International Women’s Day


International Women’s Day, you know, if you’ve been following me for a while, if you’ve worked with me if you are in partnership with me, if you are my peer, we’ve worked together, been in book clubs together, masterminds together, or simply connected by heart—you know that my mother is my driving force.

But in reflection today on International Women’s Day and thinking about what that means to me, this has been bubbling up for a while. It’s not just my mother, but it’s what my mother brought to my awareness from a very early age.

She allowed limiting beliefs and other people to tell her who she was and shape her life. She was told how lucky she was to have my stepdad who knocked her teeth out when she was in her 20s, so she had to get false teeth. Some people would tell her, for instance, that she needed to be baptized, or otherwise, when she died, she’d go to hell. Yet, they never did anything to help her get baptized. These are people who were supposed to love her.

I have some videos and recordings of our final conversations before my mom died. We had no idea how close her time was; she had been sick for years, but there was nothing saying that it was coming so soon. Something in me just wanted to understand her more. I asked her a question about what she would do differently if she could do it all over again.

She rambled off, WHAT other people spoke over her. “I should have been better to Bob. Bob was really good to me.” Bob beat the hell out of you and fed you alcohol that he knew you’d have a reaction to. At first, you were fun and carefree, then you’d get sad, and then all your grievances would come out. During those grievances, he would beat you. He was not good to you; what he was was somebody who took you off their hands, so they didn’t have to worry about you.

sober possibilities international women's day teresa rodden

I don’t want any woman ever feeling that way, that they must accept less than because they feel trapped. Did you know that’s one of the number one reasons why women misuse alcohol? It’s not because they have a disease and can’t help themselves; it’s because they feel trapped. They would rather be in their prison, comfortably numb, than do all the hard work because something in them doesn’t believe that they deserve more or that more is even possible. But it is possible.

So, for International Women’s Day, I want to say to you: Don’t ignore the little messages, the little nudges, the gut feelings. Life is short; we don’t know when our time’s up. Please honor yourself, honor the woman you were born to be, and make things right for you.

If people disrespect you, demand respect. If people cause you pain, disconnect from them. If there is a hope and a dream that you’ve always wanted and you can’t shake it, go after it. Even if that’s just taking one small step forward, do something that celebrates you—not just on International Women’s Day but all days.

Liberate yourself International Women's Day Teresa Rodden

I want you to be liberated. Although my mom has been my avatar and my life’s work, my motivation when I was younger was to fight like hell to be different, but I found myself in the same spot as she was: worn out and tired, helpless, and trapped. But 21 years ago I said enough was enough and let go of everything so I could rebuild with a clear mind, and an open heart that it’s okay not to have a clear vision but to have defined intentions inspired by who I want to be, how I want to live and what I want to do with my one and only precious life.

Today, let’s celebrate International Women’s Day by choosing YOU. It’s not selfish. It’s necessary. Every step you take forward shows everyone in your world what being empowered and on purpose looks like. You deserve the freedom to pursue your dreams. Now, start dreaming, dream big, and then go after those dreams like they owe you money.