Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year, New Accountability!

As the new year comes around, the world looks forward to what will come in the next 365 days of the year.  Media fodder and commercial organizations are more than willing to share how you can be better in the next year.  Whether the improvements are financial, spiritual, or health centered, there is a company with a quick fix just waiting for you to purchase their product, program or potion that promises to get you to your resolution and goals.  The answer to your issue is easy and easy at hand via a one click purchase or digital book.

In essence, the pressure is off. Someone else can pick up for you where you need improvement.  The answer to your happiness is in just a book away. Where you have failed, a program will make you right.

Wouldn't it be nice if a pill, a plan, or a program could fix you? How fantastic it would be to have something other than you to hold accountable to whether you reach a goal or not.  At the end of the 365, if you are not where you want to be you could claim the program failed you or the product didn't work. Yes... that would be nice indeed.... to be able to hold someone else accountable for your own missed marks.

Women Enough: Here is the hard truth...

The only one accountable to you reaching your goals is YOU!

If you are not happy where you end up at the end of the next 12 months, it sits squarely on your shoulders. No pill or program will be the fix you need.  It may be a temporary solution to a finish line, but certainly not what will take you past the finish line and on to success.

If you use a program to reach a goal but then stop the program do you slip back to where you were and say the program didn't work? That is much easier than looking yourself in the mirror and saying "I didn't make the changes I needed to make to not slip back." Maybe the program wasn't made for long term sustainability of your goal. But the reality is that you didn't make the changes in you, your habits, or in your outlook to sustain it long term. You didn't accept your own responsibility in the equation.

Yeah... that hurts a bit. I know. I've been there and done that more times than I can count.

But Women Enough... Here's the fantastic thing about holding yourself accountable.  It's tough to get honest with yourself about your own part in your missed mark.  But when you do, it changes your perspective.  When you look at your own accountability in your goals, you see that you truly do have power over whatever it is you are trying to reach.  You are NOT dependent upon a product or program nor is the product or program responsible to get you there. Yes, they may be a tool, but the biggest component of your success is your willingness to accept and MAKE changes that you need to.

  • If you reach a weight loss goal on a program, but immediately upon reaching it go off of the program and back to your old eating habits? What happens? Unless you've made true change in your lifestyle, you gain it back. 
  • If you use a program to get your finances under control but as soon as you have a balanced budget, go back to your old spending habits, you end right back in the financial straights you were before. 
  • If you use self help programs to make your life "feel" better  and change how you see yourself but don't change how you see the world, it becomes more of a self hinderance. 

Do you see the accountable for change theme here? You - and no one else is accountable for your success or your happiness. You and no one else is accountable to make the changes you need to make to reach your happiness and goals.  YOU ARE ACCOUNTABLE FOR YOUR OWN CHANGE!

Women Enough: I challenge you not to simply state a resolution, but to truly take accountability and make change. There is no sugar coating here; it's often very hard to change habits in lifestyle, spending, thinking, or what ever it is that needs change.  It is habit because it is an easy default way of doing things.  You don't want to work hard - You don't like it.  You are tired in life, and you don't want to have to think, struggle or battle your inner monsters over the change.  You like the comforts that you have and it would be really crappy to give some of those up.  I get it.

But suck it up, put on your big girl pants and just do it. NO ONE WILL DO IT FOR YOU!

Women Enough! I challenge you to a New Year New Accountability!

Monday, December 24, 2012

It All Passes By So Soon

Women Enough... the time passes by so quickly.... enjoy and savor every moment while you have it.

The first Christmas kiss 'neath the mistletoe ball
Love that grows with the winter moon
The hopes and dreams of two people enthrall
It all passes by so soon.

Newlyweds' bliss on a new Christmas morning
Their hearts are now one, not two
The anticipation of the life they are forming
It all passes by so soon.

Baby's first Christmas such a joyous sight
With boxes and bows and balloons
Sweetly slumber that holiday night
It all passes by so soon.

Little kids' toys under the tree
That will litter the floors of their rooms
The little ones sitting on Santa's knee
It all passes by so soon.

Teenagers who wince and roll their eyes
Wish for high-tech not heirlooms
Dread helping mom make Christmas pies
It all passes by so soon.

Young adults come and bring their new spouses
Rush off before it turns noon
To celebrate Christmas in their own houses
It all passes by too soon.

Grandchildren visit on Christmas Eve
And sing happy holiday tunes
But before long they must leave
It all passes by too soon.

That first Christmas kiss 'neath the mistletoe ball
Love that grew with the winter moon
The hopes and dreams of two people extolled
It all passed by too soon.

Friday, December 21, 2012

I'm On the Naughty List... Or Am I?

Women Enough- I must confess....

I am on the naughty list this year.

If you celebrate any sort of St. Nicholas gift giving tradition, or even if you don't, the mention of the naughty list evokes some sort of emotion or connection to the idea of not being good enough for gifts. Being relegated to one or the other list puts a label on value and worth, and implies judgement of some kind.  All year long, parents use the persuasion factor (OK, guilt and fear factor) of the dreaded "naughty list" to get kids to behave.  If you have kids you may have used the same tactic to get your kids to stop arguing, to clean their rooms, or to behave.  You may remember the terror the "naughty list" brought to your heart when you were a child.

This year, I fell short this year. I missed the "nice" list and landed myself on the naughty one.

The social expectation of the winter holidays centers around gifts and decorations, holiday letters filled with all the goings on in one's family, a model worthy family photo card sent to each and every one of your 200 closest friends, or at least a hand signed pre printed card. Social etiquette and timing in these expectations is that by a particular date, they are received and fawned over by the recipients. I didn't meet these expectations.  I mailed packages late which will most likely not be received by December 25th.  I didn't even send a single Christmas Card.

As silly as it sounds I truly struggled about not getting cards out, not to mention the late gift.  Whether the recipients were people that I truly wanted to send holiday greetings to, or our historical card exchange was simply the obligatory "I'll send you one because you sent me one", I feared judgement. I feared the judgement of those who were on top or their game, getting cards and packages by the end of November.  I even feared the judgment of those who didn't plan on sending holiday greetings my way, but because of some social construct saw it as the respectful thing for me to send them greetings.  My lack of sending holiday cards landed me on the naughty list.

Funny how even when we are grown, we still feel bound by the list.  The things that put us on one or the other are not the same as when we were kids, but they are still there.  We feel our worth and value tied to particular things and expectations of family, friends, society, and especially ourselves.  Whether it is the perception we get from those around us (which by the way, is often us just being stuck in our own heads), or our own judgment of what we feel qualifies us for the lists, we still place ourselves on the naughty or nice list.

Did you get that last sentence? WE still place ourselves on the naughty or nice list.  No one else does.  We do.

Women Enough - NO ONE HAS THE POWER TO PUT YOU ON THOSE LISTS EXCEPT YOU! Cut yourself some slack.  Things happen throughout the year that throw a wrench in our lives.  Stresses, challenges, joys, opportunities... all of those things affect how we manage life, including the holidays.  There are some years that we are just plain tired and can't get to everything that is expected of us, and everything that we expect of ourselves.  IT'S OK!

"Perfect" holidays only happen on Christmas Cards.  Truth be told, I'd much rather live my real life holidays with the real life experiences. And, I won't put myself on any list because my holidays don't look like a card.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Was That Rant Worth 15 Minutes of Your Life?

Recently, I was sitting in a coffee shop sipping my brew and gathering my thoughts when the conversation at the next table caught my ear. I couldn't help but listen - the volume kept rising.

One of the women at the table was unhappy with her order. She was going to call the corporate offices, post scathing posts on one of her social media sites, and vowed never to come there again.  The other women at the table, who appeared to be her sister and her mom, joined in her lament, fueling the already irritated woman.  On and on they went.  The volume continues to rise. The rant reached a fevered and frenzied pitch.  Truly, you'd have thought that there was possibly nothing worse that could have happened to these women by the way the rant went on.

I could take it no more.

I got up an moved seats to the other side of the shop, but they seemed to get even louder. I could feel my own anger and irritation welling up inside- not at the supposed "wrong" that had been done to them. While these women ranted on and on, louder and louder, disrupting everyone over being charged $1.50 for added bacon on an order, I was sitting in the same space, collecting thoughts and writing notes for the eulogy I was giving at my sister's funeral.  My heart was breaking and they were upset over breakfast meat.  How little were they?

How could these women put so much energy into a 15 minute rant over bacon? Didn't they know that in the scheme of life, that it truly meant absolutely nothing? Did they not know that they could never get those 15 minutes back, nor could the people that heard them ranting?

My heart actually hurt at the shallowness of their griping.  I truly wished for them that the great bacon swindle was the worst thing that would happen to them that day.  In their griping, they lost out on 15 minutes that  they could be sharing joy, 15 minutes of time with each other, 15 minutes of building something up instead of breaking something down.  How could they not see what a waste it was of time as I was sitting there wishing for more time with my loved one?

Like a cup of water in the face, I had a realization.  Often, I had acted the same way as those women.

In my lifetime, I had probably wasted countless hours ranting on meaningless things. I make mountains out of molehills, wars out of misunderstandings, tragedies over simple little trip-ups. Sitting in traffic, waiting in long lines, feeling slighted or cheated, having my nose out of joint because of something someone said... I had done the same thing those women had done time and time again.  Maybe it wasn't over a slice of bacon, but over things that in the scheme of life were just as meaningless. Like those women, I had lost time that I could never get back over things that probably wouldn't have added any value, time, or joy to life.  People around me probably thought the same of my actions as I had of those women in the coffee shop.

I vowed then and there to be aware of my own shortfalls, my own rants, my own wasting time over things that mean nothing. I want to cherish all of the 15 minutes in life I have.

Women Enough - Check  yourselves when you find yourself angry and upset.  Assess if what you are irritated about is worth the energy you are giving it.  If it has no real impact on your day to day happiness, your immediate welfare, your future, or your overall joy in life, set the anger down.  Always ask yourself "Is this rant worth 15 minutes of my life?"

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Art VS Heart of Conversation

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance. Aristotle

The primary use of conversation is to satisfy the impulse to talk. 

The power of conversation is immense.  

We use it to get our points across, to have our voice heard, to persuade, or to simply satisfy our need to talk.  The words we use, how we say them and when we say them have the power to make connections and open doors.  It is a skill and art form that can be the beginning or the end of opportunities and relationships.

The ART of conversation is what gets us heard.  It invites someone to interact.  It is the thing that sets our words apart.

But, the ART of conversation without the HEART of conversation, is not an interaction, it is broadcasting. 

The heart of conversation doesn't begin with our mouths. It is not about what words we are able to get out. It is not having exactly the right word and the perfect moment with exact timing and flare of delivery.  It is much less about what we say with words, and more about what we say with our presence.

The heart of conversation begins with our ears and our hearts.

The heart of conversation requires us to:
  • Shut our mouths and open our ears. 
  • Create a compassionate place in our heart to be open to what the other person is bringing to the interaction. 
  • Not formulate a response while the other person is sharing.
  • To resist the urge to speak, realizing that our need to spew words is often far less important than the other person's need to be heard.   
While the art of conversation invites someone to an interaction moment, it is the heart that makes it a communication event.  ART is the persuasion or sales pitch that says "Hello,  I have a great spot for you!" The heart of conversation is what leads to the spot on the conversation, invites  to sit down, assures  the spot is stable and safe, and allows a place for the other person to have a voice and be heard.

Woman Enough, not every conversation will have the same type of depth. But be aware of when you are relying only on the ART of conversation.  The HEART is a gift to the other person, but it is also a gift to yourself in the form of connection, learning and expanding your heart. Remember that the ART is about what you have to say, the HEART is about what the other person needs to be heard. Relying too heavily on ART and you are not conversing, you are broadcasting.

How are your conversations? Are they art-filled or heart-filled? 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Empower In, Empower Out

"...We believe that work is more than a place you go every day. It should be a place of exploration, creativity, professional growth and interpersonal relationships. It's about being inspired and motivated to achieve extraordinary things..." ~ From the Coca Cola Company's People Profiles 

Empowerment is an idea that is talked about a lot in conversations these days. It means to authorize, enable, support, supply with the tools needed for a goal, support one's journey or path, allow one to reach their goals.  When we hear that word, we know what it means. We get the idea and the end goal of it.

But what does it look like in action?

October 17 and 18, 2012, this Woman Enough had the opportunity to see what it looks like in action on both an individual and corporate level, in Atlanta Georgia, at Coca-Cola headquarters. I was invited and  hosted (thank you for providing for the wonderful travel and hotel accommodations) by the Coca-Cola Company to attend Conversations With Coca-Cola, a conference to include women/mom bloggers and social media presences, into the conversations of the Coca-Cola Company's efforts to give back to local and global communities.

I, and all the attendees, had the wonderful opportunity to hear from amazing women from the company and from outside of the company, that spoke about using our voices, using our talents, and empowering one another in personal, professional, and community life. We discussed may initiatives such as sustainability and environment, and Live Positively. All of them were admirable and philanthropic.  But, what stuck out most to me was the willingness and belief in empowering women to have a voice, have a chance, and to lead.

Empowering women both inside and outside of the corporate walls is an active goal and real world action that Coca-Cola is taking to lift up and recognize the power of women in the world.  Within the company, female leadership is developed and supported through a focus on attracting, retaining and developing strong female leadership. The Women's Leadership Council further empowers women through a pay it forward, "lift as you climb" approach to building community and support within the corporate frame of Coca Cola. A dedication to providing flexibility options for women juggling the work/life/home demands, further supports and empowers women to have the opportunity to live each area of life to the fullest.

Empowerment reaches outward too. 

In an effort to empower women entrepreneurs around the globe, Coca Cola put in place the 5by20 program. It's goal is to enable economic empowerment of 5 million women globally by 2012.
  • "Through 5by20, we address the most common barriers women face when trying to succeed in the marketplace. This initiative offers women access to business skills training courses, financial services and connections with peers or mentors -- along with the confidence that comes with building a successful business."
Moving outward into the global communities to raise up and support: It is a lofty goal, but so honorable. 

Prior to the conference, I admit, I had a limited view of what Coca-Cola provided.  When I thought of the company, I thought of the red can and the snappy jingles that I heard as a kid.  I remember myself and my kids filling, and OVER filling our cups at the self serve soda fountains at a local fast food restaurant. I also remember cleaning off sticky faces and car interior after the inevitable spillage. I saw Coke as just a liquid, a drink, something in a cup. The Conversations With Coca-Cola Conference changed that.

Women Enough - embrace the empowerment opportunities that come your way.  Whether it be someone lifting and supporting you to reach your greatness, or your chance to extend a hand and help someone reach theirs, embrace it.  Reach your hand inside your circles to help another. But be just as ready to turn and face outward and extend your had that way too.  Whether we empower personally or corporately, it works for the greater good of others.

Thank you to The Coca-Cola Company for being an example of what it means to Empower in and Empower out.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Morning Motivator - Never Too Far For Grace

There has been so much in the news recently about "heroes" falling from grace.  Politician, business mogul, sports hero, pastoral figures - in every walk of life and profession, we elevate people up as role models and heroes.  But, they are people, human and flawed. Many of them err, and take the long fall from grace. It may harden the hearts and break our trust.  But, like those we put on a pedestal, we all fall

It is never out of His reach. This is good news for all of us.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Stewardship - Managing the Good... AND the Bad

Steward: One who actively directs affairs.
Stewardship: Conducting, supervising, or managing something; especially : the careful and responsible management of something entrust to one's care. *

We've all heard the the message that we should be good stewards. Looking at the definition above, it looks to be a pretty easy concept and principle to grasp. We are to be responsible managers of what we have, what we've earned, and what we have been given. It is our responsibility to be good managers of what good, gifts and triumphs we've been blessed by. From our talents, we are called to share in the way we can to be a positive contribution to the world. We are called to be good stewards of finance, of the environment, of our health, our education, and of our affairs. It is easy to apply this concept to the things we see before us - the things that are tangible and positive in our lives. Call it social responsibility, giving, charity, generosity, responsible administration, care - it all points back to stewardship. It's the careful and responsible management of something that's been entrusted to us -the tangible additions to our lives.

But, we are also stewards of the things that aren't tangible "goods" in our lives.

Along with being responsible managers with the positive, we are to be good stewards of the negatives as well. This isn't as easy. It is far less work to bring forth good from good than it is to bring forth good from bad. Bringing forth good from bad is actually a double effort as we try to first use it to better ourselves THEN use it in a responsible way outside of ourselves. If we are truly making efforts to be good stewards, we strive to bring it forth from both.

The tough things in life can pillage us and leave us feeling empty. Loss of a job, a relationship, a loved one, or a friend leaves behind gaps, pain and questioning. The stress of life can pull all of the energy from our souls. Personal illness, betrayal, or trauma all create a hole in us. It happens to EVERY one of us. Yet, even in our feeling of loss and hurt, we are to be good stewards of those events.

How do you know if we are good stewards of the bad?

Ask these questions:
  • Did I let this define me? An event (good or bad) is part of the landscape of who we are but it only defines us if we let it. The world may try to assign it to who we are, but we are in control of that. If we know we are more than the moment or event, we are allowing ourselves to grow.
  • Did I let this leave a hole in me? There will be some pieces of events that stay with us forever. Some things can not be replaced and will always be missed. However, if we refuse to let it leave a hole in us that allows the goodness of life and the potential for happiness drain right out of us, that is when we are being a good steward.
  • Did I learn from this event? Many things in life happen outside of our control. Some are results of things that we set in motion. Either way, ALL of the events can be learned from. We can look back at the event and see if there were some things we could have done to avoid it, and not do those things in the future. We can also look back and see that there are things that are out of our control, and learn to be prepared for the unexpected. We can also simply learn the lesson of cherishing what we have while we have it. 
  • Is there something in this that changed my heart? If your heart was hardened, it needs to be broken again. The things that happen in life should soften and expand our hearts. Even the bad. 
  • Can what happened to me in any way benefit others? We don't always know the reasons why things happen. Sometimes there is not a reason. But there is always a use for our experience in the future. Recognize when your past events allow you to feel understanding or empathy with others in the future. Your experience may have the power be a catalyst for others, or it may simply be what fosters your ability to connect and listen to another who needs to know that they aren't alone. 
When we are giving of the good, we have evidence - we can see our efforts, our dollars, or our time making a positive difference. Being a good steward to the negative isn't quite as easy to spot - yet it is our responsibility to be good stewards of the challenges, loss and disappointments.

Women Enough - it is easy to make good from good - being a good steward of the positive. Take a moment and assess if you are a good steward of the hardships as well. When you can make a positive step from a negative situation, then you are a good steward of the challenges.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Ditch the Imposter - Be it to Become It!

Why this happens, I don't know.  

I dive head long into a project, feeling like I am in my element. I feel confident in my knowledge. I prepare, I practice, I deliver.  Often, I will even get accolades for effort and a job well done.

Is the job ever perfect? No.

But is it pretty darn good?  Yes, often it is.

I recently gave a presentation on a workshop I am currently writing.  I delivered the content well. I got a lot of good feedback of what was good, and what could be improved upon. Most of the feedback was good, and the goals of the presentation were met and even exceeded.

Then why was it that as soon as I had delivered, I felt a wave of doubt come over me? Why did I suddenly wonder what the heck I was thinking that I could accomplish?  Why did I feel like an imposter?

I did some self assessing and realized that there are certain instances and areas in my life where that thinking comes in.

In many of my roles this type of thinking never creeps in. I am confident and comfortable running my household.  I can multitask and juggle a ton of things like a pro.   I don't ever write a post, comfort a friend, put a meal on the table or comfort one of my children and then ask myself  "What gives you the authority and the know how to do this?"

But when I am in a situation that I know in my head I can do, but is outside of what I see as my  "lived  out" expertise  doubt creeps in. Even if I have the support of my peers and the logical understanding of the process and my ability, often  I do question myself. Even if I KNOW I have the knowledge and experience to be successful in things outside my daily duties, my emotions often sabotage me.  I don't feel like I am in the "fake it till you make it" spot.  I just feel like I am faking it.

I feel like an imposter.

I was wondering if I was alone in this thinking.  Apparently not. I was relieved. I turned to the almighty Google and looked up the phrase "imposter thinking".  This is actually something that many feel. Often, it is women that feel this way. Women Enough, I bet many of you feel the same.

What Can Be Done About It?

A plan of action has helped me and may help other Women Enough combat this false thinking. These are the steps that may help break the circle of loop thinking - a train of though that takes you back to defeat.

  • Recognize the type of situation that spawns these thoughts. 
  • Remind yourself of why YOU ARE the right person to be in that action or role  - even if it means making a written list. 
  • Know that YOU have the knowledge and the ability to perform the role. 
  • Remember that a standard of  "expert" is performing a role approximately 10,000 times. In reality there are very few true experts. We are all on fairly level ground. 
  • Listen to the voices of those around you that are giving you the outside feedback  of why you are capable for that role. 
  • Realize that no person could do that role until they DID perform that role. YOU are no different.
  • Even if you feel that way, to continue on until the feeling subsides. Don't let it get the best of me. 
  • Remember that your perception is on a pendulum. It may swing from a perception of ultimate success on one end, to ultimate failure. The truth regardless of your perception is someplace in the middle of that. 
Woman Enough -Instead of getting stuck in the "fake it" phase, adopt the mantra "Be It To Become It!".  If you get stuck in either part of that mantra, it is a winning place to be. This way you can take a look at yourself and say "I feel like the person and the role that I am striving to be." 

Woman Enough, Do you ever feel like you are faking it? What do you do to change that feeling? 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday Morning Motivator - Stand Out Of The Crowd!

Remember the days of just wanting to be a part of the "in-crowd"?  Maybe you were always a part of it but felt lost in the requirements of  membership and the sameness.  How wonderful it is Woman Enough, that you can stand alone, beautiful, strong and amazing - where you are, how you are, and who you are right now.  You DAZZLE today!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Curves - The Loveliest Lines

Curve: The loveliest distance between two points. ~Mae West

Mae West was a vixen, a vamp, and a visionary.  She was a woman before her time in actions, in words, and determination.  The world tried but could not tell her who to be.  Society did not chain her into a role.  Censors couldn't hold her back.  She refused to walk the straight line that social convention had laid in front of her.  Instead, she barreled down the path, taking the curves at full speed. We knew her as the silver screen lovely that mesmerized the gentlemen.  She knew herself as a woman with a plan to succeed in a time and place in history that railed against it.

Mae West was a Woman Enough.  She knew who she was. Inner strengths drove her.  Outer strengths defied social expectations of her day.  She embraced her feminine power. Though labeled a seductress by her peers, she knew she was lovely, powerful, capable and strong - curves and all.

We are often judged for our curves - be they actual or metaphorical.  We are told to change to conform. 

Enlarge this curve and shrink that one.  
Toughen up if you're going to play in the big leagues. 
Base your decisions on logic, not emotion.
It's just business.
Cover this but show that.  

It doesn't really matter where the messages come from; they come from everywhere, including each other (and yes... Women Enough, we need to stop that...). What matters is that each one of these messages is trying to pull us from both ends and straighten out the twists, turns and curves of the landscape of who we are. 

But, our femininity is an unstoppable force.

We exist in a world that is complicated, competitive, and requires a certain amount of moxie to navigate. But as women, we have a built in tool that makes us shine. It makes us unique. It contains all we need to simply get the job done, PLUS amazing things that make the job shine. It is a mighty strength. It is a synonym for determination, shine, power, empathy, sympathy, love, fierceness, courage, relationship, emotion, wisdom, gentleness, passion, understanding, and tenacity.  It is the feminine greatness that propels us and our world forward.  It is that power that keeps our world simply from existing in an endless number of seconds ticking on the clock, to a vibrant living experience. The curves of femininity breath beautiful life into the harsh, straight lined world.

In a given amount of space between two points, a curved line covers far more distance, and is a much more interesting route that the straight shot.  The curved line takes the trip from a mere task of movement to a journey. It is the loveliest distance between two points. 

Woman Enough, we were created the lovelier and curvier creature. Embrace the curves of who you are. Own them today. A curve truly is the loveliest distance between two points.  What "curves" will you embrace today?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Resiliency: That Stretchy Super Hero Ain't Got Nothing On Us!

The resiliency of women is unparalleled. Regardless of what we face, we find a way to carry on... because we must. It's in our make up; it's who we are - amazing, beautifully and wonderfully made beings.

It would be wonderful if every day could be full of hearts and flowers and happiness. But we all know that is not reality. The reality is we face challenges - every day in some way. Some are bigger than others, but challenges none the less.  This is not a warm, fuzzy, hearts and flowers filled piece of encouragement - the kind that we would like to see in a perfect world. Instead it is straight forward truth and empowerment - the things that as Women Enough we live out everyday. 

It is a reminder that we are the definition of resilient. 

There is never an argument that men aren't pulled and stressed in life... they are. However, as women we are called upon by nature, by society, and by our own conscience to be continually giving. There is a constant sacrifice of body, mind, and emotion that creates stressors, pressures, and stretching that are seemingly unending. Through it all, we keep going. Knots, kinks, pulls, pushes, compressions, morphing, twisting - we come back from it. It is a testament to our resiliency.  Remember that stretchy super hero guy? We put him to shame.    

We are called upon by nature  to be the bearers and vessels that bring fourth new life.  It is noble and blessed that we have been privileged with the ability for this. However, we literally give of our bodies so that another human can have life and breath.  Our bodies change and and are stressed through the process, but in the miracle of womanness, we return with a vengeance and strength. 

Even if our biological path does not include bearing life, as women our hearts bear  the give, the responsibility and love as we live for others on a daily basis.  Whether children, spouses, friends, community members, women's hearts extend and wrap around those we care for. Our hearts and emotions are special as they are the driving force in how we are in the world.  Often we give far beyond what our hearts can take, but still, even in their breaking, we find the a place to pull even more from.  No matter how much is given or how empty it may feel at times, it returns to the place that is was before - and we carry on. 

We stand up to social expectations and are thrown down again and again. We are hurt, battered and bruised. Still we stand up again. History is full of women who, regardless of persecution and judgment, moved on and carried on.  And even though we may not each be named as a part of a recorded historical moment, in small ways, everyday, we each do the same as we stand up for a friend, a loved one or even ourselves. Our world would not be the same if it weren't for the resiliency of women. 

In the face of illness, we move on and care for. In the stresses of jobs and finance, we move forward and do what we need to do to get the job done. In the expectations of society - having to do it all, having to be it all, and doing it all with some level of perfection, we still maintain a loving heart. The challenges, changes and pressures we face we can probably each identify, but collectively are far too great to name or number. Even in their vastness, they are not stronger than our ability to bounce back.  Pressures and forces have tested us through time. They do not ever win. It is not an easy battle, but we get up. That makes us truly amazing. 

Woman Enough - We still stand. We do it because we have too. It's who we are. Respect, embrace and expect your resilience.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Excuse Me...Your Chip Is Showing

Does that person that always acts like they are the underdog irritate you? Does it ever seem like they carry the world on their shoulders, and everyone around them can feel it? Do you ever realize that you are looking in the mirror and that person is you?

That, my dear Women Enough is a big ole chip on your shoulder. 

There may be many reasons why and ways how that chip got there.  Perhaps there was an injustice done to  you at some point.  Possibly a friend or co-worker was catty and self serving in how they treated you. Lots of situations are rough and hard to handle.  Life can be tough. It throws us all of the makings of gigantic chips everyday.  This is part of living. 

But here's the thing...

Those situations, rumors, hurts, encounters aren't the chip that weighs down.  It doesn't become a chip until we add the last ingredient... attitude. To our great benefit, it is the one ingredient we have complete control over. We may not be able to control what happens around us no matter how we try. Each person and situation is individual. Many of the forces that drive them are out of our own control - except attitude.  

Attitude can be the binding ingredient in creating the chip. It can also be the mortar that binds it to us. If we buy into the drama and judgment, the poor decisions of others towards us, or the general knocks of life as some conspiracy or ill fated destiny, then of course we will construct a chip.  Carry that same assumption and expectation into other situations and relationships and you have a full blown chip glued to your shoulder.

The good news is...

Attitude can also be the lye that breaks down the chip and the solvent that removes it from our shoulders.  Keeping the attitude that others criticisms, unjust behavior, and attitudes towards us do not define who we are (it more defines them), is a force that can obliterate the chip before it has a chance to get very big.  If we walk into new situations choosing not  to assume it will be the same and not assuming that those we encounter are out to get us, then not only does the chip not form, there is also no surface for it to adhere to. 

Some truths about chips....

  • They are not attractive.
  • Everyone sees them and will respond and react accordingly.
  • Keeping the chip doesn't gain us anything - in fact it robs us of joy, energy, and relationship.
  • Thinking that the world is out to get any one of us is well... a bit self-centered.  Not that there won't be those that purposely try to hurt or inadvertently hurt, but we live in a busy world of busy people with out a lot of time to plot against us. 
  • You are in control over that chip.

We are not responsible nor able to knock a chip off any one's shoulder. But, a chip on our shoulder is no one else's responsibility but our own to knock off.  

Do you have a chip that needs to be knocked off your shoulder?
Have you chosen a good attitude today?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Dragon By Night

A Maiden hid in the night.

A terrifying sight was in her presence. The thought, the feeling, the essence of this sight made her tremble in fear.  She felt she had nothing to protect her from what was before her but a small splinter of a stick. Her sliver of wood was no match for the fierce dragon that stood on a towering hill overlooking the path that she needed to take.  So she hid, behind a rock in the dark, paralyzed with fear.

As time passed, she grew restless.  She knew she had to get to her destination somehow. Her body ached from the stillness. Her desire to stay unseen was tested by her body's will to move from the prison of the dark. Still afraid she decided to peer out from behind the rock to see of the dragon had moved.  She still grasped in her hand the sliver of the stick.

As she moved her face into the open, she felt the rising sun warming her skin.  It energized her and gave her a clear site of the path.  She looked down at the stick and realized that it was more than a stick - it was a long and strong spear - the darkness had veiled its true character.  Her eyes ran over the length of the path and the outline of the hills.  Surely the dragon had to be there - it was so ominous in the night.  She scanned the scenery, but could not find the beast.  She cautiously left the shelter and captivity of the rock.  Walking to the spot on the hill where the dragon had been, she took a defensive stance, ready to slay the monster when it made its move to take her down.

She stood and waited for the beast as the sun rose. But it never came.  So she sat on the hill to think of her next move.

As she sat, she heard a rustle in the leaves close by.  Startled, she looked to where the sound came from.  Once again trembling, she grabbed her spear ready to thrust it into the heart of the dragon.  She moved in to fight the good fight.  Carefully she fixed her sights to the place of the sound. She looked closer and closer.  The light of day revealed it. Her spear dropped to her side.

Rustling the leaves on the hill where the dragon had been in the night, was a small lizard.  She lowered the blunt end of her spear and moved the lizard out of the way.  She continued along the path, walking freely to her destination.

Woman Enough - don't let fear paralyze you.

Fear plays a healthy role in our lives. It can help us survive, it can motivate us to action and change, and it can force us to take a different course. But when we let it control us, we are truly held captive in the dark.  Bring your fears to the light.  The Dragons of the Night are merely lizards in the light of day.

Do you have dragons that need to be brought to the light? 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Death By Perfection

We strive for perfection. 

The perfect job, the perfect body, the perfect house, perfect health, perfect children, a perfect result in our endeavors - We like perfection. It is our goal and mission to be in a flawless condition and have everything in place. Our time and energy is spent on results that the world will see as meeting the highest standard.

The next promotion is sought and the nicer things are purchased for our bigger house in the perfect neighborhood. We change our diets and workout routines so that we can look like the airbrushed model on the front of our favorite "better living" magazine. Kids and parents alike run at a dizzying pace as more and more activities are crammed into each day so that 18 years after they our born, we can help our children have the perfect college application so they can get into just the right school so they can have the perfect start into adulthood. Simply being proficient at our jobs, our interests and our hobbies, becoming the expert is now what we desire. We are driven by perfection.

But, we are also dying by it.

Surely death by perfection is not one that you would see in any medical chart or record. However, perfection is something that can cause us to encounter death in different ways. Sometimes it is a slow process that gradually causes demise, or sometimes it can be quick. The death can happen metaphorically as we miss out on relationships or opportunity because of our determination. It can also happen physically as we push ourselves relentlessly to the point of being obsessed, over stressed and exhausted to the point that our bodies give out. Regardless, we need to be aware that perfection is a health hazard. So how does death by perfection happen?

Death by perfection happens to us personally. When we are driven by the goal of perfection in whatever it is we do, our hope and fulfillment is based solely in the end result. We move along towards the goal, but we forget to enjoy what is happening around us as we are reaching it. We fail to see the other joys that can come from happy accidents or the adventure from veering off course. The moments of life become just another un-noticed grain of sand in the hourglass of existence. Our determination for perfection suffocates any thing else that tries to reside in us. We miss out on so much that life has to offer. We forget to live the journey - and that is the same as dying.

Death by our perfection also happens to those around us. When we are stuck in the idea of perfection, we often project that expectation onto others around us. We expect them to be a part of our own perfect world and plan. They become a piece or our system, and when they are not working the way we think they should be, we know it and so do they. As a result, relationships die out and the others around us feel marginalized in our worlds and feel isolated and judged by us; a social death.

What can we do about it? 

To combat the health crisis of perfection, the best thing we can do is give our perfect effort instead of focusing on a perfect result. Focusing of the effort helps us to make the most of the journey to our goal. Instead of seeing just the pin on the map, we can enjoy each of the twists, turns, topography and sights that are before us. It opens our hearts and our minds to all the things, all the people and all the experience that we will encounter along the way to our destinations. It brings fulfillment and a sense of accomplishment in each step - not just when we have reached the apex. When we focus on the effort the joy in our journey can be recognized by ourselves and by those around us. It allows us to actually live our journey instead of dying along the way.

There is one more thought to keep in mind. The only perfect thing that science has recognized is something that can live on and on and on. It has no time clock that tells it when it is supposed to turn off. It continues on without ailment of its own if it is allowed to. It multiplies, grows and dominates. The only perfect thing that science can identify is a cancer cell. Cancer can kill us. Perfection given the wrong place in our life is a cancer.

On my own epitaph, I would rather have it read "She Lived Life" not that she "Perfected Life". How about you? Do you have expectations of perfection in your life? Do they have a healthy place in your life?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

What Does It Mean To Have It All?

So Many Messages!

There are so many articles, sites, and inspirational memes telling us we can have it all. From social media, to television, to good old fashioned books, someone is always telling us how we can do it better, do it more, and do it to perfection. We can balance this, add that, explore that one more thing. We are constantly told that we can have it all.

Can we have it all?

The general feeling of having it all is being successful in a full time career or business, and active and fulfilling social life, great relationships, the perfect family, a beautiful home, the family dog.... it is the general feeling that you can continue to add to the mix, until you feel complete and happy, and that you will have the time, the energy and the ability to balance it all successfully. If you are managing it all right, you should be able to fit the next thing, the next accomplishment, and the next obligation in with no problem.

Sounds doable - Right?

Having it all shouldn't be that difficult - at least not according to social messages we hear. If we are not or choose not to meet one of the areas above, or if we struggle in one of the areas, the messages we hear make us feel "less than". We feel like we don't have it all. The measure of all becomes a measuring stick that we assess ourselves by. If we can not figure out how to "do" all, we have failed.

But, Who Defines ALL Anyway?

If we let the world define all, we will never reach it. all will be a continually changing goal. A goal that is always moving, may be momentarily attained but will quickly fleet. The world's all will be something that we spend our lifetime chasing and our energy trying to keep.

We Should Define our ALL!

However, if we define our all, that is when we can reach and keep it. If all fits our own picture we can find the balance and contentment. When we measure all to our own yardstick, the feeling of lacking ceases. If our all picture includes all of the social expectations mentioned above, that's great. We can work on achieving contentment with that. If our all includes only part of those expectations, that is great too. The measure of all is where we each individually feel content, not where the world tells us we should feel content.

Truth be told, we can't all give 100% to each and every role we play at each and every moment. We can give 100% to them individually while we are present in them each individually. As women, we each decide where our contentment is and where our all is fulfilled. Each woman's all is unique, it is individual, and it is enough.

As a Woman Enough, you define the "ALL" in having it all. If you let anyone else define it, then your are giving away your power, your choice and your DAZZLE .

Do you feel like you can or do have it all?

If so, why?

If not, why not?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Can You Take The Pressure?

Have you ever looked at the sparkle of a diamond and thought about how it got it's shine? It is an amazing process...

About 100 miles below the earth's surface, carbon atoms are under immense pressure and heat in the mantle of this great terrestrial ball. The amount of pressure ( over 435,000 to over 725,000 pounds per square inch *) and the heat the carbon experiences ( 752 - 2192 degrees Fahrenheit *) are intense and overwhelming. But the process yields something of great beauty that remains hidden in the earth- often for millions of years until it is dug out, or is expelled by violent volcanic eruptions and brought to the surface.

Although we understand the numerical value of the heat and the pressure and the temporal value of the number of years that the gems stay hidden in the earth, our brains just can't wrap themselves around what that would actually be like. We think we have no relational or relevant experience to compare to the process of the creation of a diamond. But, in reality, we do.

Our lives are much like those carbon atoms.

In our daily existence as women, we organically undergo incredible pressures and forces. From the biological processes that are specific to us as women, to the relational pressures that we feel, to the weight of the world that we so often carry on our shoulders, who we are is continual metamorphosis impacted by the mass that life places upon us. Friction in the roles we play and the situations in life that we encounter create intense heat in addition to the impact of the of the pressure. We are compressed, warmed and refined - deep inside the mantle of our existence. Often we remain hidden until a force beyond ourselves uncovers the gem we have become - an external encounter that removed the soil and rock from upon us, or an internal combustion that thrust us out into our brilliance. We come from the pressure and heat, emerging as multifaceted, highly valuable, and incredibly strong precious stones. From the compression of life, we emerge as diamonds.

Be grateful for the pressure. 

The moments of life that feel as if they are crushing and burning us, are merely intensifying our shine. It is in those moments that our facets are being cut and our luster is being clarified. A woman who has not been challenged does not shine. A woman who has taken the pressure DAZZLES!

How about you? Can you take the pressure?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Woman Enough - Don't Sell Yourself Short! Finding "The One"

The Greatest Gift

The greatest gift a woman can give herself is to take the risk, the adventure and the experience of walking independently in life for a least a little while. She should take the opportunity to show herself of what she is capable of.  This is a gift she will treasure in her life, and it will do her much good.

A Woman Enough knows that she has  many paths and opportunities before her in life.  She is an amazing and beautiful creature, full of love,  full of life, and full of the ability to to great things in life.  Her heart for others and for good are a shining beacon in this world.  She is brilliant, she sparkles, and she dazzles.


There are often times when she will want to share those with someone else.  She will be venturing on a new path and a new experience...finding "the one".  The companion and confidant that can share the roads with her, be her traveling partner, and co-maker of dreams. That road can be scary and confusing. But, from one Woman Enough to another Woman Enough, this advice is offered:

The ONE Will:
  • Be passionate about you, not possessive over you.
  • Complete your feeling of love, but not you.  He will compliment the completeness of who you already are.
  • Court you, even after he has your heart.
  • Love you for who you were, who you are, and who you will become - not for who you could be. 
  • Not step in to fix things for you without asking, but instead support your foundations, allowing you to make the repairs on your own.
  • Know when your need to be heard is more important than his need to speak. 
  • Consider your feelings in the decisions he makes.
  • Stand up and protect you, yet not shelter to so that you don't experience the world.
  • Put you on a pedestal, yet hold the ladder steady for you when you need to climb down and be human and flawed - and he will love that about you.
  • Respect your boundaries.
  • Not prod your painful spots, but work to be the salve that helps them heal.  
  • Not try to change you.
  • Know when he needs to be your Knight,  when you need to be the one at the reigns calling the shots, and when you both need to be a team to reach the goal. 
  • Trust, cherish, desire and empower you.
  • Be committed to you and want to work through the tough times when they do arise - which should not be often.
  • Support you in your efforts and successes.
  • Comfort you in your falls. 
  • Encourage you to reach for your dreams, and not be jealous or intimidated when you reach them. 
  • Be your safe place where you can let your hopes, fears, desires, ideas,wishes, dreams, and frustrations be heard without fear of being judged. 

It takes a bit of time and effort to recognize all of these things in "the one".  Many of them take practice to hone and truly live out in a relationship.  But, if you don't see at least a seed, a glimmer, a spark from the beginning, step back and take a look. If they are not there at all or if they are not growing, they may never be what you need.  Don't place your hopes in them appearing "someday" and you being able to grow those seeds or ignite those sparks. They are inherent in the one for you - and in you if you are the one for them.

Relationships take work, but should never be a constant struggle or battle -  especially early on. Don't ever, EVER sell yourself short on what you are worthy of in a relationship.  You were beautifully and wonderfully made. The one will recognize the prize that you are.

One more thing....

He will always open the door for you.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Hawk And The Song Bird

A huge and powerful hawk soared overhead with a treasure in his talons.  He landed on a light post to enjoy the fruits of his labor, squawking and calling with victory and delight.  He confidently and cockily surveyed his hunting grounds, looking proud of what he had conquered.  Little did he know that in his over-confidence, he overlooked what would be nothing less that a formidable opponent, and the interrupter of his meal.

From the south, in all her beauty and all her might flew a little yellow bellied song bird.  Knowing that her territory must remain safe for her nest, she ignored that the hawk was seven times her size with talons and a beak that could end her flight with one contact.  Tenaciously, she began an aerial campaign of diving, fluttering, singing, and badgering.  Even in the midst of the  hawks warning squawks and calls, she continued.  Circling, swooping, chirping - she dove and pecked until her opponent conceded.  The hawk in defeat, gathered his catch in his claws and flew off as the little song bird followed him ensuring that  he wouldn't return.

As women, we face this type of challenge often.  We are in positions where we must go toe to toe with an opponent that is bigger than us.  When looking at the pairings, by all logic and reason the larger opponent would win.  But, there is something in us as women that shatters this logic.  From deep inside us, we find the strength, the courage, and like the little bird, the tenacity to face the challenges.  We stay at it, not without fear, but with a will that outweighs the fear.  As the opponent retreats, we keep a watchful eye to ensure that at least for the moment, it does not return. We do it for ourselves, our families and our relationships.

In moments of doubt and self consciousness, look at those victories. Whatever they may have been, a relationship hurdle, an illness, a job stressor or inequity, a two year old's temper tantrum, our own inner wars - when we come out the other side still standing and knowing that we stand triumphant in result or simply triumphant in character, that is a victory. Remember and call on these for reassurance that  you can stand strong.

When we have gone up against the hawk armed with nothing but our song and our will, we are Woman Enough!

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Power of NO!

We all do it. We Say Yes too often!

When our plates are already full to the brim, we say yes to one more commitment. We say yes to participating in activity or event that we don't really want to attend. Our answer is often "yes" to the question, "Is that ok?", even when it really isn't. Life and relationship decisions are often made with our answer of yes, even though we know in our hearts that the yes is not a 100% agreement.

We need to start saying NO!

No is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it can be a very empowering thing. Sure there are times when it is not ethical or appropriate to use no. When our assertion of no is used to hold down another's legitimate right and power, simply for the sake of our own selfishness, then that is not a positive use of the word. If we say no to every single thing that comes our way, then that is not good either. There are also times when we use it in our own self talk ("no I won't ever be able to", or "no that could never be me") that it has a negative effect on who we think we are. But when used properly it is a very powerful tool that preserves our time, our self, and empowers us to reach our goals and sense of fulfillment.

But there are also times when it is a good thing to say no

Each person has a different set of life circumstances and obligations  Some things you may not be able to say no to because of family responsibility, need to provide, and need for something to get done.  Outside of that, there are times when saying no is a good thing.

1. Health, Safety and Welfare Are at Stake - This is usually a pretty easy no to say.  When we can foresee that a yes answer could compromise us or those around us that word can easily fall from our lips.  However, even this one can be tricky to say if there are other factors shielding our foresight.  The prospect of promotion, relationship or reward can shield us to consequences.  Be aware of this before automatically saying yes to a sounds too good to be true prospect.

2. Yes is an Appeaser - When we say yes simply to avoid a conflict, then no was probably the right answer.   Yes in this case is used as an avoidance tool of dealing with a larger issue.  A better way to approach the situation is to discuss, clearly and and without blame, stating your reason for not agreeing.  Saying yes when it's just to appease the other doesn't leave you feeling good about the experience.  Either way there may be some conflict and discomfort, but by using your no it opens up the possibility for discussion and dialogue.

3. When Your Pitcher is Empty - As women, we tend to pour out of ourselves even after we have nothing left to give.  For some reason, we commit to filling other's cups, even when the pitcher is dry  Recognizing this is not only healthy; it is necessary for us to be able to function, exist, and truly live in the amazing way that we were created to live. Say no when you are dry.  After all, we can quench another's thirst if our pitcher is empty!

4. When Your Yes is Your Pattern of Accommodating - As a reformed accommodator, I know what it is like to set my ideas, dreams, and plans aside so someone else can have theirs.  I used to say I was flexible, but one day I realized that the truth was that I didn't give my own feelings, dreams, wishes and plans the same respect that I gave others.  Once I saw the value in my own assertions, I was able to stop living everyone else's life, and start living my own.  Do I say yes on occasion  still? Of course. But I have learned to balance that with a healthy dose of  no.

Each person will use no differently. That's OK.  What is important is that Women Enough know that they have the power, the authority, the courage, and the confidence to say no.  Just because another asks, requests, suggests, or expects, does not mean that we are obligated to say yes.  Instead, we need to search and know ourselves.  We need to not be hesitant to empower ourselves and embrace the power of NO!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Yes Media Giant, I AM Mom Enough! My Reaction to the Controversy

As much as I didn't want to contribute to a media giant's pocketbook, I found it necessary to purchase the latest addition of a magazine so I could understand, opine, and discuss the latest controversial magazine cover.  You probably know the one I am talking about.... the one with the woman on the cover breast-feeding the toddler. The cover that is causing so much discussion and debate.  The one that is supposedly igniting the incendiary kindling of the parenting divides.

I Just read the "Are You Mom Enough?' in Time.  I went into my reading feeling very angry about the decision to use such a controversial photo. Although I was not personally offended by it, it irritated and angered me that this was not a representation of most nursing mothers as I  understand them to be.  I personally was not that nursing mother, though that does not mean they don't exist. If that is the  way they choose to parent, they have every right to do so - and I support them.

The cover made it seem that there was huge debate over what makes you woman enough.  The communication of the photo was that if you didn't nurse  your children for an extended period of time then you were not "mother enough". When I read the article, I took away some opinions, realizations and impressions.

My impressions...

1. Cover was strictly for controversy/sales - Only 2 or 3 sentences were devoted to this lady on the cover. Her image was used to create buzz, shock, awe, argument, and as a result, sales.  Commentators and the public fixated on this single issue of breast-feeding.  It became an issue of breastfeeding, but in reality, the article talked some about that, but more about the general idea of attachment parenting.

2. Article notes flash points and divides in parenting communities.  From what I see, these incendiary issues only seem to become incendiary when they are picked up by popular press and media. I have never had another parent come up to and exclaim "Your parenting sucks!" You're going to forever damage your child by parenting them!"  I have never had a breastfeeding mother scream at me to take the bottle out of my child's mouth.  Nor have I had a non breast-feeding mother scream at me to stop nursing.  It just doesn't seem to be, in my opinion as divisive of an issue as popular press makes it out to be. Certainly there are a few on the extreme side of the argument, but there are innumerable others that are ok and accepting of how you choose to parent - as long as you are parenting out of love and best interest of your child.

3. Ideas in the parenting style from three people's observation or what they experienced as children. m The three primaries in this article that are noted with really making the idea of attachment parenting popular based much of their ideas from what they experienced, or wish they had experienced in childhood, or from observations they  had made watching other's children.  In reality, we all shape our ideas about parenting through what we have experienced ourselves, using what works and hopefully not using what doesn't.  We parent from what we had  received and what we wished we received. We do the best we can to be the best parents we can, in the way that best suits us and our children. Attachment parenting is "A" way to parent, not the only way.

4. Women  may be redefining what they are as mothers based on man's opinion of what a mother should be, and how she can "best" mother her child.  That said, I truly believe the Doctor behind this idea has the best intentions, is brilliant in his field, is a support and comfort to his patients, and truly cares for children and mothers.  That is clear in his life's work and in how the article portrayed him.  However, there is something special that happens when a woman holds a baby, births a baby breast feeds a baby - whether it is her biological child or not.  I don't know if it's the estrogen in our bodies or the way our brains are wired, but here is an intuitive and instinctive part of mothering.  As much as a man can try, I don't know that he can have the same gut responses to the nurturing of a child.  Does it mean he is wrong? NO! But, we should not ignore what our own instincts and guts are telling us as women solely  based on the ideas and information of an expert.  As a mother, we know our children intimately.  We read their signals. We can look at them and know if they are sick, sad, happy,. content.  We should not ignore our own knowledge of our children.

5. The ideas of attachment parenting give leeway to what parents do and adopt - it seems to be parents that ascribe to an "all in" approach.  Attachment parenting is a continuum.  It is was not portrayed as an "all or nothing" way to parent, but more of if this works for you and you are comfortable with it, use it philosophy.  It was noted that perceived stringency and the opinion of how stringently it should be followed, in the view of the primaries, has  changed as time has gone on.  Life has changed for so many people as have the daily responsibilities of running a household.  It is acknowledged that not every aspect of the idea of attachment parenting will work for every person.  But, there are those that will take every aspect to heart.  It may work for them, but it does not mean it has to work for everyone.
This article was a buzz piece though not evil. It was controversy for sales.  I have even heard it said that it is supposed to be a conversation starter.

As a parent and as a woman, I know that controversy does not cause conversation, it causes argument .  Argument creates sides. Sides create division. Division leads to an unwillingness to listen. An unwillingness to listen leads to no forward movement.

Instead of division, we need to support each other and know that we each have a different parenting style and different things work for us and for our children. We need to share dialogue, not argument.  As moms and as women, our hearts should be open to new ideas, even if we don't adopt them for ourselves.  Honest assessments of ourselves and changing what we should, but holding firm to what our instincts and hearts tell us as mothers makes us WOMAN ENOUGH!

Say it with me......

I am MOM enough!