In a K-drama (Korean drama) that I watched recently, Beating Again, Min-Ho meets the ghost of his deceased father in a garden. His father was always a good man, but he was taken advantage of, betrayed, and driven to ruin by those around him. Min-ho, after watching this as a child, became a very cold-hearted businessman.
But his life has started to change and soften for a myriad of reasons when he has this encounter with his deceased father and his father tells him the following:
- Remember to appreciate the here and now because life goes faster than you think.
- Eat good food. Healthy food, but also decadent food when the occasion falls for it.
- Always get outside, preferably in nature, when the weather is nice.
Shonda Rhimes writes her book, “Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person,” the same way that she writes her TV scripts. It’s her first book, but she didn’t fall into the trap of trying to transform herself into a literary award-winning memoirist. She stuck with the simple, straightforward speech peppered with humor and wisdom that got her where she is today. Think Meredith’s monologues in Grey’s Anatomy rather than Isabel Allende’s flowing, complex, imaginative prose.
It took me a little while to fully warm to the book. “Just say yes” has been a mantra for many for quite awhile, so Shonda’s decision to turn her life around by saying yes to new opportunities didn’t ring that original to me. There are some true gems of wisdom in there, though, so I wanted to share a few of my favorite parts with you.
ON WEIGHT LOSS:
My body is just the container I carry my brain around in.
I said it while I ate cartons of ice cream.
I said it while I ate whole pizzas….
And maybe it is. Maybe it is just the container I carry my brain around in.
But so is a car. And if the car is broken down and busted, my brain isn’t going anywhere. Same goes for my container.
The food created a nice topcoat. It helped to smooth down the ragged bits. Sealed off the parts of me that were broken. It filled in all the holes. Covered up the cracks. Yep, I just put some food on top of any and everything that bothered me….And presto! Underneath the food, everything inside me was smooth and cold and numb.
I was dead inside and that was good.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that food doesn’t work….Putting food on top of it works. If food did not work, if it didn’t work its slutty, gluttonous, more-is-more magic, everyone in America would be Angelina Jolie thin. No one would drive-thru….
Food does work. Food feels so good when you put it on top of all the stuff you don’t want to deal with or know how to deal with it. It even works on stuff you don’t even recognize as worthy of dealing with.
Food is magic. It makes you feel better. It numbs you. Beautiful magical food deadens your soul just enough so you can’t think too hard about anything other than cake or sleep. Putting food on top of it casts a spell to make the feelings go away. You don’t have to face yourself or think or be anything other than your brain — no body necessary.
I work hard — that’s now I succeed. That’s how ANYONE succeeds. So why in the world did I think weight loss would be any different?
Somehow, this idea is a lightbulb for me. The idea that this is not fun — this is badass warrior work. The idea that I am NEVER going to enjoy losing weight.
Are you ready? Here’s how you know if you are ready or not: Three years ago, if someone had said something to me like “Nothing works until you are really ready for it to work,” I would have force-fed them butter until they weighed one thousand pounds. Because that sounds like crap. Everything sounds like crap until you are in the right mind-set.
Writing is the hum. Writing is laying track. Writing is the high.
Now imagine that hum, that high, that track to be laid is behind a door. And that door is five miles away. Those five miles are just….writing crap and doodling and trying to have an idea and surfing the internet and hoping like hell not to get so distracted that you give up. Worse? Those five miles are lined with brownies and cupcakes and episodes of Game of Thrones and Idris Elba waiting to talk to only you and really good novels to read.
Every time I sit down to write, I have to mentally run those five miles past all of that to get to that door. It’s a long, hard five-mile run. Sometimes I am almost dead by the time I reach the door.
That’s why I have to keep doing it.
The more often I run the five miles, the fitter I become. And the fitter I become, the easier the run begins to feel and the less fresh and exciting all that stuff on the side of the road seems. I mean, how long has it been there? More important, as I get fitter, I can run faster. And the faster I can run, the faster I can get to that door.
The faster you can too, writers out there.
When you sit down to write every day, it becomes easier and easier to tap into that creative space inside your mind.
There is one rule.
The rule is: there are no rules.
Happiness comes from living as you need to, as you want to. As your inner voice tells you to. Happiness comes from being who you actually are instead of who you think you are supposed to be.
THE POWER OF SAYING YES OVER TIME:
The Year of Yes, I realize, has become a snowball rolling down a hill. Each yes rolls into the next into the next and the snowball is growing and growing and growing. Every yes changes something in me. Every yes is a bit more transformative. Every yes sparks some new phase of evolution.
Tonight I came across this quote that I bookmarked back in February and felt like it was the perfect Sunday night meditation as we all get ready to enter into a new work or school week:
Things are dark until they’re not. Most of our unhappiness stems from the belief that our lives should be different than they are. We believe we have control — and our self-loathing and self-hatred comes from this idea that we should be able to change our circumstances, that we should be richer or hotter or better or happier. While self-responsibility is empowering, it can often lead to this resentment and bitterness that none of us need to be holding within us. We have to put in our best efforts and then give ourselves permission to let whatever happens to happen—and to not feel so directly and vulnerably tied to outcomes. Opportunities often don’t show up in the way we think they will.
You don’t need more motivation or inspiration to create the life you want. You need less shame around the idea that you’re not doing your best. You need to stop listening to people who are in vastly different life circumstances and life stages than you tell you that you’re just not doing or being enough. You need to let timing do what it needs to do. You need to see lessons where you see barriers. You need to understand that what’s right now becomes inspiration later. You need to see that wherever you are now is what becomes your identity later.
I’ve already done a ‘Gram of the Week this week, so I’m not calling this that, even though I am classifying it as such in the Category I sorted it into….that seems like some kind of compromise that I can live with since I’m hard on myself if I’m too repetitive with the same types of content.
But I just saw this ‘Gram by America Ferrera this evening and I couldn’t not share it.
“Today was one of those days when I felt like a sloth and couldn’t even imagine feeling like an energized motivated human being ever again.”
This so accurately describes how I’ve felt for a lot of this month so far. I was originally pumped for August, but I’ve found myself feeling way more unmotivated than I have in a long time. I missed uploading on my channel two weeks in a row even though I had vlog footage sitting in my iMovie half-complete. I finally got back on track with my Tanya Bakes vlog, but there continue to be a bunch of half-baked blog post ideas which I can’t seem to muster up enough energy to get them across the finish line.
Playing soccer tonight helped. Leslie Jones’ Olympic tweets helped last night. Hopefully I’m starting to pull out of it.
I’m also going to think on these words of wisdom by America tonight and tomorrow as well and try to reset my mindset: “A good reminder that feelings can be real and not true at the same time. #getunstuck.”
What do you do to get out of a slump?
Today was one of those days when I felt like a sloth and couldn’t even imagine feeling like an energized motivated human being ever again. But I did my swim anyway and feel a million times better now. A good reminder that feelings can be real and not true at the same time. #getunstuck #triathlon #justoneofthosedays
To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my favorite books, so it was with a heavy heart that I learned of Harper Lee’s death today. She passed at 89 years old, so she lived a good, long life but it still hurts to lose a novelist whose book means so much to so many.
She’s already being remembered in the press by a president, her publisher, and her friends and family and I don’t think there’s anything I could say that would mean as much as their words.
Instead, I’d like to leave you with one of my favorite passages from To Kill A Mockingbird that has some words of wisdom I try to live by myself.
“Scout,” said Atticus, “when summer comes you’ll have to keep your head about far worse things…it’s not fair for you and Jem, I know that, but sometimes we have to make the best of things, and the way we conduct ourselves when the chips are down–well, all I can say is, when you and Jem are grown, maybe you’ll look back on this with some compassion and some feeling that I didn’t let you down. This case, Tom Robinson’s case, is something that goes to the essence of a man’s conscience–Scout, I couldn’t go to church and worship God if I didn’t try to help that man.”
“Atticus, you must be wrong…”
“Well, most folks seem to think they’re right and you’re wrong….”
“They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions,” said Atticus, “but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.“