India Hicks has a mantra, “Live an extraordinary life.” I’m wearing my gold Indi “Extraordinary” token as I write this and it got me to thinking – what does being extraordinary really mean as the SHE-version of humankind? Does being in Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding so many years ago make India extraordinary? Does me sitting with Oprah on her now-famous yellow couch make me extraordinary? I think not. These are experiences that are a part of the fabric of our personal stories.
When I look around me and reflect on the many women in my life, I see stories. All of us has a story. Many of us have stories that span decades and are marked by a multitude of joyous moments, tragic moments and all the hard-working moments in between. But I think these series of moments that creates each of our individual stories is a part of the ORDINARY in life. It is how we react to these moments, how we choose to share a small piece of these moments with others, and how we use these moments as a catalyst to the next set of moments that matters, for that is the fabric of our life story. Being EXTRAORDINARY is a choice, because the EXTRAORDINARY in each of us can be found in, not the momentous events, but the moments in between these events.
Every one of us has an “it” factor, but no two “it” factors look the same. Your “it” factor comes from your unique moments, your reaction to those moments and what you do with those moments. I love how noted author and speaker Brene Brown sums it up, “I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attending and practicing gratitude.” Oh, and choosing extraordinary takes courage sometimes, too.
I see the “it” factor and a woman choosing extraordinary in the single mom who juggles the career that provides for her children and her time
to actually be present in her children’s lives. I see it in the “50 something” woman who has lost her husband prematurely or gone thru a difficult divorce, only to find she is needing to start over in career, financial security and relationships. I see it in the young woman who uses her tragic childhood experiences as a victim of child sexual abuse to create new laws that will educate today’s children and help to prevent the same happening to them. I see the “it” factor in a woman who is raising a foster son amidst her large family as her own after he has lost his own mom to cancer. I see it in the woman who chooses peace and grace after a publicly humiliating set of circumstances in her family, in order to teach her own children perspective and how to take the elephant out of the room.
Each of these scenarios is true; each is just a series of moments and experiences that many others have also experienced; each represents a reaction – a choice- to those experiences to do something extraordinary BECAUSE OF THOSE EXPERIENCES. And we choose it, simply, to find happiness and offer happiness to others
What is your story? And, more importantly, how is it helping you to choose something extraordinary? What will you do differently, or try new in 2016? I hope you will share it here in the comments so we can all choose extraordinary together!
And please remember to share these posts with your friends around the globe. Imagine a virtual room filled with thousands of women choosing to be extraordinary!
Notes from the SHE Files: It is in our personal stories – and we each have them – that we find the courage to choose to do something extraordinary.