I first mentioned our incredibly fit, glowing, yogic friend, in this post. Cathy recently sent me an email, part of which follows with her blessing:
I think if you polled my friends, they would not tell you that motherhood came naturally to me. It cut me up into little pieces, chewed and chewed, swallowed me up, and spit me out again. I became reformed, reborn, reconstructed in motherhood. I did not know how my kids would turn out: but really, I had no choice but to do the things I did because I was a follower of my heart. If you don't follow your heart in this work, you are lost. You know this is true.
Here is something I feel I proved to myself about motherhood that I will share with you. If you really want your kids to live a happy, fulfilled, wonderful life, you have to live this way yourself. They have to grow up around people who are doing it, and then they will pick up on how it's done. You have no doubt recognized that saying 'don't do this' and 'don't do that' is useless. Babies, even from the womb, have been watching and listening, developing their own cues for management.
If you don't believe a wonderful life is possible, then your kids won't believe it either, unless they are lucky to learn it from others. Kids are so damn intuitive! You cannot fool them one bit! So to be a good parent, you have to live all your dreams, have social consciousness, love, laugh…
The presence of self-doubt indicates a soul that aspires. If I was completely, blindly confident—buried all insecurity, never mulled on anything—I’d be mediocre by default, frozen in perfect paralysis for the rest of my life. If we pay attention, doubt always tells us what to do. Even if it’s not what the books and the bystanders say.
From the moment I learned I was pregnant, the only instinctual truth I knew was that everything of me would be transmitted across the uterine wall. Food and drink. Sensation and emotion. If I indulged melodrama or tension or bitterness or frustration, so would he. I favour nurture over nature: the peace and respect we give him will help him to grow into a peaceful and respectful man. It was a truth that guided my pregnancy more profoundly than whole grains, kegels and folic acid combined.
Pregnancy past, our home is now the womb. This sets the unspoken rules and rituals of our house—sometimes effortless to follow, sometimes not. But we try. We want a son full of awareness and possibility and gratitude and zest. So we must be ourselves.
That’s the great thing about inspiration. It’s contagious.