I come from Irish- Catholic roots. My mom and dad were both raised that way as well. There are 6 of us, five girls and one boy. We were taught to behave, be quiet and to do good- in school and for others. My mom taught me most of those lessons, which is directly related the all the success I have had, internally and externally! (My dad did too, but we are all about Moms this week!) My success is largely attributed to my upbringing.
She taught all of us from her words, but most importantly through her own actions. My mother went to college to be a nurse. She could have been anything she wanted to be but she loves people and wants to comfort and take care, so she is a nurse through and through. My mom is also one of the smartest people I know, deeply smart, not book smart but she knows things. I saw a smart woman navigate and be a success at her chosen path!
When my dad was in the hospital recovering from surgery she noticed an increase in his heart rate (on the monitor) and suggested the nurse take his temperature, sure enough, my dad was running a fever. (Not a good thing after surgery and antibiotics were started before the infection got out of control!)
Mom knew about healthy nutrition and eating right when jello was a health food in the 1970’s. She knew about drinking water and getting exercise. We did Jack LaLanne exercises in front of the TV before Jane Fonda and PX-90 and way before the yoga craze and CrossFit. Today, I know health and nutrition and love the success of health I learned at her side. Thanks Mom!
Every night before bed, dressed in our pajamas, my mother would have us kneel in the hallway and say prayers. We always started with praying for others. Sometimes she would carry one of us into bed when we fell asleep in the hallway outside our bedroom, earnestly wanting to send prayers to heaven, but too sleepy to last 5 minutes. We were good kids, we loved God, fought with each other, and loved each other fiercely. I am happy to say we are all still here and doing well, what a blessing. Thanks Mom!
The real lesson that has stayed in my daily habit and been expanded upon is that of saying Grace before dinner.
My mom led the prayer before dinner each night. Not only did we thank God for our food and our blessings, but she also sent prayers out to others. My mom was practicing gratitude and appreciation before it was cool. As a matter of fact, I can recall saying Grace before dinner and getting rather impatient with my loving mother. Can’t we just eat! Thanks Mom!
I have a deep respect for gratitude and appreciation today because you instilled it in me, not from force, but through your wonderful actions of love and appreciation that you had each and every day. Thanks Mom, for showing love and gratitude to the world and all our blessings. My “You are Love” Blog earlier this year, was truly a love letter to all of you!
Grace and gratitude are feelings, mindsets, prayer and meditation states that ground us to our true selves.
I talk about bringing your soul to work, finding your inner GPS and all sorts of ways to be guided from within and from your highest self. These are all important as we navigate an ever increasingly distracted world, full of shiny little things marketed to us every day. Our world is full of millions of possibilities, messages of perfection, what we “should have, do and be”, but Grace and gratitude show us our inner blessings.
When we practice regularly thanking our Source (whatever we believe that to be), we are instantly connected to our own best self. Regardless of the external tugging, our inner Source is the way to live.
I was also raised to NOT be selfish, greedy, boastful or mean-spirited. Well heck, mom, sometimes I have to go after something important, be the star my team is expecting me to be and show up big and bold and strong. These essential traits of a leader can sometimes conflict with how I was raised. I had to navigate my inner values, my inner world with the outside. Once I figured out how to come from a position of GRACE and gratitude and lead with my heart, not my primitive survival instincts, it all worked better. My career soared when I brought the lessons of the Grace at dinner to my work.
So, let us say Grace before, after and during work…
“Thank you for all the wonderful opportunities in front of me to show my best self. Thank you for the opportunity to grow and meet challenges head on. Thank you for bosses who don’t agree with me all the time, colleagues who are different, environments that cause me to figure stuff out and use my brain. Bless this work today and I welcome more tomorrow as my work and my journey is here to help me expand as a person and bring more to others to help them expand. Thank you Source!”
The dinner table is not just about food.
Work is not just about work!
Grace is an essential part of each.
Thanks Mom– can you feel the love and gratitude?
I love you and all you taught each of us!