What a weekend! Friday, I headed up to Boulder for the Resound Conference 2013 and heard some amazing speakers. More below. That evening, we went to the Stand for the Vulnerable event & got to hear one of our favorite artists live. A clip from the Josh Garrels concert is above. Saturday, we were up early for our hospital tour–this labor & delivery thing is starting to get real! Then we went for a quick hike, a matinee–Hunger Games (!!!!), and finally enjoyed a quiet evening by the fire. Sunday I was up early again for volunteer for a 5K benefiting a friend who has throat cancer (you can help HERE), then met up with a former student for a walk around Sloans, and finished the day making soup & watching a disappointing Broncos game with A.
Business first though. Lucky for you three pregnant readers that I don’t have a ton of moms to be reading! I went to Random.org to generate the number, and here it is:
Hillary is our winner. Congratulations! And thanks for reading. Email me your address (firstname.lastname@example.org), and I will get your Mama Mio products in the mail this week! Again, if you didn’t win, I think your cheapest bet is to call Coldwater Creek the Spa & have them sent to you because they ship for FREE. The number is 303.975.8736.
I snapped this at the beginning of the conference on Friday. This was my second Resound Conference, and like the first time I went, I walked away inspired and at peace. For those unfamiliar with Resound, it is in my words, a conference of creatives who redefine Christianity–or live it out in ways that are non-traditional, highly examined, authentic, creative, vibrant, and passionate.
Lately, I’ve been struggling with feeling like I’m not doing enough. Making the decision to be a stay at home mom has been tough for me. On Monday nights, we go to our Bradley Method birthing classes. I look around the room and see all the other expectant moms who have these amazing jobs, careers, and the benefits of the money they make from them. I mean, they look chic in their maternity clothes! We’ve had a few homework assignments & then presented to the class as a group, and I felt like such a slacker with my one pager & additional resources available by email when they have Powerpoints and packets to accompany them. I also look at the lives portrayed on facebook from high school friends & feel slightly inferior without my Master’s degree, 401K, brand new house or remodel. I look at the life I chose to leave to follow my passions–being a pretty well-respected community member and high school English teacher to teach yoga and study Ayurvedic medicine. Not very practical. Not lucrative. Not at all.
I went to two talks that really helped me begin to find a little peace in all the self-doubt I’ve been feeling lately. The first session, “The Redeemed Imagination” was given by Tim & Laurie Thornton. From it, I gained a new perspective on my choices. It was my imagination that lead to my choices. I’ve always been a dreamer. In elementary school, I remember having a hard time with my mind. My imagination would wonder off–examining some idea or following some wild story, and my mind would cut in the dream, saying, “You need to pay attention to the teacher. Be a good girl. Do what you should do. Get the grade.” And I would put aside my dreams for a few more hours before repeating the cycle all over again.
I’d like to say this ended in elementary school, but I went to different worlds in high school, college, and during my teaching career. It was during my years as a teacher that I told my mind to pipe down. That I didn’t want to hear about the shoulds anymore. I wanted to see what I could do. I wanted to live an authentic life. So I quit doing what I should, I cashed in my retirement (cause that’s a smart thing to do…), and enrolled in California College of Ayurveda. Hungry to learn more holistic approaches to health, I also went to more yoga teacher workshops and enrolled in Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I soaked up so much knowledge & wisdom from these ancient science & spirituality based traditions. My imagination & mind were satiated completely; I didn’t daydream during these classes. I put them into practice in my own life & doled out information freely to family and friends any chance I could get. I picked up a few clients, but it nowhere near equaled my former salary. And teachers aren’t known to be the wealthiest citizens in society.
Anyway, during the talk, I was exposed to (or reminded of) the idea that imagination is holy–or can be. What we give attention to, we give power to. I made a choice to give power to the unknown, to lean into the unseen, to take a leap of faith. And there is a kind of freedom I felt in pursuing my passions. And there is a beauty in choosing an authentic path that has changed my health and helped friends and family. Even though there is not–or at least not yet–loads of money, a new house, or chic maternity clothes. My yoga pants still fit 🙂 .
The second talk, entitled “Calling-What is it? What is the Process of Growing in It?” was given by Ramin Razavi. It also provided me with some peace about my journey, my choices, and the Grace that has been given to me beyond my choosing. Ramin said, “Calling is not something we strive for or design. It is something we receive from God.” And, “Our calling is meant to be desired and embraced–opening to the Divine within.” And, “Every calling is a life-long journey.”
By that definition, I don’t know if Ayurveda or yoga are my callings. I chose them because I imagined them into my life. I am creating my life from the wisdom I have gained from that choice. But God is creating my life from something else entirely. Because for most of my life, I didn’t know that I wanted to have a child. I was pretty sure I wanted to be a mother, but I wasn’t so sure about the process of being pregnant. Or mothering a newborn. I wasn’t sure if I could take the changes my body would go through. I wasn’t sure if my husband (both the one I had dreamed of before A., and the one I didn’t trust completely after I met A.) would still love me or want me after my body had changed.
I am sure now. There is a knowing within me that is primordial and instinctual. There is no doubting the voice of my intuition. There is no doubting the strength of the soft whispers I hear from Spirit. I am called to be a mother. To go through this process of pregnancy. To gain weight & lose irrational, wordly, shallow fears. To gain faith in a God that is greater than me. To give up the control I think I have and surrender to this sweet unknown. And later to clean up poop and spit up and be humbled by how much I don’t know and how much my mom does know and how much I have yet to learn from this little being who will soon enter the world.
This is my calling. To be a mother. To teach and learn what I can from it. To be humbled and amazed by it. In the best way that I can.
I mean, not everyone gets to be glamorous or wealthy.
But I am free to be me–instead of what I or anyone else thinks I should be.
With Love from Colorado,