“Your Mother… your first Guru. Her Heartbeat… your first Mantra.”

“Your Mother… your first Guru. Her Heartbeat… your first Mantra.”

My Mom and I have a story, that runs deep… I believe generations and lifetimes. We come from a lineage of really difficult Mother-Daughter dynamics. I remember my Nonie (Grandmother) talking about her Mother, and how she felt the pain of not feeling loved and important to her mom. Being a mother myself, I know the love I feel for my my three children is so strong, and the deepest love, I have ever known. The love between a mother and child is a connection and a bond that is primal, it’s in our biology, and in our core. I believe that a lack of love, was most likely, not the issue between the generations of conflict/discord between the mothers and daughters in my family. Through my own journey, I have come to understand, that most of us operate from our own level of wholeness or lack of. We cannot give, what we don’t have. My Mom gave what she had to give and I appreciate it the older and wiser I become, knowing that she was working with what her mother could offer her, and so on.

I was at a yoga class when my teacher said, “Your Mother…. your first Guru. Her Heartbeat… your first Mantra.” We were moving toward the end of the practice. The flow slows down and we move into more subtler and passive posses. For me, it is the place where I find myself and lose myself all in one, sweet moment (meaning, I am not in my head). I felt that statement in my soul! It brought me to tears! I had to remind myself to keep breathing. I felt a swirl of emotions rise up in me, from a deep place in my soul, I could feel my Heart. It was a powerful moment for me.

I thought a lot about that Mantra…
I wanted to get more in touch with what my Mom taught me. I was curious about what was most meaningful to me, today. She taught me so much and I find the lessons and insight continue to flow to me. I was getting ready to go for a bike ride. I was putting together a Spotify playlist and was looking for uplifting and inspiring songs. I’ve been going through some challenging times and needed to feel STRONG. I found Helen Reddy, “I Am Woman”. That was it!!!! My mom absolutely LOVES music – I remember listening to The Beatles, The Eagles, Johnny Cash, Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Peter, Paul and Mary, and so many more. She really was a California Hippie, part of the Bra Burning at UCLA, and was coming of age during the generation that expressed themselves through music and art. I know that’s where my love of music comes from…

I started my ride on the prairie path, and was enjoying my music. I kept repeating Helen Reddy, “I am woman, hear me roar in numbers too big to ignore…” I instantly recalled my Mom singing this song at the top of her lungs, with all her might, and meaning every word! As a kid, I just sang along and enjoyed the moment. It’s what we did together…. Today, I know those were her moments, in her journey, that she was needing to tap into a strength greater than her own, to get her through some of her hardest times. She showed me how to be strong, by being strong with what she was facing in her life. I didn’t realize it, until more recently, that she prepared me for this journey. It’s like we went to REI and got all my gear to go hike the Pacific Crest Trail, only I had all the “gear” within me and she helped me to find and use it. When I am in my darkest and deepest pain, I hear my Mom’s wise words:

“Don’t be so hard on yourself. Forgive yourself. Move on. Love yourself. Smile, wave and wish them well. Stop being Chicken Little. You’ll be fine. You can do anything you want to. Let.It.Go”

I could never have imagined that my life would turn out like it has. I am very blessed and grateful to have a career, I truly and deeply love. I know I am doing what I was created to do in that part of my life. I am on a Spiritual Path where I believe I will be able to heal myself and my loved ones. I am in great physical strength and do not take it for granted. I am divorced and face the challenges that go with trying to co-parent and raise healthy, well-adjusted children. I have had failed relationships, in my pursuit to love and connect with another soul. I have insecurities and fears that have held me back from the things I most want. But I continue to press forward, because I am STRONG!

So here is my message:
Thank you to my Mother for teaching me Strength and for Loving me with your whole heart in the best way you could.
To all Mother’s – you are ENOUGH and you are STRONG. Know that we love our children, and are human, and learning in the process with them. Our children, are our greatest teachers. Let us learn Compassion on the deepest level to be able to Forgive with our Whole Hearts and Soul. To appreciate that our Mother’s gave the best they had to us and for us, even if it wasn’t enough. When we see a mother in public struggling with her children and losing her “marble’s”, offer a kind word, smile, or send her love and light. We all need forgiveness, love, and acceptance. Being a Mother is a sacred role in our journey. The most important thing we learn is our own Strength.

“A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water.”

― Eleanor Roosevelt

I Am Woman
Helen Reddy

I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an’ pretend
‘Cause I’ve heard it all before
And I’ve been down there on the floor
No one’s ever gonna keep me down again
Oh yes, I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong
I am invincible
I am woman
You can bend but never break me
‘Cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
‘Cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul
Oh yes, I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong
I am…

3 Responses so far.

  1. Dave Weiss says:
    Very thoughtful lyrics in a song not sung enough in the “me-me”times. Loving the roots strengthens the tree. Well done. Namaste…
    • River Phoenix says:
      Thank you sweet David…. Always in my corner, loving me and supporting me. I am so grateful for you in my life. Family! XOXOXO
  2. Stacy Davies says:
    So powerful and moving. Thanks for sharing your story here. Stacy