Melissa Lynn Block

Melissa Lynn Block
Santa Barbara, CA, USA
January 14
I am a writer, reader, mother, yoga teacher, and dancer/choreographer. I am not in any way related to the NPR commentator who shares my name. I am a study in opposites and paradoxes, just like you. The photo that appears here was taken by Kathee Miller. And that is all.

Melissa Lynn Block's Links

In class with Jenni Rawlings at Yoga Soup in Santa Barbara, I lie in savasana. I’m supposed to be relaxing and emptying my mind, humming with pure presence, feeling prana circulate in my body. And what am I actually doing? Mentally constructing an outfit for a party I plan to attend… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 16, 2015 1:43PM

Sweet William

About three weeks ago, I said, “Will, honey, I’m going to write an article about you. It might get a little personal. Are you okay with that?” 

He looked concerned.

“It’ll all be good stuff,” I told him, batting my eyelashes. “All about how wonderful

Read full post »
DECEMBER 5, 2014 3:56PM

An Open Letter to Disaffected Teenagers

“Whatever.”   “I don’t care.”

A couple of your peers said these words in my presence the other day. I'd heard them many times before from folks in your demographic, but this time, I got pissed.

My mind lurched into a diatribe about the importance of caring. About… Read full post »

On a recent episode of "This American Life" was a story about a new way to help people with Alzheimer's and their caregivers: 

Used to be that caregivers were advised to try to help the patient stay with themselves, to s… Read full post »

I stopped reading home magazines and fashion magazines a while back. I'm pissed at how those magazines twisted my mind around about ideals of beauty, attainment and success. By beginning to pore over Vogue and Mademoiselle and Glamour in my early teens, I truly believe I poisoned myself, and I'm stilRead full post »

JUNE 19, 2014 2:40PM

Gun Control Is Not The Answer

YES: gun control is imperative. YES: open carry in public places is a disgusting, horrific slap in the face to anyone who has been impacted by gun violence. And really, when you think about it, that SHOULD be anyone who is paying attention. 

Here's the question that comes up for me, though… Read full post »
JUNE 19, 2014 2:38PM

Teaching Moment Fatigue

Yesterday my kid said a few things that caused me to launch (lurch?) into my lecture-diatribe about Not Standing In Judgment. Blah blah, you can't know someone's heart by the way they dress. Blah blah, what does your big reaction to that person's Extremely Cheery Attitude say about YOU? 

Ever so… Read full post »

Yes, Elliot Rodger was frankly mentally ill; yes, he was a misogynist pig; yes, he was a racist and a coward. I hate that m******f*****er. I really hate him. I’d want him dead if he weren’t dead already. 

Before meeting whatever untimely end he’d meet in my revenge fantasy &ndaRead full post »

MAY 20, 2014 1:39AM

An Open Letter to Yogis Under 35

As the 50-something yoga teacher prattles on, introducing argument after argument about releasing attachment and judgment, I get it. Yes. Wrinkles, sagging this and that, stories about how my life should be, I am releasing my need to control all of it, and embracing my I-am-that-ness, om shanti, etc.… Read full post »

A beloved person in my life has taken psychiatric medications for most of the time I’ve known him. Because the human brain shifts and changes, medications stop working and need adjustment. To keep getting prescriptions for these medicines, ongoing visits to a psychiatrist are necessary.

My friRead full post »

AUGUST 27, 2013 7:50PM

In Defense of Robin Thicke

Author's note: In light of all that is going down in Syria right now--massacres of thousands of innocents, dying in droves from poison gas--I wish I knew enough to write about THAT instead of contributing anything to the Miley-slut-shaming-racism-rape-culture conversation. But I don't have anything hRead full post »

Like: preposition: having the same characteristics or qualities as; similar to. Conjunction: in the same way that. Noun: used with reference to a person or thing of the same kind as another, or the things one likes or prefers. Adjective: having similar qualities or characteristics to another person oRead full post »

A couple of young fish swim along in the vast sea one fine day. An old fish swims the other way and greets the young fish. "How's the water?" he asks them. The two young fish look at each other, confused. "What's water?" they ask. 

After a week of being exhorted… Read full post »

Do you spend a lot of time thinking bad thoughts and feeling miserable?

Are you waiting for your life to get better?

Depressed? Anxious? Afraid? Stuck in bad thoughts? Escaping through TV and the Internet because that's the only thing that distracts you from these thoughts? Spending big bucks on therRead full post »

MARCH 22, 2012 2:19PM

From A Great Height

All day that day, on 9/12, Alice waits for the sound of explosions, for the invasion, a hundred soldiers of God landing at the beach a mile from the secondhand children’s store and storming the bike path full of families of tourists on pedal cars who always look like they aren’tRead full post »

MARCH 13, 2012 1:56PM

Yoga and the Ecstasy of Attachment

You're in that yoga class. The one you get to when you can get to it.

Slow flow through sitting and standing poses, holding them until they hurt. You fill the places that grip, that grab, that hurt with breath. You send the laser point of the mind away from thoughtsRead full post »

JANUARY 18, 2011 4:43PM

Loving Jared Loughner

On January 8th, 2011, Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords set up a meet-and-greet at a Safeway store in Tucson, Arizona, with the intention of meeting and greeting her constituents. One of them, an unhinged college dropout and Army reject named Jared Loughner, shot her and 18 others, six of whom have/… Read full post »

DECEMBER 16, 2010 2:04PM


I’m sixteen years old. I’m alone in my dim bedroom. On one wall is a mirror. From where I sit, I can see a reflection of my upper torso and my face. Intensely I gaze across the room at myself, turning my face and shoulders this way and that. There, I… Read full post »

 When I’ve said the occasional “That seems surprisingly relevant,” while reading a newspaper horoscope, I’ve chalked it up to the same phenomena to which I attribute surprisingly relevant fortune cookies: 1.)coincidence, or 2.) vagueness adequate to make it applicable to/Read full post »

NOVEMBER 15, 2010 4:01PM

On Traditional Monogamy

Historically, monogamy didn't begin as a way to ensure that two people could relax into deepest intimacy. It began as a way for men to assert their ownership over a woman's body...Our thinking that monogamy is inherently a nobler arrangement than any other has created a nationRead full post »

NOVEMBER 9, 2010 2:42PM

Esalen With a Four-Year-Old

Carsick, find the entrance from Rt. 1. You’ve been winding around the curves and telling yourself it’s gorgeous, it’s gorgeous, but you feel like hurling, and you’re overwhelmed with gratitude to see the rectangular wooden sign: ESALEN INSTITUTE.

Wind down through the evergRead full post »

NOVEMBER 2, 2010 7:54PM

kundalini anniversary

 She moves through her days. Cooking meals, watching her children eat them, buying more stuff from the store, sitting at a desk doing the work that earns her money. Her actions are dictated by the arising of urges and obligations. She is a responder. There is always something that requires a… Read full post »

In my teens I began to fall regularly into bouts of deep melancholy where I would cry incessantly and write maudlin, self-hating things in my journals. I would sometimes cut myself or smash my own head against the wall. My concerned parents brought me to a psychologist, who, after the usual… Read full post »

Both my parents are Jewish, as were all four of my grandparents; the lineage stretches into Jewishness as far back as anyone has traced it. I was raised in a household where Yiddish words were regular parts of our vocabulary; where menorahs were lit; where books addressing the Holocaust were a… Read full post »

At Yogurtland today:

A longish line. Mostly it's composed of teen and 20-something girls, with a few families thrown in. The families generally include two parents, male and female, plus one or more very excited children under the age of five. (Yogurtland is, after all, the premier destination for… Read full post »