I am a seeker of beauty. My eyes and heart drawn to a blossom in its fullest expression or a snail slowly emerging from its shell. These precious moments are around me all the time; I just need to polish the lens of my heart to see and feel them.
My dear friend Jessica has a true gift for not only seeing these beautiful moments strung together that make our lives, but capturing them in the most extraordinary way. She has agreed to share her words with us each month in our Muse-Letter and I know that you will enjoy them as much as I do. You can find her work here.
This poem was originally published on mothersalwayswrite.com
Just seconds old, a baby noses his way to his mother's breast
the same way a butterfly knows how to unearth a blossom.
A toddler only learns to walk by feeling the many ways of falling.
The heart only knows wholeness after heartbreak shatters one into tiny pieces.
There are millions of paths toward living and loving
but we need not anyone's compass other than our own.
Look what happens when an acorn digs its way
into the earth and dives deep into darkness
despite what the starling claims to know.
Self-Care and Love
Parents are lovingly in service to our children. We offer love as we kiss dimpled hands and cheeks, and as we wipe spit up from our favorite shirt. Still, we give love. When babies grow into toddlers, the love still streams as we patiently sit feeding spoonful after spoonful of nourishing foods, gently wiping the corner of your wee one's mouth. Now in the coldest months, we bundle up our children with woolly and silk layers to warm them as they scamper off to playgardens or playgrounds ... still an act of devotion and love. While giving over our whole hearts, sometimes we forget to give ourselves a little love and nurturing. Some call it self-care, some call it self-love ... and what ever you call it, just call it in. The love and care that you give to your beloved is a bottomless cup of goodness, though sometimes we feel empty.
When parents can experience a feeling of nurturing, we can more easily offer that experience to others. How can we embrace creating a life of unashamed care? Why are we placing such value on over-giving and even martyr-like practices? Isn't it easier to give when we feel abundant rather than depleted?
As parents, we are wired to create space for love. Self-care is one practice for connecting to that divine and endless love.
Self-care is vital and necessary for our well-being and the nurturing of our family. I’ve learned over the years that investing time in myself is an act of self-love. There is nothing wrong with self-love, it's incredibly valuable to model caring for yourself for your child. If you are used to putting other people's needs above your own, it may be time to devote some love to yourself. How can we care for others if we ourselves are not experiencing care?
Our children learn the importance of self-care by living with us, watching us and witnessing our fullness or our exhaustion. Building a practice a self-care, even 10 minutes a day can shift your energy, and return you to center. Imagine when you are completely lost and you turn on your navigation and see that pin drop indicating, "you are here." Self-care is that pin drop on your navigation system. It will look different with each person and their respective needs; we all know the things that bring us back to center ... the tricky part is simply making time in your day.
Embrace self-care as a devotion to you and your family, rather than a task or job. Use the lens of love and warmth to invite the intention to care for yourself each day. Mothers need to be mothered too! One easy thing you can do to practice self-care and self-love is to create some affirmations. Perhaps an affirmation from the part inside that is hurting or most depleted. This one pictured below is from the Bless You Mom self-care cards found on Harmony Rose Wellness. Start your practice with whatever you can, one baby step at a time. I have some suggestions below.
Simple ideas for self-care:
- Herbal foot bath
- Salt scrub for your whole body (or just hands and feet)
- Star gazing
- Kitchen dance party
- Journal writing (set a timer for 15 minutes)
- A DIY facial (cleanse, exfoliate, steam, moisturize)
- Stand-up comedy (in person or stream online)
- Ask someone to give you a massage
- Make (or buy) something decadent, and eat it outside
- Sleep outdoors
- Sit beneath a tree
- Make a cup of your favorite tea and drink it in silence
- Light a candle and relax in the dark
- Write yourself a love note
- Create a gratitude journal
- Take a nap
- Go for a moonlight hike
- Get together with some friends that you love
- Have a meal delivered, my favorite all organic and nourishing service is Sakara, and they are kind enough to offer mothering artists 15% off with code REF_MOTHERINGARTSLOVE15
- Hire a house cleaner
- Unplug at 7 pm every night or even just one night
- Acknowledge yourself every day
- Turn off any sounds (alerts) on your phone
- Turn on your email vacation responder for a weekend
Care for your family by infusing your nourishment with love and thanks by offering gratitude before your dinner.
You can download and print this free 3 page watercolored collection of meal blessings here. Enjoy!
Cultivate your unique art of mothering by joining our Mothering Arts Collective online course. You can join anytime and new content is released each month which aligns with the rhythm of the seasons. Receive thoughtful support getting in touch with what inspires your parenting and what ways you feel nurtured. You will feel more aligned with your heart's wishes and more connected as a family. Best of all, you will have over 100 mamas from all over the world by your side who are engaged, warm and respectful. Click here to learn more and sign up.
Are you a lover of creating community?
Do you believe that the postpartum is a tender time worthy of nurturing and extra support?
Curious about starting a multi-generational mama and baby group in your community?
We are seeking community catalysts who want to be part of the change of how current culture sees and experiences the postpartum year. Our online group leader training begins on February 24th, it is the last session offered at our discounted rate. Click here to learn more and join us, only six spots left!