Happy Mother’s Day, Mamas!

I am delighted that my interview with De West, a longtime friend, inspiring mother, yoga teacher extraordinaire, and postpartum whisperer gets to be published today. Her daughter and my son are close in age and I have learned so much from the attention and mindfulness with which she mothers.

What soul work has mothering entailed for you?

Motherhood has brought me patience and presence. Trying to be present with what’s happening when its happening: Skinning a knee, falling out a window, preschool graduation, disagreements. The soul call for me has been about boundaries. I grew up with a lot of boundaries, so my goal is how not to be boundary-less in response. I keep searching for that balance. Sometimes my daughter’s fire personality and strong will gets me a little spun out. Learning how to communicate in a way that brings clear but loving boundaries is a huge part of my soul work.

What do you see as the greatest gifts of motherhood?

I love seeing how children become their own individuals.When they are newborns they are so dependent, but there is always the sense of their own presence. I love the continuous exploration of getting to know who they are. I enjoy seeing their divinity, their play. And that’s what I return to when I am flipping out—the simple wonder of her presence in my life. I have so much gratitude for being a mother. I’m thankful that I have a divine being who triggers me, and makes me grow, in ways I never would have explored otherwise.

On the path of motherhood, how does the quality of Wonder speak to you?

I’m the kind of person who likes to know what’s happening next, and so is my daughter. We are planners. For me, the wonder has been the not knowing. I can get stuck in the safety of knowing. But for six years now, I have been on the path of wonderment. My pregnancy and her birth were just the prelude to the ongoing journey into the heart of wonder. Anahata’s big gift to me is learning to see with wonder eyes, because everything is so new for her.

How do you keep the inner flame alive in your day-to-day home life?

It’s being present and it’s friggin hard. I have to let go of my agenda, my to-do list, all my attachments. I ask myself all the time how can I be in her wonderworld with her, but still establish boundaries. It’s tricky and some days are better than others. Some days I feel the flame gets dimmed. If I can let go of what I need to let go of, presence starts to shine again.

What word encapsulates your experience of motherhood today?

Presence.