This article was written by guest, Barb McMahon.
This past weekend, I had the honour and privilege to attend the I Can Do It Conference created by Hay House here in Vancouver with my mother. I felt so fortunate to share the experience with my mum. We both have read Marianne Williamson’s A Gift of Change this year and were looking forward to hearing her speak as well as all the other speakers including Dr. Wayne Dyer, Doreen Virtue, and Louise Hay. To be able to breathe in and breathe out as a collective audience of over 3,000 beside my mother with love and spirit, peace and kindness was a true gift. The energy was warm and so comforting.
Louise Hay was a speaker at this event with Cheryl Richardson. Her presence was innocent and child like to me. She had a sense of freedom and enthusiasm for life and perfect love of herself that was beyond contagious. Sitting on a tall stool, she was more like a new young Empress on a throne then an 84 yr old woman speaking for the thousandth time, swinging her legs, arms open, palms up and bra full of goodies!
She started her speech with such a simple and kind gesture; asking us all to place one hand on our hearts and one hand on our tummy…reminding us that we are loved telling us all to tell ourselves “I Love Me. All is well.” Our own hands providing so much comfort she channeled her energy right into our hearts.
This experience brought up a really important fact to remember: even when we are alone, we are always supported. We can provide ourselves with as much comfort as we provide others. Our hands and our arms hug and give love so powerfully. It is important to place our hands on our own hearts and hug ourselves too.
During my personal journey of overcoming my fears, guilt, shame and doubts in the last year and a half of living in debt and struggle, I too looked to myself for comfort. Not that there was no one else to lean on or anyone else to support me to be clear. But in the wee hours of the morning or the time just before bed when all anxieties seem to arise, it became so clear to me that I had the power in myself to comfort myself.
After all, I am a mother of two young children. There is something incredibly powerful about being a mother or a father for that matter. When your child is fussing/crying, in pain, hungry or just not settled and you are able to provide them with your arms. When you hold your crying unsettled child, soothe them with your words and they settle. They become calm. And even more magically, when your child falls asleep because of you that is truly powerful.
So then by divine right and ability so must we also be able to take our same arms and hands, wrap them around ourselves in our darkest of times, place our hands on our hearts and provide the same comfort we would provide our children.
The following is a conversation I had with myself after a particular hard time this past year. In honour of Mother’s Day, I share with you an experience I had because I am a daughter and also a mother to a daughter.
I had a moment of desperation turned into inspiration before going to bed one night. I’d been reading the Sedona Method which in very short, talks about allowing feelings to come up all the way even if we have been trying to keep them at bay, asking ourselves if we are ok to keep these feelings, if so, for how long and then to actually let go of the feelings. A lot more to it than this but you get the idea.
Ok, so I tried this several times, during and after a fight– not bad, didn’t stay mad for nearly as long because I just chose not to, watching the odd sad story on TV; able to cry about it and feel really badly for who the story is about, somehow easier to cry at others misfortunes than my own.
But one night I decided to really let the feelings come up before going to bed. I was in my bathroom, sitting on the closed toilet seat and the following internal conversation could be heard if you had a USB cord connected to my brain:
My voice: “How could you let this happen? What are you going to do about it? When are you going to do something about it? As if you thought this was ever going to be ok!”
Tons of tears and snot ensue, heaves spill out, glasses off, nose blown, breathing almost stops.
My Mother’s voice: “Barb, it’s time to let this go. It’s time to forgive yourself.” I start to feel her arms around me. She is rubbing my back…”There…that’s better. Let it go. It’s all right.”
*Note: I had to share this moment with my mum the next day. She told me that same night around that time she was “not there. I wasn’t in my body.”
Tears slow, head lifts up, shoulders move back, eyes search the ceiling, breathe comes back into my body.
My voice I’d hear if I was talking to Stella, my daughter: “Time to clean up the mess and pick up the pieces. Get up now. You’re ok. All better…there, see? You’re going to be ok, I’m right here. I’m always with you and I am never going to leave your side. Ever. No matter what you do, I will always love you.”
I get up off the toilet from the night light lit bathroom and into the bedroom, climb into bed and continued to soothe and heal myself as I would if my own children needed me falling asleep.
Did it work to bring up all the crappy feelings and do my best to let them go? Yes.
Do I still have a bit of those feelings left? Yes, but not as much. The next day, literally was empowering, full of really interesting stuff, great meetings, great acknowledgements.
What have you said to your children to help them feel better that you should also say to yourself?
Barb McMahon is the Founder and Visionary behind Sprouting Chefs, a kitchen garden program for children. Barb championed a school garden project/program at Forest Grove Elementary to create the first edible school garden in the Burnaby School District. Her mission and vision is to create space and programs where children feel connected to the earth and each other, work in harmony with nature and eat the fruits of their labours. Her After School Garden Club currently has 28 members of all age groups from Forest Grove Elementary including 12 teens she calls their EnvironMentors!