Long before the pandemic hit, many of us were trying to overcome some sort of obstacle. Something wedged between us and our purpose. Of course, events of the past few years made everything harder. Suddenly, the journey went from feeling strenuous to merciless. So, the dreams you might have been working on, may seem fuzzy, if not impossible now.
If so, you’re in excellent company. Because Moms tend to be the way finders in our families, communities, and companies. As we unravel the mess, between us and our truth, we improve things for those around us. Often by sharing what we learn with everyone from our kids to our colleagues. Although society doesn’t always see us or value our time, what we bring is invaluable.
So, take time this season to reset. Care for yourself as fiercely as you do for your family. And establish or re-establish those boundaries you need to achieve your happy. And you don’t have to do it solo. Here’s a quick recap of incredible books, written by boundary-setting-champion Moms, to inspire you.
Overcome What’s Hard
“My biggest discovery was that you can literally re-create your life. You can redefine it. You don’t have to live in the past. I found that not only did I have fight in me, I had love.”
“Memories are immortal. They’re deathless and precise. They have the power of giving you joy and perspective in hard times. Or, they can strangle you. Define you in a way that’s based more in other people’s tucked-up perceptions than truth.”
“Forgiveness is giving up all hope of a different past. They tell you successful therapy is when you have the big discovery that your parents did the best they could with what they were given.”
Quotes from Viola Davis, in Finding Me
Viola Davis’ powerful memoir, Finding Me, is about rising from childhood trauma and learning to co-exist with its residue. She takes an unflinching look at her past. And how systemic failures and racism perpetuate cycles of poverty and abuse.
Please note, if you’ve suffered abuse or trauma, the writing is explicit and may be triggering. But she drops gem after gem about noticing, then using her gifts, in ways that allow her to heal and honor her purpose. She gives countless examples about the importance of strong boundaries. As she details her her journey to professional and personal success.
And Protect Your Needs
“…we tend to measure our own well-being not by how we feel, but by how our lives compare to other people’s.”
“What upsets people is not what happens to them, but their thoughts about what happens.”
“And, above all, please learn to trust your inner teacher, the burst of relaxation and freedom that rings through your whole body.”
Quotes from Martha Beck in The Way of Integrity: Finding the Path to Your True Self
Martha Beck contrasts finding your way to personal integrity, with Dante’s Divine Comedy, in her newest book The Way of Integrity. The premise, is that we pull away from ourselves and our truth, largely due to the power of culture.
She takes aim at inconsistent cultural edicts and unveils how they create a sense of division within our hearts and actions. In personal and client stories, she shows how we are ‘pulled’ out of integrity by trying to honor ridiculous, unspoken rules. Often to the detriment of our health and wellbeing.
And she beautifully describes the plight of reconciling our values as Mothers, with meeting the expectations in the paid workforce.
Tap Into Your Power
“Revolution is not a one time event.”
“…Sometimes we are blessed with being able to choose the time, and the arena, and the manner of our revolution, but more usually we must do battle where we are standing.”
“…we know what it is to be lied to, and we know how important it is not lie to ourselves. We are powerful because we have survived, and that is what it is all about—survival and growth.”
“Nothing I accept about myself can be used against me to diminish me.”
“You do not have to be me in order for us to fight alongside each other. I do not have to be you to recognize that our wars are the same. What we must do is commit ourselves to some future that can include each other. And to work toward that future with the particular strengths of our individual identities. And in order for us to do this, we must allow each other our differences at the same time as we recognize our sameness.”
Quotes from Audre Lorde in, Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches
Sister Outsider is an extraordinary collection of speeches and essays from Poet, Educator and Activist, Audre Lorde. She not only coined the term self-care and defined it as a “radical act” in a society that devalues us. She tackles all of the isms in her work and writing through an intersectional lens. Her take on racism, sexism, classism, nationalism and ultimately, feminism’s fault lines, are still deeply relevant. Despite being over 40 years old.
She digs deep on how to draw strength for individual and collective change from our commonality. Despite the ‘otherness’ that often divides us.
And Nurture Only Reciprocal Relationships
“The balance between wanting to get along with others and protecting ourselves is one of the most exquisitely difficult to achieve. Nobody wants to be a sucker, but most of us don’t want to be tyrants. We actually do want to get along, but we do not want to be played.”
“The healing happens the day you recognize that this isn’t about justice or fairness; it’s about self-preservation and peace.”
“That said, if a person leads with charm and charisma and plenty of confidence, sit up straight and pay cautious attention. Make sure that there is empathy, that entitlement is not at play, that the person is genuine, that there is respect and, frankly, that he or she has the goods to back it up. Don’t let the charisma and charm blind you and stop you from looking deeper for the rest of it.”
“If you no longer have to deal with them, then you have won. If you have found a way to keep your distance, then you have won. If you do not have to listen to their verbal abuse and invalidation, then you have won.”
Quotes from Dr. Ramani S. Durvasula in, “Don’t You Know Who I Am?”: How to Stay Sane in an Era of Narcissism, Entitlement, and Incivility
Dr. Ramani Durvasula is an expert on how narcissistic relationships undermine not only one’s sense of reality but of self. In Don’t You Know Who I Am, she details how the rise of entitlement and intolerance mean, we need to protect our boundaries and wellbeing differently. And she outlines how to notice, navigate and emerge from relationships with narcissists.
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About the Authors:
About Viola Davis
Viola Davis is the CEO of JuVee Productions and a critically revered actress of film, television, and theater and has won rave reviews for her multitude of substantial and intriguingly diverse roles. Audiences across the United States and internationally have admired her for her work- including her celebrated, Oscar-nominated performances in The Help (2011), Doubt (2008), and her Oscar winning performance in Fences (2016). In 2015, Davis won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series for her work in ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder, making her the first black woman in history to take home the award. In addition to acting, Viola currently produces alongside her husband and producing partner, Julius Tennon, through their JuVee Productions banner. Together they have produced award-garnering productions across theater, television, and film.