When I was preschool age, my mom worked nights bartending so that she could be with me during the day time. She put up with who-knows-what kinds of attitudes in order to provide food, clothes, and toys for me. Most of all, what I remember though is simply how she was around me – her being. She always made me feel encouraged, and like she wanted to be with me. I remember being nose-to-nose with her and soaking up her loving energy, much like I’ve seen her do with my own children before I even realized I was doing that with them too. When I was school age, she was at every field trip, every dance competition, and every performance quietly cheering me on. To this day, she is a huge supporter, and genuinely interested in my work and what I am learning about myself as a coach, as a mother, and as a fellow citizen of the world. Not to mention that she is usually the first to comment on my posts and an avid follower of my content shares!
I must admit at first being a little anxious about how she would feel towards my postings that center around being a more conscious parent. Without truly understanding what that means, anyone could easily misconstrue that to mean “I want to parent differently than I’ve been parented” and for being generally ungrateful for how I was raised. The truth is there may be differences and there may be similarities in our parenting styles. I don’t really focus on comparisons. Being a conscious parent to me, means focusing on what my own children need from me, and rather than blindly reacting in the moment, being mindful as much as I can about the choices I am making. It means looking inward as much as I can and using the learning opportunities that being a parent bring to me about how I want to behave and what I want to model for my children.
My mom chose to relocate to a different state to raise me in a stable environment, to work hard and provide for me, and to show me love every chance she got. For all of that I am enormously grateful. The fact that she did the very best she could with what she knew and at such a relatively young age, inspires me to do the best that I know how with my own children. What I have learned through my own spiritual journey is that I still have so much to learn. I have discovered that life is not about figuring out a series of answers or winning anything, but instead enjoying the learning process and mastering the art of being human. I know my role as a mother is to teach my kids how life works, to honor who they are, and above all else make them feel safe and loved. I wouldn’t have had the space or capacity for love and encouragement that I have in my heart for others if my mom didn’t show that kind of love to me.
My mom’s drive to help, to serve, and to empower others is also inspiring. In fact, she is forming Friends of Vince, a non-profit organization honoring my brother’s memory, to provide scholarships and sporting equipment to kids who are in need. Her vision is to sell her hand-made jewelry and accept donations of others’ art in whatever format it takes and have 100% of the sales profits go toward the scholarship fund. This budding endeavor has been an inspiration for me to reconnect with my own creativity, and I have very much enjoyed creating the drawings I have made thus far. (She is still working through the logistical details to get up and running for sales, but if you are interested in donating your own original art to this terrific cause, please send me an email and I can put you in touch.)
New moms often fret (I remember being one not long ago) about what they are doing right/wrong for their little one. I am here to say, perhaps as much to myself as to anyone else, ultimately it is not the doing that matters most. So this Mother’s Day, I want to give thanks to my mom, not for all the things she did for us which were many, but instead for her energy and simply the way she was around us – her being. The doings are obvious. But the being is an art that appreciates over time.
“What is done in love is done well.” Vincent van Gogh