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Meredith Holt, Published April 18 2013

‘Hot Mama’ helps women find their true passion

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – On Erin Cox’s 35th birthday, she got the call that she was awarded a publishing contract.

The news came on the heels of a series of events that led the now-36-year-old Klamath Falls woman on a new path.

Cox, a 1998 NDSU grad, left her career as an environmental engineer to focus on her family and become a self-help author and motivational speaker.

She says her first book, “One Hot Mama: The Guide to Getting Your Mind and Body Back After Baby,” was easy to write because it was already written in her head.

Cox and her husband, Steve, plan to write a second book together on getting your marriage back on track after having a baby.

The mother of three is in the area this week to receive an award, promote her book and participate in Saturday’s “Women Inspiring Women.”

Q: You talk about creating success on your own terms. What does success mean to you?

A: When I was working full time for a large corporation, my success was on their terms. I had to work full time, I had to travel when they told me to.

Now, my goal is to be able to make as much money as I did as an engineer working on the days I want to work, when it’s best for my children and my family.

How do you help other women discover their true life’s passion?

I ask them a ton of questions, like, “What did you enjoy doing as a child?” “What do you lose yourself in?” “What gives you a sense of pure joy?”

I kind of lead them to discover their own passion. People just don’t take the time to really think about what makes them happy.

I think meditating and praying is an important component for anybody. It helps you get quiet to really “hear” what your inner voice is saying.

Can anybody learn how to meditate?

Yes. It’s good to start with guided meditation because so many women say to me, “I don’t know how to meditate. My mind’s too busy.”

I have that problem, too, so I started by doing guided meditations. I’m actually going to create a series of guided meditations.

I think there’s a misconception that you clear your brain and don’t think. That’s impossible.

How do you know when you’ve chosen the right path?

When things don’t feel stressful anymore. You still have stress, but it doesn’t feel stressful.

I enjoyed doing my other work, but it didn’t feel like this.

How do you juggle your marriage, children and career?

Working full time as an engineer, my husband being deployed with the Air Force, kids, it was too much.

It was a hard decision, but I think working part time made it doable for me.

What do you hope women most take away from reading your book?

To take care of themselves, so they can be better spouses and mothers.

If I had to narrow it down to a phrase, it’d be, “Happy moms raise happy children.”

What are some ways moms can take care of themselves?

• The No. 1 thing I would do is put your children to bed early enough so you can have a little bit of time to yourself.

• You have to go with the flow. There are some days when you have everything perfectly planned out and your child will have a blowout.

• Don’t feel guilty for doing things for yourself. I think putting your feet up in the afternoon while your kids are playing is perfect.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Meredith Holt at (701) 241-5590