Motherhood: On Raising Ourselves
As I think about the meaning of Mother's Day, I think about all the lessons I've learned since becoming a mom.
It's been my experience that having children has been the most profound Dharma of my life.
We have the opportunity to let the path of parenthood evolve us into even more conscious beings, or let it further solidify our egos.
I remember after my daughter was born, I went to this mother's group to connect with other moms who had also recently given birth. We went around the circle and shared about our babies. It was one of the most extreme experiences of human neurosis in my life.
One mom shared how her daughter was already working on rolling over using her "abs". She was two weeks old.
Another mom had her baby decked out in USC gear that matched her own, and spoke about the legacy that this child would carry forward (that involved going to her alma mater). He was three weeks old.
When it was my turn, my mouth fell open. Cora Rose was 3 weeks old. She could barf, cry and poop. My boobs were leaky and my belly hung over my pants. I was tired, uncomfortable and unsure about how much I liked this whole mothering gig everyone was raving about.
"This is my daughter." I said. "Her name is Cora Rose."
It was all I could come up with. I never went back to that group again.
While we may believe our most important challenge is to raise our children well, there is an even more important one: to raise ourselves into the most awakened and present individuals we can be.
Our children come into this world as our awakeners and continue to be so throughout our lifetime. They are mirrors who show us our unconscious. If we're open, they allow us to break down the barriers that have kept us from evolving. They are our wake up call to our inner wounds.
They expose both our strengths and our triggers; they show us where we still have room for growth.
But unknowingly, we often prevent our children from fulfilling their spiritual calling because of our own unprocessed baggage and unmet yearnings. We place our egoic projections onto them with full confidence that "we know what's best." This ultimately causes them pain and confusion, and creates tension in the relationship.
But there is another way. One in which we allow ourselves to be the learners, just as much as they are...
“Nothing you become will disappoint me;
I have no preconception that I'd like to see you be or do.
I have no desire to forsee you, only to discover you.
You can't disappoint me”
― Mary Haskel
While our kids need our love, structure, support and guidance, who they become is our luxury to witness. It is what they uncover in us that gives us the doorway to our own awakening.
This weekend, as you're thinking of your own mother or being celebrated for being one yourself, take a moment to honor the beings who gave you the title. If not for them, we'd not be near the women we are proud to be today.
Here's to all the mamas and the children of the world...
Have a beautiful Mother's Day!
Deepen your own understanding of yourself...
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