top of page

Igniting Graceful Revolution With Melissa Bird, Ph.D.


Meet the phenomenal force that is Dr. Melissa Bird—a life coach, author, and electrifying public speaker whose wisdom has touched countless lives across the globe.

Audiences hail her as fierce, life-changing, and a testament to Dr. Bird's unique blend of education, real-life experiences, and actionable advice. She is the creator of a new brand of leadership—a graceful revolution that ignites purpose and taps into the magic within.

Her unique life purpose is to use her talents as a healer to help others tap into their intuition so that they can harness their magic. Her words awaken revolutionaries, trailblazers and powerful innovators in the quest for justice.

Join us as we explore Dr. Bird's empowering journey and discover ways to break free from the 'shoulds,' embracing our authentic selves in the process. To connect with Melissa, visit her website 


Watch Melissa's Story



Jennifer:Welcome to the I Don't Give a Should Show – a podcast exploring ALL the ways that women SHOULD all over themselves. How many times do you find yourself acting out of obligation or doing what everyone ELSE expects from you without stopping to consider why? Where do all those beliefs that are driving you come from? If you're tired of feeling resentful, overwhelmed, stuck, exhausted or pissed off you're in the right place.

Shoulding all over yourself is a real thing, but it doesn't have to be in the driver's seat.

I'm your host Jen Sherwood, and I spent waaaaay too many years trying to prove that I was good enough and worrying what other people thought while avoiding conflict at all costs. Today, I don't give a should – well not as many anyway and neither should you. I'm talking to women like you who figured out how to stop shoulding and start LIVING.

Today, my guest is Dr. Melissa Bird – as a life coach, author and fiery public speaker, Dr. Melissa Bird has given hundreds of speeches and workshops across the world, including speaking to audiences at universities, national conferences and churches. Her combination of education, real life experience and practical advice makes her a powerful force for change in the lives of the people she speaks to. 

Past audience members have described her as fierce, revelatory, life changing enthusiastically and inspirational. Dr. Bird creates the genesis for a brand, a new brand excuse of leadership and graceful revolution. Her unique life purpose is to use her talents as a healer and a prophet to help others tap into their intuition so that they can harness their magic. 

Her words awaken revolutionaries, trailblazers, and powerful innovators in the quest for justice. When she's not building her business, she can be found reading trashy novels, drinking fine whiskey, and playing mom to three delicious humans and loving her punk rock scientist, James Thomas Kelly. 

So I asked Missy, if it was okay, if I shared this, which by the way. Of course, I knew the answer was yes, because there's pretty much nothing off limits for her I think. But this is so perfect that we are here together because Missy and I met 100,000 years ago, not like a pandemic 100 years ago, but 100 years ago, in a workshop called the Bye Bye Good Girl Bootcamp so literally, we were both there. 

We had these should tendencies, these good girl tendencies – we really were at a point where we were ready to get rid of it. Although I'm not sure at the time, Missy that we could get rid of it. I just took a leap. We didn't know each other beforehand and we met there and we have been friends ever since so I am thrilled that you are here with us today.

Melissa: I'm so happy to be with you - I love you so much. 

Jennifer: This is so exciting, I hope people can like it feels so giddy for us to be here together. I love you too. Thank you for coming but okay, let's get to what people want to actually hear about not just us gushing about each other. 

Can you tell us what it was like for you when you were living under the shoulds?

Melissa: I love this question so much. 

Here is what you don't know about how I got to the Bye Bye Good Girl Bootcamp. I can't even remember who the coach was but it was in 2010 and or 2011. It was in 2011 and she was doing this like a roundtable of up and coming coaches. She was the person used to talk about the gremlins. I can't remember her name, but she was my ailleurs, I think.

She was doing a two-week intensive – a coach in the morning for 30 minutes and a coach in the afternoon for 30 minutes. It was like Danielle Laporte and like all these fancy people, and one of them was Christina and Regina. Okay, so she interviewed Christina and Regina, and I was listening and each coach gave away something. Well, I mean, there are literally hundreds and hundreds of people from around the world on these calls.

I'm listening to the call and you had a number that was assigned to your name. I won free coaching with Christina and Regina. I did not know that is how I got connected with Christina and Regina. It turned out that Christina lived down the street from me in Los Angeles.

Then I get this one hour of coaching and I am in the biggest transition of my life. My ex-wife had left me five hours after I got inseminated. I had her with my six figure job, packed up all my staff and moved to a 600 square foot apartment in Beverly Hills that was rent controlled. Magic, started a new job, like I had basically ended my entire life, sold almost everything I owned and moved to Los Angeles when I was getting divorced. And, boy, the shoulds were just rearing their heads, like, should I be dating? Should I be doing this? Do I have any right to own all of the things I've been called to do at this moment?

At the time, I had just met my now husband, I met him in a bar in Utah and he happened to live in Southern California. There was all this stuff around what was happening in my life at the exact moment. I started that Good Girl Bootcamp and so when they introduced to us this idea of shoulds I was like, oh right. I use shoulding a lot with my clients – one of my favorite things to teach my clients and I put this into practice. I started thinking, what if I started listing all my shoulds? You know, I shouldn't be skinnier. I should be a better mother. Oh, yeah, calmer. I should be quieter. I should be this. I shouldn't be that. What if I started listing my shitty shoulds and list them on the list, and rip them up into tiny pieces and flushing down the toilet because that's where shit goes. 

Once a quarter, I write down all my shoulders, and I turn them into tiny pieces. I flush them down the toilet because I think one of the things that I have observed I do and women do. My daughter's do it and we get caught up in these shoulds about how we're supposed to be and we just should all over ourselves constantly.

Jennifer: What I love about what you just said, though, about sitting down and writing them all down, is people don't even realize that they're doing it. By listing those out the way I should look at that I shouldn't be so loud. I can't remember all the examples you gave, but I hope you're giving people some insight into what these shoulds might look like. 

When you write them down, I always believe this., if you're just thinking about it, those little slippery buggers, they go away and you forget about them. But when you write them down, it becomes way more powerful to see what you're telling yourself. I mean, I don't know about you miss, but sometimes when I write down my thoughts are essentially what are my shoulds I hadn't thought about it like that. 

Sometimes I'm like, Oh my God, who is in there beating the crap out of me and yeah, really mean what I should be doing in this way. I love that getting aware of your shoulds and the whole idea of just flushing them down the toilet is I love that metaphor. 

I love that actual physical of flushing it away.

Melissa: Yeah because you could burn it but it's just it's not as good as flushing it down.

Jennifer: So I'm curious, can we back up a little bit more? 

I'm thinking about, you just mentioned Utah and that kind of made me think about kind of before you were the Missy Bird we know now. I know for me, I was living under a lot of perfectionist ideals and didn't realize it just sort of responding. 

So before you got to the point where you were in your 600 square foot apartment, ready for this transfer or in the midst of this transformation? What were you like before that?

Melissa: Yeah, I was not a nice person. 

I was really angry– my default is towards anger. I was raised in a really violent household, and so my default is anger. The greatest gift that my ex-wife truly ever gave me was leaving me because I was a lobbyist, I was a very, very high powered lobbyist. I was very good at my job and I was a bitch, like I was a ballbusting bitch. I thought at that point, what it meant to have my job meant that I had my power. I was very masculine in my power, and it took her leaving to break me. She ripped down my whole fortress, I nearly committed suicide, and that whole experience opened me up to a level of vulnerability that I had never experienced in my entire life because I had been through so much trauma as a young person. 

I had built up all I was not a vulnerable person at all and because she ripped me to shreds, basically, I had an opportunity. I remember the day I actually said to my therapist, I said to her, I was like, I can't, I can't pull the walls back up, like, I'm trying to put the walls back up and she's like, you're not supposed to.

I was like, I can't walk around this vulnerable, what's gonna happen to me, like, people are going to be mean to me. It was the greatest opportunity for healing in my life and also, it was this incredible realization that actually my power was in being vulnerable, and honest, and real, and raw. Then all of a sudden, I was like, whoa, I can't do this job anymore like, I loved my job and I was great at my job and I was really effective at my job.

I was like, this doesn't fit, and then I remember looking at this crack in my ceiling in the house where I was living at the time. I was like, I can go anywhere and do anything I want, and I always wanted to get my PhD. I always wanted to live in LA and I was like, huh, I can go do that like, I don't have to stay here. I'm a grown woman – I'm 35 years old, I can do anything I want. I have no children. I couldn't have children. Unfortunately, part of what I learned is that I was infertile, and I could not have children. I have grabbed these two dogs, so I can give my dogs to my friends like I don't have to be here anymore.

It was the most mind blowing experience when I was like, no, whatever the hell I want and it just everything just fell into place. The minute I decided that I could do whatever the hell I wanted. It was crazy and I still had those shoulds hanging over me but I was starting the process of vulnerability. That is the key to expansion open to whatever is gonna get thrown at me because I mean, I was just working with a client today. I and they were talking about this conflict that they keep having with people because the more they expand, the more conflict comes in. I said we haven't healed the shame yet and she was like, What do I do? Like, can you give me a tool? I need a tool and I said thank you to whoever you're in conflict with for showing you what you really want in life and they were like, what and I was like, thank you and she's like, thank you.

I was like, girl, you're getting clear on what you want and what you don't want. Yeah, she was like, her whole head exploded. 

Jennifer: I love that moment. 

When you're like, this sucks and then you go, Oh, wait, yeah, wait, here we are. I love what you were just saying like, you were like I have to or I don't have to like suddenly this became an expansion and opening, you realize there were choices out there that you hadn't even allowed yourself to consider. I love that. And spoiler alert, you guys, not only did she get her PhD, she got it at the frickin University of Southern California and lived down there. 

So Missy. So we know that your wife leaving was the catalyst for this breakdown to break through, if you will? What would you say helped you move through that? Like, what got you so you started becoming vulnerable? But how did you do it? How did you move from being angry into where you are now?

I don't expect you to have, you know, like, one trite response, but just give us an overview of what I started and never say anything.

Melissa: There was so much that I really started to figure out how to be grateful for every single thing I had at that moment, and I used to think that was trite. By the way, I used to think that was total crap. Like, what you want me to be grateful for what I have right now so I can have my million dollar dreams like no, like, that's dumb.  

I want the million I want to be grateful for in five years or two years or whatever. What I realized was the minute I started being grateful for exactly what was sitting in front of my face, which by the way, happened to be this incredible man who loved me for who I am, who came along with three beautiful and amazing children that I am the proud mother of and so like we were going through some stuff. I mean, both of us were getting divorced. Both of us were dealing with this kid. He has PTSD. I have PTSD. Like there was a lot happening y'all like I don't want anybody to think that this was like all smelling up roses here because Yeah, well I already have we've been through the wringer.

What I started to recognize and it was because of coaching, it was because of Regina and Chris Steena it was because of the Good Girl Bootcamp, it was because of the people I started surrounding myself with, what I started to realize was that if I could look around the room and be grateful for every single thing that was in it, everything else would come. And so as I started thinking, I'm really powerful. I really am great at manifesting when I want. I'm getting everything I'm asking for and by the way, for all y'all listening, you really are getting what you're asking for but be careful what you're asking for.

I'm not talking about engaging in like that toxic gratitude where it feels forced, and it's not natural. It's really about tapping into your intuition and listening to yourself and listening. When, when your intuition says, do this, instead of going, ah, oh, now going, being curious about it. This is one thing that I'm really starting to realize: we are not curious about things anymore. Like we're all about, control and predict and, you know, magic kind of threw itself out the window. 

We have so many things accessible to us right away, and I'm thinking, I want to be curious about stuff again, I want to wander again. I'm really noticing that the more curious I am about circumstances, whether they're good or bad, the more I am, I sit in awe of them. The more joy, the more things to be grateful for the more I'm tuned in to my intuition and what I'm doing next. The women that you have sitting here in front of you today, is all because I didn't shut that down and try to wall it off. It was impossible for me to do it and try as I might– I still can't. 

I'm still just this vulnerable, raw, rebellious, it's part of my rebellion.

Jennifer: I love that. 

I also want to say, I'm curious what you think about this. I also think curiosity helps get us out of judgment and so instead of judging what we're doing what we're not doing, instead of judging other people, and sitting in that kind of energy, curiosity, I just really think takes you out of that, and makes it more like, like you said the word awe, like being in awe of what's going on? Or why is this happening this way can take us energetically in this whole other direction. 

Would you agree? Melissa: Yeah.

I think that's really important because when we, this is one of the things I teach in Rebel School, which I know you said, I am going to have an opportunity to talk a little bit more Yes, well, rebel schools, my 12 week group program where 10 women sit in this container and learn how to harness the power of their intuition to find their voice. It's really magic.

One of the things that I teach in Rebel school is this idea of, it's not just about action, leading to clarity and leading confidence. It's about how do we take inspired, intentional, intuitive action that comes from us listening to our intuition, when we always get clear when we take action, and if we start taking action from a space of inspiration, and intuition, then what happens is our clarity comes from a space, it doesn't come from a shooting all over ourselves, a should actually should do this, right? 

It really comes from a space of intuition and inspired intention. And that clarity is really crystal clear. Like there's it's not muddy, it's really crystal clear, that window is bright. You can see all the way through it. That means our confidence that from actually clarity leads confidence, that confidence comes from a space of inspiration to and if we're walking around, inspired and confident and clearer than when the mud comes, which is feelings, when the mud comes to get everything. We know all the time that that clarity can come from a space of, of intuition and and really feeling inspired in the world that we are walking around in. Yeah, and it's not to say that life isn't hard. Life is hard. Life is hard, but what if we let it be easy?

Jennifer: Agreed. Agreed. I am all about ease.

Melissa: What if we let it be easy? 

Like, stuff can be hard and what if we stopped pushing up against it and pushing up against him forcing ourselves up against it. We just went okay, yeah, I guess you have a bigger plan than I do. I'll just go with the flow and see what happens. 

Jennifer: I love that. 

Why do we have to make it even harder on ourselves? I love love love that this is just so good and as you were talking I was thinking I think also what what the women who are in rubble school for sure. 

If you're listening to that intuition – it's also just developing this level of self trust to trust it. Well, it's trust in general, but also just trusting what you're hearing and trusting yourself to act on that instead of the thing about shooting, right? Like, oh, I don't know, should I do this? Or should I do that, and then sit there, maybe never doing anything. 

So not making a decision is making a decision, you're deciding to just stay where you don't want to be. So I love that idea of like, really tuning into you and your wisdom. And following that. It's so fantastic. I love what you're doing in the world – I really do. 

So I have no idea how long we've been talking about this but I want to kind of give you a few minutes to talk about your work and how your own experience has influenced the work that you do.

Melissa: This really, when I started my coaching practice I was engaging in so my business is called Natural Born Rebel, but I was really engaging in the ultimate rebellion of finishing a PhD, and not going into academia, much to the university at the fancy pants university surprising, shocking. 

I was like, you've always known me, you knew this wasn't going to happen. When I chose to start my business, I started under the name Bird Girl Industries and what happened was, I have a friend who randomly called me out of nowhere while I was in a lift in San Bernardino, California on my way back to Oregon. She said, listen, I just got this divine download for you and oh, God, I better start writing because I only have a couple minutes. We need you to start this thing called Natural Born Rebel. 

I've already bought you the URL for the website – these are all the things you need to write a book, these are all the things that need to be in the book. We need you to start this thing called Rebel School and these are all the things you need to teach them Rebel School, I have to go back into my real estate thing because she was an agent. 

If I hadn't listened to any messages all along this journey. I would certainly not be sitting here talking today and so I was like, oh, thanks, Susie and the Lyft drivers like does that happen to you often? Like that was out of nowhere – I love the lifter. I was like, wow, what just happened? He goes, are you gonna listen to it? I go, oh, totally and so I get on the plane and I write the book. It just spilled out of me so the free book on my website, Natural Born Rebel has some really incredible journal prompts that all of you should get and obviously you've read it because it's really, really amazing and I'm really proud of it. 

I mean, basically the whole entire outline, and the whole first part of that book just flew out of me on the plane. By the way, people you definitely find it's a great book, like it is really the feedback I get from that book is always so surprising, because of course, you know, it just came out of me. 

I've looked back at it a couple of times, but you know, you write stuff, and then it just kind of goes off into the world. Sometimes you forget to check back in with it and so I'm really proud of that book for a number of reasons. Mostly because the feedback I get from people like that was amazing and I'm like, oh God, it still works. 

The thing was Rebel School and this I think is you and I were talking about this a little bit before we started recording. But rebel school the way it started in 2019 is nothing like rebel school is now and I allowed myself to hold on to that framework that Suzy downloaded for me. I've allowed myself to hold on to those principles and expand it based on what women are experiencing within the container of rebel school. Now it has turned into this, you know, beautiful 12 week gorgeous space where women can be ten women each time I do Rebel School three times a year. 

Ten women in this container of love and intention and vulnerability, and coaching and I call it soul school because rebel school really is soul school. It is about healing shaman, wounding and dismantling the patriarchy in your brain. Really figuring out how the messages you've received your whole life have stopped you from living out your divine assignment, your divine purpose and it is so gorgeous. I believe it happened before, and it's always surprising. I'm like, wow, this is so incredible – every time I do it, I'm like, oh, I'm getting better.

I'm like, how does this keep getting better? I don't even know that this is my life – it's so good. That's the big thing that I do in my practice. I do one-on-one coaching as well, but I love teaching in a normal school.

Jennifer: We will link to all of this because I am sure there are women right now who are like, I need to know more about this rebel school so we will put that in there.

This is amazing and magical and I could talk to you all day but I also know people don't have as long of an attention span as we might want to talk. Before we wrap up, is there anything else you want to share? Anything I didn't think to ask you today?

Melissa: That just means you have to bring me back. 

There is one thing I actually was talking about today with someone and I literally said the ultimate rebellion is to infuse conflict with love. If we stop looking at conflict as something that's a push, pull and we start looking at it as something where someone else is just as terrified as we are, and just as afraid and dealing with that shitty list of shoulds and we infuse love into the situation and gratitude and thank you. I think that is the ultimate where I think we are going to see a huge shift in the way we interact in the world.


If we start doing that instead – like there's compassion in there because you just said that person is dealing with their list. They're dealing with all their own stuff. If we can see that, just like the way you describe the way your walls were up, and then they came down and you're vulnerable if we could dismantle those walls and connect human to human. 

Yes, I 100% agree with you. I love that. Thank you. Thank you for making that your parting words. I appreciate it. Missy people are going to want to find you how can they find you? 

Melissa: You can find me online at

I am on all the socials at birdgirl1001 and you can find all that on my website as well. Then I have a YouTube channel that you can also link to from my website, and it's super awesome and fun.

Jennifer: Alright, sounds good and Twitter is your social media of choice, isn't it? 

Melissa: Twitter was my social media of choice, and then I found TikTok.

Jennifer: I gotta go watch you on Tiktok – I really do.

Melissa: I don't even know what I'm doing there but I'm having so much fun doing it, so many bananas say I don't even know if what matters is that you're having fun. I am. I'm having a great time.

Jennifer: This was a great time. 

I'm glad you came on here – I'm so glad you shared your story with the women who are watching us. I'm so happy to hear your story, and I am just waiting to watch it continue.

So Missy, thank you so much for being here and those of you that are watching, thanks for joining us. Until next time!

3 simple steps laid out in 3 bite-sized videos to go from overwhelm to ease (even if you think it's not possible!)



Recent Posts
Search By Tags
bottom of page