Archive for Self Esteem Posts

published in Achieving Your Dreams, Dreams/Goals, Inspiration, Self Esteem, Self Worth by Maryanne | September 6, 2017 | No Comment

Why Pink Gazelle?


“To be a pink gazelle is to believe in one’s self, abilities, dreams and capacity to contribute in whatever way is authentic for her.”

– Maryanne Pope, Pink Gazelle Productions Inc

What is Pink Gazelle Productions Inc?

PGP is a Canadian company that was started by Maryanne Pope in 2002. We create literary, theatrical and cinematic works that strive to challenge, enrich and inspire the lives of both artist and audience.

Our tagline is Authentic Lives; Authentic Works.

What We Do

We tell stories that serve to entertain, educate and empower people to effect positive change in themselves and the world around them.

How We Do It

From books, blogsplays and films to presentations, e-mail campaigns, greeting cards and inspirational quote card sets, we create and share meaningful stories that encourage and empower individuals to live with passion, purpose and perseverance.

WHY We Do What We Do

Our goal is to inspire people to reach their highest potential – because inspired people are positive, proactive people who are helping bring about change for the better in themselves, their lives and their communities.

“There are only two ways to influence human behaviour; you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.”

– Simon Sinek, Start With Why

Why The Name “Pink Gazelle Productions”?

A gazelle is a medium-sized antelope found mainly in Africa and Asia. Known for their speed, grace and alertness, gazelles are beautiful animals that tend to be on the move. In Morocco, “gazelle” is a term of endearment for a woman, which Maryanne discovered while traveling there with a friend in 2001.

A pink gazelle, on the other hoof, is a positive way for a woman to perceive herself. To be a pink gazelle is to believe in one’s self, creative capabilities and capacity to contribute to society – in whatever way is authentic for her.

Being a pink gazelle means having the courage to pursue one’s dreams with passion, purpose and integrity while developing (sigh) the patience to go through the process. A pink gazelle has a strong sense of self-worth and has learned, often the hard way, the importance of achieving her dreams and standing up for what she believes in…because if she doesn’t, who will?

“It is only when you make the process your goal that the big dream can follow.”

– Oprah Winfrey

#GoPinkGazelle on Twitter

Join our herd on Twitter by using the hashtag #gopinkgazelle to cheer each other on!

Our Twitter Handle: @MaryannePope

Related Blogs

What is a Pink Gazelle?

About Maryanne Pope

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. She is the executive producer of the documentary, Whatever Floats Your Boat…Perspectives on Motherhood. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here.


published in Book Reviews, Eating, Food, Health, Self Esteem, Self Worth by Maryanne | July 31, 2015 | No Comment


Inner Hunger – Getting to the Root of Eating Disorders


Inner Hunger book cover


“Some girls learn that they must sacrifice certain aspects of themselves – their appetites, needs, feelings, and goals – in order to gain support, acceptance, attention, and love. These girls are called “people pleasers”: they try to be everything to everyone. In doing so, they lose who they are to themselves.”

– Marianne Apostolides, Inner Hunger

I recently read the book, Inner Hunger; A Young Woman’s Struggle Through Anorexia and Bulemia, by Marianne Apostolides.

What a story.

The book was published in 1998 – and given to me in 2004 by the author’s aunt (a friend of the family). Then it sat on my bookshelf for more than a decade. I’m not sure why I put off reading it for so long but when I finally got around to reading it a few weeks ago, I could barely put it down.

I honestly had no clue about the horrific inner struggle a person faces when he or she is dealing with an eating disorder. Now I have a better idea. And frankly, it sounds like a terrifying, frustrating and lonely journey – especially for a young woman just starting out on her life path.

As a teen, Apostolides found that the seemingly best way to control her thoughts, feelings and life was to control her intake of food – be that vastly limiting the intake of food (anorexia) or consuming enormous quantities of it (bulimia).

Inner Hunger is an extremely candid account of the author’s personal experience with eating disorders and the hell she went through trying to become healthy again – physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually.

For, as the title suggests, Apostolides wasn’t just dealing with an extremely unhealthy relationship with food, she was unsuccessfully trying to feed an inner hunger with an external substance – food – that could never satisfy what she was so desperately lacking in herself.

However, the book isn’t just the graphic details of her personal journey. Rather, as the back cover explains: “Inner Hunger is more than just a memoir: it is a starting point on the road to recovery. Realizing the importance of therapy and guidance in her own healing process, Apostolides includes invaluable sections giving the causes of eating disorders; different types of treatment; advice to parents, friends and educators; and a list of organizations offering information and support.”

Obviously, Apostilades is not alone in her struggle. According to The Emily Foundation (US), 1 in 5 women struggle with an eating disorder or disordered eating – and 90% of those are between the ages of 12 and 25.

Eating disorders are a significant issue that are not going away any time soon. Although I don’t have any sage advice or personal experience to share on the subject, I know an expert who does: Esther Kane, Registered Clinical Counselor and author of the excellent book, It’s Not About the Food; A Woman’s Guide to Making Peace with Food and Our Bodies.

If you know of someone who might be struggling with an eating disorder, Esther’s article, How to Help Someone with Disordered Eating, is a highly informative and helpful read.

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and the Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive Maryanne’s weekly blog, sign up here.

published in Assumptions, Caregiving, Health, Motherhood, Mothering Matters, Self Esteem, Self Worth by Maryanne | July 12, 2015 | 6 Comments

  To Work or Not While Raising Kids…May NOT be the Question We Need to Be Asking


By Nancy Chapman

Editors Note: this Mothering Matters blog was written by Nancy in 2012. So although Nancy’s life has evolved and her kids are older now, her message is as relevant as ever.

mom holding child in air

“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

As part of ongoing efforts to reduce the amount of time our kids sit in front of a screen, we recently bought the Game of Life. At first glance, it is a thinly disguised advocate for higher education. Go to university – become a doctor, lawyer or a teacher. Don’t go to university – become a mechanic, an athlete, or a singer.

Both my husband and I hold two post-graduate degrees each and live a comfortable life. While we don’t want to insist our kids pursue higher education, this game previews some of life’s major decisions and the impact your job can have on your lifestyle.

The game’s milestones are necessarily simple — get a job, payday, buy a car, payday, payday, get married, payday, payday, payday, get a loan, buy a house, have a baby (or four). Essentially, players race through a track or “life” where paydays, lawsuits, and other “milestones” determine whether you’re retiring in Florida or Detroit, or even at all.

Then one night it suddenly struck me — if I were playing the Game of Life with my real-life choices, I would lose.

Except I’m not playing the game of life, I’m living it.

A study published in the December 2011 Journal of Psychology purported there was an inverse relationship between depression and working women. That is, working women defined themselves as happier than their non-working counterparts, especially while their children are younger.

I used to work for a large multinational consulting firm. My projects took me away from home for months on end and this took its toll on my young marriage, but I told myself it was worth it – I was at the top of my game, on the Partner track, a master of work/life balance – I was having my cake and eating it too.

Not long into my maternity leave with our first son, I sadly acknowledged I couldn’t go back to my consulting life. I just couldn’t imagine leaving my baby with a full-time nanny while I went to Chicago for 40 consecutive weeks. I knew professional parents who did, but it wasn’t for me. So I took a package and some time out to assess my options.

When our son was about a year old, I went back to work at a technology startup. I was happy to trade my yoga pants for pant suits and was more than relieved to find that my brain still worked! I loved the feeling of missing my boy but I hated dropping him off at daycare, and mother’s guilt sat heavy on my heart. If he cried at being left at daycare, I wept all the way to work. If he didn’t cry when I dropped him off, I sobbed harder because he had already adjusted to life without me.

When I became pregnant again, I agonized over how to balance my career and marriage with two kids. I decided to give up a career I mostly loved because we didn’t want our kids to be raised by nannies. The decision as to who got to stay home was largely economic, with a dash of societal norms thrown in. But by the time our third child arrived, I was fully in the groove of motherhood and I felt happy.

It wasn’t until our youngest went to school full-time that I started to feel untethered again. I finally had my pre-kids life back – between 9 am and 3 pm. But with working out, shopping, lunching with the ladies and the odd bit of blogging – I was adrift. I was accomplishing very little and hating it. When you’ve devoted 11 years to keeping little ones alive, it’s discombobulating to realize you’re no longer chained to a lead ball.

Sometimes I think I would be happier if I hadn’t stayed at home to raise the kids.

But perhaps it was my sense of self that needed maintaining, not necessarily my career.

I chose to stay at home to be there for my boys when they needed me, and sadly I sometimes resented them for something they never asked me to do. My identity was so tied up in my work that I lost my sense of self when I became a mother.

So maybe the question we need to be asking is not necessarily whether mothers should work or not – but rather how we, as a society, can support mothers, working or not, in continuing to nurture themselves while they care for the future of our world?

Nancy is a recovering workaholic with a flair for the dramatic, learning to love to stay at home with her three boys. She is currently in the throes of a mid-life crisis and wrestling with abandonment issues as her youngest started school full-time this year.

To read more Mothering Matters blogs, here is the link.