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Chris Linnares, Published November 20 2013

Women's Wisdom: ‘Hot Mama’ Erin Cox shares words of wisdom for mothers

I knew everything about motherhood – until the day I became a mom.

Before my daughter, I’d walk through a store, see a screaming child and think, “If I was that child’s mother, I would never let her get away with that.”

Hundreds of dirty diapers later, I was the crazy mom in the middle of the department store with a ballpoint pen holding half my ponytail up and doing everything I swore I would never do to get my “angel” to stop making my trip to the store miserable.

I gained so many blessings with motherhood, but looking back, I may have lost my sanity many times along the way. My precious daughter was born in January, and the frigid winter didn’t make it any easier for this tropical mama to overcome my postpartum depression and weight battles.

Finally, after being cooped up in the house for months, I was able to walk outside with my daughter. On this first spring outing, my neighbor, a beautiful young mom, stopped me and started to chat. After a long conversation she asked, “Hey, I heard that Brazilian women are well known for being really passionate. Can you teach this Norwegian girl here some tips to spice up a relationship?”

After letting out a big laugh, I answered, “Girl, this Brazilian mama is so exhausted that my definition of a hot date is going to Target by myself and taking my time reading shampoo labels.”

We laughed about the fact that we both lived in sweatpants and how my old 2004 election shirt was my current idea of a “sexy outfit.” From that day on, I had gained one of my first North Dakota friends.

Motherhood is something that connects us in a way that crosses all cultural divides. Psychiatrist Carl Jung called this “the archetype of mothers” – bonding and binding mothers around the globe with similar unconscious ideals and patterns of thought.

This means no matter where we are from, we can all relate.

This bond of motherhood is what connected me with the work and mission of Erin Cox, author of the bestselling book “One Hot Mama: The Guide to Getting Your Mind and Body Back after Baby.”

Her mission is to inspire moms to live more balanced, joyful and healthy lives.

Originally from South Dakota, Erin is an author, life coach and mother of three beautiful kids. Her husband is an Air Force F-15 pilot, and as a family, they have moved four times since 2002. Cox has taken this opportunity of travel to bond with and learn from mothers all over the world.

So let’s put aside our old election T-shirts, get a good cup of coffee and have this guilt-free moment to ourselves as Erin Cox shares her wisdom.

Q. In the story of your life, what was the most challenging moment you needed to overcome?

A. At one time, I would have said losing a baby. Now I believe that painful event was one of my life’s most challenging, but it turned out to be a blessing and prompted me to grow and take one step closer to being who I was meant to be.

Q What empowered you to overcome those challenging moments?

A I have overcome those challenging moments with my faith and by getting quiet and protecting my alone time.

I wake up before my family to make sure I fit in my meditation. I have also learned to take really good care of my physical, emotional and spiritual health. When I am energized, focused and aligned, everything flows more easily and the fears can be put into perspective.

Q. If you gave the book of your life to your teenage self, what lessons do you wish she’d learned then that you know now?

A. That she is so powerful and capable of absolutely anything. I would tell her not to worry about the trivial stresses of life and to focus on being the most kind and generous woman she can be.

Q. What advice can you give to empower a woman’s life story?

A. The most empowering thing is that we are continually creating our life story. We often find ourselves sleep walking, while we could be creating an amazing life that is worthy of savoring when we are recapping our lives as we age.

We have the power to take risks, find true love, pursue our life’s passion, raise amazing children, feel wonderful about our health and bodies, and take control of all aspects of our lives.

We are the drivers of our present and can make conscious choices that help us live with more joy and passion in every moment.

Q. How can women best impact the world today?

A. Women can have a huge impact just by making the world right around them a better place. I feel like if I can raise my kids to treat others with respect and compassion, then I’ve made a difference.

I am a huge supporter of bringing safe drinking water and sanitation to third-world countries because women and children are responsible for water. Wonderful organizations to support include Water for People, Charity Water, and UNICEF.

Chris Linnares is international author, psychotherapist and founder of Women’s Impact, formerly Diva Connection Foundation. Originally from Brazil, she lives in Fargo with her daughter and husband Bill Marcil Jr., publisher of the Forum. To suggest a woman for this column, email chris@womensimpact.org. For more information on Linnares’ work, visit www.chrislinnares.com.