Growing up in the 70s, the stereotypical mom was June Cleaver. Donned in dress heels, pearls and apron, this suburban mom’s domestic quest was the kitchen! My being reared in the quiet and small town of Statesboro, Georgia, the Cleaver persona was paramount.
But not so in the Martin home.
My mother, Faye Sanders Martin, was a pioneer woman in the field of law. Rather than being tethered to a stove, mother was a strong and successful attorney producing an income that would be envied by most men of that day. Ten to twelve working hours designed her days. For 22 years, she encouraged and paved the way for countless other female law students to follow in her footsteps, (including my successful sisterJanna Martin).
In November 1978, Faye Sanders Martin was recognized for her brilliance and dedication to the legal profession. She was appointed as the first woman Superior Court Judge by a Governor in the State of Georgia. I was 16 years old.
I remember as if it were yesterday standing by her side as she was sworn in by Georgia’s Governor Busbee. My fearless mom, a Superior Court Judge in Georgia! This image — this portrait of a strong, independent, go-getter, smart woman – set and sustained the illustration for Janna and me as to how to conduct ourselves in future personal and professional roles.
But today, for most girls, this is neither that illustration nor reality. Now, unfortunately they are caught up in the superficial cosmetic web while viewing stock photo images of scantily-clothed women holding power tools or sitting behind a receptionist’s desk.
Enter Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, who wants to challenge these female stereotypes with LeanIn.org. (Applause, applause). She has partnered with Getty Images to try to change the way women are portrayed by creating a 3,000 plus collection of images of women and girls who are the real deal– self-assured, confident and empowered.
I choose to follow in my Mama’s footsteps and promote the image of “real women.” How about you?
I want to achieve extraordinary goals — not just ho-hum, common, run-of-the-mill ones. I want to have a seismic impact on how our world views violence against women and change how sexual assault victims recover…so no woman has to endure what I experienced after my sexual assault….fear, shame, trauma, hurt, despair, post traumatic stress, anxiety, depression.
So, how do I go about it? I’ve been reading Chris Brogan’s book,“The Freaks Shall Inherit theWorld,”and I proudly admit I am a freak by Chris’s definition because I want to turn my entrepreneurial vision into a reality…all the while making an impact and a profit. (The profit part hasn’t come yet and I’ve been at it 3 years).
Let’s face it…there aren’t that many middle-aged, petite women from rural Georgia going around the country talking about rape, speaking about this taboo subject matter, convinced her message can save lives.
But I can’t help it. That’s what makes me a freak.
To achieve these extraordinary goals, Chris Brogan tells me I have to define what success means to me.
This is what success looks like:
Jenny Lynn speaks to thousands upon thousands of sexual assault victims who are connected through sexual assault coalitions in the United States. Jenny Lynn also speaks to college campus organizations. These women, in turn, purchase my book or I partner with organizations to purchase my book at a discount so they give victims my book. They tell others about “Room 939” and Jenny Lynn. They go to my website and become a friend on Facebook, Twitter. They sign up for my free blog and know they are not alone. They find support and a friend in Jenny Lynn. They break their silence also. They write a review on Amazon, Goodreads, etc. More people find Jenny Lynn’s book. JENNY LYNN HELPS OTHERS.
It’s as simple as that.
Will you share this blog with a friend who needs my book? Will you write anAmazon reviewabout my book? Will you support me in my dreams? If you do, message me below and let me know what success looks like in your life.
Did you remember to breathe today? For at least 20 years, my post traumatic stress affected the way I breathed. I often “gasped” when startled. I breathed with shallowness and even held my breath at times when I felt I was in danger. The result: lack of oxygen to my brain and constantly remaining in a state of tension, rigidity, and anxiety.
It’s a hard way to live!
Several years ago, I attended my first yoga class. During that session on the mat, I remember thinking, “There is not enough action here! Not enough movement. I can’t stand this!” My mind and body had become so accustomed to panic mode that I knew no other kind of living and had forgotten how to relax. But over the past eighteen months, I have retrained my breath through yoga and can now breathe DEEPLY, mindfully inhaling and exhaling. Here are the benefits of yoga and deep breathing:
A boost in immunity!I have not gotten sick in a long time because as I have breathed better and circulated better, all of my organs have functioned at an optimum level.
Better sleep!My brain was constantly racing before, but now I use deep breathing to allow my brain to slow down.I am less exhausted and have much more energy.
A Happier State!Studies show that yoga can help with depression and it has definitely helped with mine.I have a sunnier disposition.
Better toned from head to toe!Yoga is strength training and you use your body weight to go from pose to pose.
A yogi once said, “A long breath equals a long life.” Do you get it? I finally do!
I often wonder how many people actually know that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month? You know how hard it is to cut through all the messages out there in the news…the Malaysian Airline mystery, the drowning of hundreds on the Korean Ferry, and Chelsea Clinton’s just announced pregnancy.
If you have not seen any of the news pertaining to this important initiative, here are some of my favorite messages I’ve seen during April.
Friday, July 12th was declared Malala Day by the United Nations. It is in honor of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot in the head by the Taliban for campaigning for girls’ education.
This courageous 16-year-old was given a standing ovation at the United Nations Friday after she spoke to the group about how the Taliban shot her on the left side of her forehead on October 9, 2012. “They thought that the bullets would silence us, but they failed…..the terrorists thought that they would change my aims and stop my ambitions, but nothing changed in my life except this — weakness, fear and hopelessness died, strength, power and courage was born.”
Mahala went on to say, “I speak not for myself but for those without voice … those who have fought for their rights — their right to live in peace, their right to be treated with dignity, their right to equality of opportunity, their right to be educated.“ Our world needs more Malalas….young women and old who will stand up to the world and say, “You will NOT oppress me!”Thank you, Malala, for showing us how.