This is the first night in 6 years that I am not teaching on Mother’s Day.
Since 2010, I have hosted an event on this special evening to honor the mamas in the lil omm community. Tonight, I am home. A yummy dinner with the family. A truly lovely day with NOTHING special at all. But knowing in my heart, that this day means the world TO ME. B/c being Saylor and Milo’s mama means the world to me. Being home with them, not working so much or so hard.. in many ways it’s nice. And in many ways, I’m still feeling the loss. I am trying to figure out who I am without the studio, without the constant creating and planning for others, without the 24/7 care of the studio. This year, I have lost one of my babies. So I think it’s why I decided to focus on something different this year, focus on something that has shifted around motherhood- that is deeply personal.. yet SO relevant….sending love to all my mom friends tonight. The ones in pain, the ones who lost their mamas this year or who lost their babies. The single moms, the ones who are married but FEEL single.. the ones who do it all, the ones who want to do nothing. The ones who love their children more than themselves, the ones who want to find their way back home to themselves. The ones making dinner, washing feet and wiping tushies.. and the ones who have quiet homes now, only memories of childhood to hold on to.After so many years of working with moms and babies, I have seen so much. so much joy. so much pain. so much LIFE, live. All of it. I love this day. It brings me so much to think about, so much to cherish, so much to remember. Those tiny toes are now big stinky feet, and those 8 year old tears are so real, so big, so huge in her heart… I know I am here to do this. This year, I returned hOMe. This year, I can feel all the stages and emotions and the expansive love and the memories of years past. This year, all the faces and stories of all the mamas in my life come flooding in. To be honest, it’s a lot. I feel overwhelmed with.. wow. I miss these women OR whatever I do next, will not be nearly as impactful as having lil omm studio. I knew we helped care for moms in DC through our classes and community, but only since we closed have I really had a chance to see how deep that love was. So this year, I sit with this all. The past, the future, the now. What has been, what will be… and I turned my attention towards something else that is pretty cool. Actually, amazing.
Here is a piece I wrote for a blog when asked to reflect on Mother’s Day.
Mother’s Day 2016
In the past year, my own relationship with my mother has transformed. For a number of reasons, we were able to meet each other & see each other. For the first time in my adult life, I have a regular, solid relationship with my own mother. Both of our meditation practices are what brought us together and I can’t be more fulfilled by knowing that the most challenging and painful relationship in my life is healing and has found peace. When we live with an awakened heart, everything changes. This year, I am so very proud of my own mother for facing her past. Over the past 6 months, she has been writing me a series of letters about my childhood, about the more difficult times. Now that I am healthy and strong and have my own life, I was ready to hear her side of the story. And because she has done so much work on herself, she was also ready to share. This perspective and insight into my past have been a gift, not because I want to go back and re live them or dig up the past…. but so I can continue my own healing. Reading her version of the past has established a connection between us and the truth is my mother who is the only other person who shares these moments and this history with me.
Yoga is a practice of self awareness and self study. This work, this path hOME to my mother, and to myself is and continues to be a reflection of my practice. I am deeply committed to my own health and well being and sharing the practices with others b/c as I live and breathe them, I feel free. I am no longer trapped by the past and the complicated relationship my mother and I had- I am able to stand proud as a mama with my own children, seeing them WHOLE And beautiful and alive. I am not carrying with me any baggage or fears from my own mother’s mothering or patterns but I am carrying the POWER of transformation, of healing, and of connecting. You see, no matter how badly it is broken, I deeply believe that with devotion we can all heal.
Now that my mother and I have a relationship I am free to express and live and dance in my life wholeheartedly, fully standing in my own power. Integrating the wounds from the past into my compassion practice BUT allowing the present moment to be my guide, I continue to be in awe of this life.
Each year, I think WHAT ON EARTH WILL I DISCOVER NEXT? What will reveal itself to me? What will I learn about my self, my past, my relationships?
This contemplative practice is what allows me to hug and hold my children with the most divine breath, to feel the bodies and warmth light my own heart. It’s all changing, it always is. But I know that I am not taking ANY of this for granted. To be with my children and see them as they are, to provide them a childhood of laughter and love and comfort and ease- is the BEST gift I can get on this day. “
AND I sent it to my mom. And here is what she replied.
“As many of you may know, my daughter, Pleasance, has had a rather extraordinary year so far. She sadly lost her studio space, that meant the world to her and her daughter, Saylor Eloise. She wrote and published a book called Delight, and has also launched a life transforming online project, named Thrive. And it’s only May. Wow.
But perhaps more profound than any of those milestones, to me at least, has been us, finding our way back home to each other again, as mother and daughter.
It has been one very long, and at times, very painful path. One that took so much deep. and not so pretty soul work and at times gut wrenching honesty. The road there has been filled with so much pain from the past, both my own and hers. (which really, as every mother knows, are always and forever intertwined.)
But finally we are here. Together. Completely together. Our love of practice, of meditation, has brought us, where no therapist, or distance or time could ever have brought us. This rejoining was Providence. Or divine intervention. or call it fate. Whatever you label it, the one sure thing I know, was it was always meant to be. But we could never have gotten here, without the work. The really hard work, of looking inward, and staring ourselves down, and shattering the mirror, and tossing aside ego, and blame, shame and fear. We had no other option but to go way past our safety spots, and dig deeper and deeper, to the very core. The one that was there all along, hidden behind all the other, to the place of ACCEPTANCE and love. The place called home.
This Mother’s Day, two open hearts are reunited, redirected, and focused completely on one love. And it’s only May. My heart is overfilled with Grace and Gratitude. I could not have asked God for a kinder, more loving daughter than Pleasance. Every day I thank Him for that gift, and every day I shall. “- Cathy Muir