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Fertile Heart™Mother’s Day Challenge

By on April 25, 2011

Hands holding a broken earth, separated into 4 sections: Life/Loss, Greed/Generousity, Desire/Denial, Cruelty/Kindness.Going Sane in a Mad World

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:

A free private consultation with me in support of your current creation
A free all day intensive workshop here in Woodstock
Two cycles of free Teleconference Series.

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.

69 Responses to “Fertile Heart™Mother’s Day Challenge”

  1. gal says:

    Hi all,

    Well it’s the 25th and it is a big day not just for the culmination of the FH mothers Day Challenge but it is also my son’s 4th birthday! The last few days have been full of labor pain – more transitions in my family – my husband is leaving again tomorrow to work back east for awhile. It’s been so nice all being together. But it feels right to stay on course with our plan even though our lives seem to be in different places right now. We have continued building a great new level of intimacy even with dealing with long distance. I received 123 signatures on the petition this month for an overall total of 211. I am still taking in all I am receiving from this experience. When I started it was so so difficult to consider asking people for anything or talking about something personal. It has opened up that part of my life and I see this new approach has come out in many areas. It has felt good to inititate on something and see that it came back to me fourfold. A big lesson too was how many people felt just like me. I generally feel much safer, not so alone and have dropped alot of shame I carried for too many years. Thankyou Julia! I had no idea how much could come of this challenge. Thank you as well to those of you who took part – it will be interesting to hear how many signatures were received overall.

    Take care,
    Galina

  2. Robin says:

    Dear Gal and Maz,

    Thank you so much for your encouragement and that is wonderful some new people signed the petition, Gal.

    I went one place yesterday and 3 people signed. One of the person signing said, “Why not?” and asked the other 2 if they wanted to.

    My total is 23 and I am sending them in now.

    All blessings to you.

  3. gal says:

    That’s great Robin – your patience and perseverance is paying off. I received a few more signatures today. I had a meeting with some artists and at the end I talked to them of the petition. Out of all the conversations I have had around the petition this one was most engaging. I really felt a sense of rightness about doing this work and the power of being honest about what you believe in. If you don’t put it out there what you believe in you may never know how many kindred souls you have all around you.

    Galina

  4. Robin says:

    Thanks so much Maz and Galina for being here.

    You’re words of encouragement to me, Maz, are awesome!

    This week someone I do healing work with returned a petition to me that they had been holding for a while. It has 8 signatures on it.
    I am very grateful for that.

    Blessings to all!

  5. maz says:

    Hi girls

    Robin – your perseverance astounds me! You are so awesome to keep going, do you realise what strength and courage you have to keep asking in the face on ‘no’ so many times? You are such an example of how we shouldn’t give in and let others take away our spirit.

    Galina – your courage also in stepping out into the more public domain. I do not doubt that you will hold your head high as you walk in to face your nervousness and fear.

    This week I was reminded in the power of believing; that all we do, we must do with absolute belief…be it in others, in God, our actions, ourselves. You both are examples of what you can achieve when you believe.

    It feels a little sad to let go of my petition, but I hope that we will be able to keep the spirit of it alive somehow here.

    Thinking of you both,
    Mx

  6. galina says:

    Hi

    Thanks for posting the poem Maz – I am able to take it in better this week. Last week at this time I was in a very difficult very orphan based place – fortunately by her opening up some she realized she is in a much better place and that people around her are doing things to help limit the pain some have to go through at others hands. I am continuing on with the petition. I notice the labor pains and uncomfort at times. I finally decided to take the petition to my son’s preschool. I noticed I was going through a long process to do this. I talked to the teachers a couple times, it took me a couple days to print out some blank copies and put it together. this morning I finally took the step to set the clipboard on the table where everyone signs in. I will have to walk into what the nervousness is. On one hand I feel afraid for anyone to know any more about me an what I believe in and at the same time I genuinely desire it.

    Thinking of you all and all you do!
    Keep going Robin!
    Galina

  7. Robin says:

    Dear Maz, Julia and Galina,

    Thank you for the beautiful poem, Maz. What a wonderful response you had, Maz.

    I tried a few people this week but no one signed. I will try next week.

    Blessings to all.

  8. maz says:

    Congrats to you Galina after sharing how difficult this challenge had been for you. Robin your perseverance is inspiring. I finish my petition on 131 as it now leaves here to make its way to you Julia. I want to invite all who have signed it to gather on 11/9 in some way to follow up with everyone who said yes to peace. Not sure how, or where or what but it seems such a loss not to engage with those 131 people somehow.

    I thought that this was a good place to share another peace-makers message (below), don’t know if you have read this before.

    Love to all. x

    FOR OUR WORLD

    We need to stop.
    Just stop.
    Stop for a moment…
    Before anybody
    Says or does anything
    That may hurt anyone else.
    We need to be silent.
    Just silent.
    Silent for a moment…
    Before we forever lose
    The blessing of songs
    That grow in our hearts.
    We need to notice.
    Just notice.
    Notice for a moment…
    Before the future slips away
    Into ashes and dust of humility.
    Stop, be silent, and notice…
    In so many ways, we are the same.
    Our differences are unique treasures.
    We have, we are, a mosaic of gifts
    To nurture, to offer, to accept.
    We need to be.
    Just be.
    Be for a moment…
    Kind and gentle, innocent and trusting,
    Like children and lambs,
    Never judging or vengeful
    Like the judging and vengeful.
    And now, let us pray,
    Differently, yet together,
    Before there is no earth, no life,
    No chance for peace.

    Mattie J.T. Stepanek ©
    September 11, 2001

    Hope Through Heartsongs
    Hyperion, 2002
    Just Peace: A Message of Hope
    Andrews McMeel, 2006

    http://www.mattieonline.com/For_Our_World.htm

  9. gal says:

    Thanks Julia and Robin – it feels like it has been mostly a gift to me. I am realizing alot of life can be that way. What you give comes back to you more than you expected. I also have not claimed alot of the “actions” in my life and am realizing more the importance of that and seeing more that I do not have to move a mountain to contribute in a significant way. One surprise has been my new intern offering to help me collect signatures. I never even thought of asking for help let alone someone asking me if they could. So the “receiving” just keeps coming.

    I am sending you support and congratulations Maz and Robin as you have sent to me.

    Galina

  10. Robin says:

    Dear Julia, Maz and Galina,

    Wonderful job Galina!

    I tried another location and 2 people signed the petition. One person wanted the Day of Compassion to be on September 11. That person is the only one who mentioned that.

    Thanks so much.

    Blessings to all.

  11. Galina, you are one powerful, amazing Fertile Hearted Visionary Mama Peacemaker!!! Thank you for hearing me, thank you for venturing way out of your comfort zone. It’s nice to have company in that “uncomfortable” terrain!!
    Please email me and let me know how I can support you.
    Sending love to you and all peace makers of our Mother’s Day Challenge sisterhood.
    Julia

  12. Galina says:

    Hi – checking in on the petition progress. I received 55 signatures this month. It has taken me out of what was comfortable but now seems it would be too uncomfortable to go back to. I think I am learning how to act on what is important to me and realizing I do have some power in more than I thought. Thinking of you all and looking forward to the level 2 phone circle tonight,
    Galina

  13. Robin says:

    Great job, Maz.

    Thank you for your encouraging words as well, Galina.

    I tried another place this week. The person I spoke with was kind, smiled, and took a blank petition with an envelope.

    Thanks so much.

    Blessings to all.

  14. maz says:

    Hi Ladies,

    My trusty team have collected another 37 signatures between them this month! They have all been so amazing. So that brings us past the 100 mark – I am so proud of everyone who has spread the word about what this is trying to achieve. 118 people who now know about the Turn it Around project :)

    I am so hopeful that even when so many of us experienced anger and fear in our childhoods that we can rise above it to let compassion and love win out.

    Love to all. xx

  15. Gal says:

    Robin – I support your perseverance.

    Thanks for your support from so far away Maz

    Galina

  16. Robin says:

    Dear Alina, Gal and Maz,

    I tried another place to see about signing the petition but no one signed.

    I plan to try again next week.

  17. Robin says:

    Dear Alina, Gal and Maz,

    Congratulations to you all for your work. Wonderful for your sense of empowerment, Galina.

    I did not try getting signatures because I was out of town but plan to resume next week.

  18. maz says:

    Galina, now it is my turn to send you support across the oceans. Mary xxxx

  19. gal says:

    Hi,

    I have been keeping up with this blog and have read the account of the 13 year old boys death. I have been sitting with all of this for a few days. On one hand I am speechless and on the other I have so much to say and have never known quite what to do with it. I know all to well the complete disregard for human life and profound detachment taking place in this world. I feel a range of many feelings. At times I am so angry and afraid yet overwhelmed by what can I do to help? At other times I know I have been to the brink of an event like this and was spared. There was a day when I was a child that I was almost murdered – it wasn’t a random stranger but someone who was supposed to be my greatest protector in this life. I am still processing the level of complete powerlessness I felt that day and how I learned anytime I was in a difficult situation to freeze and play dead. I am coming out of that more and more and realizing I don’t have to anymore. Whether someone experiences violence directly or through the constant barrage we experience through our connections to one another it eats away at your power and then when we see others in need of help don’t even know how to act. I also experienced such a sense of separation from the “normal” life I thought all the real people were experiencing – this just seemed to prove to me more my lack of power. This blog and work we are doing with the petition to have a day of compassion is helping me find ways to have power and do something. I am up to a total of around 67 signatures. I am in pennsylvania and it was not difficult at all to talk to people about the petition and obtain support. I am seeing my sense of powerlessness shift. this blog also has me thinking so much of all the people in my life have helped me immensely – there are so so many compared to the two who were so important to me but caused me so much pain. I am learning to own all of that immense help I received which has helped me break the cycle in the way I am raising my son. I have been thinking of one person, the only person who intervened when I was a child and tried to get me out of that situation. She couldn’t make it work and the attention turned on her severely and she has ended up in a very bad situation. I have not known how on earth to help her but I have thought of a few approaches I could attempt to send her some compassion. Although she could not save me – as I cannot her now – she at least had the guts to recognize the truth and stand up for it.

    galina

  20. Alina says:

    Just wanted to mention that I forgot to bring the petition with me to the reunion last night. I didn’t remember until this morning when I was doing my body truth.

    I wanted to acknowledge this oversight of mine and ask myself why can I not be more prepared when I have committed to doing something? I actually found the petition in the back seat of my car. I purposely put it there a few days ago but didn’t remember that it was there last night.

    Hope you are all enjoying the holiday weekend.
    Happy 4th!

  21. Robin says:

    Dear Julia, Maz, Galina, Ali, and Alina,

    As far as actual signatures that I have 9 so far.

    Wonderful work, everyone!

    I went to another place the other day, no one signed. So that seemed like the trend?

    Then I went to a Wild Bird Store. The owner said “I like it”. I gave him a blank copy of the petition and a return envelope to me. He said he thought everyone who came to that store would sign and he had a few suggestions where else to ask. You never know!

    Blessings to all!

  22. maz says:

    Hi Julia, FH sisters,

    Thank you Julia for my ‘prize’ – how exciting, it’s nice to have a turn of luck after the month I have had! I will indeed email you, but it has been a pleasure to bring the project to many.

    After Julia’s words I wanted to share something with you all. I read the article on the horrendous story of the 13 yr old boy and it filled me with rage, but was also sadly familiar. Having worked with profoundly disabled children for many years I have encounter people who feel that working with such disabilities is an easy way out as often peoples attitude is ‘children like that feel nothing’. I in fact left one place of work after banging my head against the wall one too many times in resistance to staff attitudes and behaviours. Where does the change begin?

    So recently, figuring I just have to start somewhere in my small community I started this group http://thebookoflifeclub.blogspot.com/
    We are a small group of women who are trying to change our own behaviours with the support of each other. Just a small step, but hopefully our behaviour then seeps into our children, our families, our workplaces and so on. If you are interested in the concept, the you can email me. It is still a work in progress but already the group are encouraged and empowered, and changing!

    My heart has been broken several times over these last few months, but in the process words have seeped out that have, I’ve been told, affected many; and so as Julia says we must try and bring ourselves to break that protective shell. It isn’t pretty, and would I rather have been spared the pain? Absolutely. But I cannot deny that the journey, however painful continues to change me, and stir things within me that I never knew were there. Enlightening? Yes. Enjoyable? No!!!

    So to all of you I say have courage. This community is so strong, and visionary, and I am thankful I was brought here by my own infertility. If it wasn’t for the hope and friends I found here I am not sure where I would be on this ever-changing path.

    Love and healing prayers to you all,
    Mary

  23. Dear beautiful, Visioary, Fertile Heart Peace Maker Mamas,
    Thank you again and again, for being the amazing midwives of the Turn It Around Project.

    I’m very clear that the Turn it Around ideas offer an important, effective path to a kinder human community. And the project will grow and make a difference, or fizzle out, depending on whether or not I can connect with enough people who find the daily headlines too painful to bear.

    I have suggested a reading assignment on a recent Fertile Heart phone circle. It was an article about an 13 year old autistic boy crushed to death by one of his caretakers in the institution that was created to protect him. One of our Fertile Heart sisters said she found the article but couldn’t bring herself to read it. It was too sad. I can certainly understand that.

    And yet, we must bring ourselves to read what’s sad, because unless our hearts keep breaking, nothing new wiill enter the protective shell that keeps them from becoming fully fertile.

    The caretaker of that 13 year old boy, the perpetrator of the crime will be sentenced to years in prison. But what about the long line of people who turned away from seeing what was right in front of their eyes? What about the silent, hidden, invisible collaborators who didn’t get involved. Who will hold them accountable?

    Who holds us accountable for turning our heads from the unpleasant manifestations of our human frailties? I think we do. The Visionary and the UM force in us knows what we must do. The Orphan knows what she must do, but needs the help of a strong Mother to help her walk out of the orphanage.

    I hope we can support each other in becoming the strong Mothers our Orphans long for, because the roof or our common earthly home is caving in, the termites are eating away at the foundation. It’s time to speak up, and, as activist/visionary Susan Sontag said, it’s time to DO SOMETHING, DO SOMETHING, DO SOMETHING.

    Maz thank you!!! for being one of the fearless leaders of our fledgling movement. It looks like you’re the June winner. Pick a prize and email me. I look forward to having you in the phone circles or doing a private talk, whichever you choose.
    Love to everybody,
    Julia

  24. Alina says:

    Hi Julia and FH sisters,

    I posted a comment 2 days ago but it never made it on here after it said “awaiting moderation”. Anyhow, I mentioned that I was disappointed that I only collected 2 signatures this month and hope to collect some more this weekend when I attend a reunion with friends.

    Congrats Maz on an amazing job with the signature count. Gal, keep it up! and Robin, your efforts matter a lot. Not everyone gets it but it’s great to keep trying.

    Be in touch tonight on the phone circle!

    hugs

    Alina

  25. gal says:

    Hi,

    Well it is the 25th again – I have 13 more this month so I am up to 33. I am traveling over the next couple weeks – will bring them along and see if I can make a push. Keep up the cause!

    take care
    Galina

  26. Ali says:

    Hi ladies,

    not too impressed with this month’s signature collection. I only managed 2 new signatures.
    Next weekend I am attending a reunion and will bring my petition and hopefully collect more.

    Awesome job Maz! Thanks for your encouraging words on this blog.

    Hope everyone is getting some r&r this weekend. I am taking it easy and enjoying the summer weather.

    xoxo

    Ali

  27. maz says:

    Thanks Robin – I am just thankful for the people that heard my plea for help! Keep persisting, you are still spreading the message by creating awareness with every one person that you tell.

    I have another 16 signatures to add this week bringing the total so far to 81. I might make my 100 after all :)

    Blessings to all. Mx

  28. Robin says:

    Maz, Julia and everyone here,

    Thank you so much, Maz, for encouraging me to be persistent.

    It is another week that I tried a couple of places without signatures, but at least at one place they said they were a little busy and took a petition from me with a return envelope to ask their people later.

    Fantastic support that you have found, Maz. Congratulations!

  29. maz says:

    My postal participants are doing well on my behalf – we are now totaling 66 signatures, a further 21 so far this month. That’s 65 people in my local community who have said Yes! to peace who maybe wouldn’t have given it a second thought if not for Julia’s petition.

    Let’s hope Mr Postie keeps it safe :)

    Robin well done for persisting despite no one signing. I think it is even harder to ask when you get turned down, so keep it up!

    Will check in again on the 25th.

  30. Robin says:

    I’m just reporting in that I tried several locations this week with no one wishing to sign the petition. I think part of it is the people in the businesses did not speak English clearly and may not have understood what the petition was. I will try again next week.

    Blessings to all.

  31. Robin says:

    Congratulations Xana! and to everyone else participating.

    I tried 2 locations this week with no one choosing to sign. I will try again next week

  32. Dear Fertile Heart Visionary Mama Peacemakers,
    It looks like Xana with 45 signatures gets to choose between a private consult or the other ‘rewards” for May. Xana you can email me about your choice. Congratulations!!

    And I am immensely grateful to each of you for engaging in this project. It feels so right for us to be doing this. Today’s front page article in the New York Times is about Jonathan Carey, a 13 year old autistic boy who was, “slowly crushed to death” by one of his caretakers. This is UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOUR in the human family!!! We must do our share in co-creating a consciousness in which behaviour such as this simply wouldn’t be possible. Otherwise we have no business bringing more children into the world.
    Sending love to all,
    Julia
    Maz, sorry for the late reply: Yes, let’s do the same in June, just post the number of signatures you collected from May 25 to June 25th.

  33. Xana says:

    Hi all,

    I was recently at the May 15 Workshop with Julia and gave her 2 completed pages of signatures with an extra space, which I believe is a total of 45 signatures, plus I have 1 friend of mine with 6 signatures – she is hoping to get more before she sends it to me- and another friend has 3 signatures for me.

    I have some traveling coming up and I will meet some more family and friends so I may actually collect a few more signature very soon, but I will check back by the end of the month with Julia to confirm real numbers.

    Thanks

    Xana

  34. Robin says:

    Dear Julia and everyone,

    Wow! It sounds like lots of signatures from several of you!

    I tried a chiropractor’s office the other day, but it was closed. I went to another one and the receptionist signed and went to the back where the others were and got several more signatures.

    Thanks, Alina, for mentioning your references to compassion and the healing from it.

    The best to you all.

  35. maz says:

    Just an update – postal petition up and running again and my second participant has managed to add another 21 signatures!!..and she thought that wasn’t a lot! Overjoyed that only 2 people in – we have 48 already :) here’s hoping snail mail can see us through to the end :)
    Julia – do you want us just to update you on June 25th as in May? Will try and remember this time!

  36. Alina says:

    Dear Julia and community,

    This challenge has brought forth some emotions and revelations that I thought were long and forgotten in the past. I’m not sure I can yet share all the details because I’m still trying to figure out how this challenge compares to something I experienced when I was 20. Sorry for the ambiguity but it’s a connection that warrants my time and attention. Hope to articulate some day.

    Nevertheless, I gathered myself and have managed to collect 15 signatures up until yesterday. There were some awkward moments when I was asked questions regarding the project & petition I didn’t think I was well equipped to answer but I was delighted when it also struck up a conversation about compassion and how we can learn and practice turning pain & suffering into a healing creative action.

    I will mail the signed petition tomorrow and start working on collecting more signatures for month 2 of the challenge.

    love and peace to everyone!

    Alina

  37. gal says:

    Hi Julia and all,

    Thanks for recognizing my effort! I have gotten a few more opportunities to talk to people and a few more signatures -on to page 2. Since becoming a part of this community it has been such a growth process for me to really be what I think and who I am. This has felt something I can stretch those muscles. My biggest gift from this work is knowing now always the right path is the one I feel and know is right.

    Have a great weekend,
    Galina

  38. Robin says:

    Hello Julia and everyone,

    Two weeks ago I took the petition to 2 local health food stores. One said I had to contact their national representative and I never heard back from them. The other said she would share the petition at the staff meeting but I never heard back (I left an envelope).

    A person who works with me with healing said she had collected signatures at work but I haven’t gotten the petition back.

    I went to a chiropractor’s office yesterday and out of the 2 women in the office, 2 signed, read the information and said it was a good thing. I asked one of the women for suggestions for others that might be interested and she mentioned 2 groups. She then went on to ask a few more questions and one of my responses was that you have to start somewhere. She was very warm and then went on to say that her grandparents had been killed in the Holocaust.

    Blessings to all.

  39. maz says:

    Hi Julia, and all other petitioners :)

    Thanks Gal for the reminder – its actually the 26th now so I completely forget but have good news.

    My postal petition got off to a rocky start when the rota was interrupted by the first participant getting unwell and delaying the whole thing by a week at the offset!! I was ready to quit and think that the postal thing wouldn’t work, but instead just reprinted it and sent it again to the next on the list telling myself not to be so easily defeated and then I got a message from my first participant saying she had gathered 25 names already and asked could she keep that copy as her local healthfood store were so delighted by the idea they want to keep a copy in the store for a couple of weeks! All this happening 400km away from me!

    So I have 27 names that I know of, and the petition is currently with friend number 2, will make sure I count up the names as it moves around for the next check in Julia.

    I too have really let go of any shame that I had attached to my fertility journey – how are women ever going to heal and create new life if fertility struggles come with an automatic shame label attached? I spent months attending appointments in secret, making up excuses to colleagues – fertility issues here in Australia in the over 35’s have a high an incidence as skin cancer and yet no-one wants to talk about it! So I feel proud, if occasionally a little bit scared, to be raising awareness and I am grateful for the strength I recently feel to be able to reach out. Discovering my own sense of worthiness has brought power in abundance to many aspects of this journey and my life.

    The opportunity to be grateful, and grace-filled, is presented to us daily and it is a challenge to see it and run with it but wondrous when we do!

    I am due to go back to work soon after my very long-winded recovery and started to feel resentment towards my clients who are already requesting appointments, but today I have been saying out loud instead that I am grateful for the regard that people have for me that they are so eager for my return, rather than resent the pressure I feel from them and it has been a much more pleasant way to look at things :)

    Love and grace to you all, Mx

  40. Dear Galina,

    Thank you for remembering, thank you for engaging, thank you for hearing me, and for this moving note! We had such a beautiful circle last night in the city, with a young woman from an immensely oppressive culture joining us and sharing her story of hearbreak and courage. It felt like such a miracle that she somehow found her way into our community! So yes indeed, it would be a shame for those of us who have the freedom to take the journey and model what’s possible, to choose not to take it, or to choose to remain silent about what we have learned.

    I look forward to hearing from the other wonderful peace loving mamas of this challenge, and I’m ready and willing to honor my promise to the person with the highest number of signatures this month, but it would also be my pleasure to offer you a private session or any one of the “prizes” listed on the blog, just to say thank you for remembering!

  41. Gal says:

    Hi all,

    My life has been terribly full the last few days but I remembered today was the 25th and time to send the petition thus far. I have 20 signatures. I have been carrying it with me and offering it when the moment allows an opportunity. I have not gone into anything about my fertility journey when speakign with people mostly that the goal is to create a day of compassion as an antidote to violence. That is something I can really get behind.

    I know many have spoken of this with difficulty due to the connection to fertility or really the dreaded “infertility.” One man I spoke to at our attorneys office noticed the address Fertile Heart and said oh my mother will love this and noted it down. I hope she indeed checked out the website and finds interest. Maybe many are focused on finding a child but many who take the journey find so so much more. There is no shame in taking a very human journey. It would be a shame not to.

    Take care
    Galina!

  42. Anna from Wales says:

    I really want to explore this. I am finding it so hard to step further forward on getting the petition going here in the UK, principally because whilst I am much more ‘out and proud’ about my journey these days there are arenas where I almost do not talk about it: my work place and my town community beyond my closest friends.

    My thinking goes like this: If I could just take the US petition and get it signed I would get quite a lot of signatures but I am struggling with putting my name on the top of a UK version of it (and I definitely don’t want to put my address there) and the overt link to fertile heart. At the same time I want to devise strategies to help get literally thousands of signatures but these strategies never have the obvious link to fertile heart and my striving towards becoming a parent.

    I’ve just been reading a book on shame and have a much better understanding of it than I did before yet I am not sure what is going on here for me, is it shame or is it protecting myself because people really can be rather judgmental, or is it my own feeling of failure which I like to think I no longer have but it seems that it is indeed still there.

    I want to have some privacy around this issue of baby making, there is a big part of me that feels putting my name to the petition says publicly something about me that is so intensely private that it would then limit how far I would spread the petition – ie not to work colleagues or my wider town community and certainly not in ways that would have it go ‘viral’. And yet I so believe in the message of the petition, the power of compassion and turning things around. These are critical concepts for our futures, babies or not! Ahh what to do!!?!

    Love to you all and thanks Julia for raising the S word…

    XX

    A PS to Maz: Hey Maz thanks for your offer to talk about surgery, I would love to hear from you. Its just over a week until my operation now. Want to connect on the message boards? Or ask Julia for my email if you would prefer to talk more privately.

  43. Dear Mandy and Everyone who has taken up this challenge,
    First: Mandy, how exciting to realize that you have moved into the second trimester!! It seems we have quite a few Fertile Hearters around the same stage of gestation. And your story continues to be a teaching about the power of commitment, and the courage to engage and receive.

    Yours and everyone else’s honesty about the “shame” of being connected to a fertility community is also potentially a source of much healing. The ideas of this practice will never contribute to the “power of Good” unless we gradually realize that not only is there no shame in our challenges, there are few “assignments” as thrilling as the one we’ve been selected for.

    So, thank you, Everyone for wrestling with the Orphans of Shame and staying connected.

    As a community we can do a great deal to earn the immense privilege of welcoming these beautiful new beings into their earth-home!
    Love,
    Julia

  44. mandy queally says:

    Hello Everyone!
    I have been majorly feeling my orphans as I realize how long it has been since I last posted here. This challenge and this chance to give back have not been far from my heart and thoughts, however.
    I realize, after reading many of your recent posts, that my distance may also be due to the orphans I was feeling in how to approach people with this petition- how much opening up I was willing to do about my fertility journey. I have felt very private about my recent pregnancy, as well, and so I believe I have been shying away because I was not quite ready to open up and say “fertile heart worked for me!” Although… as I inch closer to week 14, I am feeling more ready to be open about my exciting news. And as that has happened, I have branched out and gotten some signatures… only 5 as of yet, but that’s 5 more than I had last week! I look forward to using the petition as both a way to express my gratitude towards Julia, this work, and all of you, as well as to talk with people about the need for all of us mothers to work towards a more compassionate human race. So, here I am vowing to be more involved, as I initially said I would be, and to open up more to people around me and discuss the importance of the petition. Good luck to all!
    -Mandy

  45. maz says:

    btw Anna – I meant to say if you wanted to talk a bit more about the surgery i’m happy to write to you outside the blog. If not, hope it goes well.
    Mx

  46. maz says:

    Dear Julia, FH friends, Thank you for your words of welcome and encouragement. How much has changed since I said yes to the challenge (and Julia’s book hasn’t even arrived yet!). It has definatly been a sign to act more and read less!

    In asking people to be a part of my postal petition I actually was open and told them of my fertility battles. It was a big challenge for me to be open about my fertility journey, but I no longer feel that it is something that I have to hide behind or be ashamed of. It was very freeing, and my heart has been able to soar since I took my mask off and stood proud as who I am – a wanna be mom who is taking the scenic route in getting there! Julia – your invitation was just what I needed to bring me out of myself. In recent months, God has really healed my heart – but you have helped to give my heart a voice, and the courage to witness to others.

    Alina & Anna I wanted to send you words of encouragement as your posts really resonated with me. I too worried about what people would think about my links to the fertile heart work and its connection that people would make with the Turn it Around project. But in being honest with people, all I received was compassion and words of encouragement. I wanted to share that with you, not to push you to something you do not wish to do, but to reassure you that there are people outside of our ‘fertility community’ that too reach out and support us if only they knew!

    I sent off my snail-mail petition today, I hope I can trust the postal system!! But what has emerged is a little collective community who have all been grateful for the opportunity to be involved in raising global consciousness. How wonderful is that?!

  47. Anna from Wales says:

    I needed to let this blog sit with me for a while too before I replied as yes it seems to be outside my comfort zone too. To my surprise. Its been a comfort to read such open and honest comments here and I’m inspired by the fact that so many of you are going ahead despite those feelings. I want to too.

    On Friday I spoke to a friend who will very much help with the petition as she is part of something called ‘The Forgiveness Project’ that tells the stories of those who have been touched by incredible sorrows and have managed to turn it around… it was the first step I needed to take.

    Combining Fertile Heart with Turn it Around really resonates for me and I’m very supportive that we bring these 2 strands closer together. Very early in my journey to conceive I thought my fears for the world were potentially blocking a pregnancy. My work is environmentally focused and I know so much of the terrible things that we do to this world and therefore ourselves that for a while it was unbearable for me to think that bringing a child into the world was a good idea. Now my view is it is act of real faith and hope for a much better future to do so and to not try is perhaps the cowardly or at least hopeless choice.

    To be compassionate to myself I realise that it was easy for me to project my own very personal fears onto the environmental situation. It was not really the main issue… I have learned a lot about myself since!

    What I did need to do back then was to take a step back and stop trying to do everything, to stop single-handedly feeling obligated to try to contribute to all the environmental efforts in my community as well as doing my day job. Easing back, letting go, and not doing everything has been key for me to move forward. So taking on this challenge felt a bit like a step back to that, letting the activist out again.

    Other orphans popped up about privacy. As I am in the UK I’ll need to put my name on the petition. What if people connect that petition with Fertile Heart? What if they work out about my fertility journey? Yep big orphans about privacy jumping around there!

    So yes after just about 2 weeks contemplation I do want to do this and I’m shouting out to the other UK based Fertile Hearters, perhaps we can co-sponsor the petition. What do you think?

    I’d also love to create an electronic petition as well as a paper one so that we can really spread it further.

    And Maz I wanted to say hello, welcome and what an inspiration to read what you’re up to. I’m due to have endo surgery in a few weeks so your words had a particular resonance.

    Love to you all

    Anna

  48. Alina says:

    Dear Julia and FH sisters,

    I’m up for this challenge because I too want to nurture a world that is more compassionate.

    This challenge is not just about me and what I’m going to get out of it. It is being part of a bigger community that embraces the idea that there is much healing to be done if our world is going to be a safer and more compassionate place for our children and future generations.

    Last week, I began my small crusade and started collecting signatures. I started with my acupuncture office and family. That was in my comfort zone. Now, I don’t really know how to reach out further and step out of my comfort zone? I plan on sitting with these uncomfortable orphans for a while and seeing if my Visionary has a better plan.

    Julia, I’m so glad your in good health and that you were able to recognize that the heartache was your body sending you a message.

    Love and peace,
    Alina

  49. Dear Beautiful Moms that have taken up or in any way engaged with this challenge!

    There is something breathtakingly exciting for me about reading your comments! This is real! It’s doing something very very real that involves engaging with life differently than you might’ve engaged with before. Isn’t the essence of being fully alive about constantly stepping out of our comfort zone? Isn’t Motherhood all about stepping way out of our comfort zone?

    This entire project and this challenge is totally stepping out of my comfort zone. It’s scary, it’s thrilling, it fills me with doubt. And at the same time, it’s the best possible way to use whatever God-given gifts I might have. It’s the best possible way to use my role as a leader of this community.

    So my deepest gratitude to all!
    And here is what I’d like to ask: At the end of the month,which is May 25th, I would love each of you to tally up your signatures and post the number here so that I can honor my promise.
    Then at the end of the Challenge on August 25th, you can mail me your petitions with the signatures.
    Happy Mother’s Day!

  50. Robin says:

    I thought I would start asking for signatures from a couple of chiropractors in town. I had seen their businesses for years. I thought people interested in healing people might be interested in healing the Earth. Neither chiropractor was in business, so I ended up gong to a couple of businesses nearby. A person at each business signed the petition and one agreed to share a blank petition with her co-workers and send it on to me in the stamped self-addressed envelope I left if anyone signed.
    Someone else who does healing work with me agreed to sign it and agreed to take a blank copy and see if people would sign it at the herb store where she works.

    Blessings to all.

  51. maz says:

    Just checking in as it’s the end of week. I now have 10 people willing to be a part of my pass-it-on project!! so hopefully between us all we will collect more names, and pass on the message about how we must make a stand for love and compassion in the face of so much violence – within ourselves, our families and within our world. Just when I think I have nothing left, I am taught that there is always room for more compassion in our lives.
    Mothers Day is a wonderful time to celebrate the Mothers in all of us – those of us that will mother our own children, those of us that will be mothers to others in other ways, and those of us that have had awesome ‘mothers’ in more ways than one at different times in our lives.
    As a Mothers day gift I would like to post a prayer (anonymous unfortunately) that I received recently in an email –

    “May today there be peace within.
    May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
    May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others.
    May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
    May you be content with yourself just the way you are.
    Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of  us.”

    Happy Mothers day to us all :)

  52. gal says:

    Hi,

    I wanted to check back in on this topic. As I stated in my first entry I needed to make this adventure into something my own. The part of this work that hooked me initially was whether I was the authority of my own life? I didn’t want to do this just because it would help me get to my baby although I know somehow it is about that. I have gotten about 9 signatures. I have been taking it here or there – to the attorney, the water company, the health food store, the children’s museum… I am going to Denver for the weekend for a baby shower for a wonderful, wonderful friend of mine who is 41 and fertilicious and my goal is to finish off the sheet. For me I am doing this because we do indeed need a day of compassion. It is an antidote to violence. All my life I have been ashamed of the abuse and violence I experienced. I wanted to have a “normal” life like I thought everyone else had. Now I know there is no such thing as “normal” and I am proud of my life and what I have made of it. I am still working through my own trauma therapy to unwind and continue to open myself up. I forsee my future though to be working with others to help them find compassion after the horrors of violence. I have not been that clear on my name “Gal” but in the last months when I looked into an organization called CASA which advocates for children in difficult situations I found out the individuals doing the advocating are called a “Gal.” … and another piece has fallen into place.

    happy mothers day weekend,
    Galina

  53. Caroline says:

    Wow! What a challenge! I feel both excited and daunted by it. Like many of you who have commented, it feels scary, outside the comfort zone. But it also feels so very right, and I definitely want to support it.
    The timing is of course, very apt, as we’ve all heard the news of the killing of Osama bin Laden. I have been wondering what that event will bring, and whether it will mark the closing of old chapters, or the opening of new ones, but in any case it has certainly reawakened memories, elicited opinions and stirred emotions of all kinds.
    It’ll take me a while to translate the petition into Italian and get someone to edit it for me, but I’m definitely up for this, and will keep you up to date on my progress :-)

    Caroline xx

  54. R says:

    My first reaction was also one of “Yikes!- I think I can do this but do I want everyone to know that I am a part of the Fertile Heart community?”. I found some major orphans there screaming “I don’t want to feel different!”. I want to take on this challenge and step one which is printing the petition out has been completed. I would like to step out of my bubble that I am in- waiting for my CVS test results on whether baby boy has Hunter’s syndrome or not and trying to remember the bigger scope of things. Trying my best!

    R

  55. Suzanne Lang says:

    Embarassed to say that I read this the first day and didn’t answer as I thought “i don’t think I can do all of this and do anymore than I am”. And, I felt terrible about that as I want to support this creation and my part in it, and julia and all of us, etc. I question myself as to if this is true and also wonder, maybe I am doing all I can do right now and don’t have space for this? But, how could i not? I so believe in this? And, am practicing it and talking about it and telling others about it. Even sent out a few petitions and links to those who asked. So, I feel awful putting this forth and think it’s a challenge to me. I don’t want to be seen as the “bad member” of this community or not a supporter. So, i’ve got some work to do. I am holding this and me here in my heart right now for the time being. At least until my mother in law leaves and that challenge has passed. sl

  56. Sharm says:

    Thank you Julia for the post and I very happy to hear that your tests were fine.

    I read this blog when it was first posted and let it sit with me awhile.
    This is different, as it a call to action to reach out as a community. As many of you have mentioned in your posts it is outside my comfort zone as well.
    I have been on this journey for several years now and I think it is time to reach outside my “little” world. It’s easy to get consumed with daily life and everything I am doing to conceive a child. So I think this challenge to shift gears and reach out to people to join a very worthy cause is going to be great parenting experience!!
    I am making a commitment to start getting signatures and also reach out to my family and friends in other countries like Sri-Lanka, Australia and Canada to spread the word about this peace project! I am particularly keen to reach out to my family in Sri-Lanka after a civil war that spanned almost four decades, I think there is a lot of healing to be done there.
    I will check in every two weeks prior to the phone circles and let everyone know how I am doing with the challenge.

    Looking forward to working together!
    S

  57. Karina says:

    Hi Julia Hi Fertile heart sister.
    I read the blog again today ( I read it more that 4 times) To absorbe every word and understand the meaning of it. First learning and reminder is to listen !!! to are body to our love ones to our Orphans to the world!
    as Julia listed and asked to her heart why is in pain. I’m feeling the same questions about this quest of creating a better compassionate world for our children.
    Today is Iom Hashoa A day to remember the victims of the Holocaust.
    To honor them ( I know lots of them) I printed today the petition and I will start to collect signatures . Since I’m in Canada as a Permanent resident I need to get information if I can send a petition to the UN ambassador but I also goin to try to start something in Argentina we have many reasons( many years of militarily government , people tortured and killed.
    So my heart is yearning for a compassionated world all my traditions and ancestor had fought for it .

    Today is a Day to remeber and also ( for me) to learn the resiliency and the strength of the Shoa Suirvivors

  58. maz says:

    Thank you Gal so much for your welcoming words.

    I challenged myself by asking Julia’s question why would I want to do this/where does the drive come from? But upon reflecting, I can honestly say I cannot continue to have these thoughts and opinions on the importance of love and healing, and not witness to it outside of my own walls. This journey can get so introspective can’t it?! And so this is me trying to stand tall and say that I believe in something – and that I am not afraid of what people may or may not think of me for acting on my beliefs. It feels pretty good :)

    I have one participant for my postal ‘pass-it-on’ petition already!

  59. Gal says:

    I will give it a go. I read this blog a few hours ago and I felt some uncomfort that I couldn’t place. I have come back to re-read the blog and the petition and realize now the uncomfort came from not really knowing why I would do this. Now I see how clearly this is appropriate for me to do. I have experienced violence and it left me feeling frozen and powerless. It always seemed the only way to fight violence is with more violence which I wanted no part of so I basically felt stuck. This year was the first I really understood compassion and it’s role as a counter to violence. I learned much of this from this community and the OVUM tools which I thank immensely for helping my spirit come back into my body.

    Welcome Maz – thank you for your inspiring post – I think you will find some comfort here.

    take care everybody,

    Galina

  60. Julia Indichova says:

    Robin, thank you very much for your kind caring words!!!

    Maz what gift to read your post! This is the magic of technology, the possibility of connecting in such a real way with someone across the globe. I’m so glad you neeeded a new project and that you’re choosing to support Turn It Around. I hope the Ovum work and our community can support you in healing from your surgery. Sending snowflakes for your recovery, and I look forward to getting to know you and reading your book!
    Julia

  61. Robin says:

    Dear Julia, Mandy, Maryann, Kristie, P and Maz,

    I have downloaded the petition and hope to start trying to collect signatures next week. It will probably be a little at a time.

    I am thankful your heart is well.

  62. maz says:

    Yesterday I sat talking with a friend at how I need a new ‘project’ to help me get my focus off the wanting of my own will, and instead regain some balance in my life. Today Julia’s email arrived.

    I have yet to fully engage in the Ovum work, I am awaiting the arrival of Julia’s book to read all the way down here in Australia! But her words have already resonated with me on such a level that I felt compelled to join in with this latest posting. I hope that is OK considering I am not really yet engaged in the Ovum work.

    2 things affirmed my need to join in – recently I started ‘writing’ in an attempt to facilitate my healing and understand my own truths. The title of my ‘book’ is ‘birthing yourself’, and my final chapter is written about the wonder of snowflakes and how they are born more beautiful when the water they crystallize from is showered with love! When Julia mentioned both the concept of birthing yourself, and snowflakes in her blog I knew I had to do something :)

    I am currently off work, recovering post endo surgery with lots of complications and so I have more time on my hands than I am comfortable with.

    This morning after reading, and reflecting, on Julia’s challenge I found out who the Australian Representative to the UN is, and I sat and wrote a letter to 30 of my clients (I am a health-care practitioner in private practice) sharing with them a brief piece of my story, and inviting them to sign the petition and also ‘pass it on’ to anyone else that they know that might be interested in spreading the word of the power of love to triumph over evil.

    To agree with P and Maryann, I am COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone, but also feel compelled to live my truth, and that is that we all need more love in our lives and it has to start with us.

    I hope that the people I have reached out to can receive my words, and that here in Australia I can spread a little of Julia’s work in helping to birth a better world. But if nothing else I have today challenged an O in me, and given my UM a voice. Thank you Julia, and the FH community for hearing me.

    I will keep you posted on how my petition goes down under :)

  63. I so appreciate seeing both of your replies, dear Kristie, and P.!
    I do agree, Kristie, that engaging in a more meaningful conversation is a good beginning. I remember when Inconceivable was published, my publicist at the time kept telling me I had to “dumm it down,” keep the conversation more superficial in a way, give the viewers what they asked for. I think it’s actually essential that we “smart up” the conversation a little.
    And P. yes, I imagine all activists, whether individuals or groups, come up against obstacles. Then the question that needs to be clarified over and over again (at least that’s what it feels like to me) is where does the drive for this project come from. What part of it is the O, what part the V, and
    how does the UM guide it? I’m just grateful to be having this conversation here with you.
    Thank you again!
    Julia

  64. P. says:

    Today I came across some research on the dangers of many products for infants that are on the market. In all those cases where something was done, where a law was passed to introduce a ban, it all started with a mom getting active (see for instance the use of BPA in infant feeding bottles) and the whole of society benefited from it. I am sure that mom in the beginning had some obstacles to overcome…
    So, I am in. A few weeks ago you challenged us in a phone circle to get 5 signatures. A voice inside me said: you are still collecting the 5, how do you get to 100? but I guess it will be like changing many other things in this journey (food, habits, mental habits…): it gets easy by doing it!

    P.

  65. Kristie says:

    Julia, I am supporting you. This is out of my comfort zone as well however I feel that what you are proposing is imperative for our world. I have been longing for more compassion in my life and this will enable that conversation to begin. I am thankful your physical heart is ok. Thank you for your support. – Kristie

  66. Dear Mandy, and Maryann,
    what an opportunity this is for me! It sure is clear once again, that you never really know what you’re getting yourself into, until you actually take the first step. Just being heard by the two of you feels like the rescue squad has just rung the bell of the Orhanage and when the door opened it was my name they called. I thank you, very very much!

  67. Maryann says:

    Just an update
    Though it sounds like a small thing to ask for a signature, I’m not good at asking people for something. However, yesterday I asked some clients of mine if they would be interested in signing the petition and had a great response. This has given me confidence. It felt really good for me and for such a noble cause. I’ll be continuing to ask for signatures.
    Best
    Maryann

  68. Maryann says:

    ok, i’m printing out the petition paper now, and I’m going to give it a go. I won’t lie, this is outside my comfort zone, I can feel my insides squirming, but I believe in it and it really is a beautiful important thing, so I’ll suck it up and muster up the confidence. This is good for me.
    Go Julia!

  69. mandy says:

    A chance to give back. Thank you for allowing me this opportunity, Julia. You, and this fertile heart community have given me so much over the past year (it will be a year this May that I attended your workshop in Woodstock). There were hundreds of moments throughout this past year during which I was unable to recognize this journey as a gift- times when my orphans raged. “Giving,” to anyone else seemed impossible, as I felt like I was in a very dark state of self-pity. Trying to conceive for over three years after a loss, I felt as though my struggle with infertility defined me.
    I am so grateful for the challenge that you presented me and the rest of the fertile heart sisters only a few short months ago. It does seem surreal to be writing to you on the other side of that challenge, the side where my obligation is to now give back.
    You have presented us with a very symbolic challenge- in which we turn our own suffering and our own pain into an opportunity to create more goodness and compassion in the world- exactly what your Turn it Around project aims to do.
    I would be more than happy to accept your challenge, reach out for signatures, educate the people in my world about the project, and offer to help in ways that you need me.
    Now that I have accomplished what I felt to be the seemingly impossible feat of conceiving a child, I feel a responsibility to do what I can to bring my child into a peaceful world- yet another seemingly impossible feat. But, just like the journey towards conception, it all started with small, yet powerful changes.
    Looking forward to see what comes!

    With peace and gratitude,
    Mandy



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