Mothering Your Soul

As young children, we held within our hearts the motherly feeling of knowing we would be okay. Who performed that role for you? It may have been your biological mother or “spiritual” mothers who have loved and mothered you in ways that cared for your soul. In some cases, not just your mother, but also other loving people helped you feel safe and loved, and inspired and motivated you to be your best self.

To our mothers and these wise and loving caregivers, we honor you on Mother’s Day!

Your Mother Is Always With You

Your mother is always with you…
She’s the whisper of the leaves
as you walk down the street.
She’s the smell of bleach
in your freshly laundered socks.
She’s the cool hand on your brow
when you’re not well.
Your mother lives inside your laughter.
She’s crystallized in every tear drop.
She’s the place you came from,
your first home…
She’s the map you follow
with every step that you take.
She’s your first love
and your first heart break…
and nothing on earth can separate you.
Not time, Not space…
Not even death…
will ever separate you
from your mother…
You carry her inside of you…

Author Unknown

Body Wise

Are you at ease in your body? It is believed that the more at ease you are in your body–that is, the more you treat it with respect and care–the more at ease you’ll be in your life. The state of your body and your connection to movement and peace often closely reflect the state of your life.

How can you ensure a healthy relationship to your body? Paying attention to the language of your symptoms, honoring a relationship to movement, loving your body and honoring your spirit are a few ways to connect with your body. Here are other pointers:

  • Your body reflects what is happening in your life, and you body tends to get sick more easily when you are not present in it.
  • A commonly held perspective in integrative medicine is that the body gets sick to get your attention, and your symptoms provide a type of language about what is going on with your spirit.
  • Healthy people usually have a loving relationship with their bodies and often feel inspired.
  • Life is movement, so when you’re feeling in pain or in some way disconnected from your body and spirit, one of the most effective integration tools is through movement.
  • Movement releases and helps energize the body, creating a new sense of aliveness in the body and mind.
  • The body, mind, and emotions are interrelated, and deeply negative emotional states can cause enormous stress in the body–contributing to disease.
  • The body is a living, breathing organism in which every cell is aware of every other cell—constantly conveying information through numerous communication pathways.

It can be healing to engage in bodywork and meditation, particularly to practice “listening” to your body.

Holding a Sacred Viewpoint

When we are overwhelmed, it is difficult in that moment not to get caught in the minutia of life.  Whatever is going on seems to BECOME our life–the whole of it.  Our emotional response can be out of proportion to the events that are occurring.

It is important to be able to step back at any given time and take a “sacred view” of what is going on.

You can ask yourself:

–From a larger perspective, how does this problem or issue factor in to my whole life?

–Are my feelings and response to this situation appropriate given the meaning of the situation in regard to my life?

–How can I be “in this world but not of it”–in other words, participate in it but not be caught in the drama?

–Will I remember this on my deathbed?

When you are caught in a dramatic or fearful moment, take a breath, and remember to hold “a sacred view”!  It will make those difficult times far easier.

Balance Is Key

Do you long to bring greater balance and meaning into your life?

For more than thirty years, I’ve coached thousands of people internationally. And over the years, I’ve found that it really didn’t matter whether my audience consisted of corporate executives, homemakers, physicians, artists—whatever the occupation—people said the same thing. Their lives were overloaded with work and personal responsibilities and they were just playing catch up every day.

Some people felt that their lives were an exhausting effort to maintain safety and security.

And they tried to make the “right” choices so that they could be in control of their days, only to find that control is just an illusion. The reality is that we’re never really “in control” of anything.

You see, no matter how hard they worked at it, how many measures they put in place, how many times they second guessed what might happen, they found they couldn’t really control what was happening in their world.

They worked in part to have health insurance and found that their work itself affected the very quality of their health.

So, really, what I’ve found in my coaching is that most people are looking for some kind of inspiration and understanding that will lead them to create a more meaningful, balanced life.

I’d like to share a true personal story which I’ve referred to over the years as the “Hamster on the Wheel” story! When my children were young, they were staying overnight at my parents’ house. They had a pet hamster that they loved and fed every day, and there was a little wheel in the cage for the hamster to exercise on.

On this fateful Saturday morning, the kids were gone, I woke up, and lo and behold, our poor little hamster, who was only 2 weeks old, had died.

I called the pet shop, and told them what had happened, and they said reassuringly: “Oh, I’m so sorry. But that happens. Sometimes the hamster forgets to get off the wheel, keeps going without stopping, and has a heart attack. Just bring it in and we’ll give you another one.”

Now—you could not have given me a better analogy for my life at that time. Because I was the proverbial hamster on the wheel. I was working fifty-hour weeks, writing a book, parenting my children, and generally just trying to survive my life.

And we all do this: We get on the wheel of life, move rapidly, and sometimes forget to get off and rest, or forget to decide what’s important and what’s not. We burn ourselves out.

So how do we course correct, gain greater understanding, and change our lives into something worth living?

Here are a few tips:

  • First, pay attention to what you’re saying YES and NO to. If your heart’s not in it, you’re not either. I’ve certainly found that out.
  • Second, take a break and gain a little perspective. Fast forward to your 80th birthday. Imagine that you can look back over your life at that point. What would you have wished was your life?
  • Third, does your life reflect the best version of you? Is what you’re doing, your greatest contribution? You see it doesn’t matter whether you’re president of your company or doing a job of manual labor, you have to ask yourself: Is your heart in it and are you doing it well? Is it a contribution that you’re proud of?

And while each of us didn’t come into this world to be Moses, Gandhi, or some great figure, we did come in to be the best version of ourselves.

So, our freedom lies in going backstage in this Life play, challenging the thought that our dramas are pre-recorded, having the courage to challenge our thinking and to rewrite our scripts, and in general, through these new thoughts and more consciously intended actions– to bring new and better experiences into our lives.

Here’s to a mindful week. . . and life!

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