BY Alice Grist
Prior to becoming a mum, I was (and still am) a spiritual author. I say “was,” because in becoming a mum I kind of let go of anything and everything else and that, to an extent, included my spiritual path. My baby was the biggest spiritual gift I’ve ever received and just being with her, consumed in her smell, her personality, her mood, her needs, was enough. But she is gradually getting older, and as I become more used to being a Mummy, I begin to feel the pull of spirituality at my sleeve again.
So when one has fallen off a spiritual, soulful wagon, how does one return to it? Well, happily, I have written books on the subject, so I should find it easy right? Perhaps not as easy as you might presume. Being human, alongside being spiritual, tends to cause problems. As soon as you leave space for a bad habit to develop, one surely does. So whilst all my years of being a good spiritual girl do count for something, I am not immune to falling deep into a rut and having to grow some nails and crawl the hell out, getting dirty and mucky as I do.
I guess that’s where I am at. The crawling phase. Beaten by my daughter several months ago! Whilst I am metaphorically pulling myself out, she is dashing about like a whirling dervish, inevitably slowing my progress. But that is cool, she is cute, I forgive her.
My second spiritual book, ‘The High Heeled Guide to Spiritual Living,’ was set out in lessons. And I believe it will help my progress if I translate those lessons here and now to the world of momma-hood. So for my benefit, more than yours, here it is. The High Heeled Guide to Spiritual Living for Mommas who wear flat shoes and who are just about lifting their head over the parapet of nappies, mealtimes, and leaking boob incidents. Here in ten powerful steps is the way back to your Momma Soul.
Lesson 1) What is spirituality? Well, there is an intriguing question. My idea of spirituality is kinda that it is everything. Now that I am a mum, Spirituality is waking each morning to the most beautiful little face I ever did see. It is taking pride in her coming first and me a most definite second, sometimes third. It is giving life. It is growing life. It is believing that when that life leaves this planet, it is still with us, connected to us, forever and ever by energy. Yes, that means your beloved Nana and even your first, ever most loved pet are still, in some way or another, cozied up to your soul. I believe that energy is more than just ‘energy’ – it is radical, big time love, it is real, and it has consciousness. And right now Universal energy is here in the form of me and you and our babies. Mind-blowing I know.
Lesson 2) Faith. Yep, as a momma you need a whole barrel of that. Faith that shit will pass. Faith that good will abide. Faith that you are doing OK. Yeah, it’s cool to test your spiritual faith, too. On a rough day, ask for a sign, one to rejuvenate your will, and choose to believe it when you see it. Even busy mums, too busy for their nails and hair, are deserving of a little universal sugar. Just ask for a sign. It will come. And when it does, perspective will be regained I promise.
Lesson 3) The Goddess. I have a little girl and I want her to see the value in the feminine. A value that society tends to place solely on hips and tits and big, snoggy, lips. Men and women are but two parts of a whole. It is my spiritual, human, mothering mission to let my little girl know that, yep men and women are different, and yep that is a good thing, and yep, women rock, are incredible, are clever, strong, beautiful, nurturing, chattery, fascinating, and valuable. Girl power. But better.
Lesson 4) Free Your Mind. Oh, how I laugh! Freeing my mind was far easier pre-baby. But freeing my mind is so much more important now. Little lady does not need a mum hung up on ego, over-thinking or worry. She doesn’t need a bitchy momma, a moany, whining, nagging mama. So I must keep perspective, and my spiritual path assists me to do that. Meditation, non-reaction, love, love, love. They are the way forward.
Lesson 5) Life is Hard. Ain’t it just. I had no idea how hard until I had my beautiful bubba in my arms, and it was 3am, and I’d been up 48 hours having given birth, and no, she just wouldn’t sleep. Life is bloody hard. But in those sleep-deprived moments, despite tears welling up, and fear caught in the back of my throat, there was so much beauty. We muddled through together, me and her. Those moments of hardship I can now look back upon with rose tinted goggles and they look so pretty. I’d do them again, sure I would. Maybe not tonight, but I’d do them again for her. Life is hard yet every hardship brings us closer to our soul.
Lesson 6) Dumb Culture. Ah, my hatred of all things terrible in society, particularly as marketed towards women. Particularly those things that stop us thinking beyond our own flesh, or what we adorn upon it – handbags, shoes, glitter. You know, that kinda thing. It’s only dumb, though, if you let it consume you. Everything has a place. All things are needed. But I know I must be a living example to my girl. She will see me wear make up, or maybe a sexy low cut top for Daddy Date time. But then she will see me mostly real and confident, sans make up and in flat shoes, sweating and carrying heavy stuff. I’ll keep it real for her. I’ll always laugh. That is what she will see most on her mother’s face: a big, fat smile.
Lesson 7) The Body. Argh, that female abode of weirdness. Why can’t we just get along with our flesh? My approach to my body has all changed since birthing baba. Now I am happily content in this miraculous skin. It made a human. It is very amazing. How we are within ourselves is a good indicator of our spirit’s progress. If we can’t think past our ‘fat’ thighs, then we ain’t gonna get to our soul anytime soon, and our daughters and sons will learn only to see flesh instead of feasting upon the wonders of the world both manifest and spiritual. So raise your eyes girly, look away from your tum, and get real, really real, spiritually real.
Lesson 8) Love. Yep. That. A ton of it. All for baby. And her Daddy. And the extended family who support us. Love is all. Start every sentence, every second, every day with love. Employ it before you reach for criticism. Feel it. Pass it on to the next generation. Love is the easiest thing in the world if you just choose to allow it in.
Lesson 9) The Natural World. Apparently many kids these days feel a disconnect with nature. I aim to take my girl out in nature every single day. Nature is spiritually healing. It gives us so much desperately needed balance. If you are feeling a little ‘off,’ or even a whole lot depressed, go out and connect with the spirit of this planet in its many forms: earth, wind, fire. Hug a tree, lay on the grass, swim in the sea, jump in muddy puddles (damn you Peppa Pig). Just do it, be in it, remember that you are it. Let goddess energy fill you up and shift your stagnation, just a little.
Lesson 10) Connect. Us mommas are so good at connecting. It can be a bitchy playground, but drop all that silliness, find your mothering soul-mates, and you are in good company. Get out with your children and find other people who you are gonna love and who are going to bring as much as you can offer them. Connect and get deep and real. And don’t forget yourself. You are so much more than laundry doe-er, nappy changer, cook and maid. You are a person too. Connect to that person every single day. Connect to your deepest soul, even if only for five measly minutes. Connect your ‘momma’ to your ‘you’ and be the truest version of true!