As we celebrate Mother's Day this weekend, I feel it is only appropriate to share some of what I have learned from 5 amazing women. Who they are and how they live provides an example but also shows me who I can aspire to be. These truly amazing women are those that are closest to me and have had a profound POSITIVE affect on me and how I choose to live my life.
First, I would like to share about my paternal Grandma, who is the only one of these amazing ladies I will not see Mother's Day. We lost her over a decade ago, but her light still shines in all those that she touched. My Grandma was a "Rosie the Riveter" and worked at Republic Aviation in Evansville, Indiana (my "newish" hometown) during WW II. Her adventures did not end after the war or after retirement. In her senior years she went on two separate foreign mission trips. She taught me to do what others haven't and to go after my dreams. She is an amazing inspiration of courage and going for it - not letting age or her gender stop her from doing what she desired.
There are so many things I could say about my maternal Grandma but all are encompassed it what she demonstrates every single day - her servanthood. She is the grandma that gets up early to make the big meal, waits until everyone gets their plate and would give you her last dollar if she thought it would help. The level of generosity and service she has given our entire family over the years can only be repaid in kind. She continues to teach me every time I am with her to use my gifts in service of others. We all have gifts we have been blessed with - something we naturally do well. Once we know what those gifts are we need to share them with others. My Grandma -that I still get to love on- has never hesitated to sow the seeds of her gift of service.
I count my blessings everyday that I get to be the daughter of one of the most loving women. My mother's ability to love generously and unconditionally is without doubt her gift. I recounted not too long ago to a friend that I honestly can't remember a time when my mothers words or actions damaged my self-esteem, especially as I went through the most trying years of a girl's life. For some they have experienced the same - that mother that no matter the hurt or mistake, only soothed. Others were not blessed as I have been, and my heart truly aches for them. My mom has been my biggest cheerleader in life. I've made many mistakes and was definitely not a perfect child, but through it all she gave me unconditional love. My mother has taught me what it feels like to receive unconditional love and her example inspires me pay it forward everyday.
My sister, my best friend, & my partner in travel adventures has always inspired me through her creativity. Her talent with a paint brush, yard tool & hammer continues to impress me. Whether it is using scrap wood left from building a deck to create something new or creating works of art from cardboard, duct tape and a little paint she knows how to flex her creative muscle. She uses her creative gift for others from painting special birthday signs to creating an entire island scene and painting murals. Although my creative gifts are minimal compared to hers, she has taught me that we can all flex our creative muscle - whatever that looks like. Maybe it's writing, singing, speaking, photography, sketching, woodworking, paint-by-number, creating a vision board or some other way you can express your creativity - Lean Into It! My sister has taught me to seek out opportunities that allow me to lean into creativity. It has brought more joy in my life and excitement because I've created something - I'm sure it will work for you too!
Far from least, the last lesson I will share has come from my Niece who at the writing of this is two weeks away from her 15th birthday. We've had fun adventures together and have more planned. I love spending time with her because she is strong in spirit and exudes a zest for life. Frills or no frills - Fancy dresses to riding a 4 Wheeler. She's pretty fearless. She has a skill that we all need - sharing her truth - no matter what the cost. It's hard to share your truth as an adult, but really hard as a teenager. I applaud her for standing strong, resisting the ease of bending to the comfort of fitting in. At her young age, she has helped me see that speaking my truth, although scary, is the best path. I look forward to the many more adventures we have together. Although the hugs are less plentiful, I know the lessons will keep coming.
What have you learned from the amazing women in your life? Celebrate how you have grown from their influence! Reflecting on the lessons we have learned is key to your personal development. Dedicate some time to identify what you have learned. In just a couple of weeks I wrap up my People First Project. The project is an opportunity for me to use my gift of being a coach in the service of others. If you have not experienced coaching with me and you are ready to take some actions based on the lessons you've learned, consider letting me help you see the possibilities and/or solve some problems in a complimentary 90-Minute Session. Learn more here.