#MondayMotivation Own your Awesome

Ever hear a news story and it just sticks with you? This was the case for an interview that NPR did with soccer star Julie Foudy.  Take a minute to read or a listen to Julie!

I remember exactly when I heard this story too: it was on the way to my photo shoot for my new website and marketing consulting business. I wanted to “own it” on the shoot and be myself.

Julie Foudy talks about how she learned about different styles of leadership from her soccer team mates. She explains:

They showed me that asserting your own leadership style is most important — being authentically you.

This reminds me of the quote that goes something like, “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.”

Don’t be afraid to be uniquely you, find your voice, and do something that matters to you. In the process of getting out of your comfort zone, you may surprise yourself and inspire others along the way.

Starting my own business has had moments of sheer excitement and panic. “Am I really doing this?” has crossed my mind more times that I can count. Still, I persist in times when I feel uncomfortable or uncertain. I trust the network of friends, family and colleagues who have provided support and encouragement.  I step back and do research to help be more prepared and informed about whatever it is that I’m facing. I’m doing it all in my own way, owning my awesome!

And that photo shoot that I mentioned earlier? I think the results help show my awesome.

Cheers to owning your awesome! Have a great Monday!

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Times When You Can’t Find the Right Words

I’ve been blogging a little less (which isn’t saying a lot, as I’m far from a daily blogger), because I just can’t find the right words.

This isn’t anything terribly unique for a blogger, as you all are probably nodding your heads in agreement as you read this.

I can’t find the right words as I am learning about the journey that friends of mine are going through as I write – a major medical diagnosis for their beautiful two year old son that has been followed by multiple surgeries. My heart aches for them as it is one of parenting’s worst nightmares come true. I also am in awe of their amazing strength, faith, and love as they honestly share their story and celebrate the little victories with their son. Even in some of their most difficult days, they seem to be able to notice some good moments the keep them uplifted. It is inspiring.

On their own Caring Bridge journal, they say the comments and support from their virtual community is helping to look to the light. I feel a little helpless, thinking are my prayers, thoughts, and comments enough? How else can I give them a long-distance hug across several states?

This isn’t the first time someone I’ve cared about has faced a major medical condition with a child before. My nephew was diagnosed with a heart defect on the day he was born. It was a huge shock to us all then, and I can clearly remember being in the room when the doctor delivered the news. Horrible. Unexpected. Fear. Uncertainty. Prayers. At the time, I didn’t feel equipped with the right words, just as I feel now.

Fortunately, my sister and brother-in-law were supported by an incredible medical team and a local support group for parents of children with heart defects.  These parents understood all too well what my sister and brother in law were going through.  I was happy she had that outlet, knowing they would provide words of support and comfort that I could not based on my own life experience.

There’s no handbook for parents for handling such things. Being a parent is a scary business.

Before and after my nephew’s heart surgery (which now seems like a distant memory, as he is now a healthy, goofy, and energetic almost 3 year old), I did what I could to show my love and support in the most basic ways – making or bringing meals, watching my three-year old nephew, just listening, and fervently praying.

In times of crisis it all seems to come back to the basics of love. Doing our best to act out of love and  simply “be present” in whatever way we can be.

I’m inclined to believe that the right words don’t matter so much because God senses our innermost thoughts and hears our prayers.

In the spirit of not being able to find the right words, I’m going to close this post with a petition for prayer or kind thoughts (whatever your beliefs may be) for my friend’s son and for all families and individuals battling an illness.  Let us also pray for all caregivers, medical professionals, and supporters who care for the sick and their families. May our actions, thoughts, and prayers help wrap patients and their families up in one huge, comforting hug.

Story of Mum: mums making an exhibition of ourselves

I came across this amazing post from Mum Turned Mom this morning, and it’s words truly resonated with me. I could relate to being defined by what I did – my job – and the difficult decision to make a career downshift when I had my two, beautiful children.  It was the best decision I have EVER made, and I am a much happier mom (now working part-time) with more balance and gratitude in my life.

Read on as this fellow Mum / Mom serves as curator for this virtual exhibition, and enjoy the happy, go-mama message!

Story of Mum: mums making an exhibition of ourselves.

Blogging Blues

“Keep going. Keep going!”  a little whiny voice repeats over and over again in my ear.

I’ve experienced a sort of blogging blues as of late.  I’ve been at this for awhile, though still less than a year, so I’ve been pondering my overall blogging purpose.

Was I right to choose the “working mom on the go” concept in the first place? Is it a bit overdone?  Is my voice truly unique and different?  Do I care about really growing readership, or am I just doing this for “me?”  Before blogging, I felt that something was lacking in my current social media involvement – that a short Facebook update wouldn’t effectively communicate my state of mind nor narrate the trials and tribulations and pure joys of parenting / job hunting and eventually working part time.

Does my almost 2 year old’s mantra of “keep going” have a hidden meaning for Go Mama O.com?  Perhaps…

In my last post about the Do Gooder Summer Reading Challenge, I was inspired by The Happy Guide and reminded of a solid Teddy Roosevelt quote (you’ll have to check out the post to read it). Can I embrace the Nike tag line and “Just Do It” when it comes to sitting down and blogging at least twice a week?  I hope so!

Technical Issues!

As I mentioned in Smart Outfit Planning Trick, I was having some technical issues with my blog.  This boiled down to trying to blog solely from a smartphone or my Nook tablet, and I was getting frustrated with both of these options.  The mobile sites and smaller screens just lack some of the functionality of the full site.  Plus the smaller screens hurt my eyes after some time, so I was opting for much shorter posts.  Finally, I really enjoy sitting at my computer desk and tapping away at a real keyboard.  As fun as my drag & swipe technology may be on my phone, there’s just something more satisfying about typing.  Then again, maybe I’m old school – more Gen X than the tech saavy Gen Y’ers.

Are you a mobile or desktop blogger?  Which site do you prefer?

Emotional Benefits of Blogging

Ultimately, I think what will keep me going on my blog is the quiet time and peace that I experience when I carve out some time just for me and my own little site.  I may not be the funniest, flashiest, or BEST blog out there, but that’s not what I’m going for.  This is MY outlet and space to be authentic and even classic Cathy O.  I truly value the virtual connections that I’ve formed with my friends and followers, who help validate and encourage me to keep going.  THANK YOU dear readers! 

So yes, I think I will keep going here at Go Mama O.

How do you “keep going” on your own blog? Do you share similar sentiments?

Do Good, Read More Summer Reading Challenge

Quote

I recently read about the Do Good, Read More Summer Reading Challenge at The Do-Gooder Mama’s blog, and I was inspired…but not immediately moved to action. The truth is I have been a bit lazy and TIRED lately from all of the summer fun, and blogging seems to be harder to do when the weather is beautiful.

Do Good Read More Summer Reading Challenge

Anyway, tonight I am motivated and raring to join the Summer Reading Challenge!

Today I found The Happy Guide with a post of delicious looking summer adult beverages (whoo hoo the kids are in bed – party time), and another post of favorite inspirational quotes.

One that seemed particularly meaningful to my current state of mind and lack of blogging –

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”
Jack London

Well said Jack!  I will try to take your advice in the search for inspiration / motivation.

I also love this quote from Theodore Roosevelt (that I came across while reading an Oprah interview with Brene Brown):

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…[And] if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

Cheers to all of us “bloggers” in the arena, sharing our stories, and putting ourselves out there.  Keep going & ignore the naysayers, who may simply be onlookers.  Special thanks to the Do Gooder Mama for inspiring me to discover new blogs among many other good things!