Tag Archives: Gratitude

Motivation & Inspiration

Today I will…

Today I will #HBRMethod
Today I will… believe.

 

“Today is the perfect day because it’s mine to do as I please.

Today I will do my favorite things.

Today I wake feeling rested and energized. I am excited about my life.

Today I will flow and breathe and sweat my way to my soul, in yoga. This is my religion – This is me connecting to myself – going home.

Today I will dress in beautiful clothes.

Today I will use my creativity to build something beautiful.

Today I will make a difference in the world, even if I touch only one life.

Today I will laugh out loud and smile.

Today I will talk to my mom.

Today I feel love for my soul-mates and soul-sisters.

Today I will learn something I didn’t know.

Today I will grow.

Today I will feed my body only the purest food.

Today my love for Coco (my dog) will grow even more.

Today I will express thanks for every little blessing.

Today I accept myself.

Today I feel proud of the strong, wise woman I am.

Today I will choose to see myself in others and by doing so, feel a sense of compassion and understanding.

Today I accept that I don’t have all the answers, but it’s ok.

Today I dare to be courageous and pursue every dream.

Today I acknowledge how precious life is. With each breath I am reminded how grateful I am to be here – in this moment in time and in this place.

Today I know everything is happening just as it should.

Tomorrow a big new door will open and when it does I will dance through it.”

-Written by Lisa Marchant

My Stories

Christmas Eve…

It’s Christmas Eve, and I’m taking a few minutes to pause in the festivities of the Season to reflect on 2014.  It has truly been an epic year for myself and my family, and I feel so blessed to have come this far in the pursuit of my dream.

I’m sitting by the fireplace with a beautiful tree in front of me, surrounded by my second family; my best friend and her three girls.  It’s so hard to look forward to Christmas when it’s not my year to have my kids (we alternate each year, so as not to split the day).  I basically go into denial mode and Christmas just sneaks up on me.  This year was no exception. It’s the third Christmas I’ve had to spend without my kids, and it really sucks.  But that’s the life when you’re a single parent, I guess.  It’s about sharing holidays and trying as much as possible to not have your kids suffer.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

As I ponder the close of 2014, I am full of gratitude.  I’m grateful for the friends I have in my life that lift me up when I am low, and encourage me when I want to quit.  Who are always there for me, in great times and shitty ones.  I can’t imagine my life without them.  I’m grateful for my two beautiful new nieces who came into this world in 2014, and reminded us all what really matters in life.

On this Christmas Eve, I pray you are with your loved ones and have a heart full of gratitude.  Life is short and unpredictable, it can change on a dime.  This is the life we have created and been blessed with, it’s up to us to make the most of it every day. I hope tonight and every day you remember to be thankful for the blessings in your life and vow to lead your life with a grateful heart. It really is the catalyst for change and the fastest way to bring about positivity in your life.

From my little crew to yours… MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

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Hustle.Believe.Receive. Your Life Coach

Get Grateful

thanksgiving

Gratitude is everything.  Seriously.  It’s the foundation to our happiness and that catalyst for our success.  If you haven’t learned to be honest-to-god grateful for your life exactly the way it is at this moment, than no matter what blessings come your way, they will never be fully appreciate or bring you happiness.  It was learning for the very first time in my life how to be honestly grateful after my husband left, that began to bring about dramatic changes in my life.  I guess when you have nothing it’s easier to be thankful for the really small and simple things.  I’ve always recognized that being grateful for where I am in my journey/life/finances/relationships etc. is what has brought about happiness, blessings and manifestations of my dream.  On the flip side I’ve also been aware enough to know that when I let my gratitude slide, my world starts to unravel quick.    #GetGrateful is the first step to my #HBRMethod because without understanding and embracing it deep down inside of you, nothing else matters.  You can read all the self-help books in the world, you can try a million ways to find happiness or success, but until you accept responsibility for your life as it is and find peace and a thankful heart in at your current state, nothing will ever work.

I have so much to be thankful for this year.  It’s been an amazing journey.  Some of the highest highs, and some pretty nerve wracking lows, but overall it’s been a year that has brought me closer to my destiny and my #BigPictureDream.  This year I saw my dream unfold in brand new and exciting ways.  Ways I’ve worked long and hard for, and finally was able to realize in 2014.  Like being on the Steve Harvey Show.  Yeah yeah, I know I might have been a little silly on the show, but for me it was an opportunity to live my dream.  It was the perfect example of how our #BigPictureDream might be “X” and take years to fully achieve, but along the way we got an opportunity to do our practice runs on many many “A-W’s”.   Successful people don’t just magically appear on Oprah or CNN, they have hustled behind the scenes for years on much smaller stages.  It’s all part of #TheHustle.

Sarah Centrella on Steve Harvey
In the green room about to go on the Steve Harvey Show

I’ve been able to work and provide for my family in a dream career job which enables me to travel (since I work from home and have my kids all but 4 nights a month, it’s kinda nice to get out once or twice a month).  I even have a beautiful office in LA when I’m there and one in New York when I’m there… what more could a girl ask for?

I’ve meet some of the most unbelievable people on the journey to write my book #HustleBelieveReceive who have motivated me as I’ve been following my dream and in the process become part of my crew.  Meeting Kimberley Hatchett is one of the things I’m most grateful for in 2014.  Her generous kind spirit has blown me away, I’m blessed to feature her in my book along with her close friend Victor Matthews and Janna Andrews.

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On my 39th birthday with Kimberley Hatchett and Victor Matthews in New York 2014

 

And of course I  was able to manifest my biggest dream of them all… landing a traditional book deal.

Sarah Centrella book deal
My book #HustleBelieveReceive will be in stores Fall 2015!!!!!

 

But though the year has held so many amazing mile stones and brought so much joy, there are still those hard days.  The ones when it’s hard to remember to be grateful, or it’s just easier to bitch about what’s not going right than it is to be thankful for what is.  I’m as guilty as the next person believe me! Through those hard times I’ve leaned on my sisters, my support team, my two best friends Lisa and Courtney.   I have no idea where I’d be without their unwavering support, love, faith and ability to listen to every little up and down in my road.  They are saints for real.  I am so utterly grateful to have people around me who I know love me no matter what, and who remind me of my own words to stay positive when I sometimes forget or wanna feel sorry for myself.  I can’t overstate how important it is to surround yourself with people who lift you higher instead of being deadweight.  If you look around and don’t see many of these people and a lot of deadweight, I’m giving you permission to cut the cord with anyone who’s not supportive of your journey and who you are working to become.  And trust me when you do the right people will be drawn to you and naturally fill that void, only so much better.  You’ve gotta #ChangeYourCrew if you wanna achieve your dream.

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In New York with my girl Lisa… sisters since we were two years old.  2014
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My ride-or-die sister from another.. Courtney, DC 2014

I am grateful for my three beautiful babies who are the very best part of me and my greatest achievement.  They are my closest companions and my source of daily humor, reality and my biggest challenge, but greatest joy.  On a day like today, I’m so thankful that we can cook together, that we’ve been able to establish strong traditions that the four of us look forward to and cherish.

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Izzy making her favorite cranberry sauce

I am very thankful for my health.  At 39 I know shit starts going downhill pretty fast, so to have been able to run a full marathon and half marathon this year, I consider that a huge reason to be grateful.

sarah centrella Portland Marathon
Not my best picture but I had just ran 26.2 miles so I guess I’ll let it slide hahah

And I am soooooooo grateful to each and every one of you, who take the time to read my blog and support my story and my dream.  You will never know how much it has lifted me when I was low and wanting to give up.  Your messages, emails, comments, tweets, and posts give me reason to keep going and fills me with humble gratitude.  If you’ve received anything from my journey, believe me when I say I receive just as much when I hear from you.

So on this night before Thanksgiving… what are you grateful for?

be thankful

 

 

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

Books I Love Hustle.Believe.Receive. My Stories

How I Landed a Book Deal!

*The hashtags in this post are the 15 Steps of the #HBRMethod to successfully changing your life and living your dream as defined in my book #HustleBelieveReceive

 

 

For the past four years I have been writing, and writing, and rewriting some more. Three complete books to be precise, in hopes of landing a book deal.  Today I got my negotiated contract from Skyhorse Publishing.  Believe me when I tell you, there are no words adequate enough to give this moment justice! Unless you’ve worked tirelessly –literally without sleep, staying up until the wee hours of the morning for weeks, months and years on end– cried, bleed, started over and talked yourself out of giving up more times than you can recall…. you wouldn’t know what this feels like.  But if you, like me have been out there puttin’ in #TheHustle for your dream even when it seemed pointless, just to one day realize it; then you get it.  You know this is what we dreamers/doers live for.  Our vindication.  The only thing that can satisfy our desire to succeed, is success itself.  Nothing else will do.

This is how I applied my #HBRMethod to manifest my dream.

 

The evolution of my dream to become a traditionally published author:

In 2010 I began writing my first book; Thoughts.Stories.Life.

I was NOT a writer.  To this day it’s still difficult for me to say “I am a writer” because I feel so inadequate as such.  But nun-the-less I began trying to write my story, mixed with my attempts at sharing what I’d learned.  The book consisted of song lyrics, my story, tips on how to find success and other musings.  It was so green, dear god was it terrible!  Hindsight is 20/20 right?  And when your dream doesn’t come true on your timeline and by your terms, remember this: it’s a huge blessing disguised as a slap in the face (#SurvingEarthquakeMoments).  You will, like me, be grateful later.

I knew the book wasn’t all it could be, yet you have to start somewhere when you have such an audacious dream.  So I did my research. I found out if I wanted to get my book published the traditional way, I’d need a literary agent.  Publisher don’t read unsolicited manuscripts, especially from unpublished “authors”. So I began the process of sending my query letter to every agent I could find (#TheHustle) who worked with self-help and memoir authors.  And every agent eventually responded…. “Thanks, but I’ll pass.”  Then I got my first little break.  One of those top agents, Beth Davey responded with the kindest note.  She said she obviously had to pass, but told me to keep writing.  Told me my “voice” didn’t suck and to keep working on flushing out my ideas.  I clung to her and those words.  They were what kept me going when I was like; ok I get it. I suck, and I really need to quit.

I was ultimately completely unwilling to quit (#RelentlessPursuit).  My dream from day one was to have my story traditionally published, period (#BigPictureDream).  So when the offers came in from internet and self-publishing/distributing companies, I politely said no thank you.  I have always said that I wanted to one day walk into Barnes & Noble or an airport and buy my book (#SpeakIt).   That was the image I kept in my head, and it was the one I went to every time I thought of quitting or settling for less (#CreateAMovieInYourHead).

Then in 2012 I was able to find a young agent, new to the business who was willing to take on my book and submit it to publishers (#GetGrateful). I was so ecstatic, until slowly but surely every single editor in the business turned it down. This is the point when rational people quit.

I’ve never been very rational.

I believe in going after your dreams, and I believe (“believe”) that if you work hard enough (“Hustle”) you will LIVE YOUR DREAM (“Receive”).  However, I’m not a total moron.  I knew that every experienced agent and every publisher in the game must have had a point.  Here and there a few of them added helpful comments and feedback in their rejection letters, and I took them to heart.  I asked my friends to read the book and give me honest feedback.  I recognized that I had NO IDEA how to write a book, and was open to all feedback from any source.  The overwhelming response was “tell your full story.  Write your complete memoir.”  This was the obvious direction that even I knew I should be pursuing.  That was the book I had always believed I would eventually write from the time I was in my early twenties (long before I even thought of becoming a “writer”).  My full life story is…. how shall I put this…INSANE.  But it was a hard story to tell and I felt even more inadequate and terrified to scrap my first book and start all over with just my memoir.  But I listened to the feedback and began a year long, emotionally draining journey of writing my full memoir.  Yet deep down I had always wanted my “short story (post-divorce) and tips to success” book to come out before my memoir.  It was just more relevant to my life and my passion, but I went to work anyway.

In 2013 I wrote my childhood memoir, titled “From the Outside” (one of many titles I struggled with).  Again I knew it wasn’t where it needed to be, but I needed some feedback and direction and the best way I knew how to get it was to submit it. So again I queried agents (#TheHustle).  And again I was rejected. When I saw the reply from Beth Davey, I was almost too scared to open it.  She’d written a long response.  She loved my story, and my voice, and begged me to keep writing.  But of course she was going to pass. I was crushed. I’d done everything everyone told me to do and still, failure.  And failing at telling your personal story is much harder to digest than any other failure I’ve faced in my life.  There is something about baring your soul, and telling all your secrets, just to be told, you kinda suck at it.

But Beth’s words stayed in my mind.  I wrote her back and asked for more direction, thanked her for her guidance and thoughtful reading of my work.  I was determined to build a sticky relationship with her, one where she’d remember when it was time for me to send her my next project (#ChangeYourCrew).  I wanted her in my circle somehow, even if she wasn’t ready to give me a chance just yet.

For six months I refused to write, accept on my blog (#ChillOut).  I wasn’t ready to quit, because I never doubted deep down that one day I’d realize my dream (#BelieveItToLiveIt), but I needed a break.  I needed to clear my head and try to go back to what I really wanted in the first place.

In early 2014 I knew I needed to get back to my Hustle, but I still wasn’t fully motivated or inspired.  I felt lost.  Both directions I had tried led nowhere, and though my #BigPictureDream remained as clear as ever, I didn’t know what avenue to pursue to make it happen.

There was one last book that I’d always had in my mind to write.  I’d even started a blog with the same name back in 2012 that I’d hoped to turn into more of a teaching blog (but realized keeping two blogs was too much work!), the title was #HustleBelieveReceive, and it was the self-help version of my post-divorce story.  The 15 steps I used to change my life and live my dream, woven with my personal story as an example. That was the book that made the most sense by far.  It’s what people have been reading my blog for these past few years.  But again I didn’t know how to do it, and how do I write my story in a book, when all of you have been watching it happen live this whole time?  But I started writing anyway (#TheHustle).

In May of 2014 I quit my corporate job to pursue my dream full time.  I decided it was now or never. I was going to write this book come hell or high water and transition my career into my passion. But the writing was tough.  I still didn’t feel inspired; I lacked that spark that I knew was critical to making it work.  And then I had an idea.  I wanted to interview my football player friends and see if they had achieved their success using the same steps I had used.  I knew they had because most of what I’d applied to change my life I had actually learned from talking to, and watching them.  But I had never interviewed anyone before in my life, and had no idea what I was going to say or if they would even do the interview.  I was equally afraid that if they did it, I wouldn’t be able to get them to really open-up and make it a good interview.

But I did it anyway (#TheHustle), and to my amazement the interviews where awesome!  The guys opened up and shared things we’d never even talked about in our years of friendship.  I was blow away and TOTALLY INSPIRED.  I named the five-part blog series “Inside the Mind of an Athlete.”  And it showed how each of them used the same tools, beliefs and actions that I was using to get success.  They proved that it worked in pursuing an athletic dream, and I was proving it could work in “regular life” and pursuing any dream.  I was so excited by those interviews that I again put book #3 on the back burner.

One night in June of 2014, I took my kids to see the movie Million Dollar Arm.  During the whole movie my kids kept looking at me and saying “mama! That’s #HustleBelieveReceive! That’s what you tell us!”  That night I went on twitter and landed an interview with the real life inspiration behind the film.  It was the first real and “random” interview (meaning I did not know him) I’d ever done.   I was beyond terrified.  I knew I wasn’t really a qualified “interviewer” and I wasn’t sure that Ash’s responses would support what I believed, but I had a feeling they might.  Since I wasn’t sure what questions to ask, I simply said; will you tell me your story?  And to my delight his story reinforced what what I’d been discovering.  That self-made successful people had all used the same basic method to achieve their success. 

As soon as that interview was finished I knew what my new book was lacking.  It needed stories of other people doing the same thing I had done!  I wanted more proof.  More examples from every possible walk of life, living out every dream I could think of.  I was so excited and inspired; it was an entirely new world that opened up that day.  It was like the wall that I’d been beating my head against for the last four years cracked from top to bottom.  It didn’t crumble, but the crack was good enough for me.

Overnight everything changed.  I began interviewing successful people in all walks of life with these AMAZING stories.  I would just listen as they told me (many times these were total strangers) their life story.  I was humbled and honored that these successful people would tell me their story when most had never told it before.  Every time I’d get Goosebumps and want to cry with excitement and gratitude.

June of 2014  –And THAT is how #HustleBelieveReceive The Urban Guide to Changing Your Life and Living Your Dream was officially born.

I knew right away that this idea was the one.  Something felt different… it was pure joy.  Everything about writing this book and working on the stories filled up parts of my soul that had never even been touched before.   So I told myself, and everyone I came in contact with, a new story (#MottoForLife), that this book WAS getting published.  It was just a matter of time.  And what’s amazing, is everyone believed me.  I was so totally convinced that not one person I asked to interview for the book, responded with “well do you have a book deal?” And thank god ‘cuz hell no I didn’t!  But I worked my ass off as if I did.  And this time I believed it without a shred of doubt, and I didn’t care if I was a “great writer” or not.  This time none of that mattered.   I had a story to tell that the world needed to hear; it had to! And it wasn’t about me, though my story is a big part of it, the project was no longer about me and so my inspiration has been on cloud 10 throughout this process.

When I’d compiled about thirty stories, and four chapters for the book I knew it was time to make an official book proposal and try once again to get an agent.  This time I didn’t send my proposal or query to all the agents in the game.  I sent it to just one.  And instead of a formal query I sent Beth an email, thanking her for all the guidance she had provided me throughout the years, and asking her to give me one more shot.  I made a promise to her in that first email that if she would take a chance on me I would get US a book deal and turn it into something amazing.  I thanked her for always believing in me and said that if anyone was going to ever make money on this book as my agent, it had to be her.

I waited.

Two weeks later I saw her reply come across my phone and my heart raced, as I opened it.  She simply said “Sarah can you give me a call?”   That was the first time in all those years that I’d ever been offered a call with her or any other real agent.  I knew what that shit meant!!!!

In July of 2014 (just a month after I’d started working on the new #HBR) Beth and I were sitting in Grand Central Station in New York, and I was breathlessly pitching her.  I was a total hotmess, jumping from one idea to the next in the book, but it was just falling out of me, I couldn’t stop it! I was so excited to be in that moment, I knew I just needed a chance, and this was it.  She needed to see the real me; faults, hotmess and all.  We talked for almost two hours, and then got up to leave.  I hugged her goodbye and thanked her again for always believing in me and I turned to go.  She reached out and grabbed my arm and said “Sarah I think we need to have you sign a contract.”

I’m not kidding when I say I SCREEMED in the middle of Grand Central! Signing with a top agent is the dream of every writer, and harder to do then winning the lottery it feels like!  But I had done it.  My #RelentlessPursuit had paid off just like I knew it eventually would.

On that trip I was actually in New York because I’d been offered an amazing “day job” which was a TOTAL manifestation of everything I’d ever wanted from my corporate life.  And at the end of the day I needed to eat and feed my kids while I pursued my dream, and the best part was my new job was fully supportive of my dream. Things were finally clicking, all the proof I needed that I was on the right path.

All of August and September Beth and I worked on the official proposal to send to editors.  It had to be perfect and represent the book in a way they could fall in love with it too.  All the while Beth (sweet soul that she is) remained me that “publishing is cruel, and difficult, and few people make it” even with her help.  But I wasn’t worried.  I told her every time that #HustleBelieveReceive would be the exception to that rule.  We’d get an offer I kept promising her (#BelieveItToLiveIt).

Our first test was to have a retired editor critically read my proposal and provide feedback.  I wasn’t prepared for how “frank” that conversation was going to be, and after I got off that call I had, for the first time with this book, those familiar feelings of self-doubt.  I struggled that night to not let it derail my passion, but it was tough I can’t lie.  But that feedback turned out to be the pivotal point in getting the whole concept of the book to click and flow and when I was done with my rewrite, it fuckin’ kicked ass!  And I was so glad I’d pushed through, listened and then made it that much better.

When October rolled around our date to submit to editors had come.  This time I just knew someone would see #HBR’s potential. I knew we’d get an offer, maybe two or three.  We had to, it was THAT good! Responses came in almost immediately, which Beth said is unheard of.  Editors were dropping whatever they were doing to read our proposal.  They were excited about it.  They loved the concept; the title, the steps to success, the featured stories and my story… yet still they were taking a “pass.”  Twelve proposals went out, and by the end of our second week six had responded “no thanks.”

That’s “Ok” I kept telling Beth, “we will get one” (#MottoForLife).   But I was starting to sweat just a little.  What if we didn’t? What if the third time wasn’t really a charm for me?  I refused to let those thoughts take over (#ChangeTheVoicesInYourHead) because I KNEW completely with everything in me that we would get one.

I had just landed in LAX and turned my phone back on waiting for my turn to exit the plane when Beth called.  I knew this must be it, and when she told me we had a top publisher who wanted a meeting I screamed out loud on the plane!

In all we spoke to four editors out of the twelve we submitted.  Again Beth reminded me that this type of response just does not happen with a new author, she was shocked and overjoyed.  Editors  at some of the biggest publishing houses in the world.  All four editors pitched my book to their editorial board (sadly an editor alone does not have the ability to decide on buying a book or not, it needs to pass the approval of the board).  And from those 4  we got 2  written offers.  Beth tells me this is unheard of, that these things “don’t happen.”  I laugh and remind her that this isn’t just any book it’s #HustleBelieveReceive and it, and the steps have the power to work magic.

November 21, 2014 is the day I finished negotiating my contract with Skyhorse Publishing.  It’s a day I’ve worked my ASS OFF for (#TheHustle), believed (#BelieveItToLiveIt) would come, and today was the day I received (#ManifestThat!). 

I tell this story because sometimes when you are watching someone else live out their dream, it looks easy.  Even if you’ve seen them struggle a little, you’re not privy to those bad days, and I wanted to show you that on the path to success you WILL have heartbreak. You will be tested and tried, and as cliché as it sounds it’s absolutely necessary to get you to the next level.  If my first book had been published I would be mortified today.  It wasn’t ready; it wasn’t something I could be proud of for the rest of my life.  I had to go through this entire journey to get here.  So when you’re in the journey try to trust it.  Know that it’s always looking out for you and has your best interest at heart.  When the timing is right, when you’ve done the necessary work and preparation, it will happen.  Not it might happen I’m telling you for a fact it WILL.  You just gotta want it more than you want to give up. Giving up cannot even be an option if you plan to be successful.  Period.

I provided a detailed timeline because I wanted you to see that in the pursuit of your dream the particulars might change along the way.  I had started this process with one book in mind, and finished four years later with my third book attempt.  But my #BigPictureDream had always stayed the same, and that was the dream I believed in.  You have to be open to accepting the fact that your dream might not manifest how or when you want it to, and that is out of your control.  But it’s also always in your best interest, which is a key point.  That is why you simply can not give up if you really believe and are passionate about your end goal/dream.  It takes time, patience, work, blood, sweat and a lot of tears… but stick it out because it also brings the type of joy you’ve never known before.

Timing is everything, and when the project was right and my energy was ready and receptive to letting it come to me, and I was open to listening and then willing to work and believe, that’s when it happened.  And it happened so damn fast! If you look at the timeline it was under five months from the time I had the idea for this  specific book to the time I signed my book deal.

Now I just need to write it!! My deadline is June of 2015 so expect to hear more fun stories about this process as the months go by.  And next Christmas (2015) is our projected release date.  I can’t wait!!! To think that this time next year I can walk into a book store and buy my book, well it’s almost unbelievable.  Almost.

 

“Anything is possible child, anything can be.”  -Shell Silverstein.

 

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My Stories Parenting Single Mom Life

Beach Life… Enjoy the Moment.

I’m exhausted, crawling into bed before my big Marathon Life 15 mile training run tomorrow morning.  And although I’m tired from spending the past two days at the beach with the kids on our little mini vacation, I am also so grateful.  It brought back all the memories of when I used to pack the kids up those first two years after my husband left, back when the kids and I were still trying to adjust to our new like with just me at the helm.  I’d pack bottles, lunches, clothes, toys and in like thirty minutes I’d just throw it in the car before the girls nap time.  I’d hop in the car and drive the two hours to the Oregon Coast while they everyone passed out and I got some much needed quiet time (read my post from then about our fist solo beach trip Saturday).  It was so much work back then, oh man! I’d only have enough money for gas to get out there and back, so we never had the luxury of getting a hotel to relax and spend the night.  Or the luxury of eating out when we were there, it was good enough for us that we got to go.

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Our first night at the beach

This was our first little trip in a while, about a year I guess and it was one of those moments where I really took in how fast the kids are growing up.  Kanen was big enough to help pack and unpack the car, take his sisters downstairs in the morning for the continental breakfast, and even walk back the block to our hotel from the beach.  And the girls could last all day without getting cranky like they used to when they were smaller.  They all pitched in, pulled their weight and for the first time I got to kinda kick back… but yes I’m still exhausted! But it felt good, to be able to take them to the beach and get a hotel and be able to do the fun tourist things we never could do before, and eat out and all of that. It was a great reminder of how far we’ve come, and a reminder to never lose sight of were we started. That’s always been my Hustle; my kids, and to be able to provide this kinda life for them. But sometimes when you’re in the middle of living life, and hustelin’ you forget to stop and appreciate how far you’ve come.

 

 

I never want to lose sight of where we started and what brought about my Hustle, but I also want to learn to find a new Hustle and be ok with letting that survival one go. It sounds crazy but that’s been a struggle for me. I’ve always known struggle my entire life. It’s what I’m comfortable with, it’s made me scrappy and a survivor, but now I want to keep thriving and let that survival instant begin to fade because I think as long as I cling to it I’ll always create an environment where I will need to survive, and I don’t want that. This is the reason I refer to our Life Plan as a life long journey. It’s not a destination, it’s about always being present enough in our lives that we recognize when it’s time to move to the next level, and expand our Plan.

Sometimes it’s good to take a moment like I did these past few days and let it all sink in. I was reading some of my older posts from when the kids were small like my first Life’s a Beach post and man all I can say is… time flies.  And no mater where you are in your journey or even your struggle, take the time to enjoy your life.  Take time to spend with your kids and create memories with them, even if it is exhausting.  It’s so worth it.  And that attitude brings more things to be grateful for and more moments to enjoy. It goes by so fast, let me tell you, and I’ll never regret the time I took to spend with my kids even if it’s a struggle to make it happen.  Cheers to all you moms and dads out there makin’ the effort to spend time with your kids and cherish the moments.

 

Read Life’s a Beach! from a few years ago.

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Hustle.Believe.Receive. Your Life Coach

Easy Guide to Being Grateful.

*The following is an excerpt from my new book Hustle.Believe.Receive. 10 Steps to Changing Your Life and Living Your Dream.”  Coming Soon!

be grateful



STOP BITCHIN’

Why Being Grateful Matters.

 
Hate your life? Welcome to humanity.  Most of us at one point or another have hated our lives.  Have tried to drown ourselves in a pool of self-pity.Have found ourselves bitchin’ endlessly to anyone who will listen about how much our life sucks.  I know you get what I’m sayin’ and can relate. Your job sucks, you have no money, you’re sick of being broke, your relationships are hanging on by a thread; life in general seems like an ocean of quicksand.  I get it. I was there.
            In 2006 while pregnant with my twins, I found myself in this destructive hell-hole.  Those were black days.  I remember stressing endlessly about finances, as I packed up our home that had just been foreclosed on. I felt defeated and broken, having spent years trying to establish a respectable life for my then husband and son.  It seemed like the world was dead-ending as it all got stripped away. Day and night I obsessed about our problems.  The lack of money, and the stress of providing for a family with more on the way, left me utterly hopeless.
It seemed like the more I obsessed about how bad shit was the worse it got.  Almost daily.  It felt like standing under an avalanche and not even having the energy to get out of the way.  Hopelessness is a dangerous thing. Bitchin’ about our issues and problems is equally as dangerous.  That’s what had led to my feeling of hopelessness, the more I verbalized my problems, the worse they became. 
          It’s crazy how much power our words, and the thoughts that lead up to those words, hold.  They literally predict and control our future. If you don’t believe me, take a few minutes to think about all the things you don’t like about your life in this moment.  What are they? List them out.  When you’re finished, ask yourself this question: Have they gotten worse over time? When they started going sideways can you recall stressing about them?  Obsessing until you felt physically ill at times? Did you talk about those problems with your friends and family? At this moment, are those problems or issues at the top of your list, ones that occupy the majority of your mind space?  If you answered yes to any of those questions then you are in that downward, self-fulfilling prophesy, spiral.  What you’ve thought about, and talked about has become your daily reality.
Think on that a minute.
By complaining about your problems, verbalizing them, and allowing your feelings associated with those thoughts and words two change your mood, or even make you physically ill, you have actually made those problems bigger.  Instead of solving them, you’ve made them much worse.When I first learned of this concept back in 2006, it took a long time for it to really sink in.  The fact that I was the one making my problems worse was not something I was ready to accept any type of
responsibility for.  I’d lived my life up to that point with the philosophy that I was just terribly unlucky and that no matter how hard I tried, nothing good would ever come my way.  I believe that, completely.  And (total shocker), that’s exactly how my life was playing out.  Totally unlucky.  Super crappy.  
Before we lost our home, I lost a baby.  After we lost our home, we were forced to file bankruptcy. It was like the hits were always lined up and coming; ninety mile an hour fast balls, one after the other.  It’s all I’d ever known.  I was so used to struggling, to being poor, that it was my normal.   I’d lived like that my entire life.  It’s the design I’d unwittingly laid out for
my life somewhere along the way, and I was fulfilling my destiny to a tee.
I felt there was nothing in my life to be thankful for.  It all just seemed like crap.  I would love to sit here and say, that when that light went on, I immediately began doing the work to turn my life around.  But sadly no.  I didn’t have the strength yet. Instead I made a Vision Board and tucked it under my bed so my husband wouldn’t see it and make fun of it.  I tried to
ignore the little voice in the back of my head, the one holding the flashlight showing me an end to the darkness.  I wanted to forget that there might be a pretty, shiny world out there.
And then in 2009 my world fell the fuck apart.  My twins were a year old, my son was five, and my husband of eight years was stumbling out of the shower trying to explain how the text I’d just read was “a joke”.And not sent from his lover
wondering when he’d be home.  That was the day that changed my life forever. 
For some reason, not fully understood even by me, instead of sinking further into the “my life sucks, nothing good ever happens to me” black ocean I’d been swimming in the past few years, something in me chose to fight.  I can only credit my children for giving me reason to rise up and want to get my life together, for giving me the motivation, and the lack of any other option. It’s funny how when you make up your mind to succeed and realize there are no alternatives, how you can actually do just that.
What was the thing that slowly began to change my life? Gratitude.
I had nothing when he left. No job, no income, I couldn’t stay in the home we were renting even one moth without his income.  I had no formula or diapers, no bank account or car in my name… nothing.  But oddly enough, that was the day I learned the meaning of the word gratitude.  I learned that when my whole life was collapsing around me, I still had something
to be thankful for, my babies and I were still together.  I knew that as long as the four of us were together we would make it.  Somehow we’d survive.  I’d make it happen.  And so every day, in those early black weeks, I sent up a little gratitude prayer, for every tiny little thing I could think of. 
It suddenly became clear how I’d manifested all the bad in my life up to that point, and realizing how powerful that truth is, I wasn’t about to keep that pattern going in my new life.  At all costs I was going to change my future results, and since I’d always been used to bitching about my life, the opposite of that was to be thankful for it… so that’s what I was determined to be.
There’s a great motto I use
“If you’re not grateful for what you have, you’ll never get more to be grateful for”.  I took that quote to heart and
repeated it daily.  I refused to talk about the things that scared me.  I refused to bitch about how bad things in reality were; instead I chose to focus on what, in that moment, I could be thankful for.  I refused to obsess over the lack of money, or
the things I couldn’t control. I could control my attitude, and my thoughts, and in the beginning, that’s all that mattered.
That has been a major key to my success.  It’s turned my mindset around completely, which has changed my outcomes.  It’s what gets me through the tough times, even still. It’s how I teach my children to react to their world, and how I
chose copiously to live, day in and day out. I chose to relish even the smallest “wins” or blessings.  I celebrate every single one; those keep my mind focused and positive and keep the blessings and wins coming. 
My Easy Guide to Being Grateful:
  • Make a list of every single thing you can possibly think of, that you are thankful for in this moment, on this day.  List even the things you take for granted, like having a place to call home, heat and electricity, food to eat etc.  List it all. 
  •  Chose five items on your list you are the most grateful for, and repeat them over and over to yourself. Really think
    about each one.
  • Visualize your life without each one of those things on your list.  One at a time. Picture your life without your family and friends.  Without a bed to sleep in at night and food to eat.  Then go back to your “grateful thoughts” about each one.   How did that make you feel? Do you legitimately feel grateful for them now?  Have you ever really taken the time to imagine your life without a place to live? Or the basic necessities of life? Most of us have never done that, we take it for granted and think the world is ending because we can’t afford to pay our cable bill.  Let me reassure you, the sun will still rise even if your cable is shut off for non-payment (I speak from experience here).
  • Post your list where you can see it every day.  Maybe on your bathroom mirror so you can read over it while getting ready in the morning.
  • Come up with some mantras around your gratitude list that you can draw on anytime your mind wants to go into “bitch mode”.  For example one of mine is: “I am beautiful, I am healthy, I have more than enough to provide for my family”.
    That mantra for me combats the topics I’d normally want to “bitch about” aka “I feel ugly” etc… gratitude mantras help keep you focused. Say them ten times over and over in your head whenever your thoughts start making a run for
    the quicksand. A good mantra will stop them in their tracks every time!
           The purpose of gratitude is to make us aware and present in our lives.  To teach us not to take anything for granted.  It’s so easy to get caught up in our daily life, and forget all the good things that are part of our environment.  Gratitude lets you reconnect with all of that, keeps you present in the moment and focused on your goal.
            As corny as it sounds, start every day with the question: What am I grateful for today?  See, step one to changing your life wasn’t that painful right? Common sense, you can totally do this!


Divorce Hustle.Believe.Receive. Motivation & Inspiration My Stories Single Mom Life Vision Boards

#HBRMethod Success Story.

A text message changed my life. On the evening of September 7, 2008, I opened my husband’s cell phone while he was in the shower, to read: I can’t wait ’till you’re finally free and all mine. No more sharing. Those few words tore my world apart in an instant. 

I’d been with this man half my life, since we were sixteen years old. We had an eight-year marriage and shared three beautiful children, including twin girls just over a year old. We’d been through it all: buying our first home, then losing it in foreclosure; being overjoyed when I got pregnant with our second child, then devastated when I lost it six months into my pregnancy. I thought we’d seen everything, but this I never saw coming. 

I never saw it because everyone knew he loved me just a little bit more. They say in every relationship one person does that, loves the other more. The kids and I had always been his entire world. No part of me ever questioned that he’d jump in front of a train to save us if he had to. 

I was all he ever wanted. Until I wasn’t. 

I set his phone on the bathroom counter and without a second thought, threw open the shower curtain, turned off the water, and said; “Get the fuck out.” I watched him pull on his shorts in the hallway, still dripping wet, one leg and then the other as I pointed to the front door. He kissed our son goodbye, tossed his ring in my general direction, and walked out slamming the door behind him. 

He never came back. 

Things had not been perfect between us prior to that day, I can’t lie. We’d been struggling financially to the point of desperation for what felt like forever. We’d lost our home the year before and were forced into bankruptcy after our twins were born. Our life was in a noticeable negative tailspin. Losing everything we’d worked so hard to acquire had destroyed our pride and left us both feeling useless, helpless and miserable. I’d done everything I could think of to cut our budget and make it so we could pay the bills and still eat, but every month we fell further behind. 

On the day he left, I didn’t have five dollars to my name. Our electric, water and gas bills were all past due, with shutoff notices pending, and the rent was late. I hadn’t worked in over two years, and the economy was in the middle of a deep recession. The car title was in his name, as was our bank account. Overnight, I went from desperate to stranded and destitute, with no way to provide for my three small children. 

That night, I laid on the cold hardwood floor in our living room, my hair matted to the side of my head with tears that had finally run dry from my own dehydration. The only thought that floated in my semi-conscious brain was, “How the hell can I do this?” I’d tried so hard to think of a plan, anything, but nothing came, except that question over and over again. It seemed completely impossible. Yet somehow in that moment survival mode also kicked in, and with it came even more questions. Of course we’d have to move right away, but where? I didn’t have family who could take us in. And we’d need to sell everything we owned, but how? And I’d need a job, but doing what? And how could I afford to work when daycare would take up most of my salary?

All night these questions swirled in my head without answers. 

The sense of utter helplessness was all-consuming. I was no stranger to hard times. I’d grown up in extremely difficult circumstances and had struggled all my life. I already knew what it felt like to go hungry, to not have a roof over my head, or a bed to sleep in at night. But this was different. Being resilient and scrappy is fine when it’s just you. But when you have children to feed, it’s a new kind of panic that washes over you in overwhelming waves. In the past I had always relied on #TheHustle to get me through anything; it was comforting knowing that no matter what came at me, I would always “find a way.” But this time, I knew Hustle alone would not save me, and I had no bright ideas.  

In moments like these, I think we are faced with two options. We can give up, fall apart and disappear. Or we can fight. I knew I could never just give up, but I didn’t believe I had what it would take to fight. Not this time. 

That was about the time my girlfriend Charise walked in the door with her arms full of Costco boxes. She’d thought of everything: diapers and formula for the girls, dinner for the next week, and even enough cash to keep the electricity and water on. That is the moment that has defined my #RelentlessPursuit. That is the moment I Hustle and grind for. 

Something inside me snapped in that moment. A light went on, deep in my core, followed by a burning desire to never put myself or my children in this kind of position again. I made a promise to myself right then that I would not rely on anyone to provide for my family. I wouldn’t borrow money from family members; I wouldn’t beg for help. I would somehow pay my girlfriend back, and figure out how to handle my business on my own. Before I’d always just thought I was unlucky and entitled to what little help I’d ever received.  All my life I’d told myself this story, and believed it. Nothing good ever happens to me.  I work twice as hard as everyone else for half as much. That was my core belief. And as a result, that was my life.  No one ever told me that my life was the result of my thoughts, my beliefs and my actions. I believed that the only thing I could control was how hard I worked (#TheHustle), but that on its own left me feeling like I was drowning in quicksand, no matter how hard I worked, the results never showed. It took the catastrophe of that night, when my world collapsed in an instant, to spark within me a desire to drastically change my life. 

That week I sold everything we owned on Craigslist and filed for divorce. I took the money I made from our belongings to pay for first and last month’s rent on a really tiny, super-shitty two-bedroom apartment. I had just enough left over for one more month of rent and a few groceries. That was all the money I had in the world: I didn’t even have a bank account. My sister convinced me to get on food stamps, just until I got on my feet, and though I cried when the case worker took my story, I knew I had no choice. I applied for every job I could find, but interviews were few and far between. When the second month came and my rent money was gone, I sold my wedding rings on Craigslist for a fraction of their value; enough for one more month’s rent. When the women came to pick up my rings, she looked around our little apartment at my twins running around in their diapers and said, “I don’t want to know. Please don’t tell me the story.” She didn’t want my “bad luck” giving her new wedding rings negative juju. 

Things were certainly bleak, to put it mildly. It was terrifying, yet at the same time there was a new spark of hope deep inside me that wouldn’t go away. Now I was in control of my future, and that was a whole new way of thinking about what was possible for my life. I remembered an Oprah show I’d watched where she’d talked about changing your thoughts because they have the power to predict your future. I mentally traced my life back five, ten years, and realized that everything I worried about, feared and stressed about, had become my reality. That was a huge revelation for me. I saw it plain as day: I’d created all those “misfortunes.” I’d created that life. That was all the proof I needed of the tremendous power of my thoughts, even if it had only worked in a negative way up to that point. I knew I had nothing to lose, and the possibility of possibility brought hope in a way I’d never known before.

My book Hustle Believe Receive  is how I went from a newly single mom with nothing, relying on state aid to survive, to an executive of a software company in just eighteen months. It’s the story of how I manifested four vision boards in six years, and completely changed not only my life but my children’s. It’s how I went from living in a “poor me” world, to being a take-charge-of-my-future badass. It’s the tale of how I learned to dream HUGE and what it felt like to live out those dreams quicker, and bigger than I’d ever imagined, often without spending a dime of my own money! It’s how I learned to work smarter and not harder.  It’s how I Changed my Crew. And it’s the story of how, for the first time in my life I learned to truly be grateful, live a “pinch-me moment” kinda life, and how I found my joy. 

 
 
“Anything is possible child, anything can
be.”
–Shel Silverstein


 

CLICK HERE TO READ SUCCESS STORIES FROM REAL PEOPLE
 
*You can read all my posts about these events and all the others as I went through them in  real-time. Look on the left side of my blog and click the “archive” to read what I wrote as I faced these  challenges and celebrated these victories in 2009-and beyond
 
 

 

Ready to work with me? Learn more about my coaching and schedule a free consultation to learn how you can live your dreams!

 

 

 

Hustle.Believe.Receive. My Stories

Sarah Centrella Seattle Red Cross Speech Video

Seattle Red Cross Speech.

So happy to share with you guys my actual speech given to the Red Cross King County Breakfast in Seattle in April.

This was a huge personal manifestation for me.

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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