Girl, Wash Your Face!/Rachel Hollis/ #Last90Days

If you haven’t heard of Rachel Hollis yet, you need to make sure you haven’t been living under a rock because this lady is the bomb!  I actually read her book earlier this year while I was finishing my thesis for my Master’s degree in history.  It was timely because, at the time, I was feeling sorry for myself.  I kept concentrating on how HARD the process was instead of enjoying the fact that I was finishing my FU**ing thesis at the young age of 25!!! (Pardon my french 🙈) I mean come on!  I should have been crazy proud of myself, but no.

Now maybe you didn’t have trouble finishing your degree.  Maybe the idea of staying in school for that long sounds like a nightmare to you, but we can all relate to feeling sorry for ourselves.  The worst part about being in that state is no matter what you do, you don’t feel like you can do anything right!  You can’t ever get ahead, you are always exhausted.  Nothing brings you joy, and you spend your days bitter and lonely even when others are around.
Here’s how Rachel helped me crawl out of the pity party pit where I had given up on life.  (I’m being a little… ok, a lot, melodramatic but you get the idea. Lol)
In just the first chapter this woman had me hooked.  As a fellow people pleaser, I really related to her.  It’s so easy to compare yourself to others and induce a stress-eating, self-loathing depression where you might as well give up if you can’t be the best.  At least, it’s easy for me.
So, now that I have admitted I have a problem, (Hi, I’m Sarah and I’m a people pleaser. lol), I can deal with it.  First, take responsibility.  One of my favorite movies, How Do You Know, with Reese Witherspoon, has a quote. “Don’t judge anybody else until you check yourself out that way you are lucky if it’s your fault because then you can correct the situation.”  The first time I heard this quote I HATED it!  I’m like, “Great, so everything is your fault and you can’t be mad at anyone else ever?!”  I was not in the right place to hear this.  But the second or third time I watched the movie (Because who can resist a good chick-flick with Reese Witherspoon?!) I heard it a little differently.  Since I am a people pleaser I have a tendency to point fingers, anything just so I don’t have to admit I am the cause of the problem or anything is wrong with me.  DEAR GOD DON’T LET ANYTHING EVER BE WRONG WITH ME!!!  I can’t stand to admit when I’m wrong and will white-knuckle it past the point of logic.  Let’s just say, it’s not pretty.
But if you listen carefully to the quote, it’s just saying pay attention.  There’s nothing wrong with checking in to see, “Could I make this better with a few tweaks?  Could I do something different to change the outcome in the future?”  It’s what grown-ups do, and I don’t mean that in a condescending way.  Rachel can explain it better than I can.  Her first call to action is to take responsibility for your life.  The whole thing is yours!  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  Then and only then can you create change in your life.  Stop beating yourself up because it serves no purpose.  Get up and do something about it!  Girl, get out of bed!  Girl, dust yourself off!  Girl, wash your face!! (Great title, right?!) The point is to own it.  I think we sometimes think someone, someday is just going to hand us the life we want.  It doesn’t really work that way, and in all honesty, I don’t think we would like it if it did.  When we fight for something, it’s truly ours.  You need a goal in life.  I don’t think I knew that.  You NEED a goal in life to push you forward.  You NEED something to shoot for.  Sometimes you’ll hit it right on!  Other times you’ll miss the target, but that doesn’t mean you didn’t need the goal.
Here are some of Rachel’s rules to live by:
1.  DON’T compare yourselves to others!  “Comparison is the death of joy.”  If you haven’t listened to Rachel guesting on the Ed Mylett Show Podcast, you have to!  She says that life is a little like a math test.  Keep your eyes on your own paper!  Beat your own record!  Be better than YOU were yesterday!  Compete only with yourself!
2. Start small.  She started by giving up diet coke.  I decided to start with small things like making my bed in the morning, giving up ice cream (I have a mild addition to Ben and Jerry’s, like that was a threesome I could always get on board with! lol) Making your first goals easy to chew create momentum and you start to trust yourself again.  Ed Mylett said in the same podcast episode mentioned above, that if you can’t keep promises to yourself, you begin to not trust yourself, so it’s no wonder you can’t keep promises to others.  You have to keep those promises you make to you.  They matter.  Your goals matter.  Life does get in the way.  We all make mistakes and miss the mark but that does not give us, that does not give ME, permission to quit!  You can’t quit on yourself.  You can’t!  I won’t allow it and neither will Rachel!  (I’m only slightly kidding. lol)  But in all seriousness, I got your back girl and I’d like to think you have mine. 😊
3. “Hustle for joy.”  This one sounds like “Duh, Rachel!  Of course, I know I should be joyful and happy!” But it goes beyond just being happy.  Rachel tells us to enjoy the simple things in life.  Every day, write down ten things you are grateful for, and eventually, you’ll notice that you have to pay attention to be able to write down that many things.  So, you create a habit of joy and gratitude.  Look for it!  Seek it out!  Enjoy your family, friends and the little things that make you happy.  You know what they are.  😉
There is so much more to this book but these are the things that stuck out to me.  Don’t be afraid to say your inner dreams out loud!  Go after them!  Dream BIG!  Like BIG, BIG!  Do the things you’ve only day-dreamed about.  Love yourself even when you fail and DO NOT WALLOW IN SELF PITY!  It doesn’t help you or make you feel better anyway.  What’s easy is not what you want.  Believe it or not, you want the challenge.  You’ve just made a habit of finding the easy way out.  These are the things that spoke to me and these are things I say to myself as I maneuver through life.  It is eye-opening, timely, a little scary, but definitely good!
This feels like a core workout.  All these books, podcasts, epiphany-filled moments, and long big-girl conversations with my mother, feel like I’m stretching myself passed where I ever thought I could go.  My sister is getting her yoga teaching certificate right now.  But before she ever thought about becoming a teacher she knew what she had to do.  She had to get strong.  She had to try and fall.  Strengthen.  Try and fail, strengthen.  Over and over, pushing the boundaries to find her inner strength as well as the physical.  Now, I watch her going into head stands with ease and grace.  She makes it look so easy, but I know firsthand it was not.  It took a lot of work, pain, bruises, breakdowns, coaching, and learning to get to the place she is now.
That’s what this feels like.  It feels like I’ve just discovered my core muscles (theoretically speaking) and let’s just say, I don’t have any abs to speak of! Lol, I’m learning what I’m capable of, I’m listening to people as they show me how to adjust this or that.  I’m testing my boundaries and I’m surprised when I can do more than I thought.  I’m getting stronger.  That’s what matters!
And that’s why I’m so excited to say I am doing the #Last90Days challenge with Rachel Hollis!  You should join us!  Here’s the link! There’s an inspirational theme related video every Monday and a Facebook group and it starts today!!! We can do this!  We can treat the last 90 days of 2018 like we do the first 30 of most years!  We can make today count.  We can make the next minute, the next second count when we decide, Yes!  Today is the day.  Today I will try, and I won’t give up.  Today.  That day is today.
Love,
Sarah

I Dare You to Read this Blogpost!

In this book, William Danforth seeks to change your problem-solving tactics, from the way you stand or sit in a chair to the way you look at the world. Originally published in 1931, this book is still very relevant and powerful.  Danforth as a counselor, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and co-founder of the American Youth Foundation sought to ignite generation after generation with the idea that nothing was impossible until you deemed it as such.  I found this book very refreshing.  It did not put up with the usual excuses we give ourselves when we decide we can’t do something or other.

If you don’t feel strong, Danforth says, “DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!”  You feel bad about yourself? DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!  You don’t like your love-life? DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!  You don’t feel at peace in your soul?  DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

Danforth separates our lives into four parts.  According to him, unless you address these four areas you can’t even imagine progress or happiness in your life.

1. Physical 

2. Mental

3. Social

4. Spiritual

When you think, or even say out loud in a joking fashion, “I’m weak.  I’ve never been strong.”  In that moment, instead of doing what you’ve always done, dare to be the strongest person you know.  Decide then and there to change that belief.  Go to a class, ask a friend for help, read books, find out how to change yourself into the strongest person you know.  It’s that simple.  Decide, and do it.  The truth is the only thing that stops us from doing anything is our belief that we can’t do it.

For example, I doubt myself all the time.  I say to myself, “You’ll never finish that project.  You’ll never come through.  You won’t make it on time.  You can’t be depended upon.  No one can trust you because you aren’t trustworthy.  You still can’t grow up.  You haven’t before, what makes this time different?  Yeah right.  You’ll never change.”  Mean, I know.  But don’t you do that sometimes too? Do you think those awful things in the face of adversity?  It’s hard to drown out those voices when you don’t replace them with something else.  Something that tells you the outcome is inconsequential.  It doesn’t matter how well you do.  What matters is you did it.  That’s it.  You faced your demons.  You got in the game.  Here’s what I’m daring to do:

Physical — I’m daring to give up ice-cream.  I have previously believed I can’t say no to myself.  Well, that stops here.  

Mental — I’m daring to stop doubting myself.  I have always thought that I can’t stop the doubts from stopping me, but the truth is I choose to listen to those voices when they say I can’t. 

Social — I’m daring to be brave and put myself out there.  I have always thought that prince charming either didn’t exist, or he wouldn’t want me, or (when I was in a good mood) he would just show up at my door someday. Lol, right.  This goes for friends too.  I have to think the best of others because that’s how I meet the good people that I now know and love with all my heart.  

Spiritual — I’m daring to believe that I really do matter to a merciful God who has never given up on me even at my worst.  I’m daring to believe that I don’t have to meet any expectation to deserve the love He gave willingly and freely to me.  I’m daring to believe He knows what He’s doing and that I don’t know better. (that last part is the hardest. I’m a bit of a know-it-all if you didn’t notice, lol.)
Here are some things Danforth said I think you should hear in my own interpretation:

!!! SPOILERS, SPOILERS!!!

Easy has already been done.  Quit looking for easy and look for the impossible.  Emulate those that inspire you and you’ll learn by osmosis.  Your personality is something you develop, not inherit.  Learn, grow, change.

Don’t judge someone as useless or a stick-in-the-mud.  You can still learn something from them.  Even if it’s learning what NOT to do.  Keep looking for the good in people.

In addition, learn from everyone you meet.  Whether you spend five minutes or five decades with someone, learn from them.  The world is your classroom.

This one I can’t do it justice so I’m simply going to quote Danforth: “Unfortunately, there are many people in the world so constituted that they are always licking the boots of those over them and lording it over those under them.  That’s a sure way to destroy personality.  On the other hand, really great men and women are those who are natural, frank and honest with everyone with whom they come into contact.”

Here’s one moment where I questioned Danforth.  He quotes an idea that you learn nothing when you win.  “We learn practically nothing from victory.  All our information comes from a defeat.  A winner forgets most of his mistakes.”  It was in an effort to encourage the reader to not give up when they fail, but it seems to be a bit of a lop-sided thought.  We learn nothing from victory?  Really, are you sure?  I’m not.  You learn what you are capable of when you win.  Perhaps, you learn that the process wasn’t what you thought it would be.  But you don’t learn nothing!  However, you do learn a lot when you fail…and when you are stubborn (like me) it’s possible to learn quite a lot.

One of my favorite metaphors by Danforth:  Some people are like the sea of Galilee; it makes beauty of what it is given because it has an outlet.  Other people are like the Dead Sea, it lets everything it is given die because it keeps everything it receives.  No outlet, no life.  You don’t get much out of what you receive unless you give it away.

Danforth says some fun and inspiring things toward the end of the book that makes you want to soar out of your chair, like, “Make a masterpiece of your life.”  Which makes me think of the Jessie J song lol.  I wanted to cry and sign when I read, “Measure your powers, not your problems…Don’t count the multitude. Count the loaves.”  I feel like I have so much to give the world when I read this book.

Another quote.  I can’t do better than this: A few men build cities — the rest live in them.  A few men project subways — the rest ride in them.  A few men erect skyscrapers and factories — and the rest toil in them.”  Danforth wrote to the few.  He wrote to those who truly want to change the world.  You have to really want it, to be willing to fight, sweat, and bleed for it.  Nothing worth getting is easy to get.  It takes hard work and lots of it.  People admire hard work.  Respect comes from hard work.  Accomplishments come from not giving up.  And the only thing standing in your way…is you.  Say this with me.  “I am one of the few.  I have a leader’s opportunity.  I have a shepherd’s responsibility.  The rest are dependent upon me.  I Dare You!”


I dare you to make something of yourself.  I dare you to try again.  I dare you to start over.  I dare you to give it your all when you don’t feel like it.  I dare you to do the things you’ve never done.  I dare you to do the things you think you can’t do.  I dare you to be the person you’ve always wanted to be.

What do you say?  Do you dare?

-Sarah