Discover more from XO, MU by Melissa Urban
XOMU: How to level up with the help of Parallel Timeline You
Asking happier, healthier versions of me, "What did we do to get there?" gives me the answers I need (for real)
This newsletter is sponsored by Grapefruit Salt LMNT electrolytes. It’s baaaa-aaack!
It all started exactly one year ago, when I stumbled across Timeline Shifting TikTok during a period of serious depression.
The "timeline theory" is based on quantum mechanics (although actual quantum physicists might disagree), and says every time you make a decision, your reality split.
One "you" said yes to the job, the other "you" said no
One "you" went to bed early, the other "you" stayed up late watching Netflix
One “you” went to the gym to squat heavy, the other “you” went for a hike
Given the amount of decisions we make every day, this leaves a infinite variety of "yous" in an infinite number of timelines, all running in parallel. And in some of these timelines, you’re living a happier, healthier, more fulfilled life than the one you have now. So, the theory goes, through meditation and visualization, you can actually "jump" timelines to shift your reality, and become the version of you that already exists somewhere else.
This is woo turned up to 11, but something in me heard a "ping." I was ready to explore.
Melissa, meet Melissa
The next morning after my workout, I sat down for my meditation practice, but instead of running through my usual meditation, I visualized Parallel Timeline Melissa.
This Melissa was healthier and happier than Current Timeline me. She wasn’t struggling to get out of bed every morning, like I was. She didn’t feel run-down and beat up all day long, like I did. She still found joy in things that I could no longer find joyful. She felt connected to others, open and social, in a way current me just wasn’t. She was energetic and active, optimistic, mentally resilient, and happy—and I wanted that. So I reached out and connected to THAT Melissa’s energy, visualizing her in the same gym, wearing the same clothes, looking back at me from her shiny, happy timeline.
I tentatively asked her, "What do I need?"
“Electrolytes,” she said. (J/K, but she would’ve been right)
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I am the voice inside my head
The answer was immediate. It arrived as clear as day, placed directly into my brain as if Other Timeline Melissa had just been WAITING for me to ask. "Eat more," she said.
Wait, what? That was my magical, life-changing advice from a parallel universe? I shook my head, eyes still closed on the gym floor. "Okaaaay…" I started to reply in my head, disappointed that this advice was just so basic. But she wasn’t done.
Calmly, she added, "Also, slow down. You’re doing too much. It’s too much."
I was, in a word, shocked. First, to have received these messages so directly and concisely. Second, because this really wasn’t what I expected to hear. Third, because WHAT IN THE LONG ISLAND MEDIUM IS HAPPENING HERE. Was I actually communicating with Parallel Timeline Melissa or God or my spirit guides or just my own intuition? It was all too much, and I was not prepared. I opened my eyes and ended my meditation abruptly, before Parallel Timeline Melissa could smirk at me.
The thing is, in my gut, I knew her truth. I just wasn’t ready to admit it.
The sad timeline
For the last six months, I’d been struggling with my fitness, and that spilled over into the rest of my life (or vice-versa; hard to tell). In the gym, I’d have good days where I’d crush a really hard workout (that I forced myself to do), followed by a few days of sub-par performance, or feeling so tired and run down that I couldn’t do much at all. I woke up every morning feeling energetically heavy and sluggish, and I wasn’t excited about going to the gym either, which is highly unusual for me. I wasn’t interested in hiking, hadn’t been walking the dog as much, was spending way too much time mindlessly scrolling social media, and was struggling to connect with friends and family.
Worst of all, I found myself slipping back into a punishing mindset that said, "You’re not feeling it, but force yourself to do it anyway," or "since you didn’t do well yesterday, try going even harder today." None of this felt good. None of this felt like me. But even though Parallel Timeline Melissa had given me very clear action items, I still wasn’t ready to listen. Foolishly, I thought I’d somehow be able to GRIND my way out of this.
Cue the narrator: She could not, in fact, grind her way out of this.
I continued to meditate after my workouts and ask Happy Melissa what I needed, and she always said the same damn thing. "Slow down. You’re doing too much." I’d press her: "No, but like, WHAT ELSE?" The thing is, she never said anything else, no matter how much I pressed. I found her very annoying.
So I continued to work harder, do more, relentlessly ignore Other Me, and feel worse physically, mentally, and spiritually. Then, I got COVID.
My timeline shift
In mid-May, COVID ripped through our house. I was down for three full days of total rest—exhausted, no appetite, and feeling awful. On Day 4, though, I popped up feeling better, but didn’t want to push it, so I went for a walk. That went on for the next week or so—I continued to feel better, but I didn’t want to return to the gym in case I was still contagious, so I just stayed home and walked a lot.
On the heels of that, we left for vacation in Southern Utah. I went to the gym once while we were there, but didn’t do a "workout," I just stretched and mobilized. I spent the rest of the weekend paddle boarding, swimming, walking, and going on easy hikes.
I came home after my trip, woke up on Monday morning, and realized I felt… good. Like, way better than pre-COVID Melissa. I had more energy and a happier mood. Waking up wasn’t a struggle. My body wasn’t sore or tired, and my body no longer felt puffy and slow. I thought back to the really good talks I had with my husband over the weekend, how relaxed our vacation had felt, and how, just before our trip, I had impulsively reached back out to my therapist to resume our sessions. "Huh," I thought. "Maybe all of that rest is doing me some good."
I could HEAR Parallel Timeline Melissa’s eyes rolling from wherever she lived. I rolled my eyes in reply. "FINE," I told her. "Maybe I’ll try something else for a little while."
For the rest of the summer all I did was walk, hike, take outdoor yoga classes, and do light weightlifting sessions in my garage gym. I didn’t squat a heavy barbell, drag a sled, or do anything high-intensity. I woke up feeling energetic, optimistic, and excited for my walk or class. I handled work stress far more effectively. I felt capable! I had capacity! I made lists! I voluntarily scheduled calls with people. I ate well, experienced zero cravings, and effortlessly kept to regular mealtimes. I was sleeping great, having legit breakthroughs in therapy, and showing up more openly with my family.
What I’m saying is, my timeline literally shifted, and I became Parallel Timeline Me.
Okay, maybe I didn’t quantum shift—maybe I just finally listened to my body and trusted the signals it was sending me. But, like, aren’t these two things exactly the same?
After my hike the other day, I sat down in meditation to thank Parallel Timeline Melissa, and found she just… wasn’t there. (SUSPICIOUS, right?) I took that as a sign to stay connected to THIS body in THIS timeline and trust THIS me to know what I need, and not be so damn stubborn next time. Then I thanked her anyway, because she’s most certainly out there somewhere, asking another Parallel Timeline Us, "What do I need?"