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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Moxie week really gets started!

MOXIE - The ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage; vigor; verve; pep.

Image by Lisa Andres and WikiHow (license)

I've been looking forward to Moxie week. When I first decided that Moxie was going to be one of my virtues I distinguished that many of my favorite memories included quite a bit of Moxie. While in high school I decided my family should host an exchange student for a year. I was planning to go myself at some point (AFS Austria 81/82) so it seemed only fair. The only stumbling block, no one else in my family thought it was a good idea.  I just ignored this fact and signed us up for a family interview, completed an application and got my Dad on board to possibly do it temporarily if a real host family couldn't be found for the nice girl from New Zealand.  By the time my family convinced the people that interviewed us that we "could be" a suitable host family in a pinch I knew that Romola had her permanent home for the year. We just couldn't send her application back... 

When I was in my twenties I had a job I did not enjoy in an industry (teleconferencing) I thought was fun so I just started calling around the country from the desk of the job I did not like and offered my services. Within two weeks I was moving to the Kansas City area to work at American Teleconferencing Services. To this day, I remember making the first phone call to talk to "someone interested in hiring a teleconferencing sales person." It was pretty gutsy considering I did it seated at my old desk and within earshot of my old boss. I'm also pretty sure my Moxie was one of the things that contributed to my getting hired.

When I was not in a longer term relationship my dating style was filled with Moxie. I embraced internet dating long before it became mainstream and dated people from all walks of life. I participated in all sorts of singles events, joined dating services, even had a profile posted in a singles magazine and responded to want ads. When friends said it was hard to meet someone I would meanwhile keep my calendar filled and always had fun doing it. Dating was a game and I was very spunky and brave about the whole thing.

Since getting married and falling into my beloved mommy job I haven't created many opportunities for moxie. I let Rob handle any sticky situations and generally don't stick my neck out very far in social or business situations. Bravery like many skills needs to be used or one starts to lose it. When in my twenties I wouldn't think twice about speaking up or trying something daring but I can definitely tell I am less willing to do so now. This week will be about shaking things up.

This week's "Bliss Initiatives" are color coded in purple for quick identification. They are specific things that you too can try, if you want to play along with me.  I will be exploring and encouraging MOXIE  this way:

  • Live with Moxie - Each day I will do something unexpected and brave.  For example, I will go out of my way to meet a neighbor, strike up a conversation with a stranger, offer my opinion on the website of someone I respect, rather then just reading and watching. I will ask if there is a way I can get a better deal when I am shopping instead of unconsciously paying full price. In short I will step outside of my comfort zone, I will create opportunities to be brave and speak up instead of quietly going about my business.
    • Study Moxie - I will research people who have displayed Moxie and I will read the book "Women of Courage: Inspiring Stories from the Women Who Lived Them" by Katherine Martin.  I will find inspiring quotes about courage and daring and share them here and with people in my life to inspire us to be more daring!
    It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.

    Next Post: Cultivating Bravery

    My 13 bliss virtues: joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, surprise


    1. I think it is important to recognize that your body may be telling you that you need to be in safe mode in order to protect Jessie. While we, as modern women, think we can do both, the evolution of our body may not have caught up.

      I think your goals of meeting a neighbor or talking to a stranger are good. It is great to know your neighbors.

    2. Also, Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation
      by Cokie Roberts is a great book that I think talks, at least a bit, about moxie. There is the story of one girl (15 or 16YO), which really sticks in my head when I think I can't do something. Her father went to the Carribean to be governor or something and left her in charge of their indigo plantation. The author knows the story because of the detailed letters father and daughter sent back and forth. I am amazed by her courage.

    3. Thanks Jaye. I hadn't considered I might be in "safe mode" but it makes sense since I am so willing to let Rob deal with things I used to manage myself without thinking. Rest assured I'm not planning any cliff diving. I do think standing up for what you believe is brave and often requires some moxie... this I think a parent should demonstrate.

      I like Cokie Roberts... I'll look for her book!

    4. Wow Jaye, what insight!
      I think my body told me it was time to move into brave mode when Lucy was born. I got over my shyness about cold-calling and going places alone, even singing in front of people came more easily. My theory then was that if I wanted Lucy to feel safe in the world, she had to be free from all my petty and silly phobias weighing her down. So I thought it was more important to show her how wonderful things can be than it was to feel afraid.
      Kathy - your daughter obviously inherited a great deal of moxie!!


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    Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues

    • 1. TEMPERANCE - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
    • 2. SILENCE - Speak not what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
    • 3. ORDER - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
    • 4. RESOLUTION - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
    • 5. FRUGALITY - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing.
    • 6. INDUSTRY - Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
    • 7. SINCERITY - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
    • 8. JUSTICE - Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
    • 9. MODERATION - Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
    • 10. CLEANLINESS - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths or habitation.
    • 11. TRANQUILITY - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
    • 12. CHASTITY - Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or to the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
    • 13. HUMILITY - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.


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