It’s May … let’s Appreciate Mothers, let’s Appreciate Women

In the Colman Family, May is an unusually hectic month of the year. There are several birthdays, an anniversary, school endings, and… of course, Mother’s Day. It was common to wish for 60 days in May just to handle the “extras” – almost doubling the 31 days our calendar provides. That wish has never been granted and we’ve learned over the years how to navigate skillfully and rapidly through the days until June.

One of the skillful practices is focus. Take one thing and allow that one thing to penetrate deeply so that there is a central organizing pattern that brings smooth pace and a sense of order. Here’s how focus evolves.
  • Something happens.
  • That experience reveals ideas.
  • Ideas steep in wonder until they become inspiration.
  • Inspiration turns into focus and right action follows

The recent passing of Bea Colman, Rich’s mother, is a powerful experience in our life. From one view it is a universal truth, we all will physically die. From another view, this is very personal. Let’s hold both views and take focus.

Inspired by women and Bea’s legacy, we now write to inspire others.  Bea was fiercely independent, graciously humble, and keenly dedicated. Some could call her an unsung heroine for the positive impact she made in the field of education, leading organizations, and offering genuine care for her neighbors and friends. The week of her funeral Barbara Switzer ran the Boston Marathon at the age of 70 for the second time. Her first Boston marathon at the age of 20 (fifty years ago) created a stir among the officials. She broke the all-male barrier to the event becoming the first female to enter the Boston Marathon. I mentioned her notoriety in Bea’s eulogy noting that Bea’s accomplishments would never hit the media headlines. Most of us will miss out on the headlines, and a lot of other public accolades. But this month, this writing, this intention can be an active appreciation for the females in our life. Not all women bear children to embody the role of mother. But all women mother in some way – they mother life, they mother experiences, they mother humanity, and more. Here are some courageous women to spur your appreciation…

Did you know that…
Muriel “Mickie” Siebert – Known as the “First Woman of Finance”, became the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). From her struggle to obtain her NYSE seat and throughout her career, Mickie was always a big supporter of women in finance and industry. As an advocate of women’s rights, she developed the program ‘Financial Literacy for Women’ with the non-profit group New York Women’s Agenda in 1998.
Katherine G. Johnson –  An African-American women who served as one of NASA’s human ‘computers,’ Katherine G. Johnson performed the complex calculations that enabled humans to successfully achieve space flight. Johnson continued to serve as a key asset for NASA, helping to develop its Space Shuttle program and Earth Resources Satellite, until her retirement in 1986. You might know her story best from the academy award winning movie, Hidden Figures.
Malala Yousafzai – A young woman shot in the head by Taliban gunmen – her “crime”, to have spoken up for the right of girls to be educated. Malala stood up at the UN headquarters in New York and addressed a specially convened youth assembly. It was her 16th birthday and her speech was broadcast around the world. “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world,” she said. Indeed they have.
Amelia Earhart – “Please know that I am aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be a challenge to others.”

Take a moment to digest these remarkable women and their contribution to this world. Receive our appreciation invitation. Then take another moment to identify one or two women who embody the kinds of attributes these women demonstrated above. Now commit to connecting and appreciating them this month of May, a kind action of gratitude for her positive impact in the world.

In closing, yes, we are appreciating women in celebration of Mother’s Day. Yet, what we embrace more deeply and more fully is appreciation of the feminine, Universal Care. The feminine is not only about women, Universal Care is about all of us. This is a call for all men and women to celebrate mothering, caring, kindness and compassion.
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