Becoming the Woman You Always Dreamed You Could Be
I’m declaring this year as the year of the Emerging Woman. It excites me as I begin to discover and define myself as “emerging.” I can hardly wait to wake up each morning to continue the process. I know it’s happening because it almost hurts to stay the same. By struggling to keep things the same, it restricts the possibilities of my tomorrow because I can only see the point of reference I have today.
That must be exactly how the butterfly feels just before she breaks free of her cocoon… or the baby chick, before she cracks the shell to freedom. They have no idea what the new world is like-they just know it’s waiting and they must emerge, no matter what.
That feeling happens to me every time I’m about to break out of an old pattern, an old life, and an old way of being. My thoughts become almost chaotic, and once the breakthrough happens, there’s a feeling of knowing this is what it was meant to, be all along.
That’s how I felt just before I wrote my book, “How to Survive the Worst that can Happen.” I resisted it for a long time. I feared delving into my sorrow in the loss of my son, but a voice inside of me kept calling, “do it, and it will change your life forever. It’s your legacy to help others.” That voice was right.
The word “emerging” is an adjective that comes from the core verb “emerge.” See if you can relate to any of these definitions in the dictionary:
1. To rise and come forth into view
2. To come into existence
3. Become apparent, important, or prominent.
4. This one excites me most of all because it is relevant to my life: Recover (to emerge ) from or survive a difficult or demanding situation.
The emerging woman is the lure of becoming something more, yet something that was always meant to be.
When I was a young girl, I first witnessed a transformation like this in my mom. She was a natural beauty with the gorgeous good looks of a movie star. She managed a spotless house while raising 5 children.
Mom and Dad provided an adventurous life for us. We moved 12 times before I turned 12 because my Dad was in the Navy. Every trek to a new home meant we’d be traveling in our station wagon on a remarkable zig-zag tour of the United States. We visited every park, historical site, and monument until we reached the destination of our new home.
Mom packed the Station Wagon full of blankets and pillows, games, peanut butter on Wonder Bread, and fresh apples. The smell of apples still reminds me of road trips long ago.
Mom and Dad loved to sing, so to endure the long hours in the car, they often belted show tunes from Music Man or High Society and we’d join in, knowing every word because they had played them so often on the HiFi.
As we grew older and needed Mom less, she grew restless. I’d hear her listening to Earl Nightingale on the radio while Dad was at work. Earl was one of the early pioneers in the self-help industry. One of the phrases that memorialized him as a great thinker and inspirational mentor was: "We become what we think about."
It was then I saw Mom begin to emerge as the woman she was called to become. One day, she opened a restaurant, knowing absolutely nothing about the restaurant business. She didn’t care because failure wasn’t an option. She learned everything she could and miraculously her restaurant became hugely successful.
For Mom, it wasn’t so much about creating a place to eat as it was about creating a culture and environment where people wanted to gather. There would be lines out the door for customers to grab lunch, a piece of pie, and a chat. Mom knew most of the people by name, and they certainly knew hers. My brothers and sisters and I all worked there and it became part of our home life.
I’m so proud of my mom for teaching me that life has cycles and if you feel a calling and believe you can do something, just do it! I watched her build that restaurant to its success never having had any experience other than feeding our family.
Are you at the stage of emergence? Have you thought about what you’d like to achieve more than anything in the world?
Here are a few tips for paving the way to your emergance:
1. Ask yourself: Am I feeling a calling, a transition, a pull to look at something new coming into my life? Do you feel your heart’s desire? If so, are you able to name it yet, or is it still just a restlessness within.
2. Set your intention that this year is going to be different than last year by choosing a time and place to dream of the possibilities. Write down those dreams.
3. What steps do you believe you have to take to achieve this dream? (such as education, financial strategies, support from your spouse, training, etc.)
4. Identify what’s at stake. Could it be a possible change in a job, a relationship, or education?
5. Can you continue with your life as it is and incorporate this calling, or are there things you need to implement or say goodbye to, in order to begin the transformation? .
6. Write down 5 to 7 goals you intend to achieve in the next 12 months. You don’t need to wait until January 1st! Get started now! Goals are specific reachable steps for shaping your life. Write down why you want to achieve them and then give them a due date. For example, instead of saying I want to lose weight, write down, “I want to release 10 pounds. I want to achieve this goal because I know I feel more confident and energetic when I’m at my optimum weight.” Due date: April 1.
7. Here’s the fun part… Take a few minutes and visualize your life as it will be after you’ve become a woman who’s emerged. Close your eyes and visualize how your morning starts, what your day will be like, and how your evening ends. Imagine everything from the clothes you’ll wear, the job you’re doing, what your place of business will look like, who your customers are, and even where you’re planning a vacation. Write all of this down as though you’re telling the elaborate story of your day to someone you love. Read it periodically out loud over the next few weeks.
Because you’ve taken these steps, it’s very possible you’ll make these dreams come true! My mom did, and I’m so proud of her and grateful she demonstrated that even though life continues to hand you challenges, the willingness to transform opens up new possibilities.
Living life fully means creating opportunities as your heart calls you to emerge. By making changes and adjustments you’re making room for the transformation. It also can mean saying goodbye and finding completion in situations that don’t work for you anymore. Don’t be afraid, that fear you’re feeling is your heart’s call to your personal greatness.
The secret is in the thinking, and maybe Earl Nightengale was right: "We become what we think about." It certainly worked for my mom, and I’m so proud she had the courage to believe she could, with all her heart.
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