Momma Zen

Recently, I read a book about motherhood called Momma Zen by Karen Maezen Miller. It was one of those good reads where I found myself saying "yes, yes, yes!" as I turned the pages. Many of her ideas spoke straight to my heart and I thought I'd share a few with you, my friends.

It’s not a matter of expecting less or expecting more, expecting the best or expecting the worst. Expecting anything just gets in the way of the experience itself. And the experience itself is a stunner. (16)

Practice acceptance on yourself so you can be kinder with your child. Practice nonjudgmental awareness of your life so you can save your loved ones from the cruelty of impossible standards and your hard-hearted disappointment. Practice greater faith and less blame. Take this blink of time when you are still stumbling at the gate, still awkward at the tasks, to turn down the sound and tumble freely into a state of grace. (41)

Your child is a tireless teacher, constantly probing your self-imposed limits and boundaries, your self-centeredness, your sheer stubbornness. It is a thankless job, and who would want it? But each day your child comes to work again, taking up the monumental task.

You must be a teacher too. Of agile exits and negotiations, of quick turns and pirouettes. Of all the inventive ways to go through life instead of banging it head-on. There is a deft elegance to the mother who has mastered this dance, the dance with no choreography. She is fluid and round. She smiles and laughs easily. She breezes along as though anything were possible. Like a child. (50-51)

We hurry up our children only to try, in vain, to hold a part of them back. Everything happens in its own time soon enough. Soon enough is always too soon. (114)

The power of intuition moves through a mother like a silent and gathering storm, amassing such potency, such precision, that when you stop searching elsewhere for the answers, they begin to appear in certitude before you. These are not always the answers that you want – and to that degree you might overlook them in hopeful confusion. But they are sufficient to correct your direction if you trust your eyes, and ears, and gut. (138)

You don’t have to work so hard at this. You don’t have to do so much. You don’t have to endeavor to be natural, normal, and good. It happens by itself when you least expect it. If you are confused about what you should be doing, try this. Stop what you are doing. Take care of what is in front of you, and the confusion will pass...

With time, your roots grow deep and your branches long. You lean a little less backward in fear and a little less forward in doubt, resting solidly right where you are. When the wind blows, you bend. When it stops, you straighten. Your boughs provide shelter and shade. Your strength supports the sky. Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes and the grass grows by itself.
Your baby will be okay. (145)

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