To be sane in a mad world is bad for the brain, and worse for the heart,” says the beloved poet, philosopher, Wendel Berry.
I called 911 a couple of weeks ago, because my heart was hurting so badly I thought a heart attack was imminent. Thankfully all the tests tell me my heart is working quite well. But the incident compelled me to take a closer look at what might be causing my heartache. As Wendell Berry wisely teaches us, it’s succumbing to the commonly accepted collective insanity that’s bad for the heart.
What I have come to, is that I’m hurting because it’s time to push another “baby” through the birth canal. And what better occasion than Mother’s Day to take the next small step toward my own vision of sanity.
Here’s a question for you and me: What is our source of strength? What is it that will turn our journey toward motherhood, or our journey toward any other creation into a glorious pilgrimage instead of a trek of repeated failures? One answer that the UM whispers in my ear is: Go out on a limb a little Or a lot. Reach higher than you’ve ever reached before. Look for a way to make this about something larger than your personal plight!
Yes, do all the things you need to do: Stop the cappuccino and cake siesta and load up on greens but frame it in a grander story than “let me get healthy so I can have my babies.” It’s a good beginning. It’s where many of us start. But it isn’t enough. Not if you want to heed the call that comes with this challenge.
Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know that Mandy, one of our newly pregnant Fertile Heart™ sisters made a public commitment to help me with our peace project. I have reached out to Mandy when she called for help, and I asked that if my support turned out to be useful for her, she would then lend a hand to our Turn It Around Project. Miraculously, the day after Mandy posted news of her pregnancy, I received news that the Turn It Around Project became a not for profit organization. And just as miraculously that challenge comes to an end next week, a few days before Mother’s Day. Certainly, not something I could’ve planned. But it sure looks like it’s time for a new challenge:
So, Mandy and dear community, here is what I need help with:
Preparing for Mother’s Day this year, thinking back at what to most of us are unimaginable horrors, endured by my own mother, and looking at the anguished faces of mothers under the daily headlines; this is what I choose to believe:
I was offered the privilege to develop the Ovum Birthing Practice not only to support people in birthing babies, but most importantly, to add a tiny snowflake to the branch that will sooner or later break the cycle of violence within the human family. And I need lots of help in fulfilling that assignment.
Now here is my dilemma: As a leader of this community, and a fertility educator, with (BLESSEDLY) more and more demands on my time, if I spend ten hours a day supporting people in getting to their babies, how do I find time and energy for my peace work?
The simplest solution, if I dare act on it, is to combine the two. As I see it, right now, my only hope of staying true to my task is to find women and men who will discover through their Fertile Heart™ practice the immense power they hold to create change. In their bodies, in their lives, in the world. Women and men who will then be compelled to use that power in a particular manner. My only hope of getting the help I need is to find wannabe moms and dads, who in the course of their baby making journey cultivate a passionate commitment to speak up for a saner earth community. Women and men who like me find the Fertile Heart Ovum work an effective, and unique approach to the peace efforts and choose to actively support it.
So that’s what I’m looking for and here goes the Fertile Heart Mother’s Day Challenge:
• In preparation for the tenth anniversary of the World Trade Center tragedy, and honoring the Turn It Around Project, we, those of us who are actively engaged in building this community, set out to collect one hundred Petition signatures in honor of each person whose life was cut short on that dark Tuesday ten years ago. 2, 964 X 100 makes for 296, 400 signatures.
• At intervals that are doable to you, whether it’s each week or every couple of weeks or whatever you commit to, those of you who take up this challenge, will check in right here on the comments section, about your signature-collecting miracles, and the number of people, who thanks to you, read the petition and signed it. You will then mail the signed copies of the petition to me, or if you’re not in the US, you’ll collect them yourself.
• The person who collects the highest number of signatures each month will be able to choose between:
As the challenge progresses, I bet if we are creative, we can approach all sorts of businesses to donate prizes for this project.
• On September 10th, I will be teaching a workshop here in Woodstock and the following day we will be meeting for our Second Annual Gathering at Ground Zero. The person who will be responsible for the highest number of people, over ten, joining our gathering on 9/11 at Ground Zero, will be offered an all (except travel) expenses paid weekend in Woodstock, including the all day workshop.
Those of you who are not in the US are wholeheartedly invited to join us. All you need to do is copy the petition, substituting the name of your ambassador to the UN, and adding your name as a petitioner.
Many of you write how difficult it is for you to let go of wanting results. Well, what a gorgeous lesson this challenge could be in teaching us that this, as all our birthing adventures is not about results. It’s really about what happens to us, what Orphans and Visionaries we meet along the way, and how much more accessible the Ultimate Mom becomes, as we embark on this particular pilgrimage.
Would this be a Mother’s Day challenge worthy of engaging with? Orphans and Visionaries and all? I pray that it would. If I am to be the right teacher for you, my heart needs to be pure in wanting to serve you. And I can’t keep listening to you without knowing that I too could be heard. Boy, it’s scary to write these words. Though far less scary than not living my truth.
The best part in all this. is that it would be wildly exciting to discover what happens when we unite and collectively live this idea of our community being about more than just birthing children, rather than just talk about it.
What do you say Mandy? Can you help me with organizing and leading this challenge? What do you say dear Fertile Hearted Sisters?
Important Note: This needs to be a community driven project in all aspects of the work. That means that each month each of you need to add up your signatures, post them here and the person with the highest number needs to email me with their choice of “reward.” Hopefully you will find that the most rewarding aspect of this challenge will be engaging with the Orphans, and the Visionaries that show up as you engage with the project.