We wanted to share a timely and poignant message, and reminder, from HMN’s founder, Nancy Peplinsky:
The mayhem of 2020 has brought so many of us to breaking points. We swing from mood to mood, from one extreme to the other, fighting to find a middle ground and a small piece of sanity in the chaos. We stand with or against, in a very delineated world in a country where battle lines are drawn every day culturally, politically, economically, and emotionally.
2003, the year the Holistic Moms Network was founded, seems like a different reality. But even then there were strong perceptions and opinions about holistic parenting choices – strong enough to alienate moms who made different choices and expressed alternative viewpoints. In that year HMN was founded on the cornerstones of community and connection. Our goal was to create a sacred space for moms to learn, grow, and share. We recognized that every parent was on a journey and that each and every journey was unique. We came together from unique backgrounds, cultures, nationalities, races, ethnicities, religions, and philosophies. But we came together in powerful ways because we recognized that our human journey was a common one, whatever choices we made. We found comfort in the shared experience of choosing our own ways and discovering what worked for us and for our families. Our journeys were winding and divergent. We crossed paths with others and veered away from roads that we did not choose. We honored that journey and the process itself. We invited in a wide array of people no matter where they were on their own holistic journeys and embraced the diversity of our community. We nourished ourselves with the realization that we were not the only travelers and that as we traveled together, even on different paths, we were stronger when we were connected. We invited in speakers and professionals from as many perspectives as we could find so that we could learn – for ourselves – what made sense, what was out there, and what resonated with us. We chose to journey, question, challenge, and debate but still remain connected to a community that allowed the space for such exploration without judgment or disrespect.
These founding principles remain the core of HMN, even as the world increasing divides itself and points fingers at those who hold opposing views. We are not a single-issue group, claiming to stand on ground of what is “right” or “wrong”. We are a community that celebrates independent and informed decision making and the journey that one takes to make a choice. We acknowledge that information and viewpoints change over time and that research, science, practice, life circumstances, and faith may alter our choices along our journeys. We may adopt a viewpoint that we later shun or accept something once considered to be too fringe to be believable. We advocate being open to hearing opposing views in order to make the most informed decisions that we can and adopt only that which we each – individually – find to resonate with us. In essence, we take a holistic approach to community itself: we recognize that our journeys and our very community are interconnected and can only be understood when we look at the whole world of options, both conventional and holistic. We are the Holistic Moms Network because of this foundational commitment, not because our members choose one particular path but that we find a natural shared ground of holism. Within that we continue to embrace 7 fundamental ideals for holistic parenting:
- Making informed and educated parenting decisions
- Seeking respectful and nurturing relationships with others
- Actively participating in our own healing process
- Balancing and integrating the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of being
- Teaching our children to respect and care about the natural world
- Limiting our children’s exposure to advertising, marketing, and a consumer-driven culture
- Living more simply and consuming less
We need to remind ourselves of our mission and purpose and find the connections and community that we were founded upon. As Native American author and educator Richard Twiss once said “You can’t have unity without diversity.” Although 2020 may be the year of divisiveness, let us put our energy into the human community that we share and embrace the very diversity that makes us whole and continue to fortify that sacred space that allows us all to journey.