Don’t Let Anything Stop You

On Wellness Wednesdays, I post about a wellness topic.

One of my all time favorite quotes is:

“The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it.”

-Chinese Proverb

Photo Credit: Doree Weller

Photo Credit: Doree Weller

There are always naysayers, people who say that you can’t do something.  People who try to tell you that you’re not enough to do that thing.  Most of the difference between success and failure is willingness to keep trying.  And in order to keep trying, you need to believe that it’s possible, whatever it is.  People who are ultimately successful usually have a lot of “failures” behind them, but they generally rename “failure” to something else, like “learning experience” or “practice.”

If you want something… if you have a goal or dream… don’t let anything stop you.  Not what people say, not your own internal voice telling you that you can’t.  If you have a story to write, a song to sing, a picture to paint, do it.  Do it without judgement, without restrictions.

I didn’t show my writing to anyone for a long time.  In high school, I showed a poem to a teacher, and she said, “Are you sure you wrote that?  I’m not saying you copied it; I’m just saying that maybe you saw it somewhere and forgot about it.”  (For the record, no, that’s not the case.)  I let her words deflate me, and I was afraid to show what I wrote to anyone, lest they be disinterested, or worse, believe I was plagiarizing.  I let that stop me for about 10 years or more, until I started bringing my writing out into the light again.

I’m sure that teacher has long since forgotten her words, but I never have.  I know that she didn’t mean to stop me from writing, but took her words and allowed them to wound me.  Much of the time, when others inflict wounds on us, they don’t even know it.

Don’t let anyone stop you.  Don’t give anyone that power.  Do whatever it is that makes your heart sing.


What’s New In 2015

Sedona, Arizona Photo Credit: Doree Weller

Sedona, Arizona
Photo Credit: Doree Weller

I’ve decided to make some changes in my blog in 2015.  In an effort to blog more regularly, I’m going to start doing certain topics on certain days of the week.  January is another blog challenge, so I’ll be blogging daily every day this month.  After January, I’ll drop back to Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  Five times a week is more than enough for most of you to hear from me, even though Mondays and Thursdays will probably be pretty short.

My blog is primarily about positive mental health, reading, and writing, things I know the most about.  While those might seem like unrelated topics, I don’t see it that way.  For me, reading and writing are all about my own mental health.  I think that stories reflect the culture they’re set in, and can have an effect on the way we think about topics.  When writers tackle topics like depression, body image, bullying, substance abuse, and suicide in their stories, it gives readers a way to relate and understand in ways they may not otherwise have been able to.

So, here are the features I plan to implement.

Drumroll please…

Mondays- Motivational Mondays will be all about starting the week with a reminder or a quote to get you in a positive from of mind for the week.

Wednesdays- Wellness.  On Wednesdays, I’ll post about some topic related to positive mental health.

Thursday- Throwback Thursday will be book reviews from the past, things I’ve read before with staying power, and what I think of them.

Fridays- These will remain Feel Good Fridays, where I’ll post links to positive news stories.  I may add a feature where I talk about something positive that happened for me that week.

Saturday- Spontaneous Saturdays will essentially be a wild card.  This will be whatever random thing I think about.  Be warned.

As always, this blog is a work in progress.  If you have ideas for features or particularly like/ dislike any of these, please tell me in the comments.

Goodbye Fat Shaming

Recently, there have been a lot of songs and videos coming out about natural beauty.  There’s also been a push toward acceptance of larger body types.  Part of what concerns me though, is that the discussion seems polarizing.  When we say that bigger is okay, we don’t just say it’s okay, but better.

Like this!

Like this!

This is the kind of thing I see on Facebook all the time.  It takes the shaming from the fat girls and transfers it to the bony girls.  I had a friend in high school who was super skinny, and the truth is, she was just built that way.  I don’t know if her body knows how to build fat.  But she was a pretty girl, and more importantly, one of the kindest, most interesting people I’ve ever met.  When I think of her, I don’t think about her body type first, because it’s not the most interesting or important thing about her.  The same way that my extra weight isn’t the most interesting or important thing about me.

I did an experiment in my group.  We were talking about body type and how weight gain can lead to relapse on drugs.  I asked the group members what comes to mind when they think of me.  They said things like “kind,” “smart,” “teacher,” etc.  Then I asked, “Does anyone care about my weight?  When you thought about that, did the fact that I’m fat come first?”  The room fell dead silent.  One of the people in my group whispered, “I never thought about it that way.”  We place so much weight (pun intended) on body type, but not on what’s really important.

In All About That Base, Meghan Trainor declares “Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top.”  Here’s the thing.  Skinny isn’t better.  “Curvy” isn’t better.  They both just are.  I’m overweight, and I’ve pretty much always been.  But I was also pretty gorgeous at one point, and looking back, I’ve realized that I should have celebrated my body type instead of envying my skinnier friends.  When I look in the mirror now, I try to see the things I like about me instead of picking out the flaws.  I need to lose a few (dozen) pounds now as I am way too overweight, but I’m never going to “thin.”  My BMI is never going to be in the range it’s “supposed” to be.  I have hips and a large chest, and I’m okay with that.  I focus on eating fruits and vegetables, hiking, and playing with my dogs.  That’s what healthy is for me.  I’d like to lose weight more for health reasons than aesthetic ones (mostly).

For you skinny ladies out there: your shape is your shape too, and you shouldn’t have to be ashamed of being naturally thin or athletic.  You don’t need a diet (you’re not fat) and you don’t need to put on weight (unless your doctor said so, in which case then do what your doctor says.)  You look great the way you are.  All different body types make the world an interesting and beautiful place.  We need to celebrate our differences, not say that one is better or worse.  Sure, some people find one type more attractive than the other, but one person likes chocolate, another person likes vanilla, and a third person likes Rocky Road.  My point being that my love of mint chocolate chip doesn’t mean that cherry vanilla is bad; it’s just not my thing.

Focus on improving your mind and your character.  Be giving and loving.  We like looking at gift wrap and bows, but at the end of the day, no one cares about that.  You’re a gift, and it doesn’t matter what you’re wrapped in… it really is what’s on the inside that counts.