The Journey of Motherhood
The journey of motherhood is a twisted path. However you arrive here, after years of trial and error, swift ease or an unexpected offering, motherhood swoops in and is relentless in her offerings of both challenges and joys.
In support of cultivating profound stability and self-love along the journey, I want to offer you these four mindful mantras. Treat each practice as a seed you can plant that, with love and care will grow into beautiful flowers that will sustain you through pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and the journey of motherhood. Along with each seed you will find some examples of how to practice them along with a mantra. A mantra is just a phrase that you can say out loud or in your heart to focus your attention and intention.
Self-Care Seeds & Mantras
1. The Seed of Nourishment
Set yourself up for success by nurturing good habits such as:
- Sleep when you’re tired (yes this is a real practice for many of us, especially you mamas who thrive on going going going even when tired)
- Eat substantial food full of good fats, protein and nutrient dense ingredients
- Drink more water than you ever thought possible (yes you will pee every hour but your body is made of water and making a human is hard, and after the human arrives it needs delicious water to make milk…You can do this.)
Mindful Mantra: I AM NOURISHED
Feel this mantra in your mind and heart as you eat, drink and rest throughout the day. Say it out loud before you sleep, feel it in your body as you nourish yourself with hearty foods and delicious water or tea.
2. The Seed of Connection
Find your person. Make a real concerted effort to find someone you feel safe and connected with. Bonus if this person also makes you laugh. The most important part of feeling supported in this whole process is finding someone who gets what you are going through and that you can share all your real thoughts and feelings with. This person could be:
- Your partner
- A family member
- A therapist (take the time to find someone you really connect with and that specializes in working with moms)
- A Doula or Midwife
- A new mom friend
- A close friend or bestie
This journey isn’t for the faint of heart. Many mamas find they loose a lot of friends along the way. Few people will tell you this. So nourish this seed of connection however that works best for you.
I know it’s a tough time right now to meet people….it’s going to take more effort. Keep reaching out, checking facebook groups, going to online support groups…Your person/people are out there!
This is what people mean when they say ‘find your tribe’. Sometimes a tribe of one good friend who’s right there with you in the trenches is just enough to keep you going. A therapist who specializes in working with moms can also be an invaluable resource at this time, providing sacred space to process all the emotions that come with motherhood and providing support and resources to help you move through all the challenges with grace. If you are in California please reach out to discuss how I can support you. If you are elsewhere, check out Psychology Today and search for a postpartum therapist in your area.
Mindful Mantra: I AM CONNECTED
Feel this mantra in your heart as you think about and spend time with people you love. Our bodies are wired to be in connection with other people. We experience safety and surrender when we spend time with those we love. Let this mantra sink into your mind, heart and body as you go about your day.
3. The Seed of Movement
Whatever physical practice you enjoy, be it yoga, pilates, running, walking, zumba or TCX, continue a healthy version of it during pregnancy, postpartum and beyond. The seed of movement will keep you connected to your body and to your sense of ‘you’. YES the practice will change as your body shifts and grows a human, births a human and then learns how to care for one 24/7. Roll with it!
Is running no longer fun or possible at 8 months prego? Recovering from birth? WALK. Frustrated with your yoga practice when you can no longer bend over or lay on your tummy? Baby is now here and all your organs needs some time and space to literally move back into place? Yep, you get to practice side lying now and super modified sun salutations. Be gentle with yourself. This is a phase and it will change soon enough.
Don’t let it go mama. Your body is sacred and it can be all too easy to just give up here. Create a physical movement practice along each stage that is just for YOU and you will be more likely to continue finding your way through your postpartum healing journey (yes it’s going to be a journey! and girl there is not enough time in this article for me to go there. )
Mindful Mantra: I AM ALIVE
Say this mantra out loud as your move your body throughout the day. Feel it in your heart as you bend and squat, lift and carry your baby. Feel it ride the wave of your breath with each and every inhale and exhale.
4. The Seed of Stillness
Cultivate sacred space. However you connect to source, through prayer, meditation, singing, writing or being in nature, let yourself carve out time for worship. As you create time for connecting to the mystical, you will strengthen your own intuition, inner guidance and spiritual support that will nourish and sustain you throughout this adventure.
Motherhood offers us the sacred truth that we are not in control of anything at all. Whatever thoughts or experiences we had about this whole life thing just got a lot more complicated. Having a practice that brings you back to you and your creator is critical for your sanity and ability to give yourself grace on the path.
Mindful Mantra: I AM STILL
Practice feeling this mantra in your heart, on your breath, in your mind and inhabiting every cell of your body. Know that the opportunity for stillness is available in each and every moment. When you loose touch with your own sense of inner stillness and sacred presence just know that it’s a practice, and take a moment to return to source right now. (yes….now…you can pause here or stop reading and go practice…if you need some support check out this guided meditation I made for you HERE.)
Let Yourself Be Supported
I hope you found something inspiring and helpful here. Please take what works and make it yours. Your pregnancy, birth, postpartum and motherhood experiences are unique to you. I hope you can find some ease in honoring your own journey and continue to find the way back to yourself no matter where the road may lead you.
Drop a line below to let me know what you are practicing and what has inspired you. Let yourself been seen and support. I respond to each and every comment.
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From my heart to yours,
Kim is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist who specializes in holistic counseling for anxiety and motherhood. She is passionate about supporting mamas through the journey of motherhood from pregnancy through postpartum. Kim currently offers holistic psychotherapy and counseling to individuals in El Dorado Hills, CA and online to residents of California. Contact her for your complimentary 15-minute consultation and to schedule an appointment.