Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday dear Mojo Monday!
Happy Birthday to you!
Mojo Monday was born in May 2010, so we are celebrating her 1st Birthday today. She has taught me a number of things during her first year of life. (Children tend to do that!)
She taught me that when you have a dream or goal that you need to set aside the time to do the work to reach those dreams and goals. For example if you want to be a writer you have to write. Thinking about being a writer or talking about being a writer some day will not move you very far towards your goal. You have to actually write.
She taught me more about getting my joy from the creating and the journey, not from the responses I get (or don’t get) to what I created or wrote. There are important lessons to be learned about the importance of internal approval rather than external approval.
She provided wonderful opportunities to meet, interact and get to know better more of the brilliant and creative Cosmic Cowgirls on the Rodeo, where I also post my Mojo Monday discussions.
She showed me that commitment and applied discipline to a regular practice feels good and can build one’s confidence to say “YES” to other opportunities.
Here’s to you Mojo Monday!
Mojo Monday also has another VERY EXCITING announcement to make. Starting this month there will a new writer joining me. I am thrilled that Cosmic Cowgirl Steph Cowling who currently lives in Brooklyn, New York will be bringing her brilliance, wit and wisdom to the weekly campfires. She and I will be greeting you on alternating weeks. Steph has been a Sparking leader and also hosts the Wild Women Story Gathering site with fabulous Jenafer Joy. They are currently leading the group through the book Women Who Run With the Wolves. If you are interested in joining the reading group check it out here. She will certainly be bringing us a great deal of thoughtful and inspirational posts in the coming months.
In a book called Naikan: Gratitude, Grace, and the Japanese Art of Self-Reflection by Gregg Krech I came across a phenomenal section on Mother’s Day. Seeing as how Mother’s Day is on this upcoming Sunday, May 8th I wanted to share with you his wisdom and touching suggestion to write your mom a heartfelt letter of gratitude.
Before the author gets to his own touching letter he does start at a different end of the spectrum regarding the parental relationship: “Mother, you never bothered to tell me you loved me. You never loved me for myself. You just wanted me to fulfill your own unfulfilled dreams. You weren’t there for me when I needed you. You only paid attention to me when I got good grades in school.”
The author continues “These comments are characteristic of those of us who have searched the depths of our souls to get in touch with our anger at our mothers, encouraged by an army of talk-show hosts, authors, recovery programs, and therapists, all helping us take an honest look at our childhoods and then take aim at our moms. Of course, we’ll take time out on Mother’s Day to send a card, make a phone call, or offer a small gift to the woman, who among other things, brought us into the world. But this small detail, and many others, are lost or forgotten amidst an array of people and programs who see mom as just another casualty on the road to self-realization and self-esteem. Of course, mothers aren’t perfect. They make mistakes. They make foolish choices. They act selfishly and lose their temper. Some of them abandon and abuse their children. But before we abandon them, it might be wise to review the record.
My first serious attempt to do that came in 1989 when I spent two weeks at a a Naikan center near Kuwana, Japan, reflecting on my entire life. For more than a day I did nothing but reflect on my relationship with my mother, year by year. What had she given me during my childhood? Memories came slowly at first, and were somewhat vague. But from time to time a vivid image would surface of her making me a bologna and cheese sandwich for my lunch box, or washing my muddy Little League baseball uniform, or sitting down and playing the piano with me. Some of my reflections on my mom involved calculations: How many times did she change my dirty diapers? How many meals did she cook for me? How many loads of laundry did she wash?...Much of what is required of mothers is not exciting: laundry, dishes, diapers, sitting on a playground bench and watching your son climb up and own monkey bars. It is precisely because of the undramatic nature of these services that they are overlooked, forgotten, or taken for granted. They don’t get discussed in therapy. They aren’t a common subject of self-help books. They don’t appear as a central theme in the TV sitcom. But when we reflect on our lives and our relationships to our moms, it’s essential to remember these acts of service for one very important reason: they happened.
By the time I completed my two-week stay at the Naikan center my relationship with my mom was forever changed. It’s not that I became a model son or built her a home on the Riviera. It’s just that my memory was a bit more complete and my image of her was different. I could rarely talk with her on the phone without remembering some of the excavated memories from Japan. And those memories included my own mistreatment of her as a child and adolescent. They included my own ingratitude toward her for what she had done for me.”
“…there was one woman who got me started as a seedling and made sure I was firmly rooted until I could transplant myself. She deserves to be remembered for all the tedious, unexciting things she did for me. As my way of honoring your service, Mom, I plan to fold some laundry today.”
What might you do today to honor your mom?
Are you feeling inspired to write her a heartfelt letter for Mother’s Day? Please share it if you feel inclined to do so.
You could also write her a poem or paint her something. If you create something come back and share a photo.
Here is a scrapbook page that includes a letter to my mom and a sassy photo of the two of us back in the summer of 1996. It also includes words that I feel describe her. This particular photo was taken on a day that we had gone to a fair and had our faces painted. We later went out dancing that night, with our face paint still on I might add.