Habit of Hope

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again,

because there is no effort without error and short-coming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause;

who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. . . .”
– Theodore Roosevelt

I first want to start off by saying if you have yet to read “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown, now is the perfect time! She even has a Netflix special called “Brene Brown: The Call to Courage” I HIGHLY recommend spending your quarantine diving into her content!
In her book Daring Greatly, she discusses in depth, the above Theodore Roosevelt quote about vulnerability. She talks about vulnerability in respect to being a CEO, a parent, and just your every day leader like you and I. I have recently finished Daring Greatly and ironically as I was finishing the book I was planning on starting this blog post about hope. During the last chapter of her book she briefly discusses hope…

“According to R.C. Snyder, hope isn’t an emotion; it’s a way of thinking or a cognitive process. Emotions play a supporting role, but hope is really a thought process made up of a trilogy of goals, pathways, and agency. Hope happens when:
– We have the ability to set realistic goals (I know where I want to go).
– We are able to figure out how to achieve those goals, including the ability to stay flexible and develop alternative routes (I know how to get there, I’m persistent, and I can tolerate disappointment and try again).
– We believe in ourselves (I can do this!).

Hope is a combination of setting goals, having the tenacity and perseverance to pursue them, and believing in our own abilities.”

“Daring Greatly” Page #239-240

In order to have hope, we have to 1. define hope, which I did for you in the latest blog post. And 2. we have to take action. We have to know what we need to do to create and instill hope in not only ourselves but hope in our current world as well.
As Snyder says, we need to set goals. Right now you need to be setting goals for yourself. We are all in a position of staying home to protect ourselves and our world, so here are some goals you can think about setting during this time to create hope.

  • Create a routine for your stay at home lifestyle
  • Decide you are going to read every day, exercise everyday, hold a plank 30 seconds longer each day- something that can create a habit
  • CREATE A HABIT! It takes 30 days to create a habit, you have 30 free days without obligations to start focusing on the next habit you want to work towards
  • Set a goal to commit to working on your dream for a certain amount of time a day
  • Set a goal to commit to working on relaxing your mind for a certain amount of time a day
  • Creating structure. By allowing healthy habits to form we are creating hope that the future will be brighter than the past

Snyder states that in order to instill hope we must figure out how to achieve these goals:

  • Again, developing a habit takes 30 days, 30 days that suddenly we ALL have available to us- the how should not be an excuse when time is FOR us at the moment
  • I believe writing out your schedule, dreams, gratitude, or even your to do list is the best way to stay on track with how you will achieve your above goals! Write everything down. I am a sticky note addict and cover my walls in anything that will develop a mindset of hope
  • PERSISTENCE, Snyder mentions this, but I think now more than ever we need to stay persistent with our routines and our goals. Given the scenario of being quarantined it is easy to choose sleep, food, or relaxation instead of pushing towards the future. While some of those things are needed, we need to be aware that we have to continue to push ourselves forward so that when life gets back to ‘normal’ we are better humans than we were before, that is how we grow- even in times of struggle

Last, but definitely not least, Snyder says we must believe in ourselves.

  • Affirmations, use sticky notes! Every night before I go to bed I write down an affirmation on a sticky note and stick it to my wall. 1- cheap wall paper and 2- It is a constant reminder as to why I am great, awesome, super human, and also a bomb dancer
  • Consume media that makes you believe in yourself. Guess what? YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA! Only consume those who lift you up. This is a great time to unfollow, block, or just mute those who do not make you feel like your best self. I highly recommend taking a moment to scroll through your feed and get rid of anyone who makes you feel less than
  • Spend some time with your thoughts. Quite your mind and see what genius or not so genius thoughts your brain comes up with and then evaluate them. Do they serve you? If not, then how can you rephrase the thought to something that does serve you? Decide to take the time to figure out how you can believe in yourself MORE

When I think of hope from a personal stand point, I think of all the things I’ve accomplished and all the moments of gratitude in my life.
I feel hopeful for our world when I remember all who survived the Route 91 mass shooting.
I feel hopeful for our world when I remember my 18 year old brother making the decision to go be with Jesus because he knew he WOULD be healed in Heaven.
I feel hopeful when I think about the hard work I put in for races that ended in a medal and times beat.
I feel hopeful when I think about how I finished college after going through my brothers cancer diagnosis, his death, and a mass shooting.
I feel hopeful when I think about moving across country, away from my family, to find out who I was really meant to be and to heal from trauma that would otherwise be buried.
I find hope in the courage it took to walk away from relationships, friendships, and people I loved so I could be a better version of me.

What can you find hope in? I know there have been times in your life where you have had to persevere, where you only had hope to hang on too. And I know you got through those times- so what can you do to get through these times? What hope can you harness within you to get you through this next phase of life?

Maybe, it’s just simply showing up. Every single day. Showing up for those around you- whether in person or on social media. Whether phone calls or grocery stores. Maybe if we all just showed up for our Country, our World, and our People, we could conquer this. We could come out on the other-side a more compassionate world ready to dare greatly.

“Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.” – Brene Brown

The Shot I won’t be missing

Hi my wonderful Gracious & Grateful Tribe!!!!

It has been a HOT minute since we chatted!
Happy Holidays! Happy New Year! Happy Every Holiday Ever Celebrated!

I took a break from my blog around Thanksgiving to focus on my shop– I ended the year with some pretty astounding sales, I am so grateful to all of YOU who made the boutique such a success this year! It’s pretty crazy to think it’s just the beginning of this business. It is thanks to YOU, my Gracious & Grateful Sisters that I achieved my Black Friday goal, and for that… If you make it to the end of this blog post, I have a special THANK YOU for you!!! Don’t forget to read the end of the post!

I hope your 2020 New Year Resolutions are in full swing! I want to encourage you to check out this podcast by Trent Shelton, who explains why New Year STANDARDS are better than New Year goals. I love how he explains that standards are things that will stay with us for the rest of our lives, rather than goals in which we achieve and potentially move on from. We want our lives to be consistent, a life in which we achieve something and move on to something even bigger always having the standard we set in the past behind us to keep us moving forward.

With that being said, every year I enjoy setting my standards. I enjoy finding new tasks I do not believe I can accomplish and then proving myself wrong. At the beginning of 2019 I set the goal to run a 10k, I was pretty sure I was not going to be able to run the whole thing, but proved myself wrong and then set the new standard for myself that I AM A RUNNER! Then their are the unexpected dreams that we come across mid year and decide to chase- like starting my online boutique. That was definitely not on the list at the beginning of the year, but by the end it became the thing I am most proud of!

2020 is here and so are the new standards we are choosing to set for ourselves as the year continues. I am sure many of you have fitness goals, career goals, and even goals to turn your hobby into your career!

I made a vision board with one of my best friends and as we were cutting out images and quotes for our boards I came across one that is now in the dead center of my board, “We do not change the world when we whisper, we change it when we roar.”

I cannot expect to change the world by whispering, if I am going to change it, I have to roar.

So here we go, Kassidy’s 2020 STANDARDS!

In the year 2020, Kassidy WILL:

So what is the thing on the list I feel I am most likely to achieve? Running a half marathon, I had a great 2019 training for the 10k and I know it’s only up from here. What’s the thing I feel I am LEAST likely to achieve on that list? Spending more time working on my special project. Why? Because I am scared. That is the only excuse I have for you, but I will think of a million excuses to convince myself NOT to work on this project. Simply because I am scared I will fail, that the project I am working on will never be good enough, that it and I will suck.

BUT! Guess what? I am allowed to suck.
I am allowed to take as many tries as I need to step into the cold water to eventually be swimming in it- but it’s going to take some time before I believe I can start swimming in that cold water. Rachel Hollis says there is no such thing as “the first perfect try” you must try and then fall over and stand up again and try again, because if you never do you will regret that you never tried in the first place.

I have two requests from you, my Gracious & Grateful Tribe- my friends, my family, my people.
First, Would you pray for me as I work on one of the many projects God has laid on my heart? For me to have the courage to create the bold new things God has asked his faithful servant to prepare for you? For encouragement as I go about this year completely different than all the rest?

Second, and this one is a fun one– as I mentioned, This year I want to do 12 things that will fulfill 12 things other people wished they could have done before they died. Be it small or large. I need some ideas of things you know your family members wished they would have done before they went to Heaven. I also want some ideas of things YOU would want to do before you die. I already have some ideas but I need some help coming up with even MORE! I am hoping to do one thing a month and document it for you all to follow along my 2020 adventure.

So here I am, shaking in my Target running shoes as I write this- thinking about publishing it! I’m not sure why these things scare me so much as they do, but at the same time I feel so sure in the fact that I have to do them. I have to do the things that scare me. I have to step out of my comfort zone and be a MAGNATE for my community, for ME.

If you are not scared of the things you intend on chasing this year, it is my hope that you re-evaluate what you’re chasing. It is my hope that you choose the things that challenge you. It is my hope that you remember that this is your ONE life- this is all you have, right here, right now.

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
So shoot your shot.

“Take the first step toward the rest of your life”
Click HERE to shop this skirt!

Waiting to hear your special THANK YOU announcement?
Here it is!
Because you showed up for me as a tribe, I want to show up for you! If you’re reading this blog and decide to shop Gracious & Grateful make sure to use the code THANKS20 you’ll receive 20% off your entire purchase at checkout! Thank you for always supporting a girl with big dreams!

I peed my pants

When I was little (and by little I mean a freshman in high school), I was TERRIFIED of moths. At one point there was a moth upstairs and there are only two bedrooms upstairs, mine and my sister Julia’s. So as I got Julia to attempt to kill the moth, it some how flew near me and I peed my pants.
No, I am not lying, I peed my pants because of a moth.

I was so petrified over that little guy that I urinated all over myself and the ground. Why in the world am I telling you this?
Because when I think back on that moment the truth is that fear brought me to peeing my pants. I was SO scared I could no longer control my bodily fluids… WOW.

Now I am at a spot in my life where if the thing I am chasing is not making me want to pee my pants, I am not chasing big enough dreams.
My whole life I was scared of moths, I let them torture me.
My whole life I was also scared of chasing my dreams, they tortured me in different ways. I would sit on the edge of what I thought would be a great idea and then I would talk myself out of it.

Do you ever feel like you’re dangling on the edge of something great?
But of course you’re not sure if it’s going to be great… or suck.

GRACIOUS & GRATEFUL THE SHOP

2020 is around the corner and I’ve got some big goals I’m THINKING of adding to my list. But if I’m honest, I’m scared- super scared. What if I don’t achieve the goals? What if they are TOO big?

Then I stop myself and try to remember, at the beginning of 2018 I wrote down I would figure out how to move across the county… and CHECK!
2019, I wrote down I would run a 10K after never running a mile in my life… and CHECK!
I’ve checked off every scary, pee my pants type of fear, I’ve ever wrote down on my New Years list… so if I’m going to the next level, what’s the difference? If I can do ALL those other things, why can’t I do the next thing that’s on my heart?

The only thing stopping me is me.
The only thing that is creating fear in me, is ME choosing doubt.

I have some LARGE, scary dreams I am going to accomplish in 2020.
But the first dream is choosing to believe in myself– choosing to set aside fear, be brave, and BELIVE that I can accomplish anything.

Because at the end of the day,
I am already a boss.
I am already a business OWNER.
I am already a runner.
I am already a great writer.
So I am already going to be great at whatever I accomplish next.

I’m not sure where I learned this concept but it’s stuck with me, “The only person who will believe in your dreams as much as you do, is YOU.”
No one, not your person, not your boyfriend, not even your parents- understand the thing that lights YOUR soul on fire. Only YOU will be able to remind yourself WHY you’re doing the thing your doing every day. Only you will be able to commit to chasing that dream every single day.

I’m dangling on the edge of something great, are you?
I’m going to accomplish that something great whether it’s today or next week or next year, are you?
Are you choosing to chase a dream that makes you wanna pee a little?

See it’s funny, the moth use to chase me and then I would pee my pants.
But now, I chase the moth HOPING I pee my pants a little.
Because peeing my pants only means I did the thing that scared me.
I conquered fear.
I crushed Goliath with a pebble.
I caught the moth.

Note To Self

Today I am having a bad day.

Waking up is hard- I do my absolute best to choose the day ahead of me but being completely transparent, sometimes I let the day choose me. I let the depression win, I let the anxiety take over, and I decide to surrender to all the pain that is, mental illness.

Then, the guilt sets in. Which for me, is the worst part- I feel guilty for feeling my mental illness, like it’s not a real illness. I think this guilt stems from being surrounded by a physical illness like cancer for a portion of my life. I have this lie in my head that I tell myself, “You’re not really sick unless the blood test shows you that you are.” It is a lie I’ve convinced myself of and even as I type it I know it sounds ridiculous. But for so long I had convinced myself that Cooper’s cancer was of more importance than my mental health would ever be. That because it was cancer, I could never compete unless I too, had cancer. No illness, especially no mental illness, was of enough importance to admit it was a problem.
I know where this lie stems from, it stems from a long line of feeling like if it wasn’t cancer it wasn’t a big enough problem to address. See, when you’re a sibling of someone with cancer, someone dying of cancer. You make your problems small. You convince yourself that your problems are not as big as cancer so they do not matter.
The problem with this is, you cannot undo the mess you’ve create in your mind- it follows you.
So now, years after cancer has left my life and Cooper has left this world- I still believe my illness is not valid. I still have to convince myself that if I am having an off day I can rest my mind and my heart.

But let me tell you what cancer and mental illness have in common.
They can both kill you.

So I am writing this, a note to myself, that just like cancer feasting at the bodies every healthy cell, my mental illness is doing the same thing.
And if ignored, my mental illness will take hold of every healthy cell, and kill it off just like cancer.
Cancer and mental illness are not far off from each other.
It’s just how you choose to look at it.

Maybe today you too need to be reminded that whatever you’re dealing with is just as important as cancer, or a heart attack, or a paper cut. Do not weigh YOUR struggles against someone else’s. Everyone is hurting, everyone is struggling, whether physical or mental, illness is real.

If I could go back and tell Kassidy something in January of 2013, a few short weeks before Cooper would be diagnosed with cancer, I would tell her two things.
Never feel guilty for what you’re feeling- mental or physical.
Your pain is important.

Even though we can’t go back, we can go forward.
I can tell Kassidy today and Kassidy tomorrow those same words.
I can work through the guilt of feeling like my illness is not enough compared to others.
And maybe you need to work through that guilt too. Whether you’re a cancer sibling or a mom who puts her child’s needs before her own.
We all struggle with this, so lets say it together…

“Never feel guilty for what you’re feeling- mental or physical.
Your pain is important”

To My Gracious & Grateful Community,
I want to remind you-
You are loved.
You are enough.
You are important.
You are needed.
Tomorrow needs you.

xoxo,
Kassidy

The dress

When I saw this dreamy dress, I just knew I had to add it to my shop!
It’s flowy, can be worn on or off the shoulders, and is extremely comfortable! All my requirements when looking for the perfect brunch dress! I wore this dress to a blogger brunch I attended and the benefit to the dress being so flowy? I could eat more food! haha!

I paired the dress with some adorable tassel earrings, you can find similar ones in my shop, and a cute wrap around sandals.

Ruffle Trim Dress

Boho Long Tassel Earrings

Tie Up Ankle Strap Flat Sandals for Women

*Please be advised that Gracious & Grateful The Shop has a shipment duration of about 2 weeks. To make sure your packages arrive on time please account for the shipping time*