Grief, Guts And Green Smoothies



These three things changed my life they might change yours too. Each episode we abandon our comfort zones to get a little gutsy and hold space to grow into stronger versions of ourselves. In 2014, the birth of my daughter Leyden changed my entire world. Four months later, grief shattered it. I was broken, scared, lost, angry and hopeless. I didnt want to live and wasnt really sure how to. I sought every mean to fight grief: researching, joining parent groups, and I even traveled outside of the country twice, to hear world-renowned grief speaker Dr. Raymond Moody. Disappointed, I discovered like all adversities in life, there is no way to beat grief. But, thankfully, there were effective strategies I could employ when navigating such choppy waters. Whether it was understanding the gut-brain connection, or getting gutsy in my ability to face discomfort, the tools I learned, saved my life. There are not nearly enough resources to support each other through uncomfortable challenges be it loss of a job, a relationship, a sense of self or life. Talking about uncomfortable things, well that takes guts. And we are going to get really gutsy here.


  • 120: Choose Your Hard - Grief & Life Mindset w/ Kendra Allen

    08/06/2023 Duration: 01h03min

    Melissa was already crying at the start of this episode. When she first lost her daughter, Leyden, she could barely leave the house, let alone get to a grief counselor’s office. But that is what she did. And that grief counselor is the special guest today, Kendra Allen.Melissa was a puddle at Kendra’s office in the beginning. But everyone deserves to have a space held for them. And Kendra allowed that space for Melissa. And what Melissa thinks is powerful is not only the tools in which she was taught the ways that widened her understanding of grief but the space that Kendra fostered. Melissa’s goal today is to inform you and educate you on the many aspects of grief that aren't spoken about and allow you to have a lens into the version of Melissa that could barely show up. As Melissa is publishing a book and hosting a podcast, the public sees a version of her that is much more healed. But Kendra is one of the only people who witnessed her at her rawest. Melissa started this episode crying and uncertain how the

  • 119: Lessons from Grief w/ Mike Michalowicz

    26/05/2023 Duration: 56min

    Melissa is proud to bring back to the show Mike Michalowicz. Mike has supported Melissa in multiple ways over the years and is helping her bring her book to the world (very soon!). In this episode, Mike and Melissa explore how grief can act as a form of connection. They examine the true purpose behind their writing and how success can be the opposite of what's best for you. This episode is an understanding and loving exploration of grief. Mike and Melissa examine how we compound grief, how to support others' grieving, and the true normalcy of the grief we experience. You will leave this conversation feeling more supportive of yourself and how better to support those around you. Mike Michalowicz is the entrepreneur behind three multimillion-dollar companies and is the author of Profit First, Clockwork, The Pumpkin Plan, and his newest book, Get Different. Mike is a former small business columnist for The Wall Street Journal and regularly travels the globe as an entrepreneurial advocate. Highlights1:14 - How Me

  • 118: Growth, Rebirth & Play w/ John Kempf

    11/05/2023 Duration: 46min

    Melissa’s excited to introduce you to an incredibly dear friend and soul connection of hers. John Kempf is an amazing coach, an amazing human, and an amazing healer. And when you talk about our beings and souls being medicine for this planet and other people, John is literally medicine in human form. He has so much wisdom to share. Melissa and John talk in this episode about not only our nervous system regulation but about rebirth and past lives. So it's something that you might find really supportive and healing if you are on a grief journey to think about the rebirth and death that occurs naturally. And if you’re not currently navigating a grief journey, these are things that can support you in better understanding yourself and better understanding your soul's purpose in this lifetime. John shares two simple practices that will solve most of your problems, the power of pause and stillness, and what it means when yoga teachers say, “just be.” This episode will encourage you to ask, “What sets my heart on fir

  • 117: Understanding and overcoming dysregulation w/ Jennifer Watson

    04/05/2023 Duration: 35min

    Melissa spends a lot of time on social media, and coaches and entrepreneurs frequently build their businesses through these platforms. Yet, she hears many people complain that social media is fake. They want authentic connections.But that has not been Melissa’s experience. And today’s guest is one example of connecting authentically with a person through social media.Jennifer Watson is a seeker of truth, a high-performance leadership coach, and a practitioner. She is here to share her magic and what’s alive in her today. This conversation goes deep into our nervous system and regulation. No one walks around saying I have a dysregulated nervous system. Yet we experience many symptoms that are out of regulation, fight or flight, and autopilot. Jennifer helps leaders heal so they can activate others. Jennifer shares her journey of mental wellness, emotional wellness, and her dysregulation struggle. She talks about coaching from your healing and not your wound, how you cannot separate wellness and leadership, and

  • 116: Playing A Mastery Game w/ James Silvas

    20/04/2023 Duration: 49min

    Melissa is excited to bring James to the podcast. His work has changed her life. A big part of what you experience on this podcast is because of James.James works with the top-tier level of athletes, executives, and entrepreneurs. In addition, he’s working on a book and is a top 1% podcaster. He’s also a father, husband, and Melissa’s coach!In this practical and tips-laden episode, James dives deep into how it’s one day at a time, one week at a time, and one month at a time to craft the version of ourselves we want. He shares how to get people to open up and outlines the 5 C’s that will change your leadership ability and your relationships.James plays the mastery game, not the rich game. And this episode will speak to what that means and why we must do hard things intentionally. He also explores why it’s essential to understand that emotions are built. Get out your notebook and be ready to feel the chills.Highlights1:20 - The power of not boxing yourself in with titles and labels3:15 - The one skill all leade

  • 115: Co-Creating or Co-Expanding?

    13/04/2023 Duration: 23min

    Today's episode takes a lot of discernment. Are we co-creating, or are we co-existing? And what does that mean? In this episode, Melissa breaks it down for you.A coaching call inspired this topic with Melissa's new women's group, Own It (see below for more information!). Understanding the difference between these two ideas is essential. Because this is something that can have an intense impact on our nervous system as we process grief, trauma, heartache, or loss.Melissa's goal is to support all of you in getting from a space of reactionary to proactively managing and navigating anything you're going through.Melissa starts by defining the two terms and how they often get confused. She then shares the three parts integral to co-creation: structure and mechanics, shared values, and energetics. Next, Melissa breaks down these three parts and explains how even if one part is off, it impacts co-creation. She also shares how frequently we can confuse our body's fight or flight response with something not feeling goo

  • 114: Opposing & Shared Views of Grief - a Debate

    23/03/2023 Duration: 37min

    When Melissa sat down to speak with Jon, what came out was not what she expected. But it was perfectly perfect.Jon and Melissa have different perspectives on grief. While they find a middle ground during this conversation, their experiences and lessons from grief contrast with one another.So this episode shows that it’s okay to have different views. You can still respect each other. And even on emotionally-charged topics like grief, love, finances, and life’s purpose - multiple truths can exist.And while we can’t allow others to make us wrong, it’s important to take a step back from the idea of right and wrong. And step into the choice and freedom to align with what authentically works for us. In that alignment, massive co-creation, learning, and evolution occur. Melissa’s beliefs have evolved since the start of this podcast. If we do not recognize that we may see things differently one day, we are not leaving room for growth, discovery, or curiosity.Jon Connelly recently published Grief is Not Sacred and cre

  • 113: Finding Your Purpose Through Grief w/ Lauren Salaun (Amplify Podcast)

    16/03/2023 Duration: 01h15min

    We are switching hats on today’s podcast with a behind-the-scenes look at Melissa’s journey in a way you’ve not heard before! Melissa recently went on Lauren Salaun’s Amplify podcast to share her story.Lauren’s a former coach and current client. In this episode, Lauren interviews Melissa as she shares stuff she’s never discussed on this show. They dive into masculine and feminine energies and the power of boundaries to foster relationships. And Melissa even gets into the choices and preferences that have shaped the more private parts of her life. This is Melissa’s story from a new angle shared with deep vulnerability. And, of course, it’s filled with actionable takeaways to improve your life and business.Highlights2:25 - Rapid fire questions8:22 - Navigating and setting boundaries with coaches, clients, and friends13:09 - How Melissa started her entrepreneurial journey18:28 - How grief taught Melissa about radical ownership of her life24:04 - Exploring the masculine and feminine for business29:32 - You are no

  • 112: Shame - In Grief & Life

    09/03/2023 Duration: 18min

    Melissa goes in-depth on one of the most powerful forces that drive our subconscious behavior and emotional responses. Unfortunately, many prefer to avoid talking about it. Yet, if addressed, we can make massive progress. It’s shame.What comes up for you when you hear the word shame? How does your body respond? What emotions come to the surface? In this episode, Melissa describes what it means that our energies have a depth chart and walks you through a helpful visual exercise. She offers tips on addressing binge behaviors and why hip openers can be so emotional. She also exposes why it’s never about the what but the why. And at the end, she shares the antidote to shame. Shame is something we all deal with and manage throughout our life. This episode offers the inside perspective to face it down for good.About the podcastGrief and Guts is for anyone navigating:Bereaved parentsAging parentsDivorceEmpty nestFertility journeyJob lossRelationship endingMovingThe loss of sense of selfThe loss of life envisionedMee

  • 111: From Playboy & Partying to Intuitively Thriving w/ Andrea Lowell

    24/02/2023 Duration: 51min

    This episode doesn't jam on new topics, but Melissa and her guest find new perspectives on important topics and go deep on abundance and manifestation. Andrea Lowell is an Old Soul on a mission to help everyone reach their own Self-Mastery and Self Actualization. Andrea provides clear guidance in learning to find our values, the difference between lying and denial, and how our beliefs about ourselves can trap us. She also touches on how she learned her purpose after leaving behind a successful career. Additionally, Melissa and Andrea explore how to see the fallacy of our excuses, putting things into their right size, building your courage, why serenity is in the gray (not black and white), and what it means that your body is an ally of your soul.This episode is about self-mastery, radical honesty, and why you should use your drive time to check your spiritual condition! Melissa was inspired during this conversation, and so will you.Highlights2:15 - Moving from fitting in to following your values4:41 - How to

  • 110: When To (and not to) Trust Your Intuition

    16/02/2023 Duration: 17min

    How do you know when you can trust your intuition? How can you know if it’s your intuition or mind telling you to do something? Melissa explains how to access your intuition and when you can trust it.This episode is dropping right around Leyden’s birthday (February 20), which inspired the creation of this podcast. In this personal and powerful episode, Melissa offers one of the most potent lessons she learned from Leyden. Melissa also goes in-depth on accessing your intuition and the all-important body and belly connection. She offers tips on making intuition more accessible and uses examples from past clients and her own life. This episode is about cleaning, clearing, and decluttering. Melissa provides the secret to getting past a major block in unlocking your intuitive mind, as well as knowing when you are being pulled by the very thing that is holding you back.About the podcastGrief and Guts is for anyone navigating:Bereaved parentsAging parentsDivorceEmpty nestFertility journeyJob lossRelationship endingM

  • 109: Narcissism, Intuition, & Self-Trust w/ Jenna Brocious

    02/02/2023 Duration: 40min

    Melissa and Jenna dive into the obvious and not-so-obvious characteristics of narcissism and how to spot them. They also explore the why and how to detach from outcome, the power of trusting your intuition, and tips for strengthening your ability to do so. Jenna Brocious is a spiritually intuitive guide and creator of the Positive Intention Prayer Cards. Jenna truly believes just because something bad has happened to you; it doesn’t mean that’s who you are. Having a positive mindset and keeping faith are two priorities she encourages in others. It's Jenna's mission to help, heal and spread love to others, and she's committed to sharing her message of love and healing with as many people as possible.Find JennaConnect on InstagramVisit her websiteBuy her Prayer CardsAbout the podcastGrief and Guts is for anyone navigating:Bereaved parentsAging parentsDivorceEmpty nestFertility journeyJob lossRelationship endingMovingThe loss of sense of selfThe loss of life envisionedMeet the hostWhen Melissa Dlugolecki lost he

  • 108: The Magic of Not Normal - Lessons w/ Brandon Cockrell

    26/01/2023 Duration: 56min

    Father and entrepreneur Brandon Cockrell shares lessons ignited from his daughter's journey. Brandon dives deep into hitting the inevitable challenges we all face. Melissa and Brandon also speak about their shared journey with finding out their daughters were sick during pregnancy. And Brandon highlights how his now nine-year-old daughter changed the course of his life, how to embrace adversity, and how to commit to finding opportunities within adversity.Find BrandonConnect @linchpinsalesVisit his websiteAbout the podcastGrief and Guts is for anyone navigating:Bereaved parentsAging parentsDivorceEmpty nestFertility journeyJob lossRelationship endingMovingThe loss of sense of selfThe loss of life envisionedMeet the hostWhen Melissa Dlugolecki lost her daughter Leyden, in a case termed a catastrophe, she didn't want to live... never mind love life, again.As a bereaved mother, when Melissa lost my daughter Leyden, she never thought she would be happy again. Melissa felt guilty when she started to smile.​As a for

  • 107: Untangling Possibility from Reality w/ Melissa Martin

    22/12/2022 Duration: 46min

    Melissa Martin is a business and embodiment coach and creator of the Boldly Courageous community and podcast. She has walked through dark seasons and knows what it’s like to start over and write a new story. Melissa’s a dog mom, loves her dance parties, and is about to join the Tulum swirl - so these two Melissas get it.In this episode, Melissa shares why her life is about being an example, not the expert. She highlights the moments in her life when she became aware of grief, what true integrity looks and feels like, and the meaning of agreement changing.Melissa also shares her framework for POWER: pause, observe, welcome, embody, release and rejoice. The two Melissas also talk about how to stay in your truth without making someone else wrong and why it matters that you can only connect the dots looking back. This conversation will leave you will several journal prompts and new insights on each listen.LinksListen to Boldly CourageousLearn about the Embody MastermindConnect @themelissamartinHighlights1:25 - Wh

  • 106: Creating Your Dream Life with Diamandia Lingos

    05/12/2022 Duration: 40min

    TEDx speaker, entrepreneur, and investor Diamandia Lingos joins Melissa to discuss how we can create our dream life, regardless of our circumstances. After navigating an earth-shattering grief journey and having no money in the bank, Diamandia took action to rebuild her life, leading her to be a world traveler, speaker, coach, consultant, and investor.In this episode, Diamandia shares why servicing others is the key to unlocking ourselves, how to break the generational shame, and why reflecting on your exes might be the key to understanding yourself.Listen to Diamandia’s TEDx talk and connect with her on Instagram @diamandia. Highlights1:02 - Who gets your deep conversations?2:33 - On the forefront of suicide, trauma, and resilience6:39 - The universe brings Diamandia and Melissa back together after years8:52 - Opting into your growth and choosing to do the work11:59 - How to make your fear insignificant14:24 - The steps to take ownership of what's broken in your life21:33 - Why we need to talk about the thin

  • 105: Grieving Past Versions Of You w/ Former Nike Master Trainer and NYC Rockette Samantha Jo Harvey

    23/11/2022 Duration: 47min

    This is Melissa’s person. Former Nike Master Trainer. Former New York City Rockette. Current multi-six figure entrepreneur. Melissa and Samantha are meant to be in each other’s lives.Get ready to get in touch with your intuition. Samantha shares the harrowing and brave story of moving through divorce, choosing herself over her dance career, and how she discovered her superpowers. Samantha is a person whose energy you want in your life. Melissa often shares that you are the product of the energies you surround yourself with - and this person should be a part of your energy.This episode is about choosing you. Standing in your power. Finding your superpowers. Staying open to the possibilities - even when it’s going to suck. You will want to listen to this one.Highlights2:01 - Paying attention to goosebumps4:11 - The value of expanding the definition of grief6:30 - Ignoring your intuition11:07 - How to navigate "what if"14:47 - Finding neutral is step one17:40 - How Sam became a Rockette (even though it was impos

  • 104: Schools, Side-Boob & Shots, Untold Truths & Unexpected Pivots w/ Sydni O'Connell

    21/11/2022 Duration: 36min

    In this special episode, Melissa shares parts of her story she has never shared. Melissa’s guest shares so many similarities with Melissa’s story it’s almost eerie! Melissa and Sydni O’Connell go deep on betrayal and moving forward after all you envisioned for your life is taken from you. Sydni talks about fighting for her job on her honeymoon and the surreal reality check of managing the unexpected. Melissa and Sydni also explore the following:Why you owe yourself to build your safety from within.How and why to visualize the highs and lows.Believing “If I don’t do anything wrong, everything will go right” can be detrimental to your success - and how it shows up.Highlights1:24 - Working with kids in a unique way2:43 - Dream jobs get crushed7:19 - The consequences for standing for your beliefs9:00 - Strength through adversity and politics11:10 - Taking full ownership of your safety14:56 - Managing the feelings-fallout from a setback16:23 - Recognizing when to leave “right” behind20:08 - Keeping yourself out of

  • 103: The Most Life-Changing Lesson Leyden Taught Me

    14/11/2022 Duration: 15min

    Melissa rides solo and shares THE MOST life-changing lesson she learned from her daughter Leyden. We’ve all experienced something being taken from us and the ground ripped out from underneath. However, Melissa is here to share some hard truths - we are not entitled to anything but worthy of everything. Melissa explores the power of worthiness and invites you to curiously explore the possibilities when we move from entitlement to ownership. In this episode, she examines the gap between expectation and ownership and how that impacts all areas of your life (fitness, finances, business, relationships). If you can embody this one lesson, it will change your life.And if you want to go deeper with Melissa to have your best year ever, learn more about her upcoming event in Tulum!!!Grief and Guts is for anyone navigating:Bereaved parentsAging parentsDivorceEmpty nestFertility journeyJob lossRelationship endingMovingThe loss of sense of selfThe loss of life envisionedMeet the hostWhen Melissa Dlugolecki lost her daught

  • 102: Pain into Purpose with Brad Barnes

    07/11/2022 Duration: 38min

    This episode provides a glimpse into Melissa’s life and one of the major factors that led to Melissa reinventing herself and finding the clarity to take action. Brad Barnes has changed Melissa’s life and will change yours. Brad and Melissa discuss their grief journeys and offer mindset tips and support no matter what stage of the grief or life journey you find yourself. Brad shares how he had to discover that he had something to grieve and the role that gender had in his grief experience. He highlights why you might want to check in on the strong people in your life and why mindset is the most powerful place to put your energy. He also puts forth these prompts.Can I only compare myself to who I was yesterday and not to who anyone else is today?Can I give a level 10 for today, not my level 10 for yesterday?How can I collapse my timeline as fast as possible?Highlights1:15 - The most beautiful stage of the grief journey4:15 - The launching point of Brad’s life8:37 - Grief isn’t about gender or circumstances but

  • 101: New Beginnings & Chosen Grief

    31/10/2022 Duration: 19min

    The podcast has returned to explore the not-so-comfortable things of life. The podcast started in honor and memory of Melissa’s daughter Leyden who passed in 2014. But like many of you, Melissa’s journey has evolved, and new lessons are coming alive in her that she’s ready to share with you!Grief is a lot more than the loss of life. It’s a fertility journey, job loss, a relationship ending, or leaving your hometown. In this episode, Melissa dives into the why and how to talk about grief so we’re not shocked, shut down, or afraid of it. We’re empowered. Melissa also highlights the idea of actively creating the choice to create a loss. Why would you choose grief? She explains why. She also goes in-depth about why she told herself she stopped the podcast and the real reason she stopped. This episode will give you permission. Permission to get comfortable with closures and new beginnings. On choosing grief. On allowing yourself to not miss what’s new after you close one aspect of your life. Grief and Guts is for

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