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Susan Smalley, Ph.D. Headshot

Mystic Mom

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There is no experience quite as profound as motherhood. When you give birth to another, you become that other. From the first kicks in a puffing-up stomach to the first moments after birth, you melt into the other. You are not one, you are not two, you are a blend -- something outside yourself yet in yourself. Nowhere in life are you given the opportunity to transcend yourself in quite the same way. When your baby lies at your breast drinking from your fluid, you are not two organisms, you are one of a new kind of organism.

When your child lies sleeping on your heart -- you are heart to heart, rhythmically beating as one. Breathing in, breathing out, you are transported beyond your body, yourself, into this symbiotic relationship -- this new organism. In this deeply profound sense of being, you might notice the silence of the room, the sound of your breathing together, your heartbeat (as one), the tiny fingers caressing your skin, your breath and words of love caressing your child. This moment of life, found in the breath merged into a single breath, is meditation. It is the moment of aliveness, of deep joy, of profound love, compassion, beyond words, beyond thoughts, beyond time. You may be jolted from this moment by reality -- a phone ringing, a husband or child shouting 'mom!', but you can look deep into those newborn eyes or lids as the baby lay resting, and treasure that moment, that moment of transcendence, when time stood still for a moment and you experienced infinite bliss.

All moms are mystics by virtue of experiencing this moment of self-transcendence, experiencing a moment where "I" doesn't exist, where "I," the objective I, and "Am," the subjective "being," blur together as one. A new kind of existence, an "I-AM" experience.

I used to think 'mystical' experiences were just hallucinations, with biological origins; then I came to believe that 'mystical' experiences were for the 'few chosen ones' those that were somehow deemed important enough to see reality from a different 'metaphysical' perspective; now I know that we are all mystics within, we all experience mystical moments, we just don't call them that. A mystical experience is just an experience of 'self-transcendence', the 'I-AM' moment. The self-transcendent moments are generally fleeting, but as a group, I suspect that moms experience more mystic moments than any other group of living persons on earth -- be they monks, priests, nuns, or any other religious or meditative sect. Yet mystic moms have not recognized this tremendous 'gift' nor shared their mysticism in any organized manner or perhaps even realized how such knowledge -- when shared with others -- could help to change our world into a more loving, compassionate, place. This is a wake-up call, a wake-up to what you already know, a wake-up to beginning to find a voice to share your knowledge, a wake-up to take that knowledge and experience it in the world -- to use it to wake-up others, to use it to nurture our planet and humanity, to use it to create a new sense of community, a social community, a living breathing earth that will care for itself and one another. A world of connection, not division. A world where the oneness you felt in your fleeting moments of mysticism, become the practice of living beings on earth. It is time to become aware of those mystical moments and to consciously use them as a collective to become more fully aware human beings.