Being a mother to my son is a potent medicine that has opened my heart.
Through the process of mothering, a curiosity about life has blossomed inside me. I’ve been born into a larger version of myself through giving up who I thought I was and simply being myself with my son.
I was pregnant during a summer 2014 meditation retreat with my teacher in Maine. It was my first time practicing meditation, and I had a lot of nausea, dizziness, fear and all kinds of things coming up.
After every sit, I would find myself thinking, “I survived!” Then, I would laugh and say, “Oh no, I survived.” The “I” that was surviving was the one holding on for dear life.
I had a hard birth and a long and hard recovery. I can honestly say that meditation was the best medicine for labor and birth. There’s a stillness, a pouring of self into self, a letting go.
I’ve experienced ongoing fatigue and sleep deprivation since then. The letting go continues. I’ve had to let go of what I thought my practice should look like since becoming a mom, actually listen to my body and practice what is practical. I don’t have the support to sit uninterrupted for an hour or more every day, but I get small chunks of time to do spiritual practices.
I rarely get to practice meditation now. The fatigue is real. Some days I find myself lying down on my cushion and using it as a pillow to rest for a while. Then my son wakes up, and the next breath starts.
There is always a pouring of self into self with him. We feed each other, sweep together, sleep together and offer flowers to one another. He throws tantrums, and I do breath practices.
His father and I support each other as best we can, know our limits and when we need a break. We’ve had an intense ride as a new family, but it’s been honest and real, and my practice has given me a solid foundation to live from.
The biggest thing for me being a practitioner and a mother is realizing that my son has his own set of patterns of body, mind and energy that have nothing to do with me. I can support his growth, but in the end he has his own karma.
When I was pregnant, my teacher mentioned that it’s a great blessing to be born to parents on the path to waking up, but at the time I didn’t really hear her. Now I have a new understanding.
It’s been good medicine for me to become a parent. Now, I practice when I can, enjoy the curiosity of life from the lens of my 16-month-old son, and laugh. My practice and community has softened me, supported me to let go and has loved me all the way.
“Meditation and Parenting as Medicine” was written by Jaya Kula student Sahaji Fisher.