Season 2
48 Minutes

E64 | Melanie Roche | What I Have Learned About Tracking Energy

Melanie Roche is an internationally renowned energy healer in private practice who integrates mind-body healing, meditation, therapy, and movement. Melanie served on the faculty of the Barbara Brennan School of Healing in Miami and Tokyo, and she helped inaugurate the Integrative Health and Wellness Program at Canyon Ranch Miami Beach.

A cancer survivor, Melanie is the author of “Thriving Through Cancer: Tools and Practices to Feel Better and Improve Your Quality of Life During Cancer and Beyond – An Integrative Method.” Her acclaimed talk at TEDxRotterdam exhorts the power of social genomics. The Shift Network just launched Melanie’s course: “The Radiant Human Template.” Melanie and her husband James searched the US and Europe for their right place to call home. They ended up in Amsterdam.

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Melanie Roche  00:00

We went to a lot of performance we went to the kitchen and I saw a dance performance and at that moment looking out the window of the hotel room at the room directly across from the hotel and seeing people in their kitchen stacked up vertically. All doing what they do all looking very different from each other. I thought this is my place.

Achim Nowak  00:24

Hey, this is Achim Nowak, executive coach and host of the MY FOURTH ACT podcast. If life is a five act play, how will you spend YOUR FOURTH ACT I have conversations with exceptional humans who have created bold and unexpected FOURTH ACTS, listen, and to be inspired. And please rate us and subscribe on whatever platform you are listening on. Let’s get started. I am so so delighted to welcome Melanie rochet to the my fourth act podcast. Melanie is an energy healer in private practice, who integrates mind body healing meditation, therapy and movement. And she leads programs for entrepreneurs, patients, healthcare practitioners, and individual clients. And let me just say she lives in our chosen home the Netherlands, but she does this work with clients all over the world. Melanie served on the faculty of the world renowned Barbara Brennan School of healing, and helped inaugurate the integrative health and wellness program at Canyon Ranch Miami. a cancer survivor Melanie is the author of thriving through cancer tools and practices to feel better and improve your quality of life during cancer and beyond. And I like what it says afterwards an integrative method. She also gave a really kick ass wonderful TEDx talk at TEDx Rotterdam on a topic She’s very passionate about. And I hope we get to talk about it. The talk is called Social genomics, how to affect the world from the inside out. And, and I didn’t realize this when I asked my Lindy to be on the podcast, she has just releasing a program on the shift network called the radiant human template. That’s a very tantalizing title. And, gosh, we have so much to talk about. Welcome, Melanie.

Melanie Roche  02:31

Thank you asking great to see you. We’ve known each other so long. I’m really honored that you invited me I’m really happy to see you. Thank you,

Achim Nowak  02:38

I appreciate you for creating that context. So for our listeners, it’s sometimes harder to have a conversation with somebody that you’ve known realize for almost 30 years, which is extraordinary. I like to start every conversation with the simple question. When you were a young girl or teenager growing up who who did you think you wanted to be in life?

Melanie Roche  03:02

I wanted to be a dancer, a professional dancer. I come from a background where that really wasn’t permissible or yeah, not permissible. I come from a very intellectual family. You know, the stereotypical German Jewish Midwestern us family assimilated very into culture. So it was okay to study dance and classical music and so on as a child, but when I got really serious about it, it wasn’t okay. I was meant to do something much more intellectual. So, but I knew that’s what I wanted to be and do because I, I felt like I wanted to get out of my head and into my body. And at that point, dance was my way in.

Achim Nowak  03:52

So where are you then the rebel daughter who said, Well, screw you, Mom and Dad, I’m gonna go to New York and I’m going to do my dancing, whether you like it or not, or how was this negotiated in your family?

Melanie Roche  04:05

Yeah, initially, I didn’t know about New York. I just knew I love to dance. And then it was really my mother who had a closet interest in art. And after my dad died, her husband, we as a family, she and my sister and I took a Greyhound bus trip to New York City. And I had a friend who had been a camp counselor, who I called and said, Do you know of any really cheap places to stay? And he worked on the Bowery as a social worker. And we stayed in a very not fancy hotel, but we went to a lot of performance. We went to the kitchen and I saw a dance performance and at that moment, looking out the window of the hotel room at the room directly across from the hotel and seeing people in their kitchen stacked up vertically. All doing what They do all looking very different from each other. I thought this is my place. I’m coming here. And so I did. So I wasn’t the rebel daughter. Initially, I was the good, well behaved daughter, but I did eventually become the I didn’t mean to be a rebel, but I meant to claim my, my passion, my essence. And that didn’t read as being the rebel daughter to my mom at a certain point. So yes, I was the rebel daughter. Ultimately, it’s like I have a delayed adolescence and got to be the rebel daughter and my 20s. Really,

Achim Nowak  05:34

you reference this iconic place called the kitchen, which was a super for if I had to label it is non traditional and non obvious performance art, integrate all the arts. And I chuckle That that’s what you want with your mother, because when I first met you, my first impression was of you was 30 years ago, a Melanie is a performance maker, and she’s a non traditional performance maker. And she integrates movement and writing, and she does all of that. So you are like the kind of person that we would see at the kitchen. Right? And this is what you were doing.

Melanie Roche  06:11

And later I performed there actually. All those years later, yes.

Achim Nowak  06:18

In the spirit of this podcast, which is really, it’s about my fourth act, and it’s about having multiple acts, and you’ve had multiple, multiple acts. I’d love to hear more about there’s something very sexy, cool, exciting about being a young performance maker in New York, Manhattan, or if you live in the other boroughs. But it can also be a tough and challenging life. It can be both. So if you were to give our listeners who have never been to the kitchen, a glimpse of what was exciting for you, Melanie, maybe a moment that stands out, but also a moment where you went, why the hell am I doing this?

Melanie Roche  06:58

Okay, so I want to back up a little and go start from before that. So I think I came once you saw a poster on social a photograph of me as a teenager, in a long flowy dress with a hat on with a cow calf. And you said, oh, you know, I didn’t know about this phase of your life. So before I was a dancer and performer, I was really into living communally on kibbutz in Israel, before Israel was the way it is now. And there was a sense of idealism in the country then, and a sense of we can all get along. But there was really a sense of let’s create Utopia together. So my, when I was the good daughter, that was how I got rebellious, I moved away from the Midwest and went to live on kibbutz at age 15. Without my family did 10th grade there, and I didn’t really like it. I’m much too private a person. But I really wanted to believe in it. Like so many teenagers, I felt like I needed something to latch on to that was idealistic and utopian. And so I tried again, I took a year off between college and university, and I tried a different younger kibbutz, and I didn’t like it. And I didn’t like working in a factory all day. And I didn’t like not having choice about where I worked that a committee would decide that for me. So when I decided to be a dancer, and performer, it was really out of a sense of, you know, what, I’m really private. I’m really someone that needs a lot of time alone, to percolate to germinate my ideas. And so then I would be this wild performer, but it really came out of a lot of introversion, you might say that I had realized by trying to live communally. And so there were moments of pure bliss, where I felt like, this is really it. I’m in my body. I’m young, I’m healthy. I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing. And then there were these moments of, yeah, what the hell. And those moments usually had to do with when I would be out of New York City for a few days, and I would come back, and I would get on the subway the first time and I would feel like, why are we all running around like little mice underground, in these mazes? And living so hand to mouth financially? I wasn’t. You know, I always needed a day job while I was a dancer, have an Ivy League education, but so I was teaching theater, Professor of theatre and Secretary by day, and then by evening and weekend, I was this pretty wild Butoh dancer and performance art person, but there was a sense of utopia and then there was the sense of running around underground, but also a sense of the economic hardship entailed in that choice. I lived in a tenement building, right around the corner from you, as you know, bathtub in the kitchen toilet in the hallway, and every winter, the pipes would freeze and crack, and there would be a rain of water with excrement in it raining down the stairwell and the fire department would come and fix everything. And I thought, you know, why am I living this way? And when I moved to Miami and moved into a small apartment, but the bathroom sink was far enough away that I couldn’t reach the towel rack behind me, I literally burst into tears like, this was so much space for me, this was so luxurious. I didn’t know how to handle it. So does that answer your question?

Achim Nowak  10:44

No, it does. And I think anybody who has pursued a career in the arts, especially before you make it, whatever that means, you know, you describe something that then many people know and I have my version of that as well. So I, I empathize. You already took us to Miami and you went to Miami if I get this right to study with Barbara Brennan, who and Brennan School of healing. And even without you telling you about that, you know, I had already read Barbara Brennan’s book called Hands of light, which was an extraordinary book about energy light healing. Well, I’m curious about how, how does the Wild Child dancer if I may label you that way? Go, oh, I think I want to pursue this now. And I think I want to go to Miami. I mean, that’s like a major transition. Can you walk us through how that happened?

Melanie Roche  11:46

Yeah, so let’s see. And let’s back up again, a little bit. So I think I was age 30. And I was doing the wild performance art. And I got a residency got awarded a residency at Yaddo and I went for the summer. And there were all these payments interrupt.

Achim Nowak  12:04

Gato is one of the most prestigious blue chip artists colonies. So it’s like a big friggin deal to be invited to gotta like, I just want to point that out.

Melanie Roche  12:17

Thank you. Yeah, so I got into Yato, I was really honored. And there were all these famous people who were older than me and well established and I was an unknown. And they gave me the people that run Yato a beautiful studio, but in a former barn with Marley floor. So for the first time in my life, I had enough space to make a dance. I had been making dances in my kitchen next to that bathtub, which was not enough space. And suddenly, I had a whole big barn in which to make a dance. And I found that a dance isn’t what wanted to come through me another dance. Instead, it was a play. It was a very radical play, that I wrote as my master’s thesis at NYU graduate school, I was really trying to explore and that play, getting emotional, because I didn’t plan to talk about this. But I was trying to explore how people are connected, connected, even when they have different backgrounds and different. They would never meet in real life. Oh, I’m so emotional talking about this. I wrote this play, I really felt like I said what I meant, and I got in a lot of trouble for it. In graduate school, I was nearly expelled for it. It had a violent scene in it. And the violence to me was part of what was happening in the culture. With there were some famous performances that year, run a fee. Hakim, you probably know him. But your audience may not a man who was HIV positive and did a performance a famous performance where he would put syringes in his arm, and there would be blood. And then he would put paper towels on his arm and string them on a clothesline overhead passing these blood spattered paper towels over the head of the audience and we had to sign releases entering the theater saying we give our permission to perhaps be touched by this blood that was HIV positive. This was 19 five or

Achim Nowak  14:33

so 96 early days,

Melanie Roche  14:36

early days of AIDS and we didn’t know a lot and so there was tremendous fear and discrimination. And so that had been the backstory and I had written a play where there was a homeless man who was telepathically friends with a mad woman who was in the hospital and he felt like he could live on the street if he marked himself with he cut himself. And the actor was someone who was really into body modification. So he insisted on doing it in real life and he cut a tiny little cut by his forehead, which created a lot of blood and I gotten a lot of trouble and and why you canceled classes in my department that day and all the teachers met and they said, you can’t you can’t do this play. And I said, I, you know, the runs almost over I’ve been doing and already for two weeks. So they allowed me to do the play if I took that scene out and read a statement about what I was changing, and I agreed to that, but ambivalently so So where were we going with that? Tell me again, your question about what what how I got into healing, energy healing and Okay, so about a year after that I found a lump in my breast. That ended up being nothing It was a blocked sweat gland. But I happen to pick up our bridge books hands of light and light emerging at that point, she had two books. Now there’s a third called core light, correlating, merging, I think. Anyway, those two books, I read them and I felt like as you described him, I felt like this matches with my heightened sense of sensitivity, this matches with how I sense others in the world. This matches with how I’ve always been, I want to know more. And so I scheduled the biopsy, they couldn’t aspirate it. So it was surgery to take out the lump, but I also made an appointment with the healer. And the healer was an actor as well, Joan McIntosh, who had been married in earlier in her life to my mentor in graduate school, Richard Schechner, you know her right,

Achim Nowak  16:52

if I may just add for since we’re talking about the alternative avant garde performance world, Joan McIntosh is, I would say legendary in that world. He’s legendary, and she’s a he she was a yeller at that point. And she was a healer,

Melanie Roche  17:08

a healer trained and teaching at that point of Barbara Brennan School of healing. So she was my first tailor. I had a very profound experience with her. I worked with her for about two years. And then I had this prophetic dream that I didn’t know is a prophetic dream at that point. But I woke up from this wild dream, and I thought, I’m going to change career, I’m gonna go to the school, even though I already had a master’s degree in an Ivy League education. And I did, and it was eight years. And then I taught at the School in Miami, in Tokyo, and I worked really closely with Barbara, in Tokyo. And then after several years of teaching, I decided I really want to integrate everything I knew as a performer, which was all about embodiment. Everything I learned in that world. With everything I learned as a healer, I wanted to put them together. So I left to develop my own work, which is what I’m now teaching with the shift, network. So

Achim Nowak  18:07

I love how you just so skillfully, raised through a huge chunk of your life and I want to get to the integration and how you bring all this together. Would you give our listeners a sense of studying at Barbara Brennan, that’s an eight year program, you know, for somebody who’s already was highly schooled like you, as you said, we were like, shoot another eight years. That’s a lot. What was it like to be a student for eight years, but also what was it like to live in? In Miami? And I don’t know if you’re in Miami Beach or Miami proper by the this Brennan School is in Miami Beach? How did that compare to living in New York, you already give us a little glimpse. But but those two things really interest me.

Melanie Roche  18:55

I didn’t move to Miami right away. I was commuting back and forth from New York City working two jobs to pay for it. And honestly, it didn’t feel like oh my goodness, eight more years of school, it felt like, I am so curious about this topic. And if I have a day job I don’t really like then I’m happy to spend every waking moment thinking about something I really do like so I would get on my bike every Saturday. ride around Manhattan, get a bagel, sit on a park bench, read my homework, do the do the healings, practice healings. And then right at my homework, it was a joy. It was never a burden. And then I moved there between third year and fourth year, because I knew at that point I hoped to get hired to teach at the school. I was so in love with the work and 911 have happened but also I thought Why am I working two jobs to fly back and forth. Life in Miami felt so delicious and easy. And I had written a novel and it was A rough winter and I was carrying, I’ll never forget this something like nine copies of the manuscript in a plastic garbage bag on my lunch hour to mail it out to agents to try to sell my book. And it was snowy and cold, and my hair was wet and freezing against my face. And I thought, why am I was one of those What the hell am I doing moments about New York, when I would go to Miami, it was just the temperature was so nice. Everything was bigger. The food was delicious. And so I moved. And it was just fun. It was just easy. And life got really easy.

Achim Nowak  20:37

I had the same experience, we moved to Florida around the same time. And yes, life just felt easier here, you know. Your story, you know, and your acts in my mind, or I think of you as somebody who’s fully embraced her healer and how she heals, and I want to talk about that. But I’m also aware that it the parallel part was you were diagnosed with cancer. And it was a journey with cancer. And you’re married to a wonderful man and James rochet. All of that together in even as I’m saying, and I’m going that’s a lot to sort of navigate, keeping that open. But maybe if he would start because you wrote a book about energy and cancer, if you would just give our listeners a glimpse of how long your journey with cancer has been, and maybe some of the milestones that stand out for you. And then we’ll get into the other stuff.

Melanie Roche  21:46

So when I found that lump in my breast, initially, that led me to a healer. I did genetic testing, because there’s a lot of cancer in my family. My mom has had cancer three times, and she’s alive and well. My dad had renal cancer in his 40s and died at 50. So I did genetic testing, I was a very early adopter of genetic testing and I knew from age 33 that I have the braca one gene that predisposes me to both breast and ovarian cancer. And the doctors expected I would get both probably in my 40s. And at that point, the surgery that was recommended prophylactic mastectomies and oophorectomy meaning, you know, removal of my breasts and surgical reconstruction, if I had chosen that, and going into menopause at age 33, I could not, I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. And I, I was using my mom’s experience, as an example. And this was a mistake, but I didn’t know it at the time, I thought, okay, if I get cancer, we’ll catch it early. And because I was doing surveillance testing to check if I was getting cancer, we’ll catch it early, and I’ll go on with my life. But I didn’t realize that when you get ovarian cancer, or in my case, fallopian tube cancer, it generally recurs. I think the rate of recurrence is at 5%, something really high. And once it recurs the first time there’s no cure, I didn’t really realize that. I really didn’t know that at all. So I was fine for 15 years. It did not get cancer. And then fast forward to age 48. I was then very happily married to change her say we have been married just a couple of years, a year and a half, something like that. And suddenly that blood tests that I have been getting every six months, suddenly it was it showed, you know a much higher number than it should have. That was my only I had no symptoms. I had no idea that I was sick. And I had had a sonogram and nothing showed yet you know, it was really it was really strange. And Miami being Miami The surgeon said I don’t feel anything but you have the braca one gene so go out to lunch, and then pretend that you have abdominal pain and come to the emergency room and we’ll admit you and I’ll squeeze you in before I go on vacation tomorrow and do a hysterectomy. I’m laughing but it’s not so funny. So I had no time emotionally to prepare. I remember calling my mom and stepfather from lunch and saying the doctor thinks I’m fine, but I’m going to have a hysterectomy. You know it was so I wasn’t in my body to have time to prepare. So then it was cancer and I wasn’t staged either. Because he was going on vacation. He just didn’t do the procedure quite properly. And what were some milestones, so I didn’t really realize at that point, how likely recurrence would be But immediately after drove finished surgery and six rounds of chemo gradually, well not. So gradually my number, that tumor marker number began to come up. And it took a year and a half until I recovered. But in those 18 months of feeling like Oh, no. That was probably the hardest time. That was really the hardest time. And I had planned to write that book, not to be for cancer patients, I planned it to be a more general, here’s how to use your energy, much like the course I’m teaching now. And then when I was diagnosed with the recurrence, I felt like, okay, cancer patients really need this integrative knowledge, how to work with your mind, body connection, and energy and tracking the flow of energy, to know what you need as you do conventional treatment, and then to either advocate for that, or give yourself what you need. And I would go to my checkups, and the doctors would say, Wow, Melanie, you know, a, you’re living longer, but be You seem well, and you’re having such a different experience than anyone else. We’re treating, what are you doing, and I thought, well, I’m doing everything I know, as a healer, with everything I learned as a performer with everything I know, just from trying to get out of my head into my body. So I began to see just thinking this now, I’m seeing the cancer arc as a as part of the arc of everything else I was wanting to learn in my life. Just realizing that right now, as you asked me that.

Achim Nowak  26:41

A word from your sponsor. That’s me. I invite you to go to the website associated with this podcast, fourth, you will find other equally inspiring conversation with great humans. And you will also learn more about the my fourth act mastermind groups where cool people figure out how to chart their own fourth acts. Please check it out. And now back to the conversation. You mentioned and you and I have had private conversations about tracking, which is a wonderful word. And I think I’m very connected to the big woowoo Kundalini energy. But tracking takes the word energy, because people might go What the hell does an energy healer do? But tracking is a very specific way of observing and noticing and we’re gonna use it we’re maybe playing with your energy. So would you talk about what tracking energy might look like? And then how any of our listeners could use tracking which you beautifully describe in your book and, and your practice in your own life and with your clients?

Melanie Roche  27:57

Yeah, so tracking? I appreciate the question. Tracking is a word a jargony word that healers use, or psychologists use that comes from following an animal in the forest. You know, when you’re following an animal that you want to find, you follow their footprints or you follow their scent. And tracking now has been taken as a word that we use for noticing following the breadcrumbs or following the little twinges of what do you notice arising in your body? What do you notice? About where your energy flows easily and where it doesn’t? And how do you get good at that? And what do you want to do with that information? And Akeem? Use the word playing with it. So exactly, you get really conscious of do I want to make my energy really big right now? Do I want to make it smaller? Do I want to hold a state, it’s almost like playing a musical instrument and making a chord or sounding your body like a tuning fork. When you get good at doing that you can change your state and actually change the state of other people around you by what you’re doing harmonically. It’s just like playing an instrument. You know, when you go to a concert, let’s say a classical music concert and you hear the orchestra play. You can hear it but you can also feel it in your body. You can feel the upright bass or the cello, or Viola Dicamba you know, resonating through your body or if you live in New York City or big city, when a siren when you hear a siren, you hear it but you also can feel it. So it’s a little like that you start to notice little twinges little clues and then you follow those emotionally into what are your associations. What are your memories, what what does that lead you to and then you consciously play with

Achim Nowak  29:59

it. as I’m listening to you, I think of where the conversation started just now, which is back to the body, right back to the body, noticing what the body is telling us. Some of it requires some reflection as well. I can’t help but think you have these amazing tools as a healer, and you show other people how to use the tools. But I would imagine in your journey, which about what, 10 years now of dealing with various episodes of cancer? Do you get to the moments where you lose hope? Or you get the moments when darkness comes? And how do you navigate those?

Melanie Roche  30:49

Yeah, that’s a good question, I would say definitely been moments of doubt, and darkness and deep sadness, deep sadness, sometimes even self blame, or why didn’t I do the surgery, that kind of self blame that is pointless? Or what did I do wrong that turned the gene on because it doesn’t turn on for everyone. And I think what I’ve learned is that, it’s very useful to just let myself feel what I’m actually feeling, and not force it to go away. And then, at a certain point, to literally say to myself, but I’m not dead yet. And I don’t feel that poorly, or I feel poorly now. But James will remind me, you will probably feel better in a day or two, you know, when I was going through treatment, or surgeries, and I would really feel awful every single time I would feel that bad, I would forget that I would ever feel better. And then James being my ally, would remind me, don’t think right now, don’t make any decisions, just rest. And you’ll be back to feeling like yourself in a little while. So I don’t like healers or anybody that says when you’re in moments of deep darkness and doubt that you should pull it together and feel differently. I don’t agree with that at all. I think part of energy is letting it flow and part of health is letting it flow. And the only way to let it flow is to let yourself feel what you actually feel. Now that being said, it is possible to wallow, I have a skill I call scheduled wallowing where, you know, you can let yourself wallow to the point where you’re not actually living your life. And when I interviewed some of my oncologists for my book, and they talked about patients that gets so worried that everything just stops in their life forever. And they wish they could tell those patients, you know, but you’re alive now, I found that very useful information. And so I would let myself wallow and treat my worry as a clue that there was some need I had that wasn’t being addressed. And if I could address that knee, either getting more information or resources or convincing my doctor a treatment that was not the normal protocol. And I’ll give you an example in a minute, then I could relax. And at that point, I would force myself to change focus, and say, Okay, now I’ve addressed what I need to address or I will address it next time they see my doctor, therefore I’m going to whatever I chose to do, you know, go for a bike ride, spend time with my husband or friends or go back to work, create the next thing. Does that make sense? So it’s a combination of feeling what you actually feel, and that not staying in it so much that you lose the joy of being alive. Really.

Achim Nowak  34:06

I have a I remember. And this is in the spirit of the podcast, and we’re talking about I remember visiting you and James, when you lived in the northern part of the valley, outside of LA and James’s family lived there. So I think one reason was you wanted to be present for but in the spirit of transitions and life changes. You and James decided, well, this is not really our home. In you went for a purposeful search for the next right place where you wanted to live. That would be more of a home. Would you talk about that exploration because I think it could be so inspiring to anybody who has a similar feeling about where their current presently living.

Melanie Roche  34:54

Yeah, I think and now is a great time to ask that question. There are a lot of Reasons why a person could end up in a place or still be in a place that doesn’t feel like it matches the way you want to live. And we were feeling like that we had moved to Los Angeles, suburbs from, from Miami Beach, to be near family. And I really felt at the time like, Okay, this will be good, I have friends here, this will be fine. Sure, we can buy a house, we can, this will work. But in reality, it wasn’t a fit. It just didn’t feel like it fit either of our values. And I think there were changes we were noticing coming in the US which have since started. They’re obvious now. But we were already noticing glimpses of that and making both of us very uncomfortable. And we both have work that allows us to work from anywhere. So we began a search for where would be our true home. And literally, every morning over coffee, we would watch YouTube videos about different cities, we thought about upstate New York, we thought about the Pacific Northwest. New York City was sort of out because it’s too urban for James too much city. But then we started thinking about Europe, and we tried Vienna, and it wasn’t a fit for me, wasn’t really a fit for James either. But and then I suggested Amsterdam, because I had studied one summer here in my 20s, in graduate school, studying theater. And I just loved it. It felt tolerant, vibrant, international, cultural, I love to ride a bicycle, everyone rides bikes there. And so we were trying it a summer at a time and we would work in the evenings, we’d be tourists by day and work in the evenings. Not tourists. Exactly, but and so we tried Amsterdam for a second summer. And we both loved it. And so for five years, we went back and forth, learning about it. And then we finally emigrated. And now we moved from Amsterdam to The Hague, because it was time to buy a place and we need a pretty big place. And prices are cheaper here. And we’re loving the Hague, it’s just a beautiful city. We joke that besides marrying each other moving, immigrating was the second best decision of our lives. And so for any of your listeners who are thinking I could never move somewhere, do some research, because a lot of countries welcome immigrants coming in. And really, it’s possible to find a place that fits you and how you want to live. And it’s it’s worth it. It’s so worth it. Like there’s so much better than how it was before. We’re so happy.

Achim Nowak  37:37

Yeah. So when I connected the energy, a place needs to feel energetically, right? Yes, in that we feel differently in our bodies. If the environment energetically feels right, and we just know it. I have two more things I’d like to talk about, I could take hours, which we don’t have. I know you did a lot of research on social genomics, you’re passionate about it. It’s related to your explorations around a response to cancer. So you gave this gorgeous talk and TEDx Rotterdam. And again, I’m just TEDx Rotterdam is one of the biggest TEDx events in the world, I want to say this, this is not your little mom and pop TEDx event, you know, where you have 50 people in a smaller tutorial, it’s enormous. And you gave a talk on social genomics, how to affect the world from the inside out. If you had just a minute to give us a taste of what this is, what would you like us to know about social genomics and the ability of this inner impacting?

Melanie Roche  38:48

Thank you. Okay, so super quickly, social genomics is a brand new field, it just started in 2007, that basically says our genes are not fixed. Our genes are not fixed, our gene expression is affected, believe it or not, by how we’re feeling emotionally, and by how we’re getting along with each other, and by historical events and by environmental factors. So knowing that I got really excited and I thought, well, how do we, you know, we can play with how we’re feeling emotionally, we can play with how we’re getting along with other people. So there are areas that that field researches that I think affect all of us now loneliness, stress, lack of purpose, and those are all areas that we can I don’t know about control, but effect. And so my research now is playing with as we play with our consciousness and our choices and our decisions, what what effect does that have on our gene expression for health and for happiness and creating better society? So in a nutshell, that’s it, how do we affect our We’re on and our relationships by working with our own inner awareness, our own inner consciousness.

Achim Nowak  40:06

And I’ll make sure I’ll make sure that on the website and at the end that we mentioned, folks where you can find the TEDx talk. It’s so beautifully articulated. And because you are a trained performer, you deliberate gorgeously, which also, thank you. But I’d like to wrap up with this. And again, this was such a wonderful surprise when we chatted the other day. And I’d say the likely to be on the podcast set out why I’m just launching this program for the shift network that really integrates all of my teaching and learnings and what I do with energy and I, I love the title so much the radiant human template, I mean, if I can offer that as a perfect template for any act, but certainly for the fourth act, why the hell not? So what are one or two or three things you’re explore in the radiant human template?

Melanie Roche  41:05

Yeah, so And first of all, if anyone is interested in it, it’s on my website, Melanie, forward slash course. So m e l, a, n, ie, and then rochet, R O, ch Forward slash course, you can click on the link that will be on that page and learn more about it. But it basically it’s a seven week course, synthesizing everything I care about and love to teach. The template isn’t a blueprint that comes down from on high. It’s something that you will generate, I will teach you how to notice what you need physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. And then what practices help you get there. And I teach you, many of them. And they go in order, step by step from, how do you connect with yourself? Energetically tracking like we talked about? And how do you do that in the middle of everything, not by leaving your life withdrawing from life to go to meditate, but in the middle of your busy life? How do you do that? And then how do you use it in relationship with others people you know, in love, and then social genomics more, and then you make a template for yourself? And then we talk about epigenetics, healing backwards and forwards in time ancestral traumas, that’s the hot word lately, but what did your ancestors go through? And how can you be the person that has the bandwidth to say, it stops with me, I transform it, I have the bandwidth to transmute this now. And I teach you how. And then a spiritual connection, your own palpable personal embodied sense of connection to larger reality. And then how to beam your energy out to affect the world for the good. So it’s step by step seven weeks, it is my life’s work offered. I’m really honored, they invited me and I think it’s, it’s gonna be great. I am really excited about it.

Achim Nowak  43:03

And just want to say it literally is just launching. So we’re releasing this podcast episode, I believe, on the eighth of July. And this is the week that the this program has just launched. There’s so many things I love about your work, but hopefully our listeners what you’re hearing is. Melanie plays with really big stuff and her work, but she chunks it and makes it small and makes it something we can actually do. And I love what you said, Without disappearing for an hour to meditate and leaving your life. It’s you you’ll use the word integrate a lot. It’s an integrative approach, which is beautiful. Final question for this chat. You’ve already had an extraordinary life and if you based on what you have learned through your different acts, and you were to be so the fairy godmother and had a chance to whisper some words of wisdom to younger Melanie not to change her course in life not to change anything. But what would you want her to know about life that you have learned?

Melanie Roche  44:15

I would want to tell myself not to worry what anyone thinks. Just to trust that if I put my work out there or if I am my full self, that there will be people in the universe that need and want that and not to dim my light. And for your listeners as well. No one should dim their light everyone should have the right and the courage to just be careful self because I believe the world needs all of us to be our full selves. So I wasted a lot of time. I have wasted a lot of time caring too much if someone likes me or have, you know whole swathes of groups of people that I knew that’s not a useful? That’s not so useful. So I would say just keep contributing whatever you want. I would say it to myself, keep contributing whatever I want, and trust that it benefits the world for the good. You know, there’s last thing I’ll say is, there’s that old Jewish folk tale about the 36 men who hold the universe together the world together. And nowadays, I wouldn’t say they’re all men. But I would say that, and the key thing is, they don’t know who they are. So you might be one of them. So any of us might be holding the universe together. In fact, I think we all are, but we don’t know. And so to act as though we are holding the universe together by being our full selves, I think is what I would want to share. And what I would want to leave your students with to live fully take chances. Don’t be afraid. It’s always worth it. It always works out well. That’s what I would say.

Achim Nowak  46:08

You already mentioned Melanie, which is your website where folks can learn more about you. If people want to learn more about your work, where else would you like to send them to get more information or so

Melanie Roche  46:20

if you want to watch that TEDx talk, it’s on my YouTube channel. It’s not on the regular TEDx channel. But if you go to YouTube, and type in Melanie rochet TEDx, you’ll find it. And then I wrote a book called thriving through cancer, as often mentioned, and that’s available on all the Amazon websites and some other small websites that you can order from online. If you’re in the Netherlands, it’s bold, that calm but all the Amazon sites have it. And yeah, my website has a meditation audio that you can download, called meditations for reluctant meditators. And and then the course Melanie Forward slash course is asking said, it’s just launching the week that you hear this, but you can still join late and here. You know, whatever weeks you’ve missed, so I think it’s going to be great. I’d love to see you there.

Achim Nowak  47:16

Thank you so much for the gift of this conversation. It’s wonderful to hear you.

Melanie Roche  47:22

It’s wonderful to see you too. I’m so happy you invited me. Thank you so much. Great to connect with you and your listeners. Take care.

Achim Nowak  47:31

Bye for now. Like what you heard, please go to my fourth And subscribe to receive my updates on upcoming episodes. Please also subscribe to us on the platform of your choice. Rate us give us a review and let us all create some magical fourth acts together. Ciao


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