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The Transformation of Motherhood

Guest Post from Beth Nonte Russell:

In my book Forever Lily, I write of an experience that led to a profound transformation. It is a true story of how I became a mother in the most unlikely way, and the book shares the inner process of transcending limitations. The issues that arose during this experience happened in real time, without benefit of being able to stop, step back and process what was unfolding….in other words, unexpectedly. And this is how real life happens; it does not happen while you are on a retreat in a monastery or during a 20 minute meditation.

The moments of our daily lives are the best therapist we could have if we pay attention. Motherhood provides an extraordinary opportunity because it triggers so many emotions that lay buried. And especially in our busy lives as moms, the raw material of transformation has to be found in the midst of our daily lives if it is going to be found at all. Here some tips for seeing the jewels of meaning in the chaotic jumble of daily life:

· Notice everything. There is nothing – no thought, no feeling, no interaction – that is unimportant. Your child’s half smile when you compliment her, the little flutter in your stomach when you see a newspaper article…notice it all. You may be surprised later to find that small moment had real meaning.

· Go deeper. In the moment you are feeling anger or frustration, ask yourself what is beneath that feeling. Perhaps you’ll discover the real source of your feelings is not what you assumed. Instead of judging the feeling, find the source…when you find the source, you can understand, and let it go.

· Observe the process. We have a tendency to see only discrete events and outcomes rather than the mechanisms behind them. It is a subtle shift from content to context that can make a profound difference in how you experience life. Your child throws a tantrum in the grocery…you get angry…what is actually happening? Can you identify the triggers, the things in the environment that supported this event, other issues that may relate? Things happen because the conditions are right for them to occur. Go beyond cause and effect and suddenly, each experience becomes loaded with meaning.

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