"We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit." - ee cummings
What does every mother long for, deep in her heart?
Speaking for myself, I can say that when my kids were little I longed for a weekend morning to sleep in and not have the kids come and wake me up at 6:30 am. I longed for time alone to think my own thoughts, and once I hit menopause the need to get away and was even stronger.
I did give myself permission to get away on retreats and writing workshops for weekends, and once even for a whole week. But more importantly, I began to make time during the week for little moments of reflecting time, journaling or yoga or just listening to quiet inspiring music to soothe my woman's soul.
Once I learned about SoulCollage(R), I began to integrate making card collages and images into my retreat time. These days it's usually a Monday or Friday morning, when I can push aside the emails, phone calls, house errands and laundry to just sit and breathe quietly while I write in my journal or make a collage.
Why do I do this?
My woman's soul is fed by solitude, quiet, and creative journaling, as well as writing down my dreams. I am a very social person with lots of friends and a busy schedule, but once a week, I need to have my time alone, to focus just on me. Sometimes my daily journal only gets a ten minute jot down, but during these mini-retreats I just let myself go and write for longer, or colour in my art journal, making doodles and expressing how I feel today.
This is what today's doodles look like. How I feel, and then How I want to feel.
It feeds my soul, and soothes my agitated mind. It encourages a dialogue between my left and right brain, it helps me understand what I'm feeling. I often find solutions to questions and quandaries I have by the time I've finished writing or drawing.
So for Mother's Day, give yourself a gift - create a time and space for your woman's heart and soul to be nourished.
And if you need help with journaling exercises, there are some great books out there -
Sark has juicy creative stuff at http://planetsark.com/buy-stuff/sark-books/succulent-wild-woman/,
Jennifer Louden has published several books with retreat exercises for women http://jenniferlouden.com/products/books/
and there's some great journaling questions for women at mid-life in my own book, The Tao of Turning Fifty, What Every Woman in Her Forties Needs to Know (free excerpt at www.jenniferboire.com), order on-line.
Happy Mother's Day!
ps check out The Tao of Turning Fifty's page on Facebook