One of my favorite photographs my mother, Lyn, took, besides her Wild Road image above:)
My visit with my mother--beautiful on so many levels!
So many rich gifts from our time together, varied across the spectrum.
We got to get used to each other in person, since our relationships happens mostly over the phone.
We got to see our fears activated, and work through them in our own way, loving ourselves, and the other a little more each time.
We got to explore our mother daughter relationship holographically through the layers of real- time mother/daughter relationships unfolding under the same roof.
We gained greater insight into mothering by reading the patterns and reflections of our actions.
We got to all be grounded by my tender man-of-the-house kitty. (If you saw how he lets my five-year-old handle him--he should be sainted).
I came away learning more deeply that there is this beautiful fine line to walk between helping and nurturing, and letting go and trusting that our children (or parents) are being given what is perfect for them to grow, and to become free--and sometimes it's enough just to be a witness.
I got to feel my guilt and shame that I carry, and project outwardly for not being perfect, on to my mother, my children, my friends, even projected on to the neighbors, who I believe must have a story about my imperfectness, even though every indication would say otherwise.
I was gifted quiet--time to myself to connect to my spirit, while my mother played with my children. I got to feel into the edges of this fine-line as well, when time away began to feel disconnecting--when I knew it was time to come home and engage.
Having an extra set of hands was so nice. It made me realize how much I actually do in a day, and what a relief it was to have a little help! This made me feel more gentle on myself, and just fine with doing what I can-- and much appreciation for my mother.
My mother and I had some beautiful one on one time and played. We shopped a little, and I just loved how everything I got excited about, my mom did too. I recognized (with amazement that I hadn't noticed this before) that my mom has this perfect gift of making any possibility of anything I want to buy completely magical. As simple as looking at a new notebook--wanting to find the perfect one to use as a sketchbook for my life and my dreams--and just shopping for it with my mom doubled the sweetness of the experience. She has this very calm, focused way about her, as if she can see the map of exactly what the possibilities are, and how whatever it is will add to my experience in the most abundant and magical way.
Then I fully realized that this energy is not limited to purchases--that she has shown up in this way for anything that was important to me.
After our morning shopping, we made our way to a sandwich shop. I felt anxious wheels begin to turn in my mind. What now? Was it possible for the magic to continue after such a nice morning, or would it die down? Would we find ourselves becoming disappointed with our time together, begin to head down more familiar, difficult roads, using each other as the painful, effortful tools needed to chisel ourselves out of stone?
Enter the magic.
It began as constriction. I finished my sandwich. My mom seemed to be eating slowly and deliberately. Wow, this is really slow. Is she doing this on purpose? I watch her every bite, feeling a pull for the door. This is taking too long. We have things to do. We are running out of time! She is leaving tomorrow!
I am used to going much faster, at the pace of squirmy, messy, children, inhaling my bites between needing to serve them.
Yet, I knew that there was nowhere to go. The kids were with their dad. We had all the time in the world. I fought against this, however and began feeling afraid of my growing constriction.
My mind revved and revved, pulled me toward the door, which was really just a camouflaged black hole, because on the other side of the door was only more fear and confusion. It sounded like this. Shit! What's next? Gotta find it--gotta make this time splendid--what could we do that would be perfect? Wow, she took forever. Now I'm pissed. Better hide it. Better find something joyful--better be really good--must not have regrets about this-only have hours left with her. What is my problem?
I walked right into the pain, attempting to reclaim my power, that I knew was hidden right in the fire--breaking this pattern--this inability to drop into the present that is nothing new, that would not, and never will be, alleviated by running through the door and putting the car keys in the ignition.
I opened, opened, opened, to the truth of it. I continued, keeping the process very internal--sinking into allowing. Feeling the pain rip through me. But knowing the truth. There was nothing more than this moment. The reaching would always be there, unless I just let it rip through me in that moment, but not let it take me with it.
I kept this focus as my mom began to become conversational. And god-dammit, I just forced myself to listen. Listen and open. Listen and open. Not run.
What unfolded here, was beyond my wildest dreams. Suddenly, I began to hear my mother. I began to hear what she was saying, and I became carried away by it. Little by little the constriction faded as I watched her light up about what she was talking about, expressing it with a tenderness of being, that I could tell came from somewhere deep within her, that spoke of possibility, because of her love for it--because of her experience of it with the senses, because of her power to make it happen, and because of her subtle knowing that it was her gift--and I recognized that a deep part of her knew that this was a gift to her in this life. I watched her discover this more and more as she had the space to speak and to connect to it, and have it reflected with love around her--opening to the possbility that her dreams could lead.
My heart broke open listening to her, seeing myself in her--the sweet passion of knowing how dreams take root as possibly as a child is conceived, as a redwood is birthed from a tiny seed, with a little nourishment, a little sunshine.
My heart became overwhelmed with the beauty.
--the realization that I'd become present, and I'd been gifted with the extraordinary vision to see the very kind of heart I've become devoted to uncovering in myself and in my perception of others.
Not only that, I'd been gifted a moment of feeling the fire, hot and scary, wanting to back away--to run--but held in place by a deep truth, that only love is real.
I will tell you that our last hours together before I drove her to the airport were so sweet. We were like school girls. And at one point later in the day, I looked at my mother, and I just saw how lovable she was. And I dared to express it. She is used to my weirdness in this way.
"I just want you to know that you are so very lovable."
She didn't know quite how to absorb that one, but she did her best. And for this I thank her from the bottom of my heart.
I love you, mom--more clearly, more deeply, and more beautifully in each treasured moment. Thank you.