Tomorrow is a day I celebrate all the women who have made a positive difference in my life and how I have grown through watching their strengths, failures, perseverance and tireless service to their family and those around them. 

This month marks the eighth year since losing my sweet, loving, smart and beautiful mom. I have realized that not having a mom that is here to be celebrated on Mother’s Day and not being a mother myself can make for a melancholy experience, when this holiday encourages love, gratitude and celebration. 

Sometimes when taking a picture, I can’t seem to find a good angle. Then I realize that when I zoom out a little bit, everything comes together. Metaphorically speaking, that’s what can happen when we shift our perspective from the traditional idea of Mother’s Day and zoom out a little bit. 

I have had so many women in my life who have helped me to develop my character, solve problems, handle difficult situations and most of all, taught me how to love with a full heart. Many who are still in my life. 

My mom was one of the strongest and smartest women I know and was my number one fan for the entire time our lives intersected.  My grandma and I go to breakfast nearly every week and it’s the thing I most look forward to all week. My aunt shares stories of when I was little, and of her and my mom growing up, and she is one of the best storytellers I know. 

There are so many other women who have helped me through life thus far including grandmothers, great grandmother, aunts, mothers of friends, friends (some who have now become mothers), teachers, neighbors, bosses and coworkers. I have such gratitude for each one of them who work so hard to make this world a beautiful place full of love and kindness. 

So whether you are a mother to children of your own or not, or whether your mom is still with you in this life or not, let’s revise tomorrow to be a day to celebrate all the positive maternal influences in your life. If you are a woman, don’t forget to celebrate all that you have to offer to the world and all that you have created for those around you. 

Take some time to reflect on the strength and beauty of feminine energy and maybe call one, two, three or more of the women who have positively contributed to your life and share with them how much they mean to you and why. 

Here are just a few things I have learned from all of the beautiful women in my life:

• If you don’t help yourself, one day you won’t be able to help anybody else. Make sure to complete all of your needed bodily maintenance and if something doesn’t seem right, please don’t want to go to the doctor until it’s too late. Make yourself a priority. 

• Kindness and laughter are two of the most valuable things you can bring to this world and carry with you every day, sharing with everyone you meet. The more you give, the more you receive and the happier your world becomes. 

• Help others when you can, but don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of or spend too much time with people who are negative. Spend time with people you can celebrate, and that celebrate you back, genuinely. 

• Learn as much as you can and find the things you love that you can spend time doing productively. Being bored is an illusion. 

• Don’t be so hard on yourself. Focus on the things and people that you love, not that you hate. Energy flows where the mind goes. 

• We are all temporary in this world, and we never know when the last goodbye might be, so show people how much you care for them every chance you get. 

• Family is everything. 

Happy Mother’s Day to all who represent feminine energy and live in service to those who you love. 

Ashley Maden can be reached