A book review and call to action…
“Just as food is needed for the body, love is needed for the soul.”
Connection…mutual understanding…supportive relationships… They’ve been demonstrated to be key factors in one’s ability to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles when any life-altering blow is thrown our way.
While studying nutrition at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I learned about the concept of Primary Foods — that food is more than what is on your plate. Healthy relationships help to fill our souls and satisfy our hunger for life. For mothers of children with autism, other special needs, and major health issues, those liaisons and alliances feed our capacity to continue to struggle when, at times, it may seem like we are wading in quicksand.
The Thinking Moms Revolution, collected by Helen Conroy and Lisa Joyce Goes, shares the stories of 23 mothers and one father who found that satiating nourishment in the comradery of shared struggle. All too often, support groups for those in trouble or “survivors” become a pity party where participants come to wallow in their sorrows because “misery loves company.” Not so for the “Thinking Moms.” Their common bond is their struggle to learn everything each one can to give her child an optimal chance at the best life can offer. One lesson each has internalized from brutal personal experience is that conventional medicine, more often than not, has contributed to the problem rather than providing any solutions. In its introduction, The Thinking Moms Revolution admonishes us to “Learn from our mistakes.” Hopefully many moms new to this struggle will do just that. However, it’s certain when they read this book, they will also learn from the insight and perseverance of these courageous mothers.
Through the marvels of modern social media, they met, mingled, shared mutual concerns and were motivated to march forward in their courageous quests to heal their children. The “Thinking Moms” are part of a revolution in which moms are taking the lead, to overcome the conventional medical notion that autism is genetic, lifelong and static, to investigate avenues for healing their children. Yet these moms have something else in common — the gratitude they feel for their connection. Each mom relates a different story of pain and, often, disbelief and initial denial, that is transformed into fierce determination through the help of their mutual support network and the knowledge that there is hope.
This mother’s day, whether you are the mother of a child with autism or other special needs or not, feed your hunger for inspiration. Order the book. If you’ve already read it, share it with another mom, and join or form your own support network on-line or in person. Join the growing revolution of hope and love. It will feed your soul, and, if you have a child with autism or other special needs, it can provide you with hope and real information about healing.
Here’s wishing you a mother’s day full of revolutionary inspiration and love!