Raising the next generation of healthy and whole women has more to do with you growing into your own version of healthy and whole than it does with “teaching” your daughters to be more than you are. I’ve distilled all that I’ve learned over 20 years, countless hours, and thousands of dollars into 5 transformative principles: Model, Affirm, Grace, Inquire, and Coach. These principles of MAGIC have everything to do with self-reflection. And today, I wanted to share with you the first part of the MAGIC formula which is Model.
Now, when someone says “model”, we all have some connotation or representation of that word that immediately comes to mind. That might be a model airplane, a supermodel, something like Lego sets, or just having a model. In this instance, I mean the idea of having a model, or something that you have modeled your behavior or mindset around. Whether these models are conscious or subconscious, we all have them!
For example, when my husband, Seth, and I got married over 20 years ago, I started a habit in our household. We would go grocery shopping, and when we came home from the store, I’d take those plastic grocery bags, and I’d fold them down until they were small, and then I’d stash them in a drawer or cabinet. And then they would just accumulate!
One day, Seth said to me, “Can we free up some space and get rid of some of these bags?” And my immediate response was, “No! We need to save the bags.” Which was completely irrational – there were only two of us, and there was never going to be a need for all of those plastic bags. But I wasn’t even thinking, that response just came out of my mouth on autopilot. Where did that come from? It wasn’t something I could ever remember consciously choosing, it was just something I did without thinking, like sleepwalking.
Of course, this discovery didn’t happen then, because fast forward 20 years, and in our home today with four daughters, my girls know where the bags go. In the left hand cabinet when you walk in the kitchen. So why do we save plastic bags? We save them because that was what was modeled for me by my mom. And I subconsciously picked up on that model. Even now, if you go to my mother’s home in Baltimore, you’ll find innumerable plastic bags in her pantry.
So if I have a model for plastic bags from the grocery store, then doesn’t it stand that I might have models around more important areas of my life? That you might have some models in important areas of your life that you didn’t consciously choose? As it turns out, many of us are sleepwalking through life by adopting these models that we didn’t even realize were models. Think about all the different areas of your life that you could have models – your spirituality, your finances, your relationships, your physical and mental health. You can have models in each of these areas, and you can always be growing and always be evolving. Because choosing models helps us get unstuck. So when we talk about what we want to show and model for our daughters, it all starts with who we are and the models that we want to set for them.
For example, if you look at your daughter, and look at her friends, and think, “I really don’t like the friends she’s chosen.” Take a minute and think about what you might be modeling in how you choose your friendships. What are you modeling in those areas? Because something to remember is that whatever you do in moderation as a mom, you’re giving permission to your daughter to do in excess.
So the first key in magic is just that – modeling. Who are you actively choosing to be your models in relation to the person that you are becoming? What are you modeling for your daughter in relation to the person that you’d like her to become? Let’s take this knowledge and go transform our lives, the lives of the communities around us, and the lives of our daughters with a little bit of MAGIC. Go make some MAGIC happen today!