Adapted excerpt from A Mother’s Grace: Healing the World One Woman at a Time
All it takes to begin is taking one step forward, inspired by a dream or a yearning to do something. You may want to start your own 501(c)(3) or volunteer at a local hospital, holding drug-addicted babies. You may want to write a book or start a social media campaign. Whatever it may be, all that’s holding you back is fear.
But fear does not need to render you motionless. Here’s what you can do, one step at a time, according to what I call the Six Branches to Grace. I firmly believe you need to be in touch with God and the world, and most of all your true self, before you can fully realize your own divine journey. Take a stab at the following suggestions that got me started.
- Grab a notebook.
I believe our phones may be our demise, distracting us from the beauty of the world. God does not come to us on our phones. God’s grace comes in the connections we make with our family, friends, pets, communities, and co-workers, and to those desperately in need of a hand to hold during difficult times. So put your device down, look up and around you, and start to tune in to God’s signs and guidance.
Take a notebook with you and keep articles and assorted things inside it that move you and feel important. Write like a banshee every time something pops into your head. I carried around a red leather notebook for eighteen years. I filled it with articles, advice, photos of inspiring scenes, ideas, quotes, and small pieces of what became content in this book. Make that notebook your own personal project, like a vision board coming to life.
Pray to your God, the universe, or a higher power. To me, prayer is meditation, a release. It’s a total letting go to what will be, and when I have no distractions, I can feel a buzz throughout my body, like every cell is alive but calm. Just find a routine that works for you. I don’t believe there is a right or wrong way to pray, but closing your eyes and finding stillness can change the trajectory of your day. Here is an amazing episode on the Science of Success podcast that has assisted me in this process, called, “ The Shocking Secret You Must Know to Create Lasting Behavior Change with John Assaraf.”
- Listen to inspirational music.
I have my own “innercise” and exercise playlists and after listening my blood is pumping, primarily from great music that gets my ass in gear and makes me appreciate how precious life is. It’s amazing how music can get you going. My friend makes me the most amazing playlists and whenever I am mad or down I listen to them. This reminds me of how he feels about me, and any petty stuff I may be feeling just melts away.
I’ve always been a reader. When I was five years old, I joined a book club in the summer and if I read ten books, I got a free book from the library. I was thrilled to get that new book—the smell, its feel, and the sense of a new adventure. When you’re seeking a quieter, more internal form of inspiration and comfort, read! Keep three or four books by your bedside with a highlighter and read for an hour before you go to sleep. I struggle with this one because at night I like to “check out” mindlessly on Netflix. That means I must force myself to slow down and read, and I’m never sorry when I make that choice.
- Enlist your posse.
This is of utmost importance. If you don’t have one, create one now. Put together a group of girlfriends who have your back, who you can talk to in the utmost confidence, and who will tell you like it is—lovingly at first, but they should also be willing to hit you over the head, if and when you are being ridiculous. (Confession: I have bruises all over my head.) As you develop your ideas, ask for their opinions and steady feedback. They should also hold you accountable and keep you moving. I called on my posse throughout the entire process of writing this book and developing the charity.
Over the last ten years, I’ve formed a writing group, a travel group, a birthday group, a lunch group, and a prayer group. These special women have carried me through more than any one person in my life, and they are way cheaper than the $150 to $200 bucks you pay for 47.5 minutes with a therapist. (Yes, I like therapists, too, but the older I get the more I appreciate the strong women in my life—my posse.) You can start with one “bestie” and grow it. No games, no agenda, no drama—just pure friendship.
- Secure a project partner.
This may be key for you. I could not get all of my ideas on paper, which made my situation seem insurmountable. Had I not found my project partner, it would have taken me another eighteen years and I would be in an old folks’ home, still trying to write this book. Tell people your goals. Be honest; lay your fears aside and tell the people you have recruited that they will become like vehicles to help you find the right people. You may have to pay your project partner, but that is why they are experts in their field and worth your investment. Aren’t you and your goals worth it, too?
Project partners can be writers, life coaches, therapists, trainers, spiritual advisors, and/or editors, but whomever you choose, it should be someone who can hold you accountable. Paying for these services holds me way more accountable to the process and keeps me motivated and on track. If you can’t find the right fit for your philanthropic mission and you genu- inely feel like your idea fills a gap in the world, then you can start your own 501(c)(3).
About The Book
As women everywhere are dealing with unprecedented trials and stress in their lives, A Mother’s Grace: Healing the World One Woman at a Time shares remarkable true (and inspiring) stories from female change-makers with advice about turning adversity into action.
Author Michelle Moore shares how her adversity became a global movement when she survived an aggressive form of breast cancer at the same time her son faced near fatal complications from juvenile diabetes. Grateful to be alive, she was compelled to make changes in her life and in the lives of others. Along with her own personal story, Moore shares the stories of 10 women and how their lives serendipitously came together in the most unique ways so she could continue to grow this movement and partner with these women in quite miraculous ways.
About the Author
By day, author Michelle Moore oversees the COVID-19 testing response as a senior vice president for Laboratory Corporation of America; by night, she is the founder of Mother’s Grace, a nonprofit organization that has raised more than $5 million for families in acute crisis, assisting more than 6,000 mothers in the state of Arizona and throughout the world. Mother’s Grace addresses the critical needs of mothers and their children in the midst of tragic life events by helping them with housing costs, medication, meals, housekeeping, childcare, transportation, and a host of other immediate needs. Through mentorship and seed grants, Mother’s Grace also assists women in starting their own nonprofits, with the goal of producing a new generation of women leaders.
Michelle is the recipient of MASK Unity’s Moms Making a Difference Award, the highly coveted Hon-Kachina Award and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Philanthropy in Action Award. In 2019, Moore was awarded the Phoenix Business Journal’s Outstanding Women in Business award and was granted a State of Arizona Commendation by First Lady Angela Ducey for her extraordinary service to the people of Arizona.