You Are A Badass – A Badass Book Reveiw

“If you want to live a life you’ve never lived, you have to do things you’ve never done.”

It was December 17, 2017. We’d landed a day earlier in a magical place and I was ready to get my vacation on!

Four days earlier I’d gotten the news that I had breast cancer. Three days earlier I’d gone in for a CT Scan, Bi-lateral MRI and a bone scan. Two days earlier I’d learned that all my scans were clear. On December 16 we got on a plane with great friends and landed in Turks & Caico. I was primed to forget the past few days and focus on loving life.

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The Book

I’d picked up You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life at the Massachusetts Conference for Women because I loved the title and the bright yellow cover grabbed my attention. Little did I know what kind of ride I’d just decided to take.

The “You Are A Badass” book is written by Jen Sincero who is, among a ton of other things, a success coach. It’s a New York Times Bestseller so I’m sure you’ve seen it displayed at your local bookstore. I bought the paperback version which was easy to pack and enjoy on vacation. You probably have an electronic reader so you can pick up an electronic copy here, however, I still love the feel of real books.

When I opened the book I noticed it was separated into five sections each with their own overall theme. Having sections makes is easy for you to choose where you’d like to start if you don’t want to read the full book. Personally, I’d encourage you to go through the whole thing the first time, then pick and choose your second, third or fourth time around.

You Are A Badass - A Badass Book Review | Sedruola Maruska

The Voice

Jen speaks in a very down to earth conversational tone throughout the book. I think it’s one of the things I enjoyed most. She shares a ton of content in a way that makes you feel she’s your wiser older sister who really wants you to succeed.

I’ve started and put down a number of books that seemed to be talking at me and not to me. This book, You Are a Badass, was not one of them. I flew through this book as if my life depended on it (which after a cancer diagnosis, I felt it did). It was almost like having her across from me at the kitchen table, with our wine glasses between us, hashing out why I need to embrace all that is me.

The Message

Just as the title implies, the message of the book is that You Are A Badass but until you embrace that fully, you’ll keep living a life designed for you not by you. She wants you to learn to love yourself fully. That way, when life happens, you’re ready to meet it head on and decide how you want events or situations to unfold.

The book is full of butt kicking advice because it’s what we, as readers, need. If we didn’t she wouldn’t have had to write this book. However, the butt kicking is done with compassion and understanding. That’s not always easy to do, but she does a beautiful job.

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My Conclusion

If you haven’t already, pick up a copy of You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life and enjoy the ride read. Depending on where you are on your personal journey the content will bring out some emotions. Don’t be afraid to feel what you feel because it’s all a process.

My second read-through is happening with highlighter in hand (the reason I love books) so I can now work on internalizing the information and change my life. Even those of us who love and are infinitely grateful for the lives we have can use some adjusting and tweaking every now and then.

Your Turn

Have your read the book? What prompted you to read it? What was your assessment of the content. Please leave a message in the comments. I’d love to hear your perspective, especially if it’s different than mine on what you thought about this book. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts.



 

There is no giving without receiving, how to keep the flow going

There is No Giving Without Receiving How to Keep the Flow Going | Sedruola Maruska

I briefly mentioned in my last post how 2018 is my year of kindness. One of the biggest lessons I learned early this year, is there is no giving without receiving.

In December of 2017 as I was coming to the end of the “year of me” it dawned on me that I liked having a “themed” year. So as I thought about what 2018 was going to mean I tapped into the lessons I learned in 2017. The overwhelming feeling came that I wanted it to be about kindness. The new year was going to be about giving, as much as possible, to those I come into contact with. I didn’t want to limit it to my immediate circle, but expand it to anyone I come into contact with that needs a bit of kindness.

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There is No Giving Without Receiving How to Keep the Flow Going | Sedruola Maruska

 

Then, on December 13, 2017 I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

I can’t explain what happens when you get a diagnosis of cancer. I’m sure it’s different for everyone but this is what it was for me. Everything slowed. My doctor was speaking, I was listening, but my brain was stuck on “the biopsy showed that you have Invasive Lobular Carcinoma, breast cancer.” My husband asked questions and at some point I began to cry because, cancer. Then clarity came, not instantly, it took a few days, but it came.

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Help Rolled In

When we began to tell people about my diagnosis the offers to help rolled in. People are amazing and this only helped me to see it even more. Offers for food, babysitting, rides etc. Whatever could make our lives easier while fighting cancer, someone was there to help. What an amazing thing to be poised to give then have the floodgates open to push you to receive as well.

I was given my biggest opportunity to give by being given my biggest opportunity to receive. There is no real giving without also receiving. I know many people who want to give to others and yet, when the offer comes their way they are too proud, for whatever reason, to receive graciously. Receiving doesn’t diminish who you are it allows the kindness to flow. The action in both giving and receiving is an open hand, when one hand closes the flow is lost.

So here I was being handed the largest opportunity to receive just when I was planning to make it my biggest giving year ever! I was being taught that in order to truly give, we must also graciously receive. The feelings we get when giving or receiving are beneficial to our health!

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A Few Tips

Having shared that, let me share a few tips that may help in both giving and receiving of kindness from the world:

  1. Giving and receiving do not have to be proportional. You do not have to give in the exact proportion that someone has given to you. It’s nice to do, but not necessary. Giving as you can, just as someone gave as they could is still proportional.
  2. Giving doesn’t have to be to the person who has given to you. Paying it forward is the best way to keep the flow going. It’s also the best way NOT to feel as though you owe someone because they’ve done something nice for you, or to make them feel that they owe you when you do something nice for them. It’s not tit for tat, it’s letting kindness flow
  3. Give what you can. Small acts of kindness are still giving. Never feel that your giving has to be a grand gesture for all to see. Simple small gestures can go a long way to keeping the flow of kindness going. A smile, a compliment, a helping hand are all glorious acts of giving that could be saving someone’s life. Wherever you are and feel compelled to give, that’s your mission for the day.
  4. Give without looking to receive. Giving and receiving flow together, but don’t give with the intention of receiving. Just give. The flow of life, of the Universe is to always balance things out. So give happily and freely enjoying the feeling you get while doing it then move on never expecting anything in return. Honestly, that’s the kind of giving that will really make you feel the best!

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What is all means

It meant to me was give and receive freely. What it means to you may be different. But what I hope we can all get from this is that as we look around we can see the need for loving kindness. If we allow ourselves to be open to the abundance the Universe offers and freely let it flow through us by giving we are letting kindness flow. What can be better than that?

I’m thankful every day for all the loving kindness my family is receiving while we go through this very draining time in our lives. I’m also very thankful for every opportunity I find to give of myself to others. Because, as I’ve said before, this amazing opportunity came my way just as I was planning to give, It’s giving me an opportunity to reach people I’d never know or see normally. We never know why anyone is put on our path, so let’s treat them kindly.

6 Lessons learned during my Year of Me

6 Lessons learned during my "Year Of Me" | Sedruola Maruska

Last year, 2017, was the “Year of Me”. . . This year, 2018, is the “Year of Kindness”. Throughout 2017 there were lessons learned that directly contributed to the kindness theme for this new year. I’d like to share a few with you.

I’ve never been good at resolutions. I’m not sure why, but they never appealed to me. But at the end of 2016  I wanted and needed to do something to counter the sadness, pain and disappointment I felt. So, after reading Shonda Rhimes’ book Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person I decided to focus on “me”. After all, we are the creators of our reality right? We determine what happens in our lives by the actions, reactions or non-actions we take. So I focused on me. Which forced me to focus on my family, friends and immediate circle of influence.

When you decide to do something like that, there are going to be lessons along the way. My mom always told me “you don’t have to make your own mistakes, you can learn from someone else’s.” So I’ve decided to share some of the lessons I learned last year (and some I learned right before).

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

Lesson 1 – You are not alone

You are not a singular entity. I know it sounds weird, but it’s true. No matter how much you’d like to think that some things you do will only affect you, it’s not true. You are connected to those you love and those you come into contact with regularly or randomly. The decisions you make for yourself always affect someone else so decide wisely.

Lesson 2 – Taking time for yourself is wise

I love going to the spa. I love the solitude of the space and the ability to fully be taken care of so I started getting a quarterly massage. Why? Because when I’m not connected to myself or taking time for myself, I’m not very good for others. I’m more irritable, withdrawn and resentful of the people around me. So whether it’s taking half a day at the spa, thirty minutes to read a book or 5 minutes to close my eyes and breathe I count it all “me” time. I enjoy it and then allow myself to continue in all my responsibilities.

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6 Lessons learned during my "Year Of Me" | Sedruola Maruska

Lesson 3 – Be fully yourself

Do you ever feel strangled by your own need to say, be or do something? Then, instead of getting out of the situation you put on a mask, robe or aire? Yeah, stop that. Authenticity is when you tap into yourself fully and allow that person to express themselves. It’s a journey I began in 2017 and will continue along my journey. The more honest I was about myself, what I wanted, didn’t want, liked or disliked, the freer I felt. “Authenticity” seems to be a buzzword, but there are so many truths in simply being yourself and embracing who that is. It’s something that will grow, but to begin try siting with yourself for five minutes without distraction. Focus on the moment and see who and what develops.

Lesson 4 – Forgive, yourself and others

There’s a quote from the Buddha that says “Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die.” It’s incredibly true. The more I decided to release my anger toward any situation, circumstance person etc. the better I felt, the clearer my purpose was and the more authentic I could be in any given situation. The more I released my critical self talk, the better I could express myself. Forgiving is one of the hardest things to do, but it’s so necessary to moving forward in life. Sometimes it’s as easy as just whispering “I forgive you” and walking away knowing you’ve let it go.

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Lesson 5 – Stay open

Stay open to love, kindness, understanding, counsel, critiques, people, places, foods and everything the Universe has to offer you. Stay open to being fully yourself and present in your life. In every situation you have the opportunity to decide how to react. Take the time to think, consider then act according to the authentic person you are and stay open to the lessons. There’s opportunity for growth and learning everywhere but to see it, you have to be open to seeing.

Lesson 6 – Allow your greatness to flow

Lastly, one of the biggest lessons I learned was to allow my greatness to flow. To not only offer and give my best self in all situations, but to allow others to give and offer themselves in return. Receiving is one of the hardest things we do. We feel, at times, that it shows we’re in “need” or “weak” or “incapable”. Funny thing is, all those things may be true. We may actually be in need, weak or incapable of doing for ourselves in a given situation, but it doesn’t make us less. Once we begin to realize we’re all connected and to help one is to help many, allowing the flow is easy. Today may be my turn to give to you, tomorrow may be your turn to give to another. Keeping the flow going, making sure that when we’re in a position to give we give, and when were in a position to receive we receive graciously.

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

Conclusion

It’s this final lesson (there are others, but we’ll stop here) that inspired my 2018 theme of “Kindness”. 2017 ended with my breast cancer diagnosis, an amazing trip to Turks & Caicos and deciding, moving forward, how I was going to keep my theme. . . I’ll talk about that next time.

For now, I hope these observations have helped kick start some of your own. What lessons were triggered for you while reading this list? I’d love to hear your ideas on how focusing on self can actually heal and mean embracing others.