One never knows how the act of sharing a story or experience affects the trajectory of another person’s life. For me, the storyteller was my grandma, Irene Singleton, affectionately nicknamed Grandma Sugar. It was my deep connection to her story of adversity; the loss and hardship she experienced that helped shape my feelings about education. Her story has acted as my spring board, so to speak, because it has inspired me to thrive in my personal, professional and educational endeavors. My grandma was exemplary of a woman with grit who was determined to not let anything stop her from finishing school.
After losing her mother at the young age of eight, my Grandma Sugar and her nine siblings were separated and sent to live with distant relatives in northern states. She had to grow up quickly and made the difficult transition from attending school to working on a farm from sunrise to sunset. She worked hard to prevent this devastating life challenge from derailing her educational dreams and, at age 40, she graduated from college. I have early memories of my Grandma Sugar’s joy of learning and I feel grateful that she modeled her values of compassion, integrity, confidence, perseverance and services to others for my siblings and me.
It’s no wonder that my personal philosophy has always been rooted in the importance of valuing education, finding my passion, doing work that I feel called to do, and serving others. I learned early on that a job is something that pays the bills. It is a societal requirement for survival; however, your calling or vocation grants you the chance to do work that is authentic to you. The right vocation lasts a lifetime because it aligns with your personal values and allows for self-expression.
I had the good fortune to grow up in a home of educators. My parents encouraged my siblings and me to try new activities, classes and experiences as often as possible. We were always encouraged to ask questions and learn as much as we could about everything and anything that sparked our curiosity. My two older siblings each blazed a very impressive educational path for me to observe as they gained entrance to educational institutions like Dartmouth, UC Berkeley, Brandeis and Harvard. I admit that I struggled when my acceptance letter from Pepperdine University came my senior year of high school. I compared my achievements to theirs and questioned if I would be successful like them. Would I be successful and land a good job after college? Fortunately, those feelings passed rather quickly and I soon realized I shouldn’t value myself against the achievements of others, especially not my siblings. Rather I decided to focus on doing my personal best while enjoying my own journey.
As soon as I focused my attention on finding my personal journey, I learned the importance of being grateful for every experience that was unique to me. Whether I’m teaching special needs children or working in the wellness industry, I have learned that my passion for education transcends any job, company or industry.
I love the mission we share with the thousands of brain warrior’s we reach weekly though Tana’s blog, Facebook live chats and newsletter. I’m energized to do work that helps people become educated about the amazing benefits found when healthy eating and living are in harmony. Giving people the tools to feel younger, healthier, more energized, and more fabulous has become part of my educational story. I feel very grateful to work with Tana and join her on this mission of helping every person become a warrior for the health of their brain and body.
I invite you to join this community and warrior tribe by helping to share Tana’s message to the mentors, educators and loved ones in your life. You can find many more amazing warrior stories on Tana’s Facebook page. Come Join Us!
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