Finally, Free From the Mucky Muck!

I have had a mantra in my head for a while now: 2013, Take a Hike, 2014, Bring It!

I know. It’s March 18th, 2014 and not 11:59 on New Year’s Eve 2013. So what the heck is up with just sharing this mantra? Am I late to the game in sharing New Year’s Resolutions? Nope. I already did that here where I wrote about re-focusing on Yelling Less and Loving More again, because really, it is a journey and not a destination! Am I late to the game in reflecting on 2013 and my feelings for it? Nope. I have done that for most of 2013! So why the sudden reference to it then?

Well, because until today, I haven’t had the positive energy to officially tell 2013 to take a hike and 2014 to bring it (even though everyone in close proximity to me knows I have wanted to!) I just haven’t believed that 2014 would be a better year! You see, while 2013 brought lots of wonderful, wonderful things my way, it also brought a lot of strife my way every time I turned around (or so it felt.) There was this post about my son’s seizures, this post about marriage, and this post about depression. And I am yet to write about the real negative impact my broken foot had on me this fall or about the day my son fell, hit his head and was rushed to the Head Trauma center.

I no longer wanted my cast to push me to snap from frustration. So I wrote myself a BIG reminder to keep it together. After this, my boys colored all around it. My beautiful cast ever!

I no longer wanted my cast to push me to snap from frustration. So I wrote myself a BIG reminder to keep it together. After this, my boys colored all around it. My most beautiful cast ever!

Yes, 2013 was filled with a lot of yuck. I have never been so thrilled to kiss a year goodbye, as I was this past New Year’s Eve! And I have never been so excited to start a new year, to start fresh; to create new, more positive memories that don’t necessarily erase the past ones, but definitely help the yucky ones not be so dominant and present in my mind.

These last few months I have really tried to focus on being positive, on being grateful. And not just because I know those two mentalities help me to not yell per my “New Year’s Resolution,” but because that is the place I want to be! I have tried to pull out of the muck from 2013 that held me down, that held me back from laughing and living as fully as I wanted, but as life goes sometimes, despite my best efforts, 2014 pretty much started off a lot like 2013, making it hard, not impossible, to choose to be in a good place more often than not! Booo!

And then, today happened. Today I felt that positivity and gratefulness at such an immense level that well, quite frankly, I had the best day of 2014 yet!

Today, and last night, you all bestowed such love, enthusiasm and support upon me around the announcement of my book that for the first time in a while, I could feel my feet lifting from the mucky muck. Today I finally felt that  2014 was bringing it – just as I hoped and so very much craved! Today, my heart yelled a lot less and loved a lot more. A lot, lot more. Because of you. And I am crying as I write this because I am just not sure you understand the depths of my appreciation and sincere, utter gratitude to you for taking to time to write such kind words to me about the upcoming release of my book.

I have written before that The Orange Rhino Community is an amazing place and that my folks, is an understatement! It is so rare to find a place free of judgment and full of such love and support for strangers. It is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. I love being an Orange Rhino and being part of this amazing movement of parents and I truly hope that the rest of 2014 gives me ample opportunities to meet all of you so that I can say thank you in person for helping to make this Community what it is; for helping to make me who I am; for helping to make me believe that 2014 will bring good things!!

And on that note, I am going to sign off and absorb all the gratitude and love I feel so that if 2014 dares to act like 2013, I have a positive memory to recall quick and easily before any mucky muck tries to pull me down! (Sorry for the “Bob the Builder” television show reference there, when you have watched it for 6 years straight, it is on your mind all the time, even more so than negative memories. Ha! Bob the Builder, can we fix it. Bob the Builder yes we can. You all are totally helping me to fix the path of my 2014 – thank you, again!)

All my best,
The Orange Rhino

Yell Less, Love More…THE BOOK!

I am so excited to finally be able to share some exciting news with you! Gosh, keeping it a secret from you all for the last six months has been excruciating! I have had to watch everything I write… and that at times inadvertently kept me from writing… and not writing inadvertently added stress because writing is such a source of both stress relief and joy… and without stress relief and extra joy I have been on the verge of yelling… and if you have an Orange Rhino on the verge of yelling, well, that just means that I have needed to read and re-read the book I just wrote!

Yep! The secret is out! I have spent most of the summer and this fall writing,

Yell Less, Love More:
How The Orange Rhino Mom Stopped Yelling at Her Kids – and How You Can Too!
The book!

When my publisher approached me last spring to write a guidebook of sort for parents on how to stop yelling, I felt utterly flabbergasted, incredibly honored, extremely excited and well, wicked overwhelmed! How would it read, casual and conversational just like my blog or professional and formal like a “real” book? And how would I arrange it so that it would be approachable for busy parents like myself with barely enough time to go pee let alone read a chapter of a book?  And how would I write it, like a parenting book or like a parenting memoir? Oh my mind filled with so many questions and so many ideas that it is amazing my head didn’t burst! But alas, I figured it out and I really excited about how it turned out and I think you will be too when you get a chance to read it this Fall 2014!

Here are the details about the book! 

Yell Less, Love More is a parenting memoir, a parenting guide and a parenting journal! (What can I say, I wanted to put everything together in one place for you to make your journey as simple as possible!) It is written just like my blog: honest, sometime heartbreaking, sometimes humorous and never shaming. You will not read one statistic or one line about why you are a bad parent because you yelled. I promise. Instead you will read 30 short and simple daily segments that consist of a story from my journey that hopefully makes you feel more normal and less alone, and then an action plan (based on my experience) to help you on your journey to yell less.

  • The Memoir Part: I worked hard to make sure that the majority of the stories not only touch upon universal triggers that many can relate to, but also that a majority of the stories are brand new so you don’t feel like you are re-reading my blog! Get excited – the new stories are the ones that I never had the courage to share!
  • The Guide Part: The action plan portion is short and sweet (about a page) and starts with key, inspiring, and often new revelations from my journey, followed by one to two actions for the day, three to four tips to prevent yelling, and then one of my favorite inspirational quotes that kept me motivated on my journey.
  • The Journal Part: Any time it is possible, there is even space allocated for you to take notes. So I guess Yell Less, Love More is a memoir and a guide and a working journal! Especially since the last chapter is “Resources” and includes a trigger tracking sheet, a color Orange Rhino logo to print out, and a journal for you to track your top alternatives that worked for you. This way you don’t have to go to my blog to print these items out!

If you are thinking even though it is broken down into 30 days you still won’t have time to read it, don’t fret! I chose this publisher because they wanted to print the book in color! (I mean, it is The Orange Rhino after all….) Anyway, because it is printed in color and the publisher rocks at layout design, it is very easy to:

  • Find and separate the daily stories from the revelations, actions, and tips.
    So if you have time to read an entire day, go for it! If you only have one minute to yourself, you can quickly find the daily tips (they are in a very easy to spot graphic design!) If you have more than a few minutes, you can then quickly find the revelations.
  • Find the key points without reading the entire book!
    One of the last chapters is kind of like the cliff notes if you will and exists purely because I know there are days when you just won’t have time to read but want some quick help! It includes summaries of all the key points: top lessons learned, top triggers and how I manage them, top alternatives to yelling, top questions and answers etc….

I feel like I am forgetting to tell you something!  Right – You can pre-order at the following link.
This is the publisher’s site and will direct you to any book site you normally order from. The price at the other book sites (too many to mention) is significantly less, especially if you order now! When the book prints this fall, it will ship right out to you! And yes, e-books will follow as soon as the hard copy hits.

Oh, you finally get to see some pictures of my boys and officially learn my name. Yes, I am The Orange Rhino but those who know me call me Sheila McCraith. Not gonna lie though, I like The Orange Rhino better; it is much for fun and less formal which is what this book is all about! Learning to stop yelling can be daunting and hard and boring. I really think though, that one main reason I succeeded in learning to stop yelling is that I made the journey fun. As Dale Carnegie says,

“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.”

Even though the topic of this book is serious per say, and even though some of my personal stories are on the more serious side, I promise you that there still is a lot of fun in this book! I want you to enjoy the journey so you are best set up to succeed because that is really what I want for you. I know first hand how yucky it feels to want to change and to want to stop yelling – and I don’t want any of my friends (that’s you!) to feel that way if they don’t have too. I want you all to feel a bit of the increased happiness, calmness, and love that I have found as a result of yelling less and I really, REALLY hope this book helps you achieve that.

All my best and a heart full of gratitude to you for helping my dreams come true,
The Orange Rhino
a.k.a Sheila