Today is the day I get to perform Off-Broadway with The Body Image Project. I am extremely Hyped. For a couple of days I have been in reflection/hiding/sleeping because I have needed to recover from a bad cold I got after the close of the show I was involved with in Chicago at The Goodman Theatre. I realized that I have not taken anytime for myself to be silent and to watch the Food Network, and to just be silent. I got to have a much needed sleep- over with my best friend and I got to spend a lot of time reconnecting with close colleagues in NYC.  When your body speaks, listen to it. Rejuvenate yourself. Yes it is good to be in a hustle and bustle, but it is also necessary to sit your butt down and RELAX. I had to learn this lesson the hard way.

Last year, when the Body Image Project was only a dissertation project- 8 days before I was supposed to perform the project in front of my classmates and professors- I suffered a MAJOR STRESS ATTACK. I collapsed on the steps on the way up to my room. Unconscious. Waking up to the face of my fiance and best friend.

I never took Stress seriously when I was in college. I had so many addictions  I would just deal. I was drinking, smoking (cigarette smoke that is) I was all over the place. Now, I have given up all of the addictions and have this year begun to uncover who I am as a human being. It’s scary to unveil yourself. It’s scary to deal with yourself and to take the journey of loving yourself. Right, now in my life I am going through so many transitions and I always thought that by 25 I would be something amazing. Something that would transcend the times. Something like Oprah. 

It’s funny, because my fiance and I, back in January we had to do an assessment of our personalities and we found that I am a stressor and he exhibits EXTREME PEACE. My pastor asked me, he said: “Danielle what have you done in the past for stress?” and I honestly wanted to say “Drink.” Ha! But, it was my pastor so I couldn’t say that. He told me to figure out what makes me happy. I am still learning little by little what that means. For years, I have focused on taking care of so many people that I never knew what I wanted. I can tell you what makes a majority of my friends and family happy. But, when it comes to me, I am dumbfounded because I have no idea.  

Let me tell you, if you do not deal with stress you can become a gremlin. You can be mean, green, and with a personality that comes with a stench. Do not let stress overtake you. Stress can affect your body. It can cause health problems like: anxiety, heart attacks, suicidal thoughts etc. Stress is a natural killer and it does not need to be in your life. 

What does it mean to be at peace? How do you get peace in the complicated life that we live in? How do we find peace of mind in a time where we have twenty million things to accomplish at once? What makes you happy?

Take 5 minutes out of your day, lay on the floor and be quiet. Focus only on your blessings. Focus on what makes you beautiful. 

I was stressed about this blog, to be honest, because I was “unhappy” because I wanted more people to share their stories. Then I began to realize that all things come with time and honestly if only 1 person reads this blog I am happy, because at least it would have changed a life. I cannot stress over anything anymore, because life is unexpected and it will happen when it wants. 

When I did the show Off-Broadway last weekend a boy had travelled all the way from Connecticut, because he followed the blog. That moment changed my life. 

What makes me happy? Being able to give. I love to give people laughter, encouragement and help. I love to teach, I love to cook, I love my husband to be. I love family. I love my friends and colleagues. I am beginning to love Chicago. I love my mother- even though she be tryin’ my nerves sometimes.  Ha! What mom’s don’t though : ) 

A couple of days ago, on Facetime, my fiance asked me to look in the mirror and say the words: “My name is Danielle Pinnock and I am beautiful.” I went into the bathroom, looked in the mirror, and was silent. I was absolutely quiet. I looked a mess. I had just woken up. My face looked like something out of the Adams Family. I had eye juice and crusty lips. It was a fright.


Why is the morning so inappropriate?  We go to sleep looking cute and peaceful and wake up looking a fright. WHY?!  It took me 45 minutes to even get the words out and I was crying, because I was terrified to say the words out loud. But, I did and I am glad I did it. I have to learn to love myself on the days with no makeup and no weave tracks or half wigs. I need to love myself when my belly is bloated and when my boobs sag. I need to love myself when I have crust on my face from a deep sleep. I need to love my bad breath in the morning and evening. I need to love myself everyday, every hour and every moment. That is true peace. That is true happiness. 

I began to look at my blessings this morning and I just had to give thanks. I am getting married; I have a show that I created that is going Off’Broadway this weekend; I am able to meet amazing people on an everyday basis, because of this play; I am able to help people through this blog gain a better sense of body image; I am on a journey to loving myself. What more can you ask for? My mom said to me last night that when you appreciate the crumbs God will give the cake. She is so true. I may be broke, “overweight”, stuck with a ton of student loans, in a transitional move to Chicago- but I have so much more. I am the richest person in the world, because I am learning to love myself. So much more will happen for you if you focus on the crumbs you have now. Soon and very soon you will get the cake with all the icing- and if your like me- I am waiting patiently on a big ol’ red velvet cake blessing!

Since I love to give. I want to do a giveaway you will be able to find the instructions on the “Share Your Story” Section of this Blog. I thank all of you who have been reading or have shared this blog to friends/family. I really thank you and encourage you this week to find peace in yourself. Stress is the enemy and will cause you to waste time. Even when you feel stress begin to creep up on you, silent scream out loud and move forward.

Love you all and hope to see you at the show this weekend.


If you are in NYC Come through and see me portray selections of the show at The Soho Playhouse 15 Vandam Street. June 21-22 @ 8pm

Wishing you all the best blessings

actor | director | playwright



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  1. Omoze Idehenre June 22, 2013 — 8:57 pm

    I hear about you regularly and love your work. You are making waves, lady! Good luck and keep inspiring.


    • bodyimageprojectblog June 23, 2013 — 6:18 am

      Thank you so much! I hope to meet you soon, Lateefah and Da’Vine talk about your amazing work. I hope to collaborate with you one day. Wishing you all the best, and thank you for reading the blog : )


  2. LOVE THIS. so true. in training this year, i was shocked at how disconnected we are from our bodies. our society operates on disconnecting mind from body from soul. the economy thrives on us having “problems we can’t solve on our own” and so we become obsessed, self-blaming, and depressed and going to a psychiatrist for the latest drug that will “help” us through this. But really, if we sit down, quiet ourselves, do the brave thing of facing ourselves, our true, deep, inner selves – we’ll find that “it” is something we have power over, “it” is something we can handle, “it” is something abstract, and merely made up in the mind. the mind. the mind can be powerful, cunning, and manipulative – without our conscious consent – this is what makes it so dangerous. but if we settle down and reconnect to our own breath – not air, but breath – we will find gold and we will find solace. we will find that we’re actually able to stand on our own two feet. we will find that the essence of who we are is actually made up of joy. human beings have so much more power than we allow ourselves (especially actors!) and so much more than the capitalist market wants us to believe we have (could you imagine every self-help book, item, and medication going out of business?! being obsolete?!). emotions are valuable, but they are also intangible *ideas* that rise and fall and come and go. and we actually have the ability to: not *manipulate* these emotions, but the ability to not allow them to overwhelm us. “I have emotions. I, myself, am not emotions.” Two interesting books toward this kind of renewal of full self-awareness is “Zen Min/Beginner’s Mind” and “Jesus in the Lotus: The Mystical Doorway Between Christianity and Yogic Spirituality”

    as always ❤ ❤ ❤ !


    • bodyimageprojectblog June 23, 2013 — 6:19 am

      I need to buy Jesus in the Lotus. I just started Yoga and it has changed my life. I am so proud of you that you are in UGANDA doing it. Girl you are a star and I am blessed to call you friend and colleague. Thank you for your continuous support to the blog and body image project : )


  3. Great post! Stress really knows how to totally mess with your life. Love your moms quote!


  4. bodyimageprojectblog June 21, 2013 — 7:46 pm

    So true. Please share this wordpress to people who may be stressed or who may want to be included in our giveaway! Thank you so much for reading : )


  5. You may have all the talents, money, and skills in the world but if you do not have your health you have nothing!


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