Friday, April 29, 2011

Celebrate Their Strength: The Women Who Help Us

Just in time for Mother's day, this post is in support of the Heart of Haiti program. I hope this story will encourage you to look around. Who are the amazing women you are blessed to have in your life?
A Woman Who Helped Me

She shoved me onstage, and I just stood there under the hot, blinding lights. A shy, timid kid who at the last minute was slated to perform in the school talent show. I had no talent or training to showcase, but my mom had changed me into a crazy witch doctor costume she'd made, and played an Alvin and The Chipmunks record (yes a vinyl record - I said it) that I was supposed to dance around to as my entire elementary school watched. I was utterly mortified as everyone stared on, wondering what I would do next.

I could see her motioning to me from stage left, using her fingers to make a big smile gesture across her face. So I turned and smiled to the crowd. Then she made silly side to side monkey steps that I mimicked. Everyone laughed. She danced around in a clumsy circle and so did I. The laughter ensued. I began to improvise to the song and fed off of the laughter from the crowd. Suddenly I wasn't a nervous introvert, I was an amusing entertainer that people liked to watch. For the first time that I could recollect, people had paid attention to me. They thought I was funny. I decided that I enjoyed being a clown slash monkey.

While I didn't win the talent show (the 5th grader attempting to play a choppy Beethoven was hard to beat), I had gained so much more. I didn't realize it at the time, but I had lost my sense of social anxiety and learned to improvise on the fly. Adapting as quickly as kids do, I didn't feel the torture that so many of my peers felt when speaking to a crowd or giving class presentations after the talent show. And when situations didn't go as planned, I was Johnny-on-the-spot looking for an alternative to get by. I suppose not very much has changed since then.

Had it not been for my mother forcing urging me to try new things and continually driving me out of my comfort zone, I wouldn't be such a hearty survivor in so many respects today. She's the woman who's perspective requires me to think things through. Her wisdom, zest and resiliency make me proud to incorporate her teachings into my own life.

I won't tell you that she doesn't drive me crazy at times (Because she does. She really, truly does.), but the encapsulation of her life's example is one that I am so fortunate and grateful to learn and grow from every single day. I love you, Mom.
Shop for a great cause: Lipstick and Drama readers will receive a 15% off Heart of Haiti and Rwanda Path to Peace products when purchasing a Mother’s Day gift from the HOH collection. Use Promocode: CLEVERGIRLS at checkout between 5/3 - 5/8.

You can view the Shop for a Better World / Heart Of Haiti collection in it's entirety (including just added items for Spring) by going here.

I was selected for this very special “CleverHaiti” opportunity by Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity. All opinions are my own.

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