In some parts of the world, this Sunday is Mother’s Day. It’s an excellent time to consider what motherhood symbolizes - no matter what your personal parent-child relationship looks like.
The mother represents nurturing. To feed, care for, and cultivate. To support and aid in healthy development, to sympathize and soothe. Everyone can take on the archetypal role of the mother in many situations, whether it be a plant, another person, or yourself. Here are some ways you can nurture yourself and others.
Have More Compassion
As we’ve discussed, most people need to direct more compassion toward themselves. Through mindfulness, we stop identifying people (including ourselves) as good or bad based on a careless word or poor choice.
After all, a good mother would not permanently label their child as a bad person because they had a terrible tantrum. They know the child can move on and grow out of this behavior with guidance and nurturing. You can be a good mother to yourself (or a better friend, coworker, or partner) every day by recognizing this.
Act with Intention
There are places and spaces in life where spontaneity makes magic. However, when we are guiding ourselves on a path or deepening relationships, we have to act with intention. We must set goals that align with our values. Then, we have to act accordingly to make it happen.
Acting with intention can be a bit like swallowing bitter medicine at times. But just like a mother nursing a sick child, it’s for the best.
Be Careful with Promises
We have all made promises we didn’t keep, especially to ourselves. If this happens too often, you start making terrible judgments about yourself, or the person who broke a promise to you.
Consider that the promise is the problem. It’s okay to not hand out guarantees, or expect things from others with certainty. In fact, accepting that things may not go as promised is good for growth. Making a good promise now and then increases trust and faith, and is always better than passing them out carelessly - even with good intentions.
Be an Advocate
Advocacy is one of the most important ways to nurture yourself or anyone. Think of babies, who cannot accurately verbalize their needs - their mothers advocate for them at the dinner table, the pediatrician’s office, everywhere.
In your daily life, nurturing yourself and others means being a vocal, active supporter. Express and assert yourself when you have needs that are not being met, and do so for others when they are unable.
Make Space for Quiet
Nurturing isn’t always an active practice. To nurture anything means to support rest and relaxation. Plus, sometimes being quiet means you’re giving someone else room to be heard.
It’s always a good idea to nurture yourself with quiet time, but it’s also a gift you can give someone else, including your mother. One big reason Silent Mind singing bowls are so popular is that they make incredible gifts. Whether it’s a teacher who nurtures others or a friend who needs a reminder to relax, you can definitely mark authentic Tibetan singing bowls down as a very nurturing gift.