It’s Time to Break a Few Rules
It’s Time to Break a Few Rules
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.
NEWS AND VIEWS ABOVE THE NOISE
NEWS TO OPEN YOUR HEART
I’ve always believed in the power of one and in the unity of our great country. That’s why I love this One America Appeal campaign – which is a joint appeal by all five living former American Presidents to encourage their fellow citizens to support hurricane recovery. It’s a reminder that we need to drop our party lines, our state lines, our judgments, and work together as One America. Yes, we are. [LEARN MORE]
VIEWS FOR YOUR DINNER TABLE CONVERSATION
In addition to the hurricanes, there was other major news this week. With President Trump announcing his plans to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, millions of these lives now hang in the balance as well. Many think they know who these people are, but I’ve had several conversations this week and realized there’s a real lack of understanding. The NY Times did a nice job putting together this interactive portrait featuring the life stories of 100+ of these individuals. I think it’s worth us all taking a moment to read them and try to better understand. [READ MORE]
NEWS FOR YOUR MIND
God willing, we’re all going to be here for awhile. So, if you’re thinking about how to age well, then you’re going to want to watch this TODAY piece I did this week about a reported “longevity pill.” It’s about a common medication that one doctor hopes could be the key to eliminating certain age-related diseases and leading to a longer life. [WATCH]
NEWS TO MAKE YOU THINK
One thing is for sure: we’ll be hearing a lot next week about what Hillary Clinton has been thinking when she releases her new post-election memoir “What Happened.” So many people have weighed in with their opinions on this past election. Now, we get to hear from her directly. Excerpts released so far have certainly been food for thought, including her jabs at Bernie Sanders, who she criticizes for causing “lasting damage” to the Democratic Party. I know I’ll be curious to hear more. [READ MORE]
ARCHITECTS OF CHANGE OF THE WEEK:
This week, we shine our Architects of Change of the Week spotlight on all of the first responders who are serving in Houston, Florida, the Caribbean and elsewhere right now. Some have gotten attention in the news, but so many have been unsung heroes doing incredible work to rescue our fellow citizens and get their families to safety. Many are quickly pivoting from Houston and now headed to Florida. Thank you for all that you are doing. May we all find a way to support your efforts during this time.
Monday marks the 16th anniversary of September 11, a day that is forever stamped in so many of our minds. Today, we share with you a video of Architect of Change Billy Collins, who served as U.S. Poet Laureate in 2001 and wrote a beautiful poem remembering those who had fallen. May we remember today, and may we look ahead to how we can continue to come together as a country.
INSPIRATION FOR THE WEEK AHEAD
SHOP FOR YOUR MIND
“My First Coloring Book Is On Sale Now!”
I’m so excited that Color Your Mind” is now a national bestseller! If you know someone with Alzheimer’s or another brain-related challenge, or if you know someone who is a caregiver, I hope you’ll consider gifting them with a copy. It’s designed with love.
“We Want to Make Our Kids Proud. We Want to Give Back.”
The women of Rivet Revolution have also been touched by Alzheimer’s. Through their passion for jewelry-making, they are using their work to ignite conversations and raise awareness. These “WAM Revolution Bands” benefit women-based research.
READ MORE ABOUT WHAT I'VE BEEN THINKING
"Every man's life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another." — Ernest Hemingway There are some weeks when I wait until the very end to write my “I’ve Been Thinking…” essay for The Sunday Paper....read more
"The unending paradox is that we do learn through pain." — Madeleine L'Engle There I was last Sunday, sitting on my porch reading, when I came across a fascinating and inspiring article in the newspaper. (My porch is my favorite spot to sit, think, read, reflect,...read more
"Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see." — Mark Twain And so it begins… The holiday madness. The holiday rush. Everywhere you look, you see ads for this and that. Must buys. Must haves. Must gets. I, for one, find it all to be...read more