Dr. Mary Jayne Rogers is a self-professed “super wellness nerd” with over thirty years experience in the health and fitness industry. From Overwhelmed to Inspired: Your Personal Guide to Health and Well-being (2016) is the culmination of her twenty-year desire to write a non-scientific book to encourage others on their journey to wellness. You can find Mary Jayne on her website DoctorMaryJayne.com and on Twitter.
Why did you write From Overwhelmed to Inspired, and who did you write it for?
I wrote From Overwhelmed to Inspired because I am deeply troubled by the state of our country and the world. I see people in my community locally as well as in my travels globally who, I believe, are suffering because they don’t have easy, accessible information about health and wellness. I believe as we become more conscious about our well-being, we begin to make better choices in our lives. This leads us to become better parents, better partners, better employees/employers, and better members of a broader community.
I wrote the book for anyone who is ready to take the journey with me to a place of feeling better, more vibrant, and self-aware. The book is relevant for people of all ages. However, because women tend to be the caretakers in our society, I have found it resonates more with women.
What unique challenges did this work pose for you?
Ironically, I am an introvert and generally a person of few words. Because I have been a teacher for so long, I am accustomed to students simply accepting what I have to say in my precise and concise manner. It was difficult for me to open up about my personal experiences with eating disorders and many of the difficulties I have muddled through to strengthen my own compassion, mindful awareness, and personal “3 Selfs” (from the first section of the book).
When did you know you wanted to write the book? What prompted the final push to begin?
I have been in the wellness industry for 40 years. I have wanted to write a non-scientific book for almost 20 years. During that time, I have become a “super wellness nerd.” I really love discovering what is trending on the wellness front and use my educational background to determine what is true and accurate but also realistic and helpful to people on a daily basis. I had shared with a dear friend of mine, who is also a career counselor, my desire to have a broader format for a wellness discussion, including speaking engagements, radio, and TV. She simply said, “You have to write a book.” So I did.
What was the most rewarding aspect of writing From Overwhelmed to Inspired?
There have been so many rewarding aspects to writing this book. First, it was difficult to distill the myriad of wellness information in a way that is understandable, meaningful to the reader, and different from other wellness books on the market. I feel I accomplished that and am pleased with the result. Also, my dear grammatically precise husband read for me dozens of times. It became a work of love for both of us, strengthening our relationship, but also beginning to inculcate him with this information in a way that wasn’t doctrinaire or overbearing, thereby (hopefully) encouraging him toward a healthier lifestyle. And lastly, I was glad to have finished the book during my mother’s lifetime. I mean after all, we all want to please our moms—right?
Do you have a favorite quote from the book?
This is so funny because the book is full of wonderful quotes from all sorts of people from Lucille Ball to Thich Nhat Hanh, but a quote of my own?
“…we are beginning to see that wellness is not really as much a state of being as it is an approach to living. We see that the activity of our minds is intricately related to our physical health. As we begin to adjust our mindset, our bodies will begin to feel lighter and more receptive to change. Changing your mind will change your body and change your world.”
What is the best compliment you’ve received as an author?
On my Amazon page someone posted that she had undergone a great deal of trauma in recent years and that my book had been very helpful to her. I truly hope to make a meaningful difference in peoples’ lives.
Do you have advice for other writers still working toward publication?
2. Dig deeper. Allow the reader to get to know you.
What do you consider the greatest tool in a writer’s arsenal?
Dedication, commitment, and discipline to commit to a regular writing schedule.
Do you write other than nonfiction?
I love nonfiction, but I also enjoy poetry and songwriting.
What writing projects are you working on now?
I am working on a memoir of my experiences and personal growth teaching in Japan which helped me transform from an anxious, shell-shocked introvert to becoming a highly respected international teacher and presenter, all the while acknowledging and laughing about my bevy of phobias and my continuing struggle to overcome them. Working title: Love Letters from Japan.
KL Wagoner (writing as Cate Macabe) is the author of This New Mountain: a memoir of AJ Jackson, private investigator, repossessor, and grandmother. She has a new speculative fiction blog at klwagoner.com and writes about memoir at ThisNewMountain.com.