melissabhawks melissabhawks

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Melissa Hawks  story scientist • building a beautiful life 📍Ocean Beach🌊

my soul has craved ritual this week

Every night after I watch the sunset paint the sky, I’ve listened to this need and acted to fulfill it. Lighting a bundle of sage and rosemary, I walk it through my house, thinking and speaking good things over each room. Speaking gratitude over this body, I settle in more firmly. When that is complete, I make a cup of tea I’ve blended for myself based on how my body feels. I sit it on the bedside table to cool while I focus on meditating and moving my body through yoga poses that feel right.

Tonight I laid in child’s pose for what seemed like forever before moving on. And I allowed it. “I am not in a rush, I am not in a hurry, I notice.” This is a discipline of listening. Listening and hearing myself. This year has taught me that sacred practice doesn’t have to look like religion. It doesn’t have to require denial. Sometimes it is just a coming into balance with the stillness deep inside.

Today I gave a workshop in my other life. The corporate one. One of my rules was, “there is no wrong way of doing it.” It translates here as well. This is a practice. This finding peace for your body and soul is a discovery. You will try things that work for you and many that don’t. Both are okay. Both teach you about yourself. Keep at it. We’re doing great.

Love you. Mean it.

we go high - @michelleobama

When you have an opportunity to be gracious, be gracious. When you have an opportunity to be a jerk, be gracious.

"I choose the words and the holy and the deep over the profane and the shallow. I choose the light. And I choose me." - late summer, 2014

The other night I had a dream that someone was forcibly moving me somewhere far from my beloved ocean. In the dream, I hadn’t quit my job or let go of the lease on my place, but it appeared to be a done deal. I was devastated. It’s been quite a while since I felt sorrow (which I'm very thankful for), but I remember enough about it to know that this was it.

In that moment of desolation, a voice from deep within pushed back, "This is my life. I get to choose what I want. I don't have to be or say or do anything that isn’t what I choose. If I never want to leave the ocean, I can choose to stay." Then I awoke. Arms wrapped around myself, ear toward the window seeking the rhythm of her voice, I got up from the bed and padded out into the living room to make sure she was still there. She was, roaring and crashing and soothing me enough that I could reach out for rest again.

I've always lived on the boundary waters of the war in my heart, pulled back and forth between the desire to please the people I love and the longing to be completely and wholly myself. In my unlearning and relearning, I have begun to realize that when it comes to people I love, I need to be one of them. I have to love myself enough to choose a life that I want. And, I have been. When I think of what I want for my people, a hope arises that they would build a life that brings them joy, even if that joy looks different than what I might choose for them.

My entire life I lived on the other side, hoping, wishing, wanting something more. These days I find myself somewhere very different. I never imagined a time when I wouldn't be searching for an escape, but here it is. I've fallen deeply in love with this life I've been building. Maybe I found what I was looking for or maybe, maybe I just found me.

📷 = current WIP, St Francis, the sea, and obviously @topochicousa

fresh ink

It’s been almost four years since I got my first tattoo in a tiny shop in the corner of Atlanta, surrounded by some of my people. @hannahbrencher held my hand and let me tell her a hard story, and as the ink went in the pain came out.

This time around looked quite a bit different. I walked into the shop alone, curled up in a chair so big my feet dangled off the ground, and @justincasetattoo and I told each other stories of coming out the other side of trauma into a beautiful life. A chosen life. There was a lot of laughter. Joy.

I’ll explain what my tattoo means at some point in the future. For now, just know it’s not a reminder to heal, but rather an acknowledgement that I’m already there.

💉 by @justincasetattoo

mist on the water, fog on the sea

I told my friend, @_bwd_, that men of the sea are unlike any other men I’ve met in my life. Their willingness to submit to the ocean's wild whims drives a hunger for connection that is as insatiable as her rhythms. They love deep and hard and words like "forever" apply to all the relationships in their lives.

Last night a surfer friend of mine told me that he speaks to the sea when he's out amidst her embrace. As he told me the words he whispers to her, a smile took over my face. They were sweet nothings and sweet everythings designed to charm. Words one speaks to a lover.

Women of the sea are a whole other story. They do have that same glorious wildness about them, but it manifests differently. Whereas the sea gives men a tender bent to their edges, she inspires strength and joy in the women who give themselves to her.

The woman in this picture was the only one out among the men that day. She sat on her board apart from the other surfers, alert and prepared. Each wave that came to her, she accepted and mastered. Mastery is probably the wrong word, her rides were more of a partnership, two like souls joining in one effort. She danced with the water as if it were an ancient remembered element of her being, making sacred shapes previously unknown to those around her.

I am becoming a woman of the sea. She's healed my soul and brought me home, stronger, deeper, wilder, and best of all...free.

wednesday is the perfect day to make your life beautiful

homemade brown sugar and walnut granola with tiger figs and nut butter

when the light is golden and so are you

There is no poetic way to tell you that you’re going to survive. But you will. That the darkness you face does not last forever. You are the light you’re searching for. That one day you’ll have the most incredible life you never knew you wanted. The one you’ve built yourself. I can only tell you that I’m proof it’s true. You matter. But those words are meaningless unless you believe them too. Keep walking, my loves, one day you will crash upon the shores of yourself and you will be at rest.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline • 1-800-273-8255

#tomorrowneedsyou #wspd18 #nspw18 #twloha

There is more than enough. There is plenty.

I wrote these words ten months ago surrounded by candles and the one household object I had besides a mattress -- a mirror made from an old gas station pump that had made its way with me from Nashville to the ocean. My house and my soul were running on empty and I knew I needed to find a way to fill them both with beauty. I've spent the entirety of the time since then doing exactly that. Somehow, through all that building, those words have come to possess deeper meaning.

There are moments when I find myself thinking and acting in ways which reflect my fear of not having enough. I pour into myself daily with healthy food, movement, sacred practice, community, creativity, and knowledge. I am continually filling my own cup. The thought, "if I share this or give it to someone else, there won't be enough for me," is a reminder that I'm still acting from a place of lack. When I share what I have with those in my life who need it, I'm acting from a place of abundance. Regardless of what you call it, karma, the golden rule, or the mysterious way the universe or your god works, giving because you have means there's more space for you to receive.

This weekend I had a conversation with @kimberlyayres about financial goals. I told her that in the next few years I want to be able to invest in women -- in their dreams. As I talked about how I want to support women who are building the life they want, she reminded me that it’s something I’m already doing with my other resources. I can't afford to invest a lot of money right now, but I have experience and knowledge to share. I have time to give. I have a corporate job that provides enough to pay my bills, save, and build a life. I can offer of my abundance.

Yesterday, in my Instagram stories, I offered any woman with a small business, start-up, creative project, or non-profit a strategic consultation. No cost. Just having a conversation about dreams and intentions and a plan to get there. I've already scheduled several and I want to talk to you too. Tell me your dream. Let's build your abundance. Link in bio to schedule a time to chat.

little bit Jackie, little bit Axl Rose

Happy Wednesday! Whitman told us that we are not contradictions within one body, but rather we contain multitudes. Go out into the world and be the weird little badass you are. Love you, mean it💙

I picked my way across the cliffs as the smell of high end pot and fresh laundry melded on the breeze. The notes of play-that-funky-music-white-boy drifted down to me from somewhere up above as a tiny crab scurried away from my moving feet. My eyes remained focused on the cresting white caps crashing against the rocks beneath me. Commentary from what feels like a long-ago past haunts me for a moment.

"I love the ocean more than I've ever loved any man," I told him. It remains true. My romance with her is all-consuming, without end, and has begun propelling me into unlikely adventures. I'm not typically a risk taker but her glory pushes me to seek out beauty in other parts of the world around me. People. Places. Experiences.

baptized in salty water

Those words blotted out the bad 70's song overhead and rooted themselves inside me. It is a kinship of the soul as I observe her and see myself reflected in wild patterns and peaceful rhythms. She has changed me. The abrasive kiss of her waves removing who I once thought I must be and revealing who I am.

Baptized in salty water, I need less because I am more.

old men and the sea

This morning I awoke with a disquiet in my soul that even the ocean could not calm. A season of change is upon us. With the cooling breezes of autumn arrives an awareness of who we are, our desires, and our capacity for — well, anything we choose to pursue. We have done the hard work of healing and loving and finding ourselves and now it is time to move with great intention in our unfolding present.

Of late, sacred stories from many cultures have been a way to incite growth in my life. There’s one from Old Testament scriptures that tells the story of Nehemiah, a man who inspires a king and collective of families to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem after they have been destroyed. Not everyone is happy with this. One extremely angry bro sends him a message asking to meet with him. Nehemiah knows they’re waiting to jump him, so he sends a message back basically saying, “not happening. I’m doing a good work and I refuse be distracted. I won’t come down from the wall because this good work would not continue if I did.”

We’re moving into a time where our focus on the work before us is imperative. It is an outward work that will change the world around us, as we allow the beauty of our soul to reflect out into it. There’ll be distractions and disapproval but you know what you want and what you‘re building. So do I. Keep doing your thing. There’s joy in your good work.

I’m proud of you. Love you. Mean it.

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