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“Each person must live their life as a model for others.”

– Rosa Parks

There often comes a decision point in one’s life when we can choose to shift from being a passive element in the world, to a person who takes urgent, directed steps on a self chartered path.  The gift of this fork in the road is the unveiling of a journey toward the building of an ideology and purpose that can inform every step, every word, every action, and every decision in one’s life.  What do you think the world would be like if each person took on life in this way; conscious of the power in every decision and its effects on others? What if each person lived “their life as a model for others,” as Rosa Parks called all of humankind to do?  I wonder what we would choose to model.  What do you think? I encourage you to walk around with that this week and I would love to hear what you come up with in the comment section below.  Together, I believe, we can all inspire one another  through our growth, to bring more compassion and empathy to our communities and beyond.

Amelia Earhart

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“I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.”
― Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart was a pioneer for women all over the world. In some ways, I wonder if we were not yet ready to hear the words she spoke. But now, nearly 80 years after she disappeared, I think we are ready to take her wisdom and use it. It is women like Amelia who have shown us that achieving a dream is possible. It is hard work, commitment and a willingness to push against adversity that will get us there.

How Do You Know A Mother?

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Yesterday was Mothers Day in America. In thinking of all the mothers I have known, I was inspired to consider what a mother represents..
A mother embodies all the qualities of love, care, nurture; what some might say are the innate qualities of a woman. A mother doesn”t necessarily have own children; perhaps she cares intently for her friends or community, perhaps she has people who rely on her for love and support. A mother builds wisdom, earned through years of guiding her young, of struggling and sacrificing for others, and seeing the effects of her actions. To be a mother is to love and uphold love in the world. A mother is responsible and committed. She knows what she represents and acts responsibly with the privilege she holds.
Today I celebrate and give tribute to all the mothers out there.

With love…
“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”
― Abraham Lincoln

The Caged Bird

I know why the caged bird sings

A free bird leaps on the back
Of the wind and floats downstream
Till the current ends and dips his wing
In the orange suns rays
And dares to claim the sky.

But a BIRD that stalks down his narrow cage
Can seldom see through his bars of rage
His wings are clipped and his feet are tied
So he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
Of things unknown but longed for still
And his tune is heard on the distant hill for
The caged bird sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
And the trade winds soft through
The sighing trees
And the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright
Lawn and he names the sky his own.

But a caged BIRD stands on the grave of dreams
His shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
His wings are clipped and his feet are tied
So he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with
A fearful trill of things unknown
But longed for still and his
Tune is heard on the distant hill
For the caged bird sings of freedom.

Alison Levine

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I came across Alison Levine over a year ago when looking for women who have displayed great character in the face of adversity. Alison’s story grabbed me – not only is this someone who lives with a condition that most people would find debilitating – she actually voluntarily puts herself into circumstances that trigger her symptoms! Alison was the first American woman to captain an Everest Expedition and has since climbed all 7 of the highest peaks each on continent. She has built herself to be a successful leader both in business and in her personal life; it is women like Alison that inspire us to do more and be more. I particularly admire Alison’s recognition of how by working together, we are able to harness strength. I see Alison as a real “Jness” leader – she has built character, nobility and courage whilst maintaining the unique traits that only women hold.

Read more about Alison via her website. I hope I get to meet her in person one day!