Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother Courage

For at least the past eight years I have led a yoga class on Mother's Day. So that whole image of mom getting breakfast in bed, her children toddling up with a tray, a little tulip in a vase, a chocolate kiss on the side - that's never happened to me. What I have done is reflect each year on what it means to be a mother. What courage it took to be a mother. Anybody's mother.

Today I led a short metta meditation that was just a short reflection on your mother. Whether you knew her or not, whether she's still alive or she's passed on, and just imagining what it might have been like to have you. Imagining your mom as her young self, with you in her arms. How scary it might have been, how exciting it might have been, maybe both. There's no easy way to be a mother I don't think. I mean, it can all work out of course, but I don't think you can get into Mammasana without having to face a lot of fears. I don't think you can do Momasana without finding your courage.

I became a mom in South Africa and one of our friends there was a great meditator (they have a fabulous meditation retreat if you're ever looking for a far away place to go) and he said that mothers must get enlightened to have a child. And how it's curious that that enlightenment fades away. Giving birth can definitely be a big moment of enlightenment.

No matter what though, to have had you, meant your mother passed through phases of internal witnessing over time, that may have been some of the most tender moments of her life, perhaps some of the scariest, and in the end she had you. If you're reading this, your mother had you. She did a good job. So if you haven't acknowledged your mother for the courage it took her to have you, I would recommend you at least silently do that today. If you have it in you, contact her and appreciate her for how risky it was to be your mother and how wonderful a job she did.

And if you're a mom yourself, acknowledge yourself for taking a risk to be a mother, the courage it took to be pregnant and give birth and maybe even raise that child! And if you gave up your child or lost your child, it still took courage and maybe even more, so acknowledge yourself for what you went through. It's a big deal. It's natural, it happens everyday, and yet, it's a very big deal.

One other thing, as time goes by and we see our mothers as very human and we maybe feel more distance, it may be a good reminder to allow ourselves to be loved like our mothers did or maybe still do. Let in the love that's there. Allow yourself to be loved by the earth, loved by the people who are close to you. Your mom just really wanted you to be loved and to feel good. Of course there's more, but honour that part by letting yourself be held by your life, allowing your life to love you, allowing yourself to be mothered, in a totally good way.


Lola said...

Great post~

laura nerenberg said...

lovely -- thanks!

Anonymous said...

That was nice. I'm not sure if every human female becomes a mother in such a conscious way. I suspect that some people procreate in much the same way that our animal counterparts do. But it's a lovely thought anyway. Happy Mummy day to you.