Artist: Ingrid Tusell
Over a decade ago, with our first child in my womb, I awoke to a different way of perceiving the world and of navigating my way through it. I began to dissolve habits of mind, heart, and action that had been worn into my consciousness over a lifetime.
What exactly is asking to shift? Why? And how?
These questions continue to invite me to grow and heal for the benefit of All. Perhaps you will see your story reflected in mine. And of course, I share these personal shifts, not in the spirit of competition, but in the spirit of camaraderie and mutual inspiration.
I invite you to share ways you have chosen to shift in an effort to care for our Great Mother.
- Identify and implement methods of self-care on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis (instead of buying into the lie that I can sustainably serve my family and our community when my inner well is empty).
- Acknowledge and acknowledge again and again that every thing and every one can be a helpful teacher to me (instead of creating illusions of hierarchy and blame).
- Respect pregnancy and childbirth as healthful, physiological events to be supported physically, emotionally, spiritually, and through as sense of community as families make decisions that resonate with them (instead of viewing these processes as diseases to be treated and women as silent passengers).
- Practice a style of parenting that respects children as equally human, listening to and tending to their needs because they are as important as my own (instead of expecting children to live in accordance with an agenda I set for them).
- View our children as wise teachers, inviting to me heal the unhealed places inside of me and live more consciously (instead of perceiving them as subordinates to shape and mold).
- Plan for and carry reusable grocery bags (instead of filling paper and plastic bags at the store).
- Walk and ride public transportation (instead of defaulting to driving the car for every errand).
- Buy pantry items in bulk quantities, refilling reusable containers brought from home (instead of relying on manufacturers’ packaging).
- Focus on eating local, seasonal, organic vegetables, pasture-raised animals, and probiotic-rich foods (instead of purchasing foods without considering their impact on my health and the health of the planet).
- Embrace dietary fat and nutrient-density (instead of starving myself of fat and eating absentmindedly).
In the Kitchen
- Cook in cast iron, enameled cast iron, and stainless steel pans and pots (instead of cooking in aluminum and non-stick vessels).
- Store food in glass containers and drink from glass cups (instead of plastic).
- Maintain a stack of clean, cloth rags (instead of grabbing a paper towel for every mess).
- Blend simple ingredients to make my own household cleaners (instead of spritzing harsh and potentially toxic store-bought cleaners in our home).
- Wash and rewash reusable plates and utensils even while camping (instead of creating more unnecessary waste). And when camping, we pick up leftover garbage from the site, leaving the area cleaner than we found it.
On the Go
- Fill and refill reusable water bottles when we leave the house and even when we head to the airport (instead of relying on bottled drinks).
- Use and return reusable utensils from hot food and salad bars at grocery stores (instead of grabbing single-use plastic utensils).
- Pack lunches and snacks in reusable containers or, if we must, in waxed paper bags (instead of using single-use plastic bags).
- Our two children and I wear one go-to jacket and one go-to pair of shoes (instead of buying multiple shoes and accessories driven purely by aesthetics).
- Make more of an effort to gift experiences (instead of material things). Along these lines, reuse plastic eggs to hide on Easter, and replace goodie bags at parties with one or two high-quality gifts that have longer lifecycles (instead of buying plastic eggs each year and gifting low-quality trinkets that will not likely be valued or used beyond that day).
In the Body and On the Body
- Use hygiene products and cosmetics containing few ingredients and/or ones cross-referenced with the Environmental Working Group’s website (instead of buying products without checking their safety/toxicity rating).
- Consult with holistic practitioners and implement modalities of wellness like chiropractic, acupuncture, homeopathy, naturopathic care, somatic-focused psychotherapy, Holistic Pelvic Care, Chinese herbs, Neuro Emotional Technique, and Neurological Integration System (instead of turning to Western, allopathic protocols first).
- Use and reuse a menstrual cup and cloth menstrual pads (instead of using disposable feminine hygiene products).
- Learn about the signs of fertility, observe my own body’s rhythms, and utilize low-impact methods of family planning (instead of perceiving my cycles as somewhat random events and consuming hormones and chemicals that confer significant side effects).
- Observe my body’s unique responses and rhythms, developing an intimate and intuitive sense of how my body works as I make decisions about my health (instead of relying entirely on the advice of practitioners and the sometimes narrow confines of what is considered “normal”).
May we live consciously. May we heal our wounds and support others on their journeys. May we embody love and peace.
This piece is an excerpt from my Spring 2018 newsletter
which also includes
• A Bountiful Breakfast Hack (I cook and eat almost daily)
• A Birth Guide (backed by the latest evidence)
• An invitation to care for Our Great Mother
• An empowering birth story (in an animated film)
• 3 inspiring books
• The Original Mother’s Day Proclamation