In the month of May, we traditionally honor the woman who gave us birth and/or the woman who nurtured and cared for us — our Mother. The second Sunday brings us crowded restaurants, over-worked florists and candy manufacturers working on overtime. It also allows us a day to reflect, with gratitude, on our Mother’s love. In acknowledging the love showered upon us by Mother, our spiritual path calls us to take loving care of ourselves in ways that allow us to blossom and grow and bring us to a fulfilling life.
Arguably the most powerful force we’ll ever encounter, Mother Earth fiercely reminds us of her unending power and presence. From earthquakes to floods, hurricanes to landslides, the force of nature, slow and persistent as well as eruptive and volatile, provides us with the backdrop for our existence. The winding, meandering stream created by centuries of resistance and erosion, and the fields of smoldering volcanic rock, make fertile soil demonstrate correlations and similarities to our personal journey.
If we view the Earth as our external environment, our bodies serve as vehicles to move around the planet. We’re born into circumstance with a body of certain height, coloring, abilities and more, to walk on the earth and experience the gift of life. Like Mother Earth, our physical existence goes through personal evolutions of slow and persistent change, as well as volatile reactions to the world around us. Slow growth of bone, muscle and tissue occur over time, and the quick responses to life experienced in the sneeze or the itch or the sting impact us. With the Earth as our macrocosm, the microcosm of our physical bodies undergoes transformation and sustains us for the duration of our lifetime.
Give birth to your new self
In a state of constant movement, Mother Earth both confers and terminates life. From the brief lifespan of a sparrow to the epic glacial drift, our planet evolves in the glorious cycles of ebb and flow and growth and decomposition. In a state of never-ending birth, our attitudes towards death may change if we learn from our earthly examples. While the death of wildlife may appear finite, nature in turn gives birth to other creatures in the cycle. If an eagle swoops down to catch its prey, the prey gives its life as the nourishment for new life to come.
Similarly, we humans experience cycles of rebirth by way of our ideas and attitudes, our practices and behavior as we learn and grow. While change takes flight either as a reaction or lesson, we nonetheless leave the roost of the status quo to venture into higher levels of understanding. Leaving behind old ways of being, we give birth to possibilities and soar to new heights. Just as nature receives sustenance from the corpse of the no longer living, give birth to your ideas by feasting on what you learned before and enriching your life from the body of experiences you left behind!
Mother Earth provides us with all we need to sustain our physical bodies. From the loving lull of ocean waves that rock us to sleep, to the rustling leaves that remind us of our earthly community, we find water, food and air in abundance. We enjoy the blessings of a sunny day to grow our food, as well as the gift of rain and cold to further the growth process. Our Earth Mother is in a constant state of flux yet generous with her gifts and provisions for a healthy journey.
We, in turn, must remember to provide ourselves with complementary gifts of love. We may choose healthy food, enjoy exercise, and take good care of our bodies. In addition, we may also offer ourselves the “creature comforts” of a nap on a sunny (or rainy) day, the indulgence in sensual delights such as touching the cheek of a child or patting the head of our pets. Often we neglect our spiritual needs, however. Remember to take time to listen to that still, small voice within who cries out for understanding and encouragement. Take the time to acknowledge your achievements and reflect on your goals. Accept yourself as you are, right now, just as Mother Earth accepts you.
Release is Love
The greatest expression of love from both the planet and one another, is release. Just as mothers in wildlife love their progeny enough to prepare them with skills necessary to leave the nest or pack or pride, love yourself enough to set yourself free! Get free from the constraints of negativity, worry, doubt, fear. Terminate all notions of “I’m not good enough” and rise from the ashes of old thinking and bad habits.
Mother Earth has time on her side. Mountains, rivers and even the continental drift, all occurred without you and will continue to evolve long after your earthly experience is complete. While few of us remember the everyday lives of spiritual teachers passed before us, we recall with sentiment what they left behind in the scope of their ideas and essence. Love yourself to enjoy the dichotomy between knowing your brief time on Earth means nothing to the planet, and your self-actualized life can mean everything to those who succeed you!
To our chagrin, Mother Earth never stops evolving and no one gets off the planet alive! Your life is a gift — enrich others through your example of loving the highest expression of your spirit.