Meet our first ‘With Intent’ contributor, founder of Melis, Melissa Italiano.
So excited to launch this blog ‘With Intent’. I’m a mother of two, former global marketer, avid student of energy medicine and aromatherapy kinesiology, yogi and lover of all things natural. Growing up on a farm in Western Australia’s South West certainly provided an “idealistic” childhood with lush green paddocks to roam, horses and an appreciation of mother nature. It’s no wonder I have recently relocated to the beautiful Margaret River region in search of the same simplicity and country-style upbringing for my young children.
I thought it apt to answer the questions I will be asking of my guests and to explain my journey to living with greater intent and truth. I hope you connect with my story and allow me to take you on a journey ‘With Intent’.
The English dictionary describes Intent as “purpose” or “giving all your intention to something.” What does intent mean to you?
It’s my thoughts, actions and desires. I recognise that energy moves through intent and I create through my intentions.
Why do you think intent is important?
Through my life experiences and recent energy medicine study I’ve learnt that one’s intention is very powerful. If we think positively, consciously choose our life’s path and desires, and then take steps towards making these intentions a reality, life can be truly amazing. It wasn’t enough for me to just have the desire to create a beautiful range of natural perfumes. I had to recite this intention often, imagine what it would feel like and then take-action. Initially it was baby steps and then eventually the energy culminated and the snowball was in full motion. Now, here I am today launching a dream! Intent can make your dreams a reality. We are the creators of our own destiny and it all starts with intent.
How do you live with intent on a daily basis?
It has taken a lot of personal development and internal work to get myself to this place in my life where I can say I am living with intent. In fact, launching Melis is proof that my intentions are being realised.
It has been a dream for a very long time. I recall my vision board back in 2008, when I returned from living in America and was starting a new life back In Perth, Western Australia, featured a picture of a product that was to be my own brand. I had no idea of what the product was going to be, I just knew I wanted to create my own brand. Additional pictures on that same vision board included a husband and two children with a dog, a yogi, a house close to the ocean, a book that I was going to write, two horses and images of international cities. Ten years on and I am launching my own brand, I have worked and travelled all over the globe in marketing, I’m fortunate to have two beautiful children and two loving dogs, I practice my-sore yoga at least 4 x per week, I live at a beach suburb in the south west and I am currently exploring a friend’s offer to house a pony and horse on their property. So much more has also been squeezed in and I often reflect on how much of that vision board has become a physical reality. Time for a new board! So how do I live with intent on a daily basis? A regular yoga practice, mahat meditation, ITA (integrated therapeutic alignments) and wanting to be the best role model possible for my children has instigated a more conscious and intentional life.
Some people say that the secret to your happiness can be found if you reflect on what you loved to do as a child i.e. before you become overly conditioned by your environment and society. What did you love to do as a child?
I loved roaming the farm and being close to nature by myself or with the farm animals. I would also regularly sneak into my parent’s bedroom, sit at my mum’s ornate dresser and play with her perfumes. I always closed the door behind me so I couldn’t be found. The perfume bottle shapes, their weight, the scents and intrigue of the experience is such a vivid memory. Estee Lauder Youth Dew and Channel No 5 were my mum’s signature scents. She also wore a red lipstick wherever she went. I now realise that what I was doing as a child in front of my mother’s dresser was developing a ritual around scent and perfumes that would remain deeply meaningful throughout the next chapters of my life.
What inspires you and how do you seek/allow insight
Nature inspires me the most and aids my own personal insight. I am also inspired by my interactions with other deeply connected people. Obviously, scent is also a major source of inspiration and it has become an integral part of my daily ritual. Depending on how I feel, my chosen scent helps me to pause, connect with myself and then gain insight and inspiration. It can also transform my mood which I find quite magical. For soul searching purposes and before my yoga practice, I use Imperium because of the sandalwood and base note oils. This perfume grounds me and together with the practice provides me with the insight I might be seeking or awakening required at that point in time.
I’m aware that insight also comes to me when I might be in doing mode but am alone. Often, the insight seeks me because I am open to it and actively seeking. I think as long as we remain open to the insight and allow enough quiet time and empty space in our life to notice, the insight comes.
Biggest Challenges – life lessons
Wow. Big question. I think helping to care for my mother from the age of 12 was both a challenge and blessing. She journeyed with chronic progressive multiple sclerosis for 22 years. I will need a whole book to go there but it taught me the most about life. From the practical to the spiritual. I don’t think I have ever felt more inspired than when she was alive and as a family we worked together to help care for her. They do say that when you are of service and you make some difference, it can aid your wellbeing and provide meaningful purpose. Ralph Waldo Emerson says; “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” I think that’s very true.
Launching Melis has also been a massive challenge and has really tested my own self-belief. The voices in my head and niggling insecurities definitely surface at times but I am now so aware of the shadow aspects of myself that I do not give them the energy or attention I once did. Understanding the self, the subconscious mind and the control it can have on our being, if we allow it, has been a life changing and invaluable lesson.
Divorce in my early 30’s also taught me about one’s own responsibility for self-love. As a result of the divorce and self-reflection, I learnt not to rely on external sources for my self-esteem, worth and love but to find that for myself from within. I had to take responsibility for my emotions. Because my belief systems were so screwed up and my ego quite dominant, I was living quite a disconnected and unconscious life. Divorce really propelled me to transform and journey to myself.
Stay tuned for Part two of the blog where Melissa will provide additional insight into her self-care program, what she dreams about, mentors and additional learnings.