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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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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As an avid reader in the self-help section, our life coach columnist explains which one impacted her the most.

What’s in your library? Bookcase or Audio? For me it’s a host of CDs and downloads, along with hardback and audible. And ironic enough, I wasn’t even a reader until I was approaching my 30s and then it was like a switch flipped and I became a sponge soaking up everything in the self-help section. 

I often get asked which book has had the most impact on my life and I always go back to the book, “You Can Heal Your Own Life” by Louise L. Hay. Not only has this book changed my life from the first time I read it, but it continues to offer me support and a recommendation to anyone looking to change their circumstances at a much deeper level then just scratching the surface.

This book was first published in October 1984, by a woman who is faced with many life’s challenges and to overcome them, moving into the role as a pillar of support for millions.  Surprisingly, her work began later in life which includes publishing her book at the age of 58. Talk about being inspired.

If you haven’t heard of the book, here’s a snipped of the bio:

The author, Hay, assisted millions of people in discovering and using the full potential of their own creative powers for personal growth and self-healing. This book even includes a section on healing your body from the mental patterns that create dis-eases in the body.

Hay believes that “if we are willing to do the mental work, almost anything can be healed.” She also explains in the book how limiting beliefs and ideas are often the cause of illness and shows how you can change your thinking which will improve the quality of your life.

Does it resonate? It’s a game changer! I have been recommending this book to others since I read my first copy in 1998 and refer to the book often.  

If you are ready for change your current story and circumstances and want to get a jumpstart into living your life by design, this is the book for you. Happy reading!

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Recognizing the anxiety around self-care is easy. Letting go of it is the hard part. Our life coach columnist has some helpful advice that ultimately helps everyone.

If you’re going to take care of yourself with self-care activities – don’t feel guilty. Who cares what others will think! Drop the guilt around self-care and give yourself permission to take care of YOU!

Self-care is an exchange: Take care of you first to better take care of those around you.

Here’s a list of some common self-care activities that make spark your interest or perhaps you have some other ideas. No matter what, look at self-care options as a priority and find ways to increase and circulate your blood flow which in return will raise your energetic vibration:

  • Chiropractor
  • Massage
  • Acupressure
  • Facials
  • Mani-Pedi
  • Loud/Soft Music
  • Reading a Romance Novel
  • More sleep
  • Epson salt bath
  • Juice Cleanse
  • Walk in Nature
  • Cry/Yell/Scream

When you take time to take care of you, without the guilt or shame, or without feeling bad or regretting it, you’ll be able to be more in service to others and yourself. You’ll find you are more rested, alert, focused and just simply feel good. 

If you are feeling overstressed, overworked, burning the candle at both ends, it will only last for so long before it catches up with you.  Find the time and allow yourself to refuel, rejuvenate, and take the extra time to rest. And add in some of the above activities to extend your self-care further.

Start from where you are and the value of self-care over time will offer you:

– Better mental support, physical support, and just overall wellbeing

– Connect with those around you at a deeper level including with yourself

–  The more you can practice self-care you can tap into what you truly desire and what you need  

So why not take time for YOU!  When you are moved to do something for YOU then do it – unapologetically. Decide what you really find relaxing, enjoyable, and revitalizing. 

The more you practice it the quicker you’ll find that at the end of the day your head hitting the pillow in pure exhaustion is no longer your experience.  You’ll sleep well and be ready to start the next day with a sense of excitement and lots of energy. Self-care be definition is the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress – you are worth the time.

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Always seem to be looking forward to the next payday more than you should? You might be stuck in a money story. Read on as our life coach columnist explains.

What if your lack of money isn’t your fault? And you’ve been told lies about money? Are you ready to release the stories and no longer be broke?

“Show me the money!” is a great line from the movie “Jerry McQuire” and perhaps you relate to those words.  When in lack, not having enough and verbalizing it will keep you broke and stuck in that story.

This was my story and a challenge for me for many years until I discovered how my money stories kept me broke.

What’s a money story? Here’s a few examples: 

• There’s never enough money
• The rich get richer and the poor get poorer
• I can’t afford to buy that
• I’m just not good with money

So, where did these money stories come from? Programming from your childhood mostly.  What your parents spoke about money became your story. Fortunately, these stories you’ve taken on about money can easily be rewritten so that you can create more money and not be broke. 

It takes practice over time, but it works.  Like attracts like so what you put out into the Universe will mirror back.  Using a more positive statement about your money story will allow the shift to bring more of what you desire.

Here’s how to rewire the stories from the above list:

• There’s never enough BECOMES there is more than enough
• The rich get richer and the poor get poorer BECOMES there is plenty of money for everyone
• I can’t afford to buy that BECOMES I choose not to buy that at this time
• I’m just not good with money BECOMES I am good at managing my money

Up until now your money stories are keeping you broke but today you get the opportunity to rewrite those stories so you will attract more money into your life and release the old stories that keep you broke.

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Cutting the overgrown and unhealthy parts of a plant will encourage it to produce and grow better than ever before. Our life coach columnist explains how the same goes for you. 

Say goodbye to those individuals who no longer feed your growth. Everyone in your life must earn the right to stand in your presence in order to share your story. Otherwise, let the pruning begin.

What is pruning?

Pruning is a way to let go of what no longer brings you the high vibration and energy that once existed in a relationship.  

For instance, have you discovered that when around certain people you have a feeling of low energy, one-sided conversation, and leave feeling like you can never get that time back? If so, then this is probably a relationship that no longer serves you.

As I evolved in my spiritual path and changed the way I conducted myself, over time, I realized I didn’t like who I became when I was with certain people.  I found myself shrinking, feeling worthless and often humiliated by what was projected on to me.

When I finally realized I did not like who I was becoming when with these individuals, I gave myself permission to no longer allow this to be the circumstance and let the relationship go. This is what I call standing in my power.

How does this look for you? 

If the person is someone you just can’t simply ‘write off’, learn to stand in what allows you to feel good.  The individual can do what they do, but you don’t have to react. In addition, you can say no to invitations, and you can avoid one-on-one situations.

If the person confronts you with ‘what’s wrong with you’, take that opportunity to say I am learning to listen more and be less reactive. They may snicker and laugh at the statement but when you realize how it deactivates any energetic emotions within you, over time you will feel better.

Pruning is a powerful tool that when done with loving intentions can eliminate others from spoiling your day, month, year, or life.  

Although you may fear the loss of a relationship, consider this – you standing in your power could allow others to rise up to meet you and create a better relationship in the long term.  Or when you decide to prune away the relationship, you will open yourself up to discover better and more fulfilling relationships. The choice is yours. Happy pruning!