3-Minute Meditation: Mothering the Monsters
Motherhood is blowing me away.
It has so far been a bizarre ride. I've had moments when I thought my breast pump was mocking me. I've been so absent-minded that I've gone miles in the wrong direction down the highway. I've developed relationships with both of my breasts, noticing and respecting their differences (the right one is a humble hard worker while the left one is slightly showy but a born leader). I've had the lunacy of anger about things I can't control like shots and formula. I've shaken with fear when my baby bumped his head. I've been so insecure about my ability to do simple things like buckle a carseat and change a diaper. It's the most of the most of any challenge.
In one way I am a pro: I am an excellent burper. Actually I don't know if it's Lyle who is a good burper of if I am a good burper, but since it's hard to tell right now, I will credit his burps that sound like an overweight, 57-year-old man's burps to myself. A confidence boost for me.
I have gotten to be this way through blending several tips and techniques the women in my life have shared with me. I have so combined their words of wisdom into one whammy of a burping process which leads to one Grammy of a burp from my bebe.
My sister-in-law can burp with the best of them too. She taught me to move up the back from low back to shoulders to help the air to exit the belly (she just had her third child and is partner at a law firm: incredible). My grandmother says to cup my hand to create a bigger, but also soft vibration through the baby's body (she had six children and worked as a full-time nurse: amazing). I got other tips from strong women in my life. Let us now praise these strong women: my mother-in-law (who lovingly raised three children and nursed one of them out of cancer), her mother (who raised 5 children on a farm), my other grandmother (is the most beatific and saintly in her unselfishness), my other sister-in-law (who is the heart of her family and such a hard worker), my other sister-in-law (who is raising my nephew, starting a business, and working as a special education teacher). Not to mention my aunt and cousins, who all care for their children and grandchildren with such attention and joy--born mothers. Or my other aunt who raised her girls. moving back and forth between two countries. Or my son's babysitter who has seen hardship like I will never know and brought up three beautiful, smart children in rural Mississippi.
I can never mope or mock any part of motherhood.
Not all mothers are biological. There is a spirit that can be touched without birthing. The mothering spirit is an accepting, nurturing, unconditional spirit of embrace.
Introducing monsters: scared or painful thoughts and emotions. Pain or fear within. Fearful thoughts and painful emotions. These things may be considered our monsters but really are just little parts of ourselves screaming or even murmuring in fear or pain, little babies of negativity that need to be held. This is meditation is tiny and is meant to be done during moments of sharp or dull pain, fear, or doubt.
The point is to accept and even embrace negativity, to pay attention to it without thinking about it or repressing it down. To hold your dark parts until they calm down and transmute into the nurturing love itself.
Mother your monsters meditation:
1. Settle in. Pay attention to your breath. First, say a prayer for all the mothers you have ever known and not known, biological or not. Like me, you probably have a plethora to tap into. And as you pay attention to your breath, feel their power, confidence and love. Garner their energies for guidance and strength in the next part. This will take up the first minute. If this for you seems too weird, imagine that we are flowers on the same huge branch, on the same powerful tree. Maybe this image will help:
2. Second minute: we go into the body and become sensitive to any negative sensations there. Where do you feel it? Heart, belly, solar plexus, throat? Wherever the pain or fear or contraction is, go there and bring compassion to it. Act as if you are the mother and it is a crying, scared baby in pain. Wrap figurative arms of light around the emotion, the negative energy and hold it there until it calms and transmutes into the nurturing light with which you wrap it. Stay with it for as long as it takes. This might take more than a minute. It is very important so stay with it.
3. Third minute: Once the mothering compassion has held the emotion of the body, we go into the mind now. Bring your mothering light into the mind and notice any judgmental, angry, sad voices. Any negative voices at all. When you see or hear one, wrap your mothering, comforting, compassionate light around those thoughts. Those thoughts are fearful and doubting. It is an only an energy that needs to be loved and assured. Stay with it until those thoughts also either go away or are changed into the mothering attention.
Holding negativity in the mind or body, and feeling it, is a way to transcend and go higher. I hope this is helpful to you.
Until then, gracias to the beautiful, strong mothers out there! You are the light of the world! And an inspiration to me.