Today is the anniversary of my mom’s passing nine years ago. She came down with the flu on March 29th, 2000 and quickly without warning or anyone knowing, went into congestive heart failure twenty-four hours later and was gone. She was 59.
Last night, I had the opportunity to have a conversation with several dear women who have been involved for the last five years, with my work around the Personal Renewal Groups.
We talked about how huge the societal implications are for the work we’re doing with the self renewal circles for women—helping them to feel more aligned with who they are, more peaceful/fulfilled and more in touch with their needs/desires through the practice of self-care.
And the potential that this social change vehicle might have on generations to come.
My mom never received the gift of self-care. She–like many women—was very hard on herself. Even though she had accomplished a lot professionally, had seven beautiful children, was a gifted musician, artist and healthcare provider—she never felt she was good enough. Or deserving enough, or worthy enough.
No matter how many times I challenged her to pause and take in all the wonderful things she had created or been given in her life—it was impossible for her to see this.
So I came to the gift of self-care by necessity. It wasn’t modeled or taught to me, but I saw first-hand what happens when you’re not kind to yourself and are continually critical and self-judgmental of everything you do.
I believe we’re all one another’s teachers. And, I am so grateful to my mom for all the gifts she did give me—a passion for creativity, music, culture, food and a strong belief in the importance of service and compassion. And for the gift of self-care.
I wonder what she would think about the work I’m doing now. I wonder.
P.S. Interested in learning more about how the power of self-care can change your life? Consider starting/joining a Personal Renewal Group in your community? Hundreds of groups are meeting around the US/Canada and Europe for moms/women at all life stages and more are starting each week. I also invite you to slow down and take time to really nurture yourself at my upcoming Spring Self-Renewal Retreat at The Crossings, April 24-26.
Photo: My mom with two of my younger brothers when we lived in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in CA (yes in the 70’s–can’t you tell?).