Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Acceptance of Situation and Self:
Power of Moms May Retreat

I had the opportunity this past weekend (on Saturday, May 21st) to share a few thoughts and lead two lunchtime discussion groups at a Power of Moms retreat in Park City. I attended a similar retreat in April (and blogged about it here). 

It was so much fun to go back to this beautiful setting among wonderful motivated moms!  Of course, I felt like the experience I had previously was singular (meaning that because the feelings were so profound and powerful, that it would not be possible to repeat). Yet, I found myself at this retreat, only one month later, with the same topics being covered, feeling like I was gaining all new insights! 

I loved interacting with the mothers who added insight and joined the lunchtime discussions "Finding More Joy in Motherhood" and "Parenting Partnerships". Feelings of the heart and tender emotions were shared. I learned so very much from these remarkable women who shared their challenges, as well as what they are doing that is working!

In the morning, I had the opportunity to speak on Acceptance of Situation & Self.  Some of the points I covered include:
  • Events out of our control can cause anger, frustration and depression. 
  • Acceptance is not a sign of weakness - we can accept ourselves and our situation and still have high goals.
  • Acceptance is not powerlessness nor resignation.  It is a first step toward transformation.
Acceptance of Situation:
  • Our difficulties can become doorways toward instructive experience.
  • When difficult situations come our way, we can accept the life we are "meant" to live rather than think of these as a roadblock to the life we are "supposed" to live.  As a friend of mine so eloquently stated, "I had in my mind a 'Plan A' for my life.  Then life took it's course, and I was living what I thought was 'Plan B', until I realized the path I am on is actually God's 'Plan A' for me."
  • In the book, Man's Search for Meaning,Viktor Frankl (a Nazi concentration camp survivor), relates how, through the horrendous torture experienced, he mentally survived.  He relates that instead of asking "Why?" about the situation, he instead asked "Why?" about his existence.  He drew upon this insight from Nietzche, "He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how." Frankl did not ask what he expected from life, but rather what life expected from him. 

Acceptance of Self:
  • Do we ever allow ourselves to feel like we are doing enough or being good enough?  Often there is a gap between our expectations and our reality.
  • There are no perfect moms, but there are so very many great moms!  We need to be better at being satisfied with ourselves and accepting of who we are and what we are accomplishing.
  • It is so essential, among the difficulties of life, to remember the little victories:  A six-time winner of the Hawaii Ironman Triathalon said, "It is not the distance that overwhelms people who race Hawaii's Ironman.  It's the relentless wind that blows across the lava fields.  You're on one of the highest ridges, you see miles of repetitive road, and you realize it's extremely hot and you're going straight into a 30-mile-an-hour crosswind.  I've found that those who dwell on these conditions tend to fold.  I always train for adversity  I consider adversity an asset, something to turn to my advantage.  One of life's most important lessons is leaning to put your losses in perspective and to savor your triumphs by riding on euphoria's wave.  Have high goals and expectations; regard defeat as stages on the road to success by remembering the little victories that have gotten you where you are."
The two visionary women who founded Power of Moms have also shared their experiences online.
Feel free to take a look at Saren's post on the retreat as well as April's touching remarks.

May 28th Update: I just found this post from Linda Eyre's Deseret News blog,
which describes both the gathering as well as a chance I had to play "horse whisperer"
for a few quick minutes: 100 Mothers Sharpen Their Saws.


Eyrealm said...

Emi, it was such a pleasure to hear from you on Saturday. You are also on my list of heroines for saving my flowers from that crazy horse!

I loved reading this synopsis because we didn't get time to talk about all I learned from you! Viktor Frankl's book has always been one of my favorites. Your topic was timely for every mother there and your own poignant experiences made it personal and believable! Thanks again for your inspiring thoughts!

Becky said...


Thank you for posting your quote from the triathlete. I was going to ask you for it..but you already shared it will all of us. Your comments were so wonderful.. and many other moms who I talked to loved listening to you as well.

Mans Search for meaning is now on my summer reading list. Thank you again!

You are a wonderful friend. :)

Brodi Ashton said...

I loved your presentation! Can't wait to check out that book. It was so good to see you, and I really hope we run into each other more often! Even if it's not at the dunes!

Jessica said...

I love your presentation; it was absolutely what I needed to hear at just the right time. Thank you so much for your encouraging and inspiring words. I'm looking forward to reading Man's Search for Meaning this summer.

Rima Family said...

I didn't attend this retreat, but it sounds wonderful! I especially appreciate you sharing these wonderful words of wisdom here about accepting ourselves and our situations. -So very important and brings such peace to us. :0) Thank you again.

Dawn said...

Emi, it was so nice to meet you in person. I enjoyed our quick visit right before you left. Your presentation was fabulous. Since our lunch group I've thought so much about all of the countless, beautiful, amazing things that ARE working well as my fabulous husband and I raise our family together. I am incredibly blessed to be married to him, and our kids are so lucky he's their dad. If we all came from the same place, things would not be nearly as exciting I guess. Obviously the Lord gives us all different opportunities and experiences so we can learn from each other and grow together.

I hope you're doing well. I told you when we met I feel like I already know you. Of course, we had never met before that day, but it was so nice to visit with you, knowing you have an unshakable testimony and love your calling as a mother as much as I do. Ours is a sacred responsibility, and I would not trade the blessing of raising my children in the gospel for anything.

Congratulations on being Utah Young Mother of the Year! You are a perfect choice. I've been considering joining American Mothers for a long time, but I don't know anyone else who belongs, or a lot about what it means to become a member. It seems like a wonderful organization. I probably should have joined before the convention here in Salt Lake! I'm sure it was great.

Your blog is fabulous, so fun to read. I hope we'll have the opportunity to visit again soon.

Good luck blogging on your little laptop! Hope you get your computer fixed soon.

A new friend in South Jordan,
Dawn Ramsey
*This post is obviously just a message for you, not to be published. Thanks!

Mary said...

Emi, I too enjoyed your words Saturday! Your idea that we really are living our Plan A opened my eyes and is bringing me such joy now. Thank you for sharing the book! It was such a pleasure meeting you too!

Jodi said...

Emi, this post is wonderful! Vikto Frankl has always inspired me. I absolutely LOVE the quote from the Hawaiian triathlete! I am going to use that on a post I am writing! Thanks for being such a great mom and woman! You make us all want to be better!