The only online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati
Authors Posts by Melissa Kirkpatrick

Melissa Kirkpatrick

Melissa Kirkpatrick
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 or email

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Our life coach columnist explains how to remove barriers that holding you back from exciting new opportunities and experiences.

Are you the person who turns down invites to do something so radical and out of the blue because you feel afraid and scared to say yes? Do you have a desire to be adventurist but can’t seem to move past the excuses of it’s not a good time, I can’t afford it or maybe it just seems impossible?

As for invitations, I’m not talking about those vacations and celebrations you share with your family and friends, I am talking about a full-blown adventure that is way beyond the norm.

My moment was in the fall of 2017 when I made what seemed impossible, possible.  It was a big stretch for me in so many ways, but my desire to have an adventure of a lifetime was on aspiritual journey. To my surprise, I was not expecting it to be in Peru. I had to dig deep and let all the fear and doubt go to know if this was what my soul desired.

Learning to move past fear and use the internal guidance system is how I was able to release the resistance and set out confidently to Cusco Peru.

Here’s how that works: Be fully present in the moment when you are considering the adventure. No distractions. Almost a meditative state. 

How do you feel physically? Any uncomfortableness in your body? What is the energy in the thought of saying yes–excited? Do you feel a surge of tingles, heart racing, or see a clear vision you being there? 

This is the inner compass that will serve you when making big decisions that scare you and lead you to a solid “no” or a big “hell yes.”

And once you know it’s a yes leading with this feeling will allow all other things to fall into place.

What radical and out of the blue adventure do you want to experience?

Start imaging and see what comes up. Then get fully present and see if this lights you up in a way that you will do whatever it takes to move forward with the plans and have the experience.

On the other side of fear is the fun, joy, ease and happiness. Isn’t it time you start playing full out in your life with adventure! Get present and go with in. The inner compass is ready to answer.

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Our life coach columnist explains how to discover - and eliminate - what’s secretly holding you back from reaching your full potential.

What’s holding you back? What obstacles are limiting you from the ultimate success in your health, wealth, work, and love?

Often the struggle is overcoming barriers.  There are two barriers that I find causes you to not reach your full potential is fear and an upper limiting problem.

When fear shows up it is to protect you.  Or so it thinks. You may find you have a fear of change, a fear of failure, or maybe a fear of taking a chance.  Whatever the fear is find the source.  I use this phrase to tap into my fear so I can understand where it is coming from and quickly release it.

I goes like this: “Hello fear I see you and I know you are False Evidence Appearing Real (F.E.A.R.) and you want to protect me.  What is it you are protecting me from? Then I just listen to what comes up. Often it is something from the past that I have experienced, and it didn’t work out, so I can shift that belief and understand that this time it will be different.

On the other side of fear is where your greatest desire and dreams happen so what else can be holding you back? An upper limiting problem.

The book “The Big Leap” by Gay Hendricks, is all about Upper Limiting Problem (ULP). The bottom line from this book is if you don’t concur your fear and upper limiting problem you will always stay right where you are. 

How an ULP shows up is when you are feeling good and super happy, then out of the blue you have this manufactured stream of images that are painful and uncomfortable.  

It may appear something like this. You and your friends have an amazing evening enjoying dinner and time away from the kids.  You are feeling alive and blissfully happy.  As you are leaving your friends you begin to have these images of something bad happening. You manufacture in your mind things to sabotage your good feeling because you are not accustomed to this level of fun. You may trigger thoughts of gloom, seeing a loved one hurt, your home catching fire because you left the flatiron on.

When this happens, you manufacture thoughts that make you feel bad. Why, because it brings you back down within the bounds of your limited tolerance. This is the place of safety.  

The shift comes when you are willing to recognize both the fear and upper limiting problem and feel good anyway.  Not allowing fear to run the show and learning to push past those limiting beliefs will provide a clearer path for achieving your true potential and attaining success in all areas of your life including financial, wellness, career and love.

Remember: On the other side of fear and the upper limiting problem will lead to your happiness and fulfillment. You make it happen!

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Our life coach columnist talks about over the top behaviors this week and how to make a plan to gain control.

The dreaded negotiations you have with yourself that this time will be different.  I won’t overindulge, overspend, or overconsume – I have total control.

Then it happens.

You’re invited to a dinner.  You plan to limit your food consumption only to realize by the end of the meal you’ve consumed more calories than you had for the entire week.

Or perhaps you go to buy a new sundress for an event, and you end up buying an entire outfit with all the accessories from head to toe, tripling the amount of money you had wanted to spend.

Or one that I am most familiar with from the past is going to a party saying I’m only going to have a couple of drinksto find out later you blacked out and missed half the party.

Ugh! Can you relate?

I refer to this as the dreaded “over-the-top behaviors” that occurs when you mask feelings of scarcity, sadness, guilt, shame and fear.  The conscious mind just wants to go unconscious and numb out to the reality.  

What I have discovered along my journey and in helping others, is to make a plan of action before going into the situation where you tend to get derailed.  

Instead, allow yourself a moment to pause and create a mental image around what you want to receive from the experience –meaning what will you take away afterwardsthe joy, happiness, the laughter, the fun, and how you will remember this evening for weeks to come.  

Then allow a moment to release any troubles or worries from your mind by writing them down on a piece of paper knowing you’ll come back to them but for now you’ll set them aside for the time being.

The intention is to be able to create a plan of action so you can fully engage in the moment without repeating the same “over-the-top behavior.”

Staring from a place of this mindset will release the next day remorse, regret, or self -loathing.  You’ll be glad you took the time to take action prior so you can feel happiness and joy that you controlled a situation that normally controls you.

And from this place of accomplishments and satisfaction you can now go back to the paper that you wrote your troubles and worries and begin to find solutions to those situations and circumstances.  You’ve got this!

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It’s a question our life coach columnist gets often. Read on as she explains what a life coach is, what they do, and the range of ways they can help.

Are you considering hiring a life coach? Do you even know what a life coach does?  Are you curious and wondered what it would be like for YOU? 

Perhaps the therapist you hired isn’t really clicking with you or you find family and friends aren’t offering the best support or advise.

Here’s what you can expect:

A life coach provides objective guidance and isn’t trying to “fix” anything.

A life coach supports you unconditionally and has you in their best interest.

A life coach is someone that offers you the time and space to really speak about your life and discover deeper awareness and answers to what might be keeping you in fear, doubt, uncertainty or lack of direction, confidence and support in all areas of your life.  

A life coach effectively guides the conversation to produce results asking questions that maybe you’ve not considered and leads with questions so you can find clarity and understanding

Added Bonuses for having a life coach is not only the positive impact that a life coach has on your life it also includes:

on-going source of support

doesn’t have an opinion or emotional investment in your decisions who can give you truly objective guidance

building your confidence and productivity

offering accountability and follow through

moves you forward – from stuck to unstoppable

During the coaching sessions, a life coach will listen and ask questions to identify and discuss the pain points that you may not see because when you’re in “it” sometimes its challenging to see for yourself objectively.  The coach will further ask the questions to dig deep, find the root, and clear patterns that perhaps you don’t see.

As you can see, working with a life coach is super powerful. Connecting weekly and messaging in between is how I like to support my clients and a program designed specifically to fit your needs depending on what you want to achieve.  

I know that how you do one thing is how you do all things so topics may include but not limited to: work, career, health, wellness, financial, relationships, fitness, or life in general to name a few.

You Make It Happen – and being supported on your journey unconditionally allows you to move beyond the obstacles and get busy living the life of your dreams. 

I actually offer a free 20-minute call for anyone considering a life coach. It’s a great way for us to get to know each other, and for you to feel confident without making any commitments. Click here to make an appointment for that free consultation if you’re interested.

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Our life coach columnist shares a personal story about how her mother, a three-time cancer survivor, uses setbacks to fuel her hope and drive for her future.

Who do you know that’s been affected by cancer? Cancer isn’t something you can ignore, and it will not go away. Some lose their battle while others win. Some go in remission and others continue the fight. And if they find themselves fortunate to be a three-time survivor they rise and go into service to support others.

This story is a story of triumph. A woman who has had breast cancer three times in her life. First time treatment was radiation, the second time was partial mastectomy, and a final battle with a double mastectomy.

But this story isn’t about her surviving, it’s what she did with her life from the initial diagnoses.

Her first reaction was “I won’t be around for my kids. I can’t have that.” And as she looked for answers she found the radiation was the way to go. At the age of 48, her treatments began. Following the treatments, she decided she wanted to help others and entered a nine-month program to earn her LPN (licensed practical nurse) certificate so she could offer patient care. At 50, she began this career.

For close to 30 years she was in service in the medical field, but sadly in between, the cancer came back. Not once but twice. She kept her faith and a battle cry to be a survivor and is still with us today at the age of 85.  

This amazing woman is my mother.

I share this story with you to encourage and enlighten you around trusting and knowing.  When you can believe in the process regardless of the direction you might be going, it’s how you spend that time.

Goals are always the focal point and needed to give you direction, yet the loving the process and really being in the moment along the journey brings bigger dividends.

As I have watched many other family members battle cancer and survive, and for others who lost their battle, seeing how they spend their moments in-between have been significantly different.  

Life’s journey comes with plot twist and U-turns, and you don’t always know what the outcome will be, but the way you can conditioning your mind may impact how things turn out.

I’ll leave you with this.

From the movie Hope Float at the end she says “…beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will…”

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Worried about the lack of money in your life? That might be the problem. Read on as our life coach columnist explains.

Where’s my money? There is never enough! How often do you find yourself saying these exact works?

The conversation around money is scary at times and seems to be more about “there is never enough.” If this sounds like you then read on.

What if I told you there is more than enough money available for you?  

Yeah right – may be your initial thought but let’s explore further into this concept.

Begin by believing basic money principles will attract more money.  Tap into your emotional attachment (energetic vibration) around money.  How do you feel when you spend or receive money?  Is the feeling high or low? Depends, right!?

For example: 

Unexpected money shows up: you are either excited OR in disbelief

Unexpected bill arrives you either take care of it OR get mad 

Unexpected vacation opportunity: you are excited to find the funds OR sad you can’t afford to go

If you look at these examples, you will see the emotional attachment is either high or low because for every action, there is a reaction. And depending on what you believe (and have experienced) you’ll lean towards either the high or the low vibration.

Your money stories begin and ends with YOU. 

Start from a place of knowing there is enough and be open to receive. Drop the stories of lack and focus on abundance.  Shift your vibration.

I am a firm believer that what you want – wants you. Money is no different.  There is always enough for what you want OR something better.

So, if you are thinking about debt, getting into debt, getting out of debt, regardless you’ll get more debt. That’s the law of attraction.

If you think about abundance, you’ll get more abundance, especially when you are open to receive with an emotional attachment that is of a higher vibration and believing money is on its way to you.

Try this activity: When you pay bills this month say “Thank You-Paid” and be in gratitude because these payments signify that someone has provided you an opportunity to have more than you have with the promise you will pay it back.  And if the money isn’t there now say “Thank You for the money I am about to receive” believing its well on its way to you. 

Oh, and when you find that money unexpectedly on the ground or in a pocket, say “Thank You” because the Universe is showing you money is well on its way to you.  You are a magnet to money!

This practice takes time; you are developing a muscle. If you would like additional support around money save the date for Wednesday, July 10 from 5:30-8PM at StudioCincy in Eastgate where I will be offering a workshop specifically around Women and Money!

Registration details dropping soon so follow me on Facebook and Instagram.


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Is an excuse (or a million of them) getting in the way of accomplishing something important to you? Our life coach explains how to break the cycle.

When your desire becomes stronger than the excuse you will discover you are way ahead of the game. Creating your life by design with ease and flow is my motto. Why would you want it any other way?

Life is happening FOR you not TO you. Really let that soak in. And add the next phrase “out of this situation only good will come”.

When I discovered this on my journey it was a game changer.  I knew that all my hopes and dreams would come true IF I allow myself to step away from the excuses and take consistent action and find my way.

So why when you set the intention to call in what you want (the desire) you fall short of receiving what you want?

As Jim Rohn says “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way.  If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”

Excuses come easier than the work! 

You set the goal to lose weight and have a plan, but out of the blue something comes up that delays you are stepping into the plan.  How bad did you want it to begin with? Did an excuse give you permission to NOT have to show up and do the work?

Perhaps you are looking to start a business.  You have the details all figured out, but you delay the launch.  Or you begin to find it isn’t working as planned with so many things going wrong. Do you just walk away and say I quit OR can you find the way to act and move forward?

Often the obstacles and setbacks become the excuse and have been program with the use of statements like “you can’t…. or that won’t…. really, you think you can….,” which is probably from childhood.

Words have the power to DRIVE you.  Until you eliminate all the excuses, you’ll continue to experience those setbacks and probably to the point you give up.

Let’s break that cycle. Consider this:

Start with all the EXCUSES! Yes, you read that correctly. 

If you allow your mind (the ego) to tell you everything that will not allow you to achieve your goal, then that takes out what will trip you up later.

When you have all the excuses listed THEN write next to each one of the excuses your WHY you want to do this and begin to rewire and reprogram the mind to find the way to get what you really want.  

Like working a muscle – when you can identify the positive you can overcome the negative. Be prepared. Act. Stay the course.  You Make it Happen

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You may have heard the term “manifesting” before, but what does it mean, how can it help, and how do you do it? Read on as our life coach columnist explains.

Reports say that 80% of us will fail to achieve our new year’s resolutions.  With those odds, why set them at all?

As you move into the second half of 2019, are you on course with reaching the goals you set for this new year? Or are those dreams and desires once again falling fast out of reach and leaving you wondering why you are not able to thrive?

Allow me to introduce you to manifesting 101 with DRIVE.

Whether you set resolutions or not, the objective is to live your life by design.  You have goals (what I like to refer to as desires and intentions) that you plan to accomplish and achieve in your life and ideally with ease and flow. And yet you find yourself still falling short.

Manifestation is when you can be crystal clear on what it is you desire, remove the timeline, and release the attachment to the outcome being exactly as you want it – because it could be better than you imagined. You call in your desires much faster this way, and it may be even something better than you hoped for!

After looking at my own life, and how I was achieving my desires and intentions, I identified a basic process that I was using, and wrote a self-help book on and the process.

When you want something – ask, believe and receive.  What you want – wants you back!  Really!  Using the steps outlined in my book 5 Steps to Your Own DRIVE you will open the cosmic kitchen where you can begin to place your orders.  

The DRIVE acronym is: Desire, Receive, Implement, Visualize and Evolve

All the steps work together but the most powerful tool is the visualizing.  Whether you use a vision board with pictures and words or journal the story, include ALL your senses in the description so it will bring the future desire into your present experience. 

For example, perhaps it’s a new car you desire – go test drive one, get brochures, tell others you are buying a new car, and see in your imagination driving the vehicle on the highway and how it feels to grip the steering wheel, how the engine sounds as you press down on the gas pedal, that new car leather smell, as you take a sip of the soy latte you just picked up from your favorite drive-thru on your way to a relaxing weekend to the ocean or mountains.  

Yes, just like that. Get super clear in your mind on the outcome and what you expect when the goal or desire is reached and see it in the minds eye with all your senses to lock in. Yes, it is key!How badly do you want it?

Then daily give yourself a few minutes to close your eyes and see clearly what you desire. Run the movie real in your minds eye.  Start today and set your desires and intentions for the second half of 2019.  List them out and begin one by one to create the DRIVE path for each.  

Ask, Believe, Receive – it really is that easy.

Check out my free “5 Steps to Your Own D.R.I.V.E.” eBook to learn more.

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Dreading bathing suit season again this year? Our life coach columnist explains how to take a different approach to summer -- and your self talk -- this year.

Do you remember Susan Powter who captured our attention in the 90s with her weight-loss informercial, shouting “stop the insanity”? If not, google her and check out her message.

I bring this up because summer has arrived and what a sweet change to see more sunshine and longer days here in Cincy. All the outdoor activities begin – cookouts, swimming, baseball, camping, late night fire pits and such.  All those things you love and enjoy during the summertime.

Yet, there is another side of summer for many. The dreaded summer appearance of the out-of-shape and overweight body after you promised to yourself, once again, you’d be summer ready.  

Yet, the voice screams out, as you look into the mirror, how did I let myself get this way? Why didn’t I do more during the winter to get in shape and drop those pounds?

Sound familiar?

If this is you, get ready to be enlightened to a new way of welcoming summer into your life.

From my own experience I have ridden the up-and-down weight rollercoaster for most my life. But as I continue to age and get wiser, I have learned a few things that I want to share with you that I find to be true:

– If you focus on what you “don’t” want, you’ll get more of that!
– If you continue to tell the same story over and over …from the PAST, you keep it alive.
– If you don’t learn to love yourself as you are in this moment, you’ll fail from lack of love and not willing to change.

So “IF” you are willing to flip the switch from this never-ending merry-go-round and start from where you are, the story will shift, and results will be achieved! 

Start from here:

– allowing yourself to be in this moment and really see yourself in the mirror
– believing and trust that the person today in the mirror isn’t the person from yesterday and won’t be the same person tomorrow.
– open your heart to what you’ve manifested, the body vessel you live in, and say up until now this is where change begins.

Perhaps when you where little, there were rules like clean your plate, and here’s a cookie to make it better. Or as you got older, the gatherings included lots of comfort food and adult beverages. Then, there are those moments when junk food and chocolate just fills that void.

Does this resonate? 

When you know better, you’ll do better said Mia Angelo. And that really is what we are doing every day.  Learning. Listening. Following Others. Doing what they say is BEST.

Stop the Insanity! I invite you in this moment to STOP – give yourself permission to let all that advise, and recommendations go.  Allow yourself to be happy when you chose to eat and don’t criticize yourself afterwards.  If you put it in your body, then be okay with it. Otherwise, make a different choice. It really is that easy.

I coach others around mindfulness because it is one way to really understand how we constantly set ourselves up for failure because we allow the programming to take over instead of cleaning the “memory” and starting with a new programming technique. Much like a computer hard drive, erase and delete that old data and start today with new, powerful, motivating, and joyful programming which begins with being in the moment and that’s okay. 

For additional support register for my upcoming online 3 Day FREE Challenge on Dare to Find Your DRIVE from Stuck to Unstoppable beginning June 3, 2019 at 7PM EST. Registration required and can be done here.

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How much is your fear and hard-wiring holding you back. Read on as Melissa explains how to get in the driver’s seat of your life.


Are you familiar with that voice that speaks inside your head wanting to offer you advise and suggestions to your decision-making process? The one that takes over and has you doubting and fearing what direction or action to take? Or continues to remind you after a decision made and it didn’t go as planned with a reminder of “I knew it was a bad idea.”

Allow me to introduce you to your ego who drives the mind and thrives on fear-based decisions. I like to greet ego/fear with “Hello FEAR I see you!” This is the fastest way to begin opening your thoughts to what is really causing the fear.

Where does this fear come from? Your programming! What’s programming?

When you arrive on the plant you are as pure and innocent as it gets. Your mind is like a new computer with no data except for the hard drive ready to receive input. And that it does.  Programming comes from everyone you encounter and from all the environment you are exposed to. 

As you grow older you begin to weigh your thoughts and ideas against others, and realize you have an intuitiveness (feeling) that supports your decisions best for you and not what others believe.

The ego often wants to steal the show and remind you all about what you should or shouldn’t be doing when you are trying to make the best decision.  This is what becomes that inner struggle.

Fortunately, the magic in all of this is AWARENESS.  When you can really stop in your tracks and say hello fear/ego I see you and ask that it please take the back seat, this allows for you to drop out of the mind and into your heart and gut space.  

This is the place where you’ll find the solutions and answers that releases the struggle and strife and brings the joy and happiness you desire when making decisions.

My journey when I realized how much I was dependent upon what others thought and how making decisions were based on their advice, I knew it didn’t always make me feel happy or joyful with some of my decisions.  I realized over time I often went along with the crowd just to fit in and would struggle with the decision until I made a change using my own intuition of what’s best for me.

When I discovered I could make better decisions by quieting my mind and releasing the voice (aka fear/ego) from the conversation in my head, and drop down into my heart and gut, I was unstoppable.  I was making solid decisions without any hesitation or regret going from stuck to unstoppable. 

So, I challenge you now to get back to your “au natural” state of mind, opening your heart and gut, and listening for the answers and feedback YOU seek – and not what others think!

Begin your practice now to really work on trusting in your own beliefs and thoughts.  From there you can create a life by design because you hold the value and trust from your own knowingness. And those desires of what you want to have, be, and do will come with living joyfully – unapologetically.