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!
A special place in my heart is reserved for The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. My mother sent this book to me when I after I graduated college and was off on my own.
I had moved to a small town in a part of the US that was very different from the region where I grew up. I had a very hard time meeting people and finding my place in my new world. Needless to say, this was a difficult experience for me–I didn’t know what to do to help my situation.
As always, though, Mom came through!
One day a package arrived in the mail and it was this book along with a beautiful letter from my mom. Of course she knew of my struggles and, as she was reading the book herself, she realized it could be helpful to me. Her letter was filled with wisdom from her own life and the special encouragement that only a mother can give.
The book didn’t immediately solve all my problems, but it helped me take the next step in my life and gradually my situation improved. Most importantly, though, this book is a poignant reminder of my mother’s loving and wise guidance and encouragement.
How about you? What books have a special place in your heart? Feel free to share. Thanks!