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October 2015

DONNA RAYMOND

Mother Shame

By | Insights and wisdom | No Comments

Mother Shame…

If you’re a mama, I’m like 90.99% certain that you’ve felt it.

It creeps in slowly on the coattails of sleep deprivation, overwhelm and stress… it coaxes you with story wrapped around the heady notion that there’s some proverbial textbook/mother code that you skipped class on.. missing not only chapters of stories about these whimsical magical mother faeries… you missed the whole fucking mythical book! new mom

And you kinda jumped in all starry eyed with your rose coloured glasses on and romantic ideals about what rearing children was going to be like… of course YOU would have it all figured out!

HA!!!!

Quite adamant in protest to the seasoned mothers who have a certain smirk and twinkle in their eyes when you share your romantic ideals, and they politely nod in agreeance with your naivety.

And then the harsh reality hits when you make the transition from Maiden to Mother, with a pulsing little breathing being… laying so helplessly in your arms… and even though your maternal instincts start to kick in.. there’s a part of you that’s like,

“what the fuck do I do now?”

And so it begins…. Lets face it your first child is your biggest initiator, your teacher, but also your experiment, your little guinea pig. As you fumble your way through listening for cues to respond. If something doesn’t work then you try something else, or you walk the floor in a zombie state wondering what the fuck happened to all those sweet ideals you envisioned…all the while, you are bombarded with marketing of the perfect mother.

and in it creeps… Mother Shame

momYou start to doubt yourself. Your journey as a mother. Maybe you’re not quite cut out for this… you ask around and everyone seems to have a well, and not so well formed opinion about what you should or should not be doing… in the silent recesses of your mind, you begin to feel like you’re a terrible mother. You question if you’re really cut out for this gig… you poetically lost your braincells whilst you were growing someone else’s…but you can’t go back to how things were.

You’re tested time and time again, feeling like you’re not good enough… that you’re failing or damaging your kids in some way, not giving/doing/being enough and so you give and give and give as your reserves start to deplete and then you question yourself even more… We place so much pressure on ourselves to reach an abstract concept of peak perfection, that we forget to enjoy the subtle nuances of the moment..

You feel shame at your perceived shortcomings… for not being able to be ‘the ALL’ to respond to your child… and you know why?

COS YOU’RE NOT MEANT TO.

One of the biggest gifts we can offer our children is the cultivation of sovereignty early on… doing so creates healthy emotional intelligence and boundaries.

I have noticed this Mother Shame in me so many times, especially as a solo mama who is developing a service based business to help provide a healthy lifestyle for my children. I believe whole heartedly this shame comes from our disconnection to the mother journey… by physical and vicarious experience.

Circle of Women" by Addie Boswell

“Circle of Women” by Addie Boswell

As a young girl I didn’t experience many pregnant mothers around me, I never really saw newborns or breastfeeding mothers…  the fullness of sleep deprivation, colic and teething… sure I saw glimpses but I never saw the raw and real experience of parenthood. It was just not something that was socially acceptable. Even as a young woman, it was all so foreign to me and so I didn’t have a language to shape meaning around this journey into motherhood. So I created this story of ideals in my head about what it was going to be like… based around what little I had been exposed too, majority of that being through distorted views of reality that the media portrays. Focused on all the fun and joy of sentimental moments… the kind you seen on huggies commercials!

The mothers I saw were immaculate well groomed, smiling, pleasant and even tempered. A little over protective but also very social with their mum clubs and play groups.

Truth is, I’ve felt like I’ve done most of this gig alone… and I remember looking at my first born at 2am one morning, with projectile vomit all over me, screaming out to a partner that wouldn’t wake, thinking…

“It’s just you and me bubba… just you and me”

I have felt like a failure so many times I’ve lost count. I have felt like the biggest fuck up as a mother and wanted to run away from it all. I’ve compared myself to other mother’s that appeared to just be a natural at this gig.

Being a mother of multiple children, you dabble with themes of neglect… sometimes the needs of one child are prioritised over the needs of the other… especially when there is a big age gap. It’s a challenge!

I have felt like my dreams and goals had to be sacrificed in order to honour my duty and role of mother…

I didn’t know that I could find balance between the two.

That’s one way I’ve tried to do my part in bridging the gap… especially as a young mother who became pregnantAuraura-2-087 years before my friends did. I made a point to be open and honest… to be transparent with my experience… to give voice to the realities of pregnancy and birth… sharing comedic insight into the aftermath your bits endure after giving birth… showing friends the changes in my body, my darker areola… what colostrum looks like and why its super important (one friend even wanted to taste it) i’ve been super open about my struggle with colic, oral/nipple thrush, mastitis… of bedwetting and emotional meltdowns when your child is being aggressive and all you can do is hold them. I’ve been open about the time I completely lost my cool and smacked Auruara.. the only time it ever happened and I was so guilty and ashamed of myself.. only to have her wake and slap me across the face… which made me laugh cos I deserved it.

I let my children see the very human side of me… when my buttons are pushed and i’m not coping… when I haven’t slept well from a bed full of limbs that kick you in the night… I let them know so that they can monitor my behaviour also, just like I do them… cos we are family… and we’ve got each others backs

But sometimes the shame is still there, sure it comes and goes.. usually marked with questions such as “did I just do the right thing?” how will this affect them long term? What is the emotion behind this behaviour and how am I contributing to it?

When you realise that you are responsible for shaping another person’s world view, their imprints and belief constructs… suddenly the pressure becomes paramount and such an enormous task to navigate clearly.

You begin to realise that you can only strive to do the best you can at the time.

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” – Maya Angelou

mumpreneurYou begin to realise that your role as a mother is to raise your children with a sense of trust, safety and also giving them the freedom to explore and make mistakes. To develop a strong sense of autonomy.  You can’t protect them from the world, your job is to prepare them with tools to help them navigate through their journey as best that they can, whilst being kind and caring to themselves and others.

You realise that children will perceive the world through a different lense, and that no matter how hard you try… sometimes they do not see or experience life the way you had hoped or intended… sometimes things that seem so insignificant to you as an adult, have deep and profound meaning to a child… and so all you can do is listen and respond with presence… even if it bores you completely. Knowing that sometimes you will not be able to help them… you are not their everything…

Sometimes your children will hurt and if they let you, you can hold them with your nurturing embrace

Sometimes your children will hurt others, and you will be a pillar of strength, a role model of discipline whom they look up to to decipher what is morally right and wrong.

I write this from the perspective of a pregnant mother, with an 8year old and a 2year old at home… I listen to my peers who have navigated the hormonal teenage years and I wonder what those seasons will bring…

I hope and pray that the foundational work I have invested in my children sets them up to be responsible young individuals. I hope they love fiercely and live courageously to fulfill their dreams, and support others in theirs.

I have claimed my own style of mothering, and I know that it is different to how my mother parented me, and how other family members and friends parent their own children. Journeying with women over the years in my facilitated Sacred Circles, Red Tents and Womb Temples, I have made peace with my own expression of motherhood by listening to the stories of other mothers.
I am not perfect and I do not wish to be.

I just want to be real.

I am not the fully domestically organized, baking from scratch ‘crunchy’ mama goddess with an exceptionally neat home, manicured yard etc. nope…

My home life has not been one that boasts the stability of a nuclear family.  My children all have different dad’s and I’m not ashamed of that at all.

Sorry not sorry!

My kids aren’t extremely well mannered children, but they do mean well. They are a little wild, loud and curious… asking lots of questions… they are weird and quirky, they push boundaries and talk back. They are also incredibly sensitive, respectful, sweet and well adjusted to change. They are learning their world from many different teachers.

I am not their everything, and nor do I wish to be.

It truly does take a village to raise a child, but it also takes a tribe to raise a parent… and a family.

motherhood-quotes-8May we all learn from each other, may we all share our vulnerabilities and struggles with other so that we may learn and inspire each other to grow.

There have been times where I have isolated myself out of fear of being judged. and mostly, I judged myself harshly… super critical at all my faults, I left no space to celebrate what I was good at.

Hiding in shame serves no one.

Now, I openly embrace my raw and messy motherhood journey. I admit that most of the time I am winging it… with our best interests at heart, I still have blindspots. I make mistakes, and I learn and implement new ways.

I treat the journey of mothering with curiosity… who knows where this journey leads or what is to come. I do know that I love my children dearly. They add a deeper sense of purpose to my life and the courage to rise… to be the best version of myself.

For that I am eternally grateful.

Love is…

Donna

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The Sacred F*ck It Point

By | gratitiude, Insights and wisdom, Journey Work, Philosophy, Sacred Wombman's business, Tools for healing | No Comments

The Sacred Fuck It Point… I’m becoming familiar with this space

So it’s 12:45am as I begin to write this. I’m laying in bed, mattress on the floor listening to the rain fill all the outside spaces with its loud roar. I feel strange, I am not sure if its because I received the news that my cousin is in intensive care with a head injury, or the fact that I have just read through countless stories of abuse which women have so openly shared with me after I released a survey yesterday…

And here I am nonchalantly watching the clock tick back…. Feeling something stir… knowing I “should” have been in bed hours ago…

But I’m here… awake…

In between states of doing and being… listening…

And so I pick up my laptop and go to my room… something that I don’t really do unless I want background music playing…

Deep breaths… here it comes. oh, it’s coming…

I am fucking scared… and I have been for a long time… to share my journey over the last 2 years ‘publically’ to share MY story… the side that I have kept fiercely private, suffering in silence… and so I boldly step forward… I’ve reached the point of no return… I call this…

fuck itThe Sacred Fuck It Point…

Fuck all my fears and insecurities, of holding my tongue out of ‘respect’… where the shortcomings of which show me where I am actually disrespecting myself… disrespecting the platform that I have to speak… Disrespecting the privileges that I have to be able to do this… as a soon to be 30year old ‘white’, heterosexual woman living in a safe country…with a roof over my head, food in my belly and access to the internet through various devices and various technology and tools to express my passions and creativity… I am able to share in the joy of watching happy and content children free to wander and explore their world with curiosity. I have no stress to pay rent or ward off sickness or predators. I  must honour this privilege and use it for growth and change in service to the greater good of humanity….

OH. HUMANITY… where for art thou?

Truth is I’m fucking blessed…

and I acknowledge that privilege for being born into a middle class Australian family. I’m the first to admit the idiocy of my “first world problems” keeping my feet firmly grounded as I walk my path.

My Facebook feed is a cacophony of dichotomies… and I’m absorbing all of this sensory information through my eyeballs that sometimes want to shut off to all the bullshit and violence that I see… I want to disconnect and disengage…but I know this is lighting an internal fire in me.

artist unknown.

artist unknown.

At my last Womb Temple in Townsville I shared the medicine of Lilith and Kali… and feel these archetypes stir in me now… calling me to use my voice, to craft my written words like daggers and spears to pierce through the veils of my own comfort and illusion…

Shake up to Wake up

And I sit and I think about this wave of feminine energy rising… More and more women are being called back to remember the ways of the Goddess and well, some are not… and that is cool too!

Through the pathways of the Priestess, my remembering has shifted old beliefs deep in my psyche… Holy moly my journey has taken me to some wild places within. Fierce, Raw and Wild… the primordial mother tongue speaks… and I listen intently.

Externally, what I am seeing is this shyness to embodying the DARK FEMININE… Archetypally represented in many different facets, which all share the same threads and are often depicted or represented symbolically in a negative light, such as Lilith and Kali.

Why?

Because THAT side of the feminine is fucking powerful…. Untamable!

She is Nature and Nurture… Death and Birth, Creation and Destruction coexisting in the same space, walking a sacred balance of creation…

And a huge threat to the patriarchal construct.

Boom… HERstory must be acknowledged!

The dark feminine is rising, and she is fucking full force power…. The primordial mother is pissed off. and rightfully so… look at the state of the world right now… what will the future generations of children experience as custodians of the land and dreaming?

I am 20 weeks pregnant and with my womb nurturing another little Goddess, I am feeling this potent mama energy more fiercely than ever before. Being pregnant makes me EXTRA sensitive to the complexities of the world as I am receiving sensory information that is imprinting my unborn baby, I have to be mindful of what I am absorbing… but also, not walking in naivety.

Lets acknowledge a few things here:

Land of the Free- Mark Henson

Land of the Free- Mark Henson

Let’s face it… There is mass cultural genocide happening in Australia, PNG, Palestine (Gaza) ,Syria, Africa, Pakistan, USA and other places in the the world

Our indigenous wisdom keepers are being forced off their homelands…

Our water is being tainted, bottled and sold

Our Food Security is being hijacked

Our natural Temples and libraries are being burnt or turned to pulp.

Suicide and Depression is on the rise…

Domestic Violence is destroying the healthy constructs of family and relating.

Drug Abuse/Addiction is on the rise, and newsflash the biggest drug dealers in the world wear suits!

Our sacred rites of passage and initiation have been commodified and systemized which disempowers us.

Mass shootings are becoming ‘normalised’

Governments invest more money into the military industrial complex and war machine then they do in public health and education… into looking after our elders.

Innocent people seeking refuge and asylum are being locked away as prisoners of a war they are victims of.

Symptoms of a world gone mad…oh, you’re not coping… here’s a fucking pill… get back to work…

 

I’m not writing this to be pessimistic… perhaps a little ranty… it’s just that my tolerance level for this is seriously waning..

I’M MAD AS HELL… And Hell Hath no fury like a woman scorned…

This is the threshold of crossing the Sacred Fuck it Point… where niceties are pushed aside for standing Moral ground…Standing for Meaning… Standing for Truth…Standing for Freedom and Beauty… for Kindness… because if not YOU then Who? We are all a ‘somebody’ and when we all join together we create waves of transformation!

Yea, sure we can all turn the other cheek and throw ourselves to the wolves but that’s not solving anything.

Ignorance is not Bliss… Ignorance is, Ignorance.

What’s the cure of this social dis-ease

Connection

And how do we build that?

Community

How is that created?

Through TRUST, vulnerability, accountability and authenticity

A-life-unlived-quote-1024x681In my opinion it’s becoming FULLY SOVEREIGN and responsible for Self, particularly our emotional and mental health. This means owning your story unashamedly. Being bold and curious to express yourself respectfully. Being empathic towards others and helping where/when you can.

Being really really YOU.

Beyond what people want you to be, think, feel..

being autonomous and open to express yourself open heartedly with passion and creativity.

Share your story.. not out of wounding… but from a place of empowerment…

because you now what…

You have to own it so it doesn’t own you!

And so I’ve started writing a memoir. A deep soul excavation… from all of my Sacred Woundings and Imprints.. all the lessons I have learnt and wisdom I have acquired along the way…

What of wisdom if it is not shared?

Reading through these heartbreaking stories in these surveys and feeling into other women’s stories and pain, I began to be able to articulate something that I have felt for a while now…

You liberate yourself from suffering the moment you see the value of your pain. The gift and beauty within the chaos

Your Pain becomes an Asset, it becomes of value…

Part of the Journey out of victim into survivor is owning and claiming our stories, no matter how hard or long that journey in suffering and pain was for.

Everyone processes abuse and trauma in different ways. It depends on our beliefs and attachment mechanisms and trauma bonding.

Trauma bonding infuses the abuse cycle, so what if we were to REFRAME the context as a healthy anchor… the next time a trigger comes up, we have certain tools at hand to RESCUE OURSELVES…. Wiring ourselves as the victors, and we enter in to the realms of self championing and mastery.

cos you know what…

Silence is the best friend of Abuse.

And Radical Self Love is the cure.

This I know, I have been journeying with it since I was small… There are certain people that know different parts of my story, but this evening I had this insight… that If I am to keep this all inside and not DO something with this than my experience becomes meaningless…

All those nights of intense catharsis, feeling completely broken and alone become wasted… all for what?!?

I may not have had any choice is some experiences, some I played a role in, but the reality is…if I just sit and dwell in story and worry then I am actually disrespecting myself…

And I become my abuser.

Healing becomes a committed journey once you reach the Fuck it Point…

the, Enough is Enough…

If I look back and think, Why did that have to happen to me?

Then there is someone else out there that can be spared the similar thread of story

If we can honestly sit with an empathic heart, feeling a deep connection to everyone… then how could we let this happen to others? How could we turn the other cheek… and a blind eye?

This is when I realised that my pain and suffering had value… it’s not a burden but a blessing… now I have a language to connect with others.

my invisible scars become whispers of strength and courage

All of a sudden the experiences have a deeper and more profound meaning, which ignites a fire inside that only those that have experienced being completely powerless will understand.

We are our biggest problem but we are also our Solution.

a331b18c0d70f7780740e63446e5ee85By speaking up and out I claim my story…. my pain body and my suffering. It no longer has a hold on me.

I no longer hide in shame or suffer in silence. I liberate myself from my own shackles.

I acknowledge where my weaknesses have been, I’ve mapped my underworld… my shadow plane…. We’re now pretty good “friends” cos I’ve had frequent visits, behind closed doors… inside the stillness of the night through internal screams and echoes of voices all conspiring against my beauty of being. I dragged myself there out of Guilt, Shame and Self pity.

Truth is I am fucking strong! I’m still here… showing up… and that means something!

The thing about abuse is that it lives on way longer than any act in the moment.

I can’t shake my head at the current statistics of Domestic Violence in this country and not do something…

To stay silent is to enable this unhealthy behaviour to continue.

To speak from a place of empowered reason provides the platform for growth and change. You elevate yourself archetypally from Victim, to Survivor to Prophet.

Just as Nelson Mandella said,

“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”

So Fuck it… let the shackles go…

horse tied to chair

You have full permission to be the best version of yourself RIGHT NOW! Dare to be bold and different. Speak up for those who have lost their voice.

Be kind and generous EVERYDAY… The world needs your special spark, your smile and your laughter.

You are here to be beautiful, to know love and to be love. Don’t let ANYONE or any story keep you from realising that.

May you find peace in your body… Your only real home on this adventure. May your home be kept de-clutterd and healthy. May it inspire you dance your dance and sing your song, showing you how magnificent you truly are. I hope you claim that. I hope you see it. Be kind to yourself during these wild times. For this will be a legacy we pass on to the children of the world.

Love is…

Donna xx