This weekly series features inspirational stories from admirable women. IMHO, it’s always good to be reminded of how strength, determination, hard work, heart and ingenuity can impact the quality of one’s life and I’m proud that these women will allow me to share their stories here.
I’m very honored to kick of my “Month of Melissas” with the very special Melissa Reyes@MizMeliz.com. I met Melissa at Bloggy Boot Camp Las Vegas at a meetup of the So Cal Lady Bloggers in October of 2012 (way before I even had a blog). Melissa just radiated positivity (she still does). This lady made a book of all the bloggers she wanted to meet at the conference (with their likeness and blog name) and made sure she not only introduced herself to them, let them know why she wanted to meet them and then had them sign her homemade book!
I immediately fell in love with her ingenuity, warmth and her ability to be so open about her respect and love for others and their work. When I found out that Melissa is a fellow 80’s-phile (her book is called “This Is The Sound of My Soul” – from the Spandau Ballet song “True” – she even got permission from Gary Kemp to use the words), the deal was sealed. Melissa is not only a devoted mother, wife, writer and foodie (among other things), she’s a life coach. I couldn’t think of a better suited person for the job.
Soooo have you met Melissa?????
Discovering My True Self
“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” ~Carl Rogers
Thank you for the honor of telling you a bit about myself as I muse a little about being “A Melissa.” I write a lot about acceptance and self-love on my blog and in my book because it has been and continues to be a big part of my journey.
This time of year is very special to me because I love holidays and I enjoy Valentine’s Day. I have been in a great relationship for almost 30 years, so I have always had a Valentine. He isn’t very romantic, so it is the one day I can expect something extra special. Isn’t that nice! Chalk one up for me. I don’t take it for granted, believe me.
This is also a sad time of year for me because it is the anniversary of my mother’s passing. She died on February 10, 2005. It’s hard to believe it has been that long. I miss her so much. I think of her every single day.
Being the mom of three teen boys, who currently all have girlfriends, makes this time of year interesting for me. I will be asked to help pick out just the right gift and pay for someone else’s perfect date. It still freaks me out that I am the mom.
So there you have it. I am wife, daughter, and mother. But I am so much more than that! And I am still learning and growing. I feel that I have so much to offer. I want to make a difference in this world. I want to leave a legacy.
Having a vision and setting goals is part of getting there. I use a concept word to focus on each year that helps me. This year I chose discovery. I want to break free from my comfort zone and experience new things. I want to have a deeper understanding of things and enhance my knowledge. This part of my journey will be exciting! I have some fun trips planned, I am signed up for some training and I am attending some conferences. I learn something new every day.
How can I do all of this? It starts with believing in myself. I frequently take time to reflect on who I am.
It is totally cool that Melissa Burton asked me to guest post on her blog during her Month of Melissas in honor of her birthday! It was originally because of having the same first name that we connected instantly when we first met. We soon found that besides blogging, being in the awesome group So Cal Lady Bloggers, loving food, family and fun – we also both love 80’smusic. Of course you know that Duran Duran is Melissa’s favorite! Mine is Spandau Ballet. I wonder what other things we will discover that we have in common during this month of Melissas?
I thought I would reflect on our name because I have always loved learning about the root of words and names and how they influence my personality. Melissa was a very popular name around the time I was born, so I know quite a few people with the name. I was actually named for my uncle. My mother had six sisters and one brother. Everyone loved my Uncle Melecio! 1979 was the peak of the Melissa trend with over 30,000 girls given the name. It’s rather rare now, with only about 2500 given the name in 2010. Personally, I like the nickname I have been given: Melis. Some people call me Mel. Some call me Miss Melis. From that I coined the name of my blog: Miz Meliz.
Melissa is a given name for a female child. The name comes from the Greek word μέλισσα (melissa), “honey bee”, which in turn comes from μέλι (meli), “honey”. In Ireland it is sometimes used as a feminine form of the Gaelic male name Maoilíosa. Melissa also refers to the plant known as lemon balm (family Lamiaceae; genus and species Melissa officinalis).
I wanted to write a poem for Melissa Burton and the ValentineRD. As I thought about titles for my poem, I considered “Ode to Melissa” and then I found this:
The following is an ode to Melissa’s birthday by Thomas Blacklock, a Scottish poet from the late 18th century.
ODE, ON MELISSA’S BIRTH-DAY
“Ye nymphs and swains, whom love inspires
With all his pure and faithful fires,
Hither with joyful steps repair;
You who his tenderest transports share
For lo ! in beauty’s gayest pride,
Summer expands her bosom wide ;
The Sun no more in clouds inshriu’d,
Darts all his glories unconfin’d;
The feather’d choir from every spray
Salute Melissa’s natal day.
Hither ye nymphs and shepherds haste,
Each with a flow’ry chaplet grae’d,
With transport while the shades resound,
And Nature spreads her charms around;
While ev’ry breeze exhales perfumes,
And Bion his mute pipe resumes;
With Bion long disus’d to play,
Salute Melissa’s natal day.
For Bion long deplor’d his pain
Thro’ woods and devious wilds in vain;
At last impell’d by deep despair,
The swain preferr’d his ardent pray’r;
His ardent pray’r Melissa heard,
And ever)* latent sorrow cheer’d,
His days with social rapture ble~t,
And scoth’d each anxious care to rest.
Tune, shepherds, tune the festive lay,
And hail Melissa’s natal day.
With Nature’s incense to the skies
Let all your fervid wishes rise,
That Heav’n and Earth may join to shed
Their choicest blessings on her head;
That years protracted, as they flow,
May pleasures more sublime bestow ;
While by succeeding years surpast,
The happiest still may be the last;
And thus each circling Sun display,
A mere auspicious natal day.”
I like this poem just the way it is and love that I never came upon it before now. It will always make me think of Melissa Burton! I am a strong believer of fate and that there are no coincidences. We are all connected in some way. As I drove to work this morning, this song came on the radio. I admire Melissa Burton so much for her dedication to fitness and health. She loves to run. This is not something I have in common with her. I do love to “run with things!” And I can apply the lyrics of this song to my passionate ambition in life.
Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen
In the day we sweat it out on the streets of a runaway American dream
At night we ride through the mansions of glory in suicide machines
Sprung from cages out on highway 9,
Chrome wheeled, fuel injected,and steppin’ out over the line
h-Oh, Baby this town rips the bones from your back
It’s a death trap, it’s a suicide rap
We gotta get out while we’re young
`Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run
yes, girl we were
Wendy let me in I wanna be your friend
I want to guard your dreams and visions
Just wrap your legs ’round these velvet rims
and strap your hands ‘cross my engines
Together we could break this trap
We’ll run till we drop, baby we’ll never go back
h-Oh, Will you walk with me out on the wire
`Cause baby I’m just a scared and lonely rider
But I gotta know how it feels
I want to know if love is wild
Babe I want to know if love is real
Oh, can you show me
Beyond the Palace hemi-powered drones scream down the boulevard
Girls comb their hair in rearview mirrors
And the boys try to look so hard
The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist
I wanna die with you Wendy on the street tonight
In an everlasting kiss
The highway’s jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive
Everybody’s out on the run tonight
but there’s no place left to hide
Together Wendy we can live with the sadness
I’ll love you with all the madness in my soul
h-Oh, Someday girl I don’t know when
we’re gonna get to that place
Where we really wanna go
and we’ll walk in the sun
But till then tramps like us
baby we were born to run
Oh honey, tramps like us
baby we were born to run
Come on with me, tramps like us
baby we were born to run
My wish for all the Melissas out there – be true to yourself and stay the sweet honey bee that you are. We were born to love, to care for others, and to share joy.
Have a wonderful birthday month Melissa Burton and a fabulous Valentine’s Day!
If you need help finding direction in your life, discovering your purpose, or if you would like some insight on staying true to yourself, you can contact me for coaching. Make an appointment HERE for a FREE introductory session.
To connect with Melissa, you can find her at the below social media outlets (but check out her ViewMaster themed “About Me” video first because it’s adorable):