my new [zen] journey.

mothering, parenting, fathering, caring whatever you call it, whatever it looks like to you, is tough stuff!

i’ve been quite open about my constant, internal battles as a mama. i’ve shared my struggles with the ever present weight of my own mother’s guilt, my feelings of total and complete inadequacy, my ever present worries about not being enough to my kids and then there’s the whole regrets boat that i’ve jumped aboard!

but this year, 2013, was or i mean is going to be one of change for me. things have already shifted, but to make big changes, one has to be patient and that’s where i’m at. you can read more about my new year’s resolutions HERE and my soul searching thoughts HERE.

a friend of mine recommended a fantastic book after reading one of my recent new year posts. it’s by karen maezen miller and it’s called Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood. check out her blog HERE. (and, WOW mamaA, talk about being exactly what i need right now.)

this book is hitting all of my struggles bang on. BANG ON. karen describes the yes common, but the deeply personal pains it takes to be a mama. the way all of our pre-existing boundaries and expectations are being pushed and twisted and morphed into something unexpected and unknown. the way us mother’s are placed on opposing sides of this mamahood thing just by the philosophy we choose to follow, creating negative competition when we should be supporting each other. the way, even after newborns grow into infancy and infants into toddlers, our role and job as a mother never goes away, there is no option to quit.

it’s the kind of book i should have purchased for myself, because all i want to do is sit there with a highlighter and mark the things i feel are true to me. 

who can’t relate to this:

“Exhaustion made me brittle. A silent rage billowed and foamed against the sudden loss of everything mine- my body, my time, my space and, my life. “

“… but where exactly does this thing called a mistake take place? Only in our mind- our judging, critical, labelling mind. The mind that provides the nonstop narrative to our lives: “There you go again. Can’t get it right. You’ll never do it. Big mistake.”

i am not a religious person, but i did relate to the spiritual aspect of this book. i should mention that karen is a zen teacher. she has studied buddhism and meditation, and shares those teachings in this book. the calm, wise words she speaks are very profound. the clarity with which  i read this book, says to me that my struggles that attribute to my children and my mothering are not really about either of those things. 
my struggles come from within me. 
they are about me and nobody else.

and that’s why, like i’ve written before, i am on a mission to introduce more self care into my life. take time for myself and slowly make myself a priority in my life and my family’s life. 

i highly, highly recommend this book to all mother’s (and father’s or caregivers). the advice and knowledge karen shares is relevant, practical and given in such unpatronizing way that it is easy to hear. this is a book for parents in all stages of their journey. i will now have to hit the local bookstore and buy my own copy so i can highlight the bits that spoke most to me.

*the pictures are of tulips given to me by a dear old friend who came to visit. they brought such life and positive energy into our daily drudgery! thanks, hon!

xo, mama lola
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  1. says

    Oh hon! I’m so happy for you! I love, love, LOVE those life-changing moments when a book (or person, or show) speaks to you so deeply that you feel as though your soul is reverberating and humming on a new frequency. It’s awesome. I love ya babe!
    And yay! The tulips are still goin’! Neat!

  2. says

    This book has been on my shelf for quite a while…
    Just found your blog through my FB page today. Perhaps the universe is telling me it’s time to pluck it from the stack, dust it off, & read.
    Thank you for the gentle push.

  3. says

    I need to read this book. I think it would really resonate with me. Thank you for sharing it and thank you so much for linking up to my hop. I like your blog and I’m glad I found you!

  4. says

    Mama Lola, I am going to go look for this book after writing this comment. This week has been extra difficult for me, in terms of dealing with feelings of mama guilt and mama inadequacies. I definitely needed to read this post today, and I’m excited to follow along with you this year as you fulfill your new year’s resolution! Thanks for sharing this at Stress-Free Sunday with Fun-A-Day!