So many of the things our mothers encouraged us to do as children still apply in adulthood. My mother's best advice was to follow your passion and ask, "Why not?" This month as we celebrate mothers in all their forms, let's take a fresh look at the universal truths they taught us.
Believe in yourself
Your mom believed in you. Even if she was one of those mother figures who had a hard time expressing it, she was our first and biggest fan and most passionate advocate. One way to honor her is to believe in yourself the way she did. Perhaps you're thinking about making a life or career change. Are you hesitating, hung up on worries you won't be able to make it work? Think about what mom would say. Let her confidence in you be the gentle push you need to take the first step.
Eat your vegetables
How well are you taking care of your body? Your mom helped create that body and spent a lot of time and energy trying to keep it nourished, safe and strong as you grew. Now is the perfect time to evaluate your health. Are you eating healthy food, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep? If not, how about starting now? You know what mom would say.
Even if her expectations for you seemed high, chances are she didn't really expect perfection. And neither should we. Mistakes and shortcomings can bring us our best and most important lessons. Just like mom, we should hold ourselves accountable for poor choices and change our behavior as needed. But also like mom, we can use losses, flaws and missteps as learning opportunities to find and develop our best selves.
When mom sent us off to elementary school she wasn't thinking small. She had big dreams for us. What's your dream today? It doesn't have to be about traditional success or social norms. It's about finding our own path and creating a happy, healthy and fulfilling life. Wherever she is and whatever your relationship today, she still wants that for you.
Let it out
Mother figures usually have the best shoulders to cry on. Hopefully your mom was a safe haven for emotional storms like toddler tantrums, teenage mood swings and more. We're older now but we still need to feel that range of emotions -- from anger to sadness to joy -- and then release them. Don't hold it all in. And if finding comfort in mom's arms is no longer an option, outlets like meditation, a workout, a phone call to a friend, air boxing in the bathroom or a good old fashioned ugly cry will do the trick.
Even if she didn't encourage you to do this as a kid, she'd be proud of you now. Giving back is a great way to honor the person who gave everything she could for us. Making a difference in the community doesn't have to be time consuming or expensive if you don't have extra hours or income. It can be as simple as donating hand-me-downs or modeling kindness for your own children.
My mother's encouragement led me to build a global fitness business and create a family that makes me infinitely proud. As Oliver Wendell Holmes put it, "Youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship fall; A mother's secret hope outlives them all." In celebration of mothers of all kinds, let's honor their hopes for us and follow their best advice. I wish you and your family a very happy Mother's Day!
Judi Sheppard Missett created the original dance party workout and started the fitness revolution that became Jazzercise. Today -- more than 45 years later -- Jazzercise is one of the world's leading dance fitness companies, offering a program that continually evolves with new beats, new moves and new classes. As Founder and CEO of Jazzercise, Judi Sheppard Missett leads a team of more than 8,300 franchisees teaching 32,000+ classes each week around the world. Jazzercise is a pulse-pounding, bass-dropping fitness program that gets results...fast. Customers can incinerate up to 800 calories in one 60 minute workout and choose from a variety of classes including Fusion, Core, Strike, Strength and Dance Mixx. For more information, visit jazzercise.com.