Hello Readers!! Guess What! This week we are taking the chance to introduce ourselves to you in a little more depth than before! So sit back, relax, and enjoy our Team Member Showcase!
~ Defying Shadows Team
What defines you as a person? Who are you?
Hi, My name is Melanie. When considering what defines me, one thing is for sure. Kindness is key. I enjoy making people feel important and cared about by actively listening to the problems they are dealings with. Becoming certified in Mental Health First Aid (introduced to me by the Defying Shadows founder, Nichole) really helped me identify problems of others struggling with internal issues, and offer advice as to how they should proceed.
I get the most fulfillment from attempting to improve the lives of others by writing my own stories of grief and pain. When I connect with those who have dealt with similar issues, it validates my own situation, and creates an essential bond with those I connect with.
What is your personal “motto”?
“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” Dalai Lama
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Introvert for life! I do best in my comfort zones. Dealing with people in social situations causes me major anxiety. After 15 years of dealing with it, though, I’ve learned quite a few tricks for managing. But I do best at home, for sure.
What is your biggest fear?
My biggest fear would be to lose another child. Oh, and public ridicule of any kind.
What’s your biggest dream?
My biggest dream would be to someday write a book about my crazy, yet manageable life, to show others they can get through hard things, too. See? I told you I like to help people!
What motivates you?
Did you know that one of the only activities that activates, stimulates and uses the entire brain is music?
I find my motivation in good music. Upbeat for when I’m feeling creative, radio or rain sounds for relaxing.
What makes you happy?
“To find real happiness we must seek for it in a focus outside ourselves” ~ Thomas S. Monson. My husband is a huge source of happiness for me. He supports me and keeps me going on the hard days.
If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be?
Being a mother is hard but so much fun! If I could go back in time, I would prepare myself for motherhood much, MUCH more before actually becoming one.
Where do you see yourself within five years?
In five years from now I hope to be finishing or promoting the book I’ve written! So stay tuned!
What do you do outside of Defying Shadows?
I teach barre fitness at a local studio and I LOVE it! What is barre fitness? “Most barre-based classes use a combination of postures inspired by ballet and other disciplines like yoga and Pilates. The barre is used as a prop to balance while doing exercises that focus on isometric strength training (holding your body still while you contract a specific set of muscles) combined with high reps of small range-of-motion movements.” You can find more information here.
What does “defying shadows” mean to you as a person?
To me, Defying Shadows means confronting and challenging my bipolar disorder head on, instead of allowing the stigma against my illness to dictate my successes.
Melanie McKinnon is a wife, mother of 3 plus 1 in heaven, and a barre fitness instructor. She loves writing, Diet Pepsi, hugging her kids and dating her husband. On her blog, Melanie Meditates, you will find subscription box reviews, her experience with anxiety, depression and loss, stories about her life as a mother, and some tips for maintaining sanity. She hopes to encourage and inspire anyone fighting a daily battle.