Inspired.

Lately, I have been finding inspiration everywhere. Maybe I just needed to slow down. Maybe I just needed to keep looking. But, it seems that if you stop and allow yourself to really be, it is all around you. In the call of the bird outside my window. In the cool wind on a warm day. In the milky smile of my baby girl. In the spontaneous laughter and creativity of my boys. In a phone call from a friend that I haven't heard from in awhile just because she thought of me, and real handwritten mail from friends that take the time to stay connected even with busy lives of their own. In family that support my crazy dreams, completely trusting that I know my purpose here, even if the path is unconventional.

I am inspired by mamas who nurse whenever and wherever without a second thought. I am inspired by families that chuck convention and do things their own way. I am inspired by activists that don't ever give up no matter how silenced they feel. I am inspired by those who defy their labels, and by those who walk a spiritual path of justice, not just follow conventional religious or political teachings. And, I am inspired by these soul-touching words by Brian Piergrossi, Love is the New Religion (heard the author recite this poem live, amazing).

I am inspired by my friend who because of her daughter's illness has studied and researched her way into becoming an expert on natural healing and now wants to teach others by offering a class out of her home (wish we lived less than the thousand miles that separate us so I could be there). I am inspired by another friend who reached out to gather a group of us together to all read the same book on natural foods - Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection - and meet and eat and learn and share. I am inspired by their compassion and vision with open minds and open hearts to create a community worth raising our children in. I am inspired by mamas with tolerant voices and inner strength. I am inspired by volunteers turned friends that give so much time to my kids so that they may learn from life experiences, whether it be raising chickens or dissecting worms. I am inspired by this place - Sunflower Creative Arts - and all that this community does for me, nurturing children and supporting parents.

I am also inspired by these special mamas at the Natural Parenting Center and Feeleez who have helped me connect to the parent inside that I know I am and want to be. Their honest reflections and peaceful connections support me even if just online. And this amazing mama at Walk Slowly Live Wildly, a free spirit and lover of life. I have also just discovered this mama at Mama Om, and this mama at Unconventional Christian, who both speak true to their souls. And, with true spirits of freedom and courage to live life the way they want without succumbing to the standard notion of normal, I am gaining so much inspiration from these modern nomadic families - The Happy Janssens and The Organic Sister.

So with a daily reminder of just how full life is and can be, I have found these places - in my local community, across the miles, and yes, even online - to be my village of support. I feel stronger and tend to trust my instincts more. I feel confident in my parenting and with my path, however evolving. I hope you all find community and strength and become inspired, life is so worth it.

Angela Malson