Happy Mother’s Day — and to all the moms that gave birth to all of us, thank you.

Whatever your relationship to motherhood, we’ve got a funky thing happening right now during this period of human history, in which upleveling our collective “mom” skills is necessary.

In an ideal world, we (society) would give birth to babies who then grow up feeling accepted, valued, cherished, and respected for ALL of who they are — not just the parts that are obedient, “good” girls and boys, and generally conform to the unspoken rules for How We Do Things Here. We would all be models for unconditional love and acceptance, and pass that along to the next generation, and oh how happy we would be.

But, because the human experience is what it is right now, we have this other thing going on, in which we are all unconsciously programmed to suppress, hide, distort, and modify aspects of who we really are, in order to have our basic needs for love, belonging, and acceptance met. Some of these influences are cultural and systemic, some are parental, some are just baked into the fabric of modern society and the economic value systems and education and religious institutions we’ve grown up in.

Which means, we’ve got a whole lotta suppressed shadow bursting at the seams.

AND… a whole lotta repressed creative genius lurking beneath the shadows.

Which is where our need for mom skills comes in.

If you’re reading this, you’ve already likely done a ton of mom work, learning to re-mother yourself as a mature adult evolving into your best self, providing your inner child with the basic needs that were unmet in your early years, and becoming a wellspring (or at least an occasional trickle now and then) of mindful self-compassion for yourself.

But this THING, where we have societally and culturally become one Giant Overcontrolling Mom, has rigidified our experience to the point of absurdity.

  • “You want to do WHAT??? No, that’s not safe. That won’t work.”
  • “WHO do you think you are, young lady?”
  • “Big boys don’t cry, now knock it off. “
  • “SOMEONE here is getting too big for their britches!”
  • “Oh, honey, that’s not ladylike, get down out of that tree.”
  • “Behave yourself!”

And on and on it goes, eradicating any sense of sovereignty or self-trust in our developing children before it gets, you know, OUT OF CONTROL.

“Well, now, we can’t just have kids running wild, now can we?” insists the Giant Overcontrolling Mom.

Meanwhile, moms everywhere are pulling their hair out trying to control their children and coping with the stress by drinking far too much red wine and hiding in the pantry to eat the entire package of oreos while hoping that nobody catches them.

Houston, we have a [control] problem.

I could riff on this all day, but my point for today is simply this:

The unseen is what needs mothering right now.

The unseen means: the buried hurts, the unacknowledged pain, the resentments and the grief.

The unseen means: the sparkle of genius that requires wild untamed freedom to be expressed.

The unseen means: the discomfort of naming unpleasant emotions and sensations in the moment with transparency (as in, “oh, wow, I just noticed my gut tighten when you said that, I am feeling some anxiety flaring up. Hold on, let me just be with that for a moment.”)

The unseen means: doing the thing that you’d do if nobody were watching (no, not consuming the entire pack of cookies in the pantry — I mean the wildly outrageously unacceptable dream that you’ve buried because, you know, it’s not responsible, you should know better, and you’re an adult.)

The unseen means: creating safety for yourself to be ALL OF YOU. Just like a super-ideal Mom would. Allowing ALL of your feelings and emotions to be okay, not apologizing when you shed a tear. (grabbing kleenex, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I don’t know what’s wrong with me”.) Allowing ALL of your wildest dreams and desires to be nurtured BY YOU (because let’s face it, nobody else will until you do).

I’ll close with two examples: one about the unseen shadow, the second unleashing the unseen creative dream.

MOM SKILL #1 : WELCOMING THE BAD STUFF

A couple of days ago, a sixth grade girl pulled a handgun out of her backpack in a local school in a nearby community. She shot two kids and an adult (in the extremities, none reported to be life-threatening) for yet unknown reasons.

In the news media, a local expert was asked what parents should be telling their own kids about this, as it’s literally very close to home here. The advice? If they’re eight or younger, avoid talking about it. Don’t say anything.

[Warning: */ sarcasm rant/*] Right. Because having conversations about difficult topics is Not How We Do Things Here. We adults bury and suppress our discomfort and fear, so that you children pick up on it but NEVER EVER speak of it, so that you, too learn how to dissociate between what your intuition is telling you (something is wrong here) and our Unspoken Rules For Relating, which is to pretend everything is just fine and do you want another cookie? Children can’t handle these things. [Code for: Adults Can’t Handle Talking About These Things] */ end sarcasm /* Meanwhile, the unacknowledged fears and dissonance get buried even deeper, where they fester and grow and blow up in other dysfunctional and damaging ways.

My point is, developing the maturity to acknowledge “I feel sad and scared and it’s okay for this feeling to be here,” is a Mom Skill that we can all improve upon, myself included, not only when crises happen in our communities but within our own experience every day.

It’s GOT to become okay for ALL of us to be here, all the time, or we are all going to keep on unleashing our unseen shadows in greater orders of magnitude, harming our own health, our families and relationships, and our society.

My son is also a sixth-grader, and is with his dad this week so we haven’t yet spoken about it, but I have no doubt the incident will spark an insightful conversation. My son has been my greatest teacher in this regard, especially since a conversation we had when he was four years old, during that developmental stage when the veil is thinner.

I asked him one day, when he was four, “Is there anything that I, or we as parents, can do to help your soul grow in the way that you’re here to be?”

He replied, “Tell me everything, mom. Tell me why people do the things they do. Tell me why do bad people do bad things. Why do people do good things. I want to know why everyone does what they do.”

And so, those are the conversations we’ve had for years, being curious about human motives and shadows and behaviors and observing our own emotions and what kind of behaviors we participate in when those emotions are up, and so on. We’ve talked about just about everything, and he has more than enough capacity to handle the full hot mess that humans are, with his own curiosity and perspective.

He’s helped me discover that kids can have far more capacity for accepting the human experience, than what we adults have been trained to think (and certainly more than what we model, by default!). And little by little, I’ve been able to develop the Mom Skill of talking with him about my own interior (usually unseen) experience and about the big bad stuff in the world, with transparency, curiosity, and calm presence.

MOM SKILL #2 : UNLEASHING THE UNSEEN CREATIVE DREAM

I firmly believe that as all of us show up for our own highest aspirations and (often unseen) dreams, we become the role models that are needed to demonstrate a different way of being for future generations. (This is not just for moms, I’m talking about all of us, but as today is Mother’s Day, I’m calling it a Mom Skill because we are all mothering the world as we do this!)

For myself, the journey of unleashing the true artistry of my soul has been, and continues to be, an arduous process. I think artistry has that baked into it. But it also contains the seeds of pure flow, pure fulfillment, pure creation, and so much joy.

I’ve been working on getting a vlog series going for my Youtube channel, about my adventures in the air as a pilot and wingwalker and who knows what else lies ahead, and finally have the first video posted. (It includes some wingwalking clips AND my son’s impromptu debut as a videographer, ha ha ha.) So, I’ll stop writing here and instead share the link to my own creative baby, being birthed here from the unseen into the seen. May it inspire you to unleash the next unseen thing ready to be birthed from you, too.

Here’s to upleveling our Mom Skills, all of us together. A rising tide lifts all boats.

May you be blessed today with so much love, radical acceptance of all of you, and deep reverence for all that’s unseen within you.