The Scent Of Life: Are You An Optimist?

rainbow. Photo by Frans Van Heerden
Photo by Frans Van Heerden

“Even the darkest night will end, and the sun will rise.” ― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables.

First of all, let’s define optimism: for me, optimism is the perspective that makes life exciting and meaningful! 

And I dare say that optimism is a method. An approach that we choose to face the difficulties, trials and events that occur in our lives.

One of the main characteristics of optimism is undoubtedly a cheerful mood. But it doesn’t mean being always ready to go party; instead, it means keeping a smile even on tricky days and, above all, offering a smile to everyone we meet in our day.

Another characteristic is the ability to have positive thinking; let’s avoid being trapped in the spiralling negative thoughts and learn how to strengthen our ability to focus on the positive sides of reality. Through meditation or yoga, or nature walks, we can cultivate this positivity.

The last main characteristic that, in my opinion, defines optimism is the ability to express gratitude. Being grateful means appreciating and being happy for what we already have, even if it may seem small. Never underestimate what we have or are. And, most importantly, let this sense of gratitude become a real habit: every day and every moment we should be grateful, for having the sun to warm our skin, for a bed to sleep in, for a beautiful family that loves us, for a good grade our child got, for the food on our table, for a rainbow, for a plant that embellishes our apartment, and so on.

Who are the Optimists?

smile. Photo by Kat Jayne
Photo by Kat Jayne

Optimists manage to generate a deep sense of well-being, both in themselves and in others. Think of it as contagious joy, or an ability to always raise a smile, even on those grey, tired faces.

Optimistic people are those who choose optimism as their approach to life and daily exercise.

”Life has its dark side and its bright side; it’s up to us to choose the one we like best.” ─ Samuel Smiles.

Each person, in fact, consciously or unconsciously decides what the perspective with which to face life is. This choice depends on one’s personal and relational experiences and specific traits of one’s personality. Still, very often it also derives from the habit (or lack thereof) of reflection and self-analysis.

Attention! Being optimistic does not mean believing that life is a fairy tale and that in the end, the fairy will come to make everyone live happily ever after. No, being optimistic means choosing, every day, to focus on the positive aspects of things, problems or events we experience.

Ultimately, this means that we must always work on ourselves to look for our best self. It is a challenging exercise, of course, but extremely rewarding. Being pessimistic is much more comfortable! Just complain, be passive and conform to all those who act the same way. But this behaviour is hazardous because it leads you slowly to annihilation and even worse to victimhood.

5 Characteristics of the Optimists

We can list five predominant characteristics that identify optimistic people. Do this exercise: spend 5 minutes and think about yourself, and find out what you have and what you lack to become an optimistic person.

  1. Optimists are fighters.
    These people set goals from time to time and strive to achieve them. They are always achievable and realistic goals, a little above their current possibilities but not exaggerated; otherwise, the frustration for not achieving them becomes suffocating. The direction is always forward, one target at a time, each in their own pace: slow, very slow or fast. It is never a race with the others or against time, but it is a push always to move forward. The changes of direction are also welcome; the important thing is not to stop.
  2. Optimists do not see failures.
    These people certainly make mistakes, but they consider them as lessons learned, never as failures. By setting goals, it may happen, sooner or later, to make mistakes, but the perception of this mistake makes a huge difference. Mistakes, failures, detours are inevitable in the path of growth, personal or professional. The only failure is to fall and not get up, or stop believing in our goals, or stop taking actions.
  3. Optimists are honest with themselves.
    It means never making excuses or justifications to hide behind. These people are honest with themselves, recognize their mistakes and never ever blame others for their failings. It requires great courage and energy: analyze and improve oneself, without ever judging oneself severely. For this reason, optimists never compare themselves to others; constant comparison distorts our thoughts and poisons our hearts. Those who always make comparisons suffer from a lack of autonomy and independence. On the other hand, one must be aware of oneself, one’s goals and one’s path.
  4. Optimists accept others for what they are.
    These people know how to accept themselves, and therefore it is easy for them to accept others with their weaknesses and virtues. Within a community, or a workplace, or family, this means being able to appreciate and motivate the other people in our lives. Above all, it means not abandoning oneself in constant harsh and useless criticism. Those who have good self-esteem and self-awareness can exercise their guidance on others, without ever humiliating anyone, and this will eventually lead to a good connection and a good harmonization of the external environment.
  5. Optimists nourish themselves.
    This means knowing oneself, forgiving our mistakes and giving our successes the value they deserve, and above all never stopping to learn, to make changes, to nourish our spirit, always to take new actions to improve. Each of us is a work of art, and for this reason, we can never neglect ourselves. Optimists can motivate themselves, starting from strong values, intentions and beliefs. It is precisely this set of elements that drives us to proceed with determination and positivity on the path we have chosen. “Motivation” means “moving forward”.

Keep your face to the sunshine, and you cannot see a shadow”. Helen Keller

Developing optimism in our daily behaviour will bring about changes in our lives. Optimism is the fundamental pillar to fight against apathy and discouragement; the principal causes of the inconveniences of our daily life.

face painted in a rainbow. Photo by Sharon McCutcheon
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon

Using optimism as a way of living, we can also prepare ourselves to face the pessimistic environment that often surrounds us. Right now, we are experiencing a global and terrible health crisis that disrupts mechanisms, balances and even the lives of many people. It is essential, now more than ever, to be able to recognize and control the feelings aroused by the pessimistic sources around us, and this is one of the most challenging trials we face. We can succeed, if we rely on the principles described above, without fear and without panic, which has never helped humanity to progress.

So, I think it is crucial to maintain this approach every day, to overcome the crisis and even come out of it better. If we are sick or if someone we love is sick, let’s avoid despair but let’s follow these principles and face the days, one after the other, with positivity and awareness.

If we lost our jobs because of the economic recession, let’s not get down and let’s look around. An open mind can see opportunities and turn problems and falls into starting points to jump into something new. Just see what is happening: where the traditional economy is suffering and slowing down, the digital economy, on the other hand, is very prosperous and offers many opportunities.

Let’s think out of the boxes then. Let’s learn new skills and reinvent ourselves in the digital economy because we are stronger than we think; we need to make positive and optimistic choices. In this regard, I can recommend this series of workshops that help to understand what are our possibilities in the digital landscape and what programs we can follow to get started. Having a passive income or an online stream is much easier than it seems. Register here to learn more.

“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.”
(Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart)

Discover Which is Your Inner Deity

The Three Graces by Canova
Antonio Canova: The Three Graces

Every woman has deities inside her. Inner deities can change our lives if we learn to recognize them, listen to them and follow them, avoiding the conflicts and titanic wars they can create in our inner being. Inner deities are archetypes.

Do you know what archetypes are?

Archetypes are behavioural models belonging to the collective unconscious, not simple symbols but the essence that gives them life, allowing them to exist in time.

They are present in myths, fairy tales, legends all over the world and they often come to visit us in dreams to help us build an individual consciousness; they hide great energy and manifest themselves everywhere.

Carl Gustav Jung described them as follows: “No archetype is reducible to simple formulas. The archetype is like a vase that can never be emptied or filled. In itself, it exists only in power, and when it takes shape in a given material, it is no longer the same as before. It persists through the millennia and yet always requires new interpretations. Archetypes are unshakable elements of the unconscious, but they change form continuously”.

According to Jung and Jean S. Bolen, there are archetypal models linked to the deities of ancient Greece, both male and female, which symbolize the energy and instinct that each of us has.

For women, there are seven deities, these goddesses are not mutually exclusive, and they should never compete with each other. Some of these divinities are more manifest than others, depending on existential periods and personal characteristics, and all of them have precious gifts and teachings to give us.

Usually, there is one primary archetype, and then the others that coexist together, but sometimes the primary archetype can be repressed, for example, by specific education, or by social rules, which induce the woman to suffocate her true nature.

For this reason, it is essential to be aware of one’s inner deities and to know their characteristics, to integrate those we need or to free those repressed.

When we feel tormented and agitated, there is a conflicting situation between the deities and this creates imbalance; once we learn to recognize the inner goddesses, then we can listen to them and understand how they influence us.

Which One is Your Inner Deity?

Karl Lagerfeld: Chanel Cruise 2018
Karl Lagerfeld: Chanel Cruise 2018

Artemis

Goddess of hunting, of wildlife, symbolizes the need for independence and freedom. The Artemis-woman is autonomous, able to take care of herself, courageous, competitive, able to achieve her goals with determination. She is contemptuous, in some cases, of vulnerability, hostile to those who get in her way when she wants to reach a goal. Artemis’ weak point is the unconscious, towards which the woman with this archetype is not very receptive.

Athena

The goddess of wisdom and crafts, the Athena-woman is intellectual. She is determined, able to maintain control even in the most critical situations, objective and ambitious, hyper-organized—weak point: Athena risks neglecting the heart part of herself as well as the body. A repressed Athena-woman instead tends to disguise herself behind a cynical and insensitive appearance. In love, she prefers relationships of complicity and solidarity rather than passionate involvement. She is a tireless worker and must learn to integrate the childish part, a little suffocated in her, that is the innocence that distinguishes children and their ability to be moved without fear.

Hestia

The goddess of the hearth, she symbolizes the sacred fire that heats every home. She is a pure archetype, deeply spiritual, complete in itself, capable of inner concentration and very intuitive. The Hestia-woman loves to be alone, dedicating herself in various ways to her house, keeping it clean; in fact, through housework, she keeps her inner life in order. She is not an ambitious woman; she is not projected outside; she prefers her interiority—a weak point: loneliness, isolation, the tendency not to feel comfortable in unfamiliar environments. From a sentimental point of view, she is not very passionate and, although she is a woman of the house, she knows how to feel very well even alone, without a man. The Hestia-woman must learn to integrate her male side, which can help her to act in certain situations. She also needs to learn how to express herself with the outside world.

Hera

She is the goddess of marriage, married to Zeus, who was unfaithful to her. That is why Hera was venting her anger against her husband’s lovers. The Hera-woman needs a companion in life and would do anything to keep him to herself. She is attracted to powerful men or men in need of warmth. She is not very interested in work; she feels complete through marriage and is not even tied to friendships. She is rather angry if abandoned or hurt and tends to be the victim. In her destructive side, the Hera-woman is hostile towards other women and is willing to do anything to continue her marriage; she is judgmental and vindictive as well as jealous. She needs to learn to be more independent of her husband and to channel her anger and jealousy.

Demeter

Goddess of harvest, she symbolizes the maternal instinct that can manifest itself not only with children but also with an attitude of welcome, generosity towards others; the woman Demeter loves to host many people, friends and family at home. Weak point: feeling empty when children leave home, in general, she is very protective, generous, altruistic. She loves immature men, in need of protection, she loves cuddling rather than real sexual intercourse. In her work, she is neither competitive nor ambitious and is often involved in professions related to teaching or caring for the sick. At times, she may experience depression and victimization, ending up as a victim of the Red Cross Nurse Syndrome (which is the tendency to fix everything and take care of others despite themselves). She needs to learn to express anger, to say no, and to let go.

Persephone

The Queen of the Underworld is a goddess with a dual identity. She is both Persephone and Kore. The Persephone part is mature and self-confident, she reigns over the dead guiding the living into the underworld, that is, she knows how to move between the ego and the unconscious. The Kore part is that of the immature young girl who does not know who she is and what her potential is; she tends to be passive. From the sentimental point of view, she waits for Prince Charming and assumes a childish behaviour. She tends to frequently change her job, with a playful and irresponsible attitude towards life. If the Kore part activates the Persephone part, then she matures, but this usually happens when she is forced to face life with her strength, without support. Weak point: she can become too narcissistic, depressed, anxious to please others.

Aphrodite

Goddess of love and beauty, she symbolizes the power of transformation and creation. The Aphrodite-woman is attractive and sensual, magnetic, extrovert, lives in the present, is very connected to the senses. She naturally attracts men, but, if repressed, she tends to feel guilty. She is very seductive, and it is difficult for her to remain faithful to a single companion, she does not like repetitive jobs, she prefers creative professions. She is elegant by nature and therefore not much loved by other women. If she falls in love with men who do not want her enough, she tends to become obsessed with the bond. She must learn to be more emotionally detached from relationships so as not to risk being sucked into them.

My Favorite Archetype: The Wise Woman (or Great Mother)

woman and candles, Photo by cottonbro
Photo by Cottonbro

There is another archetype, very powerful: the Wise Woman. In the collective imagination, wise women resemble a little bit like witches, and I believe that this is so, because after all these women are often nonconformist; they live according to their aspirations and mock the dictates of patriarchal society. They help people to discover their uniqueness and spirituality.

Who are the wise women? They are women who have walked an often tortuous path, made up of lessons and profoundly transformative experiences, which have taken them on the road to inner maturity.

Wisdom means awareness and is not measured in years of life. There are wise women, even 25 years old! They are the ones who, when they were little girls, suffered tough blows but found within them the strength to get up and felt in their hearts the urge to help others.

We have many examples of Wise Women, even in our recent history. My thoughts immediately fly to Maya Angelou, Frida Kahlo, Mary Wollstonecraft, but also to Meryl Streep, Oprah Winfrey, to name a few. If you think of a female character you like, you could trace her back to this archetype, or to one of the goddesses I described earlier, and you will be surprised to find exactly these characteristics.

According to Jean S. Bolen, an internationally renowned psychologist and author, wise women are part of the Great Mother archetype. We think of a strong female figure, for example, a grandmother who behaves maternally with all children and wants the best for all of them, not only for her children or grandchildren.

The 13 Rules of Wise Women

According to Jean S. Bolen, thirteen rules identify the Wise Women:

1. Wise women do not live to complain; they create change.

2. Wise women are brave.

3. Wise women have green thumb with plants.

4. Wise women trust their intuition and respect that of others.

5. Wise women meditate every day and are in communication with their inner selves.

6. Wise women firmly defend what they consider essential.

7. Wise women also choose their path with their hearts.

8. Wise women speak the truth with compassion.

9. Wise women listen to their bodies.

10. Wise women extemporize and play.

11. Wise women do not beg.

12. Wise women laugh together.

13. Wise women appreciate the positive in life and share it with simplicity.

Have you already identified your archetype? It certainly takes a little bit of inner analysis and a lot of listening to ourself, we need to connect with our spirituality and become aware of the existence of these elements in us.

Many confuse spirituality with religion, but they are two different things.

Spirituality is our most important dimension, and many times (too many) underestimated.

Spirituality means to love oneself and the others, to focus on one’s breath, on the deep silence within, and to find the source of our light. It means getting lost in a forest or admiring a sunrise. Cherish the sea or a flower garden. It means nourishing the soul with beauty and poetry.

Every time we get away from our spirituality, we feel lost, and our body advises us, sending signals such as anxiety, panic, pain, sadness, depression. They are deceptions of the mind to bring us back to the point where we are lost.

Cultivating spirituality means not allowing external events to obscure our light, to lose the joy to live. For this reason, we must always act with love and kindness and nourish our souls so that we can benefit others, giving them positivity, energy, inspiration, motivation.

Precisely in this journey to the (re)discovery of my spirituality, I learned to listen to my inner deity and began to make my true nature re-emerge. I changed everything: lifestyle, work, negative people and I started to build a better version of myself. I reinvented myself, and I am immensely satisfied with my choice.

If you are also interested in walking the path of transformation,  you can follow this Free Training that will show you a different, more sustainable, more authentic way to live your life. Register Here.

“That a woman who continues to enrich her wisdom must constantly find new roots in the spiritual life is an extreme act of liberation. Teaching young people to do the same – and by “young people,” I mean anyone with less awareness or less experience – is the greatest radical and revolutionary act.”(Clarissa Pinkola Estés)

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Goddesses in Everywoman by Jean Shinoda Bolen

How to Close Vicious Cycles: The Three Phases Rule

woman on a swing, Photo by Artem Beliaikin
Photo by Artem Beliaikin

How many times do we fall into the same traps, and each time we promise not to fall again? For example, all those times we say “I always choose the wrong boyfriend!”, or in the office “I always make this mistake with colleagues, or the boss”, or “The discussion with my husband always ends the same way”.

It is as if we deliberately choose to hurt ourselves, knowing full well how it will end. And yet, it is more potent than us: we are trapped in a mental loop that always pushes us in the same direction.

Why does our mind continue to act in the same way? Sometimes we look like little mice on a wheel, who can’t see that the cage is open and freedom is at hand. Why don’t we get out? Because a part of us is terrified of change.

Why Do We Struggle To Close Cycles?

Closing cycles means renouncing, going your own way without looking back, and it also means letting go of what you know, and that somehow gives us a sense of security.

Renouncing means choosing between a painful past and an uncertain future, but in this equation, a crucial time is missing: the present. The only time in which we can take action. It is the key to change: if this moment is missing, nothing will change in our life.

That’s why we struggle to close the cycles: we are not used to living in the present. We are projected continuously into tomorrow or turned to our past.

The Rule of Three Phases For Living In The Present

clocks, Photo by Giallo
Photo by Giallo

Some of these cycles are dangerous for us, poisonous because they prevent us from being happy and fulfilled. We must close them to live. For every cycle we manage to close, we retrieve a fragment of ourselves because closing cycles requires knowing how to look inside ourselves with honesty. It means becoming a little more aware of our strengths and weaknesses, it means looking inside ourselves, deeply, to grow; and it means taking off the masks we have built up over the years.

In this process, we must be present: it means being focused on what we are living and who we are; acting in the here and now, connecting mind-heart-soul.

It isn’t effortless, but if we want to close a cycle that is slowly annihilating us, we have to go through three phases.

Phase 1. The grief

The present turned to the past: we are at the end of a cycle, but we have not yet closed it, for several reasons maybe because we feel nostalgic and think back to all the happy moments of the past and find more reasons to repeat it than to close it.

At this point, we must stop and examine this past well. What conditions has this past produced? Let’s stay in the present and look at the results. How many are positive? How many negatives? Are we being stuck? Are these results denying us evolution and growth? We need to go through all stages of awareness: from pain to sadness and finally to acceptance. Then, we will be ready for the next step.

Phase 2. The waiting

The absolute present: we are ready to close that chapter of our life, but, at this point, we need to dig even deeper into ourselves.

Waiting does not mean “doing nothing” or being passive. On the contrary, waiting is a moment of great inner activity: this is where you have to dig deep to analyze every thought, emotion and reaction to find the problem. This problem is a wound that has caused pain or discomfort, and that pushes us always to do the same actions and always to have the same behavior.

Phase 3. The rebirth

The present turned to the future: it is the first action we take in the direction we have chosen to follow, and that is in harmony with who we are. It is the first small step taken with the awareness of who we are and where we are.

Rebirth is the first manifestation of a new form of life, of a transformation. From this moment we will be able to walk the rest of the journey following our times, with confidence and facing (and overcoming) old and new fears from time to time.

How to Face Fear?

Fear is our prison, and we created it ourselves! Like the little mouse on the wheel who can’t see that the cage is open. We are all able to understand our fears and then face them; it only takes a little bit of courage to take the first step.

Here are four tips to get you started:

  • Let’s welcome our fear: first of all, we must admit we are afraid and experience it all, even if it is unpleasant.
  • We find the courage to dig inside ourselves and understand why we are afraid: what is the source? It is undoubtedly a wound, caused by what (or by who)? Is it a fear dictated by real danger, or is it just our mental creation?
  • If we have accepted our fear, and if we have dared to understand its cause, then we are strong. It means that we have great inner strength. So, let us use this strength: the more we release our inner self, the freer we are to be at peace.
  •  All we have to do is train. Let’s face the small fears first and then the bigger ones. The small successes will serve us as motivation to face more significant fears and to walk the path of this change. It is continuous training, but it helps to make us determined and therefore confident and happy.

Recognizing and facing fears is the only way to achieve a positive inner transformation and therefore a personal growth, which will lead us to happiness and also to full realization, not only in private but also in professional life.

According to Dr Wayne Dyer, 96% of our actions are dictated by our subconscious mind. It’s like living on autopilot. We, through the various phases and difficulties of life, have created that behavioural model, and only we can reprogram it. And welcome the change.

If that model is cynical and perverse, we have the responsibility to change it, to live this life to the fullest. And do not waste it, spinning in fear (for no reason) on the wheel like the mouse.

I want to share with you this poem, which I consider outstanding.

He who dies (Ode to life – Ode alla vita)
By Martha Medeiros
Slowly dies he who becomes a slave to habit,
repeating the same journey every day,
he who doesn’t change his march, he who doesn’t risk
and change the color of his clothes, he who doesn’t speak to he whom he doesn’t know.
Slowly dies he who makes of the television his guru,
Slowly he who avoids a passion dies, he who prefers
black on white and dots onis rather than a togetherness of emotions
exactly those that make the eyes shine,
those that make the heart beat
before error and feeling.
Slowly dies he who doesn’t overturn the table,
he who is unhappy in his work,
he who doesn’t risk certainty for uncertainty
to follow a dream,
he who doesn’t permit himself at least one time in his life
to flee sensible counsels.
Slowly dies he who doesn’t travel, he who doesn’t read,
he who doesn’t listen to music,
he who doesn’t find grace in himself.
Slowly he who destroys his own love dies,
he who doesn’t allow himself to be helped.
Slowly he who passes his days lamenting
about his own misfortune or the incessant rain dies.
Slowly dies he who abandons a project
before beginning it,
he who doesn’t ask questions about topics he doesn’t know,
he who doesn’t answer when he is asked something that he knows.
Let’s avoid death by small doses,
remembering always that being alive
requires a much larger effort
than the simple act of breathing.
Only burning patience will bring
within reach a splendid happiness.

Do not give up life; do not die slowly. Identify the cause of your suffering and work to change your life. Please do it for yourself, and do it for your children, your family, and eventually for this planet.

I find myself in this space, on this path, because I dug inside myself and I understood what was creating my suffering because it did not allow me to manage my time freely: my job as a project manager. Always a slave to the schedules and needs of clients, colleagues or employers. I had money and a career, but I was not happy because I was renouncing to my time, to my children growing up so fast, to my family so easy to lose. I was sacrificing my life.

It is survival, not living. Does it make sense?

I undertook a (difficult) path of inner transformation, and today I am free from the schemes, and I found a way to reinvent myself. I can finally say that I have the luxury of working as I decide and enjoying my time as I wish.

I can help you if you want to take the same path and if you want to reinvent yourself. You have to be willing to learn and invest in yourself, and you have to be ready to feel uncomfortable because you will emerge from the proverbial comfort zone, and because you will face your fears. All this to return to living an authentic life, sustainably.

If you want to do it, and if you want to see real results, start following this Free Video Series, they will explain in detail how to proceed and what to do to take the first step. Or, contact me, and I will be happy to take you by the hand and accompany you on your way to rebirth. You can do it.

𝗗𝗼𝗻’𝘁 𝗯𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗿𝘆𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗼 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗳 𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗯𝘆 𝗮𝗻𝘆𝗼𝗻𝗲, 𝗼𝗻𝗹𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗮 𝘀𝗼𝘂𝗹 𝗲𝗾𝘂𝗮𝗹 𝘁𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘀 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘆𝗼𝘂. — 𝗙𝗿𝗶𝗱𝗮 𝗞𝗮𝗵𝗹𝗼

Five Tips To Become A Successful Mompreneur

Mompreneurs Are Made, Not Born

young woman thinking while working_Photo by Kaboompics
Photo by Kaboompics

Mompreneur is a French word that indicates the mothers in business, women who create small and large entrepreneurial projects, to achieve a better balance between private life and professional activity.

Mompreneur is a term used mainly in Europe, but it is rapidly spreading everywhere. In the United States, where this phenomenon was born, the term “mom power” is also used, which gives a good idea of our secret weapon: our massive inner energy.

A profound and powerful life-force that must, first of all, be (re)discovered, and then used not only for self-improvement and spiritual enrichment but also to create a professional career free of those constraints still heavily imposed by our society.

Modern women no longer have to ask these questions: “Career or children?”, “Full time or part-time?”, “Housewife or manager?”. Say “Enough!” to the condition of always being forced to choose between options. It’s better to start making real choices: we want to be mothers, and also entrepreneurs.

Why Mompreneur?

Simple: to manage time as we see fit, to work from home (or from the playground), to carry out an activity that we like, free from prejudices and constraints, and, above all, free from fake obliged choices.

The new symbol is one of the mothers who wants a better reconciliation between private life and professional activity, who does not want to be a slave to rigid office hours but neither to give up her identity as a working woman. 

In Canada, the case of Susan Niczowsk is famous. She invented the home distribution of delicious salads and, thanks to agreements with farmers in the countryside around Toronto, now runs a company with a turnover of $50 million and 300 employees. Or, Nicole Feliciano, Speaker, Influencer, CEO of MomTrends link and author of the book Mom Boss, a recommended reading for all women.

They are not the only ones, many mothers run their business profitably, and especially now that (fortunately or unfortunately) the pandemic has taken off the digital economy, many moms have launched their online business. Just take a look at Instagram or Facebook, for example, to see dozens and dozens of women (and moms) selling products of all kinds or promoting programs to reinvent yourself, to set free from the chains and start living a more rewarding lifestyle (like me).

Five Tips To Become Mompreneur

mom and child_ Photo by Pixabay
Photo by Pixabay
  1. My first tip is to follow your intuition. Let yourself be guided by your aspirations, your abilities; learn to listen to yourself. Being mompreneur means putting yourself on the line, maybe starting a job completely different from the previous one. The important thing is to follow intuition, passion and work hard. Being mompreneur doesn’t mean working less, but it means working smarter. You have to invest your time and all your energy, especially in the early stages. By following our instinct and keeping our mind always open to new opportunities, we can see things we would otherwise have lost.
  2. My second tip is to have a valid business plan. To launch and grow your business, you have to be prepared. Learn is the key. Don’t just think about the university…I mean learning new skills and using new tools. The Internet offers everything you need, choose carefully and then dive into the learning. It’s okay to proceed in baby steps but make sure you are following a good strategy. For the development of a good business plan, it is often better to rely on a coach, a qualified person who guides step-by-step on how to move between the various phases of the business. This is an option not to be underestimated.
  3. My third tip is to believe in yourself. This is undoubtedly a great challenge because, unfortunately, we still live in a patriarchal society that often “weakens” women mentally and spiritually. Just think of the most common definition of woman as “the weaker sex”. I will not discuss it in this article, but I fully understand the difficulty of believing in oneself. Yet this is the key to everything. When we learn to appreciate who we are and what we are capable of doing, we recognise our strengths and begin to build our project through them. Let’s free ourselves from the inferiority syndrome and use our immense energy and immense courage to work on ourselves. We should get out of the comfort zone and head high towards the road we have decided to take, always thinking that we are capable of doing so.
  4. My fourth tip is to surround yourself with a support network. Unfortunately, and I speak from personal experience, friends and family do not always support us in our choices. On the contrary, they often hinder us by saying that it is too risky, that it is too difficult, that it is madness. How many times have you heard that? So, you have to look around for a network of like-minded people and moved by the same goals—a community. The ideal would be to join a community of women entrepreneurs, with whom to share advice, teachings, wins and even failures because on the road to success; there will also be these. Through sharing and connecting with other women, you can grow from within, create an efficient mindset and improve your project.
  5. My fifth tip is to set priorities, establish intentions and define values. I left it for last, but I think that is the essential point.
    • My priority is my family, so when I decided to launch my online business, I put my family at the centre and developed my career around it. I worked as a project manager in a company for 20 years, and I always had to sacrifice myself and my family for the job. Since my children were born, this became unsustainable: at one point, my children were less important than my clients’ needs. Madness. I struggled a lot, but then I found the courage and said “Enough”. So, first of all, you have to define your priority: What is it? And with your choice in mind, start drawing your project around it.
    • Intentions. We often live at the mercy of events; we are pushed in this or that direction without having any control. We must learn to be the creators of our reality, and sometimes even surrender to events. However, beware: surrendering does not mean accepting everything that comes with resignation; it is precisely at this time that intentions play an essential role. When we fix our intentions and focus on them, all our actions take on a precise meaning and direction. We must, therefore, decide What We Want, Why We Want It And Visualise It Clearly in our minds so as not to get lost along the way.
    • Values. Making money online is not a value, it is a necessity, I understand it well, but it can in no way be the thing that drives us to take action. Because if it were only that way, we could never really sell or get rich as we thought. Values define what you believe is essential in life—love, respect, kindness, compassion, friendship and so on. When you set your values, the actions and decisions you have to make will be easier and not contradictory. For example, if the family is your value, and then you work over 40 hours a week, then you will be unhappy and stressed. When we define our values, we align priorities and intentions, and the result can only be magical.

Some Online Business Ideas

social networks icons. Photo by Pixabay
Photo by Pixabay

Often the most immediate thing to do is to follow your passion.

For example, if you have artistic skills, you can design t-shirts and sell them with on-demand printing services. This is a very trendy business. It is an example of dropshipping: inventory, shipping and order processing are entrusted to a third party supplier. In this case, your focus is on customising products with an original design. Not only t-shirts but also caps, phone cases, hoodies, cups, everything can be used to show off your creativity.

If you like sewing, another example is selling your creations online and not only that; you could teach other people how to sew. Nowadays, “needle&thread” is an art that is disappearing, yet in the fashion industry, tailors are always much sought after. Many people want to untie themselves from the big brands that exploit the work in Third World Countries (often children) and look for original and sustainable clothing.

If you live in a house with a large garden, and you are in a location that allows it, you can create an original setting and rent your garden for birthday parties or private events. You can promote your project on the Internet and build a real lifestyle around it. Then, if you associate yourself with some other woman who offers home catering, you’re all set.

If you are a computer geek, you can create a site and start an online program to learn how to encode, as well as offer your services.

If you love cooking, look for a niche and specialise in it; for example, creative cocktails are in fashion. You can invent new recipes and then teach how to make them or sell yourself as a private party consultant.

There are thousands of ideas, I could go with whole pages, and they are all equally possible and realistic. The principles as before remain valid. You can succeed if you believe in yourself, if you invest in your education, if you work with priorities, intentions and values in mind.

What If You Have No Passion?

  • All the same, there are many possibilities, for example, Affiliate Marketing.
    What is Affiliate Marketing?
    When you start this business, you sell products from other companies and get a commission; the great thing is that you don’t need an office, you don’t need a warehouse, you don’t even need an accountant! As an affiliate, the amount of products you can sell is unlimited; you just have to choose the one you like best. Also, once the promotional campaign is set up, possible sales take place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This way, you can spend your time with your children or dedicate time to yourself while your business continues in the background. Affiliate Marketing is low risk because it requires a little investment.
  • Another option is E-commerce.
    What is E-commerce?
    In this case, you’re going to sell physical products. Here too, the system is designed to facilitate and simplify the processes. You first have to decide what to sell, then just order existing products wholesale at a fraction of the cost and resell them at a higher price. You need, in this case, to set up a stable and effective sales system, study the market and the products that are trendy. It doesn’t sound very easy, but it is, indeed, if you have the right preparation. You can also join Amazon FBA, for example. Amazon FBA will make the heavy work: customer payments, packaging, distribution and customer service. What you have to do is prepare marketing and advertising campaigns and sell the products.

If you’re serious about changing your life, act now and take a look at this Free Video Series that has helped hundreds of people (like me) start an online business from scratch. No experience is necessary. Our vast community will support you anytime, and you will never feel lost or alone in cyberspace.

Attention! This program is NOT a quick gain scheme. You must be determined and committed to working seriously. I believe that to change your life and create your dream life, you have to want it with all your strength, and be willing to take an uphill road but certainly full of great satisfaction.

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The pandemic is changing working motherhood

Confession of a working mom

photo-of-woman-showing-frustrations-on-her-face
Photo by Yan

Every day since my children were born, I waver between the desire to be a lawyer working on multiple lawsuits in a reputable law firm and the desire to stay at home, relax on the carpet surrounded by Legos and pirate boats and watch cartoons with my children. Then, the pandemic hits me hard, and I can’t even make choices anymore”. How much does this story resonate with you?

Every woman must be able to choose freely between three options: the first is to work and not be a mother without being judged or accused; the second is to be a mother and make a career at the same time; the third is to be just a mother. None of these three choices should be penalizing; none should be misjudged. In our society, however, women are forced to balance an alternative between the three options, as if they were jugglers.

Whatever the numbers, which still reveal a significant disparity between men and women, the problem lies in the mentality that drives the work market: in this system, the man must work and the woman, on the other hand, may work.

I think that women are always exposed to pressures that often result in a kind of psychological violence. This violence expresses itself in paternalistic attitudes and denies the freedom and ability of every woman to make decisions about her body (and soul) and her working life.

I loved my job. I could work well beyond office hours to complete a task, to satisfy a client’s request or to schedule my team’s work. I was tired but, in the evening, I could recover my energy by playing sports or going for a walk or spending time with my partner or friends. A life that satisfied me completely, or so I thought.

Then comes the pregnancy. So long desired, long sought after, arduously achieved and there I am, crazy with joy, totally immersed in my happiness as a mother-to-be. A thousand dreams: all the things I will do with my baby, all the places I will take him or her, the games we will play together and discoveries we will do. The heart was full of expectations and ready to welcome a new life into ours.

The news: “Ma’am, you’re expecting twins.” Panic. Two kids and no experience? My family was living in another region because I had decided to leave to pursue my job, so I felt lost. But only for a short time. I knew I could count on my husband; I knew he would be able to take on the role of a father consciously. And indeed, he was, a present and active father, I would say a second mother.

My babies are born, and I fall so madly in love with them that I lose my rational brain. I am a lioness ready to attack anyone who can put them in danger, a terrible bear who defends her cubs with claws and sharp teeth. I am a fury of love.

And I bang my head against the wall every night because it’s hard to be the mother of two premature babies, I don’t know what to do, and I learn by trial and error. I’m immensely happy, but I look in the mirror, and alone in the bathroom, I cry. It’s hard. But I keep going because I’m a tough guy, and I don’t give up! I can’t give up.

Then, the time comes to go back to the office, it’s only been five months, and I’m not ready, but mine is a “forced choice”, like that of many women. I have to go back, or I lose my job. I hire a babysitter and start working, then as soon as the children can go to the nursery, I return full-time to the office.

My nightmare begins.

I am exhausted, terribly tired because at night I don’t sleep because my children don’t sleep, and during the day I have to prepare plans, analyze data, develop and deliver projects with strict delivery dates. I can’t concentrate; I feel like I’m going crazy. What are my kids doing now? Are they quiet? Are they afraid? “I abandoned them” this thought always comes back to me. “No, they’re having fun, they’re playing, and they have great nannies.” It’s true, my babies are good, and they have a lot of fun at the daycare; they have toys, support, everything they need. But. They learn to walk without me, they learn a new word without me, they discover a new game, and I’m not there. My guilt gets worse every day. I would like to spend my days playing with my children on the carpet, take them to the park, take a nap with them but I can’t because my job demands at least 8 hours a day.

I can ask for holidays or maternity leave, but I have to give a thousand explanations, record them, count them, measure them, ask colleagues to finish my job; and employers control productivity, showing unsatisfied faces. I have to continually prove that the quality of my work is good, that I am productive. It is exhausting.

The hostile attitude contributes to my sense of guilt; it is the cause of an already nasty mood and leads me to feel inadequate. Not a good project manager and not a good mother. Every time I am late for a business meeting, I feel guilty because I am not with my children. Whenever I don’t go to the office because my children are sick, I feel guilty because I didn’t complete a project or failed the delivery.

I firmly believe that it is not natural to leave such little children in other people’s care to go to the office. And I also think it’s not right to lose or give up my job because I had children. I feel like I’m a victim of injustice. Only later on did I begin to ask myself the question: was mine a real choice? Today I can say no.

Are we really free to choose?

Everyone, at least in the Western world, is convinced that we can determine our own destiny and that we are capable of free will. Even those who are cynical and think that the world is dominated by the choices of others and are convinced that they cannot change their lives are equally persuaded that they have some decision-making power.

The thought of ourselves as intelligent beings capable of making free choices makes us feel alive. But this is not always true: women often do not make free choices, for two fundamental reasons:

  • We are limited by context: our choices are dictated by the historical period in which we live, by culture, education, society, the people around us.
  • We are limited by the invisible: our fears block us. Our negative thoughts, our imposed or even self-imposed limiting beliefs prevent us from making conscious choices. This attitude also makes us vulnerable to influences from the outside world and other people.

What is the way out?

woman on a swing Photo by Artem Beliaikin
Photo by Artem Beliaikin

Awareness. We can grow our action and be aware of the context in which we live, the conditioning and how many external factors influence our choices.

Awareness is a path, which we must build step by step, and following this transformation, we will know when the time is right to make a change of direction.

In my case, the path to awareness has been slow and tormented. I knew I was not happy, and I knew that I was not living my life and motherhood as I had imagined it, but I was not ready to renounce.

In every decision, as an opportunity or necessity when faced with a problem, we make a choice, but at the same time, we renounce to something. I thought that living my motherhood to the fullest meant losing the job that I loved and which also gave me a good income. I felt trapped, and for ten years, I tried to do everything possible (trust me, even miracles!) to give 100% as a mom and 100% as a project manager. The result? Well, you will have already understood it: sadness, depression and endless tiredness, I was completely without energy.

I began to think that freedom, as a condition and experience, manifests itself in the possibility of making conscious choices. The deprivation of this possibility suppresses freedom. I was not free, but there is something else.

Freedom is not only linked to an external condition but above all, to an internal state. What if I do not feel free because I have deprived myself of the possibility of choice? There is always a way out but, perhaps, the right time must come to see it.

And so, after 20 long years working as a project manager, I was aware that I was no longer myself, that I was not the person I had wanted to be; the lack of choice and freedom had turned me into the ghost of myself, tired and sad.

I gathered all my courage. I squeezed every particle of courage out of every cell in my body and decided to take my life back. I chose to live authentically and to build my own business that would not impose on me the limits dictated by others.

I did it not only for myself but especially for my children and my family. At that exact moment when I decided to quit my job, I knew that I would lose a secure salary, but I knew that by investing in myself I would soon gain freedom, happiness, time and then also money.

I started my new career by entering the digital economy and exploiting the potential that the Internet and globality offer us. I understood that we are in an era of transition, the traditional economy is destined to die, and above all, it is not egalitarian. The gender pay gap is still high, all over the world; management roles are reserved for men, in many countries; there are no equal opportunities between men and women; and motherhood is still considered a penalty.

You get pregnant and see career opportunities fade away, while you’re at home with the baby, one of your male colleagues will advance in the promotion and, if you’re unlucky, you’ll lose your job and have to look for another one. I said “Enough!” to this system. And then the Covid-19 crisis proved me right (unfortunately) because it accelerated and emphasized this whole mechanism. The pandemic crisis hit women harder.

When you’re in the digital landscape, there’s no difference in gender, colour or pay. Everything depends only on you. That’s why you can’t jump out there if you’re not prepared.

When I took my first steps, I was totally lost because there was so much information, so many possibilities and I felt confused and alone. I was sceptical, I was afraid, and I knew I was technically very weak. Then, I realized what I had to do first: learn! I found an outstanding program that guided me step by step through the various opportunities and possibilities. A course that gave me not only the tools but above all, gave me a community of motivated people who are willing to help at all times. I found a group of individuals who share my values and with whom I can feel deeply connected.

The change

flower and butterfly_Photo by Pixabay
Photo By Pixabay

My life has changed. I got a new mindset. I started a path of personal development that also leads me to build my business and be successful in my working life. I no longer have to renounce spending time with my children and my husband – I finally have time. Time! It was a dream for me to live my time freely. I used to wish to add 1 or 2 hours to the day to finish all the tasks, and now I can decide how best to use my days. That makes me feel so happy and empowered.

I’m here to tell you to think about it. It’s not too late. It’s not true that you’re not capable and that you don’t have the technical knowledge: that’s what society conditions you to think. It is true that it takes courage, strength and above all, it is true that you have to work hard, because there are so many things to learn and because without working like crazy you won’t be fulfilled.

The pandemic crisis is dangerous because it creates recession and cuts jobs; you need to get ready for the change and reinvent yourself. This is the course that led me to launch my career online, register here to get the Free Training: you will receive a series of emails and tutorials that will explain what it is about, will help you clarify doubts and questions, and will prepare you to start.

If, with this blog, I have helped even one woman to start her new business and a new life then it will be a great victory for me. My torment and my pain were not in vain; they helped me to be aware, to make a conscious choice and to change my life. I know you feel this pain inside too. I’m not saying to quit your job now, but start getting ready, the time will come when you can leave it. If you don’t have a job or you just lost it, start now! It’s the right time.

We (women) must be able to choose and not be forced to choose: where there is no freedom, there is no choice. The Covid-19 pandemic has cruelly offered us this new chance to reshape work and life: at the moment, women are most affected by the economic crisis and, if we do not take up this opportunity today, I fear that we will miss yet another occasion to redeem ourselves from that “cage”. Let us learn to create a position of equality and freedom of choice.

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COVID-19: Catastrophe for Working Moms?

photo-of-bare-tree-under-cloudy-sky-1126375_Photo by Photo by Johannes Plenio
Photo by Johannes Plenio

The COVID-19 crisis hits women harder.

The United Nations has recently warned us against the risk that the Covid-19 will wipe out the (limited) progress in reducing gender inequalities made in recent decades. It marks a turnaround in the very year of the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action: a crucial moment in the affirmation of women’s rights, which has given a strong impetus to the public debate on gender equality.

Crises are not all the same; they affect people, social spheres, productive sectors with different intensity. This pandemic has so far hit women harder, making the gender imbalance dramatic, and it is a terrible blow to the rights and opportunities of children and mothers.

The closure of nurseries, kindergartens and schools deprived not only children of their rights, but also underlined the stereotype about the family’s structure: all took for granted that families would make do, regardless of the circumstances and resources available. For many women, the work overload has become almost intolerable with continuous stress over 24 hours. Many women have quit their jobs.

The Reasons

Among the reasons for resignation, the most recurrent is the difficulty of reconciling employment with childcare needs. This challenge may be due to the absence of support relatives, the high incidence of newborn care costs and the closure of public schools. Another reason is the difficulty of reconciling work with child care for needs related to the company in which they are employed: working conditions which are particularly burdensome or not compatible with the responsibility of children; or the failure to get a part-time.

The Non-Choice

The inadequate number of nurseries, the lack of support in the care of children by grandparents and the high fees for the nurseries cause women to lose their freedom of choice. Especially with the COVID-19 crisis, when families consider what to cut, they decide that it is up to the woman, who earns less, to give up work, because in economic terms it is convenient. A justified decision, but it is no longer a choice.

Discouraged women don’t look for work

Lockdowns have reinforced a process in which women have not only lost or quit their jobs but are also discouraged and do not even try to find another job. Women work in those sectors where the lockdown has hit hardest; for example, carers and babysitters, beauty salons, hairdressers, gyms or the shops, where the number of female employees is high. These sectors are in deep crisis and will continue to be so for two years, as several economists claim. For this reason, women have stopped looking for work, with the consequent increase in gender inequality.

Pay Gap

The fight against gender inequalities has been almost non-existent in government agendas during the COVID-19 crisis management. This topic must end up on the tables of all parliaments around the world. Fighting wage and salary inequality also mean preventing women from leaving the labour market. First and foremost, we need to promote the transparency of companies about wage data, and tackle gender stereotypes at source, starting with the criteria that companies use to employ resources and, before that, starting with the education system, which at the moment still pushes only boys into management careers. Just think about the number of women in politics and economics. Very few.

Good News

woman-holding-black-flag-1571734_Photo by Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels
Photo by Engin Akyurt

For the long term, however, some economists have hypothesised positive effects for women’s welfare and gender equality, through two streams (source: Alon et al., 2020).

  • The first is the reorganisation of work in favour of flexible modalities; employers must invest in this new model, and it involves an unprecedented number of workers due to the pandemic. If such schemes were to become ordinary, women would benefit relatively more than men, in terms of better work-life balance, but also because their widespread adoption would weaken one of the causes of the pay gap.
  • The second is the change in social norms underlying family roles. Increased awareness of the unpaid workloads acquired by men during the COVID-19 period of domestic isolation would induce a process of empowerment. An equal gender model would follow.

The Solutions

While it is true that there may be an improvement for women in the long term, it is also true that the situation is not at all in favour of working women right now; unless women dare to break free from the pre-established models and invest in themselves.

Our greatest asset is us, and therefore reinventing ourselves in this new scenario, taking advantage of the drive for global change, is undoubtedly an ace up our sleeve.

More and more women are looking for a realistic way to start an online business, to reinvent themselves and escape the job-family trap set up by society. And the number one thing people want to know is — if it’s realistic to replace their income before leaving their job and finally focus on their online business, without getting mad or feeling alone.

I can tell you that it is realistic and achievable and more so than ever in today’s digital economy. The most important key here is to start small and then, grow and scale.

Get Started with Affiliate Marketing

So, what business models can work as a start? Affiliate marketing is a great option. This is where you sell other businesses products and get a commission – without having to do any delivery or store products. As an affiliate, the amount of products you can sell is unlimited; you just need to choose what you like the most or what you are passionate about. And the beauty of it is that you can sell those products many times over, 24/7, 365 days a year. So even when you’re with your kids or sleeping (hopefully!), you are growing your income as you grow your sales. It’s less risky because it requires a low or 0 investment.

Sell with E-commerce

Another option is to sell physical products with an E-commerce business. With physical products, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You can order existing products in bulk at a fraction of the cost and then set up a sales system.

Opportunities like Amazon FBA will do the heavy lifting for you. They will process the payments from customers and deal with the packaging, distributing, and customer service. In the meantime, you’ll get busy selling the products and setting up marketing and ad campaigns to make those sales happen – which you can do around your job in just one or two hours a day.

Something to consider as you go into this

Whatever you’re selling, the first ten sales are going to be the hardest. But once you’ve made your first double figures in sales, you’ll gain the confidence that you can rinse and repeat – and grow. You’ll learn exactly how many sales you need to be making each week and each month to have a steady business that’s going to replace your income eventually.

People always want the ultimate answer to the question “how long is it going to take?” But I’ve seen so much diversity – from 2 days to 12 months to make the first ten sales. It comes down to your commitment to learning the digital skills you need to succeed.

If you are serious about changing your life, act now and check out this free video series that’s been responsible for helping thousands of people just like you (and me) to start an online business from scratch. No experience needed. No-tecky are welcome! Our vast community will support you anytime, and you never feel lost or alone in the cyberspace.

It’s totally free to register and receive the training, this is NOT a get-rich-quick scheme, and it’s void of all the usual hype and false promises you see online, so please don’t be sceptical or concerned. We are serious about your privacy and data rights. We will not share your mail with anyone else. We will not spam you or spy on you. Our program is 100% money-back guarantee.

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When you know better, you DO BETTER. – Maya Angelou

When you do the work on yourself, consistently, you become better and can improve this planet.

Resilient Kids? Let Them Play Outdoor

woman-and-child-playing-in-snow_Photo by Victoria Borodinova
Photo by Victoria Borodinova

Life opens up opportunities to you, and you either take them or you stay afraid of taking them. – Jim Carrey

Why do schools keep children indoors during recreation when the temperature gets too cold? Why do we avoid going out with our children if it rains or a strong wind blows? It seems an obvious statement, but children today no longer play outdoors as they used to, especially when the weather conditions are harsh.

What kind of adult will create this kind of childhood experience? What kind of adult are we today?

We all, and perhaps mothers, in particular, tend to remove most of the challenges, risks and obstacles from our children’s lives in an attempt to prevent something terrible and painful from happening.

Let’s think about the time our children spend playing at home and the time they spend playing outside: as little kids, depending on our work needs, we take them to the park to play more often, but as soon as they get older we let them play at home, where the children find the fun in TV, computer or video games.

Children who play outdoors, especially in adverse weather conditions, are more optimistic, more active and more adaptable. Why? Because they face challenges and find ways to overcome them; it’s nothing special for them. That’s normal.

It used to be normal for children to be outdoors

Adverse weather creates risks, both real and perceived, and risk creates challenges and opportunities for growth. Risks have indeed real consequences that require us to be aware of ourselves, the others and the environment. However, this kind of risk is a rare opportunity for children nowadays.

We probably received this kind of education ourselves, I certainly did. I remember well that I couldn’t go out if it were raining and cold, but I loved to walk in the rain with an umbrella and jump over puddles. Today I realize that I carry the burden of these conditioning believes, but I also learned to play with my kids, and to explore, to make every manifestation of nature fun. I took them, when they were just babies, to the beach even though it was windy, I dressed them well and took them outside in the snow, and today I take them to see the stormy sea. I do it despite everyone telling me not to do it because it’s dangerous.

Amazing Things Happen Outside

cute-little-girl-playing-with-stones-on-log-on-shore_Photo by Tatiana Syrikova
Photo by Tatiana Syrikova

We cannot pass on our fears and anxieties to our children. All we have to do is dress appropriately and then go out, to play or to walk around exploring a new place. In this way, we can help our children grow adaptable, creative, positive, aware, and above all, resilient; elements they will need to face their future positively.

What Is Resilience?

The term resilience comes from the Latin resiliens and means “jump back, bounce”. In physics, it means the ability of a material to absorb a shock without breaking. This term is used in psychology and indicates an individual’s ability to face and overcome a traumatic event or period of difficulty.

A great way to raise resilient children is to tell them fairy tales. Fairy tales are all about resilience; all fairy tale characters find themselves going through dramatic situations and face, albeit with fear and weakness, what they have in front of them.

This is what we must do: strengthen our resistance, our courage, our humanity and pass them on to our children.

Resilience Fairy Tale

I have chosen to tell you this fairytale by Guido Gozzano because it is about the love for life. Sometimes love for the other requires a separation, like us from our children, and this distance, even if painful, makes us grow as a person. It also speaks of snow and cold, and so we can venture out with our children even in lousy weather to discover the magic of nature. I have simplified and freely translated the fairytale from the original version (which you can find here https://mammaoca.com/2019/04/17/nevina-e-fiordaprile-di-guido-gozzano/)

Nevina and Fiordaprile by Guido Gozzano

young-woman-in-snow_Photo by Pixabay
Photo by Pixabay

A princess called Nevina (= Little Snowie) lived with her father January.

Up there on the highest mountains, far from men, King January would prepare the snow; Nevina would model it and put it in a cornucopia, then, when the cornucopia was full, she would empty it according to her father’s command at the four points on the horizon. And the snow would spread over the world.

Nevina was as beautiful as a goddess, her hair was as bright as the North Star, her face and hands were brightening white, and her eyes were blue like glaciers.

Nevina was sad.

During the break, when Father January was asleep, Nevina leaned against the ice balustrades and stared at the distant horizon, dreaming.

One day, a wounded swallow, crossing the mountains to the Lands of the Sun, had fallen into her hands. Nevina had tried in vain to comfort it; in the shivers of agony, the swallow had deliriously sighed the sea, the flowers, the palm trees, the endless spring. And from that day on, Nevina dreamt of lands never seen before.

One night, while January was sleeping, she decided to leave. She passed cautiously over the flowing beard of January, left the ice and snow, and began to descend the mountain. She moved among the fir trees and the gnomes, who saw her passing, interrupted the dances, and asked her:

– Nevina! Where are you going?

– Nevina, dance with us!

– Nevina, do not leave us!

Even the Good Spirits tried to hold her, hugging her ankles, trying to imprison her light feet in ivy and fern branches.

Nevina smiled, deaf to the loving calls; took a little snow from the silver cornucopia, spread it around, and continued on the path, feeling bright, light and cheerful.

She came to the valley, on the main road.

The air was getting milder. A sense of breathlessness overwhelmed Nevina’s heart; to breathe, she removed some snow from the cornucopia, spread it around so that she could find strength and breath in the icy air.

She continued fast, travelled a long way, and at a crossroads she stopped, her eyes dazzled. An unknown space opened before her, a blue and endless space, like another sky lying on the ground, and waved at the edges by invisible hands. Nevina continued in amazement. The earth around her changed. Anemones, carnations, mimosas, violets, daffodils, hyacinths, jasmine were endless among the houses and trees.

Nevina turned her ecstatic eyes on things she had never seen before, and forgot to spread the snow; then the wheezing took her back, so she took the snow and formed a zone of white flakes and icy air around her that gave her breath back. The flowers, the olive trees, the palms looked with wonder at the diaphanous young girl who flew in a snow whirlwind and shivered at her passing.

A beautiful young man appeared before Nevina, staring at her with restless eyes, forbidding her to step:

– Who are you?

– I am Nevina. Daughter of January.

– Don’t you know, then, that this is not your father’s kingdom? I am Fiordaprile (=April Flower), and you are not allowed to advance on my lands. Go back to your glacier, for your sake and mine!

Nevina stared at the prince with such pleading and sweet eyes that Fiordaprile felt moved.

– Fiordaprile, let me advance! I’ll stay only a little while. I want to touch the flowers, I want to dip my fingers in that upside-down sky that you call the sea!

Fiordaprile looked at her smiling; and said yes:

– Let’s go, then. I’ll show you my kingdom.

They went on together, holding hands, staring each other in the eyes, and fell in love. But as Nevina was advancing, a grey area blurred the blue of the sky, a whirlwind of white flakes covered the beautiful gardens. They passed into a festive village; peasants danced under the blossoming almond trees. Nevina wanted Fiordaprile to make her dance: so they did, but people dispersed with a shudder, the music stopped, the air became frosty, and from the sky began to descend the icy petals of the snow that Nevina spread as she passed. The two of them had to flee among the peasants’ grievances. When they arrived not far away, they saw the village rejoicing again under the clear sky.

– Nevina, I want to marry you!

– Your subjects won’t want a frosty queen.

– It doesn’t matter. I will do it.

They advanced further, but suddenly Nevina stopped, covering herself with a more translucent pallor.

– Fiordaprile! Fiordaprile! …I’m out of snow!

And she tried with her fingers – in vain – the bottom of the cornucopia.

– Fiordaprile! …I feel like I’m dying! .. . Take me to the border…

Nevina would bend over; she’d fall apart. Fiordaprile tried to support her, took her in his arms, carried her running towards the valley.

– Nevina! Nevina!

Nevina did not answer. She became more and more diaphanous, and her face was as transparent as a bubble about to disappear.

– Nevina! Answer me!

Fiordaprile covered it with a silk cloak to defend her from the burning sun, continued running, arrived in the valley, to entrust her to the North Wind.

But when he lifted the cloak, Nevina was no longer there. Fiordaprile looked around, lost and trembling. Where was she? He raised his hands to his face in despair; then his gaze lit up. He saw Nevina on the other side of the valley, waving her hand outstretched in a smiling and sad farewell.

An old tutor of hers, the North Wind, pushed her along the snowy paths, towards the eternal ice, towards the inaccessible kingdom of her father January.

Everything you do is for the kids. Mothers do everything for their children.

Being afraid is a natural feeling, but the protagonists of fairy tales are always ready to start over. Why? Because they live following an unconditional love; because they consider existence itself magical and divine. The unexpected happens all the time, but it’s up to us to overcome it, and maybe we will find a sudden and unforeseen help where we wouldn’t have received it if we had been frightened and stuck in complaining and commiserating ourselves.

Then, let us overcome our fears, and accompany our children on the journey of life without depriving them of the dangers and risks, which teach us so much.

Now it’s your turn: abandon your fears, live life with a little magic and think about changing your existence, perhaps you could explore the digital landscape and launch your new career. Why not? There are plenty of opportunities to reinvent yourself so that you can finally have that time for adventures with your children while you still work and make your career in the background. Sign up HERE to get the Free Training and my motivational newsletters, which aim to unleash the positive energy and superpowers you already have inside you.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
https://mammaoca.com/2019/04/17/nevina-e-fiordaprile-di-guido-gozzano/
https://mammaoca.com/casa/