Mother’s Day is about celebrating the idea of love, support and nurturance. What would it look like to turn those qualities back in on yourself?
It’s nearly Mother’s Day. The brunch reservations have been made. The flowers have been ordered. Special surprises lie in wait. For some, plans to reflect in private, quiet ways are the order of the day.
But whether we are celebrating our mothers, being celebrated as mothers, missing our mothers or reflecting on how mothering has shaped and affected us, there is one question we can all benefit from at this time of year.
What is the mothering that I need right now in my life? How can I be that mother to myself?
1) Be There for Yourself
When I am struggling with big emotions, I remember a lesson from the Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh: “You calm your feeling just by being with it, like a mother tenderly holding her crying baby…. A mother holding her baby is one with her baby. If the mother is thinking of other things, the baby will not calm down. The mother has to put aside other things and just hold her baby. So, don't avoid your feeling. Don't say, ‘You are not important. You are only a feeling.’ Come and be one with it. You can say, ‘Breathing out, I calm my fear.’”
2) Let Yourself Play
In her list of ways to self-mother, the author Karen Maezen Miller includes several that highlight the sense of fun a mother can provide her child: “Take a bath and splash,” “Laugh at yourself,” “Encourage yourself to go outside,” and “Give yourself permission to play” are on her uplifting list.
3) Snuggle Up
Mothers are known for hugs, cuddles and kisses. But feeling physically safe and comfortable doesn’t have to come from another person. The writer Akilah Richards offers the suggestion to “keep your comfort close” by choosing to surround yourself with things that bring you peace and joy. This might mean setting up photos of beloved people or peaceful places around your home and work spaces, stocking your pantry with favorite foods or slipping into soft slippers or socks every time you walk in the door.
What sort of mothering do you need to walk your most positive path? How can you lovingly mother yourself today?