The Best Mother’s Day Gift Is to Live Your Dreams

The following two tabs change content below.
Lisa is a freelance writer, consultant and life coach. She has her BA in English and Creative Writing from Princeton and her MPA from Harvard. Lisa recently finished the first draft of her book manuscript, Burning Down the House. Her dream is to publish this first book and teach the world how to discover their hidden joy. Her post day is Tuesday.
If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

Latest posts by Lisa Powell (see all)

The yard was in full bloom ~ creeping flox, tulips, azaleas, a lilac bush by the bird-feeders. My brothers had spent the day helping my  mom plant some new trees and bushes, including a Japanese maple, and were now pushing wheelbarrows of dirt along the driveway to deposit more fertilized earth around some of the ground cover.

It was what she had requested for Mother’s Day: a day of work in which my brothers and father would take her to the plant nursery, picks out some new trees, bushes and flowers, and then do the manual labor of helping her to plant them. My mom loves gardening, but wanted a hand with the heavy lifting for Mom’s Day.

She also asked me to spend a few hours with her working on her life visions, goals and dreams. Since I am a life coach, and this is what I do for my clients, it was a natural fit for me, and fun to be able to help my mom create a clear vision and an action map for what she wants to achieve next in her life.

Dreams Over Lattes

We headed to the Starbucks in Longmeadow, a mile or so from my parents’ house, so we wouldn’t be interrupted by my father or brothers, who by that time had finished the gardening work anyways and were watching the Lakers’ game.

I’d brought along a binder of life-coaching exercises so we could work both on her long-term visions for her life and then hone in on the short-term goals, and map out action steps for being in action on her dreams.

I ordered the new Mocha Coconut Frappucino and she had a Pikes Peak coffee. We sat down outside, since it was a warm spring-y day, and got working on the goals.

Two hours later, we’d come up with a vision for my mom for her 100th birthday party; for a decade from now; and for one year from now.

And we’d zeroed in on short-term goals for this year, and mapped out action steps for her top three goals. And calendared them!

A Gift To Me

Best Mothers Day Gift Live Your DreamsWhat a gift to me to be able to spend the time with my wonderful mother and to get a glimpse into her goals and dreams, and help her create what she wants next in her life, moving forward. I so cherish the opportunity to get to know her as a friend, and feel so grateful that I can help this woman, who has loved and supported me for a lifetime, in even a small way when it comes to living her dreams.

My mom is one of these women who seems to just grow more beautiful and vibrant over time, and I think it’s because she has dedicated so much of her life to helping others live their dreams, including my father; my four siblings and me; all of her nursing students at UMass where she has taught for more than a decade; and her friends and other family members.

She is very “other-centered,” so often focused on how she can help someone else be happy or achieve what they want.

Help Others Live Their Dreams to Live Your Dreams!

It’s such a timeless “secret,” and one that we live out every day here at 8womendream. When you help others achieve their dreams, life circles back around and helps you live your dreams as well.

Neale Donald Walsch states it beautifully in his book, Happier Than God:

Whatever you wish to experience in your own lifetime, cause another to experience it in theirs. If you wish to experience love, cause another to be loved. If you wish to experience abundance, cause another to be abundant. If you wish to experience success, cause another to be successful.

Perhaps this is part of why I love the work I do so much as a life coach, and in teaching workshops on Creating Your Happiest Year Yet. There’s another beautiful quote by Hada Bejar that I’ve always loved: “The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose.”

I am also clear that what my mom wants most is for her children to be happy, and to thrive. So the corollary of this is that we’re actually giving her a gift when we’re out there living our dreams, because it is a reminder that she gave us the foundation we needed to become happy, healthy adults, and there is nothing more she’d like to do now than celebrate our successes.

Lucky To Have Such A Mom!

I realize that I’m lucky to have such a mom, who has always cheered me on and always will, and I don’t take that for granted. I really do hope that as I continue on my own life path I will make her proud.

This is a woman who earned her PhD while raising five children, and who did that while managing the household, balancing the checkbook, and still cooking healthy dinners. She’s a great cook, by the way!

My mom has always given her all to everything she does, and she has always been a shining inspiration, role model and positive example for me. When I went away to graduate school a few years ago, I thought to myself, I should be able to do this with my hands tied behind my back, considering all that my mom was juggling while in graduate school!

Now she is cheering me on as I move forward with my dreams of launching my successful life coaching business and completing and publishing my first book. Mom has always been my number one fan.

Action Steps I Need To Take Now!

The Mother’s Day sessions with my mom were a good reminder to me as well that I need to continue to be in action on my most important dreams and goals. I’m working with my own coach on my road map for “next steps” this week, and will be designating Fridays now as “Dream Day,” when I focus exclusively on taking action steps on the dreams that matter most to me.

In the meantime, there is client work to do, and a house to be clean, and friends to see, and trips to plan. There is plenty to do in the world that is fun and that can be distracting when I want to make progress on my dreams.

I am clear that there are certain things I’ve committed to that will make a difference in my life and the lives of others when I live the dream. It’s time to map it all out again, and be in action!

Teaching What I Most Need to Learn

They say that we “teach what we most need to learn,” and I often find this true in the coaching realm. Working with my clients is such a powerful reminder of where I need to move forward in my own life.

Recommitting powerfully this week to living my dreams, both for my own joy, for what I will then be giving back in the world, and yes, to make my awesome mom proud.

Who is your greatest cheerleader? Can you cheer that person on in living his/her dreams as well? And what can you do this week to make progress on your most cherished dreams?


Lisa is a freelance writer, consultant and life coach. She has her BA in English and Creative Writing from Princeton and her MPA from Harvard. Lisa recently finished the first draft of her book manuscript, Burning Down the House. She is also a lindy hopper, belly dancer and globe-trotter. Her post day is Tuesday.

  • So glad you had an incredible Mothers Day! Besides my husband and son, my father is my biggest cheerleader – and reality check. He found his dream job as a pilot and had an incredible experience for over 30 years with flying as part of his life.

    Thanks for a great post – H

  • Julita

    Lisa, it was your mom who told me many years ago when I was a 20 year old college student that some day I would have to choose either my career or my kids. she said that you can not do both well, be a mother to young children and have a career at the same time. So, I stayed home with my babies. I worked part time (24 hours per week) when I had one child and stopped working when my second daughter was born. Also, your mother was my cheerleader when I went back to school in my late thirties to become a nurse. Thank you JP for being my inspiration from the moment I met you. so glad that I have met your mother and your family Lisa. All my love to you and best wishes, Julita.

    • Julita


      I don’t know how your mother got her PhD while raising 5 children, hmmmmmmmmm

      she is a super woman!

      best wishes

  • My son is my biggest cheerleader. My mom is a close second. She’s a worrier though, so she likes it when my dreams don’t involve a lot of risk, but my son is all about “just do it mom!”

    He’s also my inspiration.


  • Lisa

    Awww thanks Katie! She’s really amazing, and I grow more and more aware over time just how blessed I am to have this woman as my mom… Looking forward to helping her live more and more of her dreams in the years to come.


  • Katie

    Happy Mothers’ Day to your beautiful mom! Thanks for sharing her with us!

    Love this:
    My mom is one of these women who seems to just grow more beautiful and vibrant over time, and I think it’s because she has dedicated so much of her life to helping others live their dreams…