I just want to feel wise!
Does anyone else just want to feel they know what the heck they are doing. Is is me or does anyone else feel particularly unstable in their parenting know-how and in life overall. I just want to have that feeling like, Yes, I'm killing this, and by this I mean the mommy situation and adulting in general. Somehow in the midst of all this uncertainty and "unprescedentness," I'd like to at least be winning at being a good parent right now. Sometime in June after the death of George Floyd I felt particularly depleted and unsure of how to parent through social unrest and the anxiety of an unending pandemic. I felt quite isolated and ill equipped to handle parenting during these times. As I was sitting on the floor in my closet relishing in what would undoubtedly be 3 minutes of solitude, I imagined talking with a mom during the civil rights movement and seeking her counsel in how to parent during social unrest. What do you do with the fear of parenting a child of color in this country. What role, if any, did you see yourself and your family playing in this movement. Soon my imagined advisors grew and before I knew it I was imagining myself completely surrounded by some of the strongest mothers I've known and read about through out history and I was in the center of it all. A recipient of the love and grace they had to offer. My own mother has been a wonderful influence in my life, a strong and powerful force whom I rely to shepherd these children but the compassion circle I had imagined for myself was beyond any experience I've had since becoming a mother.
I imagined women of all backgrounds throughout history, sending love, kindness and compassion to me within this circle of compassion. I submitted to that attention. Received it graciously and without hesitation. The kindness I received was not because of anything I did or didn't do but because I existed and am a part of the human experience of motherhood. At that point I realized I could glean that energy anytime I needed it. I am not alone in this motherhood journey. There are flawed , strong, and wise mothers whose wisdom is my wisdom.
Today I continued to elicit the wisdom of those mothers. Mothers whom I know as well as those I respect and look up to as public figures. My ancestors who mothered not just their biological children but the children of their oppressors. I am the descedents of those mothers too. The Mantra I used for this compassion circle are common phrases used during the Metta meditation or "Loving kindness" meditation as it is commonly called. These phrases allow for an openness and freedom for me to openly receive from my circle. For me the phrases:
"May I be at Peace"
"May I be healthy"
"May I be safe"
"May I have ease of heart"
really resonates with me because inviting freedom from drama, disease, fear and hardship gives me a sense that my circle has my back, they want what's best for me and wish me well and success. When I face difficult life situations, I can remember that I am not alone in this, ever, and I have the strength of generations with me always.
This by far was the most transformative practice of the day for me and I'm so glad I started off with it. Today was hella crazy. Today was Day 2 of virtual learning for my rising 5th grader and rising 3rd grader. So many hiccups and opportunities for everyone to absolutely lose it. Instead awareness of the emotional strain and frustrations came to light and although the awareness itself did not change the situation it helped us choose how we wanted to react and respond especially with the kiddos watching and learning how we deal with fustrating situations. Acceptance and awareness was all I could muster during this challenging day today, which upon reflection was totally the wise thing to do. Most of the issues were out of our control anyway. I didn't even get a chance to explore Mind pages (which I found out are called morning pages but I like my variation better) during my retreat time because of all the trouble shooting that had to get done. I did however, do some Mindful reading which involved diving in a bit into the three books I have prioritized for some mindful inspo. I didn't put much of a dent into my reading but what I did do with the compassion meditation as well as my approach to the day was submit to the limits of my knowledge and created space for the wisdom of the ages to pour into my life.
Day two schedule
9:00-9:30 mind pages, 30 minutes of long hand writing of whatever comes to mind
10:00-10:30 Compassion circle meditation
10:30-11 Mindful reading and reflections