Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Dear Sugar: Mamaste
Hi, Sugar! I haven't blogged in awhile. Not because I don't love to write, but because the kiddos were home with me all summer, and we were traveling, playing, and sweating. (Thank you, Midwest weather.) But I'm back, and I've got somethin' to say.
The other day, my girls were talking in their sister-language, a conversation full of giggles and made-up words. Then one of them said to me, "Mamaste."
I said, "Do you mean namaste?"
Occasionally (and I mean occasionally), the girls like to do yoga, including using these really cool kiddie yoga cards and lead the "class" (aka, myself and the sibs). And last week, my middle daughter and I did a little something called Yoga Inferno by Jillian Michaels (yes, every word of that makes me nervous!) for like twenty minutes before we gave up and ate a snack.
The girls moved on, not answering my question. And then it hit me: mamaste.
Namaste, as I learned a long time ago in group yoga class means this: May the light inside of me guide the light inside of you.
For someone not all that invested in yoga (we clearly are not), it's a little weird. Vaguely spiritual and "out there." Like we should burn something herbal and start chanting.
But it is a lovely way, if you think about it, to wrap up a workout session. Something to expect to be said. Something that means that for just a moment, everyone doing that workout is speaking the same language. (That's pretty darn rare today, right?) Plus, the whole idea of being interconnected, of guiding one another, is beautiful.
So if that's namaste, what's mamaste?
Mamaste: my light is guiding my children's light.
What do I want for my children? What do I want them to know about life? What examples am I setting for them as I use my light to guide theirs?
As a writer, I write. You should see the number of post-its, lists on scraps of paper, and notebooks I have--all full of scribbles, arrows, bullet points. I have goals. But it's been a long time since I've thought about what I want my kids to know and to carry on. Mostly because, like every other mom out there, I'm consumed with the day-to-day. I'm usually not contemplating tomorrow, because today, as the Bible says, has its own things to deal with. Today there are sibling arguments, boo boos, cuddles, school assignments, drop offs and pick ups, dinner. Today is ENOUGH, right Sugar?
But if I stop and think about it...
What an incredible responsibility it is to mamaste. A privilege. An honor.
What is my light? And what is it doing (or not doing) to guide my children, so that as they grow up, they are guiding others around them.
I saw a meme on Facebook a few weeks ago that said that moms are all a hot mess. All of us. But I tend to disagree.
Though life is messy, it doesn't mean WE are a mess. Just because your house doesn't look Pinterest worthy, just because your hairstyle isn't Instagram worthy, it doesn't mean YOU aren't worthy. Being messy is just being human.
As I've contemplated what it means to mamaste, I've been thinking about what's important to me. What I want my kids to be: authentic, honest, kind, empathetic, assertive, intuitive, proud (not prideful, though), and respectful. Am I always these things? No, of course not. But do I need to strive to be? Of course! Because in order to best MAMASTE (it's a verb now!), I need to be the person in whom my kids can proudly say, "That's my mom!" And when my children make a choice and act in particular way, right now, that is often a reflection of me.
However, I also want that guiding light to give them permission to be their own light: certainly gently shaped by me, but not exactly like mine. This is where the authenticity comes in. I want to continue to empower my children to be who they are: proudly. Who they were created to be without apology, shame, or shield.
There are a thousand ways to mother, and thousand ways to mamaste. And as much as I am type A lady (planner/organizer/analyzer), I'm continually surrendering to being in the NOW, in the today, in order to let God guide me, moment to moment and hour to hour, as I parent my children, as I let my light guide theirs.
So no matter where you are in your motherhood journey, I hope today that you give yourself permission to mamaste: authentically and passionately. There is no greater privilege.
For more faith-based encouragement on your adoption and parenting journey, check out the book I co-authored with Madeleine Melcher:
***This post contains Amazon links from my personal e-store.