As I first looked through the themes that I would be writing about for the Sling Diaries, Health was one that I was instantly excited about. I have found passion in creating a healthy lifestyle since becoming pregnant with Wes three years ago and feel I have so much to say and share on the topic. And now that I sit down to write, I know I need to share the most important aspect of my journey even if it's not what I originally had planned. This topic is not a popular one, and leaves me feeling vulnerable, but it is how I feel and what I am experiencing in this moment. I hope that I can explain such huge feelings in one small post in a way that is understood.
When I found out I was carrying Wes, as most mamas experience and as I've shared before, life completely changed. I wanted the best for that tiny beating heart and was willing and excited to do what it took to give him the best life and experiences possible. I read and prepared. I delivered him unmedicated and was lucky enough to breastfeed for 18 months. We changed the way we ate, taking note of all the things we put in and on our bodies, the things we watched and how much of it. I learned to read every label on every box or bottle. Suddenly, taking care of the earth meant more to me. Having a relationship with Christ became top priority. Gradually we just started living more intentional and more health conscious. I suppose I knew that if I wanted Wes to have a healthy and meaningful life, I needed to show him how by example. Since everyone views health differently, this might not be the solution or what's best for all, but I've noticed that these changes have only made a positive impact in our lives and I am so happy with the lifestyle we've chosen.
But health for me means more than choosing 'organic'. As anyone who makes a lifestyle change like this, you soon realize that feeling your best is much more than exercising and looking good. One can fill their life with smoothies, salads and fitness, but if there is still a lack of self love, then the most important part is missing. I've found this to be so true in my life!
I struggle off and on with depression and have for many years. Nothing really extreme, just the usual seasonal bouts of sadness or post partum blues that you hear about, but enough to know I want different for my kids. I've never really thought twice about it and have sort of made myself believe it will be something I will learn to live with. I've tried to make changes several times, only to not get very far. But it's taken having two human beings depending on me to realize how crucial it is that I continually make the effort to love myself. Like, really really love myself. Not only for their sake, but especially for mine. It's a process and something I will always be working on. It takes a lot on my part to unfold and face a lot of issues that I would rather not deal with. It means changing years of negative thought processes and patterns and turning them into positive ones. But I know it is more than worth it.
I won't pretend to have it all figured out, because I really don't. But I am always willing to work towards being better than yesterday. I hope that my kids will grow to understand that being healthy means an overall care for your body, mind and spirit. And I hope they learn those things from my example. To see that they truly thrive and live a life that is so full of love, happiness, health and acceptance for themselves and the world they live in would be the ultimate blessing.
*This is my final post for The Sling Diaries. I don't think I could have been chosen for this project at a more difficult and stressful time in my life, but I am actually grateful for the way I've been able to open my heart up during this time. I know each topic has had a direct impact in my life recently and it's been therapeutic to write about each one. A huge thank you to Sakura Bloom for providing us with such beautifully handcrafted slings and for seeing something in me. This project will forever hold a piece of my heart. Thank you for reading along!