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Celebrating My Mama on Mother's Day's post is an ode to my mother. She's kinda of a bad ass. She always speaks her mind; she tells it like it 'tis. And she's always got my back.

Fun fact, we almost never agree, but we've found a way to get along really well (most of the time). That's probably exactly how it's supposed to be. You see she's where I got my fierce individuality and super strong opinions about how my life should be and how I see the world.

She also raised me to have a seriously strong work ethic, to follow through and to be the very best at what I do (...definitely one of the original tiger mom's).

I was taught to go for the win, to follow-up and follow through and to always put forth my best effort, plus a little extra. My resilience and determination all started with the values she instilled in me.

One of the reasons I did well in academia (and one of the reasons I do well in online business), is because of what she taught me about doing the work. One of my most memorable (thank your mother decades later) memories is how she used to write out flashcards for all my chapters and upcoming tests.

She made me responsible for being both up-to-date with my school work and being a chapter ahead so I knew what was coming and so I could be ahead of the game. I was often the class tutor, the go to for solving difficult problems and explaining how to solve them.

Many mornings, I'd wake up an hour before I needed to leave for school to study my flashcards. I hated it, but of course I did it...didn't really have a choice.

me and my momma

Looking back? Best thing ever. Learning those type of study skills early on helped me do really well during my last years of high school.

And, made my study life a whole lot easier in college and in grad school. And, it's helped me be a better learner, a doer and an implementer in my business. Man, I did not want to do any of that studying at the time

... but I'm so grateful for it now. One other thing that really stands out (there are many, and I'm just highlighting a few here), is this thing I've always had inside of me - I've always wanted to be the best version of myself.

And, when I was a kid, I was always convinced that started with me leaving the deep south. (I almost always enjoy going back to visit now.) For me, it's always been a sense of being not better, but different.

Not wanting more, but wanting the thing that felt most aligned with my highest self. As a kid, I definitely always felt I was just a little bit different, I often didn't fit in and I always had bigger ambitions... and I always had (and have) this crazy awesome drive that goes beyond my current circumstances and what I can see...

What's super interesting is that during a recent conversation, my mother, let it slip that she raised me that way on purpose. I was surprised. ego had me believing it was all me.

She said, and I'm paraphrasing my quote here, ... "yeah, I really didn't want you sticking around here. There was nothing for you. I wanted you to get out and explore the world. See what else life has to offer.

I wanted more for you than what I had." It's because of my mother's sacrifices and because she raised me purposefully and to be purposeful myself, that I am who I've become. What a selfless way to give your all to another.

What a way to love. Thank you mom. I am so incredibly grateful for all your nagging, all your opinions, all your pushing me on to the next thing. Thank you for always being you, and for always being there.

I'm so incredibly grateful I get to be your daughter. It all started with you... If we trace the roots, you're the one who taught me how to live, full on, how to savor every experience, how to enjoy every moment.

You had your hands full, and we didn't have much, but you made it work. Thank you.

All Gratitude,

P.S. Click here to check out a post from Maya J Watson that's a salute to all moms. It leads with this quote: "Perhaps, we should love ourselves so fiercely, that when others see us they know exactly how it should be done." - Rudy Francisco ....oh how true and beautiful that would be if we all used that as our starting point.