Empowered Women Empower Women: My Conversation with Melissa, the ‘Mindful Mama’

“I was that kid who was always super in tuned with nature, the trees were my friends, I talked to animals,” Melissa D’Acunti said.

At three years old when her first pet died, she wrote a letter to God asking why things like this happened. As an only child born in Manhasset, Long Island 30 years ago she described her childhood self as very empathetic; a character trait that emerged stronger and stronger as she got older.

When she became pregnant with her son, she said she knew she had to serve women in a certain type of way that meant holding a healing space for them.

“I knew I had to do that. I just didn’t know what that looked like,” she said.

After the birth of her son in May 2018, she created a blog called “The Mindful Mama” to share her birth story.

The Mindful Mama blog is a holding space for women to come together and share their birth stories. The idea came after her own traumatic almost 40-hour labor, which ended in an emergency C-section or “belly birth” as she prefers to call it.

“I know I needed to share my story, not only to help another woman, but for me to heal for myself because emotions are never meant to be held, they are meant to be expressed and moved through,” she said.

She knew she couldn’t just share her experience in a Facebook post and said she needed a more narrative setting to do this. When her story went up, other moms reached out and asked if they could share their stories on her site as well.  A sleep consultant for her son, old coworkers and old friends are among some of the women who reached out to her.

Now, her blog has expanded to features like mindful parenting, birth stories, women’s circles, sacred home (cleansing your home for good energy), mindful practice, and even a podcast.

“The mindful mama kind of just stuck,“  she says about the blogs name, “because you know my name is Melissa and I was like ‘Okay, I like mindfulness and [I’m a] mama.’ ”

She began to tap into her spirituality when she was interning as an undergrad for social work at LIU Post.  She was introduced by her mentor to meditation and eventually she started practicing spirituality on her own in the form of yoga. Now she incorporates mindfulness in everything that she does.

“In parenting, my mind cannot be anywhere else I have to fully show up and be fully resourced and fully present or else I’d be like the worst mom ever,” she said.

In her marriage she says she and her husband of three years are working on bringing their best selves into their relationship.

“He is totally not woo-woo like at all. He is this crossfit, like old school Italian, Catholic guy. He just accepts and loves me for all the things… He doesn’t have to jump on the bandwagon and like cleanse the crystals with me or meditate,” she says “but for me to be the best version of myself I need to be running my women circles, and meditating.”

Unlike her virtual space, which is devoted to moms, her women’s circle is a healing space for all types of women – whether they are moms, lawyers, doctors or students. They are held on a monthly basis under the full moon at Breathe, a local crystal shop.

The circles started in January 2019 at the shops Bay Shore location and have been consistently sold out since. She recently added the event to the chains second location in Port Jefferson and that second function also sold out instantly.

The success assures her she is on the right path she says.

“It is naturally comfortable for me to set a container and an intention to help women drop in, center in and work on whatever it is they need to heal and work on,” she said.  

Melissa still refers to herself as a student and says through self-study and online mentors she has been able to learn the healing power of the moon; a wisdom she now vows to share with like-minded women.