BY Joy Chudacoff
My son Jack came home from school today with an excited, Yippee Mom, there’s no school next Monday because it’s Martin Luther King Day! A few minutes later he comes running back into the kitchen and asks, Mom, who is Martin Luther King anyway? Wow—what a question. How do I answer that one and still have time to get dinner on the table?
So here goes. Martin Luther King was a man who lived in courage and vision every day of his life. He was a man who most likely lived in fear and faced challenges for pursing his dreams and convictions. In August of 1963, he gave a speech entitled, “I Have A Dream”, which changed the way this country saw equality and fairness forever.
What, you might ask, does this have to do with Smart Women? Well, a lot actually. Many times women live other people’s dreams. Not because we don’t have any of our own. You all know that I believe we are the most creative beings on earth with Big Ideas. Many times we don’t even realize that we are not connected to our dreams and desires. Women are so busy helping others realize their dreams, (family, friends, co-workers) that we don’t take the time to ask ourselves the question, “What am I dreaming about? What’s my vision for my future? And do I have the courage to act on this dream and vision?”
When I had my first child, I was fortunate to be able to stay at home with my new son but there was something missing from my life. I couldn’t identify what it was in the beginning. It took me quite some time because I kept having this conversation with myself that went something like this: “You should be happy. You are so lucky to be at home with your child.You are 40 years old and have waited a long time for this.” When I really gave myself permission to reflect, I discovered that what I really needed in my life was to be a woman who wore three hats: a wife, a mom, and an entrepreneur. Is it a challenge? You bet. Am I more divided? Absolutely. However I can tell you that I am much happier and I have an energy that fuels me each and every day for this full life.
What fuels you? What’s your dream moving forward into 2015? It does not have to be a vision or mission as big as Martin Luther King. It can be finding time to engage in a hobby that has been on your mind, acting on a Big Idea for a business, growing an existing business or engaging in a fitness/exercise program that will keep you strong and healthy. It’s about you taking action on your dream.
In my Learning Circles, women give themselves permission to pause and reflect on what’s next in their personal and professional lives. When you land on where your energy and passions are, you feel this incredible sense of being alive with possibilities. Everything seems possible.
I think that’s what Martin Luther King must have felt. Alive with a future full of possibilities for people everywhere. How about becoming alive with possibilities for you this year?