On May 13 we celebrated Mother’s Day and on June 16 we will celebrate Father’s Day. Experiencing the celebration of Mother’s Day as a new Mom reminded me of the incredibly important work of nurturing human life and the value of that work to our larger society. Unfortunately, carrying babies, birthing babies, breastfeeding babies, caring for babies, raising children and teaching children does not seem to be highly valued in our society. Ironically, parenting offers the greatest return on investment (ROI) value yet commands the least dollar compensation value in our capitalistic society.
Through the practice and wisdom of nurturing, mothers and fathers advance society and the human race. Who we are and who we will become individually and collectively is influenced by the women and men who mother and father us. Motherlove (Fatherlove), as I call it, is the nurturing, sweet and often firm love that guides us through rites of passage, counsels us through disappointments, failures and triumphs and inspires us to fulfill our potential. If you have been blessed to be mothered and/or fathered, I am sure you can recall countless examples of how this love brought you through. A parent’s love is an anchoring love that grounds us.
After my mother passed, I had to learn how to mother myself. It is a practice of Self-love and Self-care. How can one love one’s Self and not take care of one’s Self? Women and men alike are called to parent Self. Even when blessed to still have our mothers and fathers present and vital in our lives, maturity necessitates that we take on the responsibility of caring for Self. Two Self-care practices that can be immediately integrated into daily life are meditation and journaling.
Meditation Taking time to be still allows us to rest our minds and bodies. Silently watching one’s thoughts pass by requires practice. Here’s a simple beginning technique:
Sit comfortably in a chair with your back straight and your feet placed on the floor. Place your hands on your lap with palms facing upward. Breathe deeply and consciously. Close your eyes. Focus on your breath.
Journaling Simply writing down our thoughts is a way to tune into one’s Self. I liken the practice to brainstorming as one simply writes what is coming up inside. Journaling allows for self-expression without judgment.
Wishing you love, peace and joy,