I am not sentimental as Mother’s Day approaches either about my mother or myself as mother (or grandmother.) I want meaning around my mother, truth and forgiveness from my children and drawings from my grandchildren.
It’s the meaning around my relationship with my mother that I will be contemplating on Mother’s Day. I will do this every Mother’s Day for the rest of my life, each year with more compassion for my mother and more compassion for me as her daughter. I will not focus on the drama, emotions and sentiment as story or misfit, but as meaning…essential and purposeful.
Wisdom is the capacity to ask creative and compassionate questions and to see before, behind and beyond the story. The two wisdom-seeking questions I find in my heart around Mother’s Day this year are
What was my mother’s reality? This is the question full of compassion for my mother.
How do give myself the mothering I needed as a child, that I still long for now? This is the question full of compassion for myself.
Neither question requires a retelling or reliving the dramatic story, rather each requires that I observe the elements of the relationship with a neutral attention. Both are about making meaning and seeing the purpose and karma of mother/child relationships and mother/child realities.
Answering the questions and resolving the dilemmas of my relationship with my mother will take time and attention, but the rewards are precious:
A growing understanding what shapes my reality and the reality of those around me.
And a growing knowledge of why, when and how to self-parent.
Both are key elements of feeling whole, strong, harmonious and free.
I’ve developed two major courses that respond to these two central questions. I feel a little guilty promoting both these courses at the same time. You cannot do both together. Both are long and deep. So you will need to choose which to take first. (If you need help deciding, schedule a 20 minute conversation with me. But there is no wrong choice.)
The Three Shapers
Your mother’s reality was shaped by her temperamental configuration which formed her reactions, her actions and her interactions relating to everything and everyone. This configuration was also shaped and complicated by how she perceived herself, the world and others and how she processed it all. You have your own temperaments, perceptions and processes, too. We all do: they are the essential and unconscious shapers of our reality. We personalize reality through our unique temperamental configuration. We perceive our reality with the unique intensity and mix of our senses. We process our reality in unique ways using a unique combination of processing activities. Let’s make them conscious: the four temperaments, the twelve senses, and the seven life processes.
If you want to go beyond Mother’s Day sentimentality and make meaning on Mother’s Day here are some wisdom-seeking, meaning-making questions from The Three Shapers of Your Reality course on the twelve senses and perceiving reality. They will give you lots of new perspectives. Push through any resistance to working with all 12. Twelve is the number for transformation that occurs through completing a cycle as in 12 constellations in the Zodiac. To find new meaning, new relationship, new reality always go for the twelve.
How did the twelve senses shape how my mother perceived me or herself, or perceived mothering?
The Twelve Questions
If you get “triggered” by your feelings, you might want to go over these with your therapist or counselor. AND you might want to share it with your mother (if she is living, send her this email and an invitation for a creative conversation. If she has passed away, write her a letter about your perceptions and then write her response to you a day or two later which can be an amazing and illuminating experience!)
Your responses can be a mix of good perceptions, challenging perceptions and “I just don’t have any idea.” When we are seeking meaning in a relationship that has so much feeling and emotion in it, we need to be courageous and calm at our core, but don’t hold back any deep feeling. And don’t worry about whether your perception of her perceptions is correct. It’s not about being correct, it is about your meaning.
The neurological configuration of the senses is unique in each of us and this biological reality shapes the reality of our soul: how we think, feel and act in all our relationships. These twelve questions will reveal a great deal about how you perceived how your mother perceived you.
How did she perceive me as separate from her and her notions of “her child”? (The sense of touch)
How did she perceive mothering/me as a demand and a drain on her sense of well-being? Or did mothering you make her feel more alive. (The sense of well-being)
How did she find mothering/me as a limit to her physical, social, and emotional mobility and goals? Or was mothering a vital activity and inner goal for her. (The sense of self-movement)
How did my presence throw her off balance in her sense of self? Did I give her focus and balance? (The sense of balance.)
Did she know me so instinctively that she knew my scent…the growing scent of my soul? Did she like the scent of my soul? (The sense of smell)
Did she find me sweet or bitter? Salty or sour? Did she like my complexity? (The sense of taste)
Did she see me as I was or was she blind to parts of me? Did she focus on my light or my shadow? (The sense of sight)
Did she warm me and warm to me? (The sense of temperature)
When she heard me calling when was I just noise interrupting her life and when did she resonate with me as if I was music to her ears? (The sense of hearing)
Could she speak my language and understand my personal gestures? (The sense of language/word)
Did she get my meaning and my purpose? (The sense of thought)
Did she revere the core spiritual essence of my being, my incarnating “I AM”? (The sense of Ego/Spirit)
Now to self-parenting…mothering yourself in just the way you have always needed to be mothered, imagine that! And the course includes fathering yourself, too. Most of the time we imitate our parents in relating to our needs and that just makes us a bigger mess of angers, frustrations, and disappointments. This course simply reveals the archetypal gestures of good parenting so you know when you need an inner parent and just what to provide your inner child. Yes, you will know what you didn’t get when you were growing up and you will know how to give it to yourself now. The course is called INNER MOTHER INNER FATHER.
Learn about these two Imagine Self Academy courses…
INNER MOTHER INNER FATHER is available now and between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day(June 19) there is a 20% discount off the $247 cost. There are nine lessons in this self-study course including 9+ hours of audios, slide presentations, suggested exercises and lots of amazing handouts. This year I am including a 30 minute private session with me to be scheduled in June or July to personalize and support your self-parenting needs. To learn more about Inner Mother and Inner Father, a Wisdom Imaginations course, and to register…
THE THREE SHAPERS OF YOUR REALITY begins in mid-June with 4 lessons on the temperaments; mid-July brings 4 lessons on the 12 senses, and in mid-August there are 2 lessons on the seven processes. The cost of this self-study course with 10 hours of audios, slide presentations, and illuminating handouts is $127 and includes 3 live 75 minute Q&A sessions. Learn more here. https://theimagineselfacademy.com/courses/40/enroll?coupon_code=3Shapers
I will be writing more about both INNER MOTHER INNER FATHER and THE THREE SHAPERS OF YOUR REALITY over the next few posts.