Here begins our second year of blogging at Mothering with Soul. We are shaking things up a bit to bring in new voices and different perspectives. Each month we will draw a card that will guide our online conversations about soulful motherhood both here and on facebook. This month, the theme is Surrender.
When we first sat down to identify which attributes spoke most strongly to the experience of motherhood, Surrender topped the list and River was the first card that we wrote. Today, as in every day, I have ample opportunity to practice going with the flow. From giving up precious hours of work due to kids being at home for an unexpected snow day to chatting with a friend about the heartbreak of miscarriage, motherhood teaches that we are not in control; we must fall in love with the art of improvisation and learn to find beauty in the unexpected.
I have read several interviews with Benh Zeitlin, the director of Beasts of the Southern Wild (an absolute a must see!), where he talks about creating a film around water, children and animals—the three chaotic elements that Hollywood ardently avoids. “Water, children and animals are things that fight against the perfect thing that you imagine,” Zeitlin explains. “They blow up your plans and the water moves in the opposite direction you’re going and the child runs in the opposite direction.” Yet, is it not the imperfections and process of improvisation that convey the sacred through mystery and magic?
We mamas have the impossible task of trying to “direct” this spontaneous performance moment by moment. We cannot resist it. We cannot control it. We must ride the current and trust ourselves. Like giving birth again and again, we have to find the courage surrender to something greater than ourselves.
This surrender is exhausting if we are trying to take care of everyone and everything in the process. So, my invitation to you is to practice by allowing your self some space to completely let go. When I was at a recent Sacred Pregnancy retreat (another absolute must do!) we did an exercise where we allowed another woman to cradle us, just like we cradle our babes. It was incredible to feel the release of not having to hold it all. The tears flowed and this softening stayed with me for days. Do this for your sisters, and ask a sister (mother, partner) to do this for you! In order to surrender, we need to trust that we will be held.