In this episode of the Understanding Human Design Podcast, Host Karen Curry Parker, interviews Certified Quantum Human Design Specialist, 6/2 Alchemist (Generator) Melissa Corley Carter.
Rocket Scientist and Air Force Officer turned Writer, Artist, Leadership Coach, and Resilience Champion, Melissa Corley Carter builds grounded leaders, connected humans and powerful teams that change the world.
A Certified Professional Coach and a Quantum Human Design Specialist who holds two engineering degrees from Stanford University, an MBA from the University of New Mexico, and an astronautical engineering PhD from the Naval Postgraduate School, Melissa brings a unique blend of soft skills and technical expertise to her work.
Melissa is a firm believer that resilience actually IS rocket science and she helps people go from where they are to where they want to be, acknowledge their progress and adjust course, and let go to lift off. She is a minimalist running enthusiast and a hot yoga practitioner. Melissa also loves creating collages, hand-crafting unique greeting cards and photographing wildlife, landscapes, seasons, and other forms of progression. She dances with the universe daily and joyfully embodies her soul’s journey as The Barefoot Dancing Rocket Scientist.
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There has never been anyone like you before. There will never be anyone like you. Again, you are a once in a lifetime cosmic event. Join your host of the quantum human design podcast, bestselling author and creator of quantum human design. Karen Curry Parker for powerful thoughts and insights to help you activate your unique life purpose and your energy blueprint with quantum human design.
Hi everyone. I’m Karen Curry Parker. Welcome to the understanding human design podcast. I’m here today with Melissa Corley Carter. Who’s going to share with us why resilience actually is rocket science. So welcome Liz. I’m so excited to have you here today. Thank you so much, Karen. So, all right. I just have to start because with, with your not your formal formal background, cause that would take us probably about 20 minutes to go through the list of everything that you’ve done. But I want to just start with some really important highlights. You weren’t astronaut.
No, I was not an astronaut. No, no, no. I wanted to be an astronaut. I spent 20 years wanting to be an astronaut, but I have not actually an Austrian.
Got it. But you worked for,
So I, I, when the air was an air force officer and yeah, so I did a lot of I’ve worked on, you know, some rocket projects I get, I can actually call myself a rocket scientist. So yes.
Got it. So you are a rocket science. So in my head that’s like astronauts, sorry, rocket scientists by training with, with a 20 year journey of working to become an astronaut. And you had to go through the process of revising your dreams because that didn’t end up happening for you, right? You are a okay, you are a minimalist marathoner. So tell me what that means
Minimal about a marathon. So minimalist running or barefoot running is really a style of running. That’s really all about being natural. So when I got into marathoning and then I found out about barefoot running and so minimalist running is running in shoes that are running barefoot or running in shoes that are just kind of flat. Like there’s no, they call it a zero drop. There’s no heel. There’s not a lot of cushioning is just to kind of a flat sole. So so it’s really the idea that our arches are the arch support in our feet. And when we support them with orthotics and, and other kinds of support, they become weaker. And so that is actually our, our bodies are when we put our bodies in heavily cushioned shoes, they don’t work the way they were designed to work. And then they, then, then you get injuries. So in fact, the more advanced running shoes have gotten, the more people have become injured from running. So so the idea of not natural running or minimalist running is putting the, putting the, the shock absorption and the, the, the strength back into your body where it belongs.
Okay. So you are a air force, rocket scientist, barefoot running PhD, human design specialist. All right. And you talk about resiliency. So when you say resilience actually is rocket science. Talk to me a little bit about what that means.
Yeah. So in fact, you know, I have thought a lot about this. Oh, and over the past few years, I’ve really kind of come to an epiphany. That exactly. Yes. Resilience actually is rocket science. In fact, I think, you know, everybody loves to say, oh, it’s not rocket science. It’s not rocket science, but actually it is. And it being anything I like to focus on resilience, but it could be anything. And because when you think about it, rockets plans is actually about, in essence, going from where you are to where you want to be. It’s about acknowledging progress and adjusting course. And it’s about letting go to lift off. So, you know, we, we can go into like, you know, little bitty details, but you know, if you’ve ever watched a rocket launch on TV or the movies they’re talking the whole time, right there, you know, we’ve gotten to XQ or if they’re approaching the space station, you know, they’re saying how far away they are.
There’s always a dialogue, a two way dialogue going on. So there’s that acknowledging progress and celebrating, right. Everyone’s cheering as soon as it lifts off the ground. And, and adjusting course, there’s little thrusters firing, like you don’t just fire, you know, the rocket and off it goes forever. Like it, you actually have to course correct as you go. Which is a huge part of resilience and letting go to liftoff, like obviously the huge billows of smoke and flame, you have to let go of a ton of fuel and weight and mass for the rocket to actually get off the ground. So so that also is really a huge as particularly with your systems, you know, like quantum alignment, there’s a lot of letting go, right for us to lift off in life. You know, we have to shed a lot of, of our baggage. And so to me, that that analogy really is rocket science. So, you know, you don’t have to do any math. We don’t have to do any equations, but the key, the key elements are going from where you are to where you want to be acknowledging progress and adjusting course and letting go to lift up.
Hmm. Nice. So, so you worked for 20 years to become an astronaut and I can imagine that was mean that was probably what your childhood dream, right.
It was, it was since fifth grade and
Then you didn’t become an astronaut. How did, how did you, how did you adjust to that dream? Not coming true?
Well, it was a really big adjustment for me and, and it was what happened was that you know, I worked all these years, you did all these things and it turned out that actually my, I got LASIK too, cause for a while they allowing corrective eye surgery, but when they started, I always had bad eyesight. But I got LASIK 20, 20 vision, the whole deal. And it turned out that my pre LASIK eyesight, like before I got surgery was so bad that I was disqualified anyway. So so I submitted my application, you know, got, got to that part and then it was the pre LASIK eyesight. So, so yeah, total shock. I know you’re a big theme of the, or a fan of the theme of a shock and initiation. That was my shock event was that, you know, that life dream being crushed.
And I, it took me a while. It took me a while to adjust. I didn’t really I didn’t know what to do at first. I literally had wrapped up my identity in being, you know, becoming an astronaut. And I told everybody I had ever met that. I wanted to be an astronaut. So, so you said at the beginning I was an astronaut. I mean, I probably did some purposes in my mind. I was right. So so, but, so I drifted for a while. You know, I was still, I was still in the air force. I was still kind of on a path that looked like success to the outside world. So it probably didn’t look to anyone else, like I was drifting, but I really didn’t, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t have a backup plan. So I just kind of started taking a few steps in different directions.
I started learning about different just different things out there. And I, I think what happened for me was that it opened the space for more possibilities of, of what I could do with my life and what I have learned since then in the period of eventually I found my way to human design. But your journey, it was quite a journey, especially coming from a, from a world where, you know, it was hyper intellectual and just like, you know, respectable, serious people don’t do woo things like astrology, you know? And so, so getting onto this path was very different from what I expected, but what I have realized over the years is that what I really wanted in, in becoming an, in wanting to become an astronaut was really cosmic connection. You know, I, it, it was that innate feeling of oneness with the universe that I think when I was little, sort of more like manifested itself in the tangible idea of being an astronaut.
So I think that’s, you know, I loved looking at the stars I was in awe, the cosmos, you know, and, and so that said, oh, well then naturally you should be an astronaut. So what I’ve learned is that in fact, cosmic connection is just, is an inherent birthright for all of us, you know? So in, in coming to human design, I have actually, I feel like I’ve finally come home to my true soul work. So, so it was really that, that shock of not having that dream manifest opened the door for the real work, you know? So, so it was a process. It took me a long time and it was a big healing process, but that’s kind of where I find myself today. So
Thank you for sharing that. I know it know I’m going to unpack this a little bit because we talk a lot in our community. And I think in the personal growth and development community in general, about manifesting and envisioning and having a dream, and there there’s a certain sort of, I think maybe because we’re so conditioned to formulaic thinking of thinking, well, if I just do step one, step two, step three supports at five [inaudible] manifestation and in real life, yes. Sometimes that happens. Sometimes it doesn’t, and it doesn’t mean that you’re doing it wrong or that the process is wrong. It just means that the way you’re going to get to the fulfillment of whatever the intention is sometimes has twists and turns in the plot line. And sometimes those just they’re disappointing. And I just, I appreciate your honesty and your, your resilience to be able to bounce back and go, okay, now I’m going to reframe this desire to connect with the cosmos and go from astronauts to Seoul Explorer and and run barefoot while I’m doing it. So, so, okay, so you run marathons. Now. I have run one marathon in my life when I was way younger than I am now. I lost a toenail. I think I didn’t walk for like a month afterwards. It was not a particularly like, whoa, this was an enlivening process for me personally.
And, you know, at the same time, you know, it was not the physical part of it. Wasn’t really the hard part of it. I found in my, in my very limited experience, it was keeping my head in the game and not just crumpling into a heap and D you know, in a, in a fetal position and sob on the side of the road. Right. Keeping my head in that sort of rhythm of 1, 2, 1, 2. Right. That was my experience that you’ve, you’re not just like, oh, I’m just going to run a marathon and like, check that off my third line list. You have run marathons on different continents. Is that right?
Yes. One on every continent. Okay.
Okay. I love this. And so talk to me in the context of the, the metaphor of marathoning. How do you incorporate, I mean, obviously it seems obvious that there’s resilience in it, but what do you do to keep yourself resilient while you’re in the marathon?
Yeah, so that’s a, that’s a really good question. And your 1, 2, 1, 2 is a lot of it. You know, it’s over the, over the years as I ran multiple marathons and trained for multiple marathons and I am not fast. So training is takes a long time for me. So it was really about you know, I spent a lot of time counting my reading, you know, breathing in for a certain count, reading out for a certain count, doing mantras in my head. And but the, the biggest thing that I learned from all that was realizing that if you literally just put one foot in front of the other, you know, one step at a time, baby steps, one foot in front of the other, and, and you get, do you cross the finish line? So, so I would start, you know, I’d be doing a long run, like 20 miles, let’s say.
And, you know, I finished the first mile and be like, oh my gosh, there was 19 miles to go. And it just seems super overwhelming, but, you know, I would, I would do my breathing and I do my mantras. And I would notice the, you know, the, the trees around me and the, and the nature around me. And eventually I would look at my watch and I would only have one mile ago. And, and so it was, it was kind of like, it was a big aha for me, like, wow, one mile to go, always gets there, you know, no matter how far away it seems at the beginning if you just keep putting one step in front or one foot in front of the other and taking one step at a time you get there. So that was a, that was a key awareness for me that I have tried to apply to normal life as well, and just share as much as I can. So, beautiful,
Beautiful. So, so you use human design. Talk to me a little bit about your, what you do with human design.
Well, so I will say that human design is pretty new to me. I just, I first found out about you and in 2017 through you know, like live your sole purpose kind of summit when I was just starting my own business as a coach, but it was the timing wasn’t right. I didn’t really jump into it. And so it was funny cause I kind of unsubscribed from pretty much all the lists I subscribed to at that time. But even though I wasn’t reading your emails, I could never quite bring myself to unsubscribe from your list. So stayed on the list and actually didn’t start reading the emails again until last year, 2020 even before the pandemic, it wasn’t really pandemic induced. It was just, again, I think timing was right and found out about it. And, and really I had been writing my book about running marathons on the seven continents.
So I was working on that first, didn’t dive into the actual human design specialist trainings until around October. So, so how, how I so I, so I’ve started it, but so it’s so it’s new and yet it feels old like it, in that it feels familiar. It feels like the language, my soul has been speaking like my whole life. So what I’m doing with it is actually incorporating it into this resilience philosophy, right? So my three stages of resilience, human design is the first stage it’s about going from where we are to where we want to be. And, and I’m incorporating another energy technique. I’ve learned called energy leadership into kind of the second phase acknowledging progress and adjusting course. And, and the energy leadership is all about identifying different levels of energy. So you talk about how we, there’s a low expression in a high expression and everything in between on the spectrum and energy leadership is actually a way to identify where you are on the spectrum. So level one, being the low end level, being the high end and there’s seven there’s, you know, all the levels in between. And so there’s kind of a practical framework for understanding the spectrum of energy levels. And then I’m about to jump into the quantum alignment system training as well, which will be the let go to lift off piece. So, so basically human design, energy leadership, and quantum alignment, I am incorporating into the framework of rocket science to do kind of an integrated resilience scaling process.
I love that. I love that. So I just want to share this with you theoretically. My favorite place in the whole world is NASA is, is in Florida. Nice, nice. Not an option. Nice.
Awesome. I love it. You
Sure. But I think the thing that, that always moves me about the space metaphor, you know, and, and you embody this so beautifully is that it really is about having a dream and, and not letting the impossible nature of the dream stop you from building it. And even if you don’t get there, you know, there’s, there’s the, the, the lesson is in the faith, the leap of faith that you take to craft it and to see that even when you get to the end of it, if it didn’t turn out the way you thought there’s something so magical there for you, that gives you the platform to view will launch into the next dream. Yes. So so, all right, so you have a book come you, well, let me just say your website is resilience, actually.com and you can go there and learn about Melissa and her amazing stories and all of her, her journeys near and far and you, as you said, you have a book coming out called running the world marathon memoirs, and that book’s coming out.
It should be coming out around the end of may. Yes, it should. I think it’s on its way to the printer as we speak. So
Congratulations. So go check out Melissa’s website resilience, actually.com and go get information about her new book. Look at her coaching programs. And then you’re actually going to be hosting a quantum alignment show about resilience is actually rocket science in August of this year. And I’m sure you’re going to be sharing more stories about your marathon memoirs and your quest to become one with the cosmos, which I think is so beautiful. Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you for joining me today. Thank you for having me, Karen.
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