Melissa Lyon’s mission is to share the joy and freedom that is created when we live in the moment and consciously choose our thoughts and reactions. Her passion is to help us cultivate a comforting and healing mindset that allows us to get the most out of our experiences.
Both are reflected in Melissa’s unique and wise children’s book that is filled with encouraging words to help a child cope with loss. It is titled I Will Always Love You. Melissa has also written a wise book about pet loss called Until We Meet Again.
IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL HEAR ABOUT THINGS LIKE:
- The miracle that inspired Melissa to write her first book, and how it changed her life.
- Her book about pets and loss is interwoven with the Law of Attraction as the pet gives permission to love again.
- While reading I Will Always Love You to a child, the reader is also healing.
- Why it is important to create an environment focused on hope and love, especially after experiencing loss.
SOME QUESTIONS IRENE ASKS MELISSA:
- What is “Thought Nutrition” and how does deliberate thinking nourish our souls?
- Why should each of us release feelings of guilt and how can we do this?
- What is your heartwarming story about how I Will Always Love You helped a grieving 12-year old girl?
Listen to the podcast here
Melissa Lyons: International Best-Selling Author And Thought Nutritionist (How Deliberate Thinking Can Nourish Our Souls)
Our lovely guest, Melissa Lyons, is coming to us from Ontario, Canada. I have no doubt that this interview with Melissa is going to be a delight. Her mission is to share the joy and freedom that is created when we live in the moment and consciously choose our thoughts and reactions. Her passion is to help us cultivate a comforting and healing mindset that allows us to get the most out of our experiences.
Both are reflected in Melissa’s unique and wise children’s book, which is filled with encouraging words to help a child cope with loss. It is titled, I Will Always Love You. I truly love the simple, profound quote on its back cover that says, “Be the one who shares the light that was mine. Honor me now by letting yours shine.”
Melissa has also written a wise book about pet loss called Until We Meet Again. I’m looking forward to talking with Melissa about her book, I Will Always Love You, and much more. Can I say that before this interview, I made sure to get I Will Always Love You reviewed by two of my most trusted authorities on children’s books, my two grandsons? They gave it a thumbs up. Stay tuned.
Melissa, what a pleasure to welcome you to the show. Let’s begin our interview with this question. What was your life before you became the author of these special children’s books?
Thank you so much for having me. This is such an honor, and I want to tell you how much it warms my heart to be here. My life before I wrote these books was entirely different. I was in a transition period right up for about 30 months before the actual book happened to me or through me. I was in a life of searching for something that I didn’t know, but something that was missing in me in my life. On the outside, it seemed so fulfilled and so perfect, but that didn’t feel that way on the inside.
Were you working, did you have a career, or are you married, you have kids, the whole shebang?
Yes. I have two wonderful young adult women now. They’re 23 and 25 this 2021.
You don’t look like you have a 23 and 25 woman.
Thank you. I went through life you’re supposed to, and that’s a “thing.” I went to school, went to university, got married, had a job, picked up a mortgage, had a couple of children, and followed my career. I always found myself feeling professionally, especially unfulfilled, but also deep inside my heart, there was this inner torment. The messaging, talking, self-talk, and all of those things that some people live with haunted me. It was very private, personal, and few people in the world ever knew about it. Looking back now, it was because I wasn’t on my path. I wasn’t following my purpose. I wasn’t doing the things that gave me passion in my life. I don’t mean in my personal life with my family. I mean honoring my heart and my journey.
I’d had many years in the corporate world and had success along the way, success again, as in ticking off the boxes. Finally, in 2014, I sold a business that I had built from the ground up. All the boxes were ticked off, and my husband turned to me one day and said to me, “Are you ever going to be happy?” I’m so grateful for the question. It was a slap across the face. It wasn’t intended to. Maybe it was intended to be, but what I mean, it was such an important question because my answer to him was very honest. “I have no idea.”
You had a miracle. That changed your life because it inspired you to write your first book.
After you asked me that question, we decided that I was going to take at least three months off and try to connect to something that would make me feel not so broken inside. Figure out what was missing. I had an MBA approach to it. I thought, “I’m going to take three months. I’m going to read. I’m going to meditate. I’m going to journal. I’m going to get better. I’m going to do all of these things.” At the end of those three months, I was further away from anything I was looking for because I was trying to force that which must be surrendered.
We agreed again that I would keep going, and I picked up different things. I did some consulting, working some odd jobs there, but I didn’t commit to a career or to any life calling until it touched my heartstring. Nothing happened in 30 months. Pretty much to the time that I sold my business, I was sitting journaling therapeutically, and the words, “I will always love you,” found their way into my journal. To this day, I don’t know how. It was perfectly written, perfectly rhymed, no mistakes.
Were you conscious while you were writing it, or was it more automatic writing? It was coming through, and it was spilling out onto the paper?
I was conscious because I was sitting there waiting for my husband. I was having a cup of tea and eating a chocolate and banana crepe.
That sounds pretty close.
I wasn’t in touch with my own creativity. Why? I know now. I didn’t know then, but I couldn’t be creative because I was so critical and hard on myself and so worried about the judgment of others, which stemmed from my own judgment of myself that I couldn’t even write. This is how I journaled. That day in particular, I was probably writing this, tea, crepe, water, boat, sky, wind, sand. I would write words that came to mind until I forgot I was writing. Some days, I would write things that made me upset. Sometimes, I would write things that made me happy on that particular day. I don’t remember any specific focus. All I know is that when I looked down and I saw the words, I thought, “This is interesting.” When I read them, then it started to happen.
You read them, and they were the words for a children’s book, or you decided that they would be the words for a children’s book. What was that journey like?
You’re the first person to say it to me like that. You’re right. First of all, I didn’t know why they were there. When I read them, I didn’t know what they meant. I couldn’t read them for months to another human being out loud without bursting into tears and sweating and having this physical response in my body. It only takes about three minutes to read them out loud to someone. My husband was in the water taking a scuba diving lesson. When he came out, he said, “You look like something happened to you. What happened?”
I said, “I think I just wrote a book.” He rolled his eyes by, “Here we go,” because I was on this journey of self-discovery, but when I said, “Can I read them to you?” he is like, “Sure.” I couldn’t say the words and I don’t know why I was like this. All of a sudden, I couldn’t read the words. Even now, I have chills as I’m saying it to you. At first, the word scared me because I thought, “Are these a premonition of something that’s going to happen to my family or my children? Why am I writing about something that I don’t know anything about or have no experience with?”
Eventually, the journey took you to where you started to create the book.
I started to create the book right away. I did believe it was a book for children. I believed it was about grief and loss. It wasn’t long until I understood that it was for grief and loss. It was about hope and love. We’ll get to this probably later in the conversation, but eighteen months after that, I had another life-altering miraculous experience where I started to spiral downward. It was a slippery slope one morning. I did a long meditation, and again, this whole thing happened to me.
I was sweating. I was having this physical response to what I was feeling, and I realized then the words, “I will always love you,” was a letter from one part of me to another part of me telling me that it was okay to leave the life that I’ve been living for 50 years and step into the life that I was meant to live. To be able to do that grieving, that person that I’d become and I’ve taken care of for all those years and step into that person that was sitting waiting for me, to embrace. I know you’ve had a similar experience.
Yes. That’s beautiful. I’m writing that down because I want to remember this. I was okay to live the life I had been living for 50 years and step into the person I was waiting to be.
It was there waiting.
That’s amazing. Let’s start with your book about pets because there are so many people in our audience who have pets and are so upset when they lose a pet. Can you talk about, Until We Meet Again: From Grief to Hope After Losing a Pet?
I would love to. I said to you earlier that I wrote this book about grief and loss. As a family, our little family of 4, my 2 daughters, my husband, and I hadn’t had any traumatic experience with loss. It wasn’t until now, years later, that I realized as I was doing interviews for I Will Always Love You, we would start talking. More often than not, very early in the conversation, people would start talking about pets that they’d lost.
Interviewers would say to me, “I remember when I was nineteen that I lost my dog.” People were talking about these unhealed wounds and things that they’re carrying around all these years later because we don’t take the time often to grieve and celebrate the life of our animals the way we do with humans. This little part of us is waiting for someone to heal at any age in our life. I remember one gentleman was in his 70s and what he wanted to talk about was the dog that he lost when he was 19.
The books are interwoven with the Law of Attraction and all of those things about positive thought and what you’re thinking of is what you’re bringing into your life. Until We Meet Again is helping people with the words of their pet that’s no longer here, their pets saying to them in their voice, “Thank you. This is what our relationship meant.”
The pets give the owner permission to love again, the permission to remember the beauty of the relationship. There are two favorite pages for me. One of the lines is the pet says to the owner, “I taught you things as you watched me live, unconditional love and to always forgive.” My other second favorite one is, “Allow your mind to unwind and be free. Be as kind to yourself as you were to me.”
Having talked about that, what prompted you to write, I Will Always Love You? Tell us about its primary messages and how it helps a child begin to heal.
I Will Always Love You came first and it was the miracle that came in my journal that day when I was sitting randomly writing. The way that it helps the child heal in a few different ways. First of all, when the child is being read the book by the parent, the healing takes place in the parent because we’re all children at heart. We all have that inner child. As the parents read it to the child, they’re healing, they’re being comforted, and that gives them so much more capacity to help the child through the healing process. That’s the first way. The second way is that the book gives everybody permission to find joy, follow their dreams, and shine the light.
It’s almost like your responsibility of being sad. When someone dies, we are sad, but we also feel like we should be sad. If we’re not sad, there might be something wrong with us. Do you know what I mean? That’s a real gentle way of saying, and it’s not for everybody. The book says, “You can also be super happy and show me life through your eyes now because I’m gone. Shine my light. Make yours brighter with my light.” Now they have a responsibility to find a way to be happier, to create joy. That creates healing we know.
You have a heartwarming story about how I Will Always Love You help a grieving twelve-year-old girl. Can you share that with us? Our readers will be very touched by that.
I’m sure you remember when you were writing your book, and you wondered, “Who am I to be writing this book? Who am I to be doing this?” The answer that comes back when you get quiet and listen is, “Who are you not to be?” One day I received a message from a stranger, and it was a woman telling me that she’d purchased my book because her twelve-year-old daughter’s best friend had lost her mother to cancer. She wanted me to know that after all people had gone home from the funeral home that night, the young girl grabbed a chair and pulled it up beside her mom’s casket. She sat down with her and read her the story, I Will Always Love You.
What a blessing.
It made me feel that if we all shine someone else’s light and our light a little bit brighter. It’s like at a concert when everybody starts to turn on their lights. That’s us sharing hope, love, comfort, and joy one person at a time.
That’s what we are both doing so much. Tell me about your specialty thought nutrition and how deliberate thinking can nourish our souls.
Thought nutrition came from me wondering what my messages are about. I didn’t know what to do for the first two years. Here I am doing all these interviews about grief and loss and not having any real bricks-and-mortar reason to be there. It’s like, “What am I about?” It came to me that the idea of an apple a day helps keep the doctor away. We know this. We say this to children. We had this growing up because we know that if we eat good food and we nourish our bodies, hopefully, we will be healthier and we won’t need the doctor in terms of a little lesson.
Thought nutrition is the same way. We don’t only eat apples in our life. We eat a little bit of junk food, a little bit of this stuff that might not be good for us, but for the most part, we eat a nourishing diet because we want to be healthy. We need to have nourished thoughts that nourish our souls as predominant thoughts. We need to have recipes that help us recreate guilt into joy, recreate shame and blame into happiness, take anger and frustration, and find the blessing and the lesson. Thought nutrition is my way of helping people realize that we need to nourish our souls, starting with the way we’re thinking because that’s what we’re attracting more of.
People don’t realize that. When certain thoughts come to people, they buy whatever’s coming. They don’t realize that they can change that thought. You’re going there. I don’t necessarily have to go there. I can choose to handle things in a different way. I can choose to express things in a different way.
That reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from your book. It’s when you were seeing Leslie Lynn and, she said, or you said, “Anything that I can give you by way of guidance is only potential. Everyone always has a choice.” We count our exercise. We count our steps. We watch our calories. We’re careful what we put in our mouths. We take for granted that which lives in our heads. We have to be aware of that.
When I talk to kids, this is what I say to them, “When you feel yucky, you’re quite lucky.” When you feel yucky, that’s your internal messaging system telling you that you’re holding a thought that doesn’t nourish your soul. That beautiful yucky feeling is telling you, “It’s time to look at that thought and figure out what we need to do with it, what we can replace it with, how we can heal it, how can we change how we’re looking about it, or how we perceive this response we’re having.” That yucky is so lucky.
I love the way you say that. That’s wonderful. I’m going to take that with my grandchildren.
Everybody’s been sick once on Halloween candy, eating too much dessert in their life, or drinking too much of a certain beverage, and we get that physical response. We’re like, “I’m probably not going to do that again or not for a long time.” When we have thoughts that make us so yucky that we get sick, we don’t realize that we have a choice. Like we choose what we put in our mouths, we have a choice in what we grow in our minds. A line in I Will Always Love You is, “Your mind is a garden that goes flowers and weeds. One who chooses good thoughts always succeeds.” You can’t have light and darkness in the same spot. One’s going to overtake the other. Your mind and your thoughts are like that.
It does affect how you process and handle things. You said something about releasing feelings of guilt. That is an issue a lot of people have because they have this illusion that their life is supposed to be perfect. If they do something, they judge themselves and all of that, and they feel guilty about it. That’s a big one. Tell us why we should all release these feelings and how to do that.
This is a lesson I learned from my own children. I remember as I was on my journey of healing and growing, every time they would start to feel guilty or angry or whatever, I would tell them to think something else. Let that thought close and think of something else. I don’t remember which one of them said it. They probably both did. They said, “Mom, that’s not right. We’re supposed to be able to feel what we’re feeling.”
I thought, “You were right, but as we’re feeling what we’re feeling, we need to figure out what’s causing that and then work on the root of that so that it can release.” It’s not as simple as releasing it. It’s figuring out what the message is in that feeling. Where is it coming from? You can then release holding onto the feeling because now you’ve got the message.
The feeling of guilt comes to us because there is something that’s trying to get our attention. It’s not to be released. That’s where we get tripped up sometimes. People say, “I can’t just release it.” They’re right. You can’t release it, but you can choose that you’re going to figure out what the message is so that then you can let it flow through you. There are so many little words, things that we hear that are so true, what we resist persists. It’s so true. Don’t resist it. Allow it, hear it, and then say, “Thank you. I don’t need you anymore because I now learned what you had to bring me in.”
I’m moving on from that negativity, and a lot of times, people have negative thoughts because that’s what they’ve been taught. They don’t even realize that they can choose to separate from what they were taught. That doesn’t work for them anymore. As we get older and we mature and we change, different changes and circumstances happen. Some people cling to what was. A very strong message in everything you’re saying and what you’re doing is about letting go of what was. You can reconfigure how you handle things and how you think about things, which leads to a better life in so many ways.
We talk about gratitude. It’s because of appreciation. It is important. The beauty of that is to be able to look at that feeling of guilt. You might have carried it for 50 years or 30 years, however long, and look at it and say, “Thank you. I understand that you’ve been in my life because there was something I was supposed to be hearing, listening to, or facing. Thank you for that.” That’s where the gratitude comes in. Thank you for the opportunity to see that I don’t need you anymore, but you had to be here.
I had a cool exchange with someone because there are people in my life who say, “Life sucks. You get older. You’re older and everybody around you starts to die. This happens, and that happens. Your health fails,” and you’ve heard that before. You get wrinkly, and things that used to be not saggy are saggy. I wouldn’t trade anything. The piece that I feel every single day more than I felt the day before. As I mature and as I step into this, figuring out how to be present and how to be happy, I’ll let all the rest of that come. Aging is great because with aging comes this sense of happiness that I never knew existed.
I agree with you because I’m living in a mid-rise building where there are a lot of aging people here. You can see who is very negative and pessimistic and saying, “I’m going to die. I feel lousy. Life is lousy.” You see other people who have a lift in their step. They’re also getting older, but they’re involved in things and they’re grateful. They’re busy.
I’m one of them. I’ve been through so much of my life and I’m so grateful for everything. I also wouldn’t change anything. One day, my grandchildren will read your book and they will know I’m on the other side. For me, I will feel I had a life well lived, and I helped a lot of people. I was a positive role model in a lot of ways. You are too. That’s so important for people to see a different way of being and not accept age is deterioration and bye-bye for them.
I know you do online courses, and I would bet you from this conversation that some people are trying to think, “Maybe I want to do an online course with Melissa.” Tell us about your one-on-one coaching and your courses. I know your coaching facilitates choice and life, which we’re talking about. Tell everyone why they want to go take your course and do some coaching with you.
The most important thing is when we get to that point in our life where we know that there’s some other way that we want to feel, when triggers hit us, when we wake up, or when we go to bed, and my courses and my coaching, all of that helps. I facilitate your own journey. Someone said to me, “Tell me the answer,” and the coach said to the person, “If I tell the answer, I’ll take away your epiphany.” That’s the biggest part of what I want to do. What I do with people is guide them through the lessons and the self-discovery. We need to find our own past. Another line from the book is, “You have all the answers.”
We have all the answers inside. We need to turn into our heart and let it be our guide. I help people connect with their hearts, get out of their heads, and figure out what is calling them. What is their path? What are their passions? Most importantly, what is our purpose? You talked about the people in your building. Anybody who is on the side of feeling not good about their lives or not happy, it’s because they’ve woken up without a purpose that day. We don’t need a purpose to change the world. We need a purpose for how we want to feel when we go to bed that night. That will be enough to guide us through the day.
How about waking up and being grateful for being alive and having people in your life? It doesn’t have to be a lofty purpose, but do people come to you, and say, “Melissa, I have no clue about what I want to do, and can you help me figure that out?”
I think about myself. When I started this journey, right after my husband said that to me, one of the first things I did was start to work with a spiritual counselor. She said, “Melissa, what brings you here?” I said, “Catherine, I’m here because I have no idea who I am. If I don’t know who I am, my children, my husband, my parents, no one knows who I am.” I lost myself in the middle of living and I didn’t know if I would ever be happy.
You go through times, you might be applying for jobs or people ask, “Define success. What do you think success is?” I always thought, “I hope one day someone would tell me the answers so that I could write them down. I’ll always be able to say what success will mean to me because I didn’t know.” One day, I got asked that question in an interview not long ago, and it came out of my mouth. I define success now as if I’m happy for 1, 2, or 3 more minutes now than I was yesterday, that’s an exponential growth thing. That’s a success because it means whatever I’m doing is fueling my purpose. The rest doesn’t matter. That’s what I can do with people.
I’ll bet a lot of people would be very motivated and enjoy it. Do you do them all online now with what’s going on with COVID at all? Is everything online?
Everything’s online, but as soon as we’re opening up, we’ll have retreats where we can meet in person and do it through a group. It’s open and evolving because different people need different things. That’s what we can do. Probably the one that would be most suited to our readers would be A Path to Healing After Heartbreak & Loss. It’s a 10-part or 10-day course where people go through that journey of digging into what it is that’s keeping them sad or stopping them from feeling more joy. It’s about the loss, but peeling back the layers to see how we can shine that person’s light.
You had a woman who took that course and she was transformed. You learned a tremendous lesson from her experience. Please share that with us.
It goes back to when I said to you at the beginning, “Who am I to be writing a course about something like that at this point?” I had it available for a long time, and I wasn’t promoting it even though it was done and on my website. I was talking to her, and I didn’t know her. I met her at a hospice event, and she said to me, “Melissa, I’ve been grieving for two years, losing my husband. There were two things that took me through it.” She said what the first was.
“The second one was your course. After that course, I realized that I could live and be joyous and move on with my life and still have a piece of him in my heart. He was allowed to stay with me on my journey. I didn’t have to let him go, but I had to feel them differently and put a different spot.” I don’t know. That’s when it became, “Who am I not to put this out there?” but I was afraid.
You and I got to be soul sisters in some way because your book and what you’re doing are very in line with what this show is all about. It’s to bring to people that they have different choices and that it’s okay. You can be happy again too. I am sure from talking with you that you have a tremendous message about the importance of healing to share with our audience. Why should they go out of their way instead of staying in their funk? Why should they go out of their way to heal in this lifetime? Do you know?
Here’s the thing. Why not? I spoke with a lady, and she told me about a loss that she’d experienced in her life. She said, “I sat down, and in the middle of my tears, I’ve got 5 more minutes when I look at my whole life to figure out what I can do to make this world a better place. So much of my life has passed. I want to make sure the rest of my life is filled with something that makes me feel good, not something that’s draining me or weighing me down.”
Why not find people who speak to you and work with them if you don’t have all the answers within yourself? Go take a course from Melissa, go check out interviews on the show, and go figure out what you want to do to change your perspective.
It’s true. It’s going to take effort. People say, “I already did a course, and I felt good for a while, and it went away.” If you’re training for a marathon, you spend all those weeks training for all those miles you’re going to run, and then you keep running if you want to do more marathons. If you stop running, you can’t do a marathon again without that training.
Our mental muscles, our reactionary tendencies, our habits, and those things that aren’t serving us will be there. We have to keep working on feeling better, raising our own vibration, and doing all those things. If you don’t want to do the work, that’s okay. It’s all up to us, our own path, and our own journey. We’re sent here for a purpose. I don’t think a single one of us on this planet is here for a purpose other than to create more joy in their own life. That’s simple.
Learn lessons, live, and enjoy. Melissa, everyone wants to connect with you. Tell us how they can connect with you. Do you have any extra special perks? Your books are on Amazon, I assume.
They’re on Amazon. If you don’t like to shop online, go into your local bookstore, and they’re available. There’s a distributor that will get them to that bookstore. My website is Melissa-Lyons.com. You can also find me on Facebook at Melissa Lyons Author. I have a Facebook group called Creating More Joy because that’s my calling to help people figure out how they find their path to more joy.
Do you have a tip for finding joy in life?
Yes. Make the choice that there’s room for more joy in your life. That decision alone will start to open up pathways, whether it be a podcast, a book, a course, a new friend in your life, or somebody. What you look for, you’re going to find. We know that. You see a yellow car one day, and then all of a sudden, you think about yellow cars, and they’re everywhere. That’s because you’re paying attention. If you want to create more joy in your life, choose to create more joy and look for it, and then it will grow a garden full of wildflowers.
You truly are a delight. Melissa, I’m so glad to have you on this show. You’re terrific. Your books are simple, thought-provoking, and deeply moving. They only take minutes to read, but I know they last a lifetime and a heart. I resonate with your statement that you’re on a journey to seek, understand, and embrace your life’s purpose because I deeply believe that this show is my own life’s purpose.
We too, are surely very blessed to be bringing healing choices to so many, and it’s wonderful to get to know you. Here’s a reminder, everyone. Make sure to follow us and like us on social at @IreneSWeinberg on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. As I like to say, to be continued, many blessings, and bye for now.
- Melissa’s Website
- Melissa’s books: I Will Always Love You and Until We Meet Again
- Connect with Melissa on Facebook at Melissa Lyons Author and Creating More Joy