09 May Motherhood as Spiritual Practice Bootcamp
In the last year that I’ve been intensively mothering, one of many things that I had to let slide was my spiritual practice. There was once a time, long, long ago (haha) when I would spend the early hours of the morning in blissful silence, walking to meet the sunrise at the beach, meditating and journaling peacefully and crafting up my monthly personal altar. This sacred alone time was my secret weapon for navigating emotions and giving myself time and space to heal and listen to my inner guidance.
*cue scratched record sound*
Then along came kids.
After my first baby, it was still possible to maintain a spiritual practice most of the time. But once number two arrived, forget about it!
A whole year passed and I did not
- Do any yoga
- Intentionally work with the lunar cycle
- Take up my personal altar practice
- Crack open a journal of any kind.
- Heck, I didn’t even consult oracle cards for guidance.
For a while, I gave myself a hard time for not ‘being consistent’, for not ‘doing the work’. For not giving up some sacred alone time (after the kids were asleep) to GO THE HELL TO BED so I could actually function.
Yet when I managed to dig a bit deeper, underneath this was a fear that I’d be left behind in this next wave of consciousness shifting magic that is happening right now, like some poor, lonely sailor-lady stranded at sea.
Thankfully I managed to find some self-compassion in amongst it all, which was when I realised this important fact:
MOTHERHOOD IS SPIRITUAL PRACTICE BOOTCAMP.
I may not have journalled or clarified new moon intentions once in a whole year, but I sure as hell took a ZILLION deep breaths to stop myself from shouting or reacting to my family in an unconscious, conditioned way. (I didn’t always succeed, but I tried)!
It’s true. I wrote a book about my personal altar practice then completely abandoned it in favour of, you know, survival! But you can bet I was present in countless moments where deep and uncomfortable emotions threatened to overwhelm me.
And it won’t surprise you that I did not sustain a regular meditation practice with a new baby in the house, right? (pfft, I mean REALLY!) But I did moment to moment, meet many hideous thoughts with awareness and courage. I even managed to shut down a few. (And I meditated when I could without falling to sleep).
In a moment of questioning one day, I asked myself:
How do I need to change to be the mother/partner/woman I want to be?
The answer I received?
You don’t change. You EXPAND.
You get BIGGER to hold it ALL.
I felt and saw my energy field effortlessly stretch out in all directions to cradle the demands I found myself facing.
- The precious new babe struggling with digestive and sleep issues
- His older sister needing constant reassurance that she is still loved and important
- The grieving partner learning to live with the loss of his mentor and father.
- Sleep deprivation x 1000
- And all of my own shadowy stuff splattered across the wall like the mythic contents of Pandora’s box.
And if that’s not an act of personal and spiritual practice in motion, then I don’t know what is.