Friday, April 27, 2007

Fearless Friday!

Today is the MotherTalk Fearless Friday blog event in honor of Arianna Huffington's book On Becoming Fearless...In Love, Work and Life. I admire Arianna as someone who has continued to reinvent herself throughout her life, found her voice, and created a powerful platform through The Huffington Post and her books. She was a delight to talk to as you will hear in our The Mojo Mom Podcast conversation.

I felt a real sense of sisterhood with Arianna as I read her book. One of the earliest potential cover designs for Mojo Mom featured a woman diving off a cliff into the unknown, much like the cover of the new paperback edition of On Becoming Fearless. It wasn't the right concept for Mojo Mom but the version on Arianna's book works, as the diver soars, almost flies, into her future.

Motherhood was a leap of faith for me, as I had little knowledge of the transformations that lay ahead. I learned how much I didn't know. Stripped of my arrogance and my comfortable old sense of self, I rebuilt from the ground up. Fearlessness was a major lesson during this journey, and I say that not even having tackled the teenage years yet! The stakes are higher as a parent, and this teaches us the lesson that there are more important things than being liked, or popular. The people-pleaser tendency is still in me, but it is quieter and more readily over-ridden. Every mother learns that to keep her child--and all children--safe, sometimes you have to stick your neck out and be prepared to come across as "the only crazy mother who is willing to talk about __________"

I am about to start a new project that was nurtured by courage. One thing I have learned about myself is that I am drawn to knowledge gaps and creating projects to help fill them. That's what I did with Mojo Mom, writing the book I had wished I had had as a new mother.

My next project is to take on the topic of child safety and abuse prevention. To embark on this path, I am planning to bring Kidpower training to my home state of North Carolina. I want to make abuse prevention and safety skills part of the normal, everyday parent education curriculum. Sexual abuse in particular can be a charged and confusing topic for many people, starting with the fact that most parents have little to no background on the subject. We heard the old canard "don't talk to strangers" as kids, and as limited and inaccurate as that advice may be, it may be all that we know to pass on. My goal is to expand parents' toolbox of knowledge, skills and resources, and to empower families to discuss these issues with their children on an ongoing basis.

It feels great to be joining the Kidpower community, which has trained over a million people worldwide over the past 20 years. Their training creates a safe, upbeat, success-based learning environment. Kidpower has chapters thorghout the United States as well as a major international presence. I encourage you to visit the Kidpower website to learn about their online resources or locate a Kidpower center near you.

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