How to Auntie Up for Auntie’s Day!
Are you a Savvy Auntie by nature regardless of the presence of biological nieces and nephews in the world? As we prepare to celebrate Auntie’s Day on Sunday, July 24, let us acknowledge that the Savvy Auntie has many faces. She may have little ones in her family that are near and dear to her heart, and she may just serve up “Auntie Energy” to a world that desperately needs our capacity to love and mentor!
Recently I spent an evening with about eight young women in their twenties whom I mentor through my young women’s mentoring organization, Get Smart Mentoring. Many of the young women had been my former students. As a former educator mentoring young women in leadership and service learning, I was gifted with many “Auntie-like” relationships.
One of the young women shared about a conversation I’d had with her over six years ago when I was coaching her through a rough time. She was struggling with her self-esteem and I suggested that she write several affirming statements on an index card and keep it on her mirror. She shared with the group how looking at that index card every day had moved her to embody the qualities of being accepted, wanted, and beautiful. The others listened in and within 24 hours they had started a group chat entitled “The index card.” We began sharing lessons and realizations with one another to help them stay positive and motivated.
I had many Savvy Auntie moments during these interactions such that I really wanted to empower more women to be “Aunties to the world” for this upcoming Auntie’s Day. Think you’ve got Auntie energy? Here’s a quick litmus test. You don’t need biological family members to auntie up!
1. People seek you out for advice. – You are approachable and warm. You willingly share your life’s experiences with others who may be your junior to help them reach success!
2. You’ve got Pay it Forward MOJO. – Whether it's a volunteering experience or an anonymous donation to a cause you believe in, you’ve got that Pay it Forward mojo flowing on a regular basis!
3. Your profession inspires you to mentor. – Mentors are everywhere. As a teacher, manager, CEO, or any position of leadership, this can draw out the Savvy Auntie in you. Look at your workday and ask: Where can I auntie up today?
4. Pure math: a lot of people genuinely like you. – A Savvy Auntie is just likable. They’ve got that “people dig being in my presence” energy shining and people are drawn to your compassion and personality. Look in your life. See the people and recognize the difference you are already making.
5. They don’t count the cost. – A Savvy Auntie believes in taking care of oneself, but never plays tit for tat. They give because it’s part of their nature, without reason or agenda
So get creative! Someone doesn’t have to call you aunt for you to bring that aunt energy out into the world. Is there a hidden lesson here? Yes. The world needs this Auntie energy. It is a force of love and kindness that people need– all the time. To the receiver it is a gift, to the giving aunt, it provides innate happiness to be this person. The more we serve it up, the more we infuse this generosity and kindness into a world that will use it for good. This is your time to make that difference. You don’t have to think outside a box because there is no box here. (Besides a Savvy Auntie can make and decorate a box in about 5 minutes if she needs one!). You just have to be willing to see who you are each moment, and know that your essence is a contribution, period. So Auntie Up on Auntie’s Day, Sunday, July 24!
Updated and republished: July 13, 2016