Sunday, January 09, 2011
Q: Our readers are new older mothers – women for whom a multitude of additional external factors are already impacting their lives (i. e. entering perimenopause/menopause while mothering young children; being the sandwich generation – caring for young families while helping much older parents; continuing firmly established careers and full lives in addition to being primary caregivers). What specific techniques would you suggest for this group?
I know that (there are) problems associated with this period of life quite well, both personally and professionally.
First: Breathe to relax and replenish. Be sure to carve out 5 – 15 minutes a day- to just sit, be, practice consciously breathing in warm, healing energy on your in-breath and on your out-breath, being sure to breathe out any dark, negative energy associated with thoughts of sadness, fear, stress, feelings of inadequacy and lack of control. You can do this in the doctor’s office, your car or at home. But, do it! It truly works. This is your way of instantly replenishing before tackling the next project or to do action on your mental list.
Second: Remind yourself that you are a mom who genuinely loves her family and who is doing her very best and that all decisions you make are made from this position in the moment you make them. You are not perfect but you are doing your very best. This is all your creator wants from you. Universal Energy (God, Creator or whatever name you use for the Divine) is all about Unconditional Love and not about judgment and criticism. Consequently, stop beating yourself up and living with self-criticism and judgment. Let all of this go! This is especially important in dealing with any kind of loss! Chuck the guilt!!!!
Third: Repeat affirmations throughout your day such as, I Am Love and I Am doing my best. I choose Love and to detach from what does not feel good. I am the Mom: I am older, wiser and I Am the Parent here. Such affirmations empower you and remind you of who you really are – and that you are not alone.
Fourth: When you notice that you are feeling badly because you are focused on negative thoughts, absolutely question them: Ask the questions, Is that true? Is my thought really, absolutely true? And, then ask yourself, “How do I know that is not so?” then, ask yourself for proofs that your thought is not so, taking the proofs from your own life experience? You want to break the pattern of your mind getting you into trouble…and you can by questioning them and then checking out your proofs that they make no sense from your own past experience.
Fifth: Process and Forgive, Forgive, Forgive. Along the same line of thinking, if you do find that you are angry with yourself or anyone else (including a deceased loved one), work through this by processing (noticing and feeling) your feelings and thoughts, then release them by intentionally breathing them out– while forgiving yourself, first, and then others, if possible. Forgiveness primarily serves you. Carrying around unresolved, irritating issues gets in your way of manifesting your hopes and dreams. This is because resentments are such low energetic vibrations and therefore interfere with you experiencing feelings of peace and well-being (which are high energetic vibrations).
Sixth: Choose Love. Rather than fear of not being able to keep up with the parents of the other kids who are overstuffing their kids’ lives with activities, choose to be present for your kids with your loving Presence. Your children need love to feel confident and secure about who they are. You are helping to mold the beautiful beings they are becoming. You want to help them remember who they are…magnificent beings of Love and Compassion. Your gift of your full attention and being fully present when you are with them, rather than talking on your phone or to a friend or neighbor, will serve you and your children’s life- potential. This is your way of validating how important they are as souls with whom you share your journey.
Also, bear in mind what really matters. For example, I am reminded of Randy Pousch’s The Last Lecture in which he shared that his parents had allowed him to draw on his bedroom walls. Oh, how I wish I had provided my children with this gift! It bolsters their creativity and validation of their unique gifts.
Seventh: Pray! When feeling stressed and overwhelmed by the sense of struggle, do not hesitate to simply offer a simple prayer of “Please, help me, angels (or God). Please. You are so lovingly cared for. Just ask…even if you do not believe, ask!!! And do not hesitate to ask for signs that your angels hear you.
Eighth: Join a supportive community of moms with similar interests in which you feel included and can share your thoughts, feelings, actions and receive feedback.
Ninth: Be mindful of your blessings and express your gratitude, via offering words, journaling and prayer
Tenth: Develop and Listen to your own Intuitive Wisdom. The older you are, the more opportunities you have to hear and respond to the quiet, still inner voice which speaks to you. Your intuition is part of your power. As a mom who comes to motherhood later than earlier, you are blessed with an awareness of your own intuitive guidance. Learning to trust this inner voice empowers you in parenting your children, improving your marriage and enabling you to better deal with life’s challenges.
Carve out time for yourself - and your partner- on a weekly basis. Love yourself enough to take time to replenish body, mind and spirit. Make intimacy a priority with your partner. Parenting, grieving and dealing with life’s challenges use much of your life- force energy. If you do not set aside time to replenish, you will run out of needed energy to have the quality of life that you and your loved ones deserve.
Finally, Love is what you are here for: Unconditional Love of Self and of others. Nothing else matters as much as making Love your priority when being a parent, spouse or caretaker of parents and others. The challenges are great, but the rewards are even greater!!!!
Susan Apollon is a psychologist, author and educator. Her latest book, Touched by the Extraordinary, Book Two: Healing Stories of Love, Loss & Hope (Matters of the Soul, 2010, ISBN: 978-0-9754036-9-3, $24.95, www.HealingStoriesOfLoveLossAndHope.com) is available at bookstores nationwide and from major online booksellers. For more information, please visit www.HealingStoriesOfLoveLossAndHope.com or www.TouchedByTheExtraordinary.com.