Tag Archives: Womanhood

Speak Up

Speak UpI’m approaching my two year anniversary of being a single, working mom. During training for my first position at work, I asked a lot of questions. Toward the end, I joked to my trainer that she was probably sick of me talking so much in class. To my surprise, she told me she wanted me to speak up, both in volume and frequency. To say the least, I was surprised our perceptions were so different.

Nine months later I was promoted. The initial ego boost faded over the 9 weeks of training, I felt like my brain was going to explode as my confidence plummeted. I answered the trainer’s questions, but she moved on like I didn’t say anything. Again I thought I was actively participating, but my trainer rarely heard me and wanted me to speak up.

I read an article about how women share an idea in the work force that gets no response until a man suggests the same idea. I have seen this scenario play out countless times. But I have also seen strong and confident women who not only get noticed, but are also respected as natural leaders.

For me, speaking up is more than overcoming society’s tendency to turn to men for leadership. Speaking up is a matter of confidence; an inner strength in knowing who I am and what’s important to me. I’ve come to understand how important it is to know myself and learn to be comfortable in my own skin.

This seems like it should be a simple concept, but it is a long and challenging process filled with victories and failures. There continues to be, an unraveling of who I thought I was and what I believe. I feel like I’m trying to hit a moving target without knowing what the target looks like.

I think I’m way too old to be “discovering myself”, but it’s important to strip down to my core and see what it is that makes me, me.  That understanding builds my authentic self that I’m hoping is a strong, confident woman who is never afraid to speak up.

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My Pursuit in Excellence

Last year I started working outside of the home and began the divorce process. I knew these significant life changes would take some adjusting. I didn’t know that adjusting would go so deep and take so long. These adjustments have changed my definition of excellence, at least in some of the details. My pursuit in excellence (PIE) is still not a piece of cake, especially since I’m still figuring out what excellence looks like now?

Crater Monument TrailFocusing on that question, leads me to wonder how to record my pursuit in excellence, when I don’t know what excellence looks like to me. Where does this blog fit in with this transition? Is it book reviews and recipes? Cub Scouts and parties? Since working full time, all of those activities occur less frequently now. While they seem fairly superficial, the can be parts of my journey because they are a vehicle to bond with those I love, and avenues for growth. But what are my deeper focuses? Am I brave enough to really open up about the inner transformation I’m undergoing? Let’s hope so.

Thank you to those who have stuck with me through this transition. I appreciate your support and encouragement as I find my way down the bumpy path. Hopefully we can help each other along the journey toward excellence.

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Circular Thinking

I don’t know if it’s a girl thing, or if it’s just me.  I think in spirals, around and around a subject, gradually coming to an understanding. Or making me dizzy like a merry go round.  Sometimes this circular thinking is frustrating; it seems to take so long to make sense of life.  I hope to understand it one day.  I guess that’s why it’s a pursuit in excellence, not snap to excellence.

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Nurturing Voices

As I continue to nurture myself, I noticed the voices in my head.  Not the crazy ones; but that internal conversation we all have as we go through our day.  One morning I was feeling particularly low, and I realized that the most upbeat Bubbly Betty would deflate with the beating I was giving myself. I needed to switch out the bad for some nurturing voices.

I know the importance of positive self talk, and I was surprised to catch myself so deeply entrenched in the opposite.  Once I’m down there, it can be hard to climb out.  I have found a few tools to help me get back in the light.

  • List off the positive things I’ve done today.  Sometimes it’s as simple as I read scriptures with my children and got them off to school, I exercised, I did laundry.  Just the act of looking for the good about myself helps diminish all that’s wrong with me.
  • Write my thoughts down.  These thoughts aren’t usually something I want to keep in my journal for posterity, but just the process of letting it out helps tremendously – then I can burn it!
  • Exercise clears my head and distracts those negative voices.  Who can be sad when your loving your body with movement?
  • Read something uplifting, whether it’s the scriptures, the Ensign or a spiritually inclined book.  Tight now I’m reading Max Lucado’s Just Like Jesus. Sometimes the escape of a good fiction helps, but spiritual books leave me with a feeling that lasts a little longer.

Now that I’m aware, I can pull from my arsenal to get me out of that trench and get back to nurturing the only me I have – these tools are much more effective than chocolate!  How do you turn around those down days?


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