Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mothering as creative, Connecting to the sacred feminine

Review of Mothering from Your Center, Tami Lynn Kent

Reading this book was a wonderful confirmation of my own mothering experience.

Eventually, every mother is torn between two things – and following the rhythm of her children and babies, and having her own time and space to work on any creative projects or work. Author Tami Lynn Kent has found a way to combine the two, by energetically getting in touch with her creative center, and surrendering to that flow. She is a women’s health physical therapist, energy worker and writer, with three boys and lots of practical experience with finding balance in home life.

In her first book, The Wild Feminine, Tami Kent provided visualizations of the pelvic bowl, as she calls it, and stories of her healing work with women’s pelvic traumas, as well as an exploration of the feminine energy system. This new book goes along the same lines, but especially addresses pregnancy, birth and mothering. She focuses on the pelvic bowl as the place of both physical and creative space where we “gestate and birth our creations”.

Kent calls mothering an epic journey, a spiritual quest, a ‘sacred process akin to the soul journeys of a shaman”.  And we mothers know that it calls up all our strength and courage, and pushes all our buttons too.  What I love best about this book are the practical tools offered, the know-how to restore a connection to the feminine center, and discover how to mother from a centered place. I especially enjoyed the visualizations and energy medicine exercises.  It’s so good to learn that mothering can be energizing rather than depleting.  That’s a message I wish I had read before setting out on the journey to mothering.

I have always known that as mother I am the center, the hearth, the tuning fork for the rest of the family. Tending to my own center and balance, however, demands time and patience. For example, Kent advises women get more rest during the first few weeks of postpartum time right after birth. Let the housework go, or hire help and see how close to home you can stay, as if on retreat. There is a big self-care component in this book – an honouring of the reality of being mother. Most days it is hard, physical work, and emotionally draining. Tami is not prescriptive, however, and leaves it up to the reader to make decisions from the wisdom of her center – about things like sharing a family bed, nursing vs bottles, and replenishing the well. There is no one right way of doing things. 

I know this book could have helped me negotiate a smoother transition between time for me and time for my babies, without feeling guilty or resentful, and without feeling the constant need to be ‘busy’. As the author rightly says, the challenge is that we don’t know how to slow down and follow our own inner rhythm, especially for those mothers who may be staying home for the first time after working at an outside job. Sometimes we keep over-busy to avoid our sad and mad feelings.  Kent chose not to return to work outside the home right away, as did I, because as she says, “My child had called me back to my center, and from the center I eventually wove a life and work-family balance that would support us.”  There are lots of great chapters like “Taking care of You: A Loving Daily Practice” with self-care rituals as simple as drinking a cup of tea without being interrupted, resisting the urge to multi-task and letting the kids sit quietly or play nearby until her tea is finished.

This book addresses all women, those who haven’t birthed a child, those who co-mother or are step-mothers and adoptive mothers. Any woman who wants to reconnect to her Creative Core and her feminine self, find the energy connection with her child and strengthen it, will benefit from reading this book.

“When in the midst of a challenging mothering moment, instead of reacting to what is happening, I focus on finding my center and feeling my feet on the ground. I breathe deeply into my connection to the earth and bring more flow into my root…From there, I may be able to better comfort my child, deflate a conflict by taking a different approach, or engage the situation in an entirely new matter.”

Wouldn't any woman want to learn that? Ultimately, a woman needs to connect with her own body and inner guidance. To learn how to mother from the potential of her own center.

Read this book!

Youtube:  Video with Tami Lynn Kent                                                                        

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