This week was my mother’s birthday and I wanted to highlight 5 things I learned from the most important woman in my life.

1. Guard your light. Mom has always been a proponent of reading self help books and practicing spirituality as a way to fill yourself with joy. I’ve worked really hard over the past few years to build my own spiritual practice that fits the life I want to build.
2. Be kind even when it’s hard. One of the qualities that I inherited from my mom is to try your best to consistently treat people right even when they don’t deserve it. She would always remind me that the things people do rarely have anything to do with us.
3. Talk to strangers. There has never been a time in my life where my mom didn’t strike up a random conversation with someone in the grocery store. I’m not nearly as extroverted as she, but I learned that some of your best friends can come from putting yourself out there.
4. Show up every single day. There are very few times I can remember my mom missing work, church or choir rehearsal. She continually teaches me the importance of honoring your commitments.
5. Life is so much more than money. Being a light in the world has nothing to do with financial compensation. Happiness is defined by the hard work you do, the people you love, and the experiences you have.