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Forde on Fire https://fordeonfire.com The website of Melissa Forde Thu, 19 Dec 2019 21:47:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.3 159381454 Recommended Reading List https://fordeonfire.com/blog/recommended-reading-list/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=recommended-reading-list Thu, 19 Dec 2019 21:43:27 +0000 https://fordeonfire.com/?p=2889 Check out the books that have supported me in transforming my health and life!

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Hi friends!

I hope you are enjoying the cozy vibes of winter and getting ready to start 2020 off feeling healthy and energized!

Reading (and/or listening to) inspiring books is one of my favorite ways to nourish my mind. See below for my recommended reading list which contains the books that have supported me in transforming my health and life.

I’m always on the lookout for great books. Do you have a favorite that isn’t on this list?? I’d love to hear about it — shoot me an email or DM on insta!

My Favorites

Best of the best right here. 

Dare To Lead by Brene Brown

(Let’s be honest, every book by Brene Brown is my favorite — and — there is something extra special about this one.

I loved working through the accompanying resources available on her website (especially the guiding values exercise!!).

I HIGHLY recommend Brene’s audio books (read by her). If you don’t yet know her, check out her TED talk or Netflix special.


Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

This one was a game-changer for me. 

Living a creative life is no joke. I find the brilliant way that Liz addresses working with the forces of inspiration and dealing with fear to be so helpful.


Books For Cultivating Inner Peace

My top pics for soothing the spirit.

The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer

One of my all time favs and top recs.

My favorite concept from this book is to just open when you are tempted to close your heart. Just open instead — it’s revolutionary.

Loving What Is by Byron Katie

This book changes everything.

I listened to the audio book read by the author — and really enjoyed her voice. Top takeaway: our thoughts are always the cause of our suffering.


The Seat Of The Soul by Gary Zukav

This book was life-changing for Oprah. Oprah!

I read this becuase Oprah said so and found it to be jam packed with all kinds of cosmic wisdom.


Books For Manifesting Magic

These books have helped me turn into a legit conjuring sorceress.

You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero

Probably my most frequently recommended read.

This book is basically an overview of all the old-timey self-help books synthesized in a modern and relatable context. Plus, the author is hilarious.


The Game Of Life And How To Play It by Florence Scovel Shinn

The OG magic manual.

Published in 1925, this quick and easy read is humorous and practical. The examples are a little outdatted but the metaphysical concepts are solid.


The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks

A must read for all visionaries and change makers.

I got SO much out of this book — most impactful was the realization that I have unconscious “upper limits” on the amount of love, success, abundance etc that I think I’m allowed to have. This book will help you recognize patterns of self-sabotage and give you tools for transcending them.


Moving Memoirs

Our stories are healing — especially these ones.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

All the feels.

This is the truly eloquent account of Dr. Paul Kalanithi’s journey with lung cancer, finished by his wife, Lucy, after his death. It’s one of the most moving and heartfelt pieces I’ve ever read. EVER.

In The Body Of The World by Eve Ensler

This booked forever changed my perspective of cancer.

Full of striking metaphors and brilliant life wisdom, this is a book that I have re-read more than once.


Initiated by Amanda Yates Garcia

Had to sneak a witchy book in here 😉

I haven’t finished this yet but already love it. A book about Goddess energy, alchemizing life’s challenges into power and the feminine uprising? Yes please.


I hope you enjoy these books as much as I have. If you decide to read any — let me know what you think!

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2019 Holistic Holiday Gift Guide https://fordeonfire.com/blog/2019-holistic-holiday-gift-guide/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=2019-holistic-holiday-gift-guide Mon, 25 Nov 2019 21:12:19 +0000 https://fordeonfire.com/?p=2663 Support San Francisco womxn-owned small businesses this holiday season!

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The holidays are coming and I’ve got you covered. Check out my gift ideas for the healers, givers, change-makers, visionaries, yogis and magic people in your life.

Everything on this list is made by a San Francisco womxn-owned small business — so you can feel good about supporting mission driven entrepreneurs and closing the gender wage gap with your purchases (if you care about those kind of things 😉 

Gifts for Boss Babes

My top pics for the hardworking ladies in your life.

Boss Goddess Candle by Altar Ego

Cheerleading support in candle form.

Lapiz Body Oil By Monastery Made

What Queens use instead of lotion.

Superpower Spray by Altar Ego

For opening the heart and activating natural gifts.

Gifts for the Holistic Hostess

SF treasures to have on hand for seriously special thank you gifts.

Home Candle by Often Wander

The maker’s favorite scent.

Sacred Space Spray by Altar Ego

Blessings in a bottle.

Gifts for Grievers

Thoughtful gifts for someone who lost someone special this year.

In Memory Candle by Altar Ego

For honoring and remembering.

Ritual Bath Salts by Often Wander

Support for the physical effects of loss.

Love Meditation Stone by Altar Ego

A gift straight from the heart.

Gifts for Spiritual Seekers

When you have a friend or family member who is into things like tarot cards and crystals 😉

Cosmic Print by Hannah Marie

Magic for bedrooms and office spaces.

Guided Candle by Altar Ego

For connecting with intuition, spirit guides and such.

Ritual Tray by Tina Frey + Nourish Co.

A special tray for sacred things.

Gifts for Healing Warriors

Supportive items for those facing physical or emotional challenges.

Healing Candle by Altar Ego

Inspiration and guidance for the journey.

Release Candle by Often Wander

A scent that soothes + relaxes the nervous system.

Meet The Babes Behind The Brands!

Every item included in this gift guide is made by a San Francisco womxn-owned business. Make sure to check out the Badass Boss Babes behind the featured brands and explore their other products and offerings.

Sarah Larson, Owner of Often Wander

You can find Sarah most days at her super cute shop on Valencia Street in SF, Often Wander, where the her crew makes all of the jewelry and candles she sells. Make sure to check out the monthly candle designing parties and follow Often Wander on Instagram for seriously stylish home and life inspo. Huge plus: you can refill Often Wander candles for half price!

Kristin Posner, Owner of Nourish Co.

Kristin’s company, Nourish Co, helps people remember their rituals, connect to their heritage and build community. Her recently launched Modern Heirlooms Shop includes limited edition hand-crafted ritual items made in collaboration with local artisans. Visit the online shop and follow Kristin for thoughtful reflections on ceremony, ritual and culture as well as awesome recipes.

Hannah Bauhofer, Owner of I Am Hannah Marie Photography

Artist and magic-chasing-image-sorceress Hannah Marie is known for her mystical style. In addition to her non-traditional photography offerings and healing photo experiences, Hannah also sells her super cute cosmic prints. Follow Hannah to add magic and joy to your feed. (PS — she is responsible for nearly all of the photos on this site!)

Athena Ellen, Owner of Monastery Made

Athena’s luxury natural skincare line, Monastery Made, is a blend of the best nature has to offer, with essential oils carefully chosen for their non-irritating properties. Each ingredient is of the purest form and highest quality. Her tightly curated products are made in small batches in San Francisco. Learn more about the thoughtfully chosen ingredients and healing properties by following M.M.’s insta.

Melissa Forde (me!), Owner of Altar Ego + Forde On Fire

Altar Ego is my product line featuring beautifully designed and sustainably made spiritual goods intended to add personality to your sacred space. The inspiration for Altar Ego came to me during a season of tremendous loss and healing. My hope is that the products contained in this collection make the healing power of ritual accessible to anyone, regardless of background or beliefs, and that they shine a light in places that might feel dark.

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Holidays + Travel: Tips For Staying Sane And Kind https://fordeonfire.com/blog/staying_sane_and_kind/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=staying_sane_and_kind Wed, 20 Nov 2019 19:00:44 +0000 https://fordeonfire.com/?p=2718 Set yourself up to face the holidays with peace and ease.

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The holidays can be challenging for lots of different reasons (complicated family dynamics, finances, dietary restrictions, grief reactions etc). Here are my recommendations for taking care of yourself and mastering your mindset — so you can show up as your best self while also protecting your energy and honoring what you need.
Tune into the energy of choice. Even if you feel pressured or expected to do specific things, remember that you have a choice about how you spend your time and what you agree to. If there is something about your holiday plans that doesn’t feel ideal you can brainstorm adjustments to the plan, decide to not attend certain events or suck it up and choose to participate anyway. Remembering that you have a choice centers you in your own agency and the energy of empowerment. Weigh your options, make a choice and take responsibility for it.
Take breaks. The holidays can be quite triggering and taking breaks is a way to give your system a chance to reset. This might mean coming into contact with family in small doses and doing things like meeting for dinner but not spending the night, booking your own private accommodations, taking a walk if you notice yourself feeling tense or frustrated etc. You might be amazed at how much easier it is to maintain a positive attitude and presence when you take care of yourself by taking breaks.
Bring snacks. Being hangry never helped anyone be on their best behavior. Staying hydrated and making sure you have access to nourishing snacks is a great way to support your nervous system when you are traveling or spending time with friends or family. This is also helpful if you have dietary restrictions or preferences that you aren’t willing to betray. Food is one of the primary ways your body receives information about your environment so this is no idle suggestion. Having access to food that is familiar and supports your health will set you up to be on your A game in any situation.
Double-down on self-care. Any change in routine can be stressful for our bodies. To show up as your best self during the holidays make sure your body and mind are as resourced as possible by taking impeccable care of yourself. Get some exercise, listen to a guided meditation, schedule a healing session, etc. Check out my video on how to use your breath to calm your nervous system and my tips for self-care you can do in 10 seconds or less for some ideas.
Choose a guiding value. Regardless of what anyone else does or doesn’t do you get to decide who you want to be in any situation. It can be helpful to choose 1-2 guiding values so it’s easy to remind yourself of your intention when you get pulled off track. Do you want to be loving and open, curious and courageous, supportive and kind? Setting an intention for your energy won’t turn you into a saint, but it will make you exponentially more likely to show up with care.
Make your own tradition. If you feel constricted by the traditions of your childhood or culture it’s totally cool to make your own. Perhaps you want to spend holidays taking a solo trip, in your pajamas at home with friends or volunteering for a cause you care about. If you have lost someone special you could light a candle in their honor, share favorite memories or make their favorite dish. Choose the plans that feel best for you and make your own meaning wherever you go (or stay). 
Do you have any tips I didn’t mention here? 
I’d love to hear them!
Good luck out there.

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Spellcasting 101 (how to use the power of language to change your body and life) https://fordeonfire.com/blog/spellcasting-101-how-to-use-the-power-of-language-to-change-your-body-and-life/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=spellcasting-101-how-to-use-the-power-of-language-to-change-your-body-and-life Tue, 01 Oct 2019 18:11:22 +0000 https://fordeonfire.com/?p=2545 Before you get scared -- don't worry. You won't need a cauldron or mysterious herbs for the spells I'm talking about.

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Hello my pretties!
October is one of my favorite months because it’s easier than usual to talk about magic without muggles gettin all upset about it 😉

Today I want to share how you can use one of my favorite superpowers, spellcasting, to dramatically improve your life. 

Before you get scared — don’t worry. You won’t need a cauldron or mysterious herbs for the spells I’m talking about.  The spellcasting I’m referring to has to do with the creative power of words (words are spelled, spells are made of words… get it??). When you understand how language impacts your nervous system (and therefore your entire life) you are empowered to change the state of your body, life and world with just a little intentional editing.
I’m going to break down how this works with science  — so even full-blown muggles can get down with this program.
First, let’s review some basic neuroscience, psychneuroimmunology, epigenetics and quantum physics…
Your body does not know the difference between a real or imagined event — The thoughts you think have a direct impact on your physiology. This means your body responds to whatever you are thinking as if it is actually happening. 
You can change your biology, neuro-circuitry, chemistry, hormones and even gene expression (!!!) by thinking differently — Worry and scarcity based thoughts will put you into survival mode and create disease in your body, while thoughts centered in joy, gratitude and love create the physical conditions necessary for health, wealth and happiness.
Your body is listening to every single thing you say + think and it takes language very literally — Your body doesn’t have a program to de-code sarcasm or self-deprecating humor, it takes every word you think and speak at face value and responds accordingly. 
Side note: the Greek root of the word sarcasm, sarkazeinn, means “to tear one’s body apart by dogs” and passive aggressive sarcasm has been scientifically proven to erode the immune systems of people who are frequently exposed to it. Just sayin.
Ok, moving on…..
If you have been living in a state of chronic stress, your body is addicted to survival hormones, emotions and thoughts — We are programmed to crave what’s familiar, even if it sucks. Creating new and amazing things in your life will require breaking the energetic bonds you have to the way things are and consciously re-wiring a new way of being. 
You create your reality with your attention — Where attention goes, energy flows. If you are focused on lack, pain and disease you will unconsciously manifest more of those things (yikes!). The good news is, when you shift your attention to abundance, health and happiness then you’ll create more of all of that (yay!). This isn’t mystical wishful thinking, it’s quantum physics.
You still with me??
Ok — let’s talk about how to use the power of words to manifest extraordinary healing in your body and life.
Words have creative power and not just in the way they are used in artistic endeavors. Words hold energy and contain meaning. The words we think, speak and write cast spells into our bodies and the world whether we are conscious of it or not.
So let’s get intentional about it!
Spellcasting 101:
Watch how you talk about yourself and your life —  Bring awareness to the words you use (spoken, written and thought) and listen for places where you can make upgrades. Do you find yourself talking about how poor you are, how much time you don’t have and how busy and exhausted you are? Yeah…. cut that out. As a general rule it is best to word things positively and avoid using words that imply lack (want, need, etc). If you want to get super nerdy about it (as in using the word “amazing” instead of “incredible” because incredible literally means “not believable”) I recommend checking out the book Conscious Language.
Program your subconscious mind with positive affirmations — When you repeat empowering and healthy statements over and over you will form new neural pathways and thought habits. Your brain will look for ways to make these new thoughts make sense which will lead you to become aware of new and wonderful sources of support in your life. Positive affirmations also communicate safety to your body which soothes the nervous system and activates your restorative physiology and natural healing + creative abilities. You can google affirmations for specific ailments (ie: “affirmations for insomnia”) or write your own. Some of my favorites are:
  • All is well
  • I am complete as I am
  • As I invest in myself the Universe invests in me
  • My body knows how to heal
  • My energy is restored with magic and ease
Protect yourself from bad vibes — You’re not the only one generating spells around here. If someone around you is not yet hip to intentional language and is spewing scarcity, sarcasm or negativity into your space you can silently say to yourself “cancel, clear” to avoid internalizing the bad juju associated with negative words and ideas.
Speak your wildest dreams into reality — Remember how your body doesn’t know the difference between a real or imagined event? Use your words to describe the health, wealth and happiness you desire AS IF IT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW and your body will respond by producing the chemicals, hormones, thought patterns, immune response and overall biology of someone who has those things — which will launch you into the process of BECOMING exactly what you desire.
Cool, right??
In my next post I’ll go over how time travel works.
Not Joking.
How to upgrade language for healing and transformational growth is one of the things I teach my 1-on-1 clients how to do. Check out my Superpower Lessons offering to dive deep into this magic and get the support you need to create enduring changes in your body and life. You have superpowers — I can teach you how they work and show you how to turn them on.

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Let’s Talk About Burnout https://fordeonfire.com/blog/lets-talk-about-burnout/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=lets-talk-about-burnout Wed, 25 Sep 2019 18:00:24 +0000 https://fordeonfire.com/?p=2535 The constant activation of fight-or-flight stress physiology that occurs in a state of burnout erodes physical health and clouds thinking.

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Hey fire starters!

In the past few weeks I’ve found myself having a lot of conversations about burnout — with close friends, people I admire in my community and even a stranger (now friend) I met on the street (true story). Two common threads in these conversations are the phenomenon that people don’t notice how bad they are feeling until they are super crispy — and — when people are aware of their burnt-out status, they have a really hard time taking actions to re-fuel themselves.

Let’s talk about this.

First of all, what is burnout?

Burnout is “a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained and unable to meet constant demands.”

(From a nervous system perspective this results from existing in a chronic state of fight-or-flight.)

Here are some signs you might be running out of fuel:

* You view your work as increasingly stressful and frustrating

* You feel cynical about conditions and people

* You engage in numbing behaviors

* You have headaches, stomachaches or intestinal issues

* You feel drained, unable to cope and/or deeply tired

* You lack the energy you need to accomplish your work

* You have difficulty concentrating and lack creativity

* You are in denial about the state of your health and life (***this is the tricky part***)

Sound familiar?

I remember the exact moment I recognized I was burnt to a crisp in my first job as a nurse.

It was the first time I saw the symptoms of burnout in a list.

At the time I had NO IDEA that the physical, mental and emotional challenges I was dealing with were directly related to a well researched phenomenon. I just thought I was sick and broken and not doing a good enough job.

If you find yourself resonating with the list above, here are some things I want you to know:

There is nothing wrong with you — You are not a bad, negative or ineffective person. You’re just running on fumes. You need to pull over for gas. That’s all.

This is not just how life is or as good as it gets — Chronic stress is so common in our culture that existing in a burned out state of survival is reeeeeeeaaallly common. But let’s get one thing crystal clear; COMMON DOES NOT EQUAL NORMAL. While your body and subconscious mind are programmed to survive (as a back-up mechanism), you are designed to thrive.

Healers, givers and change-makers are at the highest risk of burning out — Being a kind, compassionate, purpose-driven, awesome person looking to make a positive impact in the world puts you at high risk for experiencing burnout. Knowing how to notice the signs and respond with effective self-care strategies needs to be a top priority in your superhero strategy.

You will be approximately one million times more effective, productive and impactful in a physiologically resourced state — I’m making up the numbers here but I think this is probably more of an understatement than an exaggeration. Living in a state of chronic stress is like running on back up generators that only power your most basic functions. Restoring your body to a resourced state will increase your energy, creativity and critical thinking abilities exponentially.

Burnout is not just exhausting and unpleasant, it’s dangerous — Constant activation of fight-or-flight physiology erodes physical health and clouds your thinking. Having stress hormones coursing through your body 24/7 negatively impacts every single system in your body and activates diseased gene expression. In addition to making you physically sick, the mental and emotional consequences of prolonged stress can be devastating. The production of happy chemicals (serotonin and dopamine) are both down regulated during stress response which can lead to severe depression and feelings of despair. I personally lost a co-worker and family member (both in high burnout risk professions) to suicide in the last year. This is not okay. We need to do a better job of taking care of people who take care of people — and this starts first within ourselves.

Learning how to heal burnout won’t just improve your experience of work or care-giving, it will change your whole life — Developing conscious awareness of your thoughts + body sensations and learning tools to care for your nervous system will make you feel like you have superpowers. When you understand how your body works you can leverage your physiology to activate profound healing, higher energy levels, brighter moods, increased levels of creativity and more. All of this will result in improvements in your physical health, relationships and contributions to the world.

So… given all of this information, let’s check in.


How are you???


Perhaps this post reflects to you how strong and resourced you feel and motivates you to keep up the self-care activities that work for you…

… or maybe this is the reminder you need to take a break, reconnect with your body, take some deep breaths and reset.

If this message hits like more of a wake up call — I feel you. I’ve been there.

Burnout nearly killed me — and — it also launched me on a journey that lead to profound and enduring healing in my body and life. So… there’s also that 😉

If you’re feeling low on fuel and like you need some guidance in navigating the path from burning out to burning bright, here are some options:

1. Sign up for my email updates at the bottom of this page (and send any topic requests my way!)

2. Check out the tips + tricks I share on Instagram and YouTube

3. Up your self-care game by taking my 11 day online course, Fuel For Living Life on Fire (it’s basically a nervous system makeover)

4. Book an Energy Restoration Session for some facilitated deep relaxation (this is sort of like self-care done for you — yes please)

5. Check out my holistic burnout prevention and recovery corporate offerings if you work at a place that could use some uplifting support.


And, as always, let me know if you have any questions I can answer.


Rooting for you.




The post Let’s Talk About Burnout appeared first on Forde on Fire.

Self-Care You Can Do In Ten Seconds Or Less https://fordeonfire.com/blog/self-care-you-can-do-in-ten-seconds-or-less/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=self-care-you-can-do-in-ten-seconds-or-less Fri, 09 Aug 2019 16:00:15 +0000 https://fordeonfire.com/?p=2723 Lately I have been thinking about simple, empowering acts of self care that can be done in any moment. I see so many people missing out on being empowered and positively impacted by self-care because they feel like they don’t have time to do things like sit for a formal meditation practice, engage in a […]

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Lately I have been thinking about simple, empowering acts of self care that can be done in any moment. I see so many people missing out on being empowered and positively impacted by self-care because they feel like they don’t have time to do things like sit for a formal meditation practice, engage in a relaxation exercise or get to a fitness class.
This is bananas.
You don’t have to sit on the floor, have an hour of free time or don stretchy pants to practice really good self-care. 
Not that I have any problem with stretchy pants. I mean… do they even make pants that don’t stretch anymore? 
I wouldn’t know. 
What I do know is this: you have the power to dramatically improve the experience of your life and state of your body in any moment. 
I am a huge fan of long, sprawling self-care rituals. My own morning routine sometimes keeps me from getting properly dressed before noon — noon! (and by noon I mean 2pm), however, I believe learning to care for ourselves throughout the day, right in the middle of life’s stressors, is way more valuable than any other self-care action we can take.
Here are 3 things you can do to soothe your nervous system (and therefore activate your natural superpowers) in as little as 10 seconds:
How: Take a mindful breath, breathing deep into the belly and exhaling slowly.
Why: Extending the length of your exhales is like flipping a switch for your nervous system — even just 1 slow breath can calm the stress response and activate your highest healing and creative abilities.
How: Notice a sensation in your body without judgement. 
Why: Tapping into body sensations is a great way to bring yourself into the present moment and build body awareness — the more you connect with your body, the more you can respond to its signals with intention and purpose.
How: Stretch out your neck + roll your shoulders.
Why: Intentional stretching releases the physical effects of stress physiology while also giving your body the message that you are safe — this puts your body and mind in a resourced and thriving state. 
Each of these strategies has the potential to shift your energy state instantaneously. No joke. That’s how powerful you are and how simple self-care can be.
With something as simple as a deep breath you can activate your body’s ability to heal, balance the chemicals that regulate your mood, increase your creative power and sharpen your focus. (Learn more in this video!)
Whoa, right?
You can use the above techniques to proactively tap into your natural superpowers (try committing to 5 mindful breaths a day to start) or to calm your stress response when you notice yourself feeling tense or overwhelmed. 
If you want to learn more about how all of this works check out my online self-care program, Fuel For Living Life On Fire, or book a 1-on-1 session for some supercharged support.
Rooting for you.

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Why Mindfulness At Work Works https://fordeonfire.com/blog/why-mindfulness-at-work-works/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=why-mindfulness-at-work-works Mon, 03 Jun 2019 16:00:43 +0000 https://fordeonfire.com/?p=2283 Many big companies such as Google, Nike and Apple have implemented wellness programs that include elements such as mindfulness training due to the well documented benefits.

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Many big companies such as Google, Nike and Apple have implemented wellness programs that include elements such as mindfulness training due to the well documented benefits.

Since the launch of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1979, thousands of studies have documented the physical and mental health benefits of mindfulness including:

* Decreased stress
* Enhanced mental health and functioning
* Increased emotion regulation and self-control
* Decreased anxiety, depression, worry, and rumination
* Reduced incidence of problem drinking and symptoms associated with problem drinking
* Improved ability to focus and improved attention
* Improved social and relational skills
* Reduced symptoms of burnout in employees
* A decrease in turnover and turnover intentions at work
* Enhanced job performance
* Enhanced resilience

With all of these benefits it’s no surprise that companies who offer mindfulness training are enjoying lower healthcare costs, reduced absentee days and increased morale. One study at a large company found the estimated gains in productivity alone to be equal to $3000 per employee per year equaling an eleven-to-one return on investment.

It’s all in the science.

Practices like meditation and mindfulness activate the healing branch of the nervous system which helps us access our ability to see the big picture, feel compassion and connect on a human level, to get any tough job done.

Seems like arming your employees with practices that develop mindfulness is a no-brainer, right?

To fire up your business and supercharge your team with science-based support, check out my corporate offerings which include team building workshops + offsites, digital courses and 1-on-1 support.

I look forward to helping you fire up your business!

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Why Stress Is Costing Your Company Way More Than You Think https://fordeonfire.com/blog/why-stress-is-costing-your-company-way-more-than-you-think/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=why-stress-is-costing-your-company-way-more-than-you-think Mon, 06 May 2019 16:00:33 +0000 https://fordeonfire.com/?p=2271 The true cost of stress is much more than financial.

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Meeting the wellness needs of employees and fostering a culture of work-life balance is no easy task in our fast-paced world. Modern life has more people experiencing chronic stress than ever before — and we are all feeling the devastating effects.

The American Psychological Association describes chronic stress as “a public health crisis” and the World Health Organization calls stress “the health epidemic of the 21st Century.”

Over 70% of Americans experience physical and/or psychological symptoms associated with stress — and the costs to organizations is hefty.One estimate is that stress and the related illness, absenteeism, and reduced productivity, costs organizations as much as $300 billion a year.

And this is just the beginning.

The true cost of stress to your company is likely much more than financial.

If your workforce is chronically stressed, you could be missing out on the innovative ideas and solutions they would be producing if they were functioning with the full breadth of their internal resources.

Let me explain.

Stress creates a cascade of biochemical events in the body that puts us into survival mode – and this state affects our behavior, how we utilize our internal resources and the quality of our thoughts.

Stress physiology makes us reactive, problem-focused, easily triggered and self-interested – which is great for people in danger, but makes a terrible recipe for creating productive team members.

When the body perceives a threat it activates a fight-or-flight response that down regulates everything nonessential to surviving immediate danger. It’s pretty brilliant. The problem is the body is not discerning about what qualifies as a threat so when we get worked up about something this response is engaged whether we are worked up by a hungry tiger running towards us or a looming project deadline.

In the absence of this understanding and practices that calm the nervous system most people experience things like a full inbox, a new problem at work, an issue in a relationship or the task of coordinating a busy family’s schedule as actual threats to their lives on a physiological and biochemical level.


Alternatively, when stress physiology is in check and the healing branch of the nervous system is engaged we are primed to be healthier, positive, more creative and able to connect with a wider range of people.

Seems like an ideal employee, right?

All of our natural superpowers are down-regulated when our fight-or-flight response is engaged, which is why it is so important to empower your employees with education and practices that soothe the nervous system.

Studies show that implementing mindfulness programs results in huge financial gains for organizations. Beyond improving your bottom line, offering self-care education and teaching practices that develop mindfulness will make your employees healthy, empowered individuals ready to take on challenges in and out of the workplace — and they might just come up with the next world-changing idea as a result.

To fire up your business and supercharge your team with science-based support, check out my corporate offerings which include team building workshops + offsites, digital courses and 1-on-1 coaching.

Stay calm out there!


The post Why Stress Is Costing Your Company Way More Than You Think appeared first on Forde on Fire.

On Again https://fordeonfire.com/blog/o-n-%e2%9e%a2-a-g-a-i-n/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=o-n-%25e2%259e%25a2-a-g-a-i-n Sun, 13 Jan 2019 17:00:34 +0000 https://fordeonfire.com/?p=1463 The similarities between my dating style and meditation practice ;)

The post On Again appeared first on Forde on Fire.


I’m not gonna lie, I’m sort of a fan of on-again-off-again relationships.

I just love first kisses so much and getting to have multiple first kisses with the same person is extra sweet and magical in my experience. It is fresh and exciting but also comfortable and familiar with a dash of “oh yeah, I know how this goes down.”

Know what I’m saying? Anyone else?? Is this just me?

Anyway. This is also how I feel about meditation.

For the most part I meditate every day but sometimes I get pulled out of that routine when things like unexpected life changes happen, I am sick or perhaps distracted by being on-again with an on-again-off-again boyfriend 🙃.

These days I am quick to return to my practice when I get thrown off and every time I get to fall in love all over again.

When I meditate I feel like I am SITTING ON A SECRET. Here is something simple I can do wherever I am in the world that changes the way my brain works, upgrades my beliefs and sets my physiology to thrive mode.

And it’s FREE.

Ummmmmmm…. Helllllllloooooooo????? Why aren’t we taught this in school? Or prescribed it as part of any health treatment plan?

Maybe our financially-incentivized-to-keep-people-sick healthcare and pharmaceutical industries WANT this to be a secret.

I’d like to say sorry in advance to everyone who is making money on keeping our population disconnected and disempowered because part of my mission in life is to DISRUPT THIS PARADIGM.

If you are struggling with a physical or mental health issue, are dissatisfied with the care you are receiving and sense there may be a better way — THERE IS.

Meditation is a great start to reclaiming your natural ability to heal (+ THRIVE in every area of your life). It’s like a gateway drug. It will lead you to all kinds of other world-altering things.

If you have interest in starting a meditation practice and feel intimidated, I GOT YOU.

My online course, Meditation for Rookies and Busy People, is like training wheels. It is not serious or traditional — just simple instruction, motivating science and guided recordings to help get you started.

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Altar Ego: Personality for Your Sacred Space! https://fordeonfire.com/blog/altar-ego-personality-for-your-sacred-space/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=altar-ego-personality-for-your-sacred-space Fri, 11 Jan 2019 19:04:13 +0000 https://fordeonfire.com/?p=1433 The post Altar Ego: Personality for Your Sacred Space! appeared first on Forde on Fire.


I am so excited to announce the launch of my first product line, Altar Ego, which features sustainably made and beautifully designed altar candles!


I was inspired by my own experience of healing through grief to create tools to help people access the healing power of ceremony and ritual in a modern and accessible way. Most cultures recognize that ceremony is healing and ritual is soothing for the soul. The good news is you don’t have to belong to a particular religion or tradition to tap into this magic.
I did not grow up in any religious tradition and for most of my life felt like I was “not allowed” to benefit from things like ceremony or prayer. Discovering yoga opened my mind and heart to the universally healing power of ritual and provided a context for my spirituality. I have since studied and drawn upon multiple spiritual traditions to craft the practices that work best for me to center myself in love and connect with spiritual power. What I have learned throughout this journey is that ceremony and ritual don’t have to be stuffy, boring or prescribed — in fact, they can be quite the opposite.
Whether you feel constricted by the traditions of your childhood, disconnected or downright intimidated by the idea of creating a spiritual practice — I hope my story and these products inspire you to create your own sacred space in whatever way works for you (pssssst –it can be sassy, modern and unique if that’s what you like!).

Why Altar Candles…

Lighting a candle creates a container for spending time in a sacred space and keeping an altar is a great way to incorporate ritual into your life.

An altar can be something as simple as a special corner of a dresser, shelf or bedside table. It’s not about looking any particular way, but rather creating an intentional space of reverence in your home (or on the go!). The items you place on an altar are infused with energy and meaning. Connecting with these items is a way to help your inner sacredness find a home in the physical world. Cool, right?
Each Altar Ego candle has a different theme and contains guidance for using it in ritual. You can light the candle to infuse a room with its energy, recite the related affirmations, follow the instructions for a personal ceremony or create a practice of your own.

Meet the crew…



The Rising candle contains the medicine of the Phoenix and reminds us of our ability to reinvent and renew ourselves over and over, no matter how daunting the circumstances we face. We can always burn everything to the ground and start over. This candle is great for providing an anchor for inspiration in times of challenge, remembering superpowers and celebrating re-birthdays.




There is nothing more universal than our journeys toward wholeness. Healing is what we are all here to do. The Healing candle reminds us that we have been designed for it. Prepared for it. Healing is always happening even when it feels like it is not. This candle is wonderful for providing solace and calling in grace during times of illness, heartache or pain.

Boss Goddess

The patriarchal spell is lifting. Powerful women (and other Goddess-identifying individuals) who know their worth will change and heal the world. The Boss Goddess candle provides strength and motivation for the baddass, change-making, shape-shifting, edge-walking, Healer-Priestess-Goddess-Queens among us. This candle helps activate natural gifts and draws in instruction for using them to serve the Universe and save the world. Boom.


It can be easy to forget that we are surrounded by personalized support in every single moment. But we are. The Guided candle reminds us of this and opens our senses to noticing the signs leading us to our next move.  This is good as an everyday reminder or for strengthening faith in times of uncertainty and change.


Oh goodness. If we even understood a fraction of how loved we are we would never worry about anything ever again. The Loved candle reminds us what we are made of and why being deeply loved is our birthright. There is nothing we could do that would diminish the amount of love that is trying to flood our lives, but a whole lot we can do to get better at letting it in. This candle realigns us with our true nature. This is supportive for daily life and healing in times of heartache or sorrow.

Memorial Altar Candles

Loss is a doozy. Even though it is a universal and unavoidable part of the human journey, most of us feel completely isolated when it happens to us and not confident in supporting someone we love when it happens to them. Creating an altar space for a lost loved one or pet can be extremely comforting and healing. Lighting a memorial altar candle is a nice marker for spending time in this space.

In Memory

The In Memory candle serves as a physical anchor for the energy of a lost loved one and provides guidance in navigating grief. This can be a powerful tool for your own journey or a very thoughtful gift for someone you care about.

Soul Dog

Losing a sacred animal companion is uniquely painful. The Soul Dog candle provides guidance in celebrating the special life of a dog and healing the grief that comes with the loss of their form. This is a wonderful gift for anyone who has lost a beloved dog.

Website ordering is coming soon!

For now, you can email me (melissa@fordeonfire.com), use the contact form below or send me a DM on social media to place an order.


Candles are $22/each.

$8 flat shipping and free shipping for orders of 3 candles or more.



The post Altar Ego: Personality for Your Sacred Space! appeared first on Forde on Fire.