By Selina Venier
THERE’S a word that’s been somewhat overused of late.
I wonder if you’ve heard it bandied about?
The word is “organic”.
I’ve heard films described that way, behaviour of children, fabrics and of course, food.
A simple dictionary definition is “natural”.
Organic farming is said to involve “production without the use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides, or other artificial chemicals.”
Relationships can be organic or “characterised by harmony” so I’ve also read.
Sounds like an ideal principle for life – one that’s chemical-free with ever-present harmony.
And so I’ve come into better health and general living, dare I write it, oh so organically.
Well, it was and wasn’t a natural progression.
It “wasn’t” because it was spurred by a desire to not complicate or replicate symptoms of multiple sclerosis, a condition I was diagnosed with in 2007.
It “was” because I’d enjoyed 14 months of breastfeeding our son and decided to throw myself headfirst into a detoxification program and subsequent, long-term lifestyle improvements.
I haven’t had a “real” coffee since September 4, the date etched in my mind, and neither any gluten since I can’t even remember.
I’m the better for it and I know this “in my waters”, as my mother would say.
Mothers, all too often, spend much time caring for those in their nest and a significantly less amount of time on themselves compared to pre-motherhood.
That’s our vocation.
It’s certainly a natural one, blessed even.
What often happens when a parent takes steps towards daily positive health is that it has a natural “flow on” effect to their children.
With two self-aware daughters, one a teenager and one pre-teen, I’ve been pleased to see them reading food labels and asking questions about their options and choices.
I’ve not forced that awareness, it too has come “organically”, I assume partly because of my modeling.
It’s also partly because they care about health, 10 times more than I did at their age.
And while the girls, aren’t, like me, eating quinoa and chia, ingredients I hadn’t ever laid eyes on six months ago and likely would have thought were birdseed, or umpteen amounts of “good oils”, who knew they existed, there certainly has been a “shift” in our family’s awareness and habits.
And what is parenting if not exactly that?
It is positive role modeling and setting up children for healthier and “wholer”, if there’s such a word, lives.
As a Catholic Mum who’s invested in my children’s spiritual future, I’d also insert the word “holier” into that sentence.
Every day I’m making decisions and choices based on being a holy example to them.
By no means do I do that perfectly.
All we do to parent, good and not so, the positive and the seeking of forgiveness, has a “flow on”.
Again, how could it not?
Of course the extent of the “flow” will vary from child to child and it’s important, like with food label checking, to allow children to ask questions and form their personal relationship with Jesus Christ because it is exactly that, personal.
And dare I write it, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, can also be considered “organic”. It’s chemical-free and harmony-rich.
So I guess the point of this column is to encourage you to live organically in every way possible – physically, mentally and spiritually – especially as we dive heardfirst today into the energising Season of Advent.
It’s not energising because of chocolate, as I remind my children when we pass the mountain of Advent calendars at the end of every supermarket aisle, but because of the anticipation and excitement of who we are awaiting.
Speaking of shopping, I’m often interested in what’s in other’s trollies.
Not that I stickybeak, because I’m normally juggling Master Almost 18 Months and trying to remember what was on the grocery list in my other handbag or on the sticky note still on the fridge, but I do believe what we actively choose to place in the trolley, purchase and then consume says something about health.
Fruit? Vegetables? Junk food? Processed food? A balance? They all reveal an inner truth.
And what’s in your “spiritual trolley”?
What do you value today to benefit yourself and your children now and in the long term?
Organically speaking, there’s nothing or no-one more “natural” and “harmonious” than the babe in Mary’s arms in a few short weeks.