Mel Stahl, Joyologist

We all have a story…

My journey has taken me from success in business to total burnout to passion, joy and happiness.

I had given too much of myself away and I was lost. Luckily, Nia found me in 2007. I was the owner of a very busy graphic design firm, as well as a wife, and a mother of a baby and a 3-year-old. I didn’t stop go-go-going. Ever. Not even when the kids were born. I worked 12-16 hour days for years. I was about 60 pounds overweight, suffering from chronic fatigue, adrenal burnout, candida, and a sinus infection that I swear lasted about two years. Eventually my body said enough was enough and it shut down. I should have seen it coming…

The Nia story

So there I was in this Nia class and wondering what in the world I had gotten myself into. I was instantly intrigued that we were going to exercise barefoot and the music was great! We moved in ways I don’t think I ever have. I laughed most of the time and wasn’t getting any of it “right” but I didn’t care. I was having fun and getting my sweat on!

By the end of class we were all laying on the floor, and it was a good thing. I was wiped out! The music was lovely and the teacher’s voice was even lovelier. It was in that moment that I realized I could just be me. ME! For one frickin’ hour. I didn’t have to be mom, wife, business owner, sister, best friend. Just me! Tears started to roll down my face and that was it. I was hooked on Nia and I wanted more. I jumped into a White Belt training and loved it so much that I continued on to Green Belt, Blue Belt, Brown Belt and Black Belt. More about Nia here.

So, here I am 12 years later. Loving Nia more than ever and teaching my Lovelies at the YMCA and other great studios! Kick your shoes off and join me! Click here to see my class schedule.

The coaching story

The problem was, even though I had found Nia, I was still burned out. The years following, my weight had gone up and down, I had lost 3 very close family members within 6 months, and my health and energy were still iffy. I sought out many experts to help me get back on track. A functional medicine doc, a life coach, a great massage therapist, an acupuncturist, and many others. That part of the story is much longer but with the support of all these experts, my husband, Jon, our kids, my Nia Lovelies, and tons of books and trainings, I made some big changes. Thank goodness I realized I couldn’t do it all on my own. One of my teachers along the way was Dawn Breslin, who created Harmonizing.

Dawn was focusing in the area of burnout, which I was drawn to and understood very well myself. After a 45-minute conversation that sounded like I was talking to myself with a Scottish accent, I was in! So, for the fifth time in 18 months, I was back in the UK in Edinburgh, Scotland to do her coach training. Dawn is a beautiful soul, dynamic, grounded and one of the most loving people I have ever met.

This was the missing piece of the puzzle for me. Not only for myself but for others I wanted to help. I knew there had to be a more gentle, heart-led approach to coaching vs. the set-goals-make-a-plan-and-I’ll-hold-you-accountable ways of traditional coaching. The last thing someone in burnout needs is a coach stressing them out!

Which brings me to today. I am coaching, teaching lots of Nia, sharing my passions in special events, creating retreats in beautiful locations, doing freelance graphic design (I just love it too much to give it up) and changing my hair color all the time (as you can see!). I also plan to open a Nia studio in the future. It’s been a wild ride but I made it and now I have the tools to deal with the curve balls life will surely throw at me. And I have the tools to help you too. Meet me over here for more details. This is just the beginning of a life full of joy. I hope you’ll join me.