The breath catches in my chest. The cold hits me, energizes me. I am drawn outside. The winter air calls. I want to hike in the snow--to walk and walk and walk until I am way up in the mountains. The sound of my breath echoes in my ears, the cloud of it leading me deeper into the wood, higher into the ether. The sun flickers through the pine trees. It doesn't matter to me that it is cold. I dress warm, and stop when I grow tired, watch for signs of life. But that is not what happens when I step outside, daydreaming about walking for hours, rather a little one pushes through my legs and pops out the door ahead of me with no pants on, giggling wildly. I have children with me always. I wake up with a kid draped on me, his little feet finding a place to knead, a head finds its perch on a shoulder. When I close the door to wee in private, the door flies open, like the black hatted villain in a Western just slung open the Saloon door and is saddling up to the bar. Then it is the insistent, persistent calls for Mama, MAMMMMMMMMMMMA. Where you at? as my two year old says.
I was born maternal, nurturing my twin in the womb. Stuffed animals and baby dolls and then naming each fly that landed on my arm, and feeding it bits of water and fruit. Mothering is encoded in my dna, and writ on my body now is silvery stretch marks across my belly. I had three children in three years, then my fourth five years later. And I left my career to be there for my children. My body now is all mother--soft and low hanging breasts and lines around my smiles and eyes that show the love and joy my babies bring me.
For me, for many of us, mothering grants a daily spiritual experience. We bring this absolutely vulnerable being into this world, and then nurture it, watch it grow stronger. We love without conditions. We accept without limits. We give selflessly to them without a scorecard. Whether you mother human bubbies, or little fur babies, or your writing, or your artwork, or your home, or your own healing, the heart chakra cannot help but burst forth.
And then imagine if we love ourselves this way.
We would start a revolution. A wild love warrior revolution where we say to those negative voices, to the ones saying we aren't enough, or have enough, or give enough, "You are wrong, and I love you anyway too." Spiritual women and men often get teased about nurturing their inner child, as though it is a joke. And yeah, maybe it makes us sound a little woo-woo and emotional, but hell, I am a little woo-woo and emotional. I'm okay with that. The mothering of the Self is such a vital important part of us being able to mother anyone else.
As I continue on my work with Earth Medicine School in the second level, Pixie takes us deeper into who we are and what we do. And it has been an absolutely fascinating discovery into who I am. When I listed who I am, my first word was Mother.
I am a mother.
This is what I do all day. If you follow me on Instagram, I may post some artsy pictures of communing and meditating and doing cool artsy, bohemian stuff, but most days I am in the nitty gritty with a rambunctuous, curious, awesome, goofy two year old and two big kids with bigger emotional needs. I try to also post pictures of my kids crying too, because that is my life. It is all of it. The other day, for example, the baby had a bit of diarrhea, and screamed in ten minute increments on and off since he woke up. Because his bum hurts and he keeps pooping and he doesn't know what to do. And my job is to just hold him and rock him and change that smelly diaper and smooch his head and make sure he's hydrated and keep a stream of beauty coming so he can make it through an awful day.
When I go to work, I deal with people from all walks of life dealing with all sorts of issues, but maybe they too are in the same place as my son. They feel uncomfortable and don't know what to do.
I recenter my practice in what I know. When my children are feeling out of control, it is time to center. Breathe. Then I begin asking the questions:
Are you thirsty? Drink water.
Are you hungry? Eat an apple.
Are you tired? Nap.
Are yousad? Cry.
Are you lonely? Call someone.
This is the same with my clients. Let's get simple. Let's breathe. Let's assess. Let's figure out your goals. What is uncomfortable for you right now? Is it your spirit? Is it your body? Is it your mind? Is it your heart? How are you uncomfortable? Are things too tight? Are they too loose? Is what you thought you had gone? Is it too heavy to carry? Is there a hole that needs to get filled? This sounds very basic, but it is the checklist I make in my head when I talk to a client.
Nurturing comes by from setting boundaries some days. Other days nurturing is a warm blanket and tea with a good book. Other times it is saying yes to help. We don't mother each project the same nor do we treat each issue the same in session. With clients, I am a source of acceptance and non-judgment. How could I judge? I have worked on all kinds of people. People that look scary, people that look beautiful, soccer moms, alcoholics, witches, Christians, Buddhists and everything in between. I've worked on ex-cons and drug addicted moms and people with cancer and people who have survived the unthinkable. And whenever I close my eyes, their guides come. ALL of their gorgeous angels and spirit guides, animal guides and ascended masters come in droves expressing absolute, perfect love. They don't smell the cigarette smoke or judge that this person cusses when ordering take-out. I can feel that perfect love for each person. There is never judgment there. Only a suggestion, a reminder of our ability to release what is no longer serving, sometimes a redirection, but the thing that blows me away every time I work on a client is the amount of immense love, overwhelming love, Spirit has for us. It is profound. It is unconditional. Spirit loves us like we love our babies, with absolute awe and wonder, with reverence and endless compassion. And Spirit says what I so often tell my clients, "I wish you could see yourself the way Spirit sees you." As light. As love. As a heart. As a baby. As a wise sage. Who am I to judge when Spirit does not? It is overwhelming powerful and humbling.
But mothering isn't just about love, it is about constructing frameworks and boundaries, teaching ethics and how to behave in lovingly firm ways. I am not necessarily warm always. I am pretty masculine at times, blunt and to the point to avoid confusion about my expectations, but I like to laugh. And practice loving my clients as I love my children with awe and reverence and patience.
How are you showing up in your life? Who are you and how does that filter through your work? What or who are you mothering these days and how does it differ from the way you mother yourself?