One of my favorite meditation practices is a loving-kindness meditation. It is a meditation where we mentally send warmth and kindness to others and to one’s self. It is a beautiful way of cultivating compassion. In this meditation, I sit comfortably, close my eyes and place my hand over my heart. I first send loving kindness to myself, because first things first. Next, I bring a particular person or group of people to mind and send them Loving-Kindness. I do this by repeating 5 phrases silently. Here are the set of phrases I mentally direct to the person(s) I am thinking about:
May you be well, healthy and strong.
May you be happy.
May you experience peace.
May you feel safe and secure.
May you feel loved and supported.
And at the end, I visualize all the loving-kindness that I sent out to others as coming back to me and I repeat the 5 phrases for myself, once again. I do this part because I believe that whatever you send out in the world comes back to us. Yes, it is a kind of boomerang, the Law of Attraction in action.
This morning, my loving-kindness meditation was directed to all mothers…to mothers who try their best yet never feel good enough, to mothers who lost a child, to mothers who are estranged from a child, to mothers who have a child in prison or rehab, to mothers who have given their child up for adoption, to the mothers who have adopted those children, to mothers who never saw the face of their child, to mothers who are mothers and fathers, to mothers who feel isolated, to mothers who feel they messed up and still don’t know what the right thing would have been, to mothers who scream at their children and then feel guilty, to mothers who spoil their children and then feel guilty, to mothers who are no longer with us physically, to mothers that drag their tired butt out of bed to do the next right thing for their child, day after day after day, for ALL mothers…mothers who are joyous today and mothers who suffer today, and especially to MY mother, who loves me still with every beat of her heart.
There is no curriculum for being a mother. It is personal, between mother and child. Motherhood is sacred and tough and the biggest honor in the world. It is joyful and sorrowful and never carefree. If we allow it, our children can be our best teachers. They mirror what needs to be healed within us. They are not our trophies. They are our blessings, masterpieces to be discovered….together. I have been and continue to be taught well by the four gems that carved out motherhood for me: John, Katie, Kevin and Sarah.
If you are a mother, send yourself some loving-kindness today….and know I have already sent some your way.
Happy Mother’s Day!