Growing up in my family, most dinners began with the Lakota prayer, “Aho. Mitakuye Oyasin,” which translates roughly as “To all my relations.” It is an expression of gratitude, and a reminder that we are all connected. This understanding of global interconnection plays a critical role in creating a healthy world for our children and I believe it can help many a mom too.
In my work with EcoMom®, speaking at countless mother’s groups, conferences and the like, I meet so many amazing women who feel unacknowledged for the path they walk in life. I see many moms struggling to juggle work as a mother with work as a professional; and stay-at-home moms struggling to find meaning and purpose in the seemingly mundane chores of keeping a home and family alive and well (and by the way, I hate that term, “stay-at-home” mom because as any mom will tell you, there is no such thing!).
I would like to suggest that in order to restore greater health in our selves, our families, and our world, we must restore a sense of the sacred to our daily acts. We all have the power to make a difference and everything matters. Everyone matters. Each of our collective choices adds up to positive change, and it all begins at home, with our selves. As a mother, walking through life with this sort of understanding brings a deeper sense of joy, and holistic health and well being to days that often feel like a daze of meal preparation, carpooling, cleaning, emailing, con calls and consoling of bruised knees and egos. The wheel can feel like it is turning very fast and the cage can feel quite small.
Realizing that we are all part of a greater whole, brings a deep sense of joy and reward to even the smallest of acts. The food we eat and where if comes from, has an impact felt round the world. What kind of cleansers we use in our homes affects the availability of fresh drinking water for generations to come. I find this immensely exciting. It means we all have the potential to leave a legacy of which we can be proud.
So when someone asks me what being an EcoMom® means, there are many levels to my answer, but ultimately it comes down to experiencing great joy in making simple, safe, and smart decisions. One of our early campaigns, The EcoMom Challenge, lists 10 Simple Steps for A Sustainable Future. One of my favorite steps is to play more in nature. Hanging out in a meadow with my son, watching birds fly by and clouds fight for cool shapes in the sky, relaxes me and makes me a better person the rest of the week. The vitamin D is good for my health too. Another step is to flex my by buying power. Knowing that every dollar I spend is like a vote the world’s largest democracy (our economy), makes me feel good about taking the time to choose companies and products that reflect my values.
Being an EcoMom® means making the best choices I can for my family, laughing at myself when I don’t, letting go of trying to be perfect, and just plain old enjoying myself more in this cool journey called life because I know that the energy I bring to my choices ripples out. It’s an amazing gift, this journey of parenthood. It feels even better as an EcoMom®.