April 2, 2012
By Matt Palmer
I have always considered myself a positive person, yet often get stuck in negative thinking patterns, and attitudes. Over the last decade this has been changing as I understand how to manifest what I want and need in my life. Roadblocks still pop up from time to time, and that’s when I pull out some of the tools I have gathered on my journey to counter-act the negative.
A couple of years ago I worked on a groundbreaking project tackling teen depression using spirituality: The LEAP Project. Essentially, the idea behind the project, created by Dr. Badri Rickhi and Dr John Toews, teaches teenagers to connect with their spiritual selves to deal with their depression, giving them concrete life tools, rather than using pharmaceuticals. Having dealt with my depression this way, I understood the value of the approach, and was eager to be part of creating an internet based project for teens. The host that we hired for the program was an incredibly talented performer and writer, Melanie Jones.
Melanie has battled depression for much of her teen and adult life. Besides being an amazing writer, check out her blog, she is one of the most wickedly funny people I have ever met. I coined a new nickname for Melanie yesterday: Melanie Badass the Inspirer. She is currently working on taking her brilliant one woman theatre show ENDURE to the London Olympics, an unbelievable task, and she is making it happen, raising money, getting grants, just believing in herself, and that anything is possible, if you get out of your own way.
Melanie poured her guts and soul into the script for the LEAP Project, and when we filmed her portion, the passion and emotion she brought was remarkable. It was as if she was trying to reach through the camera to each one of the kids who would be watching and using her experiences, including going to the brink of suicide, and letting them know that there is a way out, and that it can get better. If you know a teen who struggles with depression, check the LEAP project out. It has proven to be successful for so many kids, and they all love Melanie.
Onwards. Melanie writes a great blog about her journeys. Her writing is raw, emotional, hilarious, and inspiring. Melanie has also been working with the same personal coach that I have worked with Cathy Yost. Melanie now uses what she has learned in her amazing time on this planet to inspire others. If you get a chance to see her show ENDURE, it will literally move you. The story follows her experiences as an endurance athlete (Ironman) and marathoner, and how those experiences relate to life. It is the most unique theatre piece I have ever seen.
Yesterday Melanie put up a blog called “10 Tools for Having Really Awesome Stuff Go Down In Your Life” So, on a Monday, or whatever day you may be reading this check it out, and read some of her other writing. It may speak to you, it may not, but I believe you will agree she is a great talent, and just watch her blow people in London away.
I have worked on this documentary project, “Unintended Consequences”, for three years now, and I have much to learn from Melanie. I already practice some of the things that she has in her 10 lessons, but I am going to begin putting some of the others into practice as well.