WAS YOUR MOTHER GOOD ENOUGH?
With Mother’s Day this past weekend, most have us have reflected on our own mothers, and the kind of mothering which we received. Some of us have close and supportive relationships with our mothers. Some have strained and difficult relationships. Some of us are now caring for our mothers. Some miss our mothers every day. Some want to mother like our mothers. Some want to be nothing like our mothers.
And yet no matter how amazing our mothers were, or how short they fell of our expectations, the only ones going all the way through life with us, is ourselves. We need to learn to take care of ourselves the way we would have always wanted to be mothered (whether we are men or women – we all need to learn to look after ourselves).
This week in our Mindfulness session at Roedean, we taught the girls a simple but powerful tool. It’s a tool of self-care and self-compassion. It can be used in the moment, and can help us feel better almost immediately. We talked about cold, prickly feelings. The ones that don’t feel great in our bodies. They are the sensations in our body which we experience when we feel anger, fear, shame, anxiety, jealousy, worry, stress, and other difficult emotions, or sometimes the sensations just creep upon us and our body feels those “cold prickly” feelings without us even being entirely sure where they came from. Sometimes it’s just a general discomfort or dis-ease, sometimes it’s a churning tummy, racing heart, tension in our body, sweaty palms or the start of a headache. In these moments we encouraged the girls to place their hands gently on their hearts, offering themselves the sort of loving kindness that a mother, or a person who is special to them, may offer them. And then to take a few deep breaths – for them we suggested 3-5 breaths, for adults it can be up to 10 deep breaths. This very simple little exercise is a profound pause. It allows us a moment to calm ourselves, our emotions and the sensations in our body, and it allows us to be less reactive and rather to choose more consciously how we respond. It activates the parasympathetic nervous system and it helps us to learn to mother ourselves. Please teach this little tool to your children and practice it yourselves. We need more kindness in the world and we need to start with being kind to ourselves.
I have a couple of places left on my next Feminine Wisdom course which starts on Thursday 30 May. It’s a morning course for 4 weeks from 9am – 11am. I love this course. I love the women who attend. It’s my gift to the world incorporating tools I’ve learnt and practice in my life of mindfulness, breathwork, gratitude, energy management and how our bodies really work. Please don’t feel intimidated or put off by the name, or by the contents. Often we feel like the Feminine is a bit scary, out there, “woo-woo”. We worry that it might be a very uncomfortable space. That we may have to share or do things that we feel uncomfortable saying or doing. You won’t. I promise. It’s a wonderful, nurturing space. A real gift of mothering to yourself (or to the women in your life). I really hope you’ll join me on it. Details are on my website or follow this link.
“Tell me what it is you plan to do with your one Wild and Precious life” Mary Oliver
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