There is one universal experience that each one of us on the planet shares -- each one of us was borne of a woman. While it's so obvious that it's almost not worth saying, after having my own son after 17 hours of labor, this fact came to my mind in a very profound light. Now, wherever I go, and whomever I encounter, I think about this. The person next to me at the stoplight had a mother. The person walking behind the newscaster on television had a mother. Every single person in the massive crowds gathered for the Hajj in Mecca had a mother. They were carried in a woman's body, a woman who most likely labored in their birth. Being born -- what experience is more ordinary or more sacred?
And while having a mother is a universal experience, our actual experiences of our mothers could not be more unique. I was born to an unwed, teen-aged mother who spent much of my childhood in and out of jail. She was addicted to drugs and alcohol, and worked as a prostitute. Her own mother, my grandmother, was also an addict. She was the product of her mom's rape by a white man in Alabama. As a young girl, I was determined to break the chain of powerlessness that I felt was my heritage, but it wasn't until I became a mother that I realized why this need was so important. For the first time I saw how my mom had taken on her mother's pain and had passed it on to me through her inability to love and care for me. If I weren't willing to do the difficult work of healing, of staying conscious, and of being absolutely anything but a victim, I'd surely create a world of pain for my son.
Moms change the world for better of worse. This is something I've come to believe at the center of my being. I have spent a lifetime healing myself from the trauma I experienced from having a disempowered and unconscious mother. Her legacy has created in me a desire to determine how I can change the world for the better, while telling the stories of other moms who are doing the same. My intention is to shine light on what is possible when moms are inspired, creative, and empowered. What can happen when moms feel valuable and necessary to the political and corporate structures that exist within our nation? I'm curious what will be birthed when moms have community in which they can be seen, heard and appreciated for who they are and not only what they do.
My own journey toward change began after giving birth to my son who was diagnosed with Down syndrome. After leaving my job to care for him, I needed an arena in which to share my experiences and ideas. I believed that I could help the way our nation percieved people who were different. I started blogging and volunteering to support political candidates. I wrote an e-book, Open Your American Heart: From Personal Responsibility to Collective Accountability, with the intention to help citizens understand that how everything we do has some type of political connection. I wanted citizens to see themselves as powerful beyond the voting booth. For the first time, motherhood had awakened me to my own potential to impact change.
In this series of interviews, you'll meet moms who are engaged in all walks of life, including community activists, culinary teachers, authors, actors, midwives, doctors, therapists, and love coaches. Each of these women are moms, and each of these women understand and accept the power inherent in motherhood. They each know that what they do today will likely live on for generations to come.
I believe this is a significant time to be a mom. The world is so different than it was just a decade ago. Due to technology, education and sheer will, today's moms have a refreshing and expansive awareness of who they are and the significance of their positions in our families and societies. And yet, there is much more work to do. There can be no rest until every mom and every potential mom rises in her knowing that she is a powerful creator, life-generator, nurturer, and sustainer in ways that reach far beyond her children. Please join me in encouraging moms to seize the depth of their power and to change the world for the better, and in celebrating awakened moms who are doing just that.