Mothering myself has become a way of listening to my deepest needs, and of responding to them while I respond to my inner child.
There's a great flurry of activity this morning, which I'm forbidden to observe. "Big things are happening on...I can't possibly tell " my husband whispers as he closes our bedroom door with a collaborators grin. I can hear the clanging of pots and pans, drawers being opened and closed, mixers whirling. Now it sounds as though a breakfast tray is being prepared as the clattering of my best china reverberates through the house. I don't normally eat breakfast until I'm in work. But I will today, as I write, it's Mother's Day.
Later, delicious daughter-made pancakes, warm and golden from the pan, miraculously appear. I am amazed, perplexed, teary, proud and profoundly grateful. Who is this remarkable young woman with the beautiful, beaming smile bearing gifts from the heart to nourish my body and soul. I believe there has been some spiritual intervention at work here because I have never made homemade pancakes from scratch in my life and have no idea how Tabitha divined the recipe.
It's a perfect moment to quietly meditate on the cosmic 'great mother' who can inspire us all; the divine, feminine spirit of nurturing known as the Goddess, so revered in ancient times and being rediscovered by woman today.
Many women I know share a seldom expressed yearning to be comforted. To be mothered. This voracious need is deep, palpable, and often unrequited. Instead, we are the ones who usually provide comfort, caught between the pressing needs of our children, our elderly parents, our partners, our friends, even our colleagues.
Though we are grown, we never outgrow the need for someone special to hold us close, stroke our hair, tuck us up into bed and reassure us all will be well. Perhaps we need to reacquaint ourselves consciously with the maternal and deeply comforting dimensions of divinity in order how to learn how to mother ourselves.
The best way to start is to create - as an act of worship- a comfortable home that protects, nurtures and sustains all who seek refuge in its walls. I have discovered, in the last two weeks after the loss of my mother, the need to re-parent myself. I have become the family caregiver.
In my work I look after many clients, write many publications, articles on health, run a successful business with my friend and deliver courses on mindfulness. But for a long time didn't know how to look after myself, emotionally, psychologically, physically, even though I have spent my life taking care of others.
Nowhere was this truth more apparent than in my home. It has become a dumping ground, in the middle of renovation. Where we all landed from our busy days to eat among the debris of building work, then off to bed we went.
Being home and off work, organising mums funeral and tending to my father, children, husband, the vicar, florists, funeral directors, gradually I have come to the belated awareness of ones home is a 'symbol of the self' and I have enjoyed 'just being'.
Today, as you walk through your own home, think about ways you can mother yourself - every day, not just once a year - in small but tangible ways. There should be comfortable places from the living room to the bedroom that invite you to sit, sleep, relax, and reflect. There should be small indulgences from the kitchen to the bathroom that pamper and please. There should be sources of beauty throughout that inspire, order that restores and the quiet grace of simplicity that soothes. A bunch of flowers, a photograph that takes you back to a magical memory, a lit candle that soothes and relaxes. How will you mother yourself today?