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My friend once went to a Buddhist retreat where she was instructed to do an exercise where she silently repeated the mantra ‘my poor mother’ over and over.
When she recited her experience to me, I wasn’t sure how relevant it was. However lately, as I’ve been reflecting on some of the repetitive blocks that come up for coaching clients, it consistently amazes me how many of us are carrying childhood beliefs from our mothers about who we are ‘supposed’ to be as women.
Women have come a long way in the last 2 generations. My poor mother didn’t have the educational opportunities that were available to me when I left school. Teaching, nursing or post office work… they were the norm back then. My poor mother didn’t have the opportunities that I now have, to work from home whilst raising children, to create my own shifts in my business and to be a self-determined woman.
Whilst I hesitate to use the word ‘poor’ to describe anyone, as it implies a victim status, the word itself becomes quite meaningless when it is repeated over and over. Overall however, the mantra has the effect of softening and opening compassion and supporting forgiveness. So many of my clients still struggle with their self-identity beliefs which were formed from a generation of women who didn’t have the luxuries that we take for granted. Amongst these beliefs, I’ve heard- ‘find a good husband and you won’t ever have to work’ and ‘be a good girl and always defer to others’ and ‘it’s ugly for a nice girl to get angry.’ What happens when the husband disappears or never shows up? What happens when you need to stand up for yourself? What happens when anger is appropriate in order to change an injustice? How do we forgive and move on from those limiting beliefs about who we are meant to be as quickly as possible?
Imagine what the world would look like if more women were brave enough to own their worth 100% and to demand equal wages to men? (The latest ABS statistics show a 20% gender gap still exists in my local area). Imagine if good girls were the ones who felt the courage to speak up against injustices and listened to their intuition? Imagine if nice girls were the ones who were able to stand their ground in fierce feminine conviction, without having to become masculine, to step into more powerful positions in politics, medicine, finance and business? Imagine what the world would look like if mothers were granted flexible working hours to care for their children, family friendly policies were the norm and motherhood was revered as the most valuable profession for the sustainability of our future as a species and for planet earth?
I know that as soon as the role of mothers is revered to the level that it should be, that they are the first ones to give back to areas that need it. Mothers are the ones whose hearts are broken open by the cracks in the world that they are bringing their children into. Childless mothers, step mothers, adoptive mothers and foster mothers are included here. We all carry the mother within us. The healthy, well-adjusted conscious mother will always make choices in alignment with co-creation, sustainability and gentle loving care. Your poor inner mother needs some TLC as much as your inner child for you to step into being that beacon of possibility who inspires other women.
Go easy on your mother.
Go easy on the mother whose crying baby is keeping you awake on the plane trip. She’s more exhausted than you know.
Go easy on the mother who is struggling with her groceries while her child has a tantrum. She’s more tired and weary than you can fathom (unless you’ve truly been there).
Go easy on the mother who is fighting to keep a roof over her children’s head while she looks for childcare. She is the one who should be given priority status, not treated like a burden. (After renting and having to move 9 times in 9 years, I’m afraid I know this one all too well).
Go easy on your mother, she did what she could to get through the sometimes harrowing experience of motherhood. She didn’t realise that she was ‘imprinting’ those beliefs upon you, so choose to uplevel them now.
Go easy on the mother who never gave birth to children, but mothers everyone around her. She needs your acknowledgement too.
What other ways would you like to honour your mother so that you can become the fullest expression of womanhood possible? What do you need to forgive and forget? What do you need to release and replace?
I believe that your inner mother is wise and creatively rich and fertile and pregnant with possibilities for your life. If she is limited by your beliefs in any way, she won’t thrive to the level she is capable of. You’ll feel tired, restricted, contracted. Stay in touch with her and keep her fed up and nurtured and loved up and you’ll never be short of possibilities springing forth from within.
p.s. If you’re a busy mother who is running a service-based business and you’re looking for a coach who understands what it means to run a business alongside motherhood, I’d love to chat with you. I run my successful coaching business alongside being a single parent to my 2 sons. I know what it takes to juggle the endless tasks of parenting and I know what it means to be a committed parent whilst still treating your business seriously and achieving outstanding results (and abundance) as a coach, healer, therapist.