Tag Archives: motherhood

8 months… into the ocean

A thought has been haunting me lately about the next step in our family life. Theo is already 8 months and although it sounds funny or strange, as a mother I feel him as still that tiny baby. My mother says that even 30 years from now, to her eyes we are still the same. Many others might agree.

Yet our relationship has been evolving and changing, routine slightly evolved and grown. He acts and does more things and is now more ‘human’ like… I had Always the feeling that as a baby he was more living the life of an angel (some call them fetuses..) not really human, not really here in this world.
What is stronger is now the change of energy and in a lack if better word, what astrologers might refer to as ‘ruling house’.

When Theo was a small baby, I experienced strongly the effects of the number 1: humility, need for developing patience and endurance (those long endless nights and days which were no different from each other, wakings and crying without any possibility to do anything), the surrendering when realizing that now he is outside (it may sound logical but as experience it was (still is) quite challenging and slow to realise), the timelessness of those sleepless moments and never ending arm carrying, the infinite and ageless wisdom from his eyes, the strong foundation to be formed by the first 40 days and 3.5 months, the love and headless heart needed for the journey, confusion and overwhelmedness of my new role as a mother, the ‘mysteries’ of motherhood and parenthood (as an unreachabley high standard), the need to focus on the one and only task in front (baby), the seed implanted in our relationship, in his life and karma; the need to set up a clear intention of my task as a mother (protection, love, patience), clarity of vision for choices of breast feeding with no bottle, no pacifier, no distractions nor ‘easy routes’, the determinism to keep up with those decisions and keep them clear despite the constant reminders by others of the ‘easy way out’ commodities (like pacifiers or medicine), the patience to carry him as much as possible (99% of the time) next to my body to remind both of us of the oneness in all, the breast feeding on demand as a reminder to my surrendering to his essential inner wisdom, the leaving all external influences out as much as possible to focus and con-centrate on the inner world, honoring his sleep, rest and quietness, listening and tuning into his world and experiences.

Slowly these experiences have given way to a stronger influence of the number 2, after approximately 6 months after birth: me being dreamy and off concentration, feeling of being dragged by the everyday routine (being out of hands), establishing more the role of me as the nurturer, the keeping up with breast feeding on demand while including solids, the need for moving on into a more structured life (2 as a link to 3), being a mother and remaining also a woman, keeping the obedience to the intention and to listen to my intuition and soul inspire of the fuzziness, starting to set up needed limits to our relationship and to Theos behaviour (like no biting the breast, no scratching my face, unavoidability to put on winter clothes on..), to recognize my own personal needs parallel to his (when in 1 I would retract and completely bow to his needs first and only, which sometimes meant no toilet breaks or no food for a while), his becoming more emotional and reactive as part of a natural evolution of his character, and my need for structure and force (need for 3 and routine, structure and my own space and time, the timing of everything and in general experiencing time, the letting go of unconscious fears, the realisation of the organic and biological relation between us and our processes, the drowsiness and dreaminess of a breast feeding life informed by the return to work (teaching yoga) experienced as a polarity, and the journey of separation of us as two entities in two bodies and the growing gap between us (which in this second stage is healthy and in the first stage seemed completely impossible), having the devotion to continue with the dedication and intention set up in our relationship as mother-son and also in the cosmic play of teacher-student (at the same time I am and he is my student and teacher)
I’m blessed to have the consciousness to go through this process accompanied by these teachings and also to share it with others through this writing.

Keep tuned!

In love and devotion,
Sukhdev Kaur

Theo’s new discovery

Sat nam dear family

My son Theo will soon be three months old. Life has become completely different since he arrived, of course a lot more demanding and full of responsibilities, and blessed with new light and an opportunity for us to relive life and discover all it has to offer.

Today Theo has been immersed in the discovery of his hands. he spent all morning just looking – or I should say contemplating deeply – at them. He just held them on the air as long as he could and would look at one and the other. All the time both hands were in really tight fists and motionless. Just concentrated on the one thing of realising that those interesting tools were his own, and that he could move (and squeeze) at will. Thats I guess what a baby in deep meditation looks like.  He even did not want to be held, which is rare. 

As we get used to our hands, our bodies, manners and habits, we humans tend to forget how amazing the tools we have been given are. And such simple yet key realisations, like Theo today, are big steps in understanding our surroundings, ourselves, and life. May our days be filled with such illuminating moments throughout our lives, so we remain fresh, alive, healthy, learning and in love.

Reporting from the mother’s lap,

Sukhdev Kaur

some thoughts on motherhood

Motherhood is actually the chance to practice all I believe in, going beyond the thinking of what others might think, and diving deeply into the seed and the soul of my child. The more I can teach him by my own centeredness, zooming in and out from the 1 to the 10, from the situation into the big picture and viceversa, realising of the situation. Parenting is when children reflect the mirror of what we show them. And motherhood (as pregnancy, childhood, adulthood, and well, LIFE)is the time to keep in mind (and meditate on) the nine treasures:

1 humility

2 loyalty and devotion

3 equality

4 selfless service

5 sacrifice

6 fearlessness

7 forgiveness

8 compassion

9 peace

and also, the 10th hidden treasure behind all, which is courage

The things I learnt from my 40 days after birth

– Accepting that my child came to this world to learn something (even though I don’t know what it is) and that he has his own karma (which is partly also my karma). All that happens during birth and the first fourty days after birth (eg unexpected changes in plans, complications) is part of that higher plan in which we all fit in, although we don’t always see it.

– The only thing that never changes is that everything changes. Although it may seem that the sleepless nights will never end, they actually will end, sooner or later.

– It is unbelievable how flexible the human body, mind and heart can be. Allow yourself the flexibility to become a mother. I never would have imagined before that I could sleep in such strange and seemingly uncomfortable positions such as the ones I sleep in when Theo wants to sleep on top of me. And I did manage to sleep in such positions. Get someone to do a massage to recover from such events.

– Accept help from loved ones. I would not have managed to come out happily and easily out from the exhaustion of birth and postpartum without the great help from my parents. If it is cooking you a nice meal, rocking the baby while you take a nap, or even changing a diaper, bringing some food from the shop. From my mother I got great emotional and spiritual help and support with all kinds of new-mother’s questions.

– Trust your intuition. At first I thought that intuition would just be there or come instantly on the first cry of the baby, but I realised that it is something that builds up, that you learn together with your baby. It comes with listening to his needs, to your heart and to experiences. With each day I learnt something new and listening to what my baby wanted in an ethereal way. Trust that intuition, if you feel that this is what your baby is telling you he needs, then go for it. All others might say other things but YOU are the mother and your link with your child is infinite, beyond this world, indescribable. You don’t need to explain why and how you feel this is what your baby needs, just trust that feeling.

– Give yourself a moment each day, to be with yourself and meditate, stretch, breathe or at least enjoy a warm shower (for this you need the support of your husband or a loved one who takes care of the baby)

– Patience, patience, patience. And more patience. In the learning of anything new, you need to be attentive and listen, and have patience with your baby, with your partner, with yourself. Having a baby is a whole new yoga – union – and as any new yogas, you start from scratch and you need to build up on experience. Keep in mind always that union and that connection with the infinite which is beyond this world. In those long sleepless nights of the beginning, when there was no more hope to get sleep and patience was scarce, I thought  to myself (and to my baby) something like this “patience is nothing that I can run out of, since I have no patience, patience has me and it is endless”. For this, a great support was the affirmation by Yogi Bhajan “patience pays”. (words and affirmation here)

– See the big picture. This is a hard one. As a new mother, your baby draws you into a very small picture, which is only the space between you and him (usually, and ideally, only a few centimeters or not even that if you are often skin-to-skin). When it gets hard, like when your child is crying inconsolably at night because of colic, and you feel you cannot do anything (you have probably already tried everything), just open your heart, thank your child for crying and communicating (and thank god for giving your child lungs and the strength to cry), and open the space to uphold your child and his cry within your heart. It will soon be over (and if its not then there might be something more than just colic so check that) and your child will be off stress and sleeping soundly. Sometimes crying is needed (although every time Theo cries my heart shrinks to the size of a raisin). Seeing the big picture also implies understanding with the mind that these times will pass, so you might as well enjoy it. And it also means that there is a reason for everything – even your not understanding why he is crying or why he is not sleeping or eating as usual. Your baby is a human like you and me – somedays you are more hungry than others, some days in a bad mood. Just keep an open heart to accepting everything and not expecting anything in advance. Your child knows what he needs – trust that beyond anything others might say.

– Enjoy every moment. Everyone has heard stories of mothers who stay staring at their babies all the time, and accordingly melt to that vision. Allow yourself to fall in love with your child again and again. It is nature’s way of making sure everything is taken care of for our little ones, and to remind us that there are greater things in this world than we can ever think of with our functional brain.

– Allow yourself to shut down from the outside world. Even reading an email in the first days after birth was hard. No brain, no thinking was easy. Let someone else take care of the rational things, give yourself the time to be only with your baby and mind only baby business. 40 days in your life without having to worry about other things is such a short time after all.

– Learn from each other. Your child communicates with you every moment. Allow him the opportunity to communicate with you, and listen attentively. Listen to his changing needs, every day you can discover something new, in this amazingly quickly growing moment of his life. This is the time when he will change the most, grow the most and he needs the most support from you. Be with him, carry him as much as possible, protect and provide all he needs. Give him the security and strength you want him to have all his life, if you do this now he will have it forever. He will be self-confident, and I see that already after the 40 days, my baby who before wanted to be in my arms all the time, now he needs and demands his space and solitude for some times of the day. He can rest from his mother for a while, and he needs that space, already now.

– Relax. Every new mother wants to do everything perfectly. You are the perfect mother already, you don’t need to become it. I got into a lot of stress trying to do everything “right”, and after some hard lessons I realised that everything I do will be right for my child when I do it consciously. I cannot protect him from everything in this life, I can only do my best, and let God do the rest. If there are flaws in your partner, in your home, in yourself and in your day, it is fine. Just trust the infinite and relax. If a mother is stressed, the whole family and home is in stress. If you are happy, relaxed and centered in yourself, the home will be like that. Treat yourself and others kindly.

– Don’t think too much. It can damage your relationship with your partner, put you under lots of stress. Better just focus on your intuition and shut down your brain. In its due time, your brain can be re-awakened. Just focus on loving and providing all for your child, and love all, be compassionate to all (including yourself).

 

Reporting from the 40 day blessing

On those moments of despair, when baby is crying uncontrollably every second hour of the night, I see his pain (emotional pain mostly) and I know that I can’t do anything to change that, there must come a higher power to remember and remind baby that he is part of
god, that the universe holds him and to remember the connection to the soul. To dwell in god and find strength within, mostly as the mother, and call that unconditional and indescribable love for this soul in a wordly pain, opening up the space in order to allow the healing to happen. In those moments, I bow to the infinite wisdom to shield us and protect us and cover for us and that pain, since love is beyond all patience and suffering. Holding the baby, providing warmth, protection, safety, compassion, understanding and love is sometimes all that we can do for them. That is already a high blessing. When Theo cries, I constantly thank him for letting me know of his needs, there is nothing greater than the power to be alive and breathing and ask for what you need. I remember that longing to hear Vida’s cry when I lost her, and that is a constant reminder of the bliss behind every challenge in motherhood. Thank you Theo for crying.

Patience pays. Staying with the baby for the first 40 days of his life helps to build him strong in self-confidence and to reassure him that he has a place in this world.

Now that our 40 days are coming to an end, i am very thankful that I had this time to get to know Theo so well and also to see him grow and mature so quickly. Its amazing to see how fast time goes, and all the changes that it brings.

Celebrating one blissful month of Theo’s life

Being a mother is one of the highest blessings I have received. Already with my angel Vida I was blessed to be a mother, but missed all the beauty of the breastfeeding, night wakings, crying. The most beautiful thing is to wake up in the morning and find those incredibly wise eyes waiting for me (and my milk). Seeing him healthy, happy and bright is a reward for all the effort done.

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There is a beautiful song from my kundalini yoga tradition which is always sung at birthdays, and which I sing to you now my dear Theo, from the bottom of my heart:
On this day the lord gave you life
May you use it to serve him
All our loving prayers will be with you
May you never forget him
Sat nam

Breathing for breastfeeding mamas

When I was separated from my newborn at the hospital during the first days of his life, I had to develop patience, trust, understanding, compassion, and express the colostrum so I could feed him those precious drops that come from the breast before the milk comes in.
In those moments of anxiety, when I spent minutes expressing to get one single drop, I practiced the following breath, which is actually in itself a very powerful meditation:
Inhale through the nose constantly during 20 seconds, hold the breath in comfortably for 20 seconds, and exhale through the nose slowly during 20 seconds. Do it as long as needed, for best results practice at least for 11 minutes. If to start with it feels too much, you can start with 10 seconds inhaling, 10 seconds holding and 10 seconds exhaling, and increase slowly until you breathe the 20 seconds on each part. This meditation was given by Yogi Bhajan and is called the one-minute breath. It builds up one’s patience, increases the lung capacity, clears the mind, connects to your heart centre and grounds you in your body. It can be practiced my anyone anywhere.

The second meditation I have been practicing is a meditation on the heart, given to me by Shiv Charan Singh to keep up through the sleepless nights and challenges of the 40 days after birth. It is a meditation which like the first one can be practiced while breastfeeding, and your baby, through your milk and your energetic connection, will also benefit greatly from it’s effects.
Inhaling through the nose in four equal and smooth parts, thinking each time sat, sat, sat, sat; and exhaling also through the nose thinking naam in one long and smooth stroke. While exhaling, you visualise yourself descending from your head to your heart, into your cup of prayer. This meditation builds up one’s capacity to trust the infinite, rely on the universal truth (sat) which lies inside of you in your heart, and also helps you build your intuition to listen to and trust your child. It’s a great practice to remain still and steady through all the challenges of life, and in the 40 days after birth it helps enormously with the patience of keeping up with your child and the unconditional love beyond all hard times (like the wakings during the night every hour and the crying spells, colic and nursing strikes).

Waha guru ji ka Khalsa, wahe guru ji ki fateh

The 40 day blessing

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Being at home with baby
For forty days
Strengthens all of his bodies, his nervous system, his radiance and strength
Gives him trust, safety, courage, fearlessness
It is the basis for his life
A strong grounding, a safe haven, a lifelong foundation
Fulfils his questions of this new world and his doubts, but specially his longing to belong
By retracting from the outside world and everyday dealings, you give your child the greatest gift
Of belonging
Of knowing that it is all taken care of
Of realising the god within
No need to search outside
You are complete, you are perfect
You are Nanak, you are Angad, you are Amar Das, when I recognise you, my soul is comforted

40 days to learn from each other, to fall in love and bliss
To get in touch with your intuition and loose all thinking
To remain in the primeval brain as in birth giving
And also remain human
To trust the unknown in you and him
To remember the blessing of new beginnings
And learn to live all over again

Blessed blessed be thy life
My dear Theo

Woman and mother – shakti and bhakti

Woman has two qualities – the primeval power of Shakti, the creative energy before time; and Bhakti, the devotional humility and patience of the mother. These two aspects need to be in balance for a woman to be connected with her spirit and her strength.

Shakti – in hindu tradition Durga – has 8 hands, representing her ability to perform as many tasks simultaneously. She carries a sword, standing for the power of her decisive word, and she does all that balancing on one foot while riding a tiger, also representing her fierceful and fearless strenght in motion. She carries the creative power of decision, and is in touch with her animal and primal nature.


Bhakti – represented in the christian tradition by Mary – sits in deep meditation and prayer offering herself in service for her child and for the world. Her devotion and prayer is infinite, crossing beyond borders and blessing the life of her child to be a saint. She surrenders her wish of control and power into the Infinite, remaining in a constant attitude of gratitude. Her prayer is the highest blessing to her child and to the world, totally changing their destiny. She delivers her child to God, not claiming him her own.

Very often I see women who have not found either Shakti or Bhakti in their lives. A connection must be found in order to reach our highest potential as women. The Bhakti side is often neglected and even discriminated in our pursue of equality with men. Men and women must be equally respected, but each has their own character and value, and for the woman, the devotional part is essential. Woman must be able to relax and sit and just be, instead of acting Shakti all the time. Woman nowadays suffer because they have lost the ability to relax, to be with their hearts, to be intuitive, spiritual and devotional.

Here are two short texts which I put together which talk about this.The first one is an excerpt of the book Everyday Grace – The Art of being a Woman, by Sat Purkh Kaur Khalsa (original link: http://www.sikhdharma.org/pages/adi-shakti-woman-and-infinity ). The second text are excerpts of a lecture by Yogi Bhajan on the Pros and Cons of being a Woman, a lecture given at Women’s camp back in 1977.

Adi Shakti – Woman and infinity
The Pros and Cons of being a Woman (excerpt)

I hope you enjoy and share it with other women. You can post comments here if you feel like.

In humble service of the Divine,

Sukhdev Kaur

Yogi Bhajan on Motherhood

“By construction, the fulfillment of a woman is motherhood; and motherhood does not mean that she gets pregnant and delivers a baby. If you understand her total behavior, you will understand her motherhood. Her motherhood is service, her motherhood is sacrifice, her motherhood is relationship. When she knows motherhood, she is fulfilled.” – Yogi Bhajan