Inspiration from a Young Mother

The stories in our new book, Goodness Abounds, follow two basic guidelines:

  1. They have to be true stories about goodness.
  2. The “good-doer” has to be someone other than the author.

Because of guideline #2, these stories aren’t about authors “tooting their own horn” (which is fine in many contexts — but that simply isn’t the focus of this book). Sometimes, though, even while they were shining a spotlight on other people’s goodness, I couldn’t help but admire the authors themselves. This was definitely the case with Jerri Eddington’s story, “The Baby and the Bus Driver.”

In this piece, Jerri pays tribute to a bus driver who was particularly kind to her when she was a 19-year-old mother, traveling with her 10-day-old baby. She also expresses gratitude for her own mother, who babysat so Jerri could finish her university courses.

For those of you who are planning on reading this piece, I won’t give away any more “spoilers” — but I do want to talk about something that’s not the focus of the piece: Jerri’s dedication and perseverance in the face of challenges.

Yes, I was definitely moved by the account of Jerri’s mother and her bus driver, both of whom went out of their way to extend kindness and consideration while Jerri juggled motherhood, school, and the rest of her life. But I was even more inspired by the behind-the-scenes glimpse into Jerri’s past.

I’ve known Jerri for several years now, so I know she’s quite accomplished: After a 30-year career as a teacher and middle school principal, she became a bestselling author, healer, and Soul Success Coach who’s created programs and services to help people “lighten up and thrive.” She’s also a kind, caring, and wonderful human being.

But until reading her story, I never knew that her path to getting her bachelor’s degree (and later, her doctorate) and becoming a teacher (and later, principal) involved catching a 6:33 a.m. bus with her 10-day-old baby so that she could travel across town, drop her baby off with her mother, then turn around and take another bus to school in time for the 8:30 class that was required in order to qualify for student teaching.

Talk about dedication!

I have to remind myself that she was just a teenager then! It would have been so easy for her to throw her hands up in surrender, to give up her dream of becoming a teacher, or to simply delay it indefinitely (or at least until her own child was in school). And that would have been fine. She had a perfectly valid and true excuse.

But she didn’t want an excuse; she wanted an education. She wanted a career. She wanted to fulfill her dream.

And she did.

What a great example she set for her child. And what an inspiration she is to everyone who knows her or even just reads her story!

Even if your goals and dreams are very different from Jerri’s, isn’t it good to know that even major obstacles (such as needing to get up before sunrise to take care of a newborn, riding the bus for almost four hours per day, and taking a full load of university courses) doesn’t need to derail your dreams. And isn’t it good to know that when you pursue noble dreams wholeheartedly, good people will arise to support you every step (and every bus ride) along the way!

P.S. If you’d like to read Jerri’s entire piece — as well as 364 other true stories of loving kindness — please visit www.goodnessabounds.com to learn all about our new book and the 60+ bonus gifts you’ll receive if you order now.

Also, if you’d like to read more by authors on our blog tour, you can check out these posts from yesterday and today (and come back tomorrow for the ones scheduled for 11/16):

Nov 14
Nov 15
Nov 16

 

 

The Empowering Alternative to Nature vs. Nurture

Where do you stand on the “Nature vs. Nurture” debate?

What do you think makes us who we are: Is it the genes we inherit from our biological parents? Is it our environment and the way we’re raised? Or is it some combination of these factors — and, if so, which factor has the  biggest influence?

You could make a convincing argument for either position: On the Nature side, you’ve probably heard stories of twins raised separately who went on to live remarkably similar lives. On the Nurture side, you can clearly see the effect of environment and upbringing by observing how frequently people […] Continue Reading…

4 Kinds of Dreams

There are four kinds of dreams. You’re probably already familiar with the first three:

Literal Dreams – the kind you have when you’re sleeping. (A fascinating topic, but not the focus of this post.)
Emerging Realities – the goals and visions that you’re actively working toward manifesting. (These are the “dreams that you dare to dream” that really do come true – works-in-progress where there’s actual progress!)
Pipe Dreams – far-fetched fantasies, unrealistic flights of fancy, or downright impossible dreams. (This is the kind of dream that, I believe, gives dreamers a bad name!)

But there’s a fourth kind of dream that’s rarely discussed…but often experienced: velleities.

Merriam-Webster defines […] Continue Reading…

Ego and Soul: Opponents or Partners?

I love to read for so many reasons: for inspiration, for education, and just for the fun of it! I read because it expands my world and introduces me to new people and new perspectives. I read, as C. S. Lewis said, “to know we are not alone.” And I read because, every now and then, an author takes a thought that I’d had, but hadn’t been able to put into words, and articulates it far more eloquently than I could’ve done. I recently had this experience (again and again and again) while reading Jodi Chapman’s new book, Soul Bursts.

I love so […] Continue Reading…

Goes to Show, You Don’t Ever Know

I recently experienced a frustrating — but ultimately eye-opening and heart-opening — situation with a company I’d contracted to do some work around my house. The situation was that they never showed up and never returned my calls…even after they’d been paid for the work.

Because they’re a reputable company, I wasn’t worried that they’d split the country with the money I’d already paid (a relatively small amount, fortunately); I was more just confused. I couldn’t help wondering: Didn’t they want the work?  Didn’t they want the rest of the money I would’ve paid them (if they would actually show up and do the […] Continue Reading…

I’ll Have What She’s Having

If you’ve ever seen the movie When Harry Met Sally, you undoubtedly remember the famous scene of Meg Ryan, um, “faking it” in the deli. (Even if you haven’t seen the movie, chances are you’ve seen this clip in one of the countless montages it’s featured in.) And, in either case, you also probably remember the “topper” line that closes the scene (delivered by the director’s mother, Estelle Reiner): “I’ll have what she’s having.”

Aside from its raunchy comedic value, this line offers great advice about relationships, business, and just about every other area of life: Rather than trying to […] Continue Reading…

What’s Next?

Have you ever experienced (or witnessed) any of these scenarios?:

You just got married, and people immediately start asking you when you’re going to have kids.
You just experienced a loss or setback, and people immediately start trying to “help” you move forward.
You just finished a major project, and people immediately start asking you what you’re going to do next.
You watch a sports team celebrate winning the championship, and a reporter asks about their plans for next season.

In these situations (or any similar ones), the questions all boil down to the same essence: What’s next?

What’s next on the agenda? What are you going […] Continue Reading…

My (Belated) Words of the Year

For the past few years, I’ve come up with a word of the year — something that encapsulated my desired focus and aspirations for the coming 12 months. I fully expected to do the same this year as well, but when January 1 rolled around, I just wasn’t feeling it.

No single word was calling to me — and the words that did keep springing into my mind (such as anger, bewilderment, disgust, and disillusionment) were hardly ones that I wanted to serve as my theme for the year! But trying to force myself to “fake it till I make it” […] Continue Reading…

And for my next act…

Yesterday, Jodi and I (along with over 250 contributing authors) launched our new book, 365 Life Shifts: Pivotal Moments That Changed Everything. I am so grateful to everyone who contributed to this collection (the third volume of the 365 Book Series), the hundreds of people who promoted it (which helped it become an instant #1 bestseller on Amazon), and the thousands of people who will read it and open their hearts to these true stories of transformation.

As I reflect on this project, I realize that it came about at a perfect time for me, although it didn’t always feel this […] Continue Reading…

The Upside of Anger

I used to think that anger was always bad. Growing up, I got the message that it was an unacceptable emotion. And as a young adult, I thought that it was somehow “unspiritual.” More recently, however, my perspective has changed.

I still don’t think that anger is a fun emotion to feel or a fun “place” to hang out (and I’m extremely wary of those who make it their home), but I’ve come to see that there is an upside of anger.

As I now see it, here are three of anger’s biggest benefits:

1. It allows you to practice self-acceptance and […] Continue Reading…