June 9, 2009

Day 12 Asking For Help- Babies

There is a womyn named Angela who I barely know, but who I call my friend. We met through an online parenting community some years ago, when I was first having wee ones. I will sheepishly admit that I am not even sure which one it was. This is when I lived deep in the north, where my parenting practices were not understood, and often times not even accepted. My life line to empathy, understanding and friendship came through these online communities. It was an eye opener to me, to meet womyn from all over the world who were parenting consciously. How we could had so much in common and yet sill have such vast differences. I met womyn with 8 children! Womyn who had lived in urban settings their whole lives! Womyn who were devout to a religion whose rules had me reeling! And yet there were things we all shared. A belief that parenting was a conscious endeavour. That children did well when cared for by their parents, that birth was meant to be an honoured sacred event, that breastmilk was babies #1 superfood, and that breastfeeding was ok anywhere and any time. I know one thing we also often had in common was as sense of isolation, each of us for different reasons.

Angela recently told me she wanted to participate in this experiment. She decided to read every blog entry from its conception and commented on most of them. It was a serious example of dedication. I think it took her a whole day! Maybe more. She tells me it fed her soul. I want you to know Angela that it fed mine too. Certainly part of this was the comments, where you spoke of your personal isolation, what you were experiencing, how you were coping...and not coping. What fed me most of all though Angela, is how you showed me that you believe in me, in this project. You showed me that you loved me. This is why I saved Angela’s question till the end. It has become something of a place of honour. I like to end each commitment in a special way.

The question she sent for 12 days journal #57 is, "How do you help yourself to find the spiritual and/or divine in the mundane tasks of life?". This question, coupled with the remembering of how we met, reminded me of those early days of motherhood. Looking at motherhood as a spiritual calling was what got me through it. Being a mom is the toughest job I have EVER had, it is mentally, physically and spiritually exhausting, well I should say it WAS. Now that my kids are grown up a little mothering is easier. I get to sleep, my body is no longer a source of nourishment so I am physically stronger and less depleted. I am not constantly redirecting and explaining “why”, so mentally I am clearer. I don’t regret ANY of it, in fact I am PROUD AS HELL of the way I choose to raise my children, but I do admit that there were times it was “mundane”. I can tell you that I consider a day at the playground to be a special form of torture, complete with parental politics, and the constant “will you push me”. I look at mothers with small children now and wonder how did I make the mundane spiritual. The answer is love.

Love of anything takes it from the mundane to meditation. I have no doubt that, despite the nausea which accompanies the idea of having another child, when the little critter began squirming round my belly and kicking me in the ribs, I would once again rise to the occasion with gratitude. Love is absolutely transformative. I know because I have seen this in my life and the lives of others, time and time again. This project, though on a grand scheme is very exciting, can be mundane. Writing EVERYDAY can be mundane. Making journals is most DEFINITELY mundane! It is the love that I get from people who tell me what a difference I am making, it is the love I feel from Angela who is so excited by what I am doing, it is the love of watching the look in someone’s eye when being given a journal which makes this a year long mystical meditation. The project is my baby, I nourish it, I nurture it and oh how I love it, even when it keeps me up at night screaming to be fed!

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Bernice! Here's my answer to the question:

    Learning how to live in the moment helped considerably. When something mundane struck me as something deeper, I would let it pass without really taking a moment, THAT moment, to really savor and appreciate it. The more I started doing that, the more I started seeing the divine in the little day-to-day things. I would see how someone else was affected positively by me being kind to them. I would see how much happier my kids would be after I did something that seemed like a small, "of course I do this for them, they're my kids!" thing, and realized that, to them, it WASN'T small at all. I started noticing how much I was meeting another person's need just by taking a moment to listen, really listen, to what they were trying to say, and letting them know that they were genuinely HEARD. These are all things that help me find and discover the spiritual and divine and connectedness of everything and everybody. It helps to keep the blinders off. :-)