Since the pandemic began, many mothers, myself included, have been following unknowingly, dominant narratives of how mothers are languishing. Last week, I discovered for myself another story never told. It was at the first Ambitious Mothers summit held in Paradise Valley by my dear friend Ronke Faleti.
The woman who arrived at the summit the first night, was certainly not the same one that left by the end of the summit. I was pushed out of my comfort zone, pushed out of my boundaries, pushed through dry deserts, pushed through steep mountain roads, until I literally arrived at the summit of my life. And at the summit, I surrendered to beauty embraced truly by the soul with a community of women I now call my own. A collective initial sense of disorientation, a collective decision to connect, or perceive others connecting, from our spirit to those of others, and back again to our own, gradually morphed into an experience so divine that it can only be God. I vividly felt in my own spirit, saw too in the eyes of all the women around, that perhaps God is a woman.
The constant birthing of new lives, the constant flow from the womb to new selves alerted me to be beginning of our creation. At the summit, I was taken back to my beginning, moved through a tidal wave of sorts, with sounds of Himalayan singing bowls, drifting in and out, and tears from my eyes, and those of all the women around me, dripping from our eyes, helping all of us construct meaning from a world in disarray. Here in Paradise Valley, surrounded women whom I can only describe as a community of ambitious mothers, we collectively forged new paths, that allowed us to reach the summit of our lives. Here in Paradise we told stories, shared histories, formed circles, as we together reconstituted a world of ambitious mothers whose lived experiences have simply being brushed aside by dominant accounts, that allowed us to forget the power within. Together, we flourished as we grew and transformed our lives, nourished our souls with food from a good table, healed, loved, surrendered, and discovered and rediscovered our place of safety, our horizon, our joy, our light. Together, we found beauty for ourselves, rustled with a certain sweet inwardness, a realization that we were more than we envisioned for ourselves, all because we choose to clean our eyes so we see clearly. Like looking at mirror of our lives though the lens of others. The summit has become for me a catalyst for vigorous change, one where I fully own for myself first, that which I used to whisper in silence. Motherhood and being a professional can coexist together, once you find your community. We found ours, and together we touched the paradise of our lives. May all mothers find their community, and together reach the summit.