Tag: books

“Start Today” journal update and Life Coaching!

“Start Today” journal update and Life Coaching!

It’s been roughly a month and a half since I began using my “Start Today” journal. I can easily say it’s been an overall positive experience! At first trying to remember which 10 goals I had chosen was tough. But a month and a half later I finally have them totally memorized.

In itself remembering what the 10 goals are is a big deal, think about it! My own brain couldn’t easily recall the top 10 things I wanted to do in life. Each one of these items is super important to me, but I had never put them in front of my face enough to actually remember them. They’d come in and out of my consciousness like flashes, here and there I’d think, “Wouldn’t that be awesome if…” but that was it, after it’d be forgotten. Not anymore!

Listing 5 things I am grateful for is also really wonderful. It becomes challenging when you are pissed off or in a bad mood. I sit their brooding over whatever upset me and then I force my brain to think positively. But after I finish I tend to be every slightly less grumpy.

I do have to admit one thing though, I haven’t been perfect about doing it every single day. There are some days when I have missed it either when I was sick, I kept putting it off and forgot…or I was just in a terrible mood and was laying in bed lamenting. I always start back up though. Why? Because Rachel teaches that imperfection is ok! What matters most is that you RESTART. Don’t let go of it just cause you messed up once. This is what I always have to remind myself, because I am a perfectionist. I hope I don’t miss another day from this point forward, but if I do, I know I can start again.

Life Coaching with Rachel Hollis

A few days ago I learned from Rachel’s instagram that she was going to start a Life Coaching program. It is not one-on-one. She made it clear in her video that she literally has no time to do that, and even if she did I know darn well I couldn’t afford it!

Even still I was thinking, “Oh god, it’s going to be like $100 a month or something”. Because if you follow this space, like I do, you know that these teachers charge A LOT for their info. Courses can easily be in the hundreds or thousands of dollars. So I braced myself and looked at the price. The personal life coaching, which is basically 2 hours a month, is $39 bucks.

That felt do-able. That felt like a realistic thing. I pay $9.99 for Apple Music and $14.95 for Audible every month. How about paying monthly for something that might actually help me move the needle forward in my life?! So what, that works out to $20 an hour? To get guidance from someone I feel really resonates with me? That feels like a bargain.  I pay more an hour to the person that does my hair.

So I bit the bullet, I signed up. Still skeptical mind you…still wondering if this money could be better spent. I have to say, yesterdays session felt COMPLETELY worth every cent. Rachel is just so genuine and raw and imperfect. I freakin’ love imperfection because I struggle with perfection so much. I love anyone who goes out into the world and says, “I’m doing this, I don’t know exactly what I’m doing..but I’m doing it anyway!”

I’m not going to break down what we learned or what our homework was. I’m going to wait until next month and let you know how/if what I learned helped me, what I implemented and what I possibly didn’t get rolling on. To be continued…

Starting my “Start Today” Journal

Starting my “Start Today” Journal

Write down your dreams. Write down your goals. Visualize where you want to be in life. Doesn’t like EVERY SINGLE self help guru say this in one form or another? But do you do it? As a self confused self help lover, my answer was a (sheepish) no.

Oh, that’s not to say I have never written down my goals. Quite the contrary, I’ve done journal entries visualizing my fabulous soon-to-be life, I have made several vision boards, listened to countless meditations and as aforementioned…read LOTS and LOTS of books. But to no avail a gratitude or goal practice never emerged or stuck.

I recently came to the conclusion that accomplishing “things” was not helping any of my larger goals. Climbing that small hill (i.e. running a race, taking voice lessons, etc) did not create any momentum in my life. I started to ponder this really deeply for a few days. I came to the conclusion that the problem stemmed directly from the way I process the world. My thinking. 

I’m not going to go into that right now, because we want to get to the journal before the spring equinox, but just know there is A LOT to unpack there. (Isn’t it that way for most people?) So I decided for this year, as in the 12 month period after my birthday, not the calendar year, I was going to heavily focus on my thoughts, perceptions and emotions. 

That’s kind of tricky. You can quantify pounds lost or money saved, but how to do quantify your negativity? I guess you just have to go by your baseline happiness and how many crappy days you have vs bad days…I still really don’t know.

I found Rachel Hollis on a COMPLETE Audible whim. I had no clue she had a book on the best sellers list, or this huge following. Audible suggested the book for me, I read the description and though, “Ok, I’ll give this a shot.” What I love about Audible is that if a book sucks you can return it and get your credit back…which I have done for MANY a book. lol

That book is, “Girl wash your face” and it skyrocketed to one of my favorite non-fiction books EVER. Right next to The Alchemist, Big Magic and Eat Pray Love. READ IT if you’re into self help books or just need a good kick in the pants about living your best life. But yeah, I still wasn’t writing down goals or anything after I read it.

So I followed Rachel Hollis on her socials and bought a few more of her non-fiction books on audible. She’s really fun on instagram. Anyway, recently she started selling her “Start Today” journals. She is apparently going to sell them every quarter with limited designs. 

But I, Malinda, am HIGHLY skeptical about buying self help peoples products. They all promise to jump start this or change your life with that, um, I can’t even remember to fill out a simple daily calendar?? I was like $24 bucks for a journal? Nope, nope, nope. 

And I didn’t buy it, the came out, sold out and them came out again and I still didn’t buy it. But then Rachel did something I found to be REALLY cool and different from ALL the other self helpers out there. 

She has a podcast, which is also awesome btw, called The Rise podcast. In one of the episodes recently she read the ENTIRE prompt that is in the journal before you start the daily writings. She gave away the entire thing and said, “You don’t have to buy the journal, just use a blank piece of paper if that’s all you have…” So she basically gave away the content in the journal, free. I don’t know, for me that gave it a little credibility. She was truly championing the action of writing your goals and gratitude everyday and not just her journal.

If that was a marketing ploy, let me tell you it freakin’ WORKED. That gave this ole skeptic a little more faith in it. I was like, “Ok, $24 bucks plus shipping…I can swing that” 

So, everyone, I sat down yesterday and went through the initial writing exercise to find my 10 goals, it took about an hour and then I filled out my first page. You start with 6 things you are grateful for today then you write down your 10 dreams then you narrow it down to 1 goal. YAY FIRST DAY DOWN..now to keep it up.

I had even set my alarm last night 10 min earlier then normal so I could get up and write my stuff in my journal. BUT then, I was rudely awakened at 3am and had a hard time falling asleep, not going into that one. *eye roll* I knew in that moment there was no way I was going to be in the mood to wake up any earlier and do this. I set my alarm back to its regular time and (eventually) fell back to sleep.

But, when I woke up I was like, “I can’t throw in the towel! My goodness this is technically day two and I’m already going to not follow through. (I mean technically it was like day 1 because yesterday was day 0…which is even worse!) So I grabbed the jornal and threw it into my purse before I left.

Then, when I got to work I sat in my car for 8 extra minutes and filled it out. *breaks out into applause for self*

I am proud of that!!

Day 1, er 2, whatever: I am not a morning person. I am actually a terrible morning person, actually I’m pretty bitchy, esp when I don’t get proper freakin’ sleep! Making my mind focus on first gratitude and then goals was a really STRANGE feeling.

It made me realize that I basically NEVER actively think about either. I am just concerned with traffic, lack of sleep or work crap. But pushing my brain to this other realm that I hardly visit (gratitude and goals) was eye opening. I was thinking, “Wow, I really do NEVER think about this stuff” It was like an espresso shot of positivity for my super negative “morning brain”.

I’m determined to stick it out and see if doing this practice yields any fruit. The journals have 90 days worth of pages so my plan is to STICK WITH IT at least for the 90 days. Really commit to it and just see if anything happens, see if there is anything to this practice like all these self helpers say.

I will continue to write updates as the days go on. I will be very candid but even if I think it’s waste of time by day 20 I am STILL going to stick with it the full 90 days, to give it a fair shot. I must say I was pleasantly surprised with the mental wake up call it gave me this morning though, I wasn’t expecting that.

Here are some links if your curious about Rachel Hollis or the journal.

Her Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/msrachelhollis

The journals have their own instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/StartTodayJournal/

Here is the podcast episode where she gives you the journal prompt:
(It’s the episode on 11/26/18)
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/rise-podcast/id1245763628?mt=2

Here are the journals themselves with a snazzy video from Rachel:
https://www.thehollisco.com/p/shop

(Pic is from the start today journal instagram)

The thing they don’t tell you about “Change”

I am a self confessed self help junkie. I live for Super Soul Sunday and Brene Brown and Liz Gilbert, et al. I want to improve, change, be different, grow, etc.

I DO NOT LIKE CHANGE. I fight it, hate it, avoid it. Guess where growth comes from? *eye roll* I know this because everyone knows this. Everyone knows that to be in a different place you have to do different things. “Take the leap of faith…” and the second statement always goes something like this:

“It may take some adjustment…”

“Things may be challenging at first but…”

“You will face difficulties but..”

And eventually your change will lead you to the new life you want. Blah, blah, blah.

THIS IS WHAT THEY NEVER SAY. Even an awesome change can be HARD AND MISERABLE at first. Maybe I am an isolated case of weirdness. Maybe I’m just extra resistant to things changing. The reason why I am even bringing this up is because yesterday was a year since I left my old job and consequently started my current job a few days later.

I wrote about this a bit before, but to tell you the truth I sugarcoated it a bit. I was FUCKING MISERABLE at my old job. It was thankless, you worked your ass off and it was hardly appreciated, we were on production and it was like a factory job in an office setting. Only your mistakes were pointed out to you. They never gave you the vacation you wanted without a fight, them trying to take away my vacation was literally what led me to my current job. (Thanks guys!) HOWEVER, my supervisor and friends there were always a bright side. It was the company culture and management that made it terrible.

The only reason why I mention all that is to emphasize how miserable I was in that job. 

So, I get my new job. The hours are better, days off are better, environment is better, vacation approval is so easy I could cry, I don’t even have to CALL to call in sick, I am treated like an adult and trusted to be there and do my job without every minute of my day being watched and calculated. HEAVEN RIGHT? Nope, not at first.

I had been at my old job for 8 years. And even though I hated it and was absolutely miserable, it was what I was used to. I knew what I had to do, what my drive was like, I knew it. So I threw myself into something I didn’t know and went into an emotional tailspin. Even though it was 1000% better. And this is what the books never tell you. Even if you leave something bad, for something totally better just being IN SOMETHING NEW is enough to make you feel lost and yearning for comfort.

Those first few months, I just wanted the safety of my old terrible job. I was a boss at my old job, now I was a novice. I knew exactly what was expected of me, now I was lost. I went from banking to NPR Radio….I WAS SCARED. Terrified that I had made a horrible mistake and threw my life upside down.

CHANGE IS FUCKING HARD, EVEN AFTER YOU MAKE IT.

Having said that however, you still need to do it, BECAUSE IT IS WORTH IT. Just don’t be fooled into believing that the leap is the only hard part. The leap is just the beginning to your new trials. I wish I had known that, because when things felt SO HARD in the beginning my mind processed that as, “YOU made a terrible mistake!!!!!” Not, “This is hard now but one day it will get better…it may take months but it will get better”

I was so close so many days, in the beginning, to asking for my old job back. I’d cry all the time because it was just so new and scary. But I kept with it and now I realize going back would have been the “terrible mistake”.

It’s funny, because now a year later I am on the cusp of yet another massive change.  One that will undoubtedly throw my life upside down again for awhile. I’m, once again, scared out of my mind. But just like my current job, I know this is something I have to do for the greater good of myself. I know this will push me to grow and hopefully flourish. It’s yet another case of me entering a situation that’s probably better for me, but just brand new. (And no, I’m not changing jobs again…)

When you make a change, give it time to level out in your life. Give it time to really settle and give yourself time to adjust. If things are rough are first DO NOT take that as a sign that you made a mistake. Take that as a sign that you just did something massively different and the universe is realigning to make it fit into your world.

Please reference me to this post when I have terrified in a few months…

The power of positivity?

I, of all people, am no stranger to the idea that “what we think, we attract”. Or, “that our thoughts create our reality”. And even, “our thoughts have energy and power”. I believe this to certain extents. I don’t believe just sitting there staring at a map of Walt Disney World is going to take me there, however.

I’ve done A LOT of introspection since 2008. Trying to figure out when I think certain things to be true or act certain ways. Trying to pinpoint the exact moment I picked up a false belief system. Reckoning, dissecting, denouncing, fighting, surrendering, lamenting…I feel like I have done it all in the name of “fixing myself”.

I just believed that I was going to have some Oprah worthy a-ha moment and BOOM my life would shift and I would suddenly, “Get it” and go climb Mt. Everest. Well, the Everest part is a lie but the rest is true. I have been wishing for that a-ha moment harder then anything else. Still waiting…

I have had moments of clarity or understanding, but they feel fleeting and then BOOM I am back feeling the way I used to feel, but now even MORE frustrated because I saw the greener side of the grass for awhile.

With one of my Audible credits I purchased Shawn Achor‘s “Before Happiness: The 5 hidden keys to achieving success, spreading happiness and sustaining positive change” And let me tell you I was SKEP-TI-CAL. Martha Beck book about steering by starlight, bring it on! Metaphysical stuff doesn’t make me blink and I love reading it. A book by a Positive Psychology researcher? Uhhh, I felt like I was going to be asking for my Audible credit back.

In the beginning I was half listening…hoo hum, positivity does amazing things, blah blah. At some point I did ACTUALLY start listening. And I was like, “That makes sense…..” I started to think about the things I did a little more, my reactions, my view on the world. Then I ran my 10k and literally used something I heard in the book to stop panicking and get back on track. Maybe you are on to something Shawn-y boy.

This book asks you to do a lot of things, but it DOES NOT make you wrestle with your past. Everything is based on the NOW, the CURRENT MOMENT and your thinking in that moment. And to keep reconciling your brain to stay there. It doesn’t kick up the shit from the past.

Do we need to evaluate and wrestle with our past? Absolutely, without a question! But I’ve been on that island so long, we’ve done the dance and it’s getting stagnant. I think now it’s time to wrestle with my very perception of…well…everything that makes me unhappy.

Is this the author that’s going to change my life? Probably not. I’m the only person that can really do that and this is just another tool and view to help me do it. I’ve been in the “stuck” mud for awhile and I’m hoping this gets me moving again.

How did I get here?

This morning we had a meeting, actually, it wasn’t a meeting, it was a job interview. The head of my department is leaving and they are having potential applicants meet with the ENTIRE department, at once. Think a long conference table full of people…asking them questions. Talk about pressure. And then it hit me again, as it so often does, “How did I get here?!

You see just a year ago my life looked VERY different. I was at a job that made me miserable on every level. It was completely unfulfilling and thankless. I worked M, W-S. Yes, I didn’t even have 2 days off together and I woke up at 4am everyday to go to work. I was on production and all that really mattered was my output, it was slowly crushing my soul.

I am a self help book junkie. This started when I purchased my first true self help book, “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle that and Super Soul Sunday sent me down the self help rabbit hole. So I kept reading over and over in different books, “The energy you put into things is what you get out of it”. So I made a choice, even though I couldn’t stand my job I was going to put nothing but good energy into it. Even though it felt meaningless I was going to create meaning. I worked at a lockbox, basically the meaning I gouged out of it was that I was helping people pay their bills, I was helping them get the medical bills paid so i did the best I could possibly do, for them.

A few months into this thought shift, an opportunity came up for people to travel to another site and do work. I had been there 6 years and this chance had never been available to me. But because my quality of work and knowledge were so high, I got the chance to travel to Boston. Paid by the company. Sure I had to work but in the evening we would go out and explore. I saw where the Boston Tea party happened, I visited Salem, I saw so many sights in Boston. I believe 100% this was due to my effort in shifting the energy I put into my job.

This was actually the same year my Mother and sister died. My mom had passed away before I went to Boston, my sister passed away a month after. Even through this bleak miserable time I still made sure to always bring positive energy to work.

This never altered the fact, however, that everyday I wished I could leave. But honestly, I didn’t see how. I only had a H.S. diploma, I only had experience in customer service and lockbox…the only place I felt I could go and be paid a decent wage was another lockbox, more of the same.  I said I wouldn’t leave for another lockbox, I wouldn’t leave for a similar job.  I’d look whenever they’d upset me, but get over it and stay. Everyone constantly talked about wanting to leave, but no one left because it was safe. We got paid ok, we had health benefits, I had 4 weeks vacation (I couldn’t use…lol, thats another story). It wasn’t bad on that front… just for me personally it gave me little to no fulfillment.

Long story short, they had approved some of my vacation then tried to take it away, the WEEK BEFORE I was set to take it. I was livid, I was angry, their reasons were ridiculous. I fought back, with reason and logic, and they ended up not taking it away but I was still upset. I gave these people everything I had and they couldn’t even give me my week vacay?

So I started googling jobs, as I always had, and somehow I found the listing for my current job. It was divine intervention. I read the job description and thought, “I could do that…” even though it seemed total different from my current job. It had a lot of the same attributes. I sat on it for a week…but it just nagged at me. Something about this job felt different, it felt right.

I didn’t even have an updated resume, let alone a cover letter.  I felt SO inadequate, like there was no way in hell I could actually get this job. But I kept reading the specs, “I could do that, I could do that, I could learn that, I’m detail oriented…” I didn’t believe I’d ever hear from them. I sent in my newly cobbled resume and cover letter anyway.

Two weeks later, I got an email asking me to set up a phone interview.

Took the phone interview thought, “Omg, I blew it…there is no way they are going to call me.”

They called me in for a regular interview.

Going to that interview was one of the most TERRIFYING things I did in my life. I was terrified I would blow it. But from the moment I walked into the building, met my potential new managers, and yes, I got interviewed by my potential new coworkers…I walked out of there wanting that job more then anything else. It wasn’t the money (a substantial raise) but it was the ENERGY of the place. The employees looked happy, said they LOVED working there, they loved the organization and their jobs. Literally I felt like I had glimpsed heaven. If you understood the environment I was in at that time…you’d know why I felt that way. It was night and day.

Obviously, you know how the story ends…I got the job. The first and only job I ever applied for after being at my last workplace 8 years. Everyone around me has a degree, everyone around me has worked in the non-profit world before and then there is me. I got here because experience counts for a lot more in life then we think. I literally made lemonade out of lemons, in my eyes. No job is without its challenges and I still have other goals, but my life literally looks COMPLETELY different then it did a year ago.

My 6mo anniversary just passed. I’m honestly still getting used to the freedom and level of respect I’m given by my colleagues. I work with so many strong, opinionated, intelligent women it makes my heart sing.

I believe 1000% that my choice years ago to shift the energy I put into my work brought me to where I am now. I completely manifested this. It didn’t come from thin air… I worked my ass off at my old job and I work my ass off now. Even though I sorta didn’t believe that there was no way I’d get this job, I tried anyway and put my best foot forward.

I would love to tell you I am always positive, but that’s not the case. In other areas in my life I am VERY MUCH a work in progress. But this is something I am really proud of. And I hope anyone that is in a job that is less then fulfilling can get some hope, things can change if you want them to. Start by changing the energy you put into the work, who knows where it will take you.