I came into this world with a highly-attuned set of sensitivities that made it very clear early-on that I was wired a little differently. I felt EVERYTHING deeply, and I was constantly told that I was too sensitive, too emotional. So I concluded that feeling things at the depth and intensity that I did was a problem. On the other hand, I noticed that I was regularly praised when I demonstrated excellence, and like most of us, I desperately wanted love, approval, and affection. So I decided to be excellent at everything I did. I also did my best to cast aside my sensitivity and to portray unshakable strength and competence instead, which served me rather well for many years.
But everything changed at the age of 34, when my son was born. I was a busy student in the middle of obtaining a degree in Ayurvedic medicine, a newlywed, and now I somehow felt it was my duty to pursue perfect parenting as well. My expectations of myself were absurd, and I felt guilty every time I fell short—which, of course, happened all the time. Nothing I did was ever good enough, and every tired or “unproductive” moment fed a deepening sense of shame and inadequacy. To make matters worse, my sensitivity seemed to have come back with a vengeance. Now that I was a mother, my capacity to feel was even more heightened… and much harder to turn off.
At this point, it required an immense amount of energy just to hold it all together. For years, I thought if I just tried harder, excelled more, and could be less lazy or misdirected, I’d find my rhythm. But I was slowly losing touch with my myself, my heart, my passion, and my purpose. I was tired, run down, and depleted. Nothing felt connected or inspired to me anymore, and I was starting to feel trapped by my ever-expanding responsibilities.
Then by some miracle, I landed in a 5-month course aimed at helping me identify my deepest gifts—those things that come so naturally to me that I didn't even see them as uniquely mine. I also learned that I was an empath, that my sensitivity was part of my intuitive capacity, and I began to understand the subtle and strange ways that the divine feminine had always spoken to me and through me. I began to let go of being a clinician, embraced my intuitive knowing, and completely restructured my practice to better utilize my unique gifts.
Slowly, gradually, I began to understand that my own standards of excellence had been holding me back. I recognized that being rigidly attached to doing things "well" or "the right way" had ensured that I remained disconnected from the sense of ease, flow, and abundance that I so desperately wanted. Step by step (and with a lot of support), I began to embrace a new paradigm. Today, I am lit up again, engaged, and passionate. I am surrounded by an incredible community of beloved friends and colleagues. I feel witnessed, held, and supported in more ways than I imagined possible, and I experience more synchronicity and alignment than I've ever known. I’m doing work that I truly love, with clients who inspire me, and tending to my own growth at the same time—all while making space for a family life that’s more fulfilling than ever.
Yes. I still strive far more than I should, and I get in my own way all the time. But I also know that I'm on a path to recovery, and I’m deeply committed to my continued growth and transformation. My path has been anything but direct; in fact, for many years, I felt legitimately lost. But looking back, I can see how elegantly the various threads of my experience are woven together, how every seemingly random twist and turn has informed my process in rich and meaningful ways. And as I said, I wouldn’t trade the journey for anything.
Melody Mischke is a certified Transformational Coach, Ayurvedic Practitioner, Yoga Teacher, Writer, and Intuitive. She began studying meditation in India at the age of 18, and has degrees in both Environmental Science and Contemporary Spirituality. Her grounded wisdom, highly skilled capacity to hold space, and her razor-sharp aptitude for seeing her clients' deepest gifts—alongside their most critical stumbling blocks—make her a highly sought-after coach. She writes regularly for Banyan Botanicals, and in her free time, enjoys skiing, hiking, singing, and anything that gets her outside into wild places. She lives in Evergreen, Colorado with her husband, Erick Anno, and their son.