Mary Schmidt Amons is perhaps most known for her role as a cast member of Bravo's Reality series Real Housewives of D.C. The spotlight gave her an opportunity to bring awareness to Labels for Love, a charity she founded in 2006 to raise critical funds to support women's and children's organizations where it is needed most. What you may not know about Mary is the TV show was only one small step in her life-long mission and heart's intention to nurture, to be of service and to mindfully grow as an ever evolving spiritual human being.

In my conversation with Mary I knew in my gut that she was someone who had many layers and a variety of fibers in the fabric of her identity. I was eager to explore.

There was the 'housewife' with strong Washington, D.C. roots and a high-profile pedigree. There was the devoted mother of five. And then there was the powerful, observant and delightfully curious spirit underneath all of that who knew there was a bigger part of her that she was just beginning to tap into and express.

Reflecting upon her life, Mary believes all experiences have a purpose. Born into the family of legendary radio and TV personality Arthur Godfrey, Mary was taught early on about the value of giving back to the community and making a difference.

As a child, holidays were spent at soup kitchens learning how to be of service to others. Her Dad was a big influence as role model serving as the president of the Vincent T. Lombardi Foundation raising funds for the Lombardi Cancer Research Center at Georgetown University Hospital. As a young mother Mary spent nine years as its Executive Director.

The eldest of seven children, Mary contributed greatly to raising her siblings. Continuing the extraordinarily paralleled experience with her Mother, she gave birth to her first child close to the same time her youngest sister was born. Mary went from helping her Mother raise children to raising her own in the blink of an eye. It was a bit surreal as she and her Mother had children the same age at the same school. Mom was not only her Mom, she was also a fellow play-date Mom.

Looking back Mary saw that much of her life was spent mirroring her Mom's focus in wrapping herself up in creating positive experiences of motherhood and creating a loving family environment. Her identity was fully invested in who she was as a mom and a wife. Making sure everyone was 'happy' was her primary motivation. She had little time to think about who she was or what she cared about on her own.

In her 30s Mary was caught up in taking on the external symbols of identity. She bought into trying to be someone she thought she 'should be', making sure she always 'looked right'. Life became a series of crises that she had to manage.

Somewhere along the line Mary began to wake up to herself. She began to question what life - her life - was really all about. Was she merely there to serve her family or was there a higher purpose? Those questions began a process of soul searching, of making sense of what she experienced and deciding how she wanted to direct her life moving forward.

The journey inspired Mary to return to her family legacy of giving back. She knew it was time to contribute to something beyond her family role in her own way. More importantly, it was time to teach her children about the family legacy of service and the joy in contribution rather than just consumption.

That journey came with some unexpected surprises. Mary learned that her devotion to make her children happy at all costs, came with a heavy price to pay. "Happy at all costs creates monsters." Mary realized that even with the best of intentions, she raised five children who felt entitled to what they have and the life they get to lead rather than appreciative. It was shocking to discover it was she who taught them how to view life in this way through her own behavior.

Knowing its never too late to break the cycle, Mary is vigilant about expressing - and modeling - a very different message. Ironically repeating the cycle of learning how to raise children just as her Mother was learning, Mary is now teaching her children a better, more productive and fulfilling, way to show up in the world - something she is newly learning for herself.

Instead of 'doing' for her children and telling them what's best for them, Mary now teaches her kids to think for themselves and how to operate on a budget. She's making her own decisions even if they won't make 'everybody happy'. Mary encourages her children to go after opportunities to earn their own money in a way that is authentic to their personal passions. And she gets up every morning on a mission to do the same for herself. Together they experience the personal satisfaction that comes with meaningful work and overcoming challenges.

As it happened, Mary's 26-year marriage ended. Painful as it may be Mary views the experience as yet another positive learning experience. She believes its as important to appreciate the bad times as it is the good. The difficulties in our lives give us an opportunity to shift, to grow, to embrace what 'is' and find the joy that is there.

No longer living in 'crisis-mode' trying to be some unrealistic version of how she should be, Mary is heart-driven to live in harmony, stay firmly connected with and grounded in what matters most. Expanding her philanthropic involvement Mary also founded the District Sample Sale helping D.C. area boutiques move end of season merchandise. Proceeds are given to various charities to empower children and women's causes.

She mindfully continues her journey in the truth of what feeds her soul at its deepest core.

It can be scary at times. Fear and uncertainty makes its appearance on more than one occasion. Mary survived the risk of vulnerably exposing her private life on camera so she won't allow the darker side of her emotions direct her path now. This time, though, she's vigilant about keeping it real.

Asked how she would like to be remembered at the end of her life, Mary wants to be simply known for the fullest potential of who she is today - a nurturer, a lover, a creative being and most importantly, a giver. She hopes to be memorialized in the minds of those she loves for the life lessons she's learned and shared, the contributions to her family and for what she creates from this day forward as a passionate humanitarian.

There is no limit to stories of everyday people doing extraordinary and purposeful things that will lift our collective emotional conscious to serve the greater good of all, including ourselves. I look forward to the day when the general public becomes more interested in and inspired by the real personal journeys of affluent housewives like Mary than the "encouraged for ratings" driven emotional dramas that have become the popular Housewives franchise.

As John Lennon once said, "If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there'd be peace."

Author's Bio: 

Valery is a Mentor, Coach & Author who provides an all in one toolkit and training course that give you the necessary tools and information to get over the unique challenges that come from success, fame and fortune. Championing those who have or aspire fame and/or fortune to maximize their potential is her calling. She's fully prepared to engage clients with her experience, extensive training, certifications. For more information please visit