THE BLOG
05/06/2016 07:47 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Mothering Ourselves {aka radical self love}

Ivan Bliznetsov via Getty Images

2016-05-06-1462551171-2713627-IMG_2606.JPG
Sofia Rose Smith in Death Valley, photo by Sammy Lyon

Years ago, I had heard Alexis Pauline Gumbs {who is brilliant} talk about the practice of "mothering ourselves." Now and again {and especially around Mother's Day} this phrase pops into my head. What does it mean to mother ourselves?

Today as I began to write this, I also began to think about forgiveness. How can we forgive ourselves and one another? How can we forgive our own mothers for any pain we might have received from them? How can we forgive the loved ones in our lives and how can we forgive ourselves a million times over, every. single. day.

"And still, after all this time,
The sun never says to the earth,
"You owe Me."

Look what happens with
A love like that,
It lights the Whole Sky."

-Hafiz

Earlier this week, I found a journal I thought I had lost 8 years ago. As I flipped through its pages, I felt the intimate longing and traces and questions of my younger self. I saw a young girl having fallen in love for the first time. A wise woman grappling with her shifting identity. A poet in love with language. A blooming yogi trying to find the flow of self-love. I felt so much tenderness for this younger version of myself. I even pulled out my old cd player and listened to an old mix made with love by my dear sister friend.

All of this to say, the present-day version of me was mothering the younger me, in this moment. And in a way, the younger version of me was mothering/loving my present-day self.

This act of mothering looked like giving myself time to meander through an old journal. Sounded like a mix that dated back to the early 2000's. It felt like giggles and some tears and lots of tenderness. It took on the magic of letting my present self write again on the pages of my soft and cozy journal from yesteryear.

Mothering is something that's beyond gender, too. Mothering is an act. A kind of holding. It's allowing our bodies to be and grow and become magic in the world. It's watering the plants outside. It's the Moon shining her light down onto our crystals and stones. It's getting enough rest, drinking enough water, and nourishing ourselves in every way.

How can you nourish yourself this week?
How can you practice radically mothering yourself?

In community, how can we hold ourselves to a bigger vision of what our relationships look and feel like, and how we hold space for one another?

Can we be more vulnerable? More honest? Can we reach out more, even and especially when we are in pain? Can we hold space for our kin and our friends when they are in pain?

A harder question: who {or what} in your life are you neglecting? Who or what are you avoiding? Who haven't you called? What actions are you persistently tucking away for another day?

How can you instead be with yourself, your projects, and even others like they are little ones that deserve lots of tenderness and compassion? How can you be the act of mothering to all the parts of your life?

Right now, take an inhale into the tense spots in your life: the fears and worries. The folks you feel disconnected from. Even the parts of YOU that feel lost, strained or abandoned.

Breathe into them.
Breathe out.

Here's something special for you to do: find an old journal {the older, the better} and read through the pages. Remember who you were. Remember the worries from way back when. Notice what's familiar, notice what's not. Be with your little one. Be with that baby you. Love up on them. Then, bring that same love to your present-day self.

AND! go ahead and take 7-mins to listen to this Mothering Ourselves audio meditation I made for us. <3

Let me know how you embody the act of mothering in the comments below, even if that means honoring the people who love and mother you in your life! <3

Sending you all my love.

PS I chose intentionally to embrace the word mother for a few different reasons. I really do honor that many folks will never identify with the word or act of "mothering" or "fathering" for that matter, and that is beautiful. For all the gender expansive parenting and loving beings out there, I see you. <3 And for all who've experienced losses around mothers, I also see and honor you. <3 LOVE to all <3


Sofia Rose Smith is a queer feminist intuitive guide, channel, lover of words and creator of Finding Magic. You can connect more with her by visiting her website.