What do you feel is the most challenging part of being a mom? What does the Tao say about that specific challenge?
I believe the most challenging part of being a mom is to remain in a relaxed and yielding state regardless of what is happening around you. This is the most important principle of Taoism — to relax and yield. The Tao uses water as an example of this teaching. Water yields, flowing through and around all things, and yet it is the strongest of all things, carving the Grand Canyon, moving in tsunamis across the earth.
If you can remain relaxed and yielding with your children, your home will be peaceful and happy, and yet all will know the strength of the mother when it is called upon. When babies cry, children fight, teens rebel, it is challenging to remain relaxed. If you can cultivate a deeply relaxed way of being from the beginning, you will be able to see clearly what is needed in every case.
Does the baby need to cry for a while to release tension, or does he/she need a quiet room and rocking to sleep? Does a child need a “time out” or a listening heart? Does a teen need firm boundaries set or boundaries loosened a bit to lovingly show trust? Only a deeply relaxed and yielding heart can solve all these problems without mirroring pain and frustration. Deep relaxation allows you to listen deeply, and often listening is all that is needed.
What is the most important source of wisdom for Moms? Why?
The most important source of wisdom for Moms is nature. Look around and find examples of how nature brings itself up and follow that flow. For example, water again, is the most yielding of all things, yet it can overwhelm that which is most hard – rock. It nourishes without needing to be nourished.
Thus, you can nourish yourself before fatigue or frustration goad you to shame your children for requiring so much of you. Water flows into places where there is seemingly no room. Rigid things can’t do this. Only that which is relaxed, yielding, and fluid can go into places of seemingly no space and be effective. While a rushing stream may push obstacles out of its way, a lazy river will flow over, around, and through all things in its path. There is harmony and serenity outwardly, and great power underneath.
Vimala McClure is the author of The Tao of Motherhood. She’s also the founder of the International Association of Infant Massage. She lives in Boulder, Colorado. https://www.facebook.com/vimalamcclure
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Image Credit: The Tao of Motherhood