On The One You Feed podcast, Eric Zimmer (host) and his guest, Skip Prichard, talked about success and how to find it.  Skip said that success is when ambition and peace exist in the same measure at the same time. They talked about how Buddhism teaches that we suffer when we want more, therefore we should be content with what is or what we have. There is peace in not wanting more. I see the truth in that.

But… what about growth? All of nature is geared toward growth. If we see ambition as growth, then it makes sense that success exists when we have both peace and ambition in equal amounts.

The challenges of motherhood

Coming off of a ‘successful’ Mother’s Day, I want to reflect on what made it successful. I know I felt very content, happy and joyful on Sunday. I went to church in the morning by myself. The sermon was on motherhood — not the gushy ‘joy of motherhood’, children are our angels and the greatest blessing, kind of motherhood — but the Mother’s Day is difficult for many people and parenting is damn hard, kind of motherhood. The minister addressed the challenges and the growth they foster.

I could relate.

Fear of change

The service and the day in general, made me think of my mother. She passed away almost four years ago. I miss having her in my corner. I wish she would have died peacefully and content, but she didn’t. Now that I think about it, she had many fears around change and growth.

I talked with several friends at church about missing our mothers and how we honor them now. These conversations comforted me, made me feel peaceful.

He’s got that ambition 

When I arrived home from church, my middle son had two buddies over rowing on rowing machines in our basement. They have a big race coming up this weekend. It’s a qualifier for the national championship in youth rowing/crew. My son, Josh, has been going to 6AM practices before school and both the girls and boys’ practices after school. He’s determined. He’s ambitious. I told him to get showered, we were leaving for brunch in 20 minutes. He did. His buddies told me happy Mother’s Day.

My oldest son, who is away at college out of state, texted “Happy Mother’s Day” before church and then called before we left for brunch. I do not talk with him often. He is a busy young man. He has a full course-load and also rows crew for his school. It was so nice to hear his relaxed and content voice. He has learned the ropes during this freshman year. He sounded at ease and was willing to chat for a while. It was such a treat to talk with him.

Pleasure and purpose

Mark, my fiancé, took us to a fantastic brunch at an under-the-radar place. The food was so good! It’s a hidden gem of a restaurant. Getting to enjoy it with my two children and Mark was special. The cards from the kids and Mark all had heart-warming messages. They made me feel like I must be doing something right. There have been many times when I did not feel successful, so I basked in the day’s glow. 😉

After brunch, we all took naps. Later, I planted flowers and Mark worked on his laptop. The kids tackled homework. Before dinner, Mark and I took time to sit on the deck and enjoy the sunny high 60s day. We held hands, drank cold beverages and talked about what it will be like all living together in the house.

Never stop growing

He and his two sons move in over Memorial Weekend. There will be lots of changes (opportunities for growth) for us and the kids, but there will be peaceful times too, like when we sit out on the deck and enjoy the view and each other.

I have challenged myself in parenting especially hard over the last few years. I strived to be responsive to my children and give them a sense of security. I felt like it paid off. This Mother’s Day had the perfect balance of ambition and peace. Success! Mark said I smiled a lot that day.


When have you felt your ambitions and contentment line up? How can you make it happen if you don’t feel peaceful or ambitious now? What changes can you make to foster growth? What would give you peace? 


If you’d like to work with me one on one in coaching, check out my information page. I would love to help you make the most of your growth and peace opportunities. If you prefer a more self-guided learning experience, you should consider my online courses. Descriptions and information for both coaching and the online courses may be found at this link or just click the image below.


Photo by Amy Treasure on Unsplash