Melissa, please share your daily wellbeing routine with us
When I first wake up, I like to start off the day in gratitude so I open my eyes and Thank God for a new day and all that I currently have. I tend to wake up extremely early for what I like to call “sacred devotional” time. This is where I practice all my self-care rituals that keep me in balance and alignment. It varies day to day but normally I will free write or read while oil pulling, spend a good amount of time doing some sort of AM movement practice (yoga or dance), meditate and/or breathe work. I love to make a yummy cup of matcha green tea and eat a healthy breakfast. When I can create the space for all this to happen first I have the best days. I tend to leave my styling (outfit, hair and makeup) for last. I never know what inspiration will come up in my movement and meditation practice so I like to wait till I am connected in before choosing my external self-expression wardrobe for the day!
At night I have a similar practice to shift from “work” mode to “me” mode. These devotional times of grounding and connecting are what sustain my wellbeing and ignite my empowerment & creativity.
What are the 3 things in your life that you simply cannot live without?
My non-negotiables are Meditation, Breathe and Self- love. They are the gatekeepers to me sustaining a life that is filled with authentic connection, meaning and purpose. I’m in love with my life so I’ll do anything necessary to keep it that way.
What is your favourite beauty/makeup product and why?
I have so many! Since I was a little girl, I have been in a love affair with makeup. My mother was the same. I definitely got my love of makeup and the way it allows you to express yourself from her!
I cannot live without (said in the most dramatic way possible – hahaha) my Shea Butter infused with Lavender and Peppermint oil hair product made by my friend Michelle Thompson back in Brooklyn, NY. NOTHING makes my curls look as good than her magic butter does! Literally, I have been traveling the world for 10 months and have her ship it to wherever I am. I just have to have it. I don’t care about the shipping cost. It’s a necessity! These curls have never looked better.
Other favourites would be my MAC C6 Foundation, MAC Mulch Eyeshadow and Lancome Le Crayon Kohl Eyeliner in Black Ebony ! I have been wearing both for decades and daily!
My secret skincare mix is Jojoba oil with Doterra Frankincense and Lavender mixed in. It feels great, my skin glows and I smell really yummy! Hahaha!
How do you manage stress/relax?
It took me a long time to get to a place where I could just acknowledge it rather than judge and ignore it. I am able to then honour it by answering it with love.
I take a moment to figure out how I am feeling and what I need. I don’t bypass the feeling… I take it seriously, get quiet, find out what I need and answer the invitation for love with love. I then get into action to help soothe whatever is going on or causing it. (My main secret weapon is meditation… it’s a non-negotiable in my life).
What motivated/inspired you to launch ‘Ignite with Melissa’?
Seven years ago, after I had redesigned my life for the first time including a complete career change, 140+lb weight loss and health/life overhaul, I went through a really dark period. I would look in the mirror and not recognize my life or myself. I was very detached from my purpose and value. I had it all on paper but still had a hard time connecting to my true value. In all honesty, I was ready to end my life and struggling with these thoughts daily.
My family, particularly my Uncle, helped me get through this dark period and I worked extremely hard to deal with my depression and suicidal thinking. I grounded in a newfound connection with my spirituality, intuition and inner child. I healed old wounds and rewrote/rewired narratives that kept me from shining and seeing my value. I literally started over and found my pathway back to my value. My closest friends and family (who I call my Support Squad) helped me through it all. I saw the power of what love, support and family can do and I wanted to pay that forward. My Uncle, his faith in me and unconditional support and love, inspired me to find the pathway back to my value and I now dedicate my life to do the same for others.
‘Ignite with Melissa’ is a homage to that period of my life. It forced me to stop ignoring the sensitive, creative and empathic person I am. In doing so, I was able to stop denying who I really am and realize these things were the most brilliant things about me.
Now, working as an Intuitive Guide, Healer and Speaker, I am able to share my story of what it is like to feel worthless and lost but also find your way back to who you really are and lead life from there.
My mission is to connect as many people as possible to their personal value so they too can live a life of contribution, purpose and passion.
Your brand ‘Ignite with Melissa’ has female enablement at its core: what is the difference that you want to see?
I want ALL Women to SHINE. To give themselves permission to be seen exactly as they are in whatever body, career position, financial standing, and/or personal accolades they do or do not have. I want more women rooting for each other rather than comparing. I want more women supporting one another to rise than competing. I want to inspire women that together we are unstoppable and have so much to contribute to this world.
I want women in this very moment to know this:
You are enough as you are.
You are never too much.
You do not have to stay small.
Just being you is wonderful.
You are needed.
You are important.
You are valued.
You are LOVE.
That is the difference I want women to see. How important they are to the greater good of this world and lead from there… from their value and importance.
What is the biggest risk that you’ve ever taken that has paid off?
Hmmm… I am a big risk taker and always have been so that’s a tough question. I’ve moved to new cities on a whim, taken jobs not totally qualified and crushed them, etc. I would say the biggest one I took in the last few years that is paying off majorly would be, I broke my own heart two years ago. I walked away from a man I was deeply in love with as I knew we were not the best partners for each other and I wouldn’t be able to receive the things I wanted for my life if I stayed. It was a hard decision and tough to do. I was a wreck for a long time but it inspired me to unapologetically redesign my life and accept myself. This wasn’t my first rodeo with redesigning my life but this time it felt different. It felt like I was really coming home and letting go of everything and anything that didn’t serve me. I put all my stuff in storage, moved my business online, booked a one-way ticket overseas and have been traveling since.
This risk of leaving everything I thought to be right behind, lead me to everything I already was meant to be. This risk gave me the life I was always meant to live as the truest version of myself. A life I didn’t even know I wanted or needed but feel extremely blessed to live as I do.
It wasn’t easy but I wouldn’t trade where I am today for the world.
Who inspires you and why?
Authentic sisterhood inspires me greatly right now.
I am inspired by authentic people and meaningful experiences. I have an army of women around me that love and support me in a way I have never experienced. Our love for one another and the way we root for each other is unexplainable, I believe you can have many soul mates. My best friend Monica is one of them and she inspires me daily.
She lights up a room when she walks in. Her heart is as big as the ocean. Her goodness is felt miles and miles away. She inspires me to be a better person every day. She is the definition of walking love and light. She is my friend. She is my sister. She is my soul mate. Sisterhood is unbreakable and can make you feel invincible. Sisterhood is there to remind you of your worth and value when you forget. It’s the kind of love everyone woman should bless herself with.
Stop messing around with friendships that are not even exchanges. Get yourself some sisters. Those women will stand for you when you cannot, will applaud you as you rise and never leave your side no matter where you are in life.
Every woman deserves sisterhood.
The word ‘resilience’ is often used when describing the qualities of female achievers in all spheres: How does the word resilience manifest in your story or in your journey thus far?
Such a great question and hard to answer. Part of me wants to say I have been lucky but there is another strong part of me knows that I am built on resilience. My resilience used to get me into trouble. I was resilient in proving to anyone that would listen that I was “good enough”. Now, I am resilient to stay grounded in Love, mainly self-love, which allows me the grace to not have to prove anything to anyone including myself. I can just be who I am and stand tall in that. So in this moment of my life, yes, I am resilient to not allow anything that comes along my path to unground me from my value system or beliefs.
I am resilient in the name of love.
Wow Beauty is on a mission to remind womankind to take a ‘Wholistic’ view of beauty: mind, body and spirit. Inner beauty = outer beauty. How much credence do you give to this concept?
I am smiling right now answering this. I attribute WHOLISTIC to all of it. It’s what I pride my business on. How you show up in one area of your life is how you show up in all areas of your life. If your mind isn’t right, how can you possible physically feel right. If your spirit is elated then you most likely feel like a superhero. I am of the belief we have to balance all three to the best we can while also allowing for human error and emotion to exist. Everything is connected. I used to spend decades focusing on my body, then my mind, then my spirit and I always felt off, empty or in a constant internal tug of war battle. Now that I look at all three as equally important and reliant on one another there is no more tug of war, just invitations for support and nurturing from one another. They all work together. Your mind, body and spirit must operate as one. They need to be each other’s best friend.
What makes you laugh out loud?
Others may beg to differ here but I actually think I am really funny… and I love to laugh. Life can be so serious and solemn. I spent years unhappy so I refuse to waste any more time not living life in joy so that includes a lot of laughter. My girlfriends and I have such a supportive relationship to one another and that includes helping each other what we like to call “Keep it Light, Keep it Deep”. We are pretty deep, hardworking people so we help each other not take ourselves too seriously, which means poking fun here and there. The other day I was relaying how awkward I was on a date recently because I was so nervous… my friend and I were in stitches as I re-enacted tripping down the stairs and missing my mouth as I tried to drink water and talk at the same time. It took me a long time to be able to laugh at myself, but hey, I know I am a bit of weirdo… so I have consistent content to draw a good laugh from.
What is your favourite quote or book?
I am currently reading The Book of Joy Book by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Abrams
Archbishop Tutu and His Holiness The Dali Lama have such a sweet, playful and joyful relationship. I have found the book humbling, inspiring and it has taught me so much of how the human spirit can really impact our world and effect change. It also showed me how I relate to more Buddhist innate values and beliefs then I realized. This book inspires me to reach consistently for my higher self as my guide no matter what life puts along my path.
“Have the courage to love one more time and always one more time.” Maya Angelou
I apply this quote to everything in life… my relationship to myself, my work, others, partners, even nature!
Love is the foundation of it all.
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