How Saturday Night Live ruined my childhood

What is loving yourself all about?

 

Remember this guy?

 

loving yourself

 

Stuart Smalley. A Saturday Night Live character played by Al Franken circa 1991.

 

loving yourself

 

“I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and, doggone it, people like me.”

 

loving yourself

 

That’s it. That’s “the joke.”

 

In 1991 I was 10 years old and completely cognizant of how laughable loving yourself was. People like me?! What a joke.

 

loving yourself

 

Wouldn’t it be smarter (safer) to just believe that I was not good enough, not smart enough and honestly, that everybody hated me?

 

loving yourself

 

Sigh. I got pretty good at that mantra. So good, that 5 years later, when I was 15 years old, this character seemed like an alien:

 

loving yourself

 

Helen Madden. A Saturday Night Live character played by Molly Shannon circa 1996.

 

loving yourself

 

Licensed “Joyologist” Helen Madden was best known for spreading her message of JOY, finding the most comfortable positions to sit on interview couches and saying “I love it, I love it, I love it!”

 

loving yourself

 

That’s it. That’s the joke. She was trying to spread joy.

 

Ugh.

 

loving yourself

 

HUGE eye roll.

 

loving yourself

 

 

My idea of loving myself at this time was to have intense secret crushes that were never returned, thank god…because if you dared have a crush on me I would surely CRUSH you with my indifference and secret horror.

 

It wasn’t until I was 32 years old that I even began my self love journey. Even then, it was because I had to, not because I wanted to. What does unconditionally loving yourself even mean?

 

I thought loving yourself meant loving others as hard as you possibly could. That worked all the way up until having a baby. Then you watch how fast you drain and don’t replenish. If you don’t love yourself, you don’t replenish. Then you truly understand how loving yourself is not a luxury or a choice.

 

It’s the way.

 

loving yourself

 

XO

~Rachel

 

P.S. Gilda Radner is one of my hero angels.

 

 

Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred

Last week I completed Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred for the second time in my life.

 

I know, I know, I promised myself I would never work out again after the first time I completed that DVD series.

 

But then I saw this:

 

Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred

 

This meme hit close to home.

 

I was laying in my bathtub and I noticed that I was uncomfortable…like I was choking on all the chins resting on my throat…choking on my own fat face.

 

FAT FACE?!!

 

I shot right up in the bathtub to try to see it for myself in the mirror.

 

Yup.

 

Fat face.

 

I sank back down and tried to retrace my steps…

 

Eat whatever you want. Check. Never exercise. Check.

 

So what?

 

Holidays.

 

Yes. I blame the holidays. Food everywhere.

 

There’s always food everywhere.

 

Yeah but, I need a lot of comforting because, you know…it’s the holidays…

 

So now that the holidays are over, I am left with this fat face. Great. My brain started to buzz formulating a fantasy plastic surgery plan. This surely must be the perfect time for one of those tummy tuck things.

 

Oh right, it’s my fat face that’s the problem…crap.

 

Are you even allowed to talk to yourself like this?

 

NO!

 

Stop calling me fat face.

 

What is going on?!

 

Holidays. Winter holidays are like a recipe for The Shining regardless of your geographic location.

 

Jillian Michaels' 3o Day Shred

 

 

Seriously, everyone acts insane for the winter holidays; you can count on it. That’s why everyone joins the gym right after New Years, so they can physically remove the insanity from their bodies.

 

Enter Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred DVD. I don’t like to go to the gym. I feel extremely uncomfortable when I sweat and am out of breath; I don’t want an audience in that moment. My post work out face is super red and blotchy.

 

I know the Shred works because I did it every day for 30 consecutive days in 2012 after my son was born and within 45 days AFTER the workout was complete, the 75 pounds I gained with my pregnancy was gone. GONE!

 

That felt good because working out for 30 days in a row with a 200+ pound body felt disgusting. My pregnancy boobs were still an H cup, so the cardio was painful. When I would do mountain climbers, my stomach would bounce off of the top of my thighs and huge boobs (and then my huge boobs would slap my fat face) in a shameful manner. Slapping noises. Gross. Sweaty. Red face.

 

I hated every minute of it. My skin would get all prickly, covered in goose bumps because I was slightly afraid to even do the workout.  When I finished it the first time and was still 200 pounds, I thought I might be living in a nightmare. When the weight started to fall off immediately the day after the series ended, I thought I might be living in a dream; a well deserved dream world where I love my body.

 

I do love my body. I hug myself everyday. I am proud that my body made a human being. I am proud to have my body back. I allowed myself almost a 3 year break from formal exercise–that’s insane!

 

This time around, my second Shred experience was different. I was still very sweaty and red in the face. I still dreaded the workout every day. But I did not have fear inside of me; there were no goosebumps. I knew I could do it and I did it well. I even brought my 3 pound weights and the DVD with me and worked out on vacation for 4 days, which is unheard of for me!

 

Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred

 

This time, I saw results during the 30-day Shred series. For example, I bought this dress that I thought was a size 8 and I couldn’t button it up during week one of the Shred. That’s ok, I told myself, put it back in the closet and you will be able to wear it when you’re done with the series. Well, I wanted to wear that dress BEFORE my 30 days was over, during the third week, and guess what?! It fit. Guess what else?! I read the tag wrong, that dress did not say “8” it said “S” for SMALL.

 

My body is back. I did it!

 

Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred

 

But I am not done. I decided to give myself 4 days off and then I began a new Jillian Michael’s DVD called “Killer Abs.” I don’t know if anyone will get killed with my abs, but I’m apparently taking that risk.

 

Wish me luck!

 

XO

~Rachel

PTSD & Rage: You Wouldn’t Like Me When I’m Angry

I have PTSD so…

 

You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry…

 

The story of the Incredible Hulk really affected me. David Banner was such a kind person until the incident that caused him to radically transform…into a monster. But David Banner, even when he was the monstrous Incredible Hulk, was actually a hero; he stopped the bad guys with his anger.

 

PTSD Rage

 

The Incredible Hulk never hurt anyone who was innocent, only the bad guys. Even as a child in the 1980’s I knew that was an incredible mental fete, as David Banner was the victim of a scientific experiment gone very wrong and was often totally out of control.

 

Control. I’ve always wanted it. Obviously my little girl body could not transform into the Incredible Hulk, but there was always hope. Thanks to Stephen King and Drew Barrymore.

 

PTSD Rage

 

Firestarter. Due to a scientific experiment gone wrong in both her parents, when this little girl gets angry, she starts fire with her eyes…fascinating. I practiced my glare for the rest of the 1980’s.

 

But glaring is not the same as the Incredible Hulk, I still felt too small…things were still out of control.

 

PTSD Rage

 

Thank god the lady from Splash got angry and transformed into a 50-foot giantess in the early ’90’s. I needed that.

 

By the time the early ’90’s rolled around, I was feeling totally powerless. Couple that with all the hormones and emotions of becoming a woman and understand that I felt very much like a freak.

 

PTSD Rage

 

Like Michael J. Fox in Teen Wolf…before he realizes he is good at basketball.

 

So much hair…

 

Were it not for movies like these growing up, I probably never would have had my latest epiphany:

 

It’s ok to get angry.

 

It’s normal.

 

For many years, I got into a very nasty habit of telling myself that “I don’t get angry.” That was stupid. Of course I get angry, I am a human being; a very passionate human being. I am an empath, I am INFJ and not allowing myself to embrace my angry feelings actually made me very sick.

 

I’m not doing that anymore.

 

I made a YouTube video about PTSD & Rage. Apparently the two go hand in hand. Like peas and carrots.

 

PTSD Rage

 

As long as you do something constructive with your anger, it’s ok. Recognizing anger for what it is, enables you to choose NOT to do something destructive with your anger.  My new mantra about anger?

 

PTSD Rage

 

It just doesn’t matter. Thank you Bill Murray. Thank you Meatballs. It just doesn’t matter.

 

This is my story. It’s mine to tell.

 

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I hope you enjoy my new YouTube video!

 

XO

~Rachel

p.s. ~ follow @rey_divine on Instagram and Soundcloud

Oh God, I’m Bleeding: Godspell Grieving

Oh god I’m bleeding: Godspell Grieving…

 

When I was in middle school, Lake Shore High School put on the best production of Godspell ever. I have never seen another version. No need.

 

Godspell Grieving

 

I’ve been thinking about that musical A LOT over the past year.

 

Specifically, the part where Jesus is crucified.

 

Oh God I’m Dying…

 

I’ve been singing it to myself for at least a year…

 

I have a story to tell.

 

Godspell Grieving

 

So I made a YouTube video called Godspell & Grieving: Oh God I’m Bleeding.

 

WHY?

 

Because I had to. I had to shut this song up, that’s enough. I’m not dying.

 

I’m grieving.

 

Feels similar, I imagine, if your death were as slow and painful as possible.

 

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In the video I describe toxic relationships using my favorite television series: Arrested Development.

 

Arrested-Development1

 

I also act out the 5 stages of grief in a loop 3 times in a row…there is a giant stuffed panda bear involved. Totally normal stuff.

 

Godspell Grieving

 

I know that this story has to be told because it is haunting both my days and my nights. I’m done. If you don’t have 6 minutes to invest then hear me now:

 

–SPOILER ALERT–

 

Set boundaries that honor your personal limits and have the integrity to keep your own promises. This is life. It can be whatever you make it. Make it as kind and loving as possible.

 

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Please let me know what you guys think of my new video and please subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss out on my next special delivery 😉

 

XO

~Rachel

Heal your Self, heal the world

Hug Yourself + Love Yourself = Heal Yourself

Ever hug yourself?

 

I do.

 

hug yourself

 

Additionally, I made a YouTube video about it. I’m that girl.

 

Actually, I wrote the script for: Hug Yourself + Love Yourself = Heal Yourself, hours before learning some pretty heinous news.

 

hug yourself

 

I am increasingly intuitive like that; producing and directing this movie was healthy for my grieving process. Not sure what else I would’ve done with my seconds, minutes or hours. I made the set and shot the footage in record time. I’d say this one was fast tracked for sure.

 

hug yourself

 

I have PTSD. This means my response to major change can cause me to judge myself pretty harshly. Luckily, grief is here to heal the feelings associated with major change. I will lean into the anger, depression, acceptance, bargaining and denial. I am proud of myself for facilitating a creative outlet for my grief.

 

Last night I wrote my first Haiku:

 

If you’re deserted,

You can have extra dessert.

PERMISSION GRANTED.

 

Also ate 2 brownies last night.

 

Full disclosure, I eat chocolate every single day.

 

If I need something, I am going to give it to myself. I am not going to wait for someone to come and save me. I will save me. I will love me.

 

HUG YOURSELF!

 

I hope you enjoy my latest YouTube video and that you all start hugging + loving + healing your beautiful selves!

 

XO

~Rachel

Heal your Self, heal the world