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October 18, 2022

Motherhood and looking deeper

What are your views on motherhood?
My view on motherhood is to let each mother do her best and allow her space to come into her own. It is a tough journey and there are no set rules. The most gifting thing a mother can have is an open space to share without judgment, to be able to break and be vulnerable with love, and rise without being condemned.

I think the other thought is to understand just like in life nothing is under control as is motherhood, it is a journey. And we as mothers are just as much students of life as our children. It is a journey of the unknown learning who we are for each of us. So let this journey be also a memory of not only the journey of our children discovering who they are and how to relate to their own thoughts and emotions. But also about how we as mothers remember who we are and how we relate to our thoughts and emotions, so all of us can make life more joyful, more free, brighter, clearer and wiser.

Heart opener of your choice – What change in the way society looks at a mother can make it better for us?
I think this is a big question but I think learning not to have so many opinions let mothers be and all humans be the way they are a bit more. All of us are washed up shells on a beach, some broken, some rough, different shapes, sizes and jagged. Then the waves of life roll in. If we can find it in us to stay there and let the other pieces of sand, pebbles and shells on the beach jostle us and rub against us and wear us down, our sharp edges will slowly but surely fade. We will become rounded and smooth, we will reflect the light and begin to shine.

It is only human to find others challenging it happens to all of us. But this huge energy sucks and can drain our resources. What I wish for in this world for all mothers, fathers, children, people in general is to learn to like others exactly as they are instead of trying to change or judge or shame. We as humans become better humans when we can sense someone accepting up just as we are. By accepting each other in society without labels, expectations such as have this body, do these 10 things to become the best x, dont do this and do this etc. However, by simply accepting each other as mothers and humans, knowing we are all imperfect learning and growing. We will give each other a chance to move forward with our strengths and a chance to nourish our challenges and become more beautiful whole people and stop the cycle or hurt people hurting people. When we feel assured others accept who we are, it is easier for us to be empathetic and compassionate to others. It makes us want to interact with our surroundings better. As mothers this is pivotal to interact in our surroundings and communities better as it takes a village to raise a child and we need support and compassion as we do it to best navigate motherhood and be our most healthy self.

The practice of yoga made me deal with my struggles. However it wasn’t the physical practice that we show here. I actually attempted on my life in the first year of my physical practice. I didn’t connect my breath to my practice until after that moment. In a visual world the breath is so underrated. In an instant gratification world the breath is also lost to the dreams of ease & quick fixes. However, breath has always been the real essence of yoga & the beginning of feeling, hearing us & working within.

I personally used the practice of handstand to become my motto for my darkness & to breathe. Fall down 7 times, stand up 8. I believed if I could learn to handstand then I could get through the darkness. Because handstands required me to fall a lot, it taught me this was not a failure as long as I got up & tried 1 more time. It was a reminder that I no longer had to believe my every thought. That was my magic & everyone’s. Bringing awareness through our breath is important. Our degree in which we are present affects how we relate to others & ourselves. When we are not present there is always a nagging feeling that something is missing. Therefore it reminded me that my darkness was not a failure or something was missing, as long as I kept working on myself I could learn, find gratitude (contentment) & grow. It allowed me to see all the thoughts I was thinking right now were making me feel bad. Blocking them seemed not possible, just thinking positively seemed like a lie so it was about not fusing to my thoughts & fusing to the present moment instead. My attempt as a desperate 30yr old woman to do a handstand & breathe for a few minutes in Saudi Arabia with a 2 year old would come to mean more to me then I could ever have dreamed of at the time. I didn’t have some grand awakening I just realised while I have thoughts I’m not my thoughts. Thoughts are not the problem in/of themselves. Identifying with them automatically & uncritically is. This is what the untrained mind does. I’m not here to encourage positive thinking or not thinking at all. It is about how we can let go of them.

The biggest lesson motherhood taught you.
Seeing myself through motherhood lens and living for another just like creating art and seeing myself through different lenses of others eyes…It teaches me these things:
-Don’t believe your every thought – we can choose to focus on our breathing and let our awareness rest in our bodies, not unquestioningly believe all the thoughts in our brains that disempower us
-sleep on it, you have often come a long way to do things, maybe you’ll see things differently tomorrow. Nothing lasts, not even difficult times.
-Directing our attention by choosing what we aim it at, is the best possible and only thing we can do when things get really hard.

Living is hard and our thoughts make it even harder. However these three things above have taught me to lean into the heart space of love and kindness and not the fear space of shame and judgment. We are all more than our thoughts, shame and judgment.

Personally it still catches me every time someone wants to judge me for my body or parenting as does my own inner voice of shame and disempowerment. However I am learning more and more, a little distance helps you get your thought processes into perspective (meditation and breathing – mind training). You come to realize other people are dealing with the same things as you, it automatically makes it easier to notice the things we humans share, rather than what divides us.

Regardless of who we are, where we come from and what our history is, we tend to have a lot in common in terms of our inner workings. By admitting that and shining a light on it, we make it easier to stop pretending we are on top of everything. It makes it easier to help each other, to share, to genuinely connect. We can create complimentary connections instead of competitive ones and rejoice in our uniqueness. We can see what is wonderful about other people without taking the next unfortunate step of whispering to ourselves that we are not as good.

I think the most difficult thing to balance since becoming a mother is the world’s voices & my own. So I can come home to me, love myself & my body. So I feel well to care for another with love not fear?
In the first 2 years of my daughter’s birth I hit rock bottom with deep postnatal depression. I suffered prenatal depression due to losing my first child & after my daughter the depression got worse. I ended up failing an attempt on my life.
It was then I discovered the healing of luxuration & sensuality. What does Luxurating mean? luxuriate. greatly enjoy oneself; revel: to thrive: The roses luxuriate in the sunny garden. With feeling my senses, listening to music, exploring sensations through my senses and movement, I found that being home in me and getting out of my head from the pain and finding pleasure was possible again. When we are at ease in ourselves and move with sensuality, we begin to re-build a connection to the core of who we are, through our bodies. We begin to recognize the patterns of social, parental and ancestral conditioning, and how those “rules” have kept us in a box. By choosing to celebrate our bodies, whatever age, shape or condition they are in, and shedding the imposed rules, we start to live our lives with our soul as our guide, and truth as our compass.

One advice you’d give to a mother going through postpartum blues ?
My biggest piece of advice is to reach out and speak to someone. That was the one thing I failed at until it was too late & attempted on my life. After that I realized connection was the key to healing. I personally still struggle to do it when I am suffering. This last week I’ve had gum grafting surgery, haven’t been able to speak properly for a week. Ended up with an abscess because my healing became unusual & am on liquid food. It’s been a week of not fun. These posts you see none of this.

Connection doesn’t mean we have to share everything, it means that we can remember we are not alone & the stories we tell in our heads don’t have to limit us. Truth is: Nobody has a highlight reel life. But the reality here on social media often doesn’t show us that.

Knowing every emotion is part of the journey but if you are getting stuck in one heavy one. I suggest to talk to someone to find support you do not have to go through it alone.

I wrote an article on @elephantjournal
A piece of the article…
Afterward, I struggled with my own isolation. It’s cold, harsh, and it can mess with you. It’s hard to explain that to anyone who’s not experienced it. I felt alone and ashamed for many years.
After this moment, I realised how much of our healing doesn’t come from books or knowledge—nobody is here to save us. No matter how many people love us or how much knowledge we have, until we are able to accept what happens in our life, we cannot utilise anything to rebuild and regain life. I say “rebuild and regain” because the life we had before is nothing like the life we experience after.
But we must rebuild our shattered life and regain it by reconnecting to what is here and now. I learnt that letting go and forgiving did not mean to disregard or gloss over painful or traumatic experiences, but instead to recall them with acceptance and place them into a storyline of personal evolution.

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