Reflections: You, me, judgement and acceptance.




Good morning, friends. Here I am.

I hope your week was good. I've enjoyed a few quiet days in my world. I indulged in an epic bike ride with my kids, a long hike and day of nettle-picking with my family, and lots and lots of quiet time to think. There has also been a ridiculous amount of sleep (which might just be my best medicine) and plenty of good and meaningful conversation.

And all through the week your comments poured in. (Along with your cards, letters, and emails.) I'm here this morning to say thank you. Your voice came through clear and true. I see your hearts and I hear your voices. And I feel such gratitude that you added your thoughts to the conversation. Thank you for your appreciation, sensitivity, and clarity. Thank you for seeing my intention.

As I read your words I stood here in amazement at what you shared. So many of you speaking here for the first time, and others saying things I never could have imagined. I had no idea how you have been touched by this space. I really didn't. Thank you for finding the words. It changed everything.

You see, I come here to inspire – and yes, challenge – you with new ideas. I don't come here to convert you and convince you to follow my one-right-and-true-path. I just come here to say "this works for me". Simply knowing that that my words or my worldview stirs up pain or anger for a few readers is difficult for me and made me wonder if it was worth doing at all. If my words cause one person pain I would rather have not spoken them. But hearing so many of you state clearly and passionately what those same words mean for your lives and your children meant that it is indeed worth it. More so than even I imagined.

Many of you spoke of the courage it must take to speak my truth here. And it's funny, but I am a little oblivious about the stir that my truth is capable of causing. I choose my words carefully and assume that you will read them at face value, as my truth – not necessarily yours. (On rare occasion I summon my courage to write, but it is truly rare.) Mostly I'm just talking about what I believe and how my family lives. Take it or leave it, be inspired or not. No baggage, no expectations.

I guess it's because I have never seen the world as a one-right-path-for-everyone kind of place. While I do believe in the universal power of love, respect, and kindness, we are all so different that what works for me might not work for you. It's so obvious to me – we're different people. We'll make different choices. In truth, it never occurred to me that my words would be read as talking down to someone walking a different path than I. And that speaks to my naivety. Maybe that's because for my entire life I've been surrounded by people with different values making different choices than me. And I've almost never felt like they think I've got it all wrong (that belief would unravel me), nor did I see it the other way around. I guess I've been different for so long that it feels normal.

Many of you have said that this is the only place that you've been exposed to some of these ideas, so therein lies the purpose of sharing what I do. New ideas are good for us, don't you think? They help us better understand what feels right in our own hearts. They help us filter and select and refine our vision. Because each of us is writing our own story. And we choose what direction it goes.

But we have become a painfully polarized society. I think we've become accustom to the idea that everyone must believe they have The One Right Answer – be it spiritual, political, dietary, educational, or parental. And with that comes the assumption that if I've chosen to do it a different way then I must be looking down on you for doing it your way.

But guess what… I'm not.

At all.


The truth is that I question everything. And that is why my life looks the way it does. (I talked to a friend about it recently in regards to this conversation on the blog. I said, "Tell me one thing I do that is normal. One mainstream choice. Anything. Name one." Nothing. I repeated the question to Pete and he just snorted. Because I am a relentless questioner. I always have been.) So every single decision that I make will likely go against the grain for 90% of the people who find their way to my blog.

And if you have faced judgement before when others have made a different choice then you, or if you are not confident in some of your own beliefs or choices, then I'm bound to stir up your stuff. And when a person (me for example) openly goes their own way, there can be an implied criticism that how everyone else is doing it isn't good enough. If I co-sleep, I must look down on you for your crib. If I homeschool, I must disapprove of your child attending school. If I don't shop at Walmart, I must shake my head at your choice to do so. I could go on and on. Spirituality, politics, consumer choices, food, medical and dental care…

Yes, I'm going out of my way to do things differently. But not because I believe I've found the Universal Answer to All that Ails Us. It just means I found what works for me. I trust others are doing the same.

Because questioning is quite simply what makes me tick. It's what makes me "me". It gives me joy to be conscious and mindful in every decision, right down to my toothpaste. And I understand that some of you do not share that gene or have the time, interest, or energy to question everything. As one friend put it, "At this point in my life I can't ask questions about [XYZ]. I use to, and maybe some day I will again, but right now I have too much on my plate to care."

And I suspect some of you feel the same. Which is a-okay with me. Because, again, we're all different.


And now here's another crucial piece of this conversation. My choices are made (are you ready?) by judging what resonates for me and my family. (It's that word we've all been dancing around – judgement!)

Yes. I judge.

While simply going with the flow (doing what has long been done in your culture or your family) can happen without judgement, consciously choosing your own right path can not. Anyone mindfully choosing A over B must exercising judgement to do so. "Which one feels right for me?" That is the act of judging. And I do it every day. Judge, judge, judge.

But all judgement is not equal. (Or more complexly: here is my judgement of judgement.) There is the "I see only one right answer for us all" sort of judgement and the "This is the right answer for me" sort of judgement. Know that I am doing only the latter.

And if my choices make you uncomfortable your inner voice saying is probably saying one of two things: either "Question what you believe," or "Walk away from this place." ("Get Out Here" as the sign above says, fifty feet from the churning rapids that are sure to eat both you and your canoe alive.)

Those are the only two answers I can come up with. If I'm shaking a bit the foundation of what you have come to believe, only you can decide if it serves you and if you want to stay in this space a bit longer to see what transforms. And if you've found your right path and yet you keep coming back here feeling irritated or inadequate or angry by the picture I am painting, it isn't serving you. Get out here.

Coming here and seeing all of my choices out on display, flapping confidently like prayer flags in the wind will inspire some of you and be overwhelming for others. And that's why this is an opt-in space. As you decide whether to stay or go, know that my making different choices do not mean that I am looking down on yours. If you feel a judgment when you read my words it might just be coming from within or from someone else in your world who is questioning the validity of your choices. I get to call the shots for me. And you get to call the shots for you. I respect our differences.


In truth, my choices are serving me. I'm happy ninety-plus percent of the time. Really, truly happy. (Okay, I am just the tiniest bit sensitive to criticism (ahem), but I'm working on what that's about too.) Yelling, arguing, struggling, and resistance are rare in my life. We've worked our way to this place by finding the choices that resonate for us. I encourage you to do the same. Find what makes you tick. Find your own happy place. Pete and I made sacrifices and took big risks to get to where we are. I don't regret a single step, nor do I apologize for our joy. I've bucked the norm and love where I landed. It's working for me. If my words can encourage you along your own version of this path, then hooray! It might parallel mine in some ways, and it might run in a completely different direction. But it only has to be a good fit for you.

If you choose to stick around and read what I have to share (and I do have so much more to share), then accept my words at face value. Filter out what serves you and discard the rest. And please bring your voice to the conversation. Your open, honest – and yes respectful – voice. (I will strive to hold a voice that is all three as well.) Talking freely and peacefully about our differences might be one the the most healing things we could do here.

I'm not ready to walk away from this place. I don't yet know what direction this blog will go, but I'll keep talking (and listening). Will you do the same?



43 thoughts on “Reflections: You, me, judgement and acceptance.

  1. Kasey Love says:

    You are an amazing writer, and I’m so glad to hear you’re staying.

    Your decisions aren’t normal, and that’s why I come back here every week. Normal, average, standard, middle-of-the-road, those are all just simpler ways of saying “unexceptional”.

    You aren’t normal. You’re proud of that, and you should be 🙂

  2. Jenn says:

    I didn’t have a chance to comment on your post last week, but I thought a lot about it, and about what brings me here. This post only makes it resonate further. I come here BECAUSE of the choices that you make, and because so many of them are similar to choices that my family has made, or is considering making. It makes me happy to be “different,” to make choices that work for my family that aren’t “normal.” At the same time, it’s nice to find like-minded non-normal people! I don’t necessarily need validation for my decisions, but its nice to know that there are other people living in similar ways, questioning what they do, making conscious desisions for the best of their family. I find that coming here makes me feel good about my decisions, and makes me want to strive to take them that one step further. Thanks for your voice, Rachel. It warms my heart to come here every day and see you and your family living with such intention, and being so happy. It makes me want to be a better person.

  3. Robyn says:

    Well said Rachel!!!

    No one in my family understands why I too question everything, why i can’t just be normal. And this includes my husband, who bless his heart, usually just goes along with me, out of faith in my judgement. It’s so nice for me to come to this space and feel “normal” for once.

  4. amber says:

    i totally agree! you said everything i was thinking. it does feel good to find like minded people and to feel a sense of community.
    and also to rachel:
    hip hip hooray!!! i love this space. i love your writing, and i love your ideas. i agree and live most of the same ideas, and sometimes it feels good to have some validation. however, i have never felt like you wanted everyone to have YOUR life, you just want people to find their OWN life. and i love that.

  5. angie says:

    I really appreciated this post. Ive been reading your blog for about a year and have never said a word. I too have found myself to make many of the same decisions as you have, as I am also a relentless questioner. I tried writting a blog and abruptly quit at the first sign of chriticism. I feel a bit of a cold shoulder from some family and old friends. My hunch is that they feel judgement from me, since Ive made the choice to live much differently than them. It makes me sad though, as judgement was never intended, just inspiration. But anyway, thank you for sticking around. I really appreciate your writting!

  6. Lisa says:

    Well said, as usual. I am one of those who sometimes feels uncomfortable (my issue) and many times feels inspired. My naturopath recently suggested I try the GAPS diet, and I immediately thought of your blog. I’m on Day 4, and have already found past posts that have been a big help (I made ghee!!). Thanks for keeping it real and putting yourself out there. As you have seen, we appreciate it!

  7. Jenn says:

    WELCOME BACK! I’m so glad you are following your heart and letting your courage and vulnerability go hand in hand, skipping together and gleefully down the forest path. Sending big hugs through the inter-ma-net!

  8. Becky says:

    I am so glad you are staying. I come to your blog nearly every day for beauty and insight that I aspire to include in my life.

    Ironically, I hadn’t read anything here for many days, because I was mad at you. Not for anything you did, but because of my life. I love how you’re living and making concious choices, and I want that too. Yet I feel out of control of what happens in my life. I want happiness and peace, I have yelling and anger. I want organization and beauty, and I have disorder and clutter.

    I cried as I read about your crying. I will keep reading and keep trying, and I appreciate it that you are too.

  9. Marie says:

    so happy to see this post! Was getting worried there! thank you for your courage. You can’t please everyone all of the time but you being you inspires so many. You have a gift and your words bring so much positivity and it is worth it! Thank you for continuing and for.making it a little bit easier for others to make different choices and massive leaps towards our dreams xxx

  10. bridget says:

    Yeah!!!! So happy you are sticking around. This blog has been such a wonderful place of learning and being with like minded mama’s. Thanks for all your words and keep em’ coming! 🙂

  11. Melanie says:

    I’m not going anywhere. What has been in your blog the last few days has honestly left me speechless (yeah, yeah…I know I say very little anyway). You are an amazing inspiration to me and my family. This blog has changed our lives in many ways. Keep being you Rachel…I look forward to visiting this “place” for a long time.

  12. says:

    good to hear your thoughts, i have read your posts and burst into tears, or felt all kinds of stuff stirred up… but i have realized that it is my stuff and nothing to do with you or your life– just a mirror for me to keep examining and reexamining my own.. glad you realized that too..

  13. Jacinda says:

    Kiaora Rachel. I love the strength and clarity in this post. “We have become a painfully polarised society” – we sure have and your words and clarity challenge people to reflect on what comes up for them. I like that you are strong in repeating that one can speak their truth without judgement of others. In this polarised society it’s a pretty revolutionary idea. Kia kaha Rachel.

  14. Catherine says:

    I’m glad you decided to continue with your writing on the blog! I come to your space because you are so different from me and that provides my food for thought – and if everyone agreed life wouldn’t be half as interesting and challenging as it is.

  15. Lisa says:

    This was beautiful. Thank you for your thoughtful post. I am a new reader. My life is very different from yours, but I love the glimpse into your world and the food for thought you give me. I am glad you have decided to continue to share with us!

  16. S says:

    Rachel, I’m glad you have chosen to keep writing here. I read the last few posts and during quiet moments I’ve been thinking and stretching how I view things. I like that we can all be different and make different choices. I like reading about your choices, and thank you for pointing out that we should take your words at face value, I think we’ve gotten to a place where we don’t automatically hear exactly what others say.

  17. Sheila says:

    “If you feel a judgment when you read my words it might just be coming from within or from someone else in your world who is questioning the validity of your choices.”

    Love, love, love. You’ve got it right there. Thanks for inspiring us to look within, to ourselves…the most worthy place to begin….

    What a wonderful example you are setting, sharing this seemingly short, but powerful leg of your journey.

    Gratitude for your return, in all your glory! 😉

  18. Mikaela says:

    Hooray! I’m SO happy you’re back!! You’ve created a really wonderful space right here, and I look forward to your future posts, even the ones that spark lively discussion.

    While it’s clear that there are so many of us who find something very special here, I think it’s also true that there’s sure to be a repeat of last Friday–there will always be people who come here who missed this post or didn’t internalize this message, who struggle with a sense of insecurity and feel the need to lash out. If there’s any way that we–your readers–can help mitigate the sting, please, let us know!

    Best wishes as you continue on this journey, inviting us along with you!

  19. sarah* says:

    “…a place where we don’t automatically hear exactly what others say.” But exactly, S. Yes! Three cheers for the face value! Saying what we mean and meaning what we say. No in-between the lines to read. Hip hip!

  20. sarah* says:

    Judgment vs judgment. Yes. Well said. I was struggling with what diction to use to discuss this. Only one right answer for us all vs. the right answer for me. Yes. Exactly.

    I’m glad you’re still here! Thank you!

  21. caitlinvb says:

    Bravo! And oh how it was an illuminating (yet sad) day when I realized that the majority of the people I ticked off by doing things differently were upset as their foundations were shaky… and their anger was coming from a place lacking in confidence and abundant in uncertainty. Bravo for you continuing to make your ideas and your path known… giving us all, at the very least, a new perspective. I know that while I do some things differently from you, I am so glad you are there – glad to know that someone has it figured out, and if you can maybe I can too 🙂

  22. sandi ratch says:


    Well said, my dear. Well said. If something causes pain in your readers, it is because they need to deal with something (I think I wrote a blog about that in response to yours once :). Likewise, if it causes pain for you, you need to work something out. And it seems you did. Well done. Keep at it.

    And I like your distinction between judging and being judgmental. Because there IS a difference. Thanks for that. I hadn’t seperated the two before.


  23. kimberly says:

    “If you feel a judgment when you read my words it might just be coming from within or from someone else in your world who is questioning the validity of your choices. I get to call the shots for me. And you get to call the shots for you. I respect our differences.” very well said!!!!!!!
    if we lived in the same town we would be great friends! when you explain yourself, I really feel you are explaining me:) glad to know you will still be writing

  24. Thomasin says:

    Hurray! I missed the initial drama but am so happy with this (somewhat of a) resolution. I find value with this blog and appreciate the care you take sharing what works best for you and your family. And you take the credit for being the first to inform me of glass drinking straws. So really, I would have been heart broken to see you go anywhere! Seriously, though, seriously: I’m glad you’re in this blogosphere. I’m glad I’m able to read what you write. Keep it up as long as you have heart to do so.

  25. Alex says:

    thanks for these words Rachel! It must take some courage to share what you wrote today…. I’m quite admirative.
    Happy to know that i’ll still have your words and thoughts in my life!

    Hugs from Alex

  26. Lisa says:

    I just have to add that I have always enjoyed coming here and reading your blog. I was very hurt that my comments to your post were deleted. I wasn’t challenging you or speaking inappropriately. I guess it is a hard lesson, blog is not the same as community.

  27. Rachel Wolf says:

    Hi Lisa,
    Thanks for reaching out. I wanted to let you know that I did not delete your or any other comments (in fact, Ive only deleted one in the history of the blog, and it wasnt recently). Perhaps your comment is on page two of the conversation or someone bounced before it posted. Peace.

  28. Rachel Wolf says:

    I just double checked and indeed, they
    are there (if you mean the comments on the post with the links). They
    are at the very bottom of the page. ~ Rachel

    On Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 6:49 AM, Rachel Wolf wrote:

    Hi Lisa,
    Thanks for reaching out. I wanted to let you know that I did not delete your or any other comments (in fact, Ive only deleted one in the history of the blog, and it wasnt recently). Perhaps your comment is on page two of the conversation or someone bounced before it posted. Peace.

  29. Lisa says:

    So sorry Rachel. I thought I posted on the other post on the topic. I was really out of it last week. I think I am just so skeptical about the world today that for a moment I was able to think you were constructing/shaping a certain reality where some things and people don’t fit, like it was all a marketing scheme and I had been duped. Anyway, I am *very* happy that’s not true. I really appreciate your voice and those of all the people who come here.

Leave a Reply