I was introduced to Melanie Santos through a tag of her Instagram page @melalamode_ of her Moon rituals (now, If you follow me on IG you know how much spirituality plays a huge role in my life and that I practiced moon rituals). I clicked on her page, watched her full moon tutorial on YouTube, signed up for her newsletter and began following her on Instagram. Through her Full and New Moon posts, I was reminded of the importance of manifestation and as I shared with her when contacting her for this interview, a shift occurred, not just for me but for a few friends with whom I shared the tutorials with.
Melanie Santos is a cosmically connected New Yorker, millennial Latina, wife, mother, and self-love and mental health advocate dedicated to shining her light in an effort to stimulate change.
We all deal with fears and struggle with something in our lives, so when we encounter people who like Melanie are open to sharing their own fears and struggles and shed light as to what they’ve done or are doing to overcome them, we find comfort and don’ feel isolated. Through her posts, she motivates us to reach deep within and manifest our best life, all through Love.
I believed in the work she does and how she impacts her followers, she engages with them and although juggles a lot like many of us she makes time to respond to your questions and comments.
In this interview, we discuss wellness, manifestation and her work through MEL À LA MODE
WA: Tell us about yourself. Who’s Melanie Santos? Where were you born?
MS: I’m Melanie Santos, 28-year-old Gemini, born and raised in New York City. I am a daughter of a Cuban woman and a Dominican man, a sister, wife, mother, friend, digital content creator, and cosmically connected student of life.
WA: What inspired you to create MEL À LA MODE?
MS: MEL À LA MODE was created out of a need to fulfill a creative void. I have always been an artist of some sort, and wanted a digital space to share odes to the things that I loved and learned (hence the word “ode” in MEL À LA MODE). So in 2013, I launched the first MELALAMODE.COM. As my life progressed, and I experienced the lowest lows of my life while battling depression and anxiety, I switched gears a little. I still wrote about the things I loved, but I also opened up about battling mental illness, self-loathing, heartbreak, and dove into finding a love of self.
WA: What is MEL À LA MODE’s purpose and why is this important to you?
MS: MEL À LA MODE aims to motivate its tribe to reach deep within, connect with their higher selves, and manifest their best lives by living intentionally and loving themselves, and the world, unconditionally. I want to continue to make beautiful things, and inspire beautiful people with the ugly things that I’ve been through. It is my life’s purpose to be a light in the darkest parts of this world.
WA: Why is wellness so important and how can we cultivate it?
MS: Wellness is the most important part of living. Without wellness, we would be depleted, diseased, and out of order – mentally, physically, and spiritually. The only way to cultivate wellness is through love. You have to love your mind by feeding it through learning, exercise it with high-vibrational thoughts and habits, and resting it when it’s overwhelmed. You have to love your body by feeding it nutritious foods, exercising it through physical activity, and resting with sleep. And you have to love your soul – feed it by strengthening your connection to God, exercise it by loving, and rest it through meditation. It’s very simple but has many layers.
WA: What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear? What do you still struggle with?
MS: My greatest fear is not fulfilling my divine purpose. Right now I know that I am meant to be a conduit through which God works. I manage that fear by living my life as intentionally as I possibly can every single day. It is a daily struggle as I am a human that battles fear and anxiety daily, but at least I’m choosing to battle it, and not let it win. It hasn’t always been this way. I’m proud of myself for how far I’ve come thus far.
WA: What is your definition of vulnerability?
MS: Vulnerability is freedom from fear. It is the freedom to be who you are regardless of anyone or anything.
WA: Talking vulnerability, you are very open with your followers and one of your videos really stood out for me: Your Mental Health Story. For many years, mental health has been a taboo topic, more so within our communities of color. What sparked within you the need to share your own story, and what has been the outcome?
MS: I’ve been open about my mental health for over four years, but I felt the need to film a video about it because I knew it would be a huge step for me as a person, and for me as a mental health advocate. Through publishing this video, I’ve further forgiven myself and the people in my life for my painful past, as well as given the world a reason to not feel so alone in their pain. It was a way to shed light on cultural stigma and talk about my very real experiences with therapy and counseling because frankly, not many people are. My Mental Health Story video was released one month ago and has already been viewed 1,100 times. I don’t have a huge audience and tens of thousands of followers, so a video about my battles with anxiety, depression, and codependency – a story I’ve been ashamed of my entire life – making it past 1K views is huge for me. What’s even better is that I’ve inspired so many people to make their first therapy appointments. I’ve moved the needle a little all by myself.
WA: On energy, why it is so important this concept? Not just to us individually, but also as a collective?
MS: Energy is everything. It is in all of us, and what powers everything in the world. If we all took some time to take care of the energy within us, then the energy we expelled into our lives would be more positive, resulting in a better world. Think about it!
WA: When did you begin practicing moon rituals?
MS: I began doing moon rituals about two years ago as part of my final healing process. It helped me cleanse and manifest the way that I feel about myself and my life today.
WA: Manifestation is a concept we often hear, especially when it comes to moon rituals. Can you share with our readers the importance of manifesting your desires?
MS: Manifestation gets a bad rep. It’s important for me to differentiate what is really important about it spiritually versus the materialistic connotation it gets. You can focus on manifesting physical objects, or positions for yourself, but it’s more important to try to manifest the way you want to feel within yourself. Our job in life isn’t to have things and money so that we could be happy because…who’s to say that those things and money will bring you happiness? What if those things aren’t conducive to your divine purpose, path, and timing? Our only job is to do all things in love and to try our best to connect with the Universe (God), our higher selves, and align with the miracles intended for us.
WA: Can you share with our readers about MEL À LA MODE’s Claim of Abundance?
MS: Vision boards have become a trendy way to envision the life you want to manifest, but I wanted to create a simpler, and possibly more effective manifestation tool for everyone to use. Besides that, it’s a letter to your future self that allows you to plan out your goals word by word. Think about who you want to be, how you want to feel, where you want to travel to, and even how much money you want to make, spend, and save. Center yourself, meditate, pray, reflect on it, then take all of your intentional energy, and put it into claiming abundance by writing your own Claim of Abundance. It’s available as a free download on my website.
WA: Do you consider yourself a Magic Woman?
MS: All women are magic. I just try to use my magic to help other women find theirs.
WA: You recently became a mom to a beautiful baby girl. What’s been the biggest surprise about motherhood?
MS: Nothing about motherhood has really been a surprise because I didn’t know what to expect. All I knew is that I would have to take things one day at a time, not forget to love myself, not forget to love and thank my husband and that my little girl would fill me with more love than I ever knew was humanly possible. I love my family more than anything.
WA: What’s next for Melanie and for MEL À LA MODE?
MS: I just want to continue to grow with my growing tribe. I’ve been through a lot, and I know a lot more than I used to, but every day is a learning experience – as a woman, a survivor, a mother, wife, and guide. What’s next for MEL À LA MODE? Many more raw, real, wonderful, radical, lovely things. You’ll have to stay tuned to see.
As a New Moon is upon us this Saturday, make sure you watch Melanie’s New Moon Ritual video and follow her Instagram posts and story to find out what’s the scoop of this New Moon in Pisces.