On the 6th of March we celebrate Mum’s!
The role of Mother can be defined in many ways. From the woman who gave birth to you to your grandma to a surrogate Mum, a Mother in Law, friends who are mums and your own experience of being a Mother if you are one. But did you know that, Mother’s Day was originally set up by Julia Ward Howe in 1870 as a day of counsel for Mothers and all women to bring peace into the world.
“In the name of Womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace” read the full proclamtion here
What a LEGEND !!
So it’s really great that we take the Mother’s in our lives out for dinner, and buy chocolates and flowers and say thank you for all they give us. But let’s not forget the kick arse stand and wisdom these women were calling for in 1870 as a result of seeing their sons, families and communities destroyed through the American Civil War. This Mother’s day I don’t only want to celebrate Mum’s I want to acknowledge, absorb and share their wisdom. I am lucky enough to have my Mum in my life and as her wisdom has not only inspired The Cheek of It! but almost everything I do I would like to share some of her wisdom and would love to hear your Mum Wisdom too.
It’s pretty tough to squeeze all the Mum knowledge into this blog so I will treat you to an array of awesomeness from the life affirming to the hilarious.
But first let me tell you a little bit about my Mum.
Originally from California My mum is a striking woman, with long dark hair and long flowing dresses, a cross between Morticia Adams and Cher. She’s all about the fabulousness, woman power, love, light and kick arse wisdom. A therapist, artist and hypno birthing healer. She now lives with the Witches in the Forest of Dean. Yes there are real live Witches in the Forest of Dean, we’re talking white ones of course not black, there are no black people in the Forest of Dean!
And yes our Mum is a hippy. She will hate this description and rightly so because it doesn’t in anyway do her justice. So to give you the full picture. My Mum has 5 kids, of which I am am the oldest (and three older step daughters). She brought us 5 up for the most part as a single Mum. As a hypnotherapist, psychotherapist, healer and empowerer of women, Mum has literally transformed the lives of 1000’s of people over the last 40 years. She is exceptionally kind, she lights up a room, she glows, she’s playful and funny. She leads with her heart, she is super powerful and despite her own struggles of which she has had many, she continues to follow her light, leading the way with love and generosity. That’s right, you guessed it, My Mum is Jesus! Actually, she’s an original Goddess, and as we know a Goddess never ages, so she also looks far younger than her epic wisdom would dictate.
Forget 10 years younger. Try forgiveness, self love and a nut roast and you’ll never need botox!!
And from this wonderous woman I have learned the following things…..
Feel No Shame.
I was really able to ask my Mum anything. From what does ‘doggy style’ mean to the best way to come down from an acid trip ( Tbh I didn’t ask the latter question, that information was freely told on a -just in case you need to know basis- which I didn’t.) My way of rebelling in my early teens was to be as normal and well behaved as possible. I was the Saffron to my Mum’s Edina. (But in case you want to know how to come down from an acid trip safely, drink lots of orange juice. Vit C cures all from colds to gurning). Although this information was lost on me I did glean some other very good advice at this time and it was- Never feel ashamed. In particular my Mum was talking about; bodies, sexuality and sex. Having now worked with so many women myself, shame is one, if not the biggest barrier to self love and it also keeps us alone. Mum taught all us kids to be proud of our bodies, to be thankful and loving to ourselves and any thoughts about being dirty, gross or not good enough, especially when it came to things like periods and puberty was just patriarchal nonsense designed to disempower us. So put that in your peace pipe and smoke it!!
On top of that, Mum said- you can’t control what comes into your mind, what arouses you, what turns you on. (If it’s illegal that obviously don’t actually do it.) But outside of those things, sexuality is fluid, your job is to enjoy life with respect and love, not to get on a shame train to Guilt City via Repression Rail.
So in the light of this mum wisdom, Whatever you’re ashamed about write it down and burn it. Preferably whilst dancing nudey by the fire, although not too close, we are a pro bush family and singed pubes are never a good look!
Get into your Heart
That’s right, Love. You can love anything into your life and love anything you don’t want out of it. This may be quite annoying information, especially when you just want to have a moan and insist that life really is unfair. If you secretly like feeling this way because it means you don’t need to be responsible for anything like; fulfilling your dreams or making a massive difference in the world or even just emptying the dishwasher, then whatever you do don’t call my Mum. If you do she will hit you with the ‘Love’ and tell you to get into your heart and ask your higher self what to do. And the most annoying thing about this advice is that it actually works, every flipping time. When I feel scared or threatened or jealous or defeated. I do the love stuff, light candles, meditate, read angel cards. Get into my heart and after about 10 minutes I either know what to do or the problem has melted away. This Mamma says all you need is Love, I will add wifi and coffee to that phrase and I think we have a deal.
I am Fury
On the flip side of that, there is nothing wrong with anger, when expressed authentically, it’s healthy and energetic and can be used as a force for change. For months now myself and my 3 little sisters have been bickering on our family whatsapp group. Most of it seemed like small stuff but in truth, it was the resentful, bitter kind of anger left over from upsets and disagreements that were years old, all disguised as current irritations. Just before Christmas, we got a very strongly worded message from Mum. It started with ‘I am Fury’ we were scared. Mumma Earth had erupted into a roaring Volcano. The reason behind her wrath was our treatment of each other. Our refusal to get into our hearts, resolve, let go and heal our sister relationship. The message continued to say that she would not speak to any of us until we had all spoken individually and as a group to- move past old wounds and unite in an unrockable sisterhood of Goddess proportions. To be honest this text landed like the advert where the woman shocks her screaming toddler into silence by throwing herself on the supermarket floor in rage. We didn’t mess about. We four dragons talked it out and created a new way of being, involving treating each other like the precious creatures that we are.
Mum’s Moral- WE are better together than apart, own your anger, unleash your inner fury if you need to and sort it out quick smart or else Christmas is cancelled.
Yes you! Like properly stunning, glow worthy awesome, tingletastic gorgeous!!
Mum taught us to find the beauty in everyone and everything. I think this may actually be a muscle, and if you use it often enough, not only does it become the truth but it’s reflected in your face, the way you move and how you feel. If you live in a crappy part of town, find the flowers, look for the nature, look for the interesting bits even if it’s not your style. You can practice your beautyscope anywhere, on the tube, in tesco’s, at the gym. It’s your job to see beauty and look for it where it’s not obvious. If you can’t see it, then think it and because just like Roald Dahl said “ A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly”
I hope you like extra sparkles with your blog reading, because there will be more to come as we move onto……
Don’t forget to use your magic
We grew up believing that we are magical, we started off knowing it and just at the age when you start thinking magic is silly and really life is about hard times and struggle, Mum reminded us, in no uncertain terms that people who believe that, have forgotten to use their magic. Yes we grew up in a what looked like a council house but was secretly the combined HQ of Hogwarts and Narnia. Not being allowed to forget we are magical has on occasion been problematic, I wouldn’t advise telling your teacher the colour of her aura in front of your classmates at age 11 or explaining to your first boyfriend that he should move as he is sitting on a fairy…….. Yes you we can never forget but sometimes it’s best not to mention it, unless of course a fairy is in danger. So whether you think this mystic Mum has gone too far or not. It is worth knowing that you are magical and that could be in the – I see fairies sense- or in the – you are powerful enough to see the truth, heal yourself and others by your words and actions and create your own reality with fun, playfulness, good thoughts and well…magic.
Don’t piss on the landing!
This advice was given to us at a very early age after a particularly unfortunate incident involving the combination of a full potty(left on the landing), some random lego pieces and a cat, which caused our Dad to fall over and break his glasses. After surveying the damage Mum concluded -as it seems impossible to control cats or where lego ends up, the obvious takeaway from this calamity is- don’t piss on the landing (even if it is in a potty). Love, anger and magic should not be used at the expense of good old common sense.
Moving on from piss……
It’s just going to be a bit shit for a while.
This was and is one of the best bits of wisdom I’ve ever received. My mum said this to me as I lay sobbing on the sofa at age 15 having had my heart broken for the first time. After lots of hugs and rescue remedy. Mum told me, that it’s just going to be a bit shit for a while. Don’t try to be happy if you feel sad and don’t try to block the pain when it comes. This advice is brilliant. Let go of all expectations and allow yourself to feel sad and broken for as long as you need to. The longer we distract ourselves – with substances, rebounds, busyness or whatever your fix is -from the pain we need to feel in order to heal and grow, the longer we suffer. Mum wisdom says; allow yourself to feel your way better.
Zoe Charles has Left This School!!!
This one is a biggy, to be true to yourself you need to trust your own intuition, even when it seems like a crazy idea. I was very unhappy in my primary school and neither my parents could get to the bottom of it. One morning we were very late to school and I had got myself in a near state of anxious hysteria. When we arrived the classroom was empty as everyone had gone to assembly. Mum didn’t know why I was so upset and to be honest I can’t remember why either. But she had a moment of intuition and trust based action. She walked over to the blackboard, picked up a piece of chalk and wrote – ZOE CHARLES HAS LEFT THIS SCHOOL- and then we left. Just like that. Later we found out the teacher was being investigated for humiliating students with dunces hats and painting their noses black to illustrate their stupidity. I’ve used this courage button many times when something just doesn’t feel right. Mum Wisdom says if it doesn’t feel good, follow your intuition and get the flip out.
Femininity is Fabulous
Of all the women I know My mum would’ve had good cause to to be angry, defensive and shut down around her femininity and sexuality and at times she has been all these things as a victim of sexual abuse these are very normal reactions along with any action that ultimately leads to self destruction. Statistically 1 in 4 women experience sexual and/or violent abuse, so I know that there will be many of you reading this who have lived through abuse be it a one off assault or ongoing trauma. I have written a lot about the exploitation and abuse of women and girls. I am very passionate about doing whatever I can do to end it. But what I am equally passionate about is the celebration of femininity. This is inspired by my Mum.
because she taught us to not be afraid of our femininity, that we are connected to women’s wisdom, wonder and magic and for every time femininity is attacked or endangered we have a choice. We have a choice to feel so scared and threatened that we hide away entirely or we have the choice to sing, dance, glow and shine brighter than we thought possible. And remember there is no guilt and shame in either choice and often we need to choose to hide before we can allow ourselves to shine again. My Mother’s courage to continue to shine and see the light in others inspired me to set up The Cheek of It in 2007 and later World Femininity Day in 2011- A day to celebrate the feminine in all of us, women, men, children, in nature and in the world. Celebrating femininity on a physical and energetic level without fear or shame is powerful, nourishing and Vital not just for women but for all of us.
And I think this really brings us back to the original Mother’s Day. Mum taught us to – feel no shame,work through pain, feel the fury, see the beauty, trust yourself, use your magic, have the courage to truly love yourself and those around you and don’t be afraid to be a woman (and of course, always empty the potty) Through all of these practices there is a commitment to your own personal harmony, when we can create harmony in ourselves we have the power to create peace in the world just like Julia Ward Howe proclaimed in 1870. And that’s worth celebrating!
This Mother’s Day weekend we will be celebrating all the wisdom in one room the way we celebrate best. Dancing, laughing and shining.
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