Melissa Miller, Independent Licensed Ishtara Teacher
My body had the answers. I learned how to listen.
I longed to dance from the time I could walk and eventually my young love of dance transformed into a love of all theater and performance. I have been a professional actor on stage, television, and film for over twenty years.
When I was young, dancing felt like flying; it felt like freedom. Theater was home, a sanctuary, but as I entered the professional world, it also became a place for me to disappear. I had found a very clever way to hide in plain sight. Growing up, I was deeply sensitive and quite shy. The only time I felt truly safe to be seen, was on stage. What began as a joy and an outlet for expression in my youth, over time, transformed into a perpetual need for achievement and validation. I traded trust in myself for the security of escape. I looked to others for direction and permission, asking them who I should be and how my life should look. I didn’t know how to listen to myself because I had been trained to listen to everyone else.
Amidst this journey, I became a constant seeker. There was a hungry ghost inside me who never felt full. I was always chasing something - a deeper purpose. I was often told I was too sensitive and was advised to get a thicker skin. I thought my emotions would drown me, and sometimes it felt like they did. I suffered from anxiety, crippling depression, and depended on anti-depressants for many, many years.
Up until the pandemic, I thought I had tried it all: therapy, meditation, every self-help program or personal development book on the shelf- in addition to classes in philosophy and psychology. The unexpected collective turmoil of the last few years, however, gave me something I had never before experienced: stillness and time. As I slowed down, it became clear that I had been living in a constant state of alert and survival. I was fumbling around in the dark and moving about the world by pushing, needing, grasping and hustling for worthiness and approval.
I am forever grateful that I found mentors, teachers and coaches who helped me see myself and held up a sacred mirror of possibility. Each one paved the way to the next, which ultimately led me to the practice of Ishtara. With the Ishtara Method, I learned how to feel safe in my body and in community. Everything began to unlock, realign and make sense in a tangible, direct way. I learned how to regulate my nervous system more effectively, increase my capacity to feel, thereby allowing me to experience myself in my wholeness for the first time. I learned how to rewire the long held stories in my body that were blocking me from living in my fullest expression. This then led me to re-discover my sensitivity and emotions - as gifts for me and, hopefully, a way healing for others. I now live in the home of my body fully, without apology and, most importantly, no longer needing permission from anyone but myself. And I deeply desire this for you!
Returning to my body has renewed my passions and given me access to my creativity in new authentic ways. I am now also devoted to helping others as a teacher and guide. I will walk this familiar darkness with you and help you find the elusive, though ever present, light. Through this movement practice, we will learn to dance with the dark, the light, and everything that lies between. My body had the answers to my questions all along, as does yours! I would be so honored to support you on your journey - back home to yourself!