We all should live a life that stirs movement.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Gandhi. Germaine Greer. Erin Brockovich. Oprah.
I’m not a big fan of comparing myself to others, and nor should you be. But when you read the names above I want you to think carefully about something: what did these people have in common?
Did you think, “passion?” “Energy?”
Surely both, in bucket loads. That’s what I want you to focus on, but think about yourself.
I believe that each and every one of us has the potential to start our own movement, to create our own crusade, to shift the world around us. It can be a big movement, or a small one; it is entirely up to you.
The most important thing about your movement is that it’s central to who you are, that it’s based on absolute authenticity and that it aims to have a positive impact.
Ask yourself: what do you want your legacy to be?
If you had the chance to sit down and chat with Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, Germaine Greer, Erin Brockovich or Oprah, it’s likely that they would each tell you that they had absolutely no idea that their dedication would inspire fame and fortune and change the world. But it has, because each of them was compelled to do something that was burning such a fever in their hearts that they just could not ignore it.
I believe that deep down we all have that, it’s just a question of recognizing it. Whether we start our own movement or crusade or shift in the world comes down to whether or not we heed that calling, and what we want to do about it.
All you seek is within
It was easy for me to find my calling, but it took me a few years before I was in a position to truly act upon it.
My story goes like this: I was a single mom climbing the corporate ladder. I was experiencing all the stress, long hours, juggling and mother guilt that came with it, too. When I was spending time with my son, or on the sidelines cheering on his sports race, I felt bad about not working (and there were people I worked with who really rubbed it in). When I was working, I felt bad that I wasn’t doing all the “mom” things like volunteering at school or lobbying for better school resources.
I lived with the constant feeling of being torn between my responsibilities for years, until one day, I reconciled it with myself. I realized that working is important, for putting food on the table, paying bills and buying clothes, but that a career (even when you’re enjoying it) isn’t necessarily something you buy at the expense of the people you love and that you don’t need to carry the heavy burden of guilt forever.
Know your movement
In my heart of hearts, once I figured out how to achieve that balance and clarity and peace, I wanted to help other women to find it, too. My passion became wanting to help women to figure out how to make the best use of their time. Not with organizational skills training and time management, but with special techniques for self-management.
I knew “why’”I wanted to help and “what’” I could do to help, I just didn’t have a vehicle to enable me to help – the “how” part of the equation. That came next.
Hacking the mind through meditation
I start my day with meditation, which helps me to clear space in my head for new ideas. Over time, as I began to research the plight of working mothers and the many and varied solutions being offered by corporations, governments, schools and communities, and staking it up against my own experience actually working with women, it occurred to me that women often learn best through connection. By sharing their stories and experiences and helping others to find the little (and the significant!) life hacks that make life much easier.
BINGO! Just like that, my movement started to come together. I began to create a platform, the I Am Woman Project, a community for women to read about each other, get together, communicate in person or online, share stories, mentor, learn, support and motivate each other.
By knowing your movement and clearing space in your mind for fresh concepts, you can take the same steps I did for your own endeavors.
The art of getting noticed naturally
You too, can start a movement. Your story makes you unique and your experiences empower you. When you spend time deep-diving into your life and all of the things that have led you to where you are now, there will be moments, emotions, intuitive feelings that stand out, and these help to identify those things that feed your passion, that give you purpose, which fuel your curiosity and which truly engage you. This is where your “movement” lies.
Making it happen is entirely up to you, but you’ll notice that when you’ve found your soul’s purpose or your life mission or whatever you want to call it, then things will begin to fall into place. It will be hard work, but you’ll love every minute. The rewards will be beyond measure.