This Mother’s Day: Choose Yourself and Reclaim Your E.P.I.C. Life
As this message reaches your inbox, it’s Mother’s Day… in the midst of a global pandemic. And if you’re anything like the vast majority of the mothers I’ve been talking with, you’ve been feeling disoriented and like you’ve lost yourself, during these last few months. You may even be wondering “how am I ever going to come back home to myself?”
I had been feeling this way too…overwhelmed with fear, moving through all the stages of grief, and juggling demands at home that now included supporting my children’s distance learning, on top of all the other things.
For the first time in the three years since I launched the podcast, I had stopped recording and releasing episodes. And I honestly wondered whether my work even mattered. All around me, life as I knew it was literally shut down while we physically sheltered in place. And inside, I also felt shut down.
This is not the first time I felt this way or found my way out.
About a decade into motherhood, after navigating developmental delays with my oldest and five years of infertility to get pregnant with my youngest, I realized that in focusing so much on my own children and what they needed, I had lost parts of myself and sidelined my dreams. An experience I had one day, opening the door for two birds that got trapped in my home, and were crashing into the glass to get out, helped me realize that I felt trapped too and needed a door opened for me.
But I also realized that no one else could help me, unless I opened the door for myself and took the first tentative steps toward what I now call my E.P.I.C. life. That day, in addition to motherhood, I also chose myself. And living my E.P.I.C. life became a manifesto, a simple but enduring framework.
In this special Mother’s Day episode, I share clips from my introductory episode with reflections on the E.P.I.C. Life framework itself and clips from episodes with past guests, whose words of wisdom have been lighting my way right now. I hope these stories and messages may spark a return to yourself if you need it.
Listen in for special clips lighting my way from episodes I’ll be re-releasing this week as part of a special series to light the way in the midst of challenge:
- Planting Seeds for Mother’s Quest – My Introductory Episode
- “E” engaging mindfully with our children – “Flawed” with Truth Bomb Mom Kristina Kuzmic
- “P” passionate and purposeful impact beyond our family – From Grief to Advocacy and a Circle of Mothers with Trayvon Martin’s Mother Sybrina Fulton
- “I” invested in ourselves – Choosing Gratitude and Glitter with Nancy Netherland
- “C” connected to a strong support network – Reclaiming Ourselves in Motherhood with Graeme Seabrook
Along with listening to these episodes, it was actually my son Ryan who really helped me. Telling him one night, while putting dishes in the dishwasher for what felt like the tenth time that day, that I was feeling depressed, he asked me “when was the last time you felt connected to your purpose, Mom? I notice you haven’t talked about Mother’s Quest in weeks.”
That question really sat with me. And then I remembered Graeme’s words from our interview again. Our stories matter. Our manifestos matter. And we need each other.
With that, and a few other sparks along the way, I got back to recording, I released an episode about the families seeking asylum at the border, a minisode about the creation of a “Pandemic Promise” to myself, and this Mother’s Day special episode that you’re listening to right now.
I also set in motion some epic plans for our third annual Mother’s Quest Manifesto Challenge, the one Graeme and I had created together. Taking place in the free Mother’s Quest Facebook Group, it’s a 7-day journey, beginning tomorrow, May 11th, to reclaiming ourselves, a chance to reflect together, along a new process I’m naming “CHOOSE,” and to create or refine our own manifestos for living our lives the way that matters, yes even in the midst of a pandemic.
As for me, I’ve learned on Mother’s Day, that in addition to spending time with my children, I need some time to myself. So, today I’ll be going on my favorite milestone hike, and when I reach the summit, I’ll sit down and listen to my favorite meditation, one called “Teshuvah” or “Return” in Hebrew, that brings new meaning to the idea of setting out on a journey and returning home. Of losing our center and finding it again.
So, this Mother’s Day, I invite you to do something that may help you find your center again, in whatever way could be possible given the real constraints in your life. And to consider exploring some questions: In what ways have you been feeling trapped? When was the last time you felt connected to your purpose? And how might you open a door for yourself…to choose yourself…and to take even just one tentative step closer to your version of an E.P.I.C. life?
Give Yourself a Gift this Mother’s Day!
Join us for the Mother’s Quest Manifesto Challenge
The Mother’s Quest Manifesto Challenge is a 7-day experience that will move you through a series of reflective prompts to support you in creating or refining a “manifesto” of your own to become an anchor in your life in these years that you are raising your children.
In addition to reflective prompts that I’ll share live in the group each morning, I’ve invited a different mother to also go live, to share their journey and manifestos and also to offer a tool or practice that would support the prompt we’re reflecting on.
This year, I’ll be exploring a new acronym mnemonic and framework “CHOOSE” that captures the process I went through when I claimed my manifesto…a process I realized has been with me in all the other times of my life when I shifted a perspective and moved myself forward in a powerful way.
Here is what’s in store for you in the next 7 days.
5/10 Mother’s Day with Graeme Seabrook – Both Graeme and I will be live in the group at some point to wish everyone a Happy Mother’s Day, welcome new members, share about why we co-created the challenge two years ago, and set the frame for the week.
5/11 Day 1: C with Lindsay Pera – “Claim” the experience or opportunity in front of you that calls you to something different; sometimes these are even painful moments you would not choose for yourself. Sometimes these feel like a “sign” that calls to you in mysterious ways. What is the “spark” for you?
5/12 Day 2: H with Jadah Sellner – “Hold space for reflection” give yourself an opportunity to pause and make meaning of what is happening so you can learn from it and consciously move forward in a different way
5/13 Day 3: O with Nic Strack – “Own the perspective” that is NOT serving you. What story are you telling yourself that feels outdated? Or what way of looking at something is feeling out of alignment or holding you back? Before you can move forward, it’s important to really look at where you are now.
5/14 Day 4: O with Jamie Greenwood – “Own a more empowering perspective” explore a new way of looking at something that resonates for you and that returns a sense of power to you
5/15 Day 5: S with Amy Walsh and Elsie Escobar – “Stake in the ground” put your stake in the ground and claim this new perspective by expressing it clearly (and sharing when/if you feel comfortable). This is the day when the manifesto itself comes into form. I’ve invited several key guests this day who will each offer a different creation method that you can utilize to help express yourself.
5/16 Day 6: E with Jessica Stong – “Explore one next step” begin to close the gap between where you are now and where you want to be by taking setting intention for one action.
5/17 Day 7: Reflection and Celebration Circle An opportunity to come together via zoom after the challenge is over to reflect on the process, lessons learned and to share our manifestos with one another.
Sign up here to get daily reminders and to download the FREE Mother’s Quest Manifesto Challenge Reflection Journal.
If you’d rather listen than read, you can also go straight to the episode post here.