I am always amazed by the power of women who have learned to stand tall and when knocked over, get up and get going.
Each story is an inspiration for us for those moments when we think it is impossible to move forward. In my book to be released next month, “GUTSY: How Women Leaders Make Change” I explore the myth of Psyche and Eros, one of the oldest recorded stories. In the myth Psyche, a beautiful princess has to go through many tests and trials in her journey to the deeper feminine to be capable of uniting with Eros, the god of love.
I am now interviewing women whose life stories are filled with defining moments; those times when the courage to move forward means having the courage to change.
Elaine Sterling came to the states from South Africa. She had grown up in a comfortable family, her father the CEO of a leading manufacturing company. Yet, Elaine ever the adventurer met a journalist who was stationed in the U.S. and off she went to find a new life.
Often the best dreams have a shadow side and as with many, the marriage hit too many bumps to continue. There she was, a single mother with two daughters. Working as an esthetician and juggling her time with her growing girls was enough to keep her super busy.
Then she got a kick in the gut when diagnosed with breast cancer. As she told me, “The torture of enduring chemotherapy often made me feel like I wanted to die. Yet, I’d think about my daughters who needed a stable force in their lives and I would get my chin up. I learned to meditate and watch funny movies to distract myself from the nausea and angst I felt.”
She took a deep breath and continued in a strong, sure voice, “When I was driving myself home after my last radiation treatment I was lost in thought. As I was driving out of the garage at the hospital, from the dark into the light of the day, something shifted. I don’t know exactly what happened. I heard my inner voice say ‘get going’ and out loud, to the world I made a declaration that I was going to change. Whatever it took, I was going to pursue my dream.”
Her dream was to open a state of the art school for estheticians. The ideas had been bobbing around for years. Now, after she had, like Psyche passed rigorous tests and trials she was stronger and with determination ready to say “yes” to herself.
Her school is open and accredited. She is healthy and excited about her woman owned business.
GUTSY means reinventing yourself. Elaine did just that, a fabulous role model for her daughters, the next generation of spicy, creative women.