A few days ago, I got a call from my dear mom, Irene, who’s 86 and still lives in my childhood home in Livonia, MI. Her greeting went something like this: “Hi Sandy. I just wanted to tell you that I love your blogs….and I had one little question…are you breathing in what you’re writing???”
Inhale. Pause. Exhale. We both burst out laughing.
“I knew you were going to ask that,” I said. “We teach what we most need and want to learn.”
You see, all my life my mom has been the voice inside my head asking why I run around so much. Twenty years ago, she even wrote up a contract about slowing down and asked me to sign it.
I share this for two reasons. First, I want to reinforce that these blogs first began as journal writings to myself. I’ve studied and am practicing what I write – and it is a lifelong journey with stumbles, falls and awakenings. Step by step, we all choose how we walk forward. For me, taking internal time, becoming more conscious of how I want to live, and align what deeply matters to me (my “why” so to speak), is bringing about profoundly positive shifts in my life. I am also seeing these shifts in the students and clients with whom I work.
The second reason I am writing about my mom is because of the way I reacted to her words. I love my mom deeply – don’t get me wrong. Yet, over the decades, we’ve had our emotional challenges. I think a lot of our difficulty stems from me taking her words in a fear based way – which only makes me angry and brings up every internal demon I have ever carried around about my own worthiness.
When my mom brings up questions about my busyness, I still hear them as “I am not good enough.” I hear the questions as criticism, and think, “I can never do it right.” I get frustrated, sad and angry – the lowest and heaviest of emotions. As humans, we can get stuck in the mud with those emotions. We exhaust ourselves with their weight.
Thanks to the teachings of David Hawkins and Steve Chandler, I am learning about the “ladder of energy” and asking myself “what would my reaction or feeling to something look like if I consciously breathed in my emotions to climb the ladder, stepping up from fear and anger into creativity, potential and love?”
This visual has helped me breathe and begin to shift. When I feel the triggers (the tightening of my being, the shortening of my breath, the unrest in my stomach), I close my eyes and breathe in deep. I literally envision my body getting out of the murkiness of the mud and into the light. Maybe it sounds crazy, but it really works. Moving from fear to creativity, I start to see myself with different eyes.
With regard to my dear mom and her loving comments (that I’ve always internalized as critical), I am learning to relax. I smile. I really do breathe up into love and gain gratitude for all she is and all she’s given to me.
So, during this week that includes Mother’s Day, may we all take a few minutes to breathe up from fear, anger and worry into expansive creativity. Love is an amazing thing – and we are all love. We all have a mother (whether here or somewhere else) who is doing the best she can. If we breathe in, relax and set the intention to expand, perhaps we can be grateful for the lessons our mother’s have taught and continue to teach us. I love you Mom!