As I cozy up on my screened-in porch early this morning, the baby birds have taken shelter in the shrubs that surround me. They are alive and well. They have a rhythmic language with varying octaves and tones. I have no idea what they are saying, but I know this - they are chirping loudly, boldly, continuously, and expectantly.
In the same way these baby birds rest safely within the confines of these shrubs, we also must find a place to rest. But so often, we forget this for ourselves. We are too busy. But “too busy” is just what we tell ourselves. If you want to build a platform where you are empowered, go sit with yourself in your nest. Go, right now. Sneak away for a few quiet moments. No agenda. Just show up for yourself. Fabulous! Why do this? When I lead, I transcend from within. I do a few important things in my “nest”. I listen closely, craft vision, aim to teach and broaden perspective for myself.
So often you ask me about where my willingness to take risks comes from. You wonder how I refuse to let the fear of failure creep in. I have no tricks, shortcuts, or magical quick fixes to being brave. I allow this to happen. I allow rest. The same is possible for you.
Ask yourself, “when do I feel most alive?” Here lies your platform for empowerment.
To empower means to give someone the authority or power to do something. But for now let’s chat about what authority you give yourself. What ways do you show up to validate and love yourself continuously and expectantly? I am here to teach you how to define and even expand your platform. You will create your own context to begin this amazing work. Scroll to learn all the significant ways I aim to empower as a leader in my home.
To empower yourself means to say, “yes, I am fully capable of figuring out what is best for me.” Our daughters crave opportunities to feel empowered in the same way we want to be empowered. I do this by allowing my girls to process, reflect, and defend the ideas that are best for them. Then we discuss and decide. Show your daughters the value they hold as decision makers now.
I am fully aware that connecting with our daughters takes skill and requires the patience of a saint. You, nor I, are saints. I hear you saying “I get constant push back! This resistance feels exhausting.” I get it! My girls are 10 and 13. I am in the thick of it and the power struggle is real. I encourage you not to let this be a barrier. In fact, I have discovered the complete opposite to be true.
This sounds so cliche, but I want you to claim your life just as you are today and recognize your worth. It starts with you. The way I navigate the most important aspects of my life is demonstrated by what my children see. When I am seen, I live with integrity. I remain the same person to all who know me. Not only do I want to be seen, I want my daughters to know I see them.
My oldest daughter started playing piano when she was 6. She is now 13. It has been 7 years since she last played. We were recently at a friend’s house for dinner when she re-discovered the piano. I glanced in the room, fingers on starting position, laser focused, playing, and replaying old favorites, adjusting her attempts over and over again. She called me into the room. “Mom, watch this. I still remember how to play!!!”
Then she began to play by ear, recreating her closest version of one of our favorite songs - “All of Me” by John Legend. She chose this song. I saw her initial struggle to recall this skill, her failed attempts, and her desire to try again. This was all her desire, she trusted herself, she owned her success. She was empowered.
Resistance is Your Best Teacher
How we choose to conquer, rise and evolve in the face of resistance sends a message to our daughters. Resistance is best defined as a refusal to give in to something that slows us down. This work begins with how we process our own life stories. We decide how long we need to stay on the messy pages. This is our best opportunity to re-read, reflect, ask questions, and remain present even when you feel most uncomfortable. This is where our transformational work begins. Our response to resistance matters. Get comfortable with what slows you down and allow yourself to strengthen your platform for self empowerment.
I couldn’t resist the opportunity to show my daughter she was seen. I saw her re-discover her musical passion from seven years ago. Here lies the context for her expansion, or self belief (that you will notice she created for herself). And here is how I chose to stand behind my daughter to support her “empowering”. I dusted off a recycled keyboard I found online, attached this letter and pulled off a surprise set up in her room.
“Jenna, you are amazing. I am so proud of you. You stand firm in who you are. You are determined, resilient and brave. I love and accept you exactly where you are today.
You have so many natural gifts and talents. Music is one of them. I will always support your interests.
When I saw you playing piano the other night at Bonnie‘s house, I couldn’t resist an opportunity to help you pursue this passion.
I can’t wait to see how much fun you will have learning new music on your new keyboard!
You know I am a big fan of transparency. If you want your daughters to be bold and honest, then you must be bold and honest with yourself. If you want your daughters to trust themselves and take risks, then you must take risks yourself. My daughters see me. Occasionally, we summarize what we see. We tell our story as if we are the characters. Our recent story telling session went something like this:
“Life can feel so wonderful and so hard all at once. But together we can do anything. We can handle ‘hard’ even when it gets harder. You have watched your momma rise and conquer. You have seen her hurt, you have watched her not be chosen. This is okay. She is brave and stands firm in her identity. She knows her worth. She is instilling in you the most important value - your identity. One day you may not be chosen. Look inward. You are complete. You are enough. Love and honor yourself. Watch your mom closely. She is calm, curious and reflective. She is guiding you in her example every single day. She is empowered.”
As you begin this work, think for a minute about which one of these resonates with you.
I need to create my nest. I don’t allow my mind to rest.
My nest exists, but I am not hearing myself.
I am listening, but I am holding back, not allowing myself to be bold and expectant.
I need to expand my platform and take a bold step to honor and empower myself.
I love to teach empowerment not only because I believe in this transformational work, but I believe your platform is waiting. Create your nest. Be patient and bold in your pursuit of your needs. I can’t wait to hear about your progress. You are worth it! Xo