“Actually”

A family member of mine… we can call him “George” (remember the old abominable snowman cartoon with Bugs Bunny where he’d “hug him, and stroke him, and cuddle him, and sing to him, and call him George, duh.”) uses the word “actually” in a way that grates on my nerves.  Be prepared, now that you’re reading this, you’ll hear it more and I promise it will drive you crazy.

This person, when asked how the day was, will respond – without fail with… “Actually… not too bad.” Or, “Actually it was good.”

Why does this drive me crazy? Well think of it in the same light of our justice system… we are innocent until proven guilty.  This use of the word “actually” implies that the person assumes that the day is going to be bad and then is surprised… it wasn’t too bad, “ACTUALLY.”

Why come at a day with the assumption that it will be a bad day? hugo-the-abominable-snowman

In my most snarkiest voice… suck it up buttercup!  

Remember … you ACTUALLY do make each day what it is… watch a little Bugs Bunny, run around outside, laugh at yourself and have a good one!

TRUE Strength

 

Brutal Honesty

Sometimes the hardest TRUE Strength is honesty.  stronger than this

And the chart topper is honesty with yourself.  It’s amazing to me how easy it is to lie to ourselves and convince ourselves what we want to see as reality.    

My lie… the reality that my disordered thinking and tendencies have started to resurface.  In my experience, and I don’t dare speak for everyone, the harshest reality as a person who has battled eating disorders or disordered thinking is that it never really goes away or is officially treated.  It’s my addiction. Compared to someone’s alcohol or drug addiction. As odd as it sounds… restricting, over exercising, controlling is comforting to me.  The scariest part for me is that my disordered thinking comes under the veil or cloak of doing something healthy.  It just goes too far.  It’s enticing… alluring even.  Always under the best of intentions… and then slips.

It’s very easy to say there’s nothing wrong or I’m all under control.  

But the TRUE Strength reality is … honesty is harsh… and it’s time to get honest.  

My friend, Meggie is someone I really look up to.  She is brutally honest and open about her struggles and as a recent first time mom has been experiencing all the amazing ups and downs and blurred reality of newborn life.  All while still being honest about these ever present disordered thoughts.  Her article about Orthorexia encouraged me to seek more guidance and to acknowledge I may be loosing control and need to be more honest with myself.

Meggie writes for Saltyrunning.com.  You can read her full article HERE.  

Perhaps, such an honest post is not all that fun to read… but, if it can encourage even one person to get some help, it is vital.  Thank you for sharing your TRUE Strength with me.  

 

What’s in a bio

I am doing a little presentation later in the year and have to send a bio to the conference.  I was looking into my files for a bio and came across this one.  It accompanied a piece on The Catalyst Project by my friend Jon Giganti.  If you haven’t read his work, please do!  You’ll enjoy it thoroughly!

In reading the bio I sent Jon I realized it’s pretty cool to look back and do some self reflection.  Have you ever written a short bio?  Do it!  It’s a fun experience and will teach you a lot about where you’ve been, what you’re doing and where you’re going!

This is the bio:

Megan Ellis has been in the nonprofit world for over six years translating a background in economics and special events into development, fundraising, and outreach.  Currently Megan is redeveloping and redesigning the Development and Outreach department of the Court Appointed Special Advocates of Franklin County (CASA-FC).  Her role with CASA-FC includes engaging community and business leaders, corporations, foundations, and community members to help support, financially and through awareness the innocent child victims of abuse and neglect in Franklin and contiguous counties.
Megan’s drive and work ethic transcends the office walls into her personal life.  She is a competitive CrossFit athlete and enjoys each day’s new challenges and triumphs athletically and recognizes the value in struggle because it brings you one step closer to success.  As dedicated as she is to her athletic adventures, Megan is also equally passionate and dedicated to her new role as a wife and stepmom.  Her goal is to teach others how to take their lives to the next level through a positive attitude and never ending drive!

Born with strength

As cliche as it sounds, I am constantly amazed by how much I learn from Baylor and Nola every single day.  I am positive in their short 14 months with us, they have taught us much more than we have taught them!  

They teach intangibles such as: a deeper sense of love, selflessness, unending worry, and how to let go of control.  I’ve learned to let life happen and that control is simply not possible at all times, nor is it any fun!  They’ve taught me to live in the moment and laugh at myself and at stress.

The most striking lesson they continue to teach me everyday is that we all are born with TRUE strength within us.  It’s found deep down and true inside of us all.  Their drive to discover, explore, try, fall, get back up and laugh is unending.

TRUE strength encapsulates adventure, love, life, tears, fears, and physical, emotional, and mental balance.  It’s taken me 31 years to truly understand this… and I’m still working on putting this into practice.  

It is breathtaking that children are born with TRUE strength.  It’s after years of socialization, sheltering, and limiting creativity and possibility that people are in danger of losing their ability to pull on their TRUE strength.

I think about how my girls don’t know any limits on what they can accomplish.  They try and explore and learn and fall down and try again.  They are exercising their TRUE Strength. My goal is to foster this inner strength within them and within myself so that I can continue to help them grow and to personally be a better, stronger and healthier mother and role model for them every day.

This picture is my definition of how we all are born with TRUE strength… right now we may see a slide… the girls see an adventure… one to climb up, slip down, laugh at, bump into each other and attempt over and over again.

fearless girls

My wish for you all is to reach inside – grab a hold of your TRUE strength – help others find theirs and embrace it! 

Lasting memories

When I was a very young girl… probably about four or five… my grandma accidentally slammed my fingers in the car door.  

My grandma was an older grandma… yes I know most grandparents are older but she was getting up there in age even for her fellow grandparents.  Her health was poor and her usual activity was sitting in the department store on the store bench as she gave my siblings and me money to go shop and run around.  She didn’t move anywhere quickly and often walked with a cane.

But on that day, all was different.  She MOVED!  Faster than I had ever seen her move and faster than I would ever see her move again.  She ran back into the restaurant we had just left to get ice, raced back to me to sooth the finger and comfort me.

I know she felt terrible and I know she carried guilt with her.

I share this story because I realized what I remember of that day is pretty amazing. Over 25 years later what do I remember?  I don’t remember the pain at all or being scared.  I remember my hero of a grandmother who put every ache and pain of her own aside to take care of me.  I remember a very POSITIVE memory.  It’s my strongest memory of her.

I found myself thinking about this one day as I was loading up the car with my girls.  As I clicked the car seats in I thought that I would do anything, anything in this world to keep them from pain.  And I was instantly taken back to that day.  I realized that each day we experience joys and pains and it’s easy to loose the forest from the trees and focus on that pain.  But in the big picture… at each moment of pain there is an opportunity for positive and that is what makes the memory last.

There is always an opportunity to turn it around.  Grab on and make some lasting memories. 

TRUE Strength 

Strength of mind

As the weights feel heavier and our bodies slow the strongest asset we have is the strength of our mind.  

We have people counting on us, people who need us, mouths to feed, words to spread, wounds to heal… what is a little tired muscle have on us??

NOTHING!  

Our mind is stronger than we often give it credit for being.  It can adjust our mood, it can draw a silver lining on a cloud… it can make or break us.  When we forget the strength of our minds, we can fall short, stop before we need to and let ourselves live at status quo.

BUT… when we take it for all it’s worth and use the strength of our mind for all the limitless possibilities… watch out.  Here we come.

No fear

No stopping us

No longer letting ourselves hold us back

When you use the strength of your mind for positive movement, there is no one and nothing to stop you in reaching your goals. 

Go get it – TRUE Strength

you-have-power-over-your-mind-not-marcus-aurelius