A Therapist Takes Her Own Advice

Healing Through Meditation with Melanie Ryan

July 08, 2020 Season 1 Episode 6
A Therapist Takes Her Own Advice
Healing Through Meditation with Melanie Ryan
Show Notes Transcript

On today's show Melanie Ryan joins me to talk about how meditation has other purposes besides relaxation. She teaches a form of meditation that creates real and lasting change for those who practice regularly. I'm looking forward to learning it myself.

Melanie Ryan is a holistic psychotherapist, ancient wisdom teacher, visionary and thought leader. Her mission is to bring ancient wisdom to the modern world for personal and global healing and transformation. For more information or to schedule and appointment with Melanie go to MelanieRyanLCSW.com or AncientWisdomToday.com


Rebekah Shackney (00:00):

Hi, I'm Rebekah Shackney. As a psychotherapist, I spend my days talking to people about the important role meditation can play in improving mental health. But when I tell my family I'm going to meditate, they've learned it's code for I'm taking a nap, but like everyone else I'm trying to do better. This is a therapist takes her own advice. We could all use tools to improve our mental health now more than ever today, Melanie Ryan, a holistic psychotherapist and meditation teacher talks to me about how she teaches people to heal with meditation. Welcome Melanie Ryan, thank you so much for being here today. Uh, can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

Melanie Ryan (00:57):

Sure. Thank you so much for having me here and want to say hello to all of the listeners. I am a licensed clinical social worker. I've been in practice for 25 years and a graduate of Fordham university. And I've had a very traditional background training, practiced in private practice for many, many years, as well as other places around Westchester County. And, uh, probably about 15 years ago. I had, um, I guess you could say an awakening of some kind. I decided that I was going to study yoga as a result of having a long history of anxiety. So we can, um, as therapists, you know, do a good job of being there for others, but I really realized that I needed to do something for myself. So I had worked with a lot of different populations and different age groups. And, um, I realized that through working with people with addictions, that there was a spiritual component to their recovery and it made me really question my own spirituality.

Melanie Ryan (02:24):

So I had been brought up, my mother was Jewish. My father was Catholic. And, um, I had studied, you know, both of those traditions and cultures in many ways. And I realized that there was something more for me that I wanted to explore. So I studied yoga and while I was studying, yoga was a year long training in New York city under a very well known teacher. And part of the program was she brought in a Buddhist teacher and she wanted us to meditate while we were doing yoga. So it kind of brought me onto a new track through my own self healing. Um, I realized through yoga and meditation, that my anxiety started to, uh, decrease and it put me on a whole new path.

Rebekah Shackney (03:21):

Wow. Wow. That's really interesting. So tell me what you do now. What is your practice like?

Melanie Ryan (03:30):

So my private practice, I still see people, um, part time as a holistic psychotherapist, I would call myself which really includes, uh, the mind body and the soul. So through my own awakening, through yoga and meditation, uh, it led me to other spiritual paths that led me to look at myself in a new way as not just a mental, emotional being and a physical being, but that there was something greater inside as well. And meditation was a big part of that.

Rebekah Shackney (04:11):

And so, um, tell me about your meditation practice, your personal meditation practice. What do you teach?

Melanie Ryan (04:19):

So the teacher that came into my yoga teacher training was a senior teacher in a lineage called Shambala. And this lineage was founded by a Tibetan master by the name of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Many people who are familiar with Pema Chodron, uh, she's American. And she studied under Chogyan Trungpa Rinpoche when he first came to the United States in the late 1960s. So she has become a very well known teacher among people who are now studying mindfulness meditation. So he was of that lineage called Shambala. And so this is a Tibetan Buddhist lineage, and he combined, he was very eclectic teacher. He combined meditation with photography, calligraphy, flower arranging. It was really about bringing meditation into everyday life. It wasn't just about, you know, sitting and removing ourselves and being silent. It was like, how can we bring meditation and mindfulness into everyday life, including the arts. He was a very creative, artistic kind of person and very charismatic. And he really wanted to meet Westerners where we were at and how meditation could be brought into our everyday lives, not living in a monastery, you know, being married, going to work, having kids. So how meditation could be a part of our everyday life.

Rebekah Shackney (05:55):

Wow. I love that. And it's, it reminds me of the types of things that I talk about with my own clients. Um, in terms of they're so nervous about meditation, but if you talk about mindfulness and how you can practice it, just doing basic things you do every day, what does your personal practice look like?

Melanie Ryan (06:15):

My practice in the Shambala lineage, it is recommended to sit in a quiet place and be still, and it's a practice of being with ourselves without any distraction. So it's not the kind of practice where we're setting up music or staring at a candle. It's really about having a very direct experience of our minds with no distraction. So we're really looking inside and we're really seeing the mind. And so in this lineage, we do this four to five times a week for 20 minutes, and we don't go more than three days without practicing because generally more than three days, people tend to float off and get kind of pulled back into the busy schedule. So it's recommended to not let three more than three days go. So, and that's really the what's called the Shamatha practice, which Shamatha translates from Sanskrit into calm abiding. And it's about training the mind so much, like we would train a horse or train a puppy. We, there is structure, we set up a schedule, we make a commitment and we know what we're doing, whereas there's a specific technique. So we're not going in and, you know, training a horse. We're not getting into the ring with the horse with, without knowing what we're doing. So it's very clear, very precise. And there's discipline.

Rebekah Shackney (07:48):

You also teach Shamatha to your clients and to anybody who wants to learn, what does that entail? What does a training entail?

Melanie Ryan (07:57):

So, yeah, so the key word is anyone who wants to learn, not everyone wants to learn. We would like it if everyone would want to learn how to be mindful. And specifically this style of Shamatha is particularly challenging because we are sitting with ourselves in silence and stillness. Um, those two things can really kind of get people going and in an uncomfortable way. So one of the things we talk about is Shamatha and meditation in general is self study. So, and that is not necessarily comfortable. What we see about ourselves. Doesn't always feel good. So it's not a feel good meditation. It's not stress reduction. It's not relaxation. Those are very, very good things to practice, but it's not what I've been trained that meditation is, meditation is work. It is self study. And I say, it's like, we're like a research project, you know? And I say, you know, I did actually, um, did a dual, a dual concentration in, um, clinical social work and clinical research.

Melanie Ryan (09:18):

So I do like to research things I like to dissect. I like to understand, I like to find clarity and I like to gain insight. So when people come to me for psychotherapy or holistic psychotherapy is really what they're looking for. They are looking for a mind, body spirit approach. I say to them, you know, this is one of the things that I offer. I offer this particular kind of meditation, and I just help them understand how it's going to benefit them to look at themselves. And there is, you know, the understanding that this may not be comfortable, that this is a particular style where we're really getting to know ourselves and make friends with ourselves. So, uh, it's teaching people how to be gentle and kind, and to look at all of the ways that, um, we can approach ourself in a very new and fresh way. You know,

Rebekah Shackney (10:19):

That's really interesting. I was in session the other day and I do a DBT group with adults and I was talking to them about, mindfulness and mindful meditation. And sometimes doing this work is not comfortable. And one of them said, but I came to you to, to be happier and to feel better. Why would you want to make me uncomfortable? Um, and I thought, Oh gosh, I failed because I failed to make her understand how we need to kind of be uncomfortable, move through some of the difficult things before we can get to a more contented place. And how do your clients react to that when you're letting them know they have to agree to be uncomfortable?

Melanie Ryan (11:09):

Sure. So my teacher actually would say meditation is like taking the mind to the gym, right? So if we're taking our mind to the gym and this is a workout, and this is work and we're committing to the work, right. Um, as a meditation teacher, as a meditation instructor, I'm kind of like the personal trainer, you know, so I'm there to sort of get you out of your comfort zone so that you become stronger. And in this meditation practice, this particular Shamatha meditation practice, we are building mental strength, mental stability, and mental clarity. And so this is what the technique provides us. So it's translated into calm abiding. So when that wild little puppy is running all around the room and that's our mind, right? We're running all around the room. We can't sleep at night. I can't make my, my mind stop. Um, I'm anxious all the time.

Melanie Ryan (12:19):

You know, I used to suffer from panic attacks. So I know anxiety really well. And,, the fear and the self judgment, you know, all of the core issues that were at the root of my anxiety came out on my meditation cushion because I had to sit there and I had to look at my mind. And so I wanted to be the perfect meditation student. So when I would go to the Shambala meditation center in New York city, which is where I trained for about 10 years, I started off wanting to sit at the front of the meditation center in the hall. And, uh, I used to be a gymnast. So I wanted to have perfect, you know, posture, you know, cause there's a meditation posture. I wanted to sit in the room for hours and, you know, think that I could hold that posture without being in complete pain, which I was, and I would make myself sit there because I was trained as a gymnast, you know, no pain, no gain.

Melanie Ryan (13:19):

So I didn't know how to be gentle or loving with myself. So I, my anxiety came from many, many years of believing that it was a good thing for myself to be in pain, a good thing to be a perfectionist, right. And so I became very critical of myself. And when I sat in meditation, I started to look at all that perfectionism, all that self aggression, all of the judgment that I had toward myself. And that was where the work began. So I had to really be honest with myself and say, wow, I'm a really judgmental person. I judge myself and I judge everybody else and I want myself to be perfect and I want the whole world to be perfect. And then this was the source of suffering. And that was what the Buddha taught was that we actually create most of our suffering with our habitual patterns, our habitual thoughts.

Melanie Ryan (14:22):

And so as part of my self-study practice my meditation practice, I got to look at all of that. And then I got to take a step back and say, do I really want to continue to think like that? So it began in a very simple way of, you know, every time I saw myself be judgmental toward myself, I would label it judging and I would let it go. And so we can label things. In Shamatha we do use labeling a lot, so we can label, you know, judging, um, we can label, um, pain, you know, whatever it is, we can label it and then let it go. Because what happens is we get hooked into a story and the story is what makes everything so much bigger. And so the Buddha talked about how we create the suffering by creating these stories, these, you know, many, many thoughts that become a huge story that take us away from the actual reality.

Melanie Ryan (15:28):

Buddhism is actually people, I think misunderstand Buddhism, it's really a philosophy. It's not a religion, no one's worshiping the Buddha or anything. Um, there are statues as like a reminder of the teachings, but I kind of see the Buddha as the first psychologist. He studied the mind and he studied suffering. And so I was brought up Jewish and Catholic, but then when I actually heard the teachings of the Buddha, I was like, wow, this is just how to be happy. And for someone who was struggling with panic attacks for almost a decade, that was all I wanted. I just want to be happy. I just want to be free of my suffering. So I really got very intrigued just from the first time I met my meditation teacher in the yoga training. Um, I then started to sign up for more and more classes and that helps you keep going to taking classes.

Melanie Ryan (16:28):

And it's one of the reasons why I offer classes, you know, because we learn from each other. We learned from the group, um, the wisdom that's in, in the circle in the class.

Rebekah Shackney (16:39):

I'm really excited to see, take your class in a few weeks.

Melanie Ryan (16:44):

Thank you.

Rebekah Shackney (16:46):

And you found relief from your panic attacks with regular practice.

Melanie Ryan (16:51):

So if I had not done what I did, I wouldn't be able to be here right now and have this conversation with you. I would be too anxious to ever sign up, to be interviewed for any kind of anything. And it was very interesting because on my ride here today, I was checking in with myself because I really suffered from public speaking. And over the course of my career, I've had to do a lot of public speaking. I used to work in school districts where I'd have to get up and present in front of 500 staff, you know, and now I teach, you know, pretty much most of my career. It's about 50 50 of providing therapy, but also being a teacher as a teacher, we have to constantly get up and perform in a way. So on my way here, I realize, wow, it's so great to not have any anxiety. And it's like, I still look for it somewhere times. And so, uh, my heart is not pounding in my chest right now. You know, I can just hang out and be Melanie

Rebekah Shackney (17:58):

Fantastic. I love that. And you know, it's funny, I still get that nervous energy. And of course doing this, I'm brand new at this. So that's normal, but I still feel like that sometimes when I'm doing a therapy session with a new person or, um, the groups, even though I've done them again and again, that nervousness, that anxiety that maybe is a little more than is necessary to just do what you have to do. And that's one of the things I'm looking for, um, in deepening or creating more of, a meditation practice. I have learned I've I've I studied, uh, transcendental meditation several years ago. And then, you know, I had kids and, and I don't know, every time I started to practice again, I fell asleep and they said, Oh, it means you need more sleep. Well, apparently I never ever, ever got enough sleep because every single time I would just fall asleep and I wasn't getting the same benefits from the meditation that I had gotten when I first learned it. But I think it's also just time to learn something new and something different in another perspective. So I'm really excited, like I said, to take your class, um, I'm careful, I'm curious to know what, uh, you know, beyond meditation, what does a holistic therapist do?

Melanie Ryan (19:27):

So meditation, uh, in the beginning with meditation, we work with the ground, which, you know, really is developing a good posture, a good form of technique and a regular practice. And, you know, that's the ground, you know, the it's the foundation, right, is to be able to sit and look at our minds and start to work with our minds and then work with our emotions. And then it kind of graduates into more of working with energy. And so that is called the Vajrayana path. The first level of working with the mind is called the Hinayana path in Buddhism. And that is self study. And in Buddhism, you do that for about 10 years. Okay.

Melanie Ryan (20:18):

And then from the Hinayana, it, we graduate into the Mahayana, which is then being of service to others. And we become a teacher. I am authorized in the Shambala tradition. I'm on faculty of Shambala meditation center of New York. And so it took me actually 12 years to become a meditation teacher. And so after that, you can then start study the more advanced practices of working with energy. And, um, it goes into a lot of different areas. I have. My other path is of indigenous people and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who is the founder of Shambala. He did come from a family lineage Tibet that were monastic. So they all lived in monasteries. But then he also came from another side of his family, came from another lineage, which were the indigenous Tibetan shamans, the indigenous medicine, men in medicine, women who work with energy.

Melanie Ryan (21:25):

And so that is my other path of study. I study energy medicine, which comes from indigenous people worldwide. And so that we're really working with the soul. And so I studied a lot of different mythologies. I studied Greek mythology, I studied Mayan cosmology. Um, I'm just interested. I'm really, I am a digger. I like to do research. And, um, I used to fantasize about being an archeologist. So I just like to dig in a lot of different ways. And so I dig into anthropology, um, and you know, our ancestors always healed in a mind body and spirit way. It's been a new thing in modern time that we have sort of disconnected from working with the soul and in Greece, the word psyche actually means soul. So psyche psychology means to work with the soul, to be a therapist of the soul. And that's really what resonates the most for me.

Melanie Ryan (22:33):

And that's what I've seen. Uh, just amazing, very difficult to put into words, the real miracles that I've seen when we work with the soul. And so meditation does bring in, when we do Shamita, it's considered the warmup of what's called Vipassana meditation, which is insight meditation. And that's when we start to really have clarity and we start to experience more of what's deep within, and we could say what's within our soul, or what's within the energy or essence of who we are. It starts to come to the surface in between our thoughts, sort of the space between when we create space. A lot of people, a lot of our inventors created what they invented when they had a lot of space, you know, like I heard, uh, you know, that, um, uh, who was it, uh, Thomas Edison, who, you know, made his inventions while actually being in quarantine, um, or, um, Einstein, you know, discovering the theory of relativity while lying on an open field with his back on the earth and looking up at the sky, you know, and the Buddhist teachings came to him when he sat under a tree for seven weeks. You know, so what we invent, you know, what comes to us when we're actually just sitting doing nothing?

Rebekah Shackney (24:10):

I think that's really interesting. And I feel like there is so little space created in our lives right now, you know, especially for my younger clients, I find that they cannot be disconnected for any length of time. It's so uncomfortable. And maybe the only time is seriously in the shower. And I encourage them to just pay attention to what's going through their mind and body in the shower, but we have become so disconnected that it's, it's scary.

Melanie Ryan (24:41):

Yeah. It's a cultural issue. You know, the American culture, our country, what our country is really built on is making money, you know, the American dream, right. Everyone came here to make money. People didn't come here, you know, to do a soul search. Right. You know, the more ancient, um, Eastern countries, you know, people go to India for spiritual retreats, you know, because it's part of their culture, their, you know, they all stop and meditate at 12 o'clock, you know, so it's, it's right there in front of them. And what's in front of us here is, you know, this sort of competition of, you know, how long did you work today? You know, Oh, I stayed at the office until 10. Oh, I stayed until 11, you know? And so there's this sort of badge of honor of how much we can break our backs. Right.

Rebekah Shackney (25:36):

Good for us. And it doesn't make us happy. It doesn't make us feel good. No. And then it separates us from ourselves and from each other, I find

Melanie Ryan (25:47):

From our soul. And, and so from, as a person who works with the soul, the only time we can hear our soul speak is when we're silent, you know, it's that voice inside. Um, and so as a holistic psychotherapist, I would tell people to spend time in nature, you know, as homework, you know, kind of thing. So your homework is to unplug and to stop working and to go for a 20 minute walk. And sometimes, you know, Shamatha can be very difficult for people who, uh, have been working a lot and very busy. And so being still, they do experience a lot of anxiety or a lot of agitation. And so I'll tell them it's okay, you can go for a walking meditation, but still try and sit, but let's be flexible. Let's be gentle with ourselves and sort of meet you where you're at. And so, you know, it may not be that you can do a meditation practice four to five times a week for 20 minutes, um, as recommended by Shambala, maybe it's, you know, you start off with five minutes, maybe you go for a walk and, you know, no music or no earphones or anything, you know, just walk and really open yourself up to the sounds around you, the colors, you know, um, the smells.

Melanie Ryan (27:13):

So we start to tune into our senses, which brings us into the present moment. And that's a meditation practice. So Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche was really, like I said, he's very eclectic. And he brought in walking meditation, which is really a Zen practice. Um, it was not traditional Tibetan. So because he just wanted to make this friendly to Westerners and understood that it might be difficult for us to just sit still and be silent right away, you know? So he introduced the walking meditation. So I would tell clients, you know, you know, they've committed, you know, when they work with me, they commit, but people will not work with me. Some people are, um, you know, I get, uh, sometimes my colleagues say to me, you know, I referred a client to you, but, you know, they just, they didn't come because they're like a little afraid of you.

Rebekah Shackney (28:05):

You're so scary Melanie.

Melanie Ryan (28:06):

They they're like, they're like, I'm not ready for Melanie yet. You know, so, and that's okay. And so, because I do, I want people to be able to make the commitment. It's like we're training that puppy or we're training that horse. And so people have to be committed to the training. And so the people who are ready to commit, they experienced very deep transformation because they're willing to work. And so, you know, one of the things that I think therapists can get caught up on is, and I know I did for a long time is I was working harder than my clients were. I was trying so hard to help them. And I got so emotionally invested in that. Um, but it's really their work. You know, our happiness is our work it's personal responsibility. Yeah. So there needs to be when they walk in the door and they want to work with me, you know, when I have that little conversation with people on the phone, you know, or they read it on my website, I put it out there. I just say, you know, it's the truth. You know, you have to be ready to be empowered. You have to be ready to work in order to work with me.

Rebekah Shackney (29:20):

Well, and that's the thing, I mean, because therapy, any kind of growth is uncomfortable, any kind of moving forward, moving out of your, uh, you know, out of your regular habits is uncomfortable because we're creatures of habit, not creatures of change, but that change is the only way that we can reduce our suffering over time.

Melanie Ryan (29:43):

Well, and we actually are changing all the time. People, the ego wants to kind of make, make us this fixed person of like I am and whatever comes after that. Right? And so there is a Buddhist teaching called the truth of impermanence, which means that the only thing that's permanent is impermanence, everything. And the other ancient wisdom, lineages, talk about this too. The Greeks talk about, you know, the, um, truth of like everything is vibrating. Everything is moving all of the time. Everything is changing all of the time. And so these are teachings that are over 3000 years old that were actually happening at the same time. You know, the Buddha was talking about this at the same time that Socrates was talking about it. You know, Socrates was talking about know thy self. You know, it's just that the Buddha came up with this whole huge, very methodical system of actually how to liberate ourselves from suffering. But the one big thing that causes us suffering is that we don't like change.

Melanie Ryan (30:51):

Right? It's so uncomfortable.

Melanie Ryan (30:54):

So, and Pema in one of her books, um, talked about what's called the four noble truths, which is about suffering and it's about acceptance of change. And she would say, if you look at the weather, especially here in the Northeast, you know, where we have the four seasons, you know, the weather is always changing every day is different. And so if we just simply look at how we react to the weather, right? So say you're getting married and it rains, right? I mean, people freak out over that. So how we react to things, how we can really freak out sometimes because we don't have control and we don't accept that things are not going the way we want them to. And we have a very hard time accepting that change is always happening. So it's always happening outside of us and it's also happening inside of us. And so when people come and work with me, they're looking for change, right. But then, you know, um, it can be scary too. So you know, who I help people to realize who they are on a very deep soul level. And so to align their body and their soul sometimes means that there's really huge changes that need to happen in their life. Like say they're, you know, they always want it to be an artist and their parents didn't pay for them to go to art school. They didn't get supported. Um, but they realize in their meditation practice that, um, the truth is that they love art and they really want to do art more. And that that's been totally disowned by them. And so what does it mean, like, do you go back to art school? You do you quit your job that you're currently in because the current job is only to pay the bills, you know, and some people are making a really good amount of money. I have a student who's a nurse. She just quit her six figure job because it doesn't align with her soul anymore. You know? And so we have to be able to start over. So that's big change. Right. And say, okay, but I'm moving more toward who I really am. And toward joy and inner peace, you know, what are we willing to do for inner peace?

Rebekah Shackney (33:14):

Well, a lot, I hope. Um, can you tell me some more about the changes you've seen in clients?

Melanie Ryan (33:24):

I'm trying to think which client. Actually all my clients change. Yeah.

Rebekah Shackney (33:34):

Or even in your own life changes. Like I would love to have a more specific, um, picture of what you, I mean, what you're saying is amazing and I'd love to have some more details about it.

Melanie Ryan (33:46):

What happens with my clients is what happens with me. They liberate themselves from their suffering, their mental suffering and their physical suffering, because everything is interconnected. When we start to work on all of these three areas, the mind, the body on the soul, they begin to want to learn more.

Rebekah Shackney (34:08):

I have to tell you, as you're talking about the soul and you're mentioning, I know it's not specifically religious, but it makes me nervous. And I think it's because I also come from a background, my mother was a Christian. My father was Jewish and became Catholic. Don't ask. And so religion is scary for me and the soul and all of this. And so I, you know, it almost feels like, well, we can't talk about that because that's too, you know, out there. And I'm, I guess so disconnected from even from anything, um, around that. And I think also, you know, just, I grew up in Oklahoma, the buckle of the Bible belt, where I was, where, where I felt like a kid, I felt like I was bad because we didn't go to church. Like that was something that I just knew as a thing From very early on, we were bad. We didn't go to church. And so you're talking about the soul and now I'm an adult. And I know that it's an important thing and important area. And yet I am terrified to even think about it. And I'm like, Oh, I can't talk to Melanie. She's that she does that.

Melanie Ryan (35:30):

Yeah. Yeah. So it brings up a lot of childhood things. Um, I have my students and my clients come from all different backgrounds, Christian Baptist, Protestant, Jewish, you name it, everything under the sun. And so, you know, we can talk about the soul or we can just say our truth, right? The truth of who you are, um, which we are conscious of at one point in our life. And then for whatever reason that wasn't, that part of you was not approved of, and you cut it off and you became who your parents wanted you to be. You became who our culture wanted you to be. You became who you needed to be to make the amount of money that you wanted to make. So what we're really coming back to is our truth, the essence of who we are. And so people use a lot of different words for what that is. Um, but that's really what we're talking about and to align with our truth, the truth of our being that inner voice that we need to learn to listen to more and more.

Rebekah Shackney (36:46):

And I'm, you know, that's just giving me butterflies, happy. Butterflies are like it's nerve wracking and scary. And I really would like to do that. I would really like to do that. So tell me, how can we get in touch with you? How can, if someone wants to work with you or attend a training, what do they do?

Melanie Ryan (37:05):

Yeah. So my website is MelanieRyanlcsw.com. And I was the owner of the center for health and healing and Mount Kisco for eight years that has now closed, uh, not as a result of the pandemic, but, uh, it was actually an intuitive decision. I felt very strongly at the end of last year that I needed to work more in nature and bring people out into nature and help people, uh, really immerse more into themselves, into their inner being and remove themselves from, you know, the busy life. And so I offer, uh, healing immersions. Now, uh, you can actually hire me for a weekend and, uh, rent an Airbnb and do some really deep transformative healing work. I do sessions, uh, one on one sessions outside. Uh, I also do telehealth, especially now during the pandemic. Um, and I started a new business called ancientwisdomtoday.com. And that is an educational business where I'm continuing with my trainings. Uh, they're all over telehealth right now. All of my year long life empowerment programs are happening over telehealth right now. Uh, we started in person, but then we had to shift and so don't know what the future holds, but I am, uh, in my intention is to continue with telehealth for trainings until further notice. Right. Um, and then I'm also writing a book for a year long program. So the, what, what really came to me was to take people, you know, into some deep transformative work. And so a year long program, I've been doing year long programs, but this is a new program that, uh, has to do with shadow work, which I'll talk more about another time maybe. And, um, but it's more of, you know, being held in a container of a community and with me to go through this process of connecting to ourselves on a very deep level together in community, I firmly believe in community and doing this work together with others. Um, so ancient wisdom today.com is the new, uh, educational organization.

Rebekah Shackney (39:40):

Excellent. Well, thank you so much, Melanie Ryan for being here today.

Melanie Ryan (39:44):

Thank you, Rebekah. So good to be here and so exciting for you. Congratulations for you on all of this, uh, launching this and many, many blessings for the future for you.

Rebekah Shackney (39:57):

And thank you for listening today to a therapist takes their own advice. If you have enjoyed what you've heard here, please subscribe, rate, and review on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen. Future episodes include more interviews and stories about parenting managing mental health, self care, and a monthly guided meditation. If you have questions or topics you're interested in, please let me know, go to my website, Rebecca shack, the.com and send me a message through my contact page. [inaudible]ShSah