Cultural Moments Parents Women

The spirit of motherhood

Mothering is a gift.
It’s an honor and a privilege to be a mother to another.
It’s also a very, VERY hard slog.

Every day presents a new whirlwind of emotions. Just when you think that you’ve got it all together new challenges arise. I’m sure I’m not alone when I judge myself and think that I’m not a very good mother sometimes. We can easily get caught up in the day-to-day logistics of running a household and making sure everyone’s needs are met. Amidst the working, cleaning, cooking, chauffeuring, refereeing, tutoring, and policing, we can lose sight of the real currency of motherhood.  

My teacher Ram Dass has distilled the spiritual practice into two very simple words: “loving awareness.” I find myself coming back to this simple teaching time and time again.  

Above all else, mothering is loving. It’s holding the space of loving awareness amidst the storm of “where’s my other sock” and “I’m hungry.” Mothering is a lovingness that welcomes it all. That’s not to say that we become doormats and get walked all over. Tough love is some of the best mothering one can dish out, but while never losing touch with that heart center that envelops all parts unconditionally. This absolute love is the true spirit of motherhood.

I remember my first Mother’s Day was an emotional one. My mother was dying and I felt guilty celebrating a day that would surely be her last. I also worried if I’d ever be any good at it. I had big shoes to fill. I was overwhelmed with trying to do it all and do it all perfectly (not to mention organically).    

FOF (fear of failure) is a big one with motherhood. The unrealistic ideals placed upon a mother are quite staggering, so it’s no wonder many moms feel less than. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was less judgment on the superficial and more emphasis on nurturing relationships and real connection with our families?

I am loving awareness.” Ram Dass would whisper.  
“I am loving awareness.” Just this.
“Loving awareness.”

Beyond our own personal situations and stories, there is the mothering energy that is present throughout time. An unbroken continuum of loving it all. Yoga philosophy talks of the Divine Mother. She is the one that gives birth to this physical reality that we live in. Her womb is a stargate and from this birthplace, all sacred life comes forth. Here the Divine Mother is all things; she is the calm and the storm, she is Divine wrath and Divine bliss, she is both the creative force and the destructive force and through it all she is love.  

Mother’s Day can be an opportunity for us all to soften our expectations and drop into our hearts. It really is as simple as breathing in and out with the words “loving awareness” at the heart of your focus. Let’s honor and celebrate life and the feminine force that creates it all. And let’s help a mother out if we see her struggling!    

Om Sri Matre Namaha!

Jo Tastula

These nurturing classes embody the essence of mothering:
patience, devotion, wisdom, and, above all, unconditional love.

Holding the Space of Love:
Cultivating Patience:
Nurture Yourself:
You Are Amazing:

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