Sunday, May 11, 2008
Being a Mother
Today's Mother's Day. For most of the years I've been a mother, I've been a yoga teacher on Sunday morning, which means I spend my early Mother's Day hours contemplating Mother's Day and yoga rather than eating breakfast in bed or sleeping in or other traditional ways of spending the day.
I was thinking this morning about what it is to be a mother. And for me and the perspective I'm taking at this moment, to be a "mother" is to surrender to creative energy and allow what's present to come forth. To BE a mother is to be a space for something awesome to happen and to contain it.
When I was pregnant with Remi, I wasn't really "doing" anything. Jamine wasn't making a baby. I've often said that I notice I can't clean out a closet in 9 months - it wasn't me doing it. (Then I again I tell my daughter, "I made you!") And from my understanding of pregnancy, it's not really the mother's body that directs the pregnancy, it's the baby's. The mother's body responds with what's needed. She doesn't mold it, she delivers on the requests. If all's going well, it's the baby that sends a signal to the mother that it's ready to come out.
As the mother of a 9-year old, I am well aware that there is a tremendous amount of doing that comes with being a mother. There are loads of "doings"! But at the source of all the action is a state, a way of being that is saying "yes" to what is needed. "I've got that. I can take you there. I can comfort you. I will buy that for you. Here are some guidelines. Here's a hug. Some food. Here's my time. My life." I know there is a lot involved.
So if being a mother is a way of being, then anyone can be a mother. And what we are mothers to is our art, our lives, ourselves. We can allow what's there to be there and to emerge and be expressed, giving it what it asks for, surrendering to the creative spirit itself. Some people surrender to their careers or missions, others write poems, some care for other people who are not their children -- there are infinite ways we can express the state of mothering.
To mother ourselves though is like to be the witness. (That might actually be more like being the father. I'll have to consider that and get back to you on father's day.) But back to what I was getting at, to mother ourselves means to allow our true selves to emerge, to give ourselves what we need in order to grow. To grow a relationship, an idea, a way we want to be in the world...
Being a mother is a profound privilege. It is allowing myself to be used by life to create beauty and to participate in the flowering of creation. Holding back doesn't serve me or my creations - that would be neglectful - no one wants to be a neglectful mother! But that's what we are when we don't allow ourselves to truly come forth. Being a mother is to be stretched and pulled and called for and challenged and to be given the opportunity to be a part of life's fullest expressions.
(Thanks to Robin Andrew for taking such great pictures. Check her out at www.unposed.ca.)