Moms, It’s Time to Rekindle the Woman in You!

February is upon us already!

It seems like just yesterday we were popping champagne and celebrating the new year. We were full of excitement as we laid out our new year’s resolution and started visualizing all the changes we were about to make.  I knew then and still believe, that 2013 is going to be a grand year!

Yet all around me I see what I do every year about this time– people falling right back into the same old routine and habits. Moms letting go of personal dreams because life just takes over… So I challenge you not to fall into that trap.  Rekindle the excitement of the new year and make some simple changes to reconnect with your dreams and boldly make this year your year.

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Image credit: phartisan / 123RF Stock Photo

Here are a few ideas to get you back on track.

Change your ‘Do’

A few weeks ago I ran into a friend whom I had not seen since before Christmas.  She was sporting a sexy new hairdo and I complimented her on her new look. She smiled and answered simply: “new year, new ‘do’!”

I loved hearing that!  Behind these simple words is a powerful truth.  There is something magical about getting a new hairstyle.  Whether you’re playing with color or going for a completely new cut, a new hairstyle can change your perspective of yourself and inspire you to create major changes in your life.  And what better way to start the new year than with new attitude and energy?

Are you ready to look and feel edgy, sophisticated, hip, artsy?  If you’re ready for renewed confidence and a spring in your step, it’s time for a new “do”.

For most of my childhood I had short hair.  So when I got to college I decided to let it grow out and practically did not cut it for the next four years except for a few trims here and there.  And the crazy thing is that I kept it that way for more than a decade! Mind you I’m not one to spend hours blow drying or styling my hair, so I’d put it up un a pony tail most of the time.

After the birth of my second daughter I attended a fundraiser at which I won a gift certificate for a Beverly Hills Salon.  It was time for a new look!  After booking my appointment I perused various magazines in search of inspiration.  But when I met my stylist, and he asked me what I had in mind, I asked instead “what do you think?”  I sensed right away that I was in the hands of a true artist.  He cut my hair into the cutest little pixie, just a few inches long!  I did a bit of a double take when seeing the new “me” in the mirror…

Wow!  was this really me?I loved it!

It was so exhilarating to decide to trust and walk out with a bold new look that I never would have chosen myself. I felt invigorated, sexy and beautiful, confident and a few years younger!

And of course, I had to go on a shopping spree to match my new “do”.  It was truly a fabulous experience.  I’ve kept the same stylist since that first cut and have always trusted him to give me just the right look… At least until about a year ago, when my daughters begged me to let my hair grow out because they’d never really known me with long hair. but that’s another story…

The beauty of that experience was my decision to trust my stylist with my new look and let go of any expectations.  I believe allowing someone else to bring out what they see in you that you may not see is invaluable and truly magical.  We see ourselves in our daily role, as mothers or professionals… The reflection we see in the mirror is always the same. Having that outside perspective is pure gold!  The right stylist will take time to observe you and bring what you’ve stopped looking for in a fresh and exciting way.

Take a Class!

When my oldest daughter was 5 she fell in love with horseback riding.  She had taken a few lessons during her summer stay in the South of France with my parents, and when she came home she pleaded “I don’t care if I don’t do anything else, but  please, may I take horse back riding lessons!”  I could understand her passion as this is something I had always dreamed about doing as well.  Although I’d gone to several summer riding camps, it was never something I did on a regular basis and I connected intensely with my daughter’s longing.

So I began researching my options, talking to friends who had their children in local riding programs and visiting a number of stables until I found the program that suited us best.  During that process, I shared with a friend how much I had dreamt of taking riding lessons as a child and she asked me simply “why don’t you sign up for lessons as well?”  I was about to give her an answer that I’m sure many of us have given before “I don’t have time” or “it’s too expensive” or even “I’m too old for that!”  Then I realized she was absolutely right!  Here I was willing to do whatever it takes to allow my daughter to follow her dreams and yet I was dismissing my own.

This is something I see time and again with friends and clients alike.  We wouldn’t think twice about signing up our children for music class, daily ice skating lessons, or private coaching to support their dream of becoming a fencing champion.  If our children have a passion, we’ll do whatever it takes to provide them with the opportunity to live out their dream.

But what about us?  Are we as determined to make that commitment to ourselves?  Sadly, the answer is all too often “no”.  Somehow, when we become a mom, our personal dreams get put on hold, indefinitely.

And yet, it is just as important for us moms to nurture our need for growth and explore a variety of hobbies as it is for our children.  Remember that a fulfilled mom is a happy mom, and a happy mom is a healthy mom!

So I challenge you — Make time for personal Enrichment!

Whatever strikes your fancy, be it photography, cake decorating, flower arrangements, architecture…  do something fun, something challenging.  Commit to a minimum of 1 month of classes and then enjoy!  I guarantee that not only will you love it, your family will too.  When they see you taking time to pursue something you love, they’ll celebrate with you and be inspired to follow in your footsteps.

Join a Mastermind Group

Last summer I joined my first mastermind group.  It was a small group of women with whom I had attended Experts Academy in May.  I  did not know them all at first but we all shared a similar goal: to grow personally and though our businesses!  We met via ooVoo once a week, shared our goals and struggles. our victories and our setbacks,  supported each other, held each other accountable and kept one another close in our hearts.  I’m now a part of several groups, one more focused on personal growth while the other offers me wonderful business insight and tools. I love the process and the beautiful relationships that I have formed through theses groups, but most of all the confidence I have gained in my new path and the personal growth I have achieved.

So what is a mastermind group?

Mastermind groups have grown in popularity over that past decade or so, as they offer a safe and exciting place to share and grow.  These groups have until recently been most common in the business world.  They offer professionals in the same field a place to gather and exchange ideas and strategies.  The ideal is to surround yourself with like minded people whose expertise compliments your own so that an empowering exchange of ideas can happen.  These groups are often small in size, and allow for a lot of intimacy.  When everyone in the group brings their unique experience, both professional and personal, along with their knowledge and ideas, with the sole purpose of sharing and growing with their peers, the possibilities are limitless.

Mastermind groups are formed around a common purpose or theme, such as a career path, or a life theme such as parenting or retirement. The ultimate goal of these groups is to give individual members a safe place for growth, tremendous support and to hold one another accountable.  The real magic happens when strong bonds are formed and a deep trust is established.  When you find the right mastermind group it’s like finding a new family, you become vested in each other’s success and are able to grow in powerful ways.

If you’ve never been a part of a mastermind group it may be a little intimidating at first, and finding the right group is essential for you to feel comfortable and really benefit from the group.  Confidentiality is an important aspect of the process as members often share intimate information during mastermind sessions.  But with the right group, the experience is exhilarating.  When you know you can trust and that your community is equally vested in your success as your are in theirs you discover things about yourself you may never have dreamt about.  And you are much more willing to step out and challenge yourself because you know that you are safe.

Get rid of the kids!

Now before you scold me hear me out!

I’ve always envied friends whose parents live near by with whom they have a close relationship.  They can easily drop the kids off for a few hours or a weekend escapade.  If like me your family is far away, however, taking that personal time off can be a little more challenging.  But it’s important to be able to decompress once in a while, reconnect with yourself and rekindle your sense of adventure.  Whether you go on a romantic weekend with your hubby, or a pampering weekend with your girlfriends, take a few days off at least once a month and indulge in just being you, a woman!

If you don’t have relatives that live close by and can take care of the kids for a few days, trade weekends with one of your girlfriends.  She takes your kids for a weekend and you take hers when she’s ready for her little get-away.

The kids get a special treat and you get to pamper and replenish.  Everyone wins!

My wish for you is that this is the year where you commit and follow through on being fully YOU!  That you embrace who you are as a woman and in the process enjoy a more fulfilling life with your loved ones.  Dare to be YOU first and foremost, and let your children celebrate with you the most extraordinary mom!

What will you do today to be more fully you?

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