Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Book Nook: Teetering on Disaster

Like the Beverly Hillbillies in reverse, Michaela Johnson's family moved from an upscale neighborhood in Sacramento (where even the family dog lived in luxury) to a trailer in the mountains. With no running water or electricity, a culture-shocked adolescent Michaela had to adjust — and fast — to a new normal that would forever affect her life choices.

Teetering on Disaster is the humorous, heartfelt true story of Michaela's coming of age in the face of extraordinary circumstances. Readers will cheer on Michaela as she awkwardly navigates her way through the teen years and into adulthood, forever changed by her unusual upbringing.

I had a chance to interview Michaela to learn more.

Why did you decide to write this book?
Teetering on Disaster started as an online blog (back before blogging was really a term) as a way to heal through a difficult time. I was empowering myself to speak my truth with grace and live a courageous life of authenticity. I would post via Facebook and a newsletter and people started gravitating toward the message, they shared how it gave them hope in their own unique situations, and it blossomed into an 80,000 word book from there.

How do you define courage?
I believe courage is finding the internal clarity you need to live your best life. Sometimes, if not always, this means being willing to identify your roll in your relationships and having the courage to be you. We often silence ourselves, or put on masks for fear of what others will think, or because it seems easier, but that misalignment with our inner truth is what becomes the source of discomfort and unhappiness in life.

How can people strengthen their own sense of courage?
When people think of being courageous they think of Sky Diving. You don’t have to jump out of an airplane to be courageous. Start small, there are simple ways you can express your truth, like instead of saying “I’m sorry” and apologizing for being yourself, say “Thank you for understanding.” Instead of being a “yes, sure” person to everyone, try saying, “I need to see how that will fit into my schedule and get back with you.” When someone asks how you’re doing, don’t sensor yourself, say “Having a rough week,” or whatever your truth may be.

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