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Miss Lissa Knows MILF Manual

Source: Melissa Finney / @miss_lissa_knows

Allow me to introduce myself! My name is Melissa but I prefer to be addressed as “Miss Lissa.” I’m a media personality, stand up comedian, mom and a generational curse breaker.

In all my years on earth, I’ve never felt as alive as I do now. Like Mary J. Blige, I just want to be happy. Unfortunately, it took a long time for me to figure out that “happiness” was something I had to choose, not something that’s bestowed upon me. In the past, I allowed my joy to be determined by my looks, weight, circle of friends, or positioning in life. I let fear block me from taking risks and aggressively beat myself down for making mistakes.

I had to unlearn these bad habits.

Reshaping my outlook got me better results. As cliché as it sounds, nothing in your life will change unless you do. The moment I began to live intentionally, I immediately felt a shift in my spirit and the universe began to reciprocate in a positive way. I started to attract what was meant for me instead of chasing what wasn’t.

Growing up I never desired to be a wife, (which is probably why I’m still not one *crying emoji*). However, I always knew I’d become a mother and that I wanted to be famous. I never witnessed a healthy family relationship beyond what I saw on television shows. So of course, I yearned to be on television. While my parents were married they had the worst communication mixed with drug addictions – definitely a recipe for disaster! I can vividly remember promising myself that I’d never allow my children to feel the emotional or financial neglect I felt.

At an early age, I understood what it meant to be resilient and always masked my pain with my outgoing personality. I was a chubby kid but never was I teased or bullied by my peers because my charisma saved me. Not to mention, I was way heavier than most of the children I went to the school with so they probably feared physical retaliation. This doesn’t mean I never experienced verbal abuse. My self-esteem was secretly attacked by family members and their friends. I heard brutal questions like, “You’re not gonna get any fatter are you?”, “do you ever miss a meal?” Or, “Whew chile, who did your hair?” Gradually attempting to break my confidence like a wood pecker chipping away at tree bark.

“Unprotected” is an understatement when I think about how I was raised. I literally had to fend for myself. My parents were distracted by drugs and I was tired of being without. So I started working when I was 13 and never stopped. I went to college for a little while but didn’t finish. Honestly, I just wanted to make money and at that time college wasn’t doing it. Plus, I didn’t have anyone to show me the right way.

Throughout the years, I worked and chased my dream of “super stardom”. I created an Internet radio show that transitioned into a podcast entitled, “Miss Lissa Knows”. I hustled so hard that I even got the attention of TMZ, VIBE Magazine and The Wendy Williams Show. I threw myself into work and focused relentlessly on the goal.

In the midst of all this, I gave birth to a beautiful daughter named Brielle. Wanting more for her put me in a space of persistent pursuit. I chased and chased (and I’m still chasing). She’s 12 year old now, but when she was younger, I had to leave my child with babysitters and family members because I needed to provide.

Addictive personalities are hereditary to me, and one day I realized that I was addicted to wanting success. It doesn’t seem like a bad thing until you recognize that you can’t get certain moments back. Here I was growing in my career but missing the growth of my child. I felt neglected as a kid because my parents were choosing substances over me and now I was unsure if my baby girl felt neglected because I was caught up in the grind.

Overall, I wasn’t truly happy even though things looked good to outsiders. I was “thriving” but my weight was fluctuating, my hair wasn’t healthy, my family was suffering and I needed to get my life back on track. Consequently, I decided to make self care a priority. What really helped was the realization that the conversations that I have with myself are more important than any conversation I’d have with another person. Learning to be my own cheerleader and understanding how important it is to pour my love into my daughter and make sure she always feels protected, wanted, seen and heard.

Meditation is a huge factor in this journey. Once I began to calm my mind down, my frequencies began to rise up. When I wake up in the morning, I thank the universe that last night wasn’t my last night. Before I pick up my cell phone, turn on a television or any electronics for that matter, I set the intention of my day. No one should be allowed access to you until you’ve accessed yourself. Your day will go much smoother when you meditate first thing in the morning. If you have time, add a mid-day and/or late night session as well, please do. Whenever I feel my anxieties getting high, I know it’s time to take a breather and reset.

Realizing what we put on our body is just as important as what goes inside also made a huge difference for me. I stopped using unnatural soaps, lotions, deodorant and toothpaste because they’re not appetizing to my spirit or well-being. I’ve transitioned to Castile soaps, raw shea butter, Indian hemp deodorant and charcoal toothpaste.

Building a better life for my offspring and myself is definitely crucial. However, I’ve realized it’s as important to create memories and take time away to recharge.

Mental health is priceless!

Becoming the best version of yourself has no instructional guide. We just have to take it all in stride. Life’s lessons have taught me so much and now it’s time to boldly share my challenges, struggles, insecurities and how I’ve turn my pain into power. 

Join me as I discuss motherhood, my fluctuating weight and how I finally got my mental/physical health under control. Plus, how working in the entertainment industry made me feel like I need make up, my struggle with self-love, shopping on a budget and much more.

I am a Mom Independently Living Fabulously and this is the MILF manual!

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Miss Lissa’s MILF Manual: How I Navigate Motherhood, Meditation & Career