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This quote has always been one of my favorites. It’s one that has always made me laugh and think. And since March is Women’s History Month, I’ve been thinking about her words a lot more these past few days.
I’ve been thinking about all of the trailblazing women who got us here, as well as the women who inspire us to keep moving forward. I’ve been thinking about trailblazers like my mother, who was a woman who refused to be put in a box. She was a woman who loved to hang with the boys, wear men’s clothing, smoke cigars and push boundaries.
I grew up with four brothers who were raised to treat me like one of the boys. My mother said it was good for me because I was going out into a man’s world.
I’m grateful for my mother, who charted her own course in every way and gave me the opportunity to do the same. I’m grateful for every woman who pushed before me.
I’m grateful for the women I was able to honor with a Minerva Award during my time as First Lady of California. Some were women who you already know, but others were everyday women doing extraordinary work on the frontlines of humanity. They have all accomplished great things, and their work has inspired countless others to do the same. I encourage you to watch our videos of their inspiring stories.
The truth is, every woman today stands on the shoulders of someone who pushed before her. My daughters’ generation has opportunities and choices that my generation didn’t. My generation had opportunities and choices that were unimaginable to my mother’s generation.
And so on.
Feminine power is available to every woman because power starts within. You don’t have to act like a guy, talk like a guy, or dress like a guy to be powerful. You have to talk, act, dress, and think like the person that you are.
It’s not a man’s world. It’s our world, and it’s ours to go make better.
So as we head into March, focus your mind on what is, not on what was. Focus your mind and your heart on your mission, your purpose, and your passion.
My friend Angie Johnsey – a healer and mind-reboot specialist – has helped me focus my mind.
When I started this year, I wrote about all of the things I wanted to burn, bury and stop bitching about this year. Now, here we are on the first Sunday of March and I’m embarrassed to admit that my list hasn’t been cleared. Angie has been helping me tackle my resolutions and clear my mind. Her advice has been so helpful that I thought, why not share her perspective with all of you? (You’ll find it below.)
After all, spring is around the corner, so it’s just the right time to make ourselves greater in mind, body and spirit. Then, when we need to use our voices to move humanity forward, we’ll be able to do it from a de-cluttered place. We’ll be able to do it from a place of certainty, calm and confidence.
Now more than ever, if you want to step out or step forward, you better be ready. Confidence is critical. Fear has no place. The judgmental voice has got to go. And you best be clear about your mission. Missions have got to be bigger than you; otherwise, it’s just not worth the arrows that will get thrown your way.
And remember, if you want to make history, you’re going to have to be bold. You’re going to have to be brave. And, you’re going to have to break more than a few rules.
You’re going to need someone like Angie to help you stay focused, someone like my friend Nadine to help keep things in perspective and make you laugh, and a family like the one I have to keep you grounded and feeling loved. You’re also going to need a whole tribe of others – like Betty, Jenny, Barbara, Katrina, Kristen and the women of Seneca Falls – to keep you inspired as you move forward. (I hope you enjoy learning more about all of them below.)
Rule breakers, this month is for you. You better be ready!
P.S. After I wrote this, I read this week’s New York Times Modern Love column. I cried for awhile, then I put myself in a time-out. What in the name of God, Maria, do you have to be been bitching about this year? Again, perspective is everything. This made me recall my mother’s words. Whenever I tried to complain to her about anything, she would say to me: “I don’t want to hear a yip out of you. Get out there and get something done in the world. Go make the world better.” So, in my mother’s words, no more yips out of you or out of me. Let’s just get out there and go make the world better.