In a world that can appear to demean women, empowering them can have many benefits in securing women to be healthy participants in society. However, it is more important for women to empower themselves against some of the tough challenges they may face.
Founder of the lifestyle website TheChicSite.com and CEO of her own media company, Chic Media, Rachel Hollis has created an online fan base of hundreds of thousands of fans by sharing tips for living a better life while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own. Now comes her highly anticipated first book featuring her signature combination of honesty, humor, and direct, no-nonsense advice.
Each chapter is about a lie we’re told, and why that lie isn’t actually true. It’s a motivating read that made me want to go out and conquer the world- or at least my own life! I found Rachel’s stories inspiring, especially the ones where she talked about her brother’s death and the impact on her family and the struggle with adoption and foster care. I had no idea that anyone can just call up and make an anonymous claim of abuse against a foster carer even without cause. I felt for her. There’s nothing worse than being under scrutiny for doing something you haven’t done. Also – the fact that they’ve been lied to by the social worker about the twin’s availability for adoption just shows little concern for people’s feelings.
I loved how she described her struggles with men, weight, money, success and parenting. She’s talking any woman’s language and she’s saying “It’s OK, you don’t have to be perfect, you’re doing OK”. That’s exactly what a struggling parent would want to hear and yes, it helps.
What I didn’t like so much was the constant references to being a Christian Mom, having the book published by a Christian publishing house, self-censoring because of it and Praise-the-Lord quotes mid way through. It would have made a great book without them and probably would have appealed more to the other faith denominations. The fact that she married the guy that treated her like sh*t is also not a thing to tell people – girls in unhealthy relationships might harbour the belief that their psychologically abusive boyfriends might change.. well – at least she did say “Don’t do what I did.” Last thing that bothered me a little was in the weight section she said she became beautiful after shedding a lot of weight by just surviving off diet pills and shakes. Umm, all the anorexic girls out there will take it as it’s preached and probably end up destroying their health.
All in all, it’s a good book if you read it with an open mind and you keep your own believes about nutrition intact 🙂
Here are some quotes from the main chapters:
SOMETHING ELSE WILL MAKE ME HAPPY
Life is not supposed to overwhelm you at all times.
Life isn’t meant to be merely survived—it’s meant to be lived .
Seasons or instances will inevitably feel out of your control, but the moments when you feel like you’re drowning are supposed to be brief. They should not be the whole of your existence! The precious life you’ve been given is like a ship navigating its way across the ocean, and you’re meant to be the captain of the vessel. Certainly there are times when storms toss you around or cover the deck with water or break the mast clean in half—but that’s when you need to fight your way back, to throw all the water off the boat bucket by bucket. That’s when you battle to get yourself back to the helm. This is your life. You are meant to be the hero of your own story.
I’LL START TOMORROW
You won’t just talk about a goal; you’ll plan for how you can meet it. You’ll set a goal and surprise yourself when you achieve it. You’ll teach yourself a new way to behave and set a standard for the type of person you truly are.
I’M NOT GOOD ENOUGH
I needed a drastic life change. I forced myself to stop working so many hours. I went to the office from nine thirty to four thirty and was shocked to discover that the world continued to spin on its axis. I pushed myself to rest, to sit and do nothing. It gave me massive anxiety, so I poured myself a glass of wine and kept right on sitting there. I started volunteering at the local homeless shelter. I took a hip-hop dance class. Turns out, I’m terrible at hip-hop dance class, but I love it so much I laugh like a toddler through the entire hour-long process. I looked for joy. I looked for peace. I stopped drinking so much caffeine. I played with my kids. I did a lot of therapy. And then I did some more. I prayed. I looked up every scripture in the Bible that talks about rest. I had dinner with my girlfriends. I went on dates with my husband. I taught myself to take it one day at a time, to stop obsessing over the next victory, and to appreciate the simple parts of today. I learned to celebrate accomplishments, not with big flashy parties, but with taco nights or a great bottle of wine.
I’M BETTER THAN YOU
What I want to say is that we all judge each other, but even though we all do it, that’s not an excuse. Judging is still one of the most hurtful, spiteful impulses we own, and our judgments keep us from building a stronger tribe . . . or from having a tribe in the first place.
The first step toward getting past the desire to judge and compete is admitting that nobody is immune. For some of us, we judge in little ways: rolling our eyes at the way someone is dressed, frowning at a badly behaved child in the grocery store, or making assumptions about another mother at school pickup who has a serious expression and wears a suit every day and seems uptight. For others, judging is a bigger problem: berating your little sister because her views are different from yours, viciously gossiping with other women, taking to social media to write hateful things to people you don’t even know simply because they’ve stepped outside the lines of what you think is good. The second step is recognizing that just because you believe it doesn’t mean it’s true for everyone. In so many instances judgment comes from a place of feeling as though you’ve somehow got it all figured out when they do not. Judging each other actually makes us feel safer in our own choices.
LOVING HIM IS ENOUGH FOR ME
Every day you’re choosing who you are and what you believe about yourself, and you’re setting the standards for the relationships in your life. Every day is a chance to start over.
NO IS THE FINAL ANSWER
You don’t see things as they are; you see things through the lens of what you think and feel and believe. Perception is reality, and I’m here to tell you that your reality is colored much more by your past experiences than by what is actually happening to you. If your past tells you that nothing ever works out, that life is against you, and that you’ll never succeed, then how likely are you to keep fighting for something you want?
Nothing that lasts is accomplished quickly. Nobody’s entire legacy is based on a single moment, but rather the collection of one’s experiences. If you’re lucky, your legacy will be a lifetime in the making.
I’M BAD AT SEX
Years ago, at the outset of changing up our sex lives, Dave and I initiated something we called Sexy September. We vowed to have sex every day during the month of September— no excuses . It was pretty daunting in the beginning, especially with full-time jobs and two little kids. But the end result was fantastic! It gave me the opportunity to experiment and try things out without any pressure. Also, shockingly, having more sex made us want to . . . have more sex. I highly encourage you to pick your own sexy month and go for it!
I DON’T KNOW HOW TO BE A MOM
Becoming new parents is such a fake-out. The first two weeks you’re deep in euphoria and, yes, it’s hard, but people are bringing you casseroles and your mama is still in town to help and you have this perfect little cherub whom you love so much you want to bite the chubby cheeks right off his face. And then the next couple of weeks go by and you settle into a zombie routine.
The God who made the moon and the stars and the mountains and the oceans, the Creator who did all of those things, believed that you and your baby were meant to be a pair. That doesn’t mean you’re going to be a perfect fit. That doesn’t mean you won’t make mistakes. It does mean that you need not fear failure because you can’t fail a job you were created to do .
I’M NOT A GOOD MOM
I am one of the most organized people I have ever met, and even with all of my planning, I still am constantly forgetting things—or remembering them at midnight the night before they’re due. And no matter what I do or create or volunteer for, some mythical “other mom” at school has done it better. “Yes, Mommy, you can buy the T-shirt we need for make-your-own-T-shirt day, but Liam’s mom grew organic cotton plants. Then she hand-separated the seed from the fiber before spinning it into thread and fabric for the shirt she sewed him herself.”
Being a perfect mom is a myth—but being a pretty great mom, most of the time, is actually possible.
I SHOULD BE FURTHER ALONG BY NOW
I could make a list for you all day. I could point out a hundred different moments in my life when I thought I should have something and was so upset about not getting it, only to discover in retrospect that it wasn’t ever meant to be mine.
If you have a goal, that’s fantastic! I am one of the most motivated people you will ever meet, and my list of life goals is nine miles long. But I’ve learned that along with my list of goals, I have to give myself some grace.
OTHER PEOPLE’S KIDS ARE SO MUCH CLEANER/BETTER ORGANIZED/MORE POLITE
Find a tribe of people who are in a similar walk of life as you are. Once you find them, be honest about where you are and what you’re struggling with. Learn to ask for help, all,” and when I tell them that I’ve learned to ask for help, they look at me as if I’m an alien.
I NEED TO MAKE MYSELF SMALLER
Working women sometimes have to fight their way through patriarchal systems. Working mothers get backlash from in-laws or parents who can’t understand our desire to work, while stay-at-home moms slam us for being away from our children. I’ll bet stay-at-home moms feel similarly judged by working women who can’t relate to their life choices.
I’M GOING TO MARRY MATT DAMON
Because I think my ability to imagine my dreams in intricate detail is one of the biggest reasons I’ve been able to achieve them. Seriously. Don’t rush by that statement. Sit with it for a minute. A huge part of my success is built into my imagination.
I’M A TERRIBLE WRITER
Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business.
I WILL NEVER GET PAST THIS
The path through hardship or extreme trauma is one of the most difficult things a being can encounter. But make no mistake: the only way is to fight through it. Pain and trauma are a violent whirlpool, and they will drag you under if you don’t battle to stay afloat. There will be times, especially in the beginning, when it will take everything within you to keep your head above those waves. But you must keep your head above the waves. It’s so difficult, but you are tough.
I CAN’T TELL THE TRUTH
when things are hidden, we give power to the fear, the negativity, the lies.
I’ve been afraid to write this story. I hesitate to tell you our particular reality because I still believe that the children in foster care deserve advocates. But I think if we had been better prepared for the realities—that abuse allegations are an extremely common occurrence; that you might get inaccurate or misleading information about the children; that regardless of your best intentions, your heart might be broken in ways you can’t fathom. I think if we had been informed, I wouldn’t feel so hurt now.
Surround yourself with people who’ve also gone through the hardship of being honest about their feelings. They can talk to you about how it felt and how they found the courage. They can also stand as an example of someone who admitted their hardship and lived to tell about it.
I AM DEFINED BY MY WEIGHT
If the calories you consume in a day are fewer than the calories you burn off in a day, you will lose weight. The end.
I NEED A DRINK
Is it funny or depressing to admit that before I had kids, I never really understood why anyone drank? Then suddenly I found myself exhausted, overwhelmed, and on edge. I discovered that I could have a glass of wine that magically muted the edges.
Drinking can be an attempt to escape, but you cannot escape the realities of your life forever. In the morning they’re still there, only now your ability to take them on is diminished by the fact that your “medicine” made you sicker.
THERE’S ONLY ONE RIGHT WAY TO BE
There isn’t one right way to be a woman. There isn’t one right way to be a daughter, friend, boss, wife, mother, or whatever else you categorize yourself as. There are so many different versions of each and every style on this planet, and beauty lives in that dichotomy.
Every year you close a new chapter in your story. Please, please, please don’t write the same one seventy-five times and call it a life.
I NEED A HERO
Girl, get ahold of your life. Stop medicating, stop hiding out, stop being afraid, stop giving away pieces of yourself, stop saying you can’t do it. Stop the negative self-talk, stop abusing your body, stop putting it off for tomorrow or Monday or next year. Stop crying about what happened and take control of what happens next. Get up, right now. Rise up from where you’ve been, scrub away the tears and the pain of yesterday, and start again . . . Girl, wash your face!