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When I think about the person I am today I owe a lot to the women who shaped me.

There’s three core parts that best describe me: strength of character, being down-to-earth and my spirit of adventure.

There are three women who have been key in shaping me into the woman that I am today. My mum, my aunty Pauline and my aunty Joan.

My mum has helped shape my independent streak, my resilience and my determination. She has ensured that I was never a pushover and the lessons I’ve learned from her over the years have helped me no end in building my career and business and having a strength of character to be bold and brave. Thankfully, my mum remains a key player and influence in my life.

My aunty Pauline helped shape my easy-going nature and ability to see humour when the chips are down. She ensured that I had balance and that I stayed grounded. She taught me about making a lasting impression, and ensuring it was memorable. I lost my aunty Pauline a few months ago. Her loss was expected, but no less painful. She was 90, frail and a shadow of her former self. She was the most likeable person you could ever hope to meet.

My aunty Joan helped shape my adventurous side. She inspired me to become a journalist, to travel and to enjoy all life has to offer. I lost my Aunty Joan this week. She was in her 70s, was buzzing with life and had great plans for 2016 – she told my mum so three days before she died. She was an ex-journalist who told wonderful stories, she craved good conversation, loved all the good things life had to offer and was the most amazing cook. (Sadly I never inherited her cooking abilities). Her loss was sudden, unexpected and devastating.

And while I’m still trying to digest the shock of my loss, it has brought into sharp focus what is important in life and where my priorities lie.

And it quickly drew me back to an exercise that I completed at DrivenWoman only five days earlier – creating a vision board for the year.

And a key phrase in mine was “the women who shaped me”.

The other words that I chose to include were “funny”, “shake-it-up”, “momentum”, “balance”, “homecoming”, “family” – and they surrounded the other key phrase: “Living in the moment is the most important thing”.

These words and phrases resonated with me a week ago and in the face of my latest loss, they bring on a new and more determined meaning.

Rather than just hopes and dreams about where I want to be and how I want to live my life, my board has taken on its own life, a life that by the end of 2016 I want to be living.

A life that will allow me to keep the momentum of my business, to bring me closer to my family, to take time out to have fun and to ensure I live my life to the full.

I will get there by drawing on the life lessons of the women who helped shape me but by also opening new doors to the support and inspiration of the women who are helping me build my next path.

Who are the important women in your life? Do you surround yourself with women who support you to build your future?

Natalie

This is a guest post from Natalie Davison, a DrivenWoman member, director of PR consultancy Swell Communications and founding member of Women’s Equality Party. Follow her personal blog about finding love Love In The Slow Lane.

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