Missed the presentation? Get the audio/video HERE! The journey of a woman is complicated and messy yet beautiful and poignant. We fret about getting older, we worry about getting it right, wonder how we will balance it all and struggle to keep ourselves and our marriages intact through it all. Iris Krasnow has spent much of her life becoming an expert on all these women’s issues. Her six books, filled with 1,000’s of interviews from women around the world, chronicles the cycles and stages of life that most women experience whether they want to or not. Over her many years as a journalist and author, Iris has interviewed eminent women and world leaders including Yoko Ono and Queen Noor of Jordan, and conducted research internationally across the racial, cultural and economic spectrum. Her wisdom is vast, her candor refreshing and with Iris nothing is TMI. With so much territory to cover it’s hard to summarize all of the great advice she has learned along the way, but here are some of our favorites:
1. Perseverance and “putting on a good face” can get you further then you think.
Iris’s mother, a Holocaust survivor, imparted to her the importance of approaching every day with a sense of urgency. To fervently value every minute with your family and the ones you love and to savor the precious moments as they are so very fleeting. And as her mom always reminded her, it doesn’t hurt to put in a little care to look your best while you cycle through this life so “Don’t forget your lipstick!”
2. Women everywhere are more similar than different.
Regardless of our backgrounds, we are unified by the desire to feel worthy, to love and be loved, to value what we do, and to have a sense of purpose. Choose your path and your people to fit this goal and you will find peace.
3. Cherish women mentors, including your mother.
In this unprecedented time as our life expectancy lengthens, we are growing old alongside our mothers. Your relationship with your mother affects how you relate to everyone else in your life, so appreciate and respect it, and try to mend it if you must. “Say your sorry even if you aren’t one bit.”
4. Beware of the myth of “having it all,” for sometimes putting everything on your plate leaves you feeling like nothing at all.
5. True feminism is having choices.
Choosing to stay home with your children and not work, as Iris did, is a legitimate choice and one that is right for many. Women should gain personal power from their choices, and not look to society to tell them what paths to choose.
6. It is important to “surrender” to your marriage, your family and yourself.
This word, used in the title of three of Iris’ six books, does not, as many might think, imply defeat. It celebrates selflessness and yielding to a higher power than your own selfish desires.
7. Predictability is one of the greatest gifts you can give your kids.
8. The happiest and longest marriages are ones in which wives are fulfilled outside of the relationship, have a strong sense of self, and don’t look to their partners to be their only source of joy.
9. Saying you’re sorry even if you’re not can really help a marriage.
If you can’t forgive, at least move on.
10. It is critically important to spend time with your girlfriends away from your marriage and the responsibilities of your family.
Plan a girls night out – or take the whole summer off! A tepid marriage seems a lot hotter when you spend time apart.:-)
11. Don’t compare your marriage to anyone else’s.
There is no gold standard for marriage or sexual frequency within a relationship. No one knows what goes on behind closed doors except the two people in it.
12. “Happily ever after” is a myth.
It takes grit, perseverance, strength, WINE and girlfriends.
13. You are your own soul mate.
Women can handle every season, change and loss if we learn that we must be responsible for our own happiness and fulfillment. We must look within for power and strength as the people we love most leave us, which they inevitably do. If you are interested in her full presentation, you can get it HERE! For more on Iris, be sure to read her many wonderful books: