(Here is Part 1 from November 10 if you missed it!)
Part of ensuring that I am more likely to respond with a warm voice instead of a harsh yell is to ensure that I do not carry a lot of sh*t around with me. Like my dog Hope, I am freer and happier when I let that sh*t go. So it is important to me, as I fully re-engage here in The Orange Rhino community that I fully share why I started disappearing in 2015. Today is the day because I have had enough of carrying it around for seven years.
But first, I am an organized person and feel the need to just put a quick timeline in place for perspective.
2012: The Orange Rhino Challenge to not yell for 365 days starts and this community is born!
2013: I celebrate one year not yelling in February; five months later in July, I yell.
2014: “Yell Less, Love More” comes out – along with lovely support from you all and negative not-so-support from those who don’t know my style or my blog or my background.
2015: I start disappearing.
2016: I really disappear.
2017 – 2018: I really want to come back…but just can’t find the ability to do so.
2019 – 2021: I really, REALLY, want to come back, I tell myself, but still can’t find my way. Something was holding me back, keeping me from the key board. I know that part of the reason was that if I dared to write, I would write about 2016 and I wasn’t ready to fully acknowledge that year of my life. I couldn’t. Just couldn’t.
2022: I finally start to realize through years of therapy and self-reflection, that The Orange Rhino, while a positive place that I want to be, also started carrying some real negative memories and has some real negative ties to it. It almost became a slightly traumatic place for me as it triggered some of my little traumas in life and has ties to something that happened in 2016.
September 2022: The Orange Rhino returns.
November 2022: I announce the upcoming release of my audio version of my book. Which is exciting and scary as hell based on what happened in 2014/2015. But I also see it as a gift from the universe. I learned in April 2022 that it might happen. I was shocked. My book hasn’t been selling as much because well duh, I haven’t kept the community going for seven years! Why now? The answer basically was, why not? My publishing company has a new approach for creating audio books and somehow, lucky me, Yell Less and Love More was chosen.
For seven years at this point, I have been wanting to get back to The Orange Rhino. Seven years of wanting to do something, but not. Seven years of fear and regret. Seven years of not being able to find the strength to show up, not being able to find the courage to overcome the negative memories. Oh, so many negative memories embedded in The Orange Rhino.
And then, voila! A true, honest to goodness gift from the Universe.
A second chance. Repeat. A. Second. Chance.
A chance to come back as The Orange Rhino.
A chance to come back and face my history and no longer let it suck my energy out.
A chance to come back and take control over how The Orange Rhino story goes.
A chance to come back and no longer regret how my book release went in 2014, no longer regret dropping the ball and the community after the book released, because, I now have…
A better chance to keep the energy going after this audiobook release because I am now better equipped to do so emotionally.
Oh, and lest I forget, I also have…
A chance to come back and keep growing as a person, keep learning how to not let negative comments get to me, keep learning how to remember the positive, keep learning how to love myself more so I can yell less at my kids.
A chance to come back to an amazing, supportive community.
AND a chance to really get back to not yelling so much.
I have always believed in second chances. And I am grateful for this one. This second chance has given me the strength – it has forced me to acknowledge the last seven years and move forward from them.
Halleluiah because these last seven years – while many, many wonderful things have happened – they have also held me back. Or did they? Perhaps they didn’t hold me back, but allowed me to stand still, get some roots down and grow?
Which leaves me with another tip to yell less: change the narrative! Note I didn’t say ignore the negative. See the negative. Feel it. Allow it to be real. And then as soon as you are ready (which might not be immediately and that is okay!), change it so that it doesn’t change your mood and your ability to respond warmly when triggered.
These last seven years have been cruddy…AND incredible.
These last seven years I didn’t move forward as I hoped in some areas…but I learned a lot staying still that will propel me forward now.
These last seven years I yelled more than I liked…but I also taught my kids a lot about forgiveness to others and ourselves. I taught them about how being imperfect is okay. I taught them about how my yelling isn’t because of them, but me. I taught them that while yelling isn’t okay, it does happen and what happens afterwards is super important.
And, I taught them, am teaching them, that it is never too late to do something. It is never too late to change. To go after a goal. To try again. To keep trying. I am teaching them to be determined. I am teaching them to be warm and calm to THEMSELVES when provoked by others.
In other words, I am teaching them to be Orange Rhinos, and isn’t that ultimately the goal?!
Thanks for reading and being here, Part 2 is coming. It turns out I have too much too say hahahaha.
Here’s to telling yourself a positive narrative today, about yourself, your life, your children, and your childrens’ behaviors! (A narrative switch for today. Switch “my child isn’t listening or behaving” to “My child is having a hard time listening and ‘behaving,’ there must be a reason, something is making it hard.” Then work together to figure it out and if you can’t, work together to lighten the mood – laugh, play, sing, dance, watch the dog go to the bathroom and trot away, whatever works!
“Yell Less, Love More: How The Orange Rhino Mom Stopped Yelling at Her Kids – and How You Can Too!” available where you buy books! Audiobook coming in January 2023.