photographs, build blanket forts, go outside – spend time being a kid yourself. Let the kids be creative and explore new ways of having fun.

Be a good finder! Sleeping in and getting up late. No rushing out the door for school and work. Doing homework without interruption. Having time to do the things you did not have time to do before. Being happy, healthy, and together.  And during the sit-down meals offer a moment of gratitude – what brings you joy?

Teach and demonstrate faith.  Keeping things as close to normal as possible.  Avoid news and computer time that may impose unnecessary concern for kids to be overloaded with the fear and drama. Monitor your conversations when kids are around.  Remind them this is only for a little while longer and soon things will be back on track.  

Yes, we are living in uncertain times.  As an adult what you are hearing, feeling, seeing, and believing is being projected out and absorbed by your family. You are being impressionable with your actions and body language. The more you can release the fear by replacing it with love, the more you will be able to manage your emotions especially around your kiddos.

Chose love over fear and remember — “All is well. Everything is working out for my highest good. Out of this situation only good will come. I am safe.”

Sending Love & Light,

Melissa

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Mantras are those little praises on repeat in our mind that shape thoughts and reality. Our life coach columnist shares how to see if yours are empowering or self-defeating.

Mantras are magic! You use them all the time in your thoughts and while speaking.  The question is are they mantras that are empowering or self-defeating? You may be surprised how often you are reinforcing what you don’t want, and getting more of that, when you could easily redirect by using conscious language to create something better. 

Reba McEntire has a song “I’m a Survivor.” It was the intro to her sitcom “Reba” that aired in the early 2000s. The lyrics have a powerful message of a women overcoming her circumstances.  The story the lyrics deliver includes great mantras that can serve you in a time of feeling life is a struggle and appears to be defeating your efforts.

Begin with the words …” heart of a fighter, I’m a survivor” from the song.  When faced with circumstances that are either a fight or flight, not only claim you are a fighter add AND I am a survivor. 

The lyrics also says “the baby girl without a chance – a victim of circumstance. The one who ought a give up, but she’s just too hardheaded!”

Your mind is where the fight begins.  That hardheadedness is where you get to control the fear that wants to run the script and begin to let go of fear by rewiring with love. Yes, the opposite of fear is love.

The energy that you exchange with your thoughts is where the secrete sauce lies.  You may be experiencing things that seem impossible to get past or even find a solution. Allow the fighter inside to draw the line in the sand and say “No More!” and be open to new possibilities, solutions, and survivor tools.

Whether you are internally fighting with unhappiness, stuck in a job you don’t like, struggling to make money and pay your bills, one-sided relationships, health, or illness, start with strengthen your desire (your why) to overcome with mantras that tell a love story of you surviving. 

Supporting my mom during her battle with breast cancer (three times in fact), I witnessed a strength like no other. Her will to live was stronger than the alternative and she kept the mantra “I don’t have time for this” – and she is “a survivor” turning 87 this August.

Mantras are magic! Use them to for your greatest goods and take with you Reba’s ending words “I must have had my mamas will and Gods amazing grace.”

Sending Love & Light,

Melissa

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You’ve heard of of Galentine’s Day, but what about Maletine’s Day? Our life coach columnist examines the universal roles of deeper connection and visibility, despite differences.

Men, can you see a Maletine’s Day in your future? Would pics of you and your male friends celebrating friendship over brunch, photographed, and posted on social media be something you would say YES to?

Yeah, probably not.  

On a 2010 episode of “Parks and Rec,” in which the main character, Leslie Knope, decides that the day before Valentine’s Day should be an opportunity to celebrate the platonic love among women, ideally with booze and breakfast food known as Galetine’s Day. Since the episode aired, the fictional holiday has caught on in the real world.

The desire for men to engage in this form of visibility and deeper connection may not be on the radar.  

From a recent presentation delivered by me on Visibility and Deeper Connections for Entrepreneurs, the conversation turned to how that might relate to your personal life. Of course, I believe and teach on how you do one thing is how you do all things, so the two are connected.

For men, the gap is how to relate to another man at a deeper level to where you can be open and share with empathy and compassion, and with no judgment. Growing up the programming didn’t allow for men to learn how value arelationship like the women who were always talking about longtime girlfriend connections.

I get it. AND I also see how men are the first to lose friendships over time when business and family get in the way of those “nights out with the boys” become less frequent to slowly fading as only a memory.

Working with my clients, I find that if you are not making time for visibility and deeper connections, then you are missing the opportunity for more to be available in your life. The practice of engaging and connecting may lead to much more then you may realize.  For instance:

1. You are top of mind when someone needs help because of the relationship you have built over time
2. You may live longer by being out and having a good time feeding your soul with laughter and fun
3. You learn from others as well as teach others – the winning friendship
4. You discover there is more going on around you then you may have ever noticed
5. And, when your older you’ll still have those buddies to go on retirement trips and hit the links or bars or both (no judgment) instead of setting alone in the recliner watching reruns of your favorite 1980s TV shows.

Start now in reaching out, or reconnecting, to others making those deeper connections and being visibility for your souls’s sake. And do not wait for the Maletine’s Day to begin for I don’t feel that will actually become a “holiday.” 

Sending love and light,

Melissa

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Business ownership is never easy, especially not lately. Feel like you’re stalling out, stuck and ready to quit? Our life coach columnist has some motivating advice.

Are you a woman with drive, who owns or operates a business, with big goals and dreams, and yet feels as though you are stalling out, stuck and ready to quit?
Sound familiar? Let’s unlock your feeling of stuckness and move you to unstoppable.

Feeling stuck can often arise at times when you are gearing up and ready to grow and expand your business. Perhaps you are going after more clients, looking for new projects, increasing social media traffic, and yet the feeling of overwhelming comes in and stops all forward progress. Ugh!

What’s happening? Let’s explore for a moment.

Whether you own a brick and mortar, run an MLM or online business, or a partner in a firm, your focus is on how to grow and be a successful business owner. When this isn’t happening fast enough or in the manner you would desire, what’s the problem?

You may have all sorts of reasons for not moving ahead as you wanted, but perhaps the big underlying obstacle is you forgot your why.

Sure, you have that deep desire to create an opportunity from a place of passion and purpose, while believing in yourself to be successful, but WHY did you say yes? What I know for sure is the one thing that can unlock your uncertainty and catapult your business to the next level is revisiting your WHY.

Why did you start your business in the first place?

Simon Sinek, author, and Tedx presenter, on Start with Why demonstrates how “why” brings great leaders to inspired action. “Many already know what and how they do something for their business but the power in WHY is the purpose for the cause or belief.”

When you forget the WHY is when you start falling into the number’s games, interruptions occur, shiny object syndrome kicks in, or perhaps you feel like quitting because of what “others” are doing is better than yours.

Flip the switch and get back to your why. Write out the story and be specific with details including emotions and feelings. Tapping back in and recalling what made you say YES.

Activating your why allows you to drop back into the passion and purpose of doing business, especially when you are feeling stalled or ready to quit, that drives you from stuck to unstoppable.

Sending love and light,
Melissa

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As we enter a new month, and new normal, our life coach columnist offers tips to start living life with more purpose.

Hello and Welcome Monday, June 1, 2020. This year has certainly brought some new ways of living in the world. As you continue to navigate your life, today be encouraged to step back, and take a closer look at the first five months of 2020. How have you introduced new ways of living your life by design, and on purpose, with what you are experiencing now?

What have you discovered in this time of quarantine and stillness?

Are you looking at things in a positive way? Can you find the goodness?

Although it wasn’t intended to have a global pandemic, this time of social distancing has offered all of us a time to pause and really get clear on what’s new in how you manage your time, your choices, your priorities, and your life moving forward out of quarantine.

Allow me to offer a tool for you to consider as you being to create from this moment forward. The act of learning and understanding a practice of holding a positive energetic vibration, where focusing on joy and happiness, allowsyour spirit to trust that everything is working out for your highest and best good.  

If that feels like a struggle, then I encourage you to use the mantra “out of this situation only good will come” and believe it is so.  

When I learned how to hold a positive energetic vibration over a decade ago, it was a life-changing experience for me. I could pause and look for the goodness inside of any situation that was uncomfortable, felt bad, or just made me feel sad, I would seek out the answer to what it was I needed to know in that moment that would serve me moving forward with happiness, raising the energetic vibration.

In this moment, as a starting point for you, realizing just how precious life is and how the excuse you are too busy can be shifted fully into engaging in the moment.

Start there and find all the good things, not only about yourself but the others that you live with, family members, the people that you work with, and the world in general. Once you learn to shift into the positive vibration, no matter how small, it will bring light into your life to where you can navigate any obstacle with flow and ease from a place of joy!

Sending love and light,

Melissa

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