Earth Lessons for Mindful Mothering

Before a woman even becomes a mother she is bombarded with ideas of what a successful mother does. From the well-intended suggestion from a loving family member, to the intrusive assertion of a strangers opinion in the grocery store, to the contradicting articles and latest medical publications, mothers (and moms-to-be) are unable to escape this continuous flow of seemingly expert opinions. With the temptation to Google any feelings of uncertainty on top of everything else, it doesn’t take long for a new mama’s intuitive sense of knowing to become overwhelmed and lost among the clutter of external input.

I recently saw a few questions posted in a local social media “mom group” that made me sigh, remembering those days of early motherhood. I remember feeling unsure of whether she was getting her needs met and the frequent “what is this and is this normal?” questions. With our phones in our pocket or diaper bag, we don’t pause long enough to hear our intuitive answer to our concerns… instead we’re already scrambling to search for the answers. Not only are we outsourcing what can frequently be found within, we’re also supplying ourselves with dozens of potentially contradicting and often unreliable stories that foster anxiety and worry instead of supporting peace and self-confidence. On one single question posted within this mom group, there were over 25 different responses… complete with a few horror stories of worst-case scenarios.

So how do we foster the shift from outsourcing with anxiety to empowering from within? By reconnecting with our innate sense and ability to mother mindfully, and remembering that our intuition exists for a reason! The more we internalize the lessons our earth provides us, the better we can feel knowing that we are a part of nature. Like mothers of the natural world we can provide care that not only keeps our little ones healthy and safe, but encourages them to learn through awareness and exploration. Here are five helpful tips from Mother Earth for mamas seeking to raise their young’ns more mindfully:

  • Mother knows best. While it’s our responsibility to be knowledgeable of our child’s basic needs and development, your intuition (your inner sense of knowing) is your greatest resource. You, and sometimes only you, are aware when something feels off or you feel in complete misalignment with how someone else chooses to interact with your child. Just as a wild animal knows when and how to protect their young, you do as well. Trust yourself… more than Grandma, more than your neighbor, and certainly more than Suzie McFacebook Motherhood Expert.
  • Believe in your natural mothering abilities! If the mama squirrel in your backyard can keep her babies alive and well, so can you. It is deeply ingrained within us to know how to keep our young growing healthy and happy… now it’s time to stop doubting yourself! Practice daily affirmations such as “I am confident in my mothering abilities” or “I trust in my powerful mother’s intuition” or “My inner sense of knowing is natural and strong”.
  • Follow your pet’s example. Notice how your family furball stretches slowly and deeply upon waking, and rests when tired. Simple self care can be overlooked when caring for your little human(s) so listen to your body’s needs and hydrate well, stretch often, and rest when you’re able.
  • Let them learn through exploration. Stress less about curriculum, reciting the ABC’s, or writing their name and allow them to learn the way nature intended by exploring what excites them. Follow the fun and find a way to weave your intended lessons into their interest or open yourself to the new opportunities for learning you may stumble upon by accident… as those are often even more exciting!
  • When all else fails, return to our home of the great outdoors. Feeling overwhelmed and anxious? Wrap that baby to your chest and take a walk outside. Toddler full of tantrums today? Play in the forest together. Stressing about your teens choices? Go for a nature walk together and genuinely connect with one another. The most fulfilling family experiences and much needed peacefulness can be found among the wisest of our mothering elders, Mother Nature herself.

What lessons of motherhood has the natural world taught you? We’d love to hear them below!

13 Ways to Empower Your Divine Feminine

Envision a confident, radiant woman walking down the street. Head held high, she has a peaceful smile on her face, sure of her worth and fulfilled by her pursuit of what sparks joy within her heart.

Did you picture yourself? Or feel as though she is a future version of you just around the corner? Perhaps you feel so disconnected from the woman described that she feels more like someone else than anything you can bring into reality…

Friend, let me tell you-

That confident and empowered woman is more like you than you think. We all hold within ourselves a connection with the Divine feminine energy. In order to achieve balance within our life, we also must seek to balance our masculine and feminine energies. Think yin and yang, the sun and the moon… different and unique but two parts of the same whole. Our culture that is still working to rebalance the oppression of the Divine Feminine, and it is up to US to be a part of that movement by healing, exploring and standing up fully in our own expression of this beautiful component of Self! So how do we do this?

Here are thirteen ways to empower your Divine feminine energy:

  1. 1) Honor your intuition
    1. The feminine side is intuitive. Ever notice how mothers often know things they have no logical way of knowing… or can sense an unsafe situation before given practical clues as to why? This is due to what we often call a “gut feeling”, our intuition speaking. Honor your intuition by following those little nudges. Intentionally ask your intuition what it’s telling you before making a decision and give it gratitude for steering you on the right path when you listen to it’s signals.
  2. 2) Move your body joyfully
    1. The energy of femininity is fluid and graceful. Tap into the healing power of movement by dancing in circular motions (think hip and chest circles!) to awaken this energy and express your emotions through moving your body in a way that is fun and playful to YOU.
  3. 3) Make time for mindful stillness
    1. Setting aside time for peaceful meditation or prayer honors the introspective and receptive traits of the Divine feminine. Allowing our busy mind chatter to quiet and exploring our own emotions and inner workings is a time for self healing and growth that cannot be reached by continually seeking outside yourself.
  4. 4) Practice empathy
    1. The Divine feminine is empathetic, seeking to fully understand the emotions of others. Through deeper understanding we are able to love and serve in a more sincere way, unique to the individual on the other end. Whenever frustrated or annoyed with the behavior of another, seek first to understand what has shaped their behavior and the emotions they may be experiencing.
  5. 5) Express yourself creatively
    1. The Divine feminine is not only what births new life into being in a physical sense… it is also responsible for creativity and the flow of new creations! Pick an art form you enjoy and express yourself. Write, dance, paint, design, or have fun with that art project you’ve been thinking about forever and have yet to do.
  6. 6) Connect and spend time with your soul tribe
    1. We’ve all heard that it takes a village to raise a child, but did you know it also takes one to support the mama of that child? Reflect upon the connections you’ve built and whether the people you spend the most time with align with how you want to life your life. Are they mirroring the love, acceptance, and inspiration you are putting our into the world or is their presence full of complaints, judgement and negativity? Do you feel supported and uplifted after spending time together or drained and emotionally exhausted? If the answer is the latter… first assess the energy YOU are contributing to these relationships and then work to BE the type of person you wish to attract. Raise your vibe and like a magnet you’ll attract your soul tribe!
  7. 7) Practice self love
    1. Divine feminine pours out love to others, freely and openly. You are likely already doing so with your family and loved ones… but do you give yourself the same nurturing love you give to others? It isn’t uncommon for woman (mamas especially) to serve themselves last. By only giving yourself whatever is leftover- which often isn’t much- you are depleting your ability to serve fully. Only by filling our own cup fully can we allow it to free flow over to those around us.
  8. 8) Set and enforce clear boundaries
    1. As the giving, nurturing, and tender-hearted energy, it is important to honor those traits by setting boundaries that respect them. Set the standard for how others treat you by the boundaries you set and behaviors you allow in your life.
  9. 9) Remember that your pleasure matters
    1. In both a G and R rated sense… your pleasure matters! Explore what makes you feel good in life and between the sheets and do more of it! By welcoming more pure bliss and pleasure into your existence you will boost your self-confidence, immune system, and sense of self-worth.
  10. 10) Consume mindfully
    1. Remember that what you consume affects your energy. Does what you’re eating fuel your body lovingly and support wellness? Is the media you choose to consume filled with uplifting messages of self love and acceptance or a narrow vision of what femininity looks like? Are shows and movies balanced energetically or do they have an underlying message that is disempowering or disrespectful to the Divine feminine?
  11. 11) Allow yourself to be vulnerable
    1. Vulnerability takes courage and strength. Taking opportunities to be vulnerable in a way that still respects your boundaries invites a deeper sense of connection, healing, and growth. Taking our walls down to open up to others invites them to do the same… leading to a connection far more valuable.
  12. 12) Seek spiritual support
    1. Remember that you are not alone! Seek the spiritual support of ancestors and holy women who’ve come before and learn from their embodiment of the Divine feminine. Not only can we connect and receive support from our spiritual team no longer present in the physical, but we can also receive healing and guidance from connections here in our human form through spiritual healers and teachers.
  13. 13) Give gratitude for the Divine masculine
    1. As we focus our attention on connecting with the Divine feminine, it is important to remember that which provides balance to it! Give gratitude for the Divine masculine within us and in our relationships, as this energy of protection, assertiveness, logic, and action is the yang to our yin and the sun to our moon.

Which of these techniques resonates most strongly with you? Let’s here them below!

Motherhood, Misogyny, & the Death of RBG

Motherhood, Misogyny, & the Death of RBG

As I slowly sank to the bed while folding laundry upon it, my soon-to-be three year old halted her enthusiastic attempts to help me and carefully observed my face. “Are you sad, Mommy? Why are you sad?”. I took a deep breath as tears rolled down my face. How should I respond to my emotionally perceptive little toddler with honesty and gentleness? “Yes, Mommy is sad. A lady… an important lady who did some great things died tonight. She worked really hard so that you and Mommy and lots of other girls can have a chance to be anything they want to be in this life.”

She accepted this response with a nod, wiped the tear from my cheek, and recommended that I have a snack and take a nap and that would make me feel better. I smiled at her innocent kindness (and valid suggestion) and began processing my thoughts. Why was I feeling so deeply emotional about the death of a woman that I never met and whose life I knew little of? I pondered the most influential moments and words of the Notorious RBG.

“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

As with many young girls, I was raised to be “nice” and respectful. Elders were to be obeyed and male figures were the standard symbol of authority from my own traditional family to Sunday mass and every elementary and middle school principal I’d had. I quickly learned that it made less waves to stay quiet if your beliefs differed from those around you, especially male voices. I considered the experiences that may have been different had I understood that I held within me the same strength and power as Ruth to affect change. We are presented with a choice of mourning her death and fearing the uncertainty of the future, or coming together and committing ourselves to living out her legacy through our actions. What if…

When, as young girls, we are encouraged to tame our wild in favor of keeping ourselves pretty and presentable, we indignantly say… “I dissent.”

When we are taught that we are only capable of certain jobs or careers, or should forget these pursuits altogether if we decide to have a family we do them anyway and say… “I dissent.”

When we are sexually objectified and pursued without permission, we ignore the habit of being nice to stand strong and say… “I dissent.”

When harassed or expected to “lighten up” and accept inappropriate and demeaning jokes, we refuse to smile politely and instead say… “I dissent.”

When discriminated against in the workplace or made to feel shame for your unique way of balancing your personal goals and personal life, we say… “I dissent.”

When overlooked in areas of leadership in favor of a masculine presence, we demonstrate our soft strength and pave our own way of leading as we say… “I dissent.”

When we recognize unequal, unjustified, or blatantly hateful behavior being practiced toward any person or group we stand with them in love and say… “I dissent.”

When those who govern our beloved country do so without empathy, justice, or respect for their female constituents, we take to the polls and say… “I dissent.”

When told to dim our feminine light for the comfort of those uncomfortable with their own, we shine anyway and say… “I dissent.”

When encouraged by society to raise our daughters according to outdated practices and limiting belief systems, we break these barriers to mother with kindness and confidence as we say… “I dissent.”

And when our brothers on this earth are presented with the opportunity to maintain the status quo instead of fighting for their fellow women… their wives, their mothers, their sisters, and daughters, they feel empowered to stand with us and say… “I dissent.”

Imagine what a beautiful world this would be. Now let us join together in creating this world for ourselves, our sons, and our daughters… one step at a time. We hold inside ourselves the power to rise up, wipe our tears, and continue her mission together.