When you read and learn about the wisdom of Eartha Kitt, you can see why my mother was, and still is, my inspiration. At any age.
Age isn’t something we really think about until we start to do it.
When we’re little, we yearn to be ‘grown up’, and then, when we get there, we start to look back on our younger years, sometimes with the desire of ‘If only…’ .
My mother never worried about getting old. She was always more concerned about staying active. And, active she was, right up until her death. She would work out in gyms, but staying fit, to her, was so much more than the kind of fitness we get at a workout facility.
She was always moving, and the simplest chore could become a workout move at any time. A deep plié when picking something up off the floor; a stretch when reaching for an item on a shelf; tightening her abdominal muscles and leg lifts when sitting in a chair. You could always count on her to make the most mundane movement look like a well choreographed dance.
Fun Fact: My mother was known to wear ankle weights and wrist weights almost constantly thru her daily routine, except when on the stage performing.
She didn’t really understand making excuses for not doing some type of movement, whatever it may be. “As long as you have the ability, you can walk”, she would say, “and that doesn’t cost a dime.” Taking the stairs, instead of the elevator, walking to an appointment instead of public transportation (or at least, getting off before your stop and walking the last few blocks). To my mother, you was just being lazy if you didn’t make some kind of effort to move your body.
To her, moving your body and paying attention to the kind of food you ate, were the primary ways a person loved themselves first. Before you can be kind and loving to others, it is extremely important to honor your body and mind. This was the message I was taught. By example. And taking care of oneself wasn’t only about being fit physically.
I learned from the very beginning to honor and appreciate the person YOU ARE. Allowing ourselves to embrace WHO WE ARE and OUR uniqueness, helps us ALL accept each other. My mother never compromised who she was for what someone else thought she should be. And she taught me to be the same. That’s not always easy. Standing in your own truth. It certainly wasn’t always easy for my mother. But, she felt it was worth the challenging times, because, as she would say, it allowed her the peace of mind to sleep at night without the worry of ‘What if…’
The older I get, I stand more and more in awe of this woman who gave me life, understanding the incredible strength and tenacity she possessed. Yet, as I have said many times, the unbelievable amount of love she showered me, was the greatest gift a person can give. And receive.
So, as I continue to create and follow my own path, I take the inspiration that continues to grow even though my mother is no longer physically present, and try to share the blessings of her love and wisdom, with more and more people.
Sprinkling a little of her legacy as I go, spreading some of Eartha’s ‘earthiness’ in the hopes that it will continue to grow, leaving kindness, acceptance and strength in its wake.