July was a rough month in my house.
We had to put our dog down and my daughter Elyse was devastated. He’d been her companion since she was two years old. Now thirteen, she was facing grief for the first time. And this wasn’t her only lesson in letting go. Within weeks she had her first boyfriend, followed quickly by her first heartbreak, and then experienced the pain of a “social restructuring” when her girlfriends decided she couldn’t be part of their group.
Seeing my daughter sobbing brought me back to my own pain of being thirteen. I grew up feeling rejected and victimized, certain that people disliked me because of my deafness. I had six siblings and my mom was constantly overwhelmed. I longed for time with her, but she was often too busy for me.
In my own healing work I’ve been meditating on the power of maternal energy. In February, on a whale watching trip to the Dominican Republic, I jumped into the water and came face to face with a mother whale and her baby. We swam together very closely--so close we could have touched. It was a very profound and heart opening encounter.
During my next whale watching trip, just before the solar eclipse, I once again got to see the strong bond between mothers and their babies. This time I was kayaking on the Hudson Bay, where the water is so dark it can appear black. As I watched the contrast of black water broken by flashes of white whale fins, I allowed myself to face my own shadows. My work helps people realign with their light and work through their shadows. Yet, as the eclipse approached, I was full of doubt and desperately seeking clarity around my own maternal energy.
I thought: How can I be the mother my daughter needs me to be? Rather than traveling several times a year to take people to see the whales, can I bring whale energy home with me and use what the whales have taught me about breathing?
Out loud, I asked, “Am I being called to focus on Whalebreathing and spend more time with my daughter?”
Just then fifteen Belugas surfaced. Two of them lifted my kayak and nearly flipped me! It was so clear that this was my yes.
I thank the whales for connecting me to what a gift my daughter is and reminding me that I’m her protector. I’m here to help her navigate the waters of adolescence.
She just needs to know that I’m here.
As we head into fall, there’s a sense of turning within, of coming home. My intention will be to stop looking outward, and to strike a balance between being nurturing and being of service.
I’m learning that being present is the best way to do that. I hope you’ll join me in embracing this idea and practicing the two most healing words in the world: