I want a little sugar in my bowl
I want a little sweetness down in my soul
A recent conversation with a mom and dear soul reminded me of this song written by Nina Simone. Our conversation began with the topic of "losing weight" and ended with the assertion that many moms need more sweetness in their lives and often turn to the most available sugar - food. In my role as a supporter and cheerleader to spiritual freedom I have never wanted to support a person's desire to lose, especially women; who are bombarded with the drumbeat of "be small". This recent conversation highlighted in my consciousness the sacrifice that becomes second nature in motherhood.
I, like many mothers started putting my son first the moment I found out he was growing inside of me. This was not a conscious decision, it was instinctual. The conscious effort comes in deciding to cultivate joy and sweetness for myself, pushing against the guilt that says I'm a bad mom for wanting something for myself, for divorcing my husband and redesigning our family. Mothering has been the greatest gift of my life, but not my only source of Joy or sweetness. The gift has come not only in experiencing unconditional love in a way that I could not have imagined, but also in the inspiration to fully embrace life that grew out of that unconditional love.
The conversation around the relationship between food, fulfillment, sweetness and joy brought this paradox of motherhood to the front of my mind. The Joy and sacrifice that comes from loving and managing another person's life. I can easily get caught up in keeping track of all of Max's activities and worrying about his internal state (not to mention fighting the guilt of what I might have done to disrupt or disturb his mind and heart) that I forget to check in with what TRULY makes me happy. I succumb to what THEY and THEM say I SHOULD be: young, skinny and having many possessions with lots of money to buy more. In this state my mind is in the confusion described in Yoga as kshipta (disturbed), attached to a non-reality and attempting to escape that non-reality at the same time. This avidya (ignorance) causes me to reach for the most available sweetness in an attempt to fill my soul and avoid my mind at the same time.
The recent conversation with my fellow traveler and my own journey into the Spring Cleanse has inspired me to recommit to listening and honoring what my spiritual heart is calling for. This has meant more present moments with Max, less scrolling on SM, more mindful eating and more play! Letting go of "should" and embracing what my heart says yes to is a gift of this privileged life; my gratitude for this privilege is expressed in my actions of Joy and Love.