After a busy day of home schooling, starting the day with some work assignments for my Forest School training whilst the kids slept, then taking them out for a morning walk to try and quell the squabbling and bickering which had been yesterday, we got home from their evening swimming club and I faced the kitchen; dinner to cook, dishes to wash, and preparing the activities for tomorrow’s Forest School session. I looked around, all surfaces covered; plates, laundry, the sticky skins of lemons the girls had squeezed to make lemonade with mint from the garden earlier in the day, pots of dry lentils and beans my four year old loves to play with, the calls of the kids from the next room, and I felt truly, utterly beaten.
Beaten, not by the difficult behaviour of my kids, for they are no trouble really, they are lovely, vibrant, busy children, exploring, creating, learning, but beaten by the weight of the everyday overwhelm of everything that it takes to care for kids and run a home. There is just so much to do, always and everyday. And if we as mothers are not very careful, this overwhelm can soon take hold of us, distort our vision, overthrow our hormonal balance and wring the joy clean out of our mothering journey.
Sometimes we have to take a stand against it, against this morass of pressure which builds up within and around ourselves, and which oozes from social media. We have to stand up to it and say ‘no more’. We have to recognize that we are enough. That we are doing enough. That we love and care for our kids more than words can say, and we are doing our very best with the resources we have in each moment.
So let us face that overwhelm, and the voices which accompany it, chastising us, taunting us, reminding us of how we are failing, of how we are not enough, of how we are so much less than. Let us face this. Let us make it stop, and let us remind ourselves, dear, gentle mothers, that we are great. That we are greater, that we are so much greater than the overwhelm which surrounds us.
Rather than trying to run away from it, to shut everyone up, to quickly restore order, walk into the overwhelm, not away from it, walk deeper and deeper into it. And be still. Breathe deeper, deeper than the feelings, the intensity, the drama. As you may have done through labour and birth, taking your breath deeper than the intensity of the experience. Stop, and feel your power. Know you are a Creator. Know that all of this we see before us is of our own creation, and that of those around us. We are powerful creators, we have got this.
Step into the overwhelm, and breathe.
And say to yourself I am here; say to your children I am here.
For the power resides in your words, for when we are here, so fully and completely, with every fibre of our being, we are here, completely alive and in the present moment. And it is from here (and only here), that we are truly powerful and that we can truly affect change.
Look around, breathe deeper than the whole situation, and remind yourself, I am here. Feel this truth deep down in your body, deep in your belly, deep in your womb space.
Awaken to the presence of your power, and the power of your presence.
Allow the stillness to coarse through your veins, allow the spinning and shouting to fade away. Breathe deeper, and bring a sense of stillness to your surroundings.
Feel strength uprising, a strength far greater than the situation, and so capable, so able to hold what needs to be held.
Then feel an awakening in your heart. Feel fierce, pure unconditional love flowing from your heart centre, and feel a softening. As we hold the situation with our power, as we have this, we enable our hearts to open wide and from here we are able to see, once again, with eyes of love, compassion, empathy and understanding.
We have the power to hold, to sort, to connect, to create and re-create.
We remember. We are capable. We are wise.
Gentle mothers, we are so much more than the piles of laundry, the odd socks and diapers, we are so much greater than the unwashed dishes, the sibling squabbles and the feelings of failure which pervade our thoughts when we haven’t been as much, or as good as we hoped we could or should have been.
We are powerful, passionate and loving creators. We hold our children in our hearts, our minds, our arms and our homes. We hold them and tend to them with a love so fierce at times it scares us and shakes us to our core.
Breathe into your power, your love and your fierceness. Breathe deeper than the overwhelm, breathe deeper than whatever creations trouble you just now. Breathe deeper than them all.
And then find your point of stillness.
Connect with your power, connect with your gentle, fierce, pure and loving heart. And look at your kids, yourself and your situation through eyes of love. Feel waves of empathy, understanding and compassion flowing through you. You are love. And so are they. Remind yourself of this.
And now breathe deeper, deep down, all the way, to your place of inner power and indomitable strength. Remember you are as powerful as the Earth. Remember you are a Creator. Remember that you have this. You can do it. You are doing it. And then take a step forward. A step of love, a step of power. For one blazes the way for the other.
You are all of these things gentle mothers; we see you and we need you. Breathe deep, and share your fierceness, gentleness, strength and love with your children and the world. Remember this, we need you.
- Clare Cooper
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Today I want to share with you the truth of it means to parent consciously...because the truth is something different than what many people think...the truth is that this road can hurt and it's time for the truth to be seen, for what it is.
The ugly bits. The ones that many of us woke folk won't talk about...you ready? It will be a bumpy ride...
I grow with and through my children always, but that does not mean that it's easy...
Let me paint you a picture, because I live for the beautiful moments with our children that you see plastered all over:
...picture three brothers playing peacefully with each other. Taking turns and being considerate of one another. Having conversations about something that they heard, saw or learned about. Speaking to the youngest one with so much consideration that any onlooker would be in awe at such a sight. The sounds of laughter and cooperation filling the air...
Yes, this is beautiful and melodic indeed, and often happen in my home...but do you know just how these moments come to be? How we get here, and how this is cultivated through the moments that don't look like this (moment's that happen as well).
Do you know how many days and nights of soul searching there has to be in order for this to come to pass?
How many times I have to go within the depths of myself and darkness to make this happen?
Learning to stay present, in the moments that I want to disconnect from instead. Being present to screams, crying, fighting over toys, implications, and overwhelming toddler screams to make this happen? Over and over again.
The times that I had to stop to question my own programming, conditioning, automatic reactions, hurt, beliefs patterns and stories, to get there...and the reality that this has to happen consistently.
Do you know how many times I had to train my being, to look for the reason why. To tune in and find out their why and purpose, while tuning into and then releasing my judgments? All the while questioning my behavior and learning how to stop my own reactions?
Learning to listen to the feelings of the little one - or really more appropriate in my case "ones" - in front of me, to make the beautiful scene above happen? So that I can input into them what I want them to take versus what I feel.
Learning to see beyond a momentary discomfort into the cause of the problem.
Learning to care less about the thoughts of strangers while I'm out and about with my kids, when my three year old is having a meltdown because he is tired or hungry, so that I can address what he needs instead.
You see, the truth is that being a conscious mama has less to do with the things that people think about when they think conscious or "woke", i.e., crystals, channeling, astrology, tarot, organic, vegan, spells, etc., and more to do with being fully here now, allowing yourself to break wide open, for a deeper understanding, healing and then doing it again. Each time with the promise that what you receive will be a version of you, that is more whole than the last, even though it hurts now.
Being a conscious parent, means willing to face all of those dark parts within, so that you can face the little human that is looking at you without. The same one who is subconsciously poking around at all of those ugly dark parts - and learning how to release the idea of it being their fault or any of the judgments that come with these pokes.
It means, learning to face the shadow, ego, lions, wildness and hurt child within, and dying a million deaths to be the best parent possible for the child that is in front of you right now - with each child requiring his or her own set of action.
Learning to quiet the part of me that wants to run away from the thought of being touched, and learning to soften that for the little one who needs demonstrations of love much more than me needing to be left alone.
As a result teaching me the importance of healing the part who was told that touch during times of high emotions is bad or to be rejected...
It means learning the difference between discipline that builds, from the little voice that is telling you that your voice rules.
It means commitment to following this process through, and then doing it over and over again...through exhaustion, and the feelings of wanting to stop.
So. When I talk about conscious parenting, yup I'm all cosmos, stars and rainbows, but the truth is that the work that is happening is deeper than earth bound, it's work that is connected to the most important thing of all. My being. To that raw open space that wants to run away, and yet can't.
My commitment to this life, and to brining in the next level of 'conscious, woke folk', is bigger than me, and greater than a few tools (although don't get me wrong, I LOVE those tools)...but the truth is that the tools, and life style things, are just the surface - because the practice and action have to be consistent. We have to work on doing those things over and over again. The depths of navigation that is required to bring in people who are aware and free from the past that can bind us, is bigger than these things...and I am committed to the lifestyle and also to helping others understand these things also.
The parents that I have read for, have become instantly transformed through the sessions, but the truth is that there is always something that has to be moved into, with action - something that has to be faced or moved through. An action that we must do, or something that has to be felt...yes, it's a magical process, but it is a process indeed.
Want to schedule a Soul Reading, or learn more about Soulful Guidance Packages?
Till we talk again,
Healing your body, mind and soul after a negative birth experience can be very challenging. Your experiences maybe have you feeling empty, alone, heartbroken or even depressed or traumatised? Maybe you feel like a complete failure, or completely disconnected from your little one? Let me tell you honey, whatever it is you are feeling, it is ok! It is ok, not to be ok! But it is also ok to want to move forward and let go of what no longer serves you.
I have been working with women all around the world, supporting them to heal their (birth)trauma. There are many things we can do to help you move forward to start your healing journey, but most importantly I want you to know is that you are not alone! You are not the only one who is feeling like this and you will get through this. But what can you do? When you feel in such a dark place? Let’s talk about my 3 favourite tips to help you get started;
Tip 1 – listen to your body
What you feel does matter, how you feel also matters, in fact you matter! Start tuning into your body and listen to what it is telling you. Do it right now, just for a minute or 2. I will wait... Close your eyes and feel.
Do you feel angry? Why are you angry? What is behind the anger? Or is it sadness? Or fear? Keep peeling away the layers and keep going until you get to your core. What is it what you need? Do you need to rest? Mourn? Go outside for a walk? Take up some new hobbies? Whatever it is, you need to start giving this to yourself.
Your body can hold onto a traumatic experience, even years after. You can feel this anywhere in your body, but what I see most often is sadness in the chest area, and guilt in the stomach. Our bodies do this, in case something similar happens again, so it can respond quickly right away to keep us safe.
If those feelings aren’t dealt with, it can lead to long-term health problems. That is why it is crucial to make time for yourself each day, to recognise these signs and paying the attention they deserve.
Tip 2 – Do what you love
The next step for you is to start doing what you enjoy again. What did you use to enjoy? Do you still enjoy it? If not, what would you like to start doing? It doesn’t have to cost a lot; it can be as simple as getting out some pen and paper out and making a beautiful drawing. Or maybe make yourself a lovely cup of tea of those tea leaves in the back of your cupboard you have been saving for ‘later’. Your time is now lady, and you need to put yourself first.
I love to use the example of a beautiful rose bush in this case. If the bush doesn’t row right, do we blame the bush? Do we tell the rose how worthless she is? Or do we help her, nurture her, replace her soil, give her water, food and the attention she needs to grow and blossom her beautiful flowers? You need to treat yourself like the beautiful roses! You can’t poor from an empty cup, so start filling it with what you need.
Tip 3 – I am Love
Stop telling yourself that you can’t. I can’t do it, I can’t afford it, I can’t [....] fill in the blank. For the next 4 weeks, I want you to start telling yourself that you can. I can be happy, I can put myself first, I can make that available in my budget. And maybe after those 4 weeks, you want to start saying yourself that “I am happy, I am beautiful, I love you [your name]” when looking into the mirror. Start loving yourself, the good, the bad and everything in between.
You are a beautiful woman and you deserve to be happy.
Susanne Grant is an International Birth & Healing coach and specialises in (Birth) Trauma, PTSD & Body Issues. She supports women all around the world during pregnancy and after birth, providing them with the tools to heal (sexual) abuse & trauma as well as traumatic births. We felt Susanne would be the perfect addition to our website and we asked her to write this beautiful guest blog for you, in which she will share her 3 tips on how to heal birth trauma.
*This image does not belong to Soul Centered Mama. We do not claim any rights to it.
The most powerful thing that a woman can have, in her child rearing years, is a tribe. There. I said it…I remember when my children were all small, the years of four under four…as I like to call it…were some of the hardest years of my life, because these were the years that I was in the thick of it.
All of my children were young. They all needed me all of the time, and I felt that I had very little to give.
I was tired most of that time. I was sleep deprived. I had very little to no help, and everything depended on me. And for a long time, I felt like I was coming apart.
This was the time that I needed the most help, and support and yet, I had none. I was alone most of the time, when I needed sisterhood and community the most…
…because these years, these formative years when our children are younger, the time when their emotional state is created, the foundation for their lives, is when mothers should receive nurturing and caring support, so that they can be as balanced as possible.
But instead the reverse is true. This is the time when a lot of us, are lacking a solid support.
The damage that has been done to motherhood, on many levels, has ensured that we are alone when we need help the most.
A lot of our communities are damaged. The matriarchs of old, are broken, and the tribes that held us up, when it is most needed is no longer available.
Instead what we have is brokenness.
We have competition, we have hurt, we have others protecting their truth onto us.
We have mothers and women who are stuck in loops of pain from the past, who can no longer sustain the village that is needed…and the damage shows.
The pain that is in us, from the loss of tribe and connection, reverberates though us and our children.
It is a loud echo that is felt deeply in the hearts of our collective womanhood.
But today, I proclaim that this is no longer an option.
Today, I state publicly that we need to do better.
Today, I am giving mothers what I needed in those days of four under four.
I am giving you a tribe.
A tribe that listens to you while you heal.
A tribe that helps you when you are down.
A tribe that listens to you, and says "I see you sister.”
A nurturing community.
A sacred space…online. Because many of us, don’t have the option of leaving our children with someone…and mostly because this is the way that is easiest for many to gather - for now...
A space where you can come and learn about the delicacies that is childhood, childhood behavior and how to grow with your child, about yourself and how to release what doesn’t serve you, all while receiving the support of sisterhood.
Support that builds. Support that grows. Support that sees you where you are, and lifts you while you learn about how to be the best mama for your child, understand yourself and them…all while holding you, in a sacred space, while you grow.
Today, I announce that the SCM Sacred Motherhood Tribe, is officially open for enrollment.
It’s time that we come together as a whole and nurture each other where we are. Where we learn to give and receive love, in the ways that we want to give it to our children, while we learn how to be the best mother possible for our children…in the way that we deserve. Sisterhood that builds.
Time to grow from sacred sisterhood that heals…and it all begins Thursday, March 16th.
Do you want to learn more Go here.
P.S. The video for our Empowered Mama Workshop Series, SHADOW is available now! Click here to see.
Soul Mama Blog
Blog to help mamas, on their journey: with the various parts of motherhood and life.