I am a mother of three and have worked pretty much all my life. I enjoyed working and being creative. Yet, with my little ones, it was often a struggle. As they grew older, it became easier, and at the same time I felt guilty for not being there for them as much as I would have liked.
My husband and I built a business, and our plans were that this company would be the nest egg for our later life. However, it all turned out differently. With the downturn in the economy and other circumstances we faced, we decided to sell the business. At that time, it became clear to me that I had been following someone else's dream and not mine. I had put my heart's desire and dream of my Wondermoms seminars on the back burner.
So often, many women and mothers feel that they need to do the "reasonable" thing. They buy into a "false belief" or conform to some sort of cliché.
Why do we women and mothers put our dreams on the back burner? Alright, so some of us want to wait until our children are grown. However, what if we could pursue our career dreams while they are growing up? How about all the women that started an Internet business, a cooking class or a seminar? Nowadays, there are so many possibilities with the Internet. I have a good friend who is a playwright, and for many years, she, too, decided to do the "right" thing. Now that her children are grown, she is finally doing the professional work which deeply fulfills her.
What kept me from following my dream of sharing my mama wisdom? It was the good old belief that it was my "duty" to be there for my family. Granted, I grew up in a world that is much different than today's, and these beliefs were the norm then.
I learned much during my challenging times of selling the family business. One thing that still stands out is a quote I came across from a member of the Cheyenne tribe: "Our first teacher is our own heart." Here are some key points that truly work in service to listening to our hearts and achieving our dreams:
1. Listen to your intuition
2. Become aware of what you see and hear that interests you
3. Do something that makes you happy
4. Contribute to people's lives through your work
5. Set a goal and break it down into baby steps
6. Commit to taking one step each day
7. Write down on a 4x5 card an affirmation (a positive "I" statement), for example: "I am worthy and deserving to follow my dreams. My ideas have real value and make a difference in the world." Read your own affirmation every morning and at night before going to sleep.
Taking Charge with Joy and Fun
I have taken my life into my own hands and follow the paths that give me joy and make me feel like I am making a contribution. We need more women to be trailblazers, encouraging the new, younger generation to go for their dreams. Be a clothes designer, be a writer, become the mayor of your city, be a playwright and make people in theatres laugh or cry.
Look what J.K. Rowling has created with her Harry Potter books. She wrote in her kitchen and on trains. She plugged away at something that was in her heart. She had a dream and she was willing to go for it. The results were wonderful stories and thousands of youngsters streaming to movies, reading books and dreaming of a "wonder world" and maybe, some great new writers will be born out of these books.
My message to you is this:
• Become aware of what your heart is telling you.
• Listen to your inner voice, your intuition.
• Give yourself permission to work on that and allow your heart to sing.
It's like in the famous quote from Marianne Williamson, which I paraphrase here: "Who are we to not let our light shine? Your playing small does not serve the world" -- nor your children, spouse or family. We are all meant to shine and, as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said: "Whatever you can or dream you can, begin it, boldness has genius, power and magic in it, begin it now".
It's your time. Do it now!
This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post in conjunction with our women’s conference, “The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money & Power” which will take place in New York on June 6, 2013. To read all of the posts in the series and learn more about the conference, click here. Join the conversation on Twitter #ThirdMetric.