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

Carry Your Bucket

“You are a healer. You have walked through fire and came out with a bucket. You internalize the worlds pain because you know pain and you want to protect the world from that. You wept for the world because it is in pain. But you are not helpless. You are the light people are looking for, nurture the pain and fill it with light and hope. Carry your bucket and spread the water I know you have.”

I’ve been sad for the world.
I’ve been hurting and feeling all of the feelings as I process what is going on each day.
I reached out to a friend who I know always reminds me of who I am when I forget and she sent me the piece above.

“You have walked through fire and came out with a bucket, carry your bucket and spread the water I know you have.”
I forgot the bucket I carry.
I forgot the water I can spread.
The hope I can give to others by using the gifts God gave me.

Like most of you, I’ve struggled to find the positive in these last few weeks. I’ve questioned why this is happening to our world, but the more I focus on gratitude the more I am in awe of the good coming out of the world from such a horrible virus.
Because of social distancing, more people are getting outside and getting in their daily physical activity. They are spending more quality time with their families. They are either chasing after dreams that they never had time to chase or taking time for well deserved rest.

However you choose see what is going on in this world is your choice.
You can choose to see the horror, focus on all that is going wrong, and the things that may or may not be getting worse.
OR you can choose to be grateful for what is going on, to have gratitude for a heart still beating, a family still to love, and an opportunity to be hope for someone else who needs it.

You have an opportunity to be the light.
You can use this moment to be there for someone who needs it more than ever.
You can be hope.
You can decide to be more than just what is going on right in this moment. But it is a choice.

I gave in this past weekend and decided I would not be hope.
I would let anxiety win and fall into the panic. This resulted in a major panic attack and days of my mind being messy.
I had to snap out of it.
We all have to snap out of it.
We have to snap out of pure panic and get into the mindset of hope.
HOPE: a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
We NEED hope right now.

I needed hope when Cooper was dying. I needed to hear that something good was going to come of his death. When I was doubled over in shock from a mass shooting, I needed hope. I know, that this world needs hope. We may not be able to come together physically right now, but we can come together and have hope.

We all have our own buckets of water and we all have places we can spread that water.
Recognize that you have the potential to be the light.
Recognize you have the power to share the water.

Lets talk animal print

Animal print is 150% trending going into the fall season. Specially mid-length animal print skirts! You can wear it with a t-shirt tied, like I styled it below or you can get a fancy top and pair it with heels for work or a night out. I don’t see this trend ending anytime soon, so I would hop on the animal print train and get yourself the perfect skirt for the season!
This skirt is so comfortable, the main reason I added it to the shop!
It allows me to look fashionable while still feeling comfortable!

Jurassic Park Graphic T-Shirt

Casual Slip Style Skirt

Tassel Earrings

Make a Break for it Platform Sneaker

Check out Gracious & Grateful The Shop to shop further!

*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*

My People

Remember when you dreamed for the life you currently have?

4 years ago I came home from my very first trip to Naples and said, “One day I’m moving there!” Today I live in Florida. The dream came true! Yet I am the first one to crave the next dream I have lined up instead of basking in the one I’ve accomplished.

I wish my blog was bigger.
I wish I had a bigger following.
I wish I could create more content.

All things that will happen organically as I choose consistency over the easy way out. But, if I keep chasing the “next great thing” or “the next 1,000 followers” I miss out on what’s right in front of me. The opportunity to serve the people who are already at my table. The followers and readers I already have, the people who support me day in and day out.

For so long I served the people in the crowd, the people who I wanted to be at my table, supporting me. The whole time I was ignoring the people behind me, the people already sitting at my table, waiting for me to serve them.
Whether there are 10 people at that table or 9,000, they are at my table because they believe in me, those are the people I need to focus on.

I focus on the people I wish loved me- and I know I’m not the only one.

I spend so much energy focusing on the people I wish loved me, the people I wish approved of me, the people I wish wanted to be apart of my life.

I recently discovered that me spending time WISHING they would accept me is just wasted energy. I am wasting so much energy on the 1% of people who don’t care to be apart of my life. AND, why would I want them to be apart of my life if they don’t even want to be apart of it?

Jay Shetty states, “Your value does not decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth”

When we start to see the value in ourselves, we start to discover the people around us who see value in us.

See we need to transition our thinking to focusing less on the people who don’t care and more on the people who already care. The people who want to cheer us on. The people who are already in our corners.
The people sitting at our table, listening intently as we announce our next big dream.
And once we speak that dream into fruition, they are the ones sitting at the table helping us plan, execute, all while screaming in support of YOU.

Friends, THOSE ARE YOUR PEOPLE!
The people that want your dreams to work so badly that they will do anything to keep you from talking yourself out of it.
The people who keep you accountable and never let you quit.
The people who show up, even when you don’t want them too- those are your people.

So start showing up to your table, start looking around at who’s sitting there ready to listen, and then start serving your people.