Superwoman

Today I am feeling inspired because it is International Women’s Day, and I happen to have some amazing women in my life. I am full of gratitude – I have managed to surround myself with strong, kind, women of depth. I believe in the laws of attraction and know this is no accident. I am inspired by each and every one of them to help me achieve my vision of the person I strive to be.

Today I am feeling inspired – and it is an incredibly powerful emotion – oh if only I could bottle and take it back out on a tough day!! Well – that is why I am writing. I know there will be a day in the not so faraway future that I am going to forget this feeling…I will be stressed, anxious, and full of doubt…and I hope that I remember to pull out this blog post to remind me of how I am feeling in this exact moment. This is an attempt to build muscle memory – so that my body, my brain AND my heart remember all at the same time what it feels like to be in alignment as I feel in this moment.

I create a vision board every year, and here is a picture of my 2018 Vision Board:

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My 2018 Vision Board

This year, my approach was a little different. Rather than setting goals, I focused on what I stand for – how I want to show up – how I want to be seen, and how I strive to embody my values in my actions. My Vision board is both about “being” and “doing” if that makes any sense. It’s about alignment of my head, heart and body to my values.

This year in particular has promised such a shift in gender equality – more than any other period of my 46 years on this earth. I am so encouraged by #metoo and #timesup, and I am actually starting to see some differences in a lot of places including my own workplace. There is still so much work to do – but for the first time I am seeing momentum and alignment where before there was fear and silence. I am working towards speaking up more, and to stand up for what I believe.

Today, I am inspired by my niece Jana (this is her holding a sign at the Women’s March in January).

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My niece Jana and her friends at the Women’s March in Charlotte on Jan 20th, 2018

Jana and her friends are going to be voters in the very near future – and this truly fills me with so much hope. Jana has always been kind – she has a beautiful heart, and is not afraid to speak her mind and stand up for someone or something that she believes in. Jana and friends

 

 

Today I am feeling inspired by the work I do for Pattison’s Academy. Last weekend we completed the big fundraiser I wrote about on my last blog, and not only did our family meet and exceed our $4,000 goal, we also met and exceeded the overall goal for the organization. As the fundraising chairwoman and co-leader of the event, I am not sure I have ever felt this kind of pressure before! We worked our TAILS off. There were plenty of moments of stress and doubt – but the leadership, staff, families, volunteers and fundraisers worked as one. I happen to believe that when we work as one, we can change the world – and we proved that last weekend by raising more than $105,000 for Eric and his school/camp mates.

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Eric riding the “Moto-Med” bike at the Keeping the PACE ride-a-thon

 

Here is a wonderful video of Eric’s shout out at the Keeping the PACE ride-a-Thon: https://youtu.be/cakqf7KGs8k

It is so rewarding to me to feel like I am making a difference for Eric and the children that Pattison’s Academy serves. I strive to support and motivate the amazing staff that works with Eric his school/camp mates knowing how hard their jobs are. I work hard to educate our community about our kids – because integrating this population of children into our society is better for EVERYONE! It fills my heart with joy and gratitude that our event was successful, and I am filled with hope for the future as a result. The possibilities are endless!

Today I am inspired by our female Olympians. In 2018, there were 109 females on the US team – compared to only 2 in 1924. Our female athletes kicked butt in PyeongChang!! They won more than half of our country’s medals (even though they were less than half of the US delegation) – and with a lot of flair I might add. Chloe Kim knew she had won the gold before her last run on the snowboard pipe – and blew past her previous score like a boss! The U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team defied the odds by beating Canada for the gold – which by the way has only been an event since 1998 in Nagano. Did you know that they have medaled in EVERY Olympics since?

I am also inspired by the gymnastics athletes that have come forward to share their stories by facing their oppressor, Larry Nassar. I watched every minute of Aly Raisman’s statement during Nasser’s sentencing, and was moved to tears watching and listening. Check out her beautiful photo shoot with Sport Illustrated where she announced the launch of her “Flip the Switch” campaign to end abuse in youth sports:. https://www.si.com/swim-daily/2018/03/08/aly-raisman-stop-abuse-youth-sports-flip-the-switch Even the SI Swimsuit Edition is evolving!

Finally, I am inspired by all my female family and close friends…these “Superwomen” who give their best every day to be the best versions of themselves as they can be.

Everywhere I’m turning
Nothing seems complete
I stand up and I’m searching
For the better part of me
I hang my head from sorrow so much
State of humanity
I wear it on my shoulders
Gotta find the strength in me
Why is that?

‘Cause I am a superwoman
Yes I am Yes she is
Still when I’m a mess I still put on a vest
With an “S” on my chest
Oh yes I’m a superwoman

(This is for) for all the mothers fighting
For better days to come
They’re coming
And all my women, all my women sitting here trying so hard
To come home before the sun
And all my sisters coming together
Say yes I will
Yes I can

-Alicia Keys

 

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#MakeItHappen

Today is International Women’s Day, and the theme this year is #makeithappen. I haven’t blogged in a long time – and today I felt inspired to put my thoughts on “paper” (aka cyberspace) for the first time in a while.

To celebrate the day, I want to recognize some pretty fabulous women who inspire me with their wisdom and with their actions to help make the world a better place.

1. Maya Angelou

“People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”  – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou’s beautiful prose describes the Golden Rule in a new way, making this my favorite quote all of time. It’s such a powerful reminder to not get stuck in the “he said/she said” – and to really focus on the bigger picture. It’s a tool to help me communicate in a healthy way with my friends, family, and coworkers.

2. Eleanor Roosevelt

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

I can’t hear this one enough – and I can’t share it enough with others. This quote was above my chalkboard all year when I was a middle school teacher, hoping that all of my students would absorb these words into the fiber of their beings by seeing them every day. This quote reminds me that not only am I in control of how I feel about myself, I am also responsible for how I feel about myself. No one else is. It is entirely up to me. This doesn’t mean it is easy to do – it’s not…but when I fall into self-pity, martyrdom and blaming, I try to remember to be accountable to myself…and to do the work that it takes to feel better.

3. Mother Theresa

“In this life, we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.”- Mother Theresa

These words remind me be intentional with my actions…to stop being so “busy” that I forget why I am doing what I am doing. It also reminds me that I can make a difference in someone’s life with one act of kindness, one phone call, one word, one hug…one whatever – no matter how small it is!

4. Brené Brown

“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to and embracing who we are.” – Brené Brown

This quote is front and center on my vision board this year (check it out here on Pinterest if you are interested: https://www.pinterest.com/lauriet93/2015-vision-board/) Authenticity has become so important to me that I now call it one of core values. I went through many years not being true to myself, not taking care of myself, and living with a lot of shame because of it. Brené reminds me that I need to do the work – if I practice, I will improve.

5. Ellen Degeneres:

“I stand for honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated, and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values. That’s what I stand for. I also believe in dance.” – Ellen Degeneres

Here’s another authentic rendition of the Golden Rule, along with a reminder to have fun. Earlier this year, I started recording Ellen every day, and I have enjoyed watching immensely! She makes me laugh, cry and think with each episode (shout out to Jimmy V even though it’s International Women’s Day).

6. Oprah Winfrey

Here’s another one from my 2015 Vision Board – because I can’t have a Vision Board or a blog about International Women’s Day without an Oprah mention:

“Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.”- Oprah Winfrey

Rather than biology – being a mother encompasses all the things I mention already…authenticity, action with intention, making someone else feel loved…these things make me a “Mom” to my significant other’s beautiful children. I don’t need a DNA test, a wedding ring or any other proof for what is in my heart.

And finally I want to mention Patricia Arquette’s speech at the Oscars this year. I know I wasn’t the only one to be completely surprised that her moments on stage were by far the most memorable of the evening. Her shout out for wage equality for women touched a nerve in me. I have heard some pretty frightening stories from my female friends in the workplace lately that have made me burn with rage…usually burning rage is a sign that I care about something deeply and need to do some work to figure out what it is.

In this case, here it is: there are more women than men in the workforce, yet women are paid less than men in all 50 states. I am not suggesting that there should be as many female CEO’s as male (well…maybe as many as male CEO’s named John if you happened to see that crazy story on Facebook that went viral a few weeks ago..If not, check it out here: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/03/02/1368049/-More-CEOs-are-men-named-John-than-are-women#).

I AM suggesting that women should be paid the same as men who do the same work. Is there really anything to be argued here? A woman should not be punished in measuring her quota attainment in a sales job because she was on maternity leave. A woman should not be told she can’t be considered for a certain sales territory that requires travel because she has children at home. It is 2015 people. Let’s demand what we deserve. Let’s be authentic, intentional, loving and accountable. Let’s be examples to the children we are raising or helping raise. Let’s #makeithappen.