originally posted at SmoothSale
With the crisp air and excitement of the holiday season, it should have seemed like a holiday-spirited Tuesday evening in December 2008, but, for me, it felt different.
Something’s Not Right
I had something on my mind. I had been trying to reach my son on the East Coast. We didn’t see each other often, but it was a regular routine for us to connect on Fridays and talk and laugh about the details of our week. If a weekend went by, I didn’t worry because he was probably hanging out with friends. But, this weekend was different. I was very concerned because he had been very ill.
I had been “encouraging” him to get help and take care of himself. So, I diligently tried to locate him. When that didn’t work, I called the Maryland police and asked for their assistance. I was on a mission now. For hours, through several calls, shift changes, and one failed attempt, I finally persuaded the police to break into his apartment.
When the officer called me back he said, “Meme, we found your son and he’s dead,” I went numb. I couldn’t move or speak for countless seconds.
I didn’t know what to do for what seemed an eternity. I was alone, 5,000 miles away and had not planned on my 23 year old son dying.
I had an enlightening conversation with a mother who had lost her son decades before. Initially, she experienced the same sensation where she “didn’t know what to do.” Of course, I knew other mothers/parents had lost their children, but the conversation with this woman opened up a stronger connection. With her help and my philosophy on life, I was able to move through this a little easier. I learned many things about myself and how I handle horrendous situations.
A few years later, when I was reflecting on this situation, I recalled other times when I felt like I didn’t know what to do. I remembered how I got through them. Engaging in conversations with women and their stories gave me strength. It was from this place of revelation, of knowing you are really not alone, that my Book “What to Do, When You Don’t Know What to Do” was born. It’s an inspirational book in which women share their stories about how they got through a difficult time. They show us how we are connected and strong. The book offers solutions and a workbook to make a plan.
I wanted to offer a way to move through despair. My purpose is to support, challenge, and inspire women to live the life they dream about, to tap into the inner strength that resides at the core of our being, and live, laugh, and love out loud.
First: Know you’re not alone.
Second: Talk with someone you trust.
Third: Ask yourself empowering questions that support you in moving forward.
You do know what to do!
Tendai Jordan is a Teacher and Facilitator. She created 5 PowerFull Women (5PW), a discussion of women sharing their experience around a relevant topic so that other women worldwide can be inspired and know they are not alone. She may be reached through her Website .
When Life Throws You a Curve Ball, Throw It Back!
As leaders and people who are making a difference in society, we all go through what I call “Life Happens” moments. This is when life “Throws You a Curve Ball!” We have plans for our lives and then life has its plans for us. Crises happen and come in many forms. We may become seriously ill or a family member or a close friend does. An accident may happen to you or a loved one. Someone close to you may die either expectedly or unexpectedly. The economy might “go south” and our business suffers a setback or we lose our job. Or, perhaps a project gets derailed. Or, we may experience a natural disaster causing harm to us, our family, or property. The possibilities are endless as to what form a crisis may take.
Somehow, we get through it. Many times, the “Life Happens” situation is what strengthens us and propels us to do something new and different with our lives. Sometimes, we become bigger than we know ourselves to be. We get to start anew. And, with a new beginning, a new us that we did not know before emerges.
A difficult situation may result in the start of a new business or a non-profit that helps others in a similar situation. Programs like ending domestic violence, drunk driving, youth or elderly programs and more have been birthed by people who were once affected by those same situations.
In Tendai’s story, she used the painful death of her 23-year-old son to start a project to bring women together, five at a time, to form support groups to empower each other.
Her project is designed to help with the healing process by looking at how they can go forward and make a difference for someone else.
We invite you to share your story on how you have used a “Life Happens” time where you turned a situation around to a positive one and are making a difference (or what you are thinking of doing).
– Valeri Bocage, CEO, Powerful Women International Connections