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om, realities, reflections

a Truth

It’s an amazing rainy day. The type where even our frenetic lab Miles lazes around snoozing the majority of the day. Eli is back asleep and I think to myself, this is a writing day. A thinking day. A day for reflections. So I pour a fresh cup of coffee and and sit myself down to write. And of course, nothing comes. I have had a million thoughts every day about what I wish to write and how I will write it. Will I write as the trained journalist? Will I write as the concerned and loving mama? Will I write as an organic dairy farmer? Or simply a 6th generation farmer? Will I write impassioned pleas from my heart with my voice for the health of our children? Or will I write factual reports with all sides present, proper grammar, and proper sourcing?

And I’m really not sure. But all of what is listed above is me. And a part of me. A part and portion and piece of why I think and why I write and why I am.

Here’s the trouble. Media today moves at the speed of light. And no worries, my thoughts do as well, but while the speed of light is wonderful for many things it is not necessarily the best for thoughtful, aware, meaningful, and well pondered reflections. I am an Aries and I AM an Aries. A decent portion of the reason I gravitated towards yoga as a philosophy was to ground a bit of that bold brash quick-tempered-ness and temper it, use it to keep my passion alive, but not my tongue necessarily. I am notorious for shooting my mouth off without careful thought. I believe in intuition and I go with it.

Not always the best course of action for sure. And it’s what I struggle with when I’m trying to balance staying true to myself within social media. There is so much out there. So many blogs. pins. ideas. projects. thoughts. perspectives…
And the temptation of this world, from my observations and experience, is to paint yourself as the person you wish to be and not necessarily the person you are. And I do think there is both positive and negative in that. On Pinterest I post a bazillion things which I will never get around to doing, but the intention is there. And the intention being there may feed into a thought that accomplishes something in my life that day that would otherwise not have occurred. But sometimes I look at others pinboards, their blogs, their facebook pages, and i think HOLY HELL! I cannot keep up with this. How are these people doing and being and accomplishing all of these pieces of their life.

I cannot help but think about an end section of this movie The Contender in which Joan Allen becomes the first vice president of the United States and of course is facing all sorts of trials as such. My mom and I used to watch it together when I was in high school and desperately uncomfortable openly being myself. In the end she honors herself and delivers this poignant speech regarding herself and what she stands for and I loved it…

So…here’s the truth and intention behind me. And, I have worked harder on this next truth than any other in my life.

I am the 6th generation of a southern Vermont dairy farming family. I am mama to a little bit of sunshine; his name is Eli and he proudly carries his Daddy’s last name Powell, but grows up here too as the 7th generation of Corses. I live and love with my best friend and the love of my life. I think he’s the most amazing man in the world; he creates beauty and truth everyday and he is himself. always and without fail and it is the most inspiring thing about him. He is the reason I am back on this farm, the reason I am mama, and the reason I have had the strength to become me. I believe in living organically and farming the same. I wouldn’t be farming here if we weren’t a certified organic dairy within CROPP cooperative i.e. Organic Valley. In fact, I wouldn’t be farming at all. For me farming is tied deeply to this land and my family, to the integration of the organic mentality, and the cultivation of further stewardship of the land. I tried to live the life I thought I wanted. That I WANTED desperately to want. And it wasn’t what I needed. And I had to adjust to that. And it wasn’t easy.

My family tree is loaded with severe depression and in my journey I have seen the dark. The true dark, darker than night, where there is no light and no laughter. Where there are truths one has to sit within and accept about oneself that are painful in a manner that not many talk about. Truths like the fact that I have to take two pills, pharmaceutical pills! every day to function as a “normal” human. You see, as my friend Christy so bravely put it, “Now, if you haven’t been clinically depressed, before you get all judgey and high and mighty, please know that I would rather not be taking these pills. I’m a buy local, plant your own tomatoes, namaste, “life has no limitations except the ones you make,” hippy-dippy  kind of girl. I don’t want to put chemicals into my body. But I don’t just have a simple case of the blues when I don’t take them – I would actually rather die than live. And I can’t just Tony Robbins my way out of wanting to kill myself. For me, the medication literally saved my life. And I want to live, so I’m staying on it.”

WHOA. first time I’ve ever written that. And notice I relied on someone else’s words still. But there you have it. It’s the biggest piece of my truth in a lot of ways and the one I work the hardest to keep quiet. For while it used to be my background that brought me shame, it’s now my mind. My dark, chemically imbalanced mind, that despite all methods of yoga and meditation and diet changes and naturopathic/homeopathic/therapist consultations eventually did get the better of me and despite my stubborn insistence prior to this experience that all things in life could be mind over mattered, apparently, in my case they couldn’t. And it haunts me. It makes me feel like a hypocrite and I work my @$$ off to maintain transparency and truth in all aspects of my life and I live organically. I truly do. I make every single decision for this family with all of the information and all of the knowledge in the back of my mind that tells me that holistic and organic and local and conscious and natural are best. But I take those two pills every day. Those two pills which allow me to be a present and loving mama. Those two pills that allow me to read and write and absorb again. Those two pills that leave me the energy to cook and farm and be myself.

Am I a hypocrite? I really don’t know anymore. But this is what I do know. Life has a sense of humor. And in my case it has chosen to cleverly present me with a number of situations in which the opportunity openly exists to expand my perspective. I did believe prior to experiencing a nervous breakdown and clinical major depression that pills were a cop out. So life brought me perspective. I did believe that cows were dumb and worthwhile and not worth much. So life brought me perspective and I walked behind those eight month pregnant “dumb” animals eight months pregnant and I no longer thought they were dumb or worthless. I realized they were mothers. Nursing mothers. And that nursing is really hard and can be second to birthing, the most painful experience in this world. I thought that women who had c-sections or drugs were weak. And then I birthed my 9 lb 4 oz son naturally with no drugs, with not much joy, and too much pain and tears and trauma, and I understood that they were the farthest thing from weak. Again, perspective.

When we’re watching for it, the Universe has very clever ways of bringing us to growth. To broadened perspective and greater horizons. So while I believe for myself, for example, that birthing naturally still is the way to go, that mind over matter is the majority of the issue, and that organic living is not more expensive than non-organic living, I no longer try to put that on anyone else. I believe what I believe because of my experience. And I will educate and help and share with anyone who is interested the knowledge, the experience, and the perspectives that have brought me to this place. But I will not try and tell you that my way is everyone’s way or that I have it all figured out. I have made a lot of changes in my life to live holistically, but it’s taken YEARS. and tons and tons and tons of time and thought, energy and pain that is a luxury I’ve been afforded to come to the place I am. That is the truth. So I hope, you’ll join me here. And read these things I’ll offer and know that if you can’t get to them or if it seems like it’s too much, or the perspective isn’t yours and can’t be yours, that maybe it is. And that’s ok.

It is my goal to keep this blog based solely within that. That everything a person finds here comes from a portion of me that is very true.

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About tractormom

I am a sixth-generation organic dairy farming mama with a degree in Journalism and a love of all things yoga, organic, and in Nature. I am mama to Eli; he has turned my world upside down and brought everything of Light into it.

Discussion

4 thoughts on “a Truth

  1. wow abbie, so powerful and moving. i’m appreciating that you decided to share a piece of your truth today. Your experiences have shaped you to be an incredibly thoughtful, kind, conscious human being. I hope you trust that you’re perfect, just perfect exactly as/who you are, even as you work to improve your inner/outer world.

    It’s funny, because i see your fb posts and think, WOW abbie made/did that – i wish i had the inspiration/energy to do that! i really think one of the inflictions of our time/culture is a deep rooted sense of not being enough unless we accomplish a lot. what if we all are enough even if we don’t do squat??

    i was just thinking the other day, about the ways different people (and i, at different times in my life) gage meaning. like, sometimes i will write a poem or take a picture or have a thought and not feel good about it unless i have feedback from someone. (of course! we’re social beings, we want to share our experience) But the most special moments in my life are deeply personal and shared with only the Universe. And I know some people feel something is meaningful if it makes money or fame or whatever. and i’m wondering, how do i want to live a meaningful life? what does this mean? and i come back to qualities of my inner experience – ease, peace, joy, groundedness, love, compassion… and then everything becomes an opportunity to lean how to BE this way. I also had the thought the other day, that facebook for me is a somewhat fake idealized version of myself, and it’s FUN, but it’s not “real” life, it’s like an impressionist painting.

    anyway, thanks for sharing about your experience and inspiring me! i just wrote this the other day, and i’m thinking of it after reading your (courageous) words on depression.
    How do i greet the shadow parts which creep along at the edges of consciousness? Go away, you’re going to embarrass me, I say. You’re ugly, I don’t like you. I thought you were gone for good, But here you are, you might as well sit down and stay a while. Shadow parts, you make me feel as if I’m hiding in a dark corner when the room is filled with light…

    (an unfinished reflection on shadow…)

    Posted by Taina | 05.01.12, 4:24 pm
    • thank you love. for your words. for your being, for taking the time to read my words. that is sometimes exactly what it is isn’t it? “you might as well sit down and stay a while.” …or at least, sometimes we need to sit within them for a moment and let them have their space just as we let the Light in and have its space. thank goodness for the Universe heh? Ever wise, ever present, ever giving!

      Posted by tractormom | 05.01.12, 5:14 pm
  2. LOVE LOVE LOVE this post! Ohh Abbie I wish I could give you a hug.

    Posted by Emily @ Zweber Family Farms | 05.01.12, 7:06 pm
  3. Abby – I feel honored that you would quote me in this beautiful piece. It takes courage to pull those ugly thoughts out from the depths of the closet, but once you do, you realize the monster was bigger in your imagination. I applaud you for living a real, honest and beautiful life. And thank you for inspiring me to get back to the writing. It feeds my soul and boy does my soul need it right now!

    Posted by christybetit | 05.01.12, 10:00 pm

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