I promised myself I would not stay up late since I have to get up before sunrise to make it back to Reston for the birth panel at the Freedom for Family Wellness summit. But I also will focus better if I can at least share some pearls of wisdom from Mothering magazine editor Peggy O’Mara’s speech, which was something of a call for patience with oneself on one’s holistic journey. This was a good thing to hear for someone who recently wrote about it taking a while to get to a place of something approximating balance.
“Give yourself time,” she encouraged, adding that it takes courage to even consider change. It surprises me that I’d never thought about the word “encourage” as what it so obviously is — to give or impart courage. Somehow hearing Peggy talk about courage — especially since she won the Courage in Journalism award last year at the NVIC conference — makes you feel like you are doing something great just be sitting in her presence, by having come to a place to gain insight.
Do I, she wondered, have the courage to believe in a benign universe? “Expect things to work out,” she suggested. In some respects, I do have faith that things will evenentually (maybe even years later) come together, but with a lot of other things, I anticipate stress and challenge, which likely creates both.
As someone who keeps beating herself up for the way she’s not living, I appreciate — and reel from — Peggy’s comment that it’s “how you talk to yourself about the lapses” that counts, not the actual lapses themselves. She gave us questions to consider that would do me well to write about in a journal and would serve my parenting partnership well to discuss with my husband. What do you believe about children? Do you believe there’s a legitimate reason for their behavior even if I don’t know what it is? What does “authentic life” mean to me? To us?
Early in her talk, Peggy referenced a 2000 Mothering article, “Finding Your Tribe”, and near her closing, she stated that community finds us; we attract it. I have already been thinking about that lately in terms of what I wanted my chapter of Holistic Moms to be when I began it — a resource for the broader community — and what I’d like it to become now — a community. It will not become something on its own without the intention there.
I kept having to jiggle the baby, so I didn’t get everything down, but I’ll close with the final nugget on my notepad: “Vitality is about the unfolding of your own uniqueness.”