February 13, 2018

In Praise of Uglines

I don’t really know how to say what is rising in me to be spoken, but I know that I want to speak in praise of ugliness.  And I’m not really sure that it’s ugliness exactly that I am speaking to, but somehow that phrase holds power for me, like a magical spell, a key to undo some patriarchal padlock inside of me, a portal of permission and a doorway into unchartered territories. What if we were allowed to be ugly?

I deeply feel and am witnessing at this time the blessed rising of the feminine consciousness in our human world and that makes me so happy, because I have lived in the grief of Her absence from the world of my culture for my entire life, whilst internally I have celebrated with Her in the wild places of the Earth, I have met Her in my dreams and long have I felt Her tenacious nudge to awaken a space for Her within me, to find the myriad of ways  that I could let Her sing Her song through me, to allow Her to rise and shine within my skin, to give Her a voice in this crazy world we have made. 

I feel Her now nudging me to name something uncomfortable about the way we as a culture, and me as an individual identifying as woman, commodify and pornography and sanitise the feminine, as She expresses Herself in woman and in man. The way She is crippled, bound and gagged with the imperative for beauty and desirability, with the inbuilt shackles of the insidious suggestion that you can do anything in this life as long as you look sexy and gorgeous doing it. She is of course deeply, deeply full of beauty, but She is not aware of Herself as being this. She is purely aware of Herself as life moving itself in primal and instinctual expression, an eternal manifestation of the life/death/rebirth reality of existence. She might be beautiful but She is also ugly, if She wants to be. She is deeply life-giving , but She is also fearsomely destructive and death-wielding if that is what is required of Her.

I think as women in our culture we are unaware of how conditioned we are to be perpetually aware of our own desirability, our willingness to be sold back to ourselves by the paradigm which contains and tames and domesticates our identities. This makes sense because it is the way in which we have been allowed to be powerful in a world  that has hinged upon the suppression of our primal, chthonic power as human beings. And how transitory is this lens of beauty that to varying degrees holds us all captive, how hard we must work and strive to belong to it, even when we are doomed by our flesh or our skin, by our unconventional longings and wayward imperatives, by our inevitable ageing and the inconvenient afflictions of ill health or disability. Even when it is clearly unattainable for us, this idealisation of feminine beauty, holds sway in the psyche, still we strive to deserve the approval of an objectifying eye that holds no care for our wellbeing, as though beauty were a pair of psychic callipers restricting unadulterated expression.

I wonder if the wild feminine can come into her full expression in our world or within ourselves until we allow ourselves to be pure conduits for Her emergence. Utterly unashamed of our embodiment, in all its real, messy power. What if we said yes to being Her embodied expression in all Her myriad forms, not just the fluid divinity of her grace, not just when she’s looking fine and sexy, but also in the bone-crunching wrenching away of the unreal, in the furious devotion to creation, in the guttural grief, the sacred rage, the harrowing keen, the raucous ululation?

Our survival-instinct, as women and men who are saying yes to the awakening of this suppressed force of our nature, in a world that has subjugated this imperative for millennia, has often been to exist within the performative parameters of the aspects of our otherness that have been tamed and permitted by the dominant culture, but what we are given to play with is far from the truth of what it is to be a woman, or to be a being awake to their feminine nature, a being beyond the dominance of an external gaze, a being governed by her sovereign instinct with no will to please but for a fierce commitment to move the transmutational energy through, the ferocity to cut off that which is not life-giving, to be infinitely tender in her care and custodianship, in the glorious capacity to be undone in the feeling of creation birthing itself into being through the body.

What would it mean to be unleashed from imperatives of domesticated aesthetics, and polite desirability and acculturated submission, when as woman our bodies are flooded with transmutational orgasm, the cosmos coursing through the crown to the sacred portal of bliss that swells within our yoni, within our cervix, our womb; or when we crown and bring our babies through from the other side, through our bloodied thighs, to our ravaged bellies, forever changed, motherborn; or when our heart’s become cascading torrents of formidable compassion and ferocious care, energetically weaving safe harbour and heartfull sanctuary to the subjugated and abandoned, to the weak and the exiled; or when the rhythm and tide of the drum pulses through our being so that we are taken over by the force and power of the primal, breaking through our cells to be expressed in the sublime magnificence of our unmediated expression;  when we are taken over, lost, consumed by the offering of our work in the world, the birthing of something real and life-giving, calling form from the formless, wooing love from the void, making personal the impersonal. Does it matter then, if she’s pretty? Does she need to be beautiful? Does it matter if she’s desirable to a misogynistic gaze? Does it matter if her butt looks good in that dress, if her hair is done, if her body is untameable, if she’s lost sight of the stereotype?

I hunger for the ugly in this sanitised world. I hunger for the raw and the unmediated. I hunger for the sovereignty to not bind myself with the imperatives of a gaze that would keep me small and controllable and compliant to a system that is raping our earth as it rapes the psyches of its people. I hunger to claim back my right to look exactly the way I do, to move as I see fit, to express what emotes, to love what arrises, to reprieve myself from the hyper vigilant “not-enoughness” of my subservience, because I never was here to be an ornament, or to please the gaze of an illusion that can never even begin to meet the love I crave and harbour in the cavernous recesses of my wild heart, in the primal tide of my desire and the transmutational rhythms of my erotic nature. I am here to breath and to sing and to birth my love and to take no prisoners and to hold my ground and to keen, keen, keen to what has been lost of Her and to rejoice in the incremental re-membering, re-embodying of Her ecstatic and formidable love, and fierce and devoted creative capacity to heal and to restore, to bless and to purify, to regenerate and to equalise, to kill off and re-birth, to awaken.

I want to belong to Her completely, but in order to do this I must peel myself away from what I have been told I am, how I have been so critically conditioned to loath myself and my own unruly embodiment, my real, bloody, messy, fleshy, ever changing, growing, evolving, ageing, weathering, destructive/creative, uncontainable beingness, my body a conduit for all life, all energy to express itself through me. I must belong unutterably to my very own becoming, regardless of what it looks like, regardless of how I am perceived.

I know the language is flawed, but I am not ready to let go of being Woman and seeking to know my Feminine Nature because we don’t actually really even know what it is that we are letting go of yet. Her suppression has been so brutally actualised in our colonised world that we don’t even really know what it is that has been so suppressed. The full expression of Her true nature has been so annihilated from the field of our consciousness that we do not know what is so achingly absent from our existence. If not the feminine, then try the dynamic, transmutational, chaotic, destructive, primal, sensuous, restorative, regenerative, emotive, erotic, body-centric field of existence? She is wanting to birth Herself again in the consciousness of humanity, but in order for Her to do this we have to begin to live outside of the restrictive boxes we have been given, and question the ways in which we curtail and suppress, punish and impair, brutalise and hinder the intuitively emergent qualities of our own evolutionary existence, and the very particular and personal ways in which we are embodied in this world.

Language fails us again and again, but what I know is that I can feel Her, pressing into my chest, hungering for me to find a way of loosening the collar, ungagging my mouth, so that She can speak again through my throat. I feel Her pulling her vibration through my legs sometimes when I dance, shuddering me viscerally, with a bone-clattering force, shaking out the fear and shame and evacuated absence of my flesh. She serenades me in the kinaesthetic tide of Her ancient unfoldment in the cells of my flesh and my blood and my bones. Maybe we as human beings are meant to be the way through which She speaks, gives voice, finds form, births love. Maybe our wombs are the anchor for Her consciousness, maybe it is through our dreams that She weaves Her web of awakening, maybe our voices are the articulation of Her imperative in the cosmic quest for peace? Who is speaking for Her? How authentically can we let Her voice be heard through our unapologetic living?

By no means do I seek to diminish feminine beauty, but rather to liberate our expression from it’s exclusive dominion in the psyches of woman and to question, who is the beauty-making for? Is it an inward impulse emerging as an expression of a love for oneself and one’s own unique plumage and creative expression? A wild and vibrant celebration of our own intimate love affair with divinity? Or is it beauty-making to please the predatory gaze of the pretty police? Least we forget we are all loved in this strange world of soulless surfaces and empty promises, I  believe that we are each made as we are, exactly as we are, because we are meant to be this way. Because there is something about our otherness that has something powerful to say to the status quo, and even when we are most alone in our personal determination and singular sovereignty, then if we listen, we can hear Her whisper most fiercely in our ear, “You are loved. You, my dear, are Love. And through your full bodied beingness I will rise into the consciousness of humanity as She of the many faces, She who embraces diversity, She who harbours all, giving thanks for difference, because that is how we know we are living inside a healthy ecosystem.”

The Primal Feminine Nature is so beautiful, but She is also fierce and unwieldy and unyielding and chaotic and untameable and yes, sometimes she’s really fucking ugly in a refreshingly life-giving way. I don’t see Her face very often in the world around me, so I’m not ready to give her away just yet. I think I am maybe only just beginning to know how She lives in me, and that is only because I have the monolithic and immeasurable privilege of living in a time and place where I will not be persecuted for my love of Her wild ways and am able to dance and sing and thrive and work and show my face and speak and learn and share and grow in my freedom of expression. I feel in my deepest of hearts that She is beseeching us now to re-member Her, to birth Her through our blood and our wild song, through our tenacious love and care, through our art and our activism, through our belonging to the earth and our bodies and our desire, and our diversity of nature and voice, and our capacity to include and to keep toxic forces at bay and to heal and restore cohesion and a fiercely attuned co-creative capacity to the collective of humanity as we exist at this time, upon this good earth.

Text © Lucy Pierce 2018

February 10, 2018

Where the Waters Meet

Sealers Cove Wilsons Promontory, January 2018

Where the Waters Meet

My heart feels like these waters 
at this point of low tide. 
The brackish culmination 
of my arduous tributaries,
of my contouring landscapes
pushing hard and fast 
into the great, salty, oceanic turquoise, 
which pushes back in turn. 
And there they mingle, 
one so reddish brown it could be blood, 
the other sharp and crystalline. 
Two forces apposing and yet ultimately 
surrendering their separateness 
to pulse and to meld 
in the force of tide and current,
mingling at last into the greater body of the two,
made as one. 
The muddle of experience merging 
with the source of creation.
A birthing place, 
where worlds colliding are reconciled, 
in the swirling pulse of transmutation.
The inner friction of disparate waters 
meeting, resisting, surrendering.
The beauty of the turgid.
The beauty of the pristine. 
The sweet waters and the salt waters.
The accumulated narrative and history of my terrain 
being received by the enveloping ocean 
of that which is greater,
to which all things 
must return.

Words and image © Lucy Pierce 2018

Barefooted Learnings

Somewhere between Refuge Cove and Little Waterloo Bay, Wilson's Promontory

My eldest daughter and I did a three day walk at Wilson’s Prom in January this year. It felt like an enormous stretch into neglected psychic terrain for me. My daughter asked for us to go hiking together and for me that was such a precious gift, a blessed opportunity to spend time with her and so I knew I had to rise to meet this challenge. And I did, I managed the preparation and the packing, overcoming my fears and procrastination and potentially sabotaging energies to arrive there, in that incredibly beautiful place, on day 2 of the walk, nearly half way through, sore but alive, tired but awake, struggling along under our conspicuous and precarious loads of gear, food and water.

 As I walked along in that exquisite environment I could feel the lessons landing within me, as I stretched into the wilderness of my own unlived capacity. On the first day as I walked, my pack heavy on my back and my feet already starting to hurt, I had mused upon the fact that I actually had to just receive the weight of my load, not resist or adjust, or wish it was less or fret about having put too much in it. I just had to say yes, this was the weight that I was carrying, opening myself to receive it, to own it, this load I had chosen before we had departed. Later that night as I lay drifting into sleep I realised that I could apply that same insight to the stories and the history that I carry with me through my life, the particular weight and shape of the narratives that shape and form the life I lead, the burdens life asks of me to carry, to receive or to resist. I was struck as I walked along, how much easier it was when I just accepted the weight and all the aches and pains it elicited, rather than fighting to change what clearly was and what needed to be.

On the  morning of the second day the issue arose with my feet. I am a little bit resistant to shoes in general in my life and I often wear big broad comfortable Birkenstocks that allow my toes to take their space and the full breadth of my foot span to spread, or thin soled moccasins that allow me to feel as close to bare footed as possible. But for this walk I had made the dubious decision of buying some brand new hiking shoes to wear, so comfortable to begin with but by day 2 my feet were sore. I was feeling them with each and every step, my squashed and blistered toes. So in my pain, I decided to walk bare-footed for a bit and was instantly amazed at how different it felt. My pace slowed, but my body felt instantly and infinitely more intelligent, as the instinct of each and every toe and bone of foot was released to experience the nuanced contour of the land under foot. 

As I walked barefoot along the winding path, a song sprang to mind that I have often sung throughout my life, “The Earth is our mother we must take care of Her,” only this time the words changed for me. Curiously the words shifted slightly underfoot and became “The Earth is my mother, She will take care of me.” This change of intention in the wording of the song triggered for me a well known inner terrain, a rising within of the narrative of shame that springs from belonging to a disconnected people who always take from the land and never give back, a people so far and distantly removed from the regenerative interface of our own indigenous ancestors, traumatised so implicitly by the brutality of all the intervening years. A small voice arose within me asking, Do I have the right to ask her to take care for me? The great Motherwound of my cultural inheritance reared it’s head. Beneath the brutal determination and belligerent self sufficiency, the anxious questions underpinned, that ask, Is it okay for me to receive from you? Am I enough? Will you love me? Am I safe to love you? Will I be met with love if I lower my guard? Will I be received with love in my vulnerability? Is it safe to let you in? Will you receive me if I show you who I truly am? Can I rest, deeply, in the holy peace of your vast love? Can I depend upon something greater than my own selfish need?

There was a deeper truth showing herself to me here, as I walked and sang and wept and listened, barefooted and heavy packed, undone by this blessed and challenging pilgrimage with my darling big girl.  It spoke to what I had felt the night before in camp, where after all the prep and the packing, the  days walking and the setting up at our planned destination, we had several hours to while away the late afternoon and evening. There was nothing to do but rest and be, but I felt a disarming restlessness, glaringly aware of my own internal resistance to resting, to receiving, to simply being, to bask in the simplicity of being in this divine place of natural wonder and beauty, with my gorgeous daughter. There were no small children to care for, no domestic tasks waiting for me, no work commitments to attend to, no elaborate meal to prep, just this invitation to be still and receive. I had a book, and a basket to weave. But instead I just sat and wandered and sat, gently leaning into this internal resistance to being satisfied, being still, being fed and nourished by the beauty and power of the place that held me. All evening I sat with it inside, this coming into the body, retreating from the anxious mind. Patiently waiting to arrive, in my pelvis, in my skin, in the now.

And then here the next day, as  I walked my battered bare-feet through the forest, across sand and through salty ocean, through streams and over rocks, I wondered  if perhaps the way my people take from this land arises from a deep sense of lack, of scarcity and pain. Perhaps for my kind there is indeed a necessary imperative to let go and to learn how to deeply listen, to learn the capacity to truly receive from the earth, to come to know ourselves as the utterly helpless dependant creatures that we are upon the back and belly of our mother. What if we did truly learn that the Earth is our Mother, and that She will take care of us? Even though we already take so brutally from the resources of the Earth, desecrating her body, raping her essence, perhaps we do this because we no longer know how to take of her love, to receive from her nourishment. We have forgotten how to receive the magnificent nurturance that flows from Her and surrounds us in every living moment, Her clean air, Her sacred waters, Her life-giving forests, Her precious minerals and plants, Her energetic sustenance, Her vital restoration.

Perhaps we need to dismantle the outcome-oriented, grasping hunger, the insatiable need, and learn to richly suckle, luxuriously rest in our utter dependancy upon Her, to accept the reality that before we can care for our “Mother” we have to learn first how to receive of Her succour, know our inseparable embeddedness in the matrix of Her, understand the potent treasure of Her nourishing and regenerative capacity, become whole and bonded and grown up and initiated human beings. So that when we take from Her it is with utter indebtedness and humble gratitude. So that our needs are minimised by the fullness of what is received just in the pure delight of Her earthly body’s succulent nourishment.

I put my shoes on again, and took them off again. On and off, over the ensuing and final days of the walk, but I was left with a deeper understanding of the stark difference between the two states, the shod and the unshod. I felt a new understanding of  the absurdity of our perpetual insulation, through our houses and our footwear, our cars and our concrete, from the vast conduit of electro-magnetic intelligence that exists available to ourselves in every life-giving moment, through the soles of our precious feet, from the great body of Earth that is our source of life and nourishment. I made a commitment to myself to take every opportunity I can find in my life to sit upon the body of the Earth and drink in that life-giving vibration.

As this year had begun I had been struggling to find a New Year's resolution that felt true to me. The closest I had come was to commit to deepening into my capacity to be infinitely gentle with myself. Here on this walk, through that pristine and exquisitely wild place, I found another quality that I felt willing and able to call in for the year to come. This sense of endeavouring to receive more surrenderedly from the Earth, to render myself ever more helpless and vulnerable at the mouth of her undying succour, that I may rise ever stronger in my capacity to give back in return, with strength and power and a supple receptive sole, listening sweetly upon Her gentle ground.

Words and image © Lucy Pierce 2018

January 31, 2018

Dream Kiss

Dream Kiss

As I wake with your dream kiss
wet upon my lips,
still warm and embodied,
deeply received within my heart,
upon the skin of my opened mouth,
this one kiss a quenching
of a life time of thirsting,
I wonder.....what if?
What if, worn and weathered as I am,
I could turn towards my own face
and resting it gently
between my palms,
love it like it was the night sky,
filled with mysteries unknown and untold, 
every line a journey towards belonging,
or the exile which carries us home,
every blemish and spot a landmark
of trial or tribulation,
received and overcome,
or at least survived?
Every wayward discrepancy
to the projected and expected ideal,
a triumph of wild wolfishness
over tame complicity,
in order that I could arrive here now,
to this loving of myself,
so exquisitely.

What if I could, with my own awareness,
behold the preciousness
of my own perfect body,
with all its wayward landmasses
and engraved tributaries,
and worship the sacredness of every cell,
no place unworthy of my devotion,
no other body to know but this one,
no thing to compare it to,
just this beautiful, flawed,
homely, safe, ecstatic,
imperfect body
that tells a story of how it has lived,
how it has withheld,
what it has given,
what it has carried,
what it has managed to put down
to be here now,
ready for this love.
Ready, not because it has finally
somehow become worthy,
but ready because this has always been
what we have each deserved.

What if I could know
beyond a shadow of a doubt
that I was the one
that I was always meant to love,
to be the one who I choose,
beyond all others,
to be the one through which
all women become loved,
because this one is chosen
as the one to receive the love
of the All Woman
through the one?
What if each and every one of us
became the one
most worthy of love,
as each of us are?
What if we allowed ourselves
that much magnificence?
What if I could love myself like this?
So that I could know at last,
the brevity of perfection
that lies within each one of us,
that rises to the surface,
like a fresh pink bloom
when met with devotion
and attunement to what is,
the glory of our flawed embodiedness.

What if now there was no one else to love
but this one,
this rejected, shamed,
objectified, compared,
criticised one,
this purity of flesh and blood,
just as it is,
just for what it is,
a life-giving creature
of experience and love,
a shade-offering garden
of belonging
and spacious accommodation
of existence,
longing to just be,
to be beheld,
by this magnanimous gaze
of loving acceptance
and erotic celebration,
without the filters of comparison,
without the brutal gaze
of not enoughness,
no shaming for what is not,
when really what is here
is all there is,
a microcosm of the universe,
radiant and dangerous,
damaged and pure,
keening to know oneself as love
in the gaze of a holy eternity.

What if I could curl up
with this purity of love
for long enough that the world
within me would die,
and I could be born again
in the gaze of my own perfection.
My body unchanged
but the beholding made new,
intimate and innocent,
like a newborn star,
as yet unperturbed
by the ravages
of space and time,
and vast in it’s capacity.

So much time spent
on my knees in the dust,
taught by my culture
to ponder the shortcomings
of my facade,
berating the cracks and crevices
in the temple walls,
when all along there was 
a sensuous feast laid out for me,
and all the Gods
and all of the mysteries
dancing their wild
and sacred songs
How little they care
for the brittle surface
that houses their divinity?

Could this be enough?
The completeness of your dream kiss
and this devotional turning in,
towards the immaculate love
within my own body,
the temple which houses,
and through which I can know
the spirit of woman,
fierce and fertile,
unashamedly generous,
and the spirit of man,
implacably tender
and immeasurably pure,
in union as God
within me.

Maybe then,
and only then,
when I no longer need you,
might you come
and offer me
your mouth

in such a way.

Text and image © Lucy Pierce 2018

January 27, 2018

The Soulcraft of Motherhood

"Held By Spirit"   by Lucy Pierce

The Soulcraft of Motherhood

I want to say something about motherhood, about my children, about my journey of growing myself as a mother, through years of making that choice to be at odds with the world, through years of moving into discomfort and wounds and stories of lack in order to forge a deeper capacity to know myself and therefore to hold space for my children’s unique interface with life. It is my belief that the care of small humans is a mammoth, life-changing, unending magical mystery tour of world-building proportions, it is not a journey for the faint of heart or for those who require life to stay safe and clean and within one’s control.

I want to talk, vulnerably, about a dawning realisation that I have never respected my children enough, that I have never respected enough their need for care and time and stillness and attention, for teaching and honesty, and the humble work of re-purposing energetic patterning., to serve rather than hinder their evolution, because I have been battling the stories that my formative years and my culture grew in me, of inadequacy and unworthiness, lack of advocacy and protection. It has taken so much for me to re write these stories and to discover within this new capacity to offer love and holding and infinitely tender compassion to my broken parts, that this is in fact the birthright of all those that are born unto life. Our survival and capacity to thrive and prosper is deeply dependant on the depth of our care givers capacity to love, care and protect. 

Even as a drug free, natural/water/home-birthing, breast feeding, co-sleeping mumma. I have always struggled to fully own the power and significance of the profound work I have been doing in raising these small humans, because I live in a culture that brutally minimises and subjugated the task of mothering. There have always been ways that I have berated myself for being too attached, too enmeshed, too unhinged from the ways of our world. There have always been times when I have turned my back on my children in order to seek succour from the dry breast of my culture, the hollow identity of something the world might validate as worthy, seeking to become less of the mother that I was unmistakably becoming, trying to make less of myself again, make my children’s needs less obtuse and ever present.

Birthing a baby is an incredibly profound and arduous and transformational experience. Birthing oneself as mother is in one sense an aftermath of the experience of birth. On another level, birth is but the beginning of the altogether more complex experience of midwifing the emergence of the distinctive qualities and embodied presencing of “mother” into being. There is a far more subtle and prolonged process of reaching through the veils of time to retrieve our primitive maternal instincts, while simultaneously reaching forwards into our evolutionary pathways to bring through the capacities that the bloodlines of our future will demand of our grandchildren, correcting the overbearance of our ancestors, predicting the birthrights of our progeny. This is a much slower and less inevitable unfolding that requires our constant attention, formidable courage, gracious humility and evolutionary tenacity, especially in a world that is actually predicated on hindering this powerful movement towards awakening our full human potential through a path of radical self-determination.

I have long felt frustration at the way our world is so ready to institutionalise “child care” as though it were something easily quantifiable and replicatable. For me as I have navigated the terrain of caring for my children it has stretched me to become a much more fierce and unruly creature. The unique needs of my children’s blueprints calling forth unfathomable strands from our ancestral lineage to be rewoven into new, less restrictive patterns. They have triggered to the profound depth of me, the particular misconfigurations of my own conditioning and I have been asked again and again to reform myself, surrender outdated beliefs and limiting perceptions, that have hindered my capacity to facilitate their own energetic evolutionary interface with life that I signed up to facilitate to the best of my ability when I opened my body to receive, gestate, and birth them earthside. I have come to realise that I am perfectly designed to endure this bone-crunching work, because I share blood and lineage with them, because their souls chose me as their mother and mine chose them. Because the universe had orchestrated these particular relationships to converge on this earth plain, at this time, to aid in the evolution of humanity as an embedded aspect of the co-creative universe.

It is not easy work, growing one’s motherhood, it is a path of immense sacrifice and immeasurable joy, of gruelling labour and the most tender of becomings. In this work we are constantly birthing and growing love upon the earth, with the currency of our care, we are healing the wounded interface of the world with our kisses and our conversations, with our boundaries and our bodies. In our world those that care for children are always having to leave them behind to attend to the world, to work and to social engagement as so few social activities are designed to enrich and meet the needs of adults and children alike. We live in a very child unfriendly world, and I cannot help but wonder what the future of that world will look like.

As I age and grow and endure the forging by fire of aspects of myself required to be fully available to the psycho spiritual tasks of life, I see how it is the very parts of my self that have been wounded by patriarchy that are the parts required for fierce, attuned parenting of my children. My fierce instinct, the subtlety of intuition, the strength and power to know and to act, to hold space, strong boundaries, powerful self respect and the capacity to serve the other with devotion and astute endurance. For me having a child has never been something I have been able to hand over to the state. It has been in the grit and grind of finding ways of stay connected and alive to the needs of my children that have grown me into someone worthy of the task’s gravity of stewarding in members of our future generation.

I feel keenly all the ways that internally I have set them aside energetically to grapple with my place in the world, and my lack of capacity to simultaneously attend with soulful attunement to heir needs and to make a living and find a place for myself in the workforce. I have catagoricaly failed on the workforce front, but I feel that the internal struggle to own my impulse to fiercely mother my children and to energetically fight the world for my right to do so, has impacted on my capacity to offer my children their rightful sense of importance. When the carer’s psyche is continually fighting for her right to care, those being cared for are to a degree abandoned.

As the gruelling work of motherhood has grown me, I have become more conscious of my own worth and value as a woman who is mother, I have begun to sense, and attune to and to claim the qualities of woman that are required of an instinctual warrior of tenderness and love, of righteous advocacy and exquisite care, that true motherhood requires. I see how in my early years of motherhood I struggled to parent as a wounded, self-effacing, boundary impaired, uncertain, shame-carrying, obedient female, struggling to learn the power and autonomy required of her to honour her children over the world, to nourish the seed of the future rather than feed the ghosts of the past. There are still days when I struggled and fall, falter and fail.

We live in a world where children are often deeply disrespected, medicated, poisoned with toxic overload, passed over to underfunded institutionalised care, so that those born to care for them can continue to respond to the impossible demands of a consumer driven economy. As a woman I have felt the world inside me undermine the very qualities the soul of motherhood inside me required to grow in order to do the job of raising bonded, secure, awake, alive, empowered humans. I have felt the annihilating disrespect of the feminine that my world inhabits hinder my capacity to offer comfort to my children in their real human need for these selfless qualities of unbridled compassionate care. I have felt my own self-loathing and shame be the weapon that has in subtle ways shamed and imbued to my children that they don’t have the right to ask that their true human needs be powerfully and deeply met in this life…but actually they do, they do have that right. 

Our children have every right to autonomous power, to full emotional expression, to a full-bodied bondedness to earth, community, family, self, an alive and heartfull relationship of self love and a knowing of their right to ask for their needs to be met, to expect that they can advocate for their own particular needs and energies, that are birthing within them, to steward in the next chapter of humanities evolution. I cannot know what my children will need to grapple with in their futures, but I know that they need me as their mother to do as much work as possible now, to dismantle the internal structures of a soul destroying patriarchy within my relational paradigm, so that as I unshackle myself from the subtle and overt disrespect and internalised shame, they are more free to know of their own power and agency to rebuild the human world as a force of reciprocal indebtedness to the magnificence of all creation.

I am apologising to my children for all the ways I have let the world inside of me diminish their importance, put aside their needs, belittled or silenced their hunger for space and care, to attend to my place in a system that is destroying our planet. I want to claim more fiercely, the full gravity and weight of my responsibility to the soul of the world, which I accepted when I birthed these babes into existence. I feel proud of the ways in which I have birthed within my own being a fierce, empowered mother, who is learning to advocate for her children’s full bodied existence, for their right to clean food, air and water. This is the force that will shape a world worthy of our children, it will require all of our evolutionary stretching into the uncomfortable unknown, as we dismantle the financial imperatives of a plundering culture and attune to a care driven economy. For me it has begun in my tenacious incapacity to let go of this gruelling work of the soul, that is becoming mother, a job that takes a lifetime and every inch of grit I have within me.

I want to change our world so that it is easier for new young mothers to find their way into fierce advocacy and powerfully attuned care for their tender hearted babes. I want these future mothers to have the unshakeable support of those of us who have gone before, to draw wisdom from, to take stock with, so that we can get our priorities straight. Having a child is a magnificent and astronomically life-changing event, learning to care for that child, to really care, ongoingly and impeccably will take more than just the unseen battle of a solitary woman forging her heart to love in the darkness of her own tears of struggle and isolation. Although that is a courageous beginning, it will require a culture that sees and celebrates the true value of this powerful work, of becoming custodian to the seeds of tomorrow, so that as a people we are fully alive and embodied and empowered and awake, fully versed in the language of our love and connection to the self and the all.

I want to find new ways of radically supporting those who are radically raising the custodians of our future, these children belong to us all, and while mothers are a really good start, and a mother and a father is a really really great start, and a strong extended family and friendship is wonderful, and a wider culture of advocacy and support is also imperative. These children belong to us all, let’s help them become as powerful and magnificent as the blueprint of their soul’s incarnation can allow them to be.

The daily skills of motherhood are varied and rare, the willingness to wield a firm and life-giving No; the capacity to remain present and calm and unattached to outcome in a wildly chaotic domestic landscape; holding the world of “to dos” at bay in order to hold and heartsing a babe to sleep and wholeness; navigating the push-me-pull-me maelstroms of the emerging will of the child, without wavering or shaming; staying awake and immutable in the face of blood and gore, snot and tears; putting yourself aside again and again and again because someone else has need of you, it is a path of alchemy, an act of revolution, to stay and grow these capacities within oneself, in service to the future of the world.

I want to wrestle this work back from the outrageously impossible economic imperatives of our age. I want to bestow swathes of acclaim on the parents raising their children alone, single handedly holding the world at bay and crooning to the insecure questions of a child that knows there is meant to be more holding than what this one harried human can offer, while simultaneously attempting to slay the dragon of “mutual obligation” and economic stability.

I am not criticising the choices of parents who choose to outsource this work, we all do what we must and can to survive in these times, but I do want to hands down salute all those beings who lean into this labour of love, who do without so much in order to be the one who is there, tending to the wound of the uncared for soul of the world. I honour all those beings who support a partner financially so that they may care for children, this transcends gender, but we cannot transcend the deficit of genuine heart-centred care and the legacy of pain it leaves in the wake of its absence, that is nestled in the cradle of our modern world and it’s parenting culture.

It does take a village to raise a child, and that starts in the nucleus of the primordial matrix of care, with honour and support to the mother, and the father, and the family, and the world, from the centre out. The core of our village is rotten and only our children can teach us the skills we need to learn to build a new one, when we stop long enough to turn to them and ask what it is that they are needing us to grow within ourselves for them to fully arrive into the vast offering of growth and potential, for homecoming and healing, that dwells at the heart of their care.

I want to stop minimising my motherhood and the needs of my children, I want to claim that even though I don’t get to do yoga everyday, parenting is a daily practice I show up for every living day of my life, without fail, rain, hail or shine. I don’t want to try to make my children fit the space my culture has allotted them because they’re bound to loose some vital psychic limbs if I do, and I want them to belong to the all of life, all the time, not just when it’s convenient for the world. I want to create a world that has a more heartfull regard for children and families, one where children are not relegated to the outskirts but are nested at the heart, as the future custodians of our people and planet, the future ambassadors for the living now, and where those who choose to do the hard work of caring for them are not relegated to financial and social invisibility and alienation, but rather shine and are celebrated in the satisfaction of this powerful lifework of sustaining life, growing humans, guiding and supporting life, creating life, from the depths of the heart, the body, the mind and the soul.

Prints and cards  of "Held by Spirit" available on my Etsy site.

Text and image © Lucy Pierce 2018