Deepening the conversation about soulful motherhood and the practice of surrender, it is our honor and pleasure to welcome our soul sister Brandy Lewis. Brandy a birth doula, photographer, visionary, and artist with an insatiable passion to create and nurture. She is the owner of Serenity Mama Earth and creator of Gems of the Soil, a line of handmade home and lifestyle goods. She is the mother of two vibrant children, Dorian 5 and Soleil 3, both born gently at home. She currently resides in Stonington, CT with her husband, children, and bountiful hens. Brandy has a deep compassion for others, and is passionate about helping women walk in freedom and abundance. She rocks.
What soul work has mothering entailed for you?
Brandy: Mothering has been, and will continue to be, one of the greatest challenges of my life. When I read over this first question, I thought, “Gosh, what soul work has mothering not entailed for me!” Mothering has called me to the dark recesses of my heart, and required me to mend the many fractures, one by one. Like holding my breath and swimming below to grab up the ring at the bottom of the pool, mothering has required me to dive deep and to constantly remind myself of the ultimate goal. The soul work I feel I’ve benefitted from the most has been journaling, reflection, and seeking wisdom from women who I admire and respect.
What do you see as the greatest gifts of motherhood? Challenges?
Brandy: I am honored that my children chose me to pass through and enter into this world, and I am blown away by the lessons they teach me each and every day. I believe that the greatest gift of motherhood is the opportunity to sow healthy and strong seeds for my children and for my children’s children. The sacred gifts of motherhood are the unconditional love that my children have for me and the adoration with which they look to me. Laughter, giggling, snuggling, swinging, running, playing, and dancing are all great gifts that mothers are so blessed to enjoy. For me, the greatest challenge of motherhood is figuring out how to be the mother that I did not have and being careful not to be the mother I did have. It’s an incredibly difficult endeavor, to break the cycles from generations past.
On the path of motherhood, how does the quality of ‘Surrender’ speak to you?
Brandy: As a woman and mother who is completely determined to make a beautiful and rich life for myself and my family, the act of surrendering often means recognizing that I am not my mother and I am not mothers’ choices. Surrender says to me, look at the chain you have broken and look at the good work you’ve done. I tend to be so very hard on myself, praising my children and not giving myself enough credit for all that I’ve conquered and am conquering. Surrender is about letting go of perfection and control. It is about allowing myself to be present in the here and now. It is about enjoying my existence and enjoying my children’s existence in my arms and sometimes crawling up my back. Surrender is about finding the strength to be weak. It’s about allowing myself the freedom to be spontaneous and to go with the flow. Surrender for me is really about reaping the harvest and celebrating the bounty. Surrender is about rest. It is about trust. It is about hope.
How do you keep the inner flame alive?
Brandy: Keeping the inner flame alive, means taking time to do the things that I was created to do, the things that pour uncontrollably from my being, like painting, singing, and gardening, these are the things that bring me to a state of elation and complete joy.
What word encapsulates your experience of motherhood today?
Brandy: Faith. Motherhood isn’t about getting it right, it’s about being authentic, creative, free, and having loads of faith. In the words of Ann Voskamp, “Motherhood is a hallowed place because children are not commonplace. Co-laboring over the sculpting of souls is a sacred vocation, a humbling privilege.” This quote is one of my mantras.
I will leave you with a song that has been dear to my heart for many years, it’s very touching to me now, as we are coming out of winter. I hope you enjoy.
EVERY SEASON by Nicole Nordeman
Every evening sky
To trace the pattern stars
And early in July
For freedom that is ours
And I notice you
In childrens games
In those who watch them from the shade
Every drop of sun is full of fun and wonder
You are summer
And even when the trees
Have just surrendered
To the harvest time
Forfeiting their leaves
And sending us inside
Still I notice you when change begins
And I am braced for colder winds
I will offer thanks for what has been and what’s to come
You are autumn
And every thing in time
And under heaven
Finally falls asleep
Wrapped in blankets white
And still I notice you when branches crack
And in my breath on frosted glass
Even now in death you open doors for life to enter
You are winter
And every thing that’s new
Has greatly surfaced
Teaching us to breath
And what was frozen through
Is newly purposed
Turning all things green
So it is with you
And how you make me new
With every seasons change
And so it will be
As you are recreating me
Summer Autumn Winter Spring