Melissa Bernstein and The Inspirational Journey Of Lifelines
From the creative child who wrote poetry while most were beginning to walk to the co-founder of one of the most beloved toy companies in the world, Melissa Bernstein has a life commitment to create, inspire and imagine. However at fifty years young, Melissa went on a journey of self discovery, realizing that things were not as they seem. If you are a parent that ever felt like they did not belong in this world, this story may change your life.
Melissa Bernstein: The Beginning
As a young child, Melissa felt like she did not know why she was here. As a baby, her mother recounted that she would cry often. It was not a colicky cry or the typical cries parents know so well, but a different one. This story defined the beginning of Melissa’s journey. Melissa spent her young life wondering why she is here and what the meaning of life is. She was looking for answers but did not want to share the “deep state of futility with with the world.” Rather, she immersed herself in verses that she had collected since she was a young child. They amassed to about 3500 small but poignant verses where they were kept in the dark for decades.
Melissa and her then boyfriend (now husband) Doug went on to create Melissa and Doug in their early twenties. They wanted to create toys for children with meaning. Over the next few decades, this business amassed to a half billion dollars, More importantly, the toys are loved by families all over the world.
Melissa and Doug toys are trusted by parents and enjoyed by families. Melissa and Doug had a family and raised six wonderful children together. Though happiness and success were all around them, the thoughts of not knowing who she really is began to consume her.
Acknowledging Existential Depression
Melissa began to realize that the feelings of darkness and despair and wonder was a part of an exisetential depression. Everything had to be social media worthy, nothing dark can be shown. If you are feeling bad, you have to fix it, fast. Melissa was tired of the facade of being the perfect wife, business owner and Mother. It was okay to be yourself. But a long journey was ahead. Though she tried to resist, it was a hypocrisy. There was no denying reality and pretending to be something.
The days of achievement, perfection and pleasing were over. There was no need for validation and to be anchored to achievement. Evidently, Melissa was exhausted. The dam had broken and Melissa decided to acknowledge her pain. As she states, pain plus resistance equals suffering. At this time, Melissa sought out a trained professional. It was time for a existential change and it was time for an environmental change.
Taking The Walk to A Life Line
Exhausted and knowing that change was here, Melissa dug deep and learned that she had to address her challenges head on. She reflected on childhood, and admitted that she too is imperfect and to ask for help and needed help.
As a parent, she loves being a Mother. However, the parenting journey was challenging and arduous.Motherhood has to be perfect in the eyes of many. However, especially in these times, everyone feels like they are distraught. That, in fact, is normal.
When the children were teenagers and having regular teenaged thoughts of angst, anger and questioning the world around them, Melissa could not relate to their unsettledness. As Mothers we are taught to fix and fast! However, allowing a child to feel their unsettledness was new to Melissa. Initially, the anctedote was to allow them to suppress and fix the problem. Melissa knew that sometimes, it’s okay to just wallow in your feelings. Melissa was learning to allow others to “dignify those feelings.” But first, she had to do it herself.
As Melissa was reborn into her true self, she knew that others were “engaged in a futile race” of life. Melissa believed that her experience could help others. she pulled out her verses and put together a beautiful book, LifeLines.
Your Life Will Change With LifeLines
LifeLines was created with the lifetime collection of verses to provide an inspirational journey from profound darkness to radiant light. Melissa’s journey was to let other people who were feeling alone, or those who wanted to end it all have a space to know that they are indeed not alone. Moreover, they can begin a journey to connect to themselves and seek their true selves. The dedication of this book speaks for itself:
To Those Soul Who took their lives
Convinced the world would never care
And the ones who keep on fighting
For a pathway through despair.
LifeLines speaks about the triumph over anxiety, depression and ultimate despair. This story will help others find their inner peace.
Then the letters came in. People praising the verses and the interview done by Melissa, but they wanted more. Melissa had found her way out of despair, but those who were inspired, needed tools. Melissa and Doug created The LifeLines website.
The LifeLines Website and Movement
Lifelines website is about seasons. Melissa wants people to know that it is a gift to be on this Earth. For a person who loves the gift of metaphor, Melissa asks her “seekers” to join her on a hike. Beginning the hike, Melissa brings a serene and beautiful introduction to the first day of the rest of your life.
Lifelines provides a peer to peer support for those who are in darkness. This is completely free and facilitated by Melissa and Doug. It is time for a global shift into mental wellness. LifeLines has a community meet up, a store, and a well outlined “hike” that you can take to help you to discover yourself. The journey can be done at your pace and will not be the immediate fix that other groups offer. This is about a lifeline of healing.
Nature always speaks to Melissa. It is a natural, essential lifeline for her and millions of people around the world. The Lifelines website has a wonderfully calming nature background. Melissa has dedicated helping others to make this her lives work. She has received an outpour of letters of support, love and those seeking help. She is dedicated to helping others channel their darkness into light. Give yourself the gift and put one foot in front of the other. At your pace.
For The Light Workers – A Space of Pace
For the light workers, those who want to do good in a world that seems dark, Melissa has a strong message. Log into one of her workshops. Participation is never mandatory. Turn off your screen and just listen.
For those who want to make change but are afraid, do log into one of Melissa’s workshops. You can be one of her secret seekers. Put the screen dark and take a baby step and just listen. Your privacy is paramount and there are so many nuggets of wisdom. Salvation, to Melissa can be found. Just make a choice to choose yourself. Putting one foot in front of the other at your pace is integral. Your existential path is choosing yourself. Make meaning on what some consider simple things like getting out of bed. Lose the judgement about yourself and do. For some, this will be writing the novel they always wanted. For others, it will be taking a shower today. It is your path.
Choose Your Design
Melissa is someone who radiates joy. If we could sum up Melissa’s journey for you, it would be to take the path, The beginning of your existential path is to choose your natural, authentic design , rather than utter despair. Take a baby step and grab a hold of your lifeline.
*Special thank you to Melissa Bernstein for a lovely interview.