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The Voice Of Reason

be the reason for the conversation

Updated: Oct 7, 2019

Your voice is powerful. Speak Up.

We are the master of all trades. Wearer of all hats. We have --in thanks to our feminist fore-mothers broken down barriers that once were only whispered about in secret. 2019 presents us with powerful voices.

We are recognized as the givers of life, partners, lovers, executives, activists, moral compasses, heart-breakers, back bones of the familial structure, lovers of Lululemon--(you get where I am going--we are everything). The job description for the female human is unquantifiable-- and impossible to articulate, because we are required to bend, twist and improvise in each moment of each day.

So I ponder --why do I wake every morning, with NO flipping idea what the world will expect of me?

Let's unpack this loaded question.


Looking back a generation or two ago- female masses were not confronted with the confusing role of "womanhood" as we see it in the 21st century. Grandma knew her role. Grandma had her duties specifically curated by the mores of her time. She was well groomed, donning crisply ironed frocks from the Sears & Roebuck catalog and she never, ever fell for the seduction of a comfortable yoga pant. Her role was specific- and easy to detail on paper:

She was a mother, wife, homemaker and mixologist for her husband when he required his shaken-not stirred martini after his hard day at the office. Grandma was the purveyor of indulgent casseroles, neatly hemmed pinafores and a skillful hand at Bridge. She knew exactly how she would meet each day and did it with the confidence that her neighbors enjoyed the same, homogenous lifestyle.

The emergence of the female battle cry in the 60s and 70s was quite an uncomfortable time for members of grandma's circle. Ladies who were like my grandmother quickly became outdated and irrelevant. As opportunity opened for fresher , more progressive gals - the tenure of the coiffed housewife faded into 50's oblivion. The housewife was packaged and revisited with a "Leave it to Beaver" lens.

In the matter of a few years, and several hard-fought Supreme Court rulings, womanhood was permanently altered. There was no going back. A collective bra was burned and set us free.

Can I get an "AMEN"?

Finally, woman had the ability to make personal decisions regarding the regulation of their anatomy. We were gifted , from male dominated legislators the choice to manage our fertility. This brilliant explosion of feminist led change launched housewives into unimaginable atmospheric success.

While the ladies (and gents) of the 60s/70s propped the door open -- the decades to follow persevered in equalizing the sexes. We became-- more than just our XY Chromosomes. A generation of Ms. Gloria Steinem devotees began living a feminist manifesto. This manifesto liberated us to do whatever the heck we wanted.

And this is where it got a little confusing.

Many of us questioned our place in this new wide world. We questioned the very essence of who we were. Suddenly, we as grade schoolers- we were given the same athletic opportunities as the boys. Girls were mentored in science and math. And alas, home economics courses were not the only field of study for the gentler sex.

Let's give accolades to our moms who had to navigate --and, ultimately guide a new generation of go-getting girls. Moms tried hard to teach their daughters to have "it" all. Problem was---most of our moms had no frame of reference as to how to teach their daughters, because no one taught them.

I imagine (mind you, I have a colorful imagination) --that emancipation looked like ladies tearing of f their kitchen aprons and jumping into finely tailored power suits- with the agility of an Olympic athlete . This equalizing garment, the Pantsuit --gave us the bravado to compete like a man! @pantsuitnation #pantsuitnation.

However, I wish this imagined emancipation unfolded in reality with such ease. Lady-kind had a buffet of choices- and this blessing led yet to another challenge. Do we need to adapt masculine like ideologies to show we have fully evolved into our new feminist role? Does the lady legacy that we leave to our daughters omit femininity?

I find this juxtaposition fascinating. While we are told that we should strive for dominance professionally, we are equally assailed with messages that bigger breasts and poutier lips dictate our self worth.

This is when you have to start digging. Unearth the truth of who you are at your very core. What are your core values and are you representing these values with integrity. And when you make decisions to veer from the course of who you really, truly are that is when you may find at a stumbling block.

Do you find yourself living in harmony with your values?

Life will have so much more meaning when you live in accordance with your value system. '

Take time and understand your core beliefs and values-- ASK QUESTIONS:

  • Who inspires you?

  • Am I a scholar?

  • Am I a humanitarian?

  • Am I Kim Kardashian?

  • Where do you find you make the most impact in your life?

  • Am I a badass homemaker with a side hustle?

  • What rules do you impose but are hard for you to follow?

  • At what time are you at your best?

  • Are there qualities in others you detest?

Once you have a deep understanding of who you are at a cellular level--your choices should fall into alignment with your core truths. And--as a noted side effect--your relationships will flourish.

This prose should not be read as an anti-feminist rant. It is the quite the opposite. I was born in an era where I have the freedom to chose a birth plan, a career path and my sexual orientation. Hell-- I can be a man if I want to be.

Truth Be Told

I made incorrect decisions based on this confusion. I knew I wanted to make an big impact. I wanted to compete on a level men had done in my family for generations. Yet, in my core, I was clearly feminine and wanted to be a mom, a wife and create a home. I enjoy a drawer stocked with beauty products and have a slight addiction to pink.

My decision to go to law school was profound. I felt a connection with my father and grandfathers that made me so proud of myself. And when I walked across the stage at my law school commencement I felt powerful. Yet- my heart was not fully vested. This career that would take 80 hours of my week and leave my sons at home without me.--their momma. Lawyering was not the real me. #realmegirls.

This was hard for me to admit to myself. I was groomed to be the next legal eagle in my family. What I KNOW is that while I was trying to be a bad ass boy-like executive I ignored my truth-- I love being a woman. I found contentment in the role of mother and wife. *Albeit, a driven and educated mom/wife.

Domestic goddess, I am not.

But I try. And I found passion on earth is to help other humans and give a voice to those who are intended to rise. It is a fine dance between accessing my female spirit and understanding my masculine pursuits.

I am grateful for those bridge-playing , martini-making grandmothers who organized whispers of discontentment. They rocked it - in their own uncomplicated feminine style.

And I am equally grateful for the bra-burning bohemian sisters that allowed me to have a choice! The lady legacy I chose to leave is to celebrate with unabashed excitement the accomplishments of Boss Ladies , Momma Warriors and all the beautiful girls in between. YOU can be who you are and YOU DO NOT HAVE TO defend your choices. Just make the right one.

Leave a Lady Legacy you are proud of.

#realmecampaign #realmegirls #HRC #girlpower

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Get your butt outta bed, girl.

6:00am- ALARM.Snooze.

6:07 am- alarm--louder.

* (get your butt outta bed girl).

Creaky bones. Look in the mirror. Terror. Shower. Coffee. Yogurt. Kids! Loud, loud ones clamoring for attention. Breakfast? Really? Homework now?

Matching socks -- Do I look like a magician? (Eight hundred plus life-hours wasted trying to find ONE matching pair- I am done done, done, double done).

Hugs, kisses. A wave goodbye -- dang it they don't even look back.

8:41 - a minute to collect a thought. Where's that hunky man I live with? Did I see him? Did I give him a kiss or even a high 5? (I'll think about that later).

Jump in the car. Wrinkled blouse. Forgot mascara. The office. Troubleshoot, chat, meetings, reports, repeat.

5 o'clock. Jump in the car. Blouse very wrinkled. (Shoot - why didn't any of my lovely co-workers mention the Africa-shaped salad dressing schmear smattered on my trousers for the past 4.5 hours? ) Oh well - I have bigger things to tackle.

Dinner. House is a wreck. Kids need me. Basketball practice, homework, laundry, oh crap--dinner. Pizza again.

Husband-sighting! --"Hey -- what's up? good day?" Smooch. "Sam has a history project due tomorrow. " Smile. "Can you pick up dry cleaning tomorrow?"

9:42 -- kids in bed. 18 minutes on Netflix. Asleep on the sofa. 15 minutes in REM and -

ALARM -6am.

Change = Scary!

Life, for all of us, gets monotonous. The everyday grind of our days can become mind-numbing. These necessary daily routines often create a level of comfort in our lives. And this feeling of daily comfort breeds complacency. Complacency can feel like a warm blanket on a cold winter's morning. However, it can manifest into a life without passion, desire or purpose. Complacency effectively extinguishes the God-Inspired spark that we are all made to ignite.

Perhaps you are thinking -yes -- I need to feel like I am living a purpose-filled existence-but I can't! Well, I hear ya sister. Your time is in demand! You have children, you have careers and relationships that need tending. Infusing purpose into your daily routine -is not meant to derail your "adulting" responsibilities. In fact, focusing your path towards more concrete, passionate interactions will enhance your human experience and radiate to those around you. Carving out 30 minutes a day to focus solely on what feeds your soul will have an intangible effect in every facet of your life.

Close your Eyes.

Just for a sec. (Squeeze them extra tight). Try with all your mite to access that one time in your life that you dabbled with true, soul- elevating excitement? Were you thrilled knowing that there were unlimited possibilities ahead?

Maybe -- just maybe - you need to dig a bit further into the archives of your earliest experiences. Look deep into the wonderment of being a kid. I clearly remember, the summer of 1984 -- I was 11 years old. Let me preface this vignette by underscoring that I was never an athletic girl. In fact, I would do anything in my power to be excused from gym class.

But in 1984, I found myself transfixed in front of my grandma's 19 inch Zenith television (the kind that you actually had to get off the sofa and turn the dial) watching a pint-size firecracker, Ms. Mary Lou Retton -when she nailed a historic Olympic performance. This force of nature, not only grabbed my attention, but the collective envy of all little girls nationwide.

Dressed in her red, white and blue leotard, #danskin Retton made it look effortless as she won GOLD for the best all-around gymnastic competition by just 0.05 points. I was hypnotized by her performances. Consequently this lead to feathered bangs and countless afternoons trying to balance on a random 4X4 plank in my backyard. I never did master a dismount or a cartwheel for that matter, but I had purpose that summer. And that purpose brought my indescribable joy.

I had a vision of how I wanted to live out my life with this poorly, styled pixie hair-do--as an Olympian. My mind-blowing, 11 year-old purpose made those long summer days feel so good. #Marylou1984 @Marylouretton

Fast Forward to this Tuesday of 2019. As an adult my passions have morphed into other areas-however, I still feel that there are a million and 1 life-giving possibilities waiting for me to grab! The trick is-(write this down) on figuring out what brings you organic joy-and how you can your sprinkle it into your daily routine.

Time to Leap, Time to Renew

(And boy does it feel good)!

Finding purpose in your life can be extremely uncomfortable. Change can be prickly. And this unease may lead you back to the comforts of your predictable schedule. I get it, the melodic rhythm of that hamster wheel is soothing. However, ask yourself- does your life breathe purpose? And if you remain in this standstill with stained trousers and half-watched Netflix movies will you be ok in 52 years? (This is not you girl--there is a reason you are on this Earth). Listen in the silence, listen to the whispers of the universe.

But How, Girlfriend?

Indulge me. Grab a pencil and get ready to jot. Just a bit. Just brainstorm. Write 3 things that you would love to do but it is too big-or overwhelming to accomplish.

One . . . Two . . . Three . . .

Next to these dreams - list 3 reasons why & 3 reasons why not to make a change.

Ok -- go ahead. I have time. Write down the 3.

Done? Now scratch out the WHY NOTS.

This is going to be hard. This will be a challenge--it is meant to push you to limits you thought were impossible. The bad news is that you will fail. And you may fail again. But at the end of the day-you will persevere. The mental strength it took you to even think of 3 joy-filled changes has all ready made you stronger. By doing this simple exercise you have begun to flex your "purpose-filled" muscle. And you have nothing to loose! Except a rickety, well-worn hamster wheel.

This metamorphosis will take grit. And it will challenge you to face your fears. Ultimately , this determination will create momentum. This momentum may not take you from A to Z--but rather from A to K to B and maybe to Y. However, one day between your alarm at 6am and your 15 minutes of Netflix you will start to notice an inkling of change.

Caution: there is more to this process that can be outlined in 4 minute-blog. So, girl, polish up your Google-searching skills and research everything and everyone who has experienced the purpose-filled journey you yearn to take. Soul-electrifying opportunity is right in front of you.

And this is my truth.

#realmegirls #realmecampaign #marylouretton @marylouretton #onedecisionwithAng #ThereasonIbreathe

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