Stepping Outside of Your Box to Find Your Life’s Purpose: A OneMama Team Member’s Story

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In March of 2017, I boarded a plane from Australia to New York to experience what would be a journey of many layers.

As a stay-at-home mom to two young children, attending the United Nation’s Commission on the Status of Women with OneMama was a life-changing opportunity.

This is what it looks like to be a single woman.
This is what it looks like to be a mama.

These two sentences come through my mind like moving pictures as I hover over my open laptop. I am happily living a life I love, so why am I here looking at a blinking cursor on my screen? … I reflect back to the time before having children as the pictures move through my mind– spontaneity traveling to Papua New Guinea for weeks, following my heart without a second thought where ever the path may lead me. I yearned, not for travel to far off lands, but for the deep community and tangible action through the giving of myself.

As much as I loved thinking about organic produce, play dates, and school visits, I wrestled with a desire to help weary hearts, stand up for those in need, and create lasting change. I knew that I was doing that as a mother, but I wanted more. I had no examples of how to make an impact from my home base, so I started with following the hashtag, #CSW, on Instagram.

I had heard about the CSW (Commission on the Status of Women), how it was a global body dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. So from my couch, I clicked image after image, followed live streams, and engaged in many posts. I researched deeper into the issues the NGO’s presented, and I wondered how I could get involved. My armchair research landed me on an image of Siobhan Neilland, OneMama’s CEO and founder. From the moment I combed through the OneMama.org website, I knew this was the work I wanted to do, and I would start by sending an email asking to learn more about the organization and to see how I could help… from my corner of the world.

Here’s the thing though: even when we are sure of what we want, it can still be scary to figure out how to make it happen. We have logistics to work through and mental barriers to climb over.

See, because most of the time we disqualify ourselves before we even really start. We say no because we don’t see anyone else doing it the way we envision. We create borders, lines, and limits before we even spread open our wings. It’s like we are a caterpillar that crawled out of our cocoon and said, “Wait a second, I’m not a butterfly, I’m a caterpillar,” and then we continue to walk through life with wings on our back but never try to use them.

We put our intelligence in a box and leave it there in the closet and never open it again because it doesn’t look like another person’s intelligence. Never taking into account all the experiences that shaped us and made us the perfect fit. And maybe on paper you didn’t get an A in English, but you
spread words like butter on bread. Maybe you didn’t do well in Math, but you calculate your life in magical ways. Maybe your superpower is the way you see the world or the way you do spreadsheets or the way you can articulate things clearly. Maybe it’s none of these things but something else entirely.

“If you never ask, the answer will always be no.”

by Nora Roberts

Long story short, I pressed send to that email.

A year later, I am on a plane to New York City with OneMama.org to attend the Commission on the Status of Women (the same hashtag I was following just a short time earlier) to give a voice to the OneMama Clinic on a global stage. Still a mom, but now making impact through the written word on the OneMama and Fighting For Your Joy blogs.

Sometimes we just need to step out of our comfort zone or the way we see ourselves and believe that it’s okay to re-write our whole story or even just a chapter, like I did.

If this is your year to making lasting change for others, we are now accepting applications for OneMama delegates to attend the CSW in March. The deadline to apply is fast approaching – so please thoroughly read the requirements and submit your application as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from you.

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