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Conversations Inside Naked Actives, with our Friends, About Women’s History Month (March)
From our Friend Sarah, in Niagara Falls, Canada
When poised with the question, "What females have been influential in your life?"
I had to think long and hard. I've been blessed with many mentors, some male, some female. Many of those mentors were instrumental in shaping me as a person, some were "what not to do" examples but I took a lesson from every single one.
These women below will probably never know the impact they've had but they have shaped me as a person.
We know many women will say their mom but it's 100% my mom.
My mom was a working mom. She taught me that you can have a career, raise a family and go after what you want. She's one of the most thoughtful people I know, always putting together little care packages for people she loves.
She taught me how to be a good mother. She was and is still willing to hang out with her grandsons even though they are taller than her. It's gone from slow walks to the park with toddlers to movie nights with popcorn with teens.
When I was 14, I entered myself into a beauty pageant. Over the next 5 years, I would spend time travelling throughout Europe and working in the beauty industry. When I received a call on a Friday afternoon telling me I needed to be in Milan on Tuesday, my mom jumped into action. She was my behind the scenes helper, taking care of things in Canada while I was working overseas. She did that my entire modelling career.
She was disappointed that I never got into arts and crafts like she did. That's what makes her great, she lets people be their own person and I love her for that.
My mom taught me that nothing is impossible. She taught me how to work hard for what I want, to be brave & to take a chance on my dreams. What an amazing gift my mom is 💛 It may sound cliche but I am truly blessed to have her as my mom.
Kind, filled with grace and lovely inside & out. Karlene is a volunteer leader in the church I attend. Her genuine kindness shines bright. You never leave a conversation with Karlene without smiling.
She taught me how to lead through any situation no matter how difficult. She taught me how to be diplomatic in the way I speak. But more than anything she taught me how to really listen to people.....
Not listen to respond but listen to make people feel heard which is such a valuable skill.
When I think of genuine, I think of Karlene. 💛
At each stage of life, I believe we are blessed with mentors who teach us different lessons. But I also believe that we all have the power to be a mentor to someone else. To be influential in someone else's life. Not by our words but by our everyday actions, how we live our life. We have the power to use our platforms to be more kind, compassionate & spread love in a noisy social media world.
From our friend Reena in London, England
I heard these words the other day from Dr. Robin Williams, "If you have been blessed with a mentor, it is your duty as a woman to be a mentor to others. It is up to us to lift each other up. We are our sisters keepers."
My Mother...who being the 2nd youngest child in a family of 9 children earned a place at private secondary school in Uganda and made clothes to pay her own school fees.
Michelle Obama...an activist for Justice, Female rights, poverty and nutrition, and a supporter for many worthwhile causes, has had her own voice during and after being the First Lady.
From Ivan, our Canadian friend in Sofia, Bulgaria
Sometimes in one’s life, one thinks of the people that have had an impact in their life and have played the role of being their mentors that have helped them grow and develop as human beings. In this women’s history month, I have been asked to think about the two women that have had the greatest impact in my life and were my mentors. The two women I believe had the biggest impact in my life and I consider my mentors are my mother and my wife.
My mom sacrificed her entire life and everything that she had achieved in Bulgaria to give me the chance of a better life in Canada. She left behind her career, friends, family and emigrated to Canada where we arrived with nothing but our clothes on our backs. Coming back to think of this, it was a great sacrifice on her part for giving me the chance of having a better life and has taught me the true meaning of motherly love and sacrifice. She has always encouraged me to do the right things in life and was always beside me and gave everything that she could give. This has inspired me to do the same for my family, friends and society as a whole and I believe has helped me be a better person overall. So my mother has given me so much more than just bringing me into this world!
My wife has been the love of my life and the best thing that has ever happened to me since I have met her. Besides giving birth to my wonderful daughter and son, which has helped me find a meaning and a purpose in life, she has always stood by me through all of my ups and downs. She has supported me in all of my endeavors and has been very patient and understanding to me despite some of the flaws in my character that I have come to realize. She has truly shown me the meaning of love, friendship and partnership.
Without those two women that have guided and mentored me in my life and helped me grow and develop as a human being I have come to realize that would never have become the person that I am today!
From Marcus, our Canadian friend in Prague
I just finished my interview on a podcast on cultural differences with a College in America and in it I spoke of my Mom. It was such a great opportunity to talk about Mom! She passed away a couple years ago with a long battle with Cancer. I realise that the older the I get, the greater the women she was. She taught us to be strong independent and told us we could do anything we set our minds too! And you know, what, she was right! Makes me wonder why I didn’t listen more! My brother and I constantly ask ourselves, how have we managed to come so far in our lives and we often remind ourselves of Mom and her strong influence. Our mother was the first female Lab Technician at Mohawk’s college and se fought hard to get the position! She raised a family and worked a full time job and made a house a home! She supported our father who worked long hours and often traveled long distances as a specialized tradesman! Mom defended me/us whenever we had incompetent teachers providing the wrong guidance for our future and thankfully her liberal dominate mindset (long before it became popular) would always stand up for her beliefs and her family! She worked with us to make us better every day! Whenever I got lost, she’d nudge me in such a way as to explore new places and experiences and although challenging, helped me expand far beyond who I ever thought I could be!
Writing all of this, I also sit here realising what a wonderful person my wife is! She is probably the first person to understand me more than myself! And believe me, that is probably a challenging task to take on as I am surely not an easy person sometimes! My wife has opened me up to new ideas, to new experiences and has helped me to discover hobbies for so many enjoyable interests. From bird watching (ornithology), to gardening, to nature and to understanding fatherhood better, I have to be thankful for meeting her, falling in love with her and having her in my life every day! These difficult times we face today with lock downs, home schooling, covid testing, and quarantines, she has show a strong will to lead us all through this dark time. She works full time, helps us all and still somehow manages to keep us smiling!
I know we said two women in our life, but I have to write about one more strong women that had an impact on me! Marilyn! She is one of my best friends and a mentor in so many ways! She is a retired professor from Brock University and I met her while I was in 4th year university. I was a TA for her and another professor at the time and was so overloaded and lost with the workload and her calmness, professionalism and confidence guided me through a very busy 4th year of university. She made time for anyone knocking on her door and she had a lot of students under her! She listened compassionately and supported where and when she could. She showed a genuine care for every person and has set this standard of precedence for as long as I have known her! She taught me to be open, caring and supportive and to show compassion and care to those in need! She is a strong women, mother of 4, supportive wife and worked very hard her entire life! Being a parent of 2, I often wonder how someone could achieve so much in a life and admire her perseverance and strength!
A very big hug and thank you to all the women in my life! And the lives of everyone here! Happy Women’s History Month! No doubt there is more than 3 but I had to pick a few! Perhaps we can write more about all the other women in our lives, next March!