We’ve curated this list of holiday must-haves to help you care of you this holiday…
No matter how children make their way into our arms, we are never the same! I celebrate the blessings of joyful laughter, connection, and moments of ease. At the same time, I am humbled at the messiness of motherhood and how easy it is to lose myself. I know I am not alone.
For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of being a mom. It’s my greatest privilege, adventure, and joy. And also…the dream vs reality has turned out to be one of the biggest initiations of my adult life thus far.
It seems that becoming a mom has my less-than-stellar habits sticking out like a sore thumb, begging for attention. Habits that, before children, I arrogantly ignored with an “I’ll tend to that later” attitude. With the lack of time, space, and privacy for myself it’s like the cry for help was amplified. I found myself sad, lonely, and fighting to find my joy. And worst of all, I knew I was not being the mother or wife I knew I was capable of being.
As mothers collectively, we put our needs on the backburner. And that lack of attention leads to burnout and dims of our light.
What has been amplified for me is my addiction to being busy (which I cultivated for years before motherhood) and the martyrdom archetype that runs in my blood. The journey to go within to find healing for me allowed me to let go of the things I no longer wish to carry and cultivate a new path forward for myself and my family!
- So how do we get in touch with what our needs are as our own person?
- How do we tune in and listen to what our bodies, minds, and hearts are longing and calling for?
- How can we nourish ourselves so that we can be our best and navigate life’s ebbs and flows with grace and presence?
Dear mother, wherever you are, whatever stage you are in on your parenting journey, I wish for you to create time; a moment in your daily life that is yours and yours alone. Let that moment grow and fill up within you. Let that feeling inspire you to build moments into minutes, into an organized amount of time each week or each day, until you recognize just how much power you hold within your body of light and love. I know there are days that you are tired, under-resourced and you feel broken, but I promise you, you are not. Deep within you, you have a fountain of knowing and strength that will lift you up to fight for yourself, especially on your darkest days.
And this is the gift of ritual. Access to this power and passion can be found by carving out time for yourself. Making a habit out of connecting with yourself through a simple act with intention will guide you to call your power back and be present to the magic within you.
Growing up in the church, I found rituals to be very mysterious and holy. I loved singing hymns, the smell of incense, and the sacred ceremonies. My spirit felt alive and magical inside. I still love rituals. They have always been there for me without me knowing it. These routines or daily practices have helped me to stay on course, focused, and connected to my true nature.
As a performing artist, I love the ritual of getting to know the characters I portray, as well as those my castmates and I create before performances. Rituals helped me feel grounded, clear and centered.
When I became a yoga practitioner and teacher, there were so many beautiful mantras, fascinating breathing practices, and delicious movements that helped me lift up my daily intentions to be my best! I feel connected and powerful; my soul resurrected.
Now that I have an awareness and intentionally create rituals in my life, they truly are my lifeline back to myself. I feel connected to the highest, deepest version of myself. It’s my way of taking my soul’s temperature to see how I am feeling. Through these special moments of connection, I am able to make my return to self, to remember who I am, and how I chose to live and be in this world every day.
Below are a few ideas you can play with as you get started on your journey back to yourself. Start by practicing one ritual each week. Chances are you will feel nourished and slowly build up to practicing a ritual daily. Try one at a time or any combination! The important thing is that you try it while being present to how you feel during and after. The rest will unfold.
Simple Rituals for Motherhood :
THREE DEEP BREATHS
The simplest ritual of them all. Come to stillness, close your eyes, and take three deep breaths in and out. Notice how you feel. Repeat as often as you like! Start and/or end your day like this. Breathing with attention centers and calms our body and mind so we can listen within.
Light a candle
Fire purifies and amplifies. Make time to sit alone (I like early mornings or just before I go to bed). Candles help us to settle into the quiet and can inspire our thoughts or inner knowing. Sometimes I am moved to dance, breathe, or journal. Sometimes yoga calls me to the mat. A candle’s magic calls us to go within, so simply giving ourselves permission to light the dang thing and see what comes up can be so simple and satisfying.
Close your eyes, and ask yourself: “How does my body feel today?” Scan from your toes, up your legs, past your hips and shoulders, down your arms, and up to your crown. Listen for the body to call out where attention is needed and make a plan for how to honor your body. Do you need an appointment with a doctor or healer? Do you need to rest or perhaps get yourself moving with yoga or stretching? The body has so much wisdom, if only we take time to notice, listen, and answer the call!
Writing is so cathartic. Try the prompt: “How is my heart today?” Listen to what your heart calls out! Put the pen to the page and allow yourself to answer that question deeply. Journaling is such a special ritual. Be with your heart and allow yourself to feel and write.
At night, lay down in your bed and in your heart and mind celebrate three things you accomplished that day – big or small – then celebrate and love yourself for it. Allow that love and appreciation for yourself to send you into a restful sleep.
Drink water with lemon
Before you connect with the outside world each morning. How simple is that!? Water is cleansing, refreshing, and essential! Before bed, pour a glass of water, squeeze in some lemon, and set it by your bedside so it’s ready, at room temperature, in the morning. When you wake up, take a moment to center yourself, bless the water with your thoughts and intentions for the day – “May I be clear, healthy, and present today” – and drink! You are calling in focus and health and doing something good for your body and mind! Notice how you feel.
Rituals can consist of any activity that connects you with your body, mind, and spirit. And guess what? You can’t do it wrong! You get to choose what, how, and when you practice your ritual.
No matter where you are on your parenting journey, there will be challenges, so tune into what feels EASY and allow yourself to begin. There are no rules to this. If you miss a day, have to practice while holding your baby, or with your kid reading a book next to you quietly (or not quietly), it’s all good! Your children get to learn from you how important it is to make time to be present and quiet! Some days it will feel incredibly magical and some days, done is better than good!