Leading the Way

This week, I have the honor and privilege of posting a guest blog by my mom, Judy Baldwin.

I knew from an early age that my mom was different from other moms. What was different about her? For one thing, I never heard other moms tell their daughters that they could do whatever they wanted with their lives.

My mom did.

What’s more, she supported my sister and me every step of the way with positive reinforcement. The most amazing thing about my mother is that she’s used emotional intelligence and the law of attraction for the better part of the past 4 decades–long before the term Emotional Intelligence was coined or the book The Secret was published.

Recently, I asked her how she came about her insights at a time when the feminist movement was still in its infancy. Here’s what she shared with me:


“You’ve always had the power,” Glinda told Dorothy Gale in the Wizard of Oz.

There it is.

Self-actualization, self-approval, self-empowerment, and freedom come with life’s experiences, risks, choices, education, mentors, and maturation.

My mother was a positive mentor in my formative and teen years. She championed the beliefs in the power of positive thinking and actions. “Act like a queen to be treated like a queen,” was something I heard many, many, times. Books–self-help or otherwise–were promoted.  My mother firmly believed that educating daughters was as hugely important as educating sons. Thus, four years of college for a teaching diploma garnered me new skills, people interaction, and much knowledge.

Unlike college, marriage and motherhood came with no instructional manuals. Thankfully, my mother shared her experiences and introduced me to self-help books as guides. Leo Buscaglia’s Living, Loving, and Learning was an invaluable tool for me as a wife and mother.

Ayn Rand’s The Virtue of Selfishness was a profound guide, releasing me from the shackles of altruism and giving me direction. It also aided in my self-respect, self-actualization, and self-empowerment.

Knowledge is power.

Books, choices, actions, and risks are worth the learning, growing, suffering, and exalting. One cannot learn, grow, change, live, and love chained to ignorance, untried risks, addictions, and fear of failures. By taking full responsibility for myself, my life, and my actions, I’m free to be me — a complete human being. The person who does nothing and risks nothing…has and is nothing.

Judy Baldwin – September 2012


Mom, thank you for passing on what you learned from Grandma Ruth and from your self-actualization journey to Elaine and me.

As a child, I had no concept of how much courage it took to be yourself at a time when conformity ruled. You pioneered rejecting the social norms long before women began recognizing and embracing our right to be our authentic selves. You are an amazing woman, mother, mentor, and role-model–you led the way for me to likewise stand up and speak up through my writing and launching this on-line community. I am so blessed to have you as my mom, and I want you to know how very, very proud I am of you!

With much love and gratitude,







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