The Butterfly Circus

Happy Groundhog's Day! For whatever reason, I'm a big fan of Groundhog's Day. I think it's such a funny, silly tradition for a groundhog to determine how many more weeks of Winter we have. And who can forget this classic??

So, my friend Ryan sent me a video the other day that I was really moved by. It is a short film that won Clint Eastwood's Filmmaker Award in 2010 and has won many other independent film awards along the way. The video (below) called the Butterfly Circus is set in the Depression era and displays the beauty that can blossom when someone learns to believe in himself. The message of restored hope is powerful in this film. The main character, Will, has no arms and no legs; it is touching to watch the transformation that takes place in his life as a result of someone believing in him. I love watching the progression of change that occurs as he learns to value himself and see the beauty that he possesses. I think everyone should watch this!!!

In real life, Will is played by Nick Vujicic, who started an organization called Life Without Limbs after struggling as a youngster as a result of being born without arms or legs. I heard him speak a few years ago in Arizona and was completely amazed by his testimony. And I have to be honest- I was really impressed with his acting abilities in this movie. I would really encourage you to watch it- it is 20 minutes, and you might want to grab some kleenex... you just might shed some happy tears.

My favorite line in this film: "The greater the struggle, the more glorious the triumph." This is so true. No matter how tough the challenge before you, have faith- there is hope! 


Weight and Social Identity

Psychology Today blogger, Dr. Pattie Thomas, wrote a very interesting article a few weeks ago that I wanted to be sure to mention. She examines the social identity of weight, in light of new research, and does so by conducting an interview with Dr. Mary Beth Asbury, a professor of Organizational Communication at Middle Tennessee State University who has been studying this! You can check out the original post here.

My favorite part of this article doesn't have as much to do with the central subject matter (even though its great) as it does with some suggestions that Dr. Asbury gives about 'fat talk.' See below.  

DR. THOMAS: If you were to give suggestions to people about how to speak of bodies, what would you suggest?
DR. ASBURY: Everything can be summed up in one sentence: "Be nice to everyone at all times." But, more specifically, do not talk about weight or food. You should not label foods as "good" or "bad," nor should you label weights as "good" or "bad." The more emphasis we put on weight and food, the more likely we are to build up the importance of these items in our lives. This leads to us seeing food and weight as "battles" that we feel we can never overcome.

I think Dr. Asbury has it right. I like her summary: "be nice to everyone at all times!" While it is unrealistic to think that we would never talk about food, I think that there are better ways to talk about it than others. Trying not to be judgmental about food, and not making it a focus really helps food and weight not become more important than they are. Someone once told me that food should be neutral- like a toothbrush. A toothbrush isn't good or bad, it just is. Same with food! Of course its not that simple or easy in a culture saturated with messages about weight as connected to beauty and self-worth. [Or if you struggle with an eating disorder.] But as Dr. Asbury said, when we don't place as much importance on food, we limit its capacity to become a battle. 


Much to the chagrin of most people I know, I have not jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon (yet). I keep hearing 1) how great it is, and 2) that it is a major time suck. Soo, I'm trying to avoid it for now- with one mini exception. I have been a little under the weather today, so I've spent the majority of my day/night sidelined; and among catching up on other things (Friday Night Lights marathon and lots of Words with Friends included), I perused through some of the inspirational quotes on Pinterest. Apparently you can see some of the images just by doing a google search without actually joining ;).

Anyways- I thought these particular quotes below were particularly encouraging for one reason or another- and I hope you do too! Hope everyone is having a great weekend!



Happy 2012 :)

Hi friends. Happy New Year!! I have been a little MIA lately on my little blog! I will get back to more regular blogging soon- I have been juggling a lot so far in 2012- and am very excited about this year! In the meantime, I thought I would post a few links to some recent articles that might be of interest! The third article below is a great one for this time of year!! Happy reading :)

The Truth Behind Common Eating Disorder Myths by Kenneth L. Weiner 

New National Report Looks at Disparity Between Sizes of Models and Real Women 

The Fat on Dieting in the New Year by Jane Shure

COLORed Folks-- Share Your Shame, Fight the Stigma


National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

Not too long ago, I read a book that impacted me more than any book I've read in a really long time- in fact, maybe ever (with just a few exceptions). Rachel Lloyd's Girls Like Us is a book that explores the commercial sexual exploitation of young girls and teenagers domestically. While I have read about and learned about the trafficking that happens abroad, I had no idea how prevalent it was in the US. This book really opened my eyes, broke my heart, and made it clear to me that we have a responsibility to do something, no matter how big or small.

If you are interested, I have attached a preview of her book below so that you can check it out yourself.

Browse Inside this book
Get this for your site

In honor of today being National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, I would encourage you to engage with this issue in some way.

Here are a few ideas:
  • Pick up a copy of one of the following books (or find one on that interests you- there are many!) and start reading-
    • Girls Like Us by Rachel Lloyd
    • Not For Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade--and How We Can Fight it by David Batstone
    • God in a Brothel: An Undercover Journey into Sex Trafficking and Rescue by Daniel Walker
  • Consider raising or donating funds to an organization that works to rescue people from slavery- International Justice Mission, Not for Sale, World Relief, GEMS (Girls Educational and Mentoring Services)... to name a few.
  • Watch the documentary Very Young Girls, which documents the buying and selling of young girls. I have not seen this, but can only imagine how powerful and tough it would be to watch.
  • If you live locally in Raleigh or the surrounding areas, you can sign up to attend a workshop to learn more about the trafficking industry- with the Salvation Army of Wake County on January 20th &21st. For more information, follow this link.
  • Another local opportunity happening March 24- World Relief Stop Human Trafficking Walk/Run. This will be happening in Durham- for more info, follow this link (scroll down and you'll see it!).