Hello, beautiful brave souls. I’m finally writing this out for you…thanks for being patient. I promise you it will be worth it to read this whole thing…I know it’s long. I hope you will come back to it later if you don’t have time to read it all now. This is important. Ok…I was surprised (and felt incredibly validated) at the enormous reaction to the post I wrote about being angry (here it is if you have not seen it)…and letting myself be angry…..and showing up angry even though “nice girls don’t get angry”…..and how my dang hives are back to remind me to deal with it and my body is manifesting all sorts of things I’ve been ignoring and how I have decided to take this all very seriously and do a whole project around it all summer….take some REAL TIME……..called LIGHTER & LIGHTER…(this name came from my beautiful friend Lisa who told me that she hopes that 2014 is the year of LIGHTER for me….she was right) anyway………..I wanted to tell you that I have begun that project and it’s going beautifully and I want to invite you to join me if you would like. lighter and lighter title zoomed First of all….I need to tell you that I have been working on this for a few weeks (for myself)…..it’s been incredibly cathartic…I have dedicated a tremendous amount of time and prayer into it and it is proving to be quite a miracle for my little old soul (and even my hives, and definitely my anxiety and anger)…..and that is why I want to share it with you. I want you to be able to have this feeling too.  I teach online and live courses for a living….and our team does an incredible job and over-delivers on every front….content and customer service, all of it……what I am giving you now is in the raw…and I am only giving you an idea of something that you could try. lighter and lighter on the rock This is not like the online courses that we offer. I might make some homemade videos for you along the way (but don’t hold me to that)…. I will give you a PDF of the things I typed out to use….I took about 50 photos today to illustrate how to do it and I am sharing very vulnerable and personal pages with you so that you understand. What I am going to ask is that you understand that this is a work in progress…..that there are no rules that I am going to give you….not very many guidelines….and I won’t be able to answer your questions about what to do next beyond what I am going to share with you right now and what I will be sharing every Friday for the next 100 days (every Friday that I  can, that is) ALSO…chances are…this will end up as an online class someday….so please remember that this is how I make my living and please don’t take my content and make your own class out of it, okay? please. I would love for you to do this, to do it with friends, family….hope you will share it with your daughters and the women in your life who need some mothering and sistering…..this is good stuff. I hope you will also look into doing BRAVE GIRL ART SCHOOL  this summer (if you are not already signed up) because these two projects together would be amazing……I’m doing both of them….together. You can learn all about it HERE it is time to let go tree message Okay…so the whole premise of this project is to do things that make us feel lighter. To let go of things that are heavy, or make us feel heavy. To remember things that set us free. To release things that are not true. To smother yucky old beliefs with healing truth. To stop running and running and running and doing and doing and doing and proving and proving and proving just so that you don’t have to stop and feel what needs to be felt. To sit still and feel it…and then let it go. To have fun. To seek, notice and create beauty. To get lighter and lighter and lighter….and lighter.

For 100 days, I just want you to ask yourself

1. Does this make me feel lighter?

2. Does this make me feel heavier?

3. Will doing this make me feel lighter?

4. Will doing this make me feel heavier?

5. Do I need to let go of this heavy thing? (relationship, obligation, shame, blame, memory, grudge, debt, weight, food in your hand)

….and then do something EVERY DAY that makes you feel lighter. Even remembering something good makes you feel lighter…in my book, I am including photos to remind me of times when I felt better, when I felt confident, when I felt healthy, when I felt like I was being brave. Even REMEMBERING what we have already done, and giving ourselves some credit, is an act of making us feel lighter. So…there is remembering and doing and letting go……. I hope you will come back and see the next step here on the blog on Fridays and follow the journey daily on Instagram @bravegirlsclub and if you JOIN US…I hope you will post on Instagram to with hashtag #lighterandlighter so we can all see what we are all up to. I’m stepping away from most of social media during this 100 days but I’d still love to stay connected during this project!! And while we are on the topic of remembering better days…..I want to share this photo with you…..and what it says… this is who I am melody ross I am putting this photo in my book, along with a lot of others, to remind me who I really am. I am not these hives all over my body. I am not this extra 25 pounds I have gained. I am not this anger. I am not this grieving I feel. I am that girl up there. I want you to know THAT I KNOW THAT before I share my pages with you below. I’m going to be sharing some things with you that might cause you to feel sad for me, or be worried about me…or maybe even think that I am losing it and going crazy. In my book…I am just letting go of some things….and they are sad things….and they are difficult things. BUT I KNOW that I am going to get through it, feel better, and be on the other side of it. I KNOW that God loves me and wants to help me. I KNOW that these hives are just trying to help me. I know that I am okay. Soooo…what I would love to ask you to do is just WITNESS me releasing some of this stuff so that I can get lighter…please don’t think I am writing this so that I can transfer my pain to you…..that wouldn’t help anyone. This book is just about releasing. AND THAT is what I want for YOU too. I am okay. I am going to be okay. I am healing and I will continue to heal. P.S. this is what my body looks like when I have hives (I took this photo a few days ago)…except the hives are much bigger than this on the rest of my body and they swell my face up until I can’t even see sometimes…….THIS IS WHY I am willing to stop for 100 days and do this work….. (sorry if this grosses you out…..just wanted you to understand my big time motivation and why I’m stopping the train for 100 days) … they burn and they itch and they hurt and they want me to just get rid of the pain that’s inside my body that I ignore….they are little messengers…   melodys hivey legs So…on that note…let’s begin… All that you will need…if you want to do this…is: -a notebook or sketchbook ( I am planning on filling several over the next 100 days…I have no idea how many) -some gluesticks (I’ve already gone through 3…so you may need a lot of them) -some old books to cut up, old storybooks and novels and poetry books are amazing, so are self help books and books about things that are important to you -an Xacto knife & a cutting mat or some little sharp scissors -the PDF that I am providing for you that you can cut up as it calls to you -I used some cardstock and double sided tape to store all of the words I cut out and keep them in a way that I can see them and they won’t blow away…so you can do that too if you want to -and then…some photos of yourself… -And…some quiet time, some music you love, lots of water and some serious bravery….because this project is all about telling yourself the truth…about everything. let's be honest   I started doing this when I started feeling not so fabulous. On a Tuesday….after getting some news from someone that hurt my heart, an old thing that I didn’t want to ever hear about again….I lost it. Like……I got really really really angry. Like a person inside me got unleashed who has been trapped in there for decades with tape on her mouth….and she is SO MAD. Anyway….I got really angry and the weird new rage…it lasted for a few days….I blogged about that HERE…it was weird. I am not an angry person…….but it was time. Then….my hives came back BIG TIME…then, my energy left. Then………..I decided I needed to listen……THEN….I decided to do something drastic for 100 days…..then, all I could do was sit and cut words out of old books…words and phrases…….and I sat there for days and days and days……not even exactly sure what I would do with them……but it just felt really good to find words to explain all the mixed up ways I was feeling…….. she began cutting out words 2 cutting out words 1 settle down by the fire on cutting board   I want to see me again on black     I both find my voice and lose it on black get it back again on blackthis exercise was awesome because I didn’t have to talk to anyone…I didn’t have to try to write and figure things out…I just poured through books and cut out stuff that spoke to me….all fragmented….it felt good to take the stuff off of pages that spoke to me and throw away the rest because that is what I need to do with my life…….just pick and choose what is best, what is right for me…and let the rest go…that’s what I did….page after page of old books…. and then I decided to make it into a book… lighter and lighter on the cutting boardthis might all look really tedious and horrible to you…..but for me…this has been a great miracle. It has made me sit down and JUST BE…..be open to whatever I will find…be open to whatever will happen with what I find…be open to finding things that I didn’t even know existed….be open to putting things together that I never would have thought of putting together before…I even feel like words that were written years and years and years ago by other humans are the same words that I feel…just strung together in a different way. It makes me feel SO not alone…..and like we are all partnering together to figure things out together for ourselves. I didn’t know exactly how all of these words would go into my book…..but I started anyway…. melody ross lighter and lighter book cover so she began   One of the other things that started making me angry over the last few months was looking at old photos. I have to scour through my photos a lot for work and I see all of these photos of times when I felt good, looked good, had it good…….I see photos of things I have lost and time I have lost and things that happened that didn’t make any sense….I see photos of happy things and sad things….and all of it was making me feel so much anger. THAT is what made me see that I need to find out what this anger is all about. So….I started to just put photos into files on a page so that I can print them out and paste them into my book…and see what they have to say to me…. I remember feeling alive   and then I decided to type a bunch of stuff out that I wanted to include in the book….like…things I remember…and how I want to work toward having that again…and then, how it’s okay to have that in new ways…because some things can never go back to what they used to be…and we have to be open to things happening in brand new ways….so…here’s a photo of some of the stuff that is in the PDF I am giving you… lighter and lighter pdf photo   lighter and lighter today I am And then…I just started pasting…and pasting and pasting and pasting. And I cried a lot..and I prayed a lot. I asked for help. I asked for answers…..I asked for healing…I asked what needs to be healed…what needs attention…what feels neglected….and I searched out my words………..I did this part all from bed because I got a horrible migraine that put me down…..   tons of cut out words   lighter and lighter from my bed Then the messages started coming…..loud and clear…straight from my soul…straight from Heaven….straight from the source of all truth….just for me….and all of these words were the words I had been cutting out for days and days…not quite sure what they were for….   what happened So here’s something very personal…and I asked my husband’s permission to share it….I have been feeling awfully sad and not myself for a few months now. Something happened in March that rocked my world. 2013 was not an easy year, either…….but what happened in March got me all twisted up and turned around and ANGRY and SAD and MAD. It shattered my heart and lots of my hope.  You see……I had decided that 2014 would be THE YEAR OF US……and to me, what that meant was that Marq and I would finally heal from the last 10 years since his brain injury. I had this great fantasy that there would come a day when we would talk about all of the horrors that happened and we would bandage up each other’s wounds and then tell our story and then move forward in victory…..well…..I decided one day in March that it was a good time to start talking about things (believe it or not we have never talked about the worst times, we have just been focused on rebuilding our life) well…..I started to talk to him….and he had NO IDEA what I was talking about. He did not remember ANY of the traumatic events that I have been keeping fresh on ice for the day that we could heal from them together. I only mentioned a few of them and he was so horrified that I realized that I just won’t ever be able to talk to anyone about those things except for God. AND that my big dream of healing together is going to have to happen in a different way. I have delayed my healing for all of these years……..kept it on ice to keep it fresh when I should have let it go a LONG time ago. Anyway…..my cut-out words came out and brought that up……and I am certain this is a HUGE part of my issues…..(I know this is personal…….I am sorry for that….I have thought for all of these years that we would write a memoir about those years….but it’s not gonna happen…this book is how I am getting it on paper) I decided to focus on what I remember about what we DID do together…and what we are working toward to restore what was lost… I remember being in the wilderness the wound longs to be scrubbed clean in the wilderness 2   I cried a lot when I pasted down the next words. This is a pain that has been buried so deep. I really thought we were carrying the same stories….both of us keeping them on ice….but it was just me. There are so many things that I have not let myself really deal with or heal from or feel…things that I have not verbalized. Because I wanted to do it with him. I can not begin to tell you how much lighter I feel from just pasting down these words… he forgot where he was   and how much lighter I feel now that I have decided to let go of how I thought our healing would happen together…..leaving me open to a new way of healing that I don’t even know about yet…..right now it is through pasting down little words…all in a row…(who knew?) I really sat on this bed in the guest room and just cried…I cried a lot. It hurts a lot…..I am grieving over the loss of it all. I kept pasting down words…..I started to have a conversation with Heaven, in prayer…..asking, really asking for what I need….   what do you do with   braved fierce flames   God can see all of it remind me and then the answers came…again…. lets go back accept the offer   be healed I love you   we are going to do this work tuck you into bed   Ok…these are just SOME of my pages. Some are just too personal to share…..but I hope you get the idea. That one right up there…it’s pretty personal too. I wanted to share it because I was cleaning out the art barn and found stacks of curriculum I had written specifically for specific camps. Often, I will stay up late and write new curriculum for a group that really needs it. I found a stack of that material and could not believe how much I NEEDED IT FOR MYSELF. The photo above, I cut out the words of a guided meditation that I did at camp……helping that group of sisters to realize that they are taken care of….and to allow their 80 year old self to nurture them and teach them in the age they are now……but when I pasted the words down…it was God for me. I know I don’t talk a lot about God…but I can’t leave God out of this conversation. ALL THE WHILE of making this book….God keeps asking me to listen…..and to believe that good things are wanted and meant for me…….that I WILL HEAL. That I WILL BE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS better and stronger than ever. God also reminded me that I was born this exact girl that I still am today….and that even my little girl self was along on this journey…to not forget her in this process….. little girl melody ross   she removed the infection inside   this is who I am melody ross     old wounds…old anger…old pain….old stories…….it all gets infected, ya know? It has to be cleaned out and dealt with and mourned and talked about and smothered with truth…..so it doesn’t turn to bitterness and disease and HIVES. 🙂 So…that’s what I am doing…….for 100 days straight and hopefully forever after. This is helping so much. I already feel lighter. It won’t take 100 days to talk about old wounds…so soon….to feel lighter, I will be doing fun things…and I HAVE been doing fun things…… lighter and lighter hello beloved planting tons of flowers…..making art (I REALLY HOPE YOU WILL JOIN ME IN SUMMER ART SCHOOL!)……watching movies….working on the new BGC project that we are launching in July…..talking to friends….and even letting myself be angry in fun ways like shooting at targets and smashing things. Just RELEASING IT. It’s too heavy….way too heavy. TIME TO GET LIGHTER AND LIGHTER….. I’m also working on getting my body weight lighter but I will blog about that on another day…. And…to get LIGHTER AND LIGHTER I’m also working with a new doc who totally gets me and I’m doing a new skin care routine and I’m doing all sorts of wonderful things with Marq to make brand new memories……and we are holding our Grandson as often as possible….he makes us feel lighter and lighter and lighter…..(we have the most amazing kids ever, too, and we spend every day with them) melody and leo

 

be healed I love you   Soooooo….are you gonna join me on this journey? I hope so. I hope this is a summer of lighter and lighter and lighter for you, too. I hope you will come back and see the next step here on the blog on Fridays and follow the journey daily on Instagram @bravegirlsclub and if you JOIN US…and remember to post on Instagram to with hashtag #lighterandlighter so we can all see what we are all up to. Like I said…I’m stepping away from most of social media during this 100 days but I’d to see how YOU are doing this project!! (remember there’s no rules and I’m not around to answer questions about HOW to do it…you just get to decide the very best way for YOU to do it…and I will be sharing my very best way for ME to do it) I love you all so much!!! Let’s get lighter and lighter… xoxo melody

P.S. Here’s the PDF for you … I LOVE YOU!   lighter and lighter daily to do