Eight years ago this month, I made my official transition from maiden to mother, although I have learned since then that I played the role of mother long before giving birth. Those of you who have been in group with me and know my story understand what I mean; for those of you who do not yet know, I am working in earnest to find a way to share the story of my life in a way that is beautiful and honoring of the people I love. It is a slow process, unfolding in its own time. Stay tuned!
My sweet, little love was born in the fall of 2011 and spent the cold, winter months snuggling and settling into our new lives together. The following spring when the sun once again rose over the equator, bringing with it warmer days, I found myself emerging from the beautiful liminal space of the fourth trimester, ready to redefine my new normal. One day during my little one’s nap time, I found myself seated on the floor of my bedroom, rifling through the built-in drawers of my closet, removing articles of clothing one-by-one to be sized up. On one side of me there was one pile of clothes for what pieces got to stay and one pile for everything that had to go.
I had spent the winter months covered head-to-toe in stretchy layers and spit-up. As the days grew longer and warmer it was time to establish the official summer mom wardrobe. It wasn’t about what fit anymore and what didn’t. Rather, I sat there on the floor inspecting the inseam of every pair of shorts and agonizing over appropriate tank-top strap widths. I asked myself a litany of questions, trying on piece after piece. What do moms wear? I’ve heard of mom jeans but what about mom shorts? Do moms even wear shorts? How short is too short? Is there a standard mom inseam? What about sleeveless shirts? Spaghetti straps? Definitely not spaghetti straps… probably… maybe? That sure is a lot of shoulder…
I thought back to the days of high school where every girl regardless of size, shape, height or arm length was sized up against the policies of: NO straps less than three-fingers width and NO shorts that don’t extend past your fingertips. Suddenly I was sixteen again fearing punishment, or worse, humiliation for making the wrong wardrobe choices as a feminine creature. But I wasn’t sixteen; I was a woman who had just ushered new life into the world through the miracle of my feminine body.
I still remember specific articles of clothing I tossed into the donate pile that day: a simple, cotton, cross-back tank (gasp!), a pair of side-zip, magenta shorts (scandalous!), and many more. Although I can look back and laugh about it now, I recognize today that the act of tossing out pieces of clothing I deemed unfit for motherhood was an outward expression of what was going on deep within my psyche on an unconscious level.
When we enter into new roles, crossing over important thresholds, such as when a woman becomes a mother, all of her underground unconscious beliefs around that particular role get activated and begin to be expressed through her. It is as if once the threshold is crossed, the psyche goes back into the files, pulls the ‘mom’ card and starts running a program for all things related to mothering. In the files are images, ideas and ideals she has collected throughout life as well as instinctual aspects she holds as feminine birthright. So much of what is revealed are priceless gems, such as primal birthing and nurturing instincts, mother-speak, and the profound depth of a mother’s love for her child. Much of what is recovered is connected to your experience of your own mother or other important nurturing figures. And then there’s a whole slew of cultural conditioning getting activated to boot: all those covert messages about what mothers should and shouldn’t do, wear, think, feel, act, behave, and so on.
As I sat there sizing up every piece of clothing from what felt like a past life, I didn’t realize that over the coming years, it would not be just shorts and tank tops on the chopping block, but that I would willingly toss out vital pieces of my soul life. All the little quirks and practices I’d picked up along the way of my handmade life that nourished me and brought me vitality: creative projects, time to sit in quiet, collecting big ideas, reading, writing, late night talks with friends whose wells ran as deep as mine, and what it felt like to lose myself on a dance floor, somewhere, anywhere.
The program that activated within me was one that said to me being a good mother meant being selfless. This is the sociocultural soup we’ve been swimming in for far too long: the bogus notion that being a mom, or even a woman for that matter, means having no self. Someway, somehow, I narrowly escaped this preposterous cultural proscription and made it out with my life.
Now, nourishing the self is at the center of everything I do in work, in life, and most importantly, in mothering my two children to help them understand that their most important work in this world is to be themselves. And my number one role as their mother is nourish their essential souls and honor the flowering of their innate genius and the gifts they brought with them into this lifetime.
“TO BE YOURSELF IN A WORLD THAT IS CONSTANTLY TRYING TO MAKE YOU SOMETHING ELSE IS THE GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT.”
RALPH WALDO EMERSON
On October 26th, just in time for Halloween, I’m offering an intimate storytelling of Skeleton Woman, a wise tale written to teach women how to cultivate keen awareness about the forces within and without that work to keep you disconnected from your vital heart-center, how to combat them, and ignite the heart-drumming to call back parts of yourself that may have been buried under the hubbub of tired, outmoded ideas of what it means to be a feminine creature in our time.
We will dig deep in real time as I walk you through identifying where you are in the story right now and how to reach resolution and clarity for bringing the real you back from the dead. (That sounds melodramatic, but it’s that time of year when I get excited to use all manner of creepy quips).
Progress is slow-moving on the airstream, so we will meet at my office at The Paramount on Film Row (details coming later) on October 26th from 6:00-9:00pm. Space is limited and tickets are $44 for a limited time. Click here to reserve your seat before I announce to a wider audience on October 10th!
Our gathering we take place on the evening before the new moon in Scorpio, a time ripe for igniting a deeper connection to your true, wild soul-Self. I so hope to connect with you soon.
In Love, Wildness, and a pinch of spookiness,