Thought for Today - Motherhood
"I believe the choice to become a mother is the choice to become one of the greatest spiritual teachers there is. In May—and every other month of the year—I honor and thank every great spiritual teacher who goes by the name of Mother."

Mother and kids in garden
"I can't think of one other thing I do that even begins to compare to the joy I feel as a mom. The job is a labor of love. There are days that are painful and test you for sure, and then there are those glorious days where you pass with flying colors."

Sandra Magsamen
Mother and daughter reading
"When you make loving and caring for others the story of your life, then there is never a final chapter. The joy continues on always, page after page."

Ed and Deb Shapiro, spiritual teachers
Mother and children in a tree
"My mother is not a saint or a paragon; she's just a woman who, like many mothers, tried to do her best with her kids, sometimes failing, sometimes succeeding. But this was the moment of my life where she succeeded perhaps most brilliantly, where she really did it right."

Elizabeth Gilbert, author
Mother holding baby
"I definitely feel that I've expanded as a human being. I have more empathy and more compassion, I think, because I feel so blessed on a level that I can't even wrap my mind around really."

Julia Roberts, actress
Mother and daughter outside
"A mother wants her daughter to soar and she's watching her as she soars, but that also means she's receding in the sky."

Deborah Tannen, author
Gwyneth Paltrow
"I think what surprised me the most about [motherhood], as sentimental as it sounds, is how much I love her. I just can't believe it. It's like a whole new dimension in emotion that I've never experienced. It's crazy."

Gwyneth Paltrow, actress
Family in bed
"In my mind...[if] you wake up healthy, and you wake up happy, and your family's safe and happy and healthy, then everything else pales in comparison."

Faith Hill, singer
Dr. Phil
"You don't stop being a woman when you start being a mother. Motherhood doesn't define you. It is one of many roles that you assume. You have to bring all your own gifts, traits and characteristics to the role. Your actions must be consistent with what you think, hope, believe and value as a person. You cannot have peace in your mind and heart unless you are being authentic."

Dr. Phil
Madisyn Taylor
"When we approach everything we do in life with a sense of nurturing, everything becomes new to us again as it is seen in a new light. Life's tasks become less mundane and more meaningful as we move into a state of being present with the task at hand."

Madisyn Taylor, DailyOM
Mother and older daughter
"I think the hardest thing for a mother is to make it possible for a child to be independent and at the same time let the child know how much you love her, how much you want to take care of her, and yet how truly essential it is for her to fly on her own. It's definitely the 'pushing out of the nest syndrome.'"

Madeleine Albright
Happy mother and daughter
"I think for a mother just to see her daughter as an adult and her own person, even if she's not acting adult, is really important."

Linda Perlman Gordon, author
Mom talking to young daughter
"I think it is so important to tell our moms how wonderful they are and that we are grateful for them."

Sandra Magsamen
Mom and son laughing
"Never throw anyone out of your heart. People, more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed."

Ed and Deb Shapiro, spiritual teachers
Mom and daughter talking
"My mom is a strong-willed lady. She taught me to believe in myself no matter what anybody else said."

Tracy Edmonds, producer
Three generations of family
"We are all products of our history and learning. There's a parental legacy that has been passed on to you, based on how your mother mothered you and your father fathered you. You bring this cumulative experience to the role of motherhood."

Dr. Phil
Mother and daughter holding hands
"When we are surrounded by relationships that nurture us fully, our souls feels safe to grow, create and have the courage to express ourselves fully. Being in a state of nurturing is familiar to our souls; it is from this place that we first enter this world, and it is up to us to safeguard our spiritual selves to remain in a state of nurturing."

Madisyn Taylor, DailyOM
Maria and Eunice Shriver
"Women who want to be perfect only end up feeling bad about themselves. I think that that's one of the things that I learned from [my mother] was, like, go out. Make a mistake. Have the guts to fail and talk about it. There's nothing wrong with that."

Maria Shriver, first lady of California
Mother and son hugging
"Have you hugged someone today? Have you let a loved one know how much you care? It's these moments that matter most and make life worth living."

Ed and Deb Shapiro, spiritual teachers
Hilary Swank
"The best life lesson my mom taught me is to always be myself. She always told me that I could do anything that I wanted in my life."

Hilary Swank, actress
Mother and daughter doing makeup
"Moms aren't just those gals that do the birthing—they are also the stepmothers, mentors, teachers, friends and people who do the nurturing and loving. I am talking about the women in our lives who teach, care, listen, act, hug, wipe away the tears, tell us everything is going to be all right, say no, say yes, guide us, who pray and have faith in us.

"These special women share the blessings of a mothering spirit as they touch lives and hearts forever. They mother because of their great capacity to love, and they give of their generous spirit without expectation."

Sandra Magsamen
Beyonce and Tina Knowles
"[My mom] is one of those people that you feel honored to meet. And no matter who you are, you fall in love with her because she is spiritual, she's inspiring, she's strong, she's funny, she's creative, she's talented...she's everything that I want to be."

Beyoncé, singer and actress
President Barack Obama
"My mother taught me empathy—the basic concept of standing in somebody else's shoes and looking through their eyes. If I did something messed up, she'd just say, 'How would that make you feel if somebody did that to you?' That ends up being, I think, at the center of my politics, and I think that should be the center of all our politics. If we see a child who's languishing in an inner-city school, how would we feel if that was our child?"

President Barack Obama
Woman holding mirror
"Our self-image is influenced not only by our genetic connection to our mothers, but by our emotional relationship to her as well. Observational studies suggest that our first moments of self-awareness are experienced through seeing ourselves in the mirror of our mother's eyes."

Dr. Vivian Diller, author
"We should no longer allow a mother to be defined as 'just a mom.' It is on her back that great nations are built. We should no longer allow any woman's voice to be drowned out or disregarded. As we affirm other women, and as we teach our sons, husbands and friends to hold them in the highest regard, we honor both the mothers whose shoulders we've stood on and the daughters who will one day stand tall on ours."

Pregnant woman's belly
"By loving and caring for yourself, you can care more for others. Silently repeat, 'may I be well, may I be peaceful, may I be happy', until you are!"

Ed and Deb Shapiro, spiritual teachers
Girl serving mom breakfast in bed
Bring Mom breakfast in bed with her favorite food and drink. Place a flower in a small vase next to a little book of poetry and a note that reads, "I have a superhero in my life. I call her Mom."
Sandra Magsamen
Dr. Maya Angelou
"Mothers have the ability to liberate by love or, by neglect, to imprison. They're our first teachers; they are our first loves."

Dr. Maya Angelou
Grandmother hugging grandson
"But with my grandson, blissful and bountiful unconditional love flows from my every cell. I have so much of it I fear I'll drown the poor little guy, so I have to give the excess away. — That's my job this time—to celebrate the mere existence of another human being; to focus on what's already perfect about him; to help him see himself as I see him. What a gift to experience—at least once in this lifetime—the full power of unconditional love. And it feels as good as the saints and prophets advertise it."

Elizabeth Lesser
Family picnic
"Our emotional and physical well-being can easily be influenced by those around us in our everyday lives. Although we can't pick and choose everybody we spend our days with, such as when we are at work, we can pick and choose who we spend our private time with. Surrounding ourselves with friends and family that nurture us rather than drain us is an important step in taking care of ourselves fully, mind, body and spirit."

Madisyn Taylor, DailyOM
"I always say moms have the toughest job in the world if you're doing it right."