Each of us has in our family tree ancestors who have lived honest, courageous lives. They may not have been famous and they may not have made millions, but they faced heartbreak and disappointment with grace and dignity; they crafted good lives for themselves. Each of our ancestors’ DNA is in each of us.
We can take courage from our forbearers–our foremothers, since we’re honoring all mothers this week. When we face tough times, let’s remember our grandmothers’ and great-grandmothers’ strength in the face of adversity and use that to bolster our spirits and our will to go on.
I’ve been reading several memoirs that are inspiring. All of them are written by mothers and each one of them are accomplished women.
When we see successful women, they make it look so easy. We think they’ve breezed to success and now that they’re at the top, they’re kicking back and coasting. They seem to have it all figured out.
Their memoirs make it very clear that they struggled every step of the way and they still face struggles today, in spite of their success. They struggled with the very things that we “common” folk do.
Here are some of their struggles:
~staying connected to their spouse;
~staying connected to their children;
~being respected in the work place;
~dealing with coworkers that are jerks;
~dealing with workplace politics;
~wondering how they’re going to pay the bills;
~how to make space in their lives for “me” time;
~picking up the pieces after divorce;
~figuring out how to be a single parent and not have their kids “miss out”;
~keeping up with the fast-paced business world…
Do any of these struggles sound familiar to you?
The memoirs I’m reading are:
Cowgirl Power: How to Kick Ass in Business and Life by Gay Gaddis
Inventing Joy: Dare to Build a Brave & Creative Life by Joy Mangano
I’ve Been Thinking…: Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life by Maria Shriver
There are plenty of other memoirs available that can nurture and encourage you. In reading them, you’ll discover that the only difference between you and these successful women is that they find a way to keep taking at least one tiny baby step toward their dreams each day.
From time-to-time I’ve become overwhelmed with all I needed to do in order to move myself forward out of the mess I was in and toward something better. The road ahead looked steep and rocky, and it was a daunting sight for sure. I found myself unable to get started because I felt so crushed and defeated even before I’d begun.
But then I hit upon a technique that’s helped me over the years.
I’ve found that if I selected tasks to do that were simple, easy, and small, that I would actually do them. I’d do them precisely because they were simple easy and small.
They were simple:
~making my bed in the mornings;
~straightening the kitchen in the evenings;
~sitting quietly in the morning and listening for the Divine;
~sitting quietly in the evening and sensing the Divine….
They were easy:
~I didn’t have to think very hard
~the tasks weren’t strenuous
~I didn’t need special knowledge or special equipment to do the tasks….
They were small:
Surprising to me was that most of the simple and easy tasks took less than 15 minutes to complete!
I’ve found by focusing on simple easy and small tasks I could overcome my feelings of inertia and overwhelm. As I continued with these types of tasks, I felt better about myself and momentum grew, which I then used to tackle projects that were a little larger.
Have you tried a technique like this to help yourself move forward? Please share it with us! Thanks!
In honor of all of the mothers in our lives–our biological mother as well as people who have mentored us, encouraged us, protected us, and picked us up and brushed us off (women and men who have done this for us)–Happy Mother’s Day!
Here are six quotes from my Mom to help us celebrate the generously loving and kind people in our lives who have mothered us:
If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
How would you like it if someone did/said that to you? Then don’t do/say it to anyone else.
This too shall pass.
Not to worry, Sweet Doll.
All is well.
You’re my treasure; I love you!
What is your favorite quote from a Mom in your life? Please share it with us. Thanks!
Don’t look for the flaws as you go through life;
And even when you find them,
It is wise and kind to be somewhat blind,
And look for the virtue behind them;
For the cloudiest night has a hint of light
Somewhere in its shadows hiding;
It’s better by far to hunt for a star,
Than the spots on the sun abiding.
The current of life runs ever away
To the bosom of God’s great ocean.
Don’t set your force ’gainst the river’s course,
And think to alter its motion.
Don’t waste a curse on the universe,
Remember, it lived before you;
Don’t butt at the storm with your puny form,
But bend and let it go o’er you.
The world will never adjust itself
To suit your whims to the letter,
Some things must go wrong your whole life long,
And the sooner you know it the better.
It is folly to fight with the Infinite,
And go under at last in the wrestle.
The wiser man shapes into God’s plan,
As water shapes into a vessel.
I’m still reading Maria Shriver’s new book entitled I’ve Been Thinking. I shared a quote from it with you a few weeks ago.
Perhaps you’re like me and when you think of people who are famous and accomplished have it all together. They know where they’re going; they’re always confident; they never feel lost or sad or worried….
Maria is a real person and she freely shares this in her new book. I like that she does this because I can see that in more ways than I thought, Maria Shriver is just like me.
Sometimes she’s nervous, and even scared, when she’s trying something new–me, too! At times, she’s reluctant to let go of her children and step into the next phase of her own life–me, too! She’s doing it anyway, one little step at a time, and discovering a fresh new world out there that still needs her gifts, ideas, and her compassion. I’m discovering the same thing!
In the book, Maria also shares how her perceptions and assumptions have changed over time and how she’s becoming a deeper, richer person. I’m finding that, too. As I get out of my comfort zone, I’m meeting fascinating people with interesting ideas and experiences, and this is opening my mind, my heart, and my soul in ways I never imagined.
Stop by your local library and check out Maria’s book. I’m interested to hear what you think of it. Thanks!