I want to offer a sincere and heartfelt public apology to all the mothers (including myself) to whom I’ve given the following advice: Take ‘me’ time. You really need your individual space away from your family in order to thrive as an individual woman. You deserve it.
I’m officially calling bullshit on that one. In fact, the concept of separating woman from mother is so far from reality as to create discontent and a heart wrenching disconnect from our children. A building resentment even, as we grow as mothers in a society that keeps pushing us to do our ‘own thing’ and gives us the mistaken belief that we are sacrificing ourselves for our kids.
As I sat between classes at Wanderlust admiring all the beautiful children integrated with their Mamas, I came to realize 3 important lessons in blissful mothering:
1. There Is No Separation.
We are not woman, then mother, daughter, partner, friend, etc. We are all of these things, all of the time and much, much more. The layers of our identity do not exist in isolation from each other, but are as beautifully synced as a fine tuned instrument.
So to the mama goddess who brought two yoga mats and her toddler to Shiva Rea’s class, I thank you for being the shining example of integration.
2. Bathe Yourself In Light.
This one comes straight from Gabrielle Bernstein’s book, ‘Miracles Now’ and I think it’s extraordinarily appropriate.
“When it comes to living a life of vitality, one of the most crucial tools is to learn how to recharge your energy. Often we get stuck in the mentality that we’re not accomplishing anything if we’re not overwhelmed and stressed.”
Take five minutes out of your morning or afternoon to lay down and breathe, meditate, bask in sunshine or imagine an energizing light pouring down on you. We all need to be recharged, and giving ourselves this gift will save our sanity.
3. Know Thyself.
There is no one right way to mother. There will be days that you can work while your children read at your feet, when you can practice yoga together with love and patience and when they throw all the pizza toppings on the floor instead of on the dough. But it’s all good and sweet and fun.
There will be other times when all you need is time alone.
Sweet Mama, the point is that it’s all good, no matter where you’re at. But we need to know and we need to ask our community for support.
I cannot wait to bring my four year old with me to a festival, to share this gift of yoga and relationship. To show her, by example, what makes me thrive and feel enlivened and to connect her with a group of like minds.
Often referred to as a little firecracker, Mara Panacci is an international yoga teacher and holistic nutrition expert. She is the founder of Yoga Renegade, your rebellious playground, and co-muse at Accidental Renegade, helping yogis navigate the branding and marketing underworld. Nomadic adventurer and wellness devotee, Mara leads programs and workshops all over the world.