Big Being of Acceptance

Not sure what happened today but while I was meditating I turned into a big being of acceptance. I mean a really, big, being of acceptance. Like I turned into the whole universe sort of big.

I was mediating and sort of minding my own business when it happened. Well, I guess in the back ground I was thinking about how flawed all of us humans are and that if we are to get along with each other at all we are going to have to accept that each of us is deeply wounded in one way or another. (I was talking to myself, I guess, in the middle of this meditation).

And then it happened. I became big. I became the universe, and I was filled with a deep, deep acceptance and this acceptance filled the whole universe. And then this acceptance went to my parents and filled them with acceptance and I saw that I could fill them with this acceptance and it would help there relationship. And then it went to my flawed friends (we are all flawed) and it filled and soothed them and then it went to my clients and everyone in my universe was filled with acceptance and was soothed.

For a moment in time, I was larger than life, breathing acceptance into all my children.

And then the experience slowly retracted and I was back to myself.

But a little different.

A psychic once told me that I held too high a standard in relationships and that I wanted a perfection that didn’t exist. As I get older, I’m slowly learning that there is no perfect relationship and part of my job is to deeply accept and allow all that is showing up in my world. It’s not my job to change it. It’s my job to accept it and my acceptance acts as a healing balm going out into the world and soothing the masses. My acceptance helps to heal all the imbalances that present in my day.

I’m not sure that I fully understand this yet or can articulate it all that well. But this seems to be part of my New Years message and learning.

As i reflect, these questions come to mind:

How much acceptance can you breath into your universe?

How deeply can you accept all these deeply flawed human beings that show up at your doorstep?

Can you be a soothing balm that helps to heal the fractured masses?

I saw today that acceptance soothes and heals all that it touches.

I don’t want to argue today.

Today, I offer you my deep acceptance. I may do it imperfectly. But I will keep working on it.

The world is in turmoil and on fire.

Perhaps it is our acceptance that starts to turn the tide in a new direction.

What happens when we accept what is unacceptable?

Does the unacceptable get louder or does it begin to calm down?

What happens when we accept what is unacceptable?

Do we become passive or does our lack of reaction create a deep clarity about how to best proceed?

Allow this to be your experiment today, if you feel so inspired.

Breath a deep acceptance into your universe. Accept everything that arises. Welcome all the flawed players in your universe (you don’t have to invite them all to dinner, btw!) Just allow them to be as they are: broken, damaged, wounded, brilliant, insightful, caring, mangled, and clueless, shining clarity, etc..etc.. Let it all be and offer a deep acceptance to all.

Be aware of what shows up differently as you show up differently.

By the way, when I turned into a big being of acceptance today. My acceptance went out to all of you too. I hope you felt it.

Happy New Year.

Hayley Mermelstein


Will you still be my friend if I tell you the truth?

Can you handle the truth?

Will you risk your truth with me?

Will you be an open book?

How much honesty can you take?

How much honesty can you give?

How much do you value the truth?

Or do you prefer a lie?

What is it you want from your relationships?

Do you want honesty?

Do you want a soft place to fall?

Do you want truth or

Do you prefer sugarcoating?

What is it that you want to receive in relationship?

And what is it that you want to give?

How much honesty can you bring to the table?

How much compassion?

How much kindness?

Can you be filled with compassion and deeply honest
all at the same time?

How deeply will you ponder these questions?

As for me:

I want your truth and I want your honesty and
I want your compassion.

Will you still be my friend if I tell you the truth?
Is it a sign of weakness that I even ask?

~Hayley Mermelstein

Even Though

Even Though.

Even though you have made many mistakes.
I love you anyway.

Even though you have said yes, when you should have said no.
I love you anyway.

Even though you said no, when you should have said yes.
I love you anyway.

Even though you feel resentment when you want to feel compassion.
I love you anyway.

Even though you feel uncertain when you want to feel certainty.
I love you anyway.

Even though you wake up anxious some days.
I love you anyway.

Even though you feel hate sometimes.
I love you anyway.

Even though you thought you were right but you were wrong.
I love you anyway.

Even though you said the wrong thing.
I love you anyway.

Even though you wanted to speak up and you didn’t.
I love you anyway.

Even though you wanted to save more money but didn’t know how.
I love you anyway.

Even though you are a late bloomer.
I love you anyway.

Even though you are an adult but feel like a child sometimes.
I love you anyway.

Even though there is a place of great power in you and sometimes you hide it.

I love you anyway.

Even though you are imperfect, flawed, wounded and lost somedays.
I love you anyway.

Can you love all parts of yourself?

Can you love the hatred?
Can you love the betrayal?
Can you love the mistakes?

Can you love the lack of acceptance?
Can you love the lack of love?

Can you love all of you?

This is what is being asked of you today.

Love all of you.
Just the way you are.

No need to change to be loved.
No need to be perfect.

Show up to the dance as you.






Let all of you be welcome today.
Dance with it all.

Nothing to hide.
Nothing to protect.

No where to go.



It is when you can love all of you that you will begin to heal.

When you suppress that which you don’t like it festers like an open wound beneath the surface.

And so love all of you.
Even the parts that don’t know how to love.
For however long it takes.

To sooth your soul.

Love all of you.
For however long it takes.

To heal.

Love all of you.
For however long it takes

To find the peace that you desire.

Love all of you.
For however long it takes

And become a beacon of light and love.

Love all of you.
For however long it takes

And become the real you.

Imperfect, flawed, wounded.
Beautiful, powerful, wise, whole.


Perfectly, imperfect.

~Hayley Mermelstein

When we feel rejected.

I was talking to a friend recently who was feeling rejected at every turn. The path he was trying to take just wasn’t opening up. I shared with my friend the wise words that a teacher once shared with me: Sometimes, rejection is the universe telling us that we are going in the wrong direction.

My friend stopped in his tracks. Suddenly he had a major shift in his thinking. Maybe he wasn’t being rejected (i.e. shown all the ways he wasn’t good enough and not measuring up)maybe, just maybe he was being rerouted.

In my friends case he had been unhappy for quite a while in his current situation and had been contemplating a change but had lacked the courage and conviction to make such a change (hey, happens to the best of us, we get comfortable where we are and who wants to change anyway.). Maybe, just maybe life has a better, more satisfying path for my friend and it is through being rejected at his current situation that life is nudging him (or forcing him) to make the change he has resisted.

Anyway, this story is a good reminder to all of us that one of the ways that life moves us forward is through rejection.

Where in your life are you feeling a feeling of rejection? What is life trying to tell you? Are you being rejected or is life simply letting you know that you are trying to open a door that is no longer right for you?

Of course, there are also stories of great poets or authors who were rejected 500 times before the right publisher came along and in those cases being persistent was the key to there success. But even in those cases, rejection was rerouting them to the publishing company that was ultimately right for them.

It is only through deep listening that we will know the right path to take. It is only through deep listening that we will know when to walk away and when to be patient and wait for the right present itself.

So take some time this weekend and listen deeply (not analysis or think to death). But listen deeply to what life is trying to tell you. Life gives us signs and messages if we are listening and one of the ways that life talks to us is through rejection.

Next time you are feeling rejected ask: What is life trying to tell me? And then listen deeply for the answer.

And remember that sometimes: Rejection is the universe telling us that we are moving in the wrong direction.

When we see life in this way we tend not to feel not good enough or hurt but rather that we are being rerouted to the place that we are most meant to be on at this time.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Also, we are having our group healing on Monday, November 18th from 7-8:30 at 800 Main Street, Amherst, Ma (middle door in the front of the building). The cost is $15.

Hope you can join us for a wonderful evening of healing, and meditation, and community and fun!

We also have our weekly meditation group on Thursday evenings from 7-9 at 800 Main Street, Amherst, Ma. The cost is $20.

Both groups are drop in and are a wonderful way to explore topics that I write about in a deeper way.

Feel free to stop by or for more information email me or call the office at 413 253 7978l

I look forward to seeing you soon!


Hayley Mermelstein

What if?

I was doing some cleaning this morning and these words started echoing in my head. I thought I would share them here because they are a great reminder that sometimes our greatest challenges are also our greatest gifts.

What if?

What if this is a big gift?

What if you let go of all external strvings and sought to refine your own character?

What if you decided to welcome this as your greatest teacher?

What if you saw this as good instead of bad?

What if you let go of your worries and allowed the universe to take care of you?

What if you attended to yourself, your healing, and your inner development?

What if your lowest moment was your greatest gift?

What if?

What if despite appearances to the contrary you are a chosen one. Chosen to sit in the fire of discomfort until all impurities are burned away?

What if this is happening for your highest good?

What if after the fire is over you will emerge as a sparking diamond?

What if your greatest challenge is your greatest gift?

Appreciate the person you are becoming.
Appreciate the flood.
Appreciate the fire.
Appreciate the journey on sunny days and rainy days.
Appreciate the process and be curious about where it will lead.

You have chosen the road less traveled.

Welcome the journey.
And ask: What if?

Think it. Feel it. Say it

I was clearing up a minor misunderstanding with a friend this morning. My friend really appreciated my call and my desire to keep things “clear” between us and ended our conversation by saying: “Please call me anytime something comes up or is bothering you at all. I really appreciate open communication. I am a think it, feel it, say it sort of person.

Her words reverberated in my head: Think it. Feel it. Say it.

Now, I through out my life have not been a think it, feel it, say it person.

I have been more of a think it, question it, doubt it, suppress it, get a headache sort of person. But I’m recovering and learning.

I’m learning to be more expressive. Learning to say what is on my mind. Learning to be more transparent.

This does not always come naturally for me. I am undoing perhaps lifetimes of not saying what is really on my mind and so for me it is a process of learning to express more and say what I’m feeling so it doesn’t get buried and perhaps do harm to my own body or my relationships.

Now think it, feel it, say it could of course lead to some problems. For people without a filter or without a sense of appropriate timing this could run amok. Also, there are times where it is simply best to keep our perceptions and awareness to ourselves. But for people with some diplomacy and social graces (and when the timing is right)perhaps this is something to ponder.

What might it be like to express more? What might it be like to say more of what is really on your mind? What might it be like to be more transparent?

We live in a world where many fear criticism and take it as meaning that they are all bad, which can make honest communication more difficult. But still, none the less, what might it be like to model a more honest and expressive way of being?

This is what I’m pondering this morning and will be experimenting with in the days and weeks ahead.

For now I’ll leave us all with an affirmation that might help us find the deepest, purest, most genuine expression that we have to offer.


I am fully expressive.
I am fully expressive.

I express myself fully and deeply.
I express myself fully and genuinely.

I am genuine.
I am myself.

I am kind.
I am compassionate.

I am real.
I am direct.

I say what is mine to say.

I am free to be me.
I am free to be me.

I am fully expressive.
I am fully expressive.
I am fully expressive.

A teacher of mine once said that we all have a key. Something that if we were to master would unlock the door to our deepest growth and development. Her key was patience. As she learned a deeper patience her growth and development was stimulate. She clairvoyantly looked into me and said that my key was full expression. I was here to learn to be fully expressive. It is the key to my growth and development.

So, here is to thinking it, feeling it and saying.

It’s been a long journey. And I’ve got a ways to go. But I am learning.

Blessings to all.

And may we each find our key and evolve into who we are most meant to be.


Hayley Mermelstein

P.S. Next Group Healing is happening Monday, August 19th at 7 p.m at 800 Main Street, Amherst , Ma (middle door in the front of the building.) Cost: $15.00

Look forward to seeing you there

Perfectly Imperfect

 Let us, therefore, learn to pass from one imperfect activity to another without worrying too much about what we are missing. ~Thomas Merton


I was sitting with a client and she was letting me know how great our last session was.  How I said just the right things, the healing was marvelous, she had profound insights on the way home, etc..etc..  I felt satisfied and complete for all of about thirty seconds.  And then the conversation continued and she said something and I said something and she said something and I said something and then I suddenly I realized that I had just said the wrong thing and instantly my moment of perfection was over.  I was back in the real world of learning to pass from one imperfect activity to the next

I think in private practice (I’m an acupuncturist) and perhaps in life in general we must, in the words of Thomas Merton, learn to pass from one imperfect activity to the next.  Its hard to say just the right thing all day, its hard to choose just the right points all the time, it’s hard to get the timing just right, its hard to be perfect.  Perhaps in the spiritual plane there is perfection, but here in the human world there is trial and error, rupture and repair, excellence and then falling short.  Sometimes I wish that wasn’t the truth.  But alas, I’m pretty sure it is.

I regretted saying the wrong thing to my client. (it wasn’t a big faux pas, just a minor, shoot, I wish I didn’t just say that sort of thing.)  I like when I’m wise and insightful and tuned in and say and do all the right things.  But, here on the human plane that sort of perfection just isn’t sustainable.

And so for now I must learn to be content moving from one imperfect situation to the next.  Sometimes being the wise and insightful healer, sometimes being the novice who says the wrong thing at the wrong time and stumbles about.  Sometimes I am the one who can listen deeply and listen to understand and say and write just the right things at just the right time, and sometimes I forget to listen and speak to soon, get opinionated, say the wrong thing, and listen to simply reply.

We are all a work in progress and the sooner we accept that both for ourselves and others the more peace we will find on this planet.  We will often make the same mistakes over and over again, and yet still,, once again, in the words of Thomas Merton, the repeated experience has value.

And so perhaps this week we can learn to let ourselves and others a little off the hook.  Perhaps we can allow ourselves to be works in progress who are aspiring to be our best while at the same time understanding that we will stumble many times through out the day.  Perhaps we can extend this same grace to those around us.  Learning to give them space to be a work in progress as well.

In the spiritual realm perhaps thee is perfection, here in the human plane, it gets messy.

And so I write this for you, and I write this for me.

A plate of compassion all around as we learn to nurture our strengths and embrace our imperfections and learn to pass from one imperfect activity to the next.

For now  I’ll leave you with my all time favorite quote from Thomas Merton’s book No Man is an Island.  Perhaps it’s the theme song for my life:

“Let us, therefore, learn to pass from one imperfect activity to another without worrying too much about what we are missing. It is true that we make many mistakes. But the biggest of them all is to be surprised at them: as if we had some hope of never making any.

“Mistakes are a part of our life, and not the least important part.  I f we are humble, and if we believe in the Providence of God, we will see that our mistakes are not merely a necessary evil, something we must lament and count as lost: they enter into the very structure of our existence.  It is by making mistakes that we gain experience, not only for ourselves but for others .  And though our experience prevents neither ourselves nor others from making the same mistake many times, the repeated experience still has a positive value.”

Hayley Mermelstein

Assertiveness is my superpower

Assertiveness is my superpower. Well, actually, that is not true. I just wish assertiveness was my superpower. But in the sixth grade I was voted the nicest person in the entire school. And n the third grade I got some award for being the best civilian in my entire class.

Do you know what that means?

Assertiveness was definitely not my superpower. (Because usually super nice people are busy squashing their own needs because they don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.)

In my defense I will say that perhaps my superpowers are kindness and compassion and understanding and intuition and depth and caring and an absolute love of learning. All very important attributes that allows me to be the healer that I am.

But you know, just today, I saw a post on facebook where a friend of mine announced that assertiveness was her superpower and it got me thinking: What would it be like to have assertiveness be my superpower?

I started to daydream and found myself pretending I was my friend and that assertiveness really was really my superpower. I mean kindness and compassion are nice and everything, but honestly I am getting a little bored with myself and tired of always being the kind, understanding one. Perhaps I could mix it up a bit, I thought to myself, and develop a new superpower.

So, I think for today I am going to pretend that assertiveness is my new found superpower. I am going to pretend that I woke up with a new personality and that personality has some assertiveness to it. I am going to embody a new attitude. This new persona values herself enough to demand a certain standard of behavior from those who want to be in her life. This new persona charges what she is worth and doesn’t apologize for it. This new persona does not put up with so much bullshit. This new persona is genuine and real. And this new persona definitely will not be voted the nicest person in her class

Now, of course, I still value compassion and kindness and understanding. That goes without saying. But how much more powerful would that kindness and caring be if it was coupled with assertiveness and strength?

I will let you know once I find out!
For now, you may want to consider what is your current superpower and what is the superpower you wish you had?

You may want to experiment with trying on a new persona and see what shows up differently in your life, when you show up differently.

I’ll be doing this experiment right along with you….I’ll keep you posted.

Hayley Mermelstein

p.s. And if you would like to join with others in the spirit of community and healing and transformation, we will be having our group healing at 800 Main street, Monday May 13, from 7-8:30 at 800 main Street in Amherst. The class is drop in and all are welcome. The cost is $15.00 Hope to see you there!

Time to Rest

I remember reading a book in college that talked about the Sabbath. It said as most of know, that every seventh day was to be a day of rest.  What most of us don’t know is that it also went on to say that every seventh week was to be a week of rest, every seventh month a month of rest and every seventh year was to be a year of rest (hence the sabbatical).  I remember when I read about the Sabbath and this cycle of rest and repair that it made a lot of sense to me.  When I first started working I was mindful to make every seventh day a day of rest and even every seventh week a week of rest.  As time went on and life got more busy I veered from that path, but these days I find myself reflecting on what I read way back then and desiring to re-implement some of that wisdom into my life now.

These days we live in a culture that values productivity, accomplishment and general busyness.  I remember reading an article last year about how our culture glorifies busy.  in fact, when you ask someone how they are a common response is:  BUSY.  As a culture we have lost the fine art of rest, reflection, and time for self.  Everyone is too busy to rest and reflect.

In my work as an acupuncturist I see one of my main jobs is to give people permission to rest.  So often that which our bodies need is some time for rest and reflection.  Because we live in a culture that doesn’t value these things people often feel guilty “doing nothing” or taking time for themselves or taking time to rest.

But what if what we really need to heal, repair and feel satisfied in our lives is time to slow down and time to reflect?  What if the schedule of rest referred to in the book I was reading was accurate?  What if every seventh day was a day of rest, every seventh week a week of rest, every seventh month a month of rest and every seventh year a year of rest.  How might the quality of our lives change?

Now, I realize that in our modern world taking a year or even a month off might be unrealistic but perhaps we all could get better at taking some time for ourselves, taking time to slow down, and taking more time for contemplation and rejuvenation.

Perhaps if we are not ready to give ourselves more scheduled time off we could start with giving ourselves more permission to take a nap   I read somewhere that Albert Einstein took three naps a day.  I am guessing that 3 naps a day allowed his brain to function at its best and allowed insight and creativity to explode in him.  What might we accomplish if we allowed ourselves to rest more and take a nap now and then?

My Shiatsu teacher was particularly inspiring in this regard and really taught me about the value of giving myself time to reflect, rest and rejuvenate in a culture that doesn’t value these things.  It is something that has stayed with me all these years.

And so, even if you can’t take a month or a year off or even a week off, perhaps you could give yourself more permission to rest.  Perhaps we could all give ourselves more permission to take it slow sometimes, to nap, to rest, to rejuvenate and just be.  We live in a culture that values the more masculine attributes of productivity, drive, contribution and ambition.  And while these are admirable traits for all of us they become out of balance when not coupled with the more traditionally feminine attributes of rest, quietude, nurtance, and beingness.  We all need a balance of the masculine and feminine regardless of our gender.  We all need discipline and drive but we also need time for reflection and rest and beingness.  Of course, the balance will look different for each one of us depending on the stage of life we are in and our life purpose.  And so we can each learn to listen deeply within and find the balance that suites our individual life path.

For now, above all else. I would like to give you permission to rest.  I would like to give you permission to take a nap from time to time.   And I would like to give you permission to just be for a while.  Put your worldly ambition aside for a time and see what bubbles up inside of you when you give yourself some space.

And of course, you don’t need my permission for anything.  But because we live in a culture that so values busyness, I think it can be reassuring to remember that it is okay to take it slow sometimes, it is okay to rest, and it is okay to just be for a while.

So give yourself a day of rest from time to time, and perhaps a week of rest now and then.  Listen deeply and see what feels right for you.  Take the idea of balancing the yin and the yang and see how it fits into your life.

And hey, if three naps a day worked for Albert Einstein, who knows what a little rest might do for us!

Hayley Mermelstein

p.s. And if you would like to join with others in the spirit of community and healing and transformation, we will be having our group healing at 800 Main street, this Monday, April 15 from 7-8:30 at 800 main Street in Amherst.  The class is drop in and all are welcome.  The cost is $15.00 Hope to see you there!


Just Getting Started

Note to self: You are not too old and it’s not too late. ~Facebook

A number of years ago I got into a conversation with a client that I reflect upon frequently. My client told me about her father, a famous songwriter, who was still writing songs professionally in his 90’s . She also told he had a number of friends in his 90’s  who were still very active and pursuing their creativity and art. In fact, my client’s father said that he felt like he was just getting started and that many of his fellow 90-year-old friends felt the same way.

The line: He told me that he felt like he was just getting started reverberated in my head when I heard it, for I could relate to the feeling. I, myself, was about 48 at the time and felt like I was just getting started. It struck me that perhaps I would feel that way my whole life. At each chapter I might feel like I had finally learned enough to really get started.

I loved this story because it gave me the feeling of having time. I remember a friend telling me years ago that the ages of 35 – 55 are  generally the most productive years  but what if she was wrong. What if that is true for some, but not for others?

What if many of us are just getting started in our 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and yes even 80’s and 90’s? When I am able to reframe my life in that way, a part of me relaxes and a feeling of being timeless comes over me. I have time to create, I have time to explore, I have time to learn and grow. And regardless of the actual number of years I have left on this planet its reassuring to approach life with this feeling.

I also reflect, as I’m writing, on a talk I heard by a man named Joel Goldsmith, founder of the  The Infinite Way. He believed that many people come into there prime in their 70’s and 80’s not their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. as is promoted in our culture. He said that it is in our 70’s and 80’s that many of us have acquired the wisdom to really be able to contribute in a deeper way.

Perhaps each one of us is simply on our own time frame and each one of us blooms in our own way and in our own time. Perhaps some bloom early, some bloom late and perhaps some don’t bloom at all because that is not the type of plant they are. Perhaps we really can’t compare ourselves to each other because each is moving through life in their own time in their own way.

I remember reading that Steve Jobs had a strong intuition from an early age that he would not be on this planet for long and so he had a compelling urge to produce and contribute early in his life. On the other hand, Louise Hay struggled for many years before starting her now famous publishing company Hay House when she was 65 years old. I guess we are really all different and on different time frames.

And of course, not everyone has come to this planet to create art of to start a computer company. Some have come to be mothers and fathers, and some have come to spread joy or bring compassion to this planet. Everyone’s contribution is different. For some their contribution is related to their work and for some its related to a role they may play in life and for others it is related to a quality they are learning to bring to earth ( for some people its not about what they do, but how they do what they do.)

So whether you have come to this earth to be creative, be a parent, or bring greater love and compassion to all, I have a message for you.  (i saw it on facebook, so it must be true!)

It’s not too late and your not to old.

You have time.

And even if you are at the very end of your life, and you feel that you are running out of time, perhaps you too are just getting started on your next adventure through the cosmos.

Perhaps we really are all just getting started no matter where we are at.  And so we call remind ourselves frequently:  It’s not too late and I’m not to old.  I have time.

And just perhaps, we can all relax a little bit because we just might have all of eternity to figure this thing called life out.

Hayley Mermelstein

P.S. There is a theory that the only person we are ever talking to is ourselves. When I write I always feel I am talking to myself and reminding myself of what I most need to hear.

P.S.S. And if you would like to join with others in the spirit of community and healing and transformation, we will be having our group healing at 800 Main street, this Monday, April 15 from 7-8:30 at 800 main Street in Amherst.  The class is drop in and all are welcome.  Hope to see you there!