Sunday, May 18, 2014

How important are you?

Years ago when I was losing 100 pounds (and before I found it again) I had a very smart mentor who said that people often asked her how to get motivated.  Her reply was that getting 'motivated' isn't what you need to do.  What you need to do is get 'important'.  That stuck with me over all these years.

How important are you?  I know why you take your kids to soccer.  I know why you make a healthy snack when it's your week to be classroom Mom.  I know why you work late to finish that project for your boss.  You do all that because it's important.  Those commitments are important.   

What slides on your list when life gets hairy?  I'd be willing to bet it's you.  If you are like most women a lot of things on your to do list that feel like they outrank you in terms of importance.  If you're finding that you are struggling with being 'motivated' to lose weight, exercise, save money, get organized... whatever it is... ask yourself when you're going to get important.  And then listen for the answer.

This little bit of wisdom has worked for me every time I come back to it.  When I get important, I go to bed early once in a while.  I make sure that I make a nice salad for dinner more often than not.  I make time for a relaxing bath where I soak as long as I want to.  When I am not important, I give away everything I have.  I give away every bit of energy, every bit of emotion, every bit of nurturing.

I am important.  When I give it all away, I have nothing left to give to myself or to anyone else.

Join me in a challenge... why don't we work on this?... lets shorten the period of time where we allow ourselves to forget that we're important.  No one is perfect, we will forget (I forget all the time!).  We will also have periods of time that we have to focus on others at the expense of ourselves... but if we shorten those periods and lengthen the others we're bound to make some headway.

How will you know when you 'get important'?  What looks different?  Please share in the comments or on our facebook page here.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Lifting up women and girls... what have you done today?

My heart is full today.  It's been a wonderful month in which I have been blessed with a larger than ordinary number of opportunities for self renewal.  A lovely, unplugged week in Hawaii with my husband was followed by a truly special retreat for women called Brave Girls Camp.  Today I was able to be in a room full of women leaders in my community to hear Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Anna Maria Chavez speak about the importance of funding and volunteering for organizations like ours that support and advocate for girls.

When talking with Anna Maria today, she shared with me that the Girl Scout Research Institute has brand new, not yet published research that shows Arizona 49th for girls living in poverty.   We can't really afford to wait any longer to do something about it.  Following that conversation Anna  delivered an inspiring call to action.  We must stand together to raise a generation of leaders or we will face an empty leadership pipeline when we need it most.

I remember a Pete Seeger quote about how lucky we are that the world is so screwed up... because that means it's never been easier to make a real difference in the lives others.  It's funny and it's certainly true that it's easy to make a difference in the lives of women and girls.  Yes, you can share your time, treasure and talents with great organizations like Girl Scouts, but it's even easier than that.

You can begin to lift other women and girls up by such radical actions as shutting down fat talk when you hear it starting around the office or the locker room.  Whenever you hear people commenting on the personal appearance of female political candidates, you can challenge it.  When you hear a young girl say she 'can't do it', you can remind her that instead of "can't" it's probably more likely that she just doesn't know how yet.  These simple but out of the ordinary actions compounded by those of others raise the boats of all women.   We must find ways to make that happen.  Girls and women can't wait any longer.  Girls in Arizona and girls halfway around the world... they can't wait any longer.

You get to choose what you will do to help lift up women and girls... but we all need to you choose to choose.  Think about it.  What can we count on you for?  Post in the comments what you commit to do.