Monthly Archives: December 2012


Tips for Dealing with the Tragedy in Connecticut

moving past heart break
The events of yesterday shocked a nation, and devastated me,
along with everyone else. It’s too much for me to even really get my head around.  Normally when there is a massive tragedy like this one, I get so involved in the details of it.  I become obsessed to an unhealthy degree. But with this one I couldn’t bring myself to even watch a single video of the footage. I did listen to NPR, and cried along with the male reporter who was crying through his report.  But I haven’t turned on the TV. I haven’t let my mind go to the images of that Kindergarten
class, gunned down execution style. I’ve stayed away from the details, from the thought of those parents, those siblings. It’s too much to take, too much to imagine.  My babies are in Kindergarten; my son is in fourth grade. It’s too much.
All I wanted to do yesterday was rush home, take my kids out
of school, and never let them go back.

What I most urgently wanted to know yesterday was how to talk to my kids about it when I did pick them up.  How to try to explain what happened, in a way that wouldn’t panic them.  I am very fortunate to have as a personal friend and my mentor for Athletic Life CoachingE Patrick Miller.  When I came across the tips he had posted to Facebook yesterday evening, I knew I needed to share these with you.  With his permission here is his post.  I hope it helps, as we all try to make sense of this horrific tragedy, grieve and try to make a change to our communities moving forward.

Here are his tips, and
guidelines for coping, and responding to this nationwide colossal mayhem:
“Clinically, I’ve been dealing with the tragedy in Connecticut all day long.  I was involved in the aftermath of Columbine, many years ago.

If you are easily triggered, from past traumatic experiences Do Not Watch Television at all.  It may have adverse effects on your heart and soul.  If you are at risk, or feel you are:

Sit with your feelings, in the company of good friends, and let it pass through you.

Call your health care provider, or therapist, so you can diffuse the process of this event.


If you have children:

Hug them close, but not tight. They will sense your uneasiness.  They have great sonar, as opposed to their radar, which may be in a confused and in a bewildered state, as you also may be.

When they are asking you questions about this critical event, answer them honestly.
Keeping in mind their ability to understand, their age, developmental sequences of cognitive abilities…In other words, speak in their language.

Make sure you reassure them that they are safe and you love them dearly, and that yes there are very bad people in this world and we feel for all of the kids, families and people who are effected right

Take the time to just be quiet and sit with them, so they can feel your tactile presence, of sitting next to them.

Check on them regularly. But with ease and comfort.

Allow them to have their own space, to feel the feelings if they need to,.

If your children see you crying, let them know, it is really OK to feel your feelings and that is what you are doing.  You are feeling sad for all the kids and families who have been directly and dramatically affected by this senseless and deranged assault on humanity.”


E Patrick Miller with Lamar Odom
Is “The Zen Coach“, a Clinical Sports Psychologist, and one of the pioneers of Athletic Life Coaching, as well as a corporate Life Coach.  His clients include the NBA, corporate CEO’s for Fortune 500 companies, professional players and coaches. He has a private practice that specializes in significant family systems, mental health issue, all forms of addiction and recovery. He is based in Beverly Hills Ca.



Sarah Centrella is the author of the book Hustle Believe Receive which teaches you how to apply the #HBRMethod to change your life and live your dream.

Follow on social media: Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat | Pinterest | YouTube |Periscope @sarahcentrella

My Stories

Sarah Centrella in The New York Times.

Sarah Centrella in the New York Times
We are in the New York Times! Crazy!

I woke up this morning to an email saying that our story was featured in today’s New York Times!! I can’t even tell you know much of a life long dream or even bigger than a dream it was to see our story in the top paper in the country.  Of course I had to run to Starbucks and buy the stack to frame up for the kids, it was a pretty fun moment for all of us, it’s still hard to believe that we were one of three stories chosen out of thousands submitted to take part in this national focus for the American Red Cross. It’s such an honor.

Without question today was a pinch me moment.  One of those when you stop and say, wow I can’t believe it! It’s really happening. This little experiment that I put out into the world a little over two years ago, to prove that anyone can change their life, it’s really working. It’s happening. Anyone truly can make  somethin’ outa nothin’ the same way I’ve been working my butt off to do.

This blog has been my journey, my road map to my goals, dreams, and my strategy that anyone can adopt.  I’m living proof that the Law of Attraction works. This is such an amazingly huge manifestation, and one that at first came in the form of tragedy, or disaster. But even that was all part of the greater plan, though I couldn’t see it at the time; I kept the faith.  And now eighteen months later, here we are.  Amazing.

In all things find gratitude.

And when life gives you lemons, make Lemon Drops!

Sarah Centrella's twins in the NYT
Photo of Mira and Izzy in the NY Times
Lemon Drop image
Here’s to turning life’s lemons into Lemon Drops!


Sarah Centrella is the author of the book Hustle Believe Receive which teaches you how to apply the #HBRMethod to change your life and live your dream.

Follow on social media: Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat | Pinterest | YouTube |Periscope @sarahcentrella

My Stories

Sarah Centrella in Red Cross PSA

American Red Cross
Support the Red Cross

So excited to share with you guys the actual commercials and PSA that will be airing starting next week on the national networks to raise awareness for the American Red Cross.  As you know our story was picked from thousands to be one of hundreds sent the cameras to film our own documentary style story.  From those we are one of a handful selected to air in thirty second commercials.  I’m so honored to be able to support them after all they did for us.

So here they are… Please show your support for the work they do by LIKING them on YouTube, and sharing them in your networks… We really appreciate the love and support.


This is the 30 second commercial about our story:
This is the Official Trailer for the project also featuring the girls

Click here to donate directly to the Red Cross, every little bit helps!


Sarah Centrella is the author of the book Hustle Believe Receive which teaches you how to apply the #HBRMethod to change your life and live your dream.

Follow on social media: Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat | Pinterest | YouTube |Periscope @sarahcentrella

My Stories

Dear Noni

Happy 90th Birthday Noni!

This weekend I flew my kids (the girls first ever flight) to California for my grandma/Noni’s 90th birthday bash celebration. I’m so incredibly fortunate to have a role model like her in my life, and someone who’s loved me unconditionally since first memory.

My Noni has traveled the globe, set foot on all but one continent. Raised six children. Graduated college. Served in World War 2. Has beaten cancer on several occasions. Has par-sailed at the age of 87 in Mexico. Survived her husbands sudden death 15 years ago, has lost a child, is the last remaining member of her immediate family, still lives alone, still drives herself, and is planning a trip to Vietnam in the spring!  She has given support, love, motivation, leadership, spark and sizzle to everyone around her; selflessly for 90 years. I am soooooo lucky to have her as my example for what a women can do/become/achieve.

Let nothing stand in your way.

This is for you Noni~

Sarah Centrella's twins and Noni


Dear Noni,
             It’s hard to put into words the way that you have affected my life. Because of you I’ve learned so many valuable lessons.
                I learned how to push myself when I’d rather give up. Learned that saving money can be as much fun as spending it (OK maybe not, but I thought you’d like to at least think I learned this lesson!).  I’ve learned that it’s OK to be a strong independent woman. That I don’t need to make apologies for that, or back down from who I am to make others more comfortable. I’ve learned to love books. Love reading, to teach my children to do the same.
               I learned that there is such a thing as unconditional love. That when you are family, you can love each other through anything, and that being there for each other is the most important thing we can give. I’ve learned that mothers and daughters can love each other
and even be best friends. Thank you for that lesson, perhaps the most critical of all for me as a mother of three, to learn by observation. 
Thank you for showing me that life is beautiful regardless of our circumstances.  For teaching me that I can always opt to change mine, and that being accountable for my decisions is the first step in making that change. Thank you for being my guru when I’ve needed one the most. Thank you for teaching me through love, and loving me through it all.
          You are, and always will be my hero.
I love you.


Sarah Centrella and her Noni
I get my dark hair and blue eyes from Noni as well as most of my facial features, and probably my spunk, determination and “It’s 5:00 somewhere” attitude!!
Love this picture of a young Charlotte (Noni), I look so much like her it’s crazy



Sarah Centrella is the author of the book Hustle Believe Receive which teaches you how to apply the #HBRMethod to change your life and live your dream.

Follow on social media: Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat | Pinterest | YouTube |Periscope @sarahcentrella

My Stories

Shooting Down Fear.

Field Time target range
Field Time Target & Training

I have a paralyzing fear of guns.  Always have, my entire life. I’m not exactly sure why other than growing up I’d always heard guns kill!  When I became an adult I learned that, no in fact people are the ones who kill other people, and a gun is just one way to accomplish that.  However, I still had this fear of even looking at a gun.  I’d always felt… I don’t know, like just touching it, would make the world end. It’s hard to explain, even for me.

But I think there are a few other factors as well, one being this reoccurring nightmare I’ve had for most of my life.  In it, I’m face to face with a gun, looking down the wrong end of the barrel, trying to scream and nothing comes out. I’m frozen. Ever had that dream? You wake up shaking and sweating? Well I’ve had versions of it for as long as I can remember, and it’s always the same, I’m paralyzed in the moment, with utter terror.

The other factor is that as a single mom, I’ve had a fear of not being able to protect my kids should something bad happen.  That’s probably my greatest fear in life.  I feel helpless in that scenario, and that is terrifying.  Probably because, the second year that the kids and I were living on our own, we lived in a tiny little two bedroom apartment. I purposely chose the upstairs unit because it had only one entry point into the house.  One night around two in the morning I heard the couple in the apartment directly below me fighting.  The man went outside and continued yelling at his girlfriend, making a big enough scene that the neighbors and I woke up, told them to keep it down, or we’d call the cops.  He left, an hour or so later he came back and fired nine rounds into the apartment below us where she was apparently sleeping on the couch. He’d walked around to all the windows firing into her apartment. I heard all nine rounds and froze in my bed. My kids slept right through it.

fear of guns
The bedroom window directly below mine

Soooo….. for all those reasons and maybe even others I’ve not yet figured out, today was a big day for me.  I was in Los Angeles, CA for a work team meeting which was culminating with a team building activity, at the shooting range.  At first I didn’t think much of it, figured it might be kinda fun, I mean it looks that way on TV. I figured I’d be fine, no big deal.

Until I walked in the door and heard the gun shots, then saw all the guns.  My knees instantly got week and I wanted to vomit. It was a complete physical reaction, the likes of which I’ve never experienced and couldn’t control.  It was the exact helpless feeling I’ve always woken up with after my nightmare.  When the instructor began going through our orientation I got more and more nervous, litterly having my first ever full on panic attack. I felt sick to my stomach, like I couldn’t breath, or walk or stop shaking. It was embarrassing, but nothing I could control.  My reaction was shocking to ME.

shooting range

Thank God my instructor was amazing and agreed to stay by my side, until I felt comfortable.  When we got into our cube and he held the loaded hand gun up, handed it to me and showed me how to aim and pull the trigger, I was shaking so violently I thought I’d drop it.  But what shocked me the most was when I fired that first shot; I instantly burst into tears. No lie. Uncontrollable sobbing.  I cried through all five first rounds. Harder with each pull of the trigger.  Shaking.  Like some out of body emotional reaction that I had nothing to do with, and didn’t know where it came from. I just looked at him and was like “man, I’m sorry, I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me”.

Today I faced my greatest fear dead on.  I think on some level it was like turning the gun on that intruder in my reoccurring nightmare. Like I was finally the one who said, “enough is enough.  You can’t terrify me any more.”  When my instructor pulled in my target sheet, I’d hit all five rounds directly in the heart.

Holy shit. 

I can’t explain why it felt liberating, but it did.  I feel like I could protect my family now if I had to and was ever in that situation. That I’d have a better idea of what to do, and as a single mom, and that feels good.  Facing fear and not living under it’s spell.

This densest mean I’d ever have a gun in my home, or ever take the step to “protect” us in that way. It does mean that for me, I feel like maybe, just maybe, if that horrible greatest of all fears looked me in the eye, I might not freeze I might have the courage do something, run/hide, whatever. Just not freeze.

Sometimes doing what we run from the most, and what terrifies us more than anything else, can actually set us free.


My first time holding or shooting a gun
First 5 rounds I’ve ever shot, hit the heart.

P.S. This does not mean that I am in favor of guns, to the contrary I support tougher gun control. I believe that though it’s true guns do not kill without the person behind them, they make it too easy to impose mass destruction and take innocent life.  I pray this issue is addressed quickly so people like me don’t have to live in fear.


Sarah Centrella is the author of the book Hustle Believe Receive which teaches you how to apply the #HBRMethod to change your life and live your dream.

Follow on social media: Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat | Pinterest | YouTube |Periscope @sarahcentrella


Jovan Belcher’s Murder/Suicide Needs to be a Wakeup Call for the NFL

Javon Bleacher
KC Chief’s Linebacker Jovan Belcher

Read my first article here

The Jovan Belcher murder/suicide has really struck a cord for me, and I feel strongly that it’s time the NFL makes a choice to step up and better protect their players from this type of tragedy repeating it’s self.

What’s interesting to me is that Belcher had the presence of mind to go and tell his coach “thank you” for all he had done for him, before he killed himself.  For some reason this makes sense to me, knowing how players think and operate.  I read a blog where the writer was criticizing this move as him going to “thank his God” meaning the coach, and wasting those last words on a coach instead of his family.  That’s not it at all, in my view.  If a player has a good relationship with his coach then that is in all reality the most important relationship in his life, more than likely.  It’s a nurturing, pushing, profound role coaches play in the life of a player.  For many players they become detached form the other people in their life when they are in the league, even family.  Those relationships change dramatically when they begin making money etc.  So the role of a coach is often the most important.  For him to feel the need to leave an in person suicide note with his coach, as it were, makes sense and means he had the presence of mind to understand that the biggest part of his life, wasn’t reason enough to not snap.  They live in an isolated pressure-cooker of expectations, physical demands that are ridiculous, lack of sleep, loss of genuine people in their life, add money to that picture and it can be a deadly combination.

All I can think about is what must have got him to that point? What was he dealing with that perhaps he felt he had to keep inside and not get help in dealing with? Of course I don’t know this guy at all or what his history is/was or if he had help, all I can go off is the conversations I’ve had with dozens of men in positions like his.  I know that many times, I’m one of the only people they feel they can open up and confide in.  This is why I love what I do so much, because of the trust and the opportunity I’ve been given to help take some of that stress away, and give them advise, help, and a listening ear, one that is always going to give them the truth. I see how much they need it, and I wish that more players would reach out and get Life Coaches, or Therapists, or go to church or whatever means they need to have someone they can talk to, and get help with some of the issues they face, in an environment that is safe and built on mutual trust.

I feel that this, and the other stories like it the past few years should be a serious wake-up call to the NFL.  The League needs to enforce mental health therapy as a preventative measure and as an ongoing part of being a player in the league.  Will players complain? You bet! Will they think it’s soft and ridiculous? Probably. Get over it! If the organization as a whole, mandated that players see some type of person they can talk to (therapist, priest, life coach, minister, counselor whatever) on a weekly basis then maybe these types of erratic explosions and loss of life would be minimized. Maybe that person could have caught that he was dealing with extra stress or was “out of it” as one report suggested after his last game (and too many direct hits to the head, suggested the report).  A player can report to practice after suffering some heavy blows in a game and “appear fine”, it’s not the coaches responsibility to have in depth one on one conversations with these guys. However if it was mandatory that the day after a game (or any time really, but weekly) they check in with their “professional” for a weekly discussion, then maybe that person would be able to pick up on the behavior change.

But without that, what mechanisms are in place to prevent this type of thing from happening again?

NFL, Owner and Coaches… ask yourself that.

Javon Bleacher
  Tragic ending for a beautiful family

I had to share this comment that was left tonight on my Instagram (@sarahcentrella) about this blog post.  As you can see from the comments below, my views are not popular. I stand by my strong belief that more can be done to provide these players with tools to better deal with the pressure of their life, and just maybe it could help prevent another tragedy. By all accounts Jovan seemed to be a “good guy” which means that this can happen to anyone… he wasn’t a serial killer. He didn’t seem to have a dark and brooding past, he’d never been physically violent before… this means that anyone has the potential to snap under this type of pressure.

Why not provide them with better tools?
Why not enforce the use of those resources?
What’s the harm in it?

Thanks for your comments and keep them coming, a good debate means that this is a sore subject which means it’s time to have it addressed head on, that’s all I’m hoping to do, raise awareness.

More comments from readers:

Sarah Centrella is the author of the book Hustle Believe Receive which teaches you how to apply the #HBRMethod to change your life and live your dream.

Follow on social media: Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat | Pinterest | YouTube |Periscope @sarahcentrella



Joshua Smith Leaves UCLA… So? Get Off His Ass.

Josh Smith with my son Kanen after his best game ever against Huskies


*I had wanted to post this earlier in the week when the news broke that Joshua Smith had decided to leave UCLA, but didn’t get a chance.  Now with the events that occurred today it renews my passion for supporting these athletes and getting them the help and support that they need when they need it.

 This week I saw a good friend of mine (I do not Life Coach him) Joshua Smith, the former big man Center for UCLA, get eaten alive in the media for quitting the team. And all I could see was a 20 year old kid who has endured endless media trashing for his weight, and who had lost the love of the game.

When he made his decision to leave the team it was something that he needed to do for him, and for his happiness, and all fans could do was trash him and say what an idiot he is to throw away his future and the chance at millions.  And knowing Josh, I support his decision, know he has a plan, and understand that
he is smart enough to chose happiness above what everyone thinks he should do. He has a great family support system, which many of these kids don’t, so thankfully he can rely on that guidance to get him though firestorms like these.  Yet still it’s hard for me not to get passionate about watching what fans and media did to him in the wake of that decision. It breaks my heart, and makes me angry.

I went a little nuts on Twitter!
Joshua Smith with Kanen Rossi
Just waiting for someone to try and get the ball.. lol


Joshua Smith with Sarah Centrella's son
Josh with my son and his friends at our house last spring

Maybe we should stop pretending these guys are superhuman and perfect.  If you are a sports fan, then support these guys, and remember they are human and for the most part are really great people and I’m glad to call so many of them my friends.

Joshua Smith and Sarah Centrella


birthday dinner with Joshua Smith

Sarah Centrella is the author of the book Hustle Believe Receive which teaches you how to apply the #HBRMethod to change your life and live your dream.

Follow on social media: Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat | Pinterest | YouTube |Periscope @sarahcentrella


Kansas City NFL Player Tragedy… Jovan Belcher

This makes me so sad….

*Click here to read the story:

This breaks my heart, and yet on some level I can see how something so tragic can happen. In the past several years I have become close personal friends with, and have as Life Coaching clients many NFL players and even coaches. I know perhaps better than most, the pressure these guys are under, and some of the intense challenges and issues they face. It looks glamorous and perfect on the outside, but the reality of the life of a professional athlete is that it can be extremely isolating.  Mix that isolation with immense pressure to perform, long working hours with little time off, often living away from family and loved ones, and many times living in hotels for months on end, it’s easy to see how life can become distorted; even when you are living your dream.

I’m not making any excuses for what Kansas City Chiefs Linebacker Jovan Belcher did today, it’s horrific and tragic beyond comprehension.  I can relate to the loss in a personal way, having had one of my close girlfriends murdered by her boyfriend.  So in some way I can identify with this pain on a very real level.  But what I find so sad about this story, is that a guy who by all accounts seemed to be a good kid, with a “good” background, could get to a point where he felt that the only option was to end it all and take the mother of his child with him.


Jovan Belecher killing
Jovan Belcher KC Chief’s Linebacker

I hate to see tragedies like this, and I pray that the sports organizations take a proactive approach in making mental health help available, and not just a team Chaplin, because the players I know don’t
use them. They need someone to provide guidance and real life advice that can help them through the times when they feel lost, alone and used by everyone around them.

Let us try to remember that just because they are “living the dream,” DOES NOT mean that they are living a “perfect” or “easy” life. The pressure of the game, of people around you changing, and always wanting something from you, or kissing your ass constantly, and being alone the majority of your time…. it’s a hard life, don’t let the glamour fool you.

My prayers and thoughts go out to this family and everyone who knew them, and especially to the child who now is parent-less.  And to all the players and coaches that they find healthy ways to deal with the pressures of the life they live.

Jovan Belecher
Kasandra Perkins & Jovan Belcher

Read my followup article here



Sarah Centrella is the author of the book Hustle Believe Receive which teaches you how to apply the #HBRMethod to change your life and live your dream.

Follow on social media: Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat | Pinterest | YouTube |Periscope @sarahcentrella

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