The Carpet

When the rug is pulled out from beneath you and you lay there on your back, wind knocked out of your lungs, head pounding from the impact of the floor, how long does it take for you to get back up?


It used to take me months or years. Now it takes hours to days.

Almost every time it is accompanied by waves and waves of emotions rocking my soul and my heart like a storm swept sea.

Anger, sadness, convulsive fear. My heart pounding so hard panic threatens to take over. I can hardly breathe when I think of what has happened, what might happen, what will happen.

These emotions threaten to overtake me until I catch my breath.

Deep breath in, I will survive this.
Deep breath out, I have no control.
Deep breath in, I am the boss of me.
Deep breath out, I surrender to the will of God and the Universe.
Deep breath in, I am love and I am loved.
Deep breath out, I am Dr. Melissa Bird, PhD.
Deep breath in, I call on the wisdom of my tribe and ask for prayers.
Deep breath out, I receive all the messages my loved ones have to send me.

I rise, like always, like the Phoenix on my back.
I focus on my present moment and the gifts that are all around me.

I replace the ripped out carpet with a new heavier one that cannot so easily be pulled from underneath me.
I breathe.


About Melissa Bird

Melissa Bird is a passionate feminist who has turned her education in social work into a career advocating for children, women and their families. She is a fierce believer in preparing women for leadership roles in politics and has a wealth of experience working with policy makers, community leaders, and other stakeholders to improve access to reproductive health care for women, men and teens. In 2006, Melissa became the Vice President of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Utah where she quickly took a struggling political organization from mediocre to powerhouse in just a few years. Melissa has written and passed into law six pieces of legislation that aim to help disadvantaged homeless youth find shelter and women and their families obtain unfettered access to reproductive health care. A spirited public speaker, Melissa derives great joy from speaking to groups of all sizes about social justice advocacy, reproductive health, women’s empowerment, and fundraising. Melissa has presented workshops at many conferences throughout the country such as: Planned Parenthood Federation of America-State Public Affairs Network: New Public Affairs Staff Orientation—Washington D.C. Planned Parenthood Federation of America-Innovations & Generations Conference—Seattle, Washington Troubled Youth Conference—Snowbird, Utah Child Welfare League of America National Conference—Washington D.C. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center of Mental Health Services Conference-Collaborative Approaches to Successful Transition for Children, Youth, and Families within System of Care—Dallas, Texas Melissa has played many roles throughout her life including preschool teacher, professional lobbyist, university professor, non-profit executive, wife and mother. Throughout her life and her career, Melissa has always held a deep conviction that she is here to empower others in order to improve the lives of women and children throughout the world.
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