My Wonder Women
It's International Women's Day today, which has me thinking about the women in my life. There are some pretty remarkable humans to talk about... and as the people in our lives go - a reason, a season, or a lifetime - I could write a novel about all the interesting, smart, accomplished, inspiring, talented women I have known. These are the important broad (colourful) strokes, in my life. And while I think they are all beautiful, inside and out, I am refraining from using 'beautiful' in this article. It is one of the most over-used descriptors of women, and there are simply so many other substantial qualities I'd like to acknowledge!
My mother - who is one of the kindest, most caring, and thoughtful people I have ever known. She taught us the value of hard work, and of sincerely doing your best at whatever you are doing (a value that is nearly extinct IMO). Plus, she is secretly hilarious (but doesn't think she's funny). She has told me before that she doesn't feel like she has a "passion" in life - but her passion is her family. Truly. I love you, Mom.
My sister - who has gone from a wild, nude, crazy child to an accomplished teacher who is a valuable, capable role model for hundreds of children. She is a teacher at a school with students from all over the world. Some of her students fathers won't sit with her or shake her hand in a parent teacher meeting - because she is a woman. I know these incidents are really frustrating, but I always remind her that values and beliefs are SLOW to change, and simply moving to a new country isn't going to change everything these men have known their whole lives. BUT she is there, and she is showing their children that women in Canada are strong, competent, EQUAL members of society. Truly leading by example.
My Nanny (dad's mom) really exemplified a healthy lifestyle of daily exercise and eating natural, unprocessed food, long before it was the stylish thing to do. I remember her having little rants about how many chemicals they were adding to foods in the 80s, and she shopped long and hard for the most natural ingredient for her kitchen. If you sat beside her at the table, you would learn all about vitamins - how zinc helps your immune system, what magnesium does for your muscles, how other vitamins cared for your skin. She was always a fashionable woman, and the ladies in the department stores in Montreal all knew her by name, which made me feel like I was shopping with a celebrity as a kid. She also rode her bike to work every day until getting her driver's license when she was in her 50s! I so often wish we could talk.
My Granny Hollingsworth is a real class act - always the image of poise, style, quiet confidence, and steady decisions. With a witty comment to hit the spot and crack you up, right when you aren't expecting it! That sharp sense of humor that lets you know she is always watching, and has an opinion - even if you aren't privy to it!
I have aunts who have run businesses right alongside the men of their families, and others who have been actively involved in causes they believe in for their whole lives.
My mother-in-law raised 2 exceptional men, one of whom I call my husband. She has a gift for having the perfect words for any situation, and offers the soundest emotional support I've experienced. She truly makes a point of making sure her loved ones know exactly how much they mean to her - which is something the world would be a better place for if we could all just follow her example.
My sister-in-law who is (almost single-handedly) saving the oceans. And, with the help of the other above-mentioned exceptional man, is raising 2 remarkable small humans who are wise & compassionate beyond their years. She is living proof that one can, in fact, chase & achieve their dreams after children. I'm sorry, I'm not sure how she does it, you'll have to ask her yourself.
My university girlfriends who I wouldn't have made it to graduation without. Shared sleepless nights, the craziest exams (Électrothérapie in 2nd year - 76 pages, I'm still scarred), an abundance of laughter and memories of a lifetime. I feel like I was still such a child thinking of it now.
My wild waterski women! Who never cease to remind me the value of a great time and a long hug. That quote about strong women being the ones building each other up (not breaking each other down) - we are those women! We can move in unison, lift each other high, and not kill each other learning 3 dances in less than one stressful week lol. We look good in sparkly spandex. I have learned from you all that IT IS POSSIBLE to have a job I love, and this is one of the most valuable lessons of my life to date.
My yoga sisters. The healers, the lovers, the teachers, the dreamers. You inspire me daily with your willingness to courageously follow your heart, with your strength to stand up for what you believe in, with your ability to share your soul to teach and inspire others to live a healthier, happier life. We speak the language of movement, and explore the depths of health, wellness, and spirituality. There is so much more out there and you inspire me to listen to my intuition, nurture meaningful connections, to do better, and to live at a higher vibration.
All these WOMEN and so many more have shaped my life, knowingly or unknowingly admired by my observant eyes. Admired so often for their victories and kick-ass successes. But maybe there is even more to learn observing their strength, grace, and tenacity in the face of the struggles and disappointment that life inevitably deals us all.
May we celebrate, admire and inspire each other to keep growing, sharing, working, loving, living. Thank you for sharing part of the road with me... for showing me other ways to travel this life.
Happy International Women's Day. I love you ladies.