After attending the Israeli Presidential Conference last week, Susie Newday of New Day, New Lesson woke up today with these gorgeous words flowing from her head. Her internal call to understanding, a mother’s call to inner peace and acceptance. We just had to post them today because they are moving and amazing! Read on…
“There Comes a Moment”
There comes a moment
a moment in your life
when you stop to ponder
the truths in your living and life.
That moment that is bought on
by something big or something small.
By love or by hate
or just a feeling that there is more.
Something happens or
maybe someone touches your heart
in a way that makes you wonder
what is truly important in your life.
You find yourself scanning
the years of your life,
and you say to yourself,
“Does this really matter,
is this adding meaning and purpose to my life?”
And it hurts to acknowledge, even to yourself,
how much time and energy
you have wasted and waste
pursuing people, things and ideals not your own.
And it disgusts you to think
of all the hurt you have caused.
It upsets you to remember
how often you have not forgiven or forgotten.
And there is a soft gentle shift
in your heart, soul and stance.
You feel changed, you want change
but how do you become and live that change?
It is in that moment
that your thinking becomes forever altered
and your perceptions are now filtered
through different colored glasses.
In that moment you learn
to listen to your heart.
You learn there is no shame
if you walk your own different path.
That’s the moment when you realize
that pain is your decision.
That you no longer
have to be or feel like a victim.
It is in that moment
that you know it’s time
to release someone and let them go
until they’re ready to return on their own.
That’s the moment when you know
that it’s really okay to love yourself.
The imperfections are uniquely you
and that is a celebration in itself.
It’s the moment that you realize
holding grudges are poison to your soul,
and that your failures, though painful,
are your greatest teachers and lessons.
It’s in that moment
that you understand
that no one else can really know
or understand your truth.
That’s the moment
that you begin to internalize
that there is no point or gain
in judging your fellow man.
It’s that rare moment
of clarity and inner peace;
a fleeting glimpse of what
your life was meant to be.
There comes a moment,
a turning point of sorts,
one that removes the veil of small and petty
and lets the majestic inside us shine through.
We all have a moment,
and sometimes more than one,
where we realize the reins are in our hands
and the direction we go is up to us.
It’s a moment of wisdom
A moment where we just “get”
that life is great,
and we don’t have to wait for anything else.
The only question left unanswered
to which only you can give the answer is,
“Do you grab this moment and learn to live it,
or do you continue to let your moments slip away?”
“There Comes A Moment” ©2013 Susie @NewDayNewLesson
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by our contributor, Susie Newday in Israel.
Photo credits to the author.
Our “Casting a Wider Net” series features mothers around the world whose voices have typically been excluded from the blogosphere, due to lack of access to the internet, low literacy or poverty. This feature aims to include their important and distinct perspectives with interviews and occasional video clips.
Peng is a soft spoken but opinionated housekeeper who is meticulous, professional and very kind. Like many of her peers, she switched careers to become a housekeeper because it pays more money. After finishing high school, her father paid for her to attend trade school to become a trained cook, after which she began working a stable but odd hours catering job in a big hotel here in the capital city of Vientiane. Despite her burgeoning restaurant career, after one year Peng’s father advised her to become the housekeeper of his then foreigner boss instead, not only because it paid more but offered more reasonable hours and a nice environment in a large, well appointed home. She hasn’t looked back on her restaurant career and still agrees today that being a housekeeper for foreigners pays more than restaurant work as an assistant cook, even in large establishments.
The only time Peng has stopped working was when she became a mother to her daughter, Cofie, and raised her at home for her first four years. Cofie was born in 2001, in a small hospital near Peng’s house on the outskirts of the city. Peng said that she chose this particular hospital to give birth because it was close by and not as crowded as the main government run Mahosot Hospital. And good thing that it was nearby her home because she was turned back twice within two days after her initial contraction pains started. (more…)
I don’t know why it is, but I have yet to come across any initiative, no matter how praiseworthy, that doesn’t have people criticizing some aspect of it. The Israeli Presidential Conference that I attended last week was no exception.
The conference, in its fifth year, is aptly titled “Facing Tomorrow.” Held under the auspices of 90 year old President Shimon Peres (may I have as much energy as him at that age), the conference saw 4500 people from around the world get together, inspire each other, and talk about topics facing us now and in the future. The conference was attended by world leaders, politicians, diplomats, international scholars, activists, poets, scientists, artists, clergy, entrepreneurs, economists and industrialists, as well as representatives of the next generation of leaders. There were plenary sessions, panels, roundtables and master classes that discussed a wide spectrum of topics with about 200 speakers representing some of the worlds brightest minds. (more…)
Photo By Kristyn Zalota
Nine months ago, I received the first donation to CleanBirth.org, my project to make birth safer in Laos. It was fittingly given on the playground after school by a fellow mom.
I say fittingly, because I have spent much of the past 7 years of motherhood pushing swings and spotting my monkeys on bars. It is also fitting because the bulk of the three hundred donors who followed that first donation are fellow frequenters of playgrounds. The support from moms, dads, and grand parents totals almost $20,000 in just 9 months!
Kristyn with OVA Staff and Nurses in Laos
So how does a playground aficionado add safe birth advocacy to her daily life?
Here’s my 3-step plan for changing the world in the way only you can:
1. Find your passion. My kids are 4 and 7 today, but when they were younger full-time, stay-at-home motherhood was tough for me. I wanted to be with them and I also wanted to travel and work. By way of a compromise, I volunteered on projects in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Thailand, Cambodia and Uganda. Sometimes the kids came with me – we lived in Thailand and Cambodia for a year – and other shorter trips they stayed at home with their dad and grandparents. My experiences as a volunteering mother transformed my long-standing interest in women’s empowerment into a passion for global maternal health.
Once I realized that I wanted to advocate for women and make birth safer, I became a mama on a mission.
2. Find a do-able project. So, how can I be at pick-up by 1pm everyday *and* make birth safer in Laos? I started with a manageable project. CleanBirth.org provides Clean Birth Kits (an absorbent sheet, medicated soap, a sterile blade, cord clamp, picture instructions) and birth education to women in one province of Laos. Studies show that kits prevent infection in both mothers and babies.
To ensure that the project is locally driven and sustainable, I have partnered with two organizations. The first partner is Our Village Association (OVA), a Lao non-profit with 10 years of experience working with local villagers. Together with OVA, CleanBirth.org trains local nurses in the use and distribution of Clean Birth Kits. OVA continuously monitors the nurses, tracks the use of the kits and reports back to me via email.
The second organization that I teamed up with, AYZH, manufactures high-quality Clean Birth Kits in India and mails them directly to OVA in Laos. Since the kits are shipped directly, I do not need to be on the ground to ensure quality-control or resupply.
I travel to Laos twice per year to see everything for myself. In the US, I spend all of my kid-free hours raising funds and awareness – and loving every minute of it!
3. Find help. None of this would be possible without the support of my family: my husband, mother-in-law and parents. Having the people closest to you believe in your cause is so important, especially if you are working 30 hours per week and not getting paid.
I have also asked for help from maternal health experts and volunteers. By going to the experts, to those already doing the work, I have been able to capitalize on best practices. Volunteers can be invaluable. When someone competently takes on a task, no matter how small, it enables me to move onto another to-do item.
I can honestly say that I am living my dream life. I still hit the playground every afternoon — after 4 hours of working to promote safe birth. When I travel to Laos, I pack in more in 2 weeks than I could have imagined in my pre-kids wanderings. No time to waste, I’ve got kids at home missing their mama.
If you are reading this and thinking: “I have a passion for _____ but I don’t know where to start,” I urge you to just start. Find a small first project. Make time each day to work on it. Get advice from others who are doing similar work. Ask for help.
If your goal is to help others, you will find support from many places, often you just need to ask. I have been overwhelmed by the unexpected generosity and support of friends and perfect strangers.
So use your passion, get out there and change the world in the way only you can!
What’s Your Passion?
This is an original post written for World Moms Blog by Kristyn Zalota.
Kristyn brings her years of experience as an entrepreneur and serial volunteer to CleanBirth.org. She holds a MA, has run small businesses in Russia and the US, and has volunteered in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Uganda on projects related to women’s empowerment. After having children, Kristyn became an advocate for mothers in the US, as a doula and Lamaze educator, and abroad, as the Founder of CleanBirth.org. She is honored to provide nurses in Laos with the supplies, funding and training they need to lower maternal and infant mortality rates in their villages.
It’s 8.27pm on the day this post is due and I have a dozen excuses for why I wasn’t going to make the deadline. But the biggest excuse is probably that I’m a mum and plans went astray and that none of those excuses will cut it with the audience and contributors on World Mom Blogs – because most of us are mums with our own daily battles to overcome.
I will tell you my excuses though, because it proves we never stop being mums, we never stop worrying about our children and sometimes they continue to drive us crazy with frustration, regardless of how old they are.
My twenty four year old son was a difficult teenager and never really got on with his step-dad, he’s been out of home for 8 years. He and his fiancé separated 18 months ago, with a baby in the mix to further complicate things. To say the last 18 months have been difficult for him to adjust to her leaving would be an understatement. His uncle on his dad’s side committed suicide last year and he took that badly too.
All of this drama in his life culminated in him getting evicted from his house early this year, and it’s been downhill since then. He moved in with his new girlfriend’s parents a few weeks ago and let’s suffice to say a whole series of drama and problems and stressing about his situation ended up with him losing his job.
Yes I’m now almost totally grey from stress and worry. Don’t be misled in thinking that once they move out and have their own families that the worry stops. This boy of mine has always been hard work, I love him to pieces but I continue to want to strangle him some days.
Work got crazy last Wednesday for me with a co-worker taking a sudden 5-week sick leave. I was immediately thrown into a Corporate Property Management role with no knowledge whatsoever of what I was doing. Massive workloads and plenty of stress – are you feeling sorry for me yet?
Thursday morning my son rings to say he and his girlfriend are having problems and can he come home. No money, no job and nowhere to live. Add in a stepfather who wasn’t keen on him coming home given their past history and I was worrying myself stupid. Grandson joined the mix for the weekend, so it was: hubby and I, eldest son, 18-year-old son and his girlfriend, 15-year-old son and 2 year old grandson squished into a 3-bedroom house.
It’s been a tough week, I’m tired, I’m strung out and I suddenly wish for the years long ago when the greatest stress my boys provided was them wrestling on the floor or fist fighting. Once upon a time I longed for them to get older and look after themselves.
Being a mum and caring and worrying – that never ends.
So while my excuses are valid to me they don’t really cut it for not doing something I said I would do – we all have drama to deal with, we’re mums and we battle on.
Coming home to live with mum had its rules, I told son to doorknock businesses with resume in hand until he found a job. No sitting on his butt claiming unemployment benefits in this house. Mum is always right, he got a call today and starts a new job tomorrow. He’s also gone to stay with his dad from tonight until he can find a new house – dad’s got more room for him.
So the week from hell has a happy result.
So my advice to all of you: enjoy the sibling rivalry, the battles, and the sleepless nights – because once you’re the mother of teenagers or adults, then you can throw grandchildren and partners in to further complicate the motherhood journey.
As much as I want to throw my boys in their rooms and tell them to pull their heads in and behave themselves, it’s not that easy anymore. How I wish it was.
Do your kids ever drive you crazy? What’s your biggest battle with them these days? What advice would you pass on to other mothers?
This is an original World Moms Blog post by Fiona from Inspiration to Dream of Adelaide, South Australia.
The photograph used in this post is credited to the author.