The moment that I looked into the eyes of my first born, I was transformed, made new and filled with a love that I had not known existed. Nothing before and nothing since has been as powerful, as transformative and as moving as becoming a mother. While I can only speak to motherhood, I would imagine that fatherhood is similar. The sensation of true unconditional love is profound, the deep and driving desire to see your child be happy and healthy and successful is everything.
One of the ways we understand mothering, from a yoga perspective, is as an aspect of Adi Shakti. Each woman is a physical manifestation of the Adi Shakti, the divine, primal creative force, imbued with the feminine. Adi Shakti is mystical, creative, generating power- the embodiment of creativity, balance and completion. For many of us, truly blessed, this power is harnessed through mothering. From the sacred creation and carrying of life within, to the birth of our children, to the raising of our children, Adi Shakti is the energy that inspires and sustains. My teacher has taught that there is no prayer more powerful than that of a mother for her child. Heaven and Earth move for these prayers, the force of Adi Shakti wreathed in selfless love. Thinking on this has always given me comfort, knowing that whenever my heart aches for my child, I am not alone and I am in fact quite powerful.
While woman is an effortless and natural embodiment of Adi Shakti, I know that man too can hold this energy. All of us, when we flow with creative energy and create and nourish and give, are Adi Shakti. Motherhood is not the only way to express this energy. Any opening, listening to the sound and energy within and subsequent creation is manifesting this force.
The ultimate Adi Shakti is, of course, our dear mother Earth. There is no compare to the endless giving, the abundance of nourishment and sustenance that our planet provides us. But like any mother, Earth is finite. She cannot continue to sustain us if all we do is take. Today, I heard on the radio that our carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have just passed 400 parts per million. The last time that carbon dioxide levels were this high it was three million years ago- during the Pliocene epoch. I admit to feeling more than a little discouraged but discouragement is not a state known for action and so, I cannot linger here.
I love the Earth much as I love my children. Unconditionally, ferociously and in reverent wondering awe. Would that my prayers for Earth hold that same Shakti, move the heavens in that same way. As parents we understand the connection we have to our children, we understand the profound love and commitment that we have. We respect that in others yet people who love the Earth deeply are marginalized and cast to the fringes. Is it too much to ask that we consider our relationship with the planet, that we look at all we have been given and consider what we might give back?
Perhaps this Mother’s Day we could celebrate not only our mother but as well, the one who mothers us all. We could easily do this as an act of love for our children, as an act of hope for their ability to be transformed someday by becoming parents. They will need a planet that is not in climate crisis to do this.
I think I will celebrate this Mother’s Day by planting some trees. By examining my relationships and ensuring that I have divested from those that profit from corrupting the planet. I will celebrate all beings that honor the creative flow, the Adi Shakti. And, I will love my mother.