September 28th marked the beginning of a nine-night Indian festival which honors the power of the feminine spirit in the Universe. So, as I contemplate the topic for this week’s SpiritChat discussion, my thoughts are drawn to the influence of all the ‘feminine’ spirits in our lives.
It began, of course, with my Mother. And my grandmothers. And my sisters. And my aunts and many other relatives who I interacted with growing up. Then came the influences of women teachers and students. Some of these influences were very strong and some of them were weak. However, they were all influences that moved me forward on my path.
They helped me develop the ‘yin’ (feminine) side of my personality, and balanced the ‘yang’ (masculine) forces that seem to dominate our world today.
To know the masculine, and to be true to the feminine, is to be the waterway of the world.
~ Tao Te Ching, verse XXVIII, by Lao Tzu
It is not to say that the spirit of the ‘men’ who influenced me did not help enhance my connection with the ‘yin’ forces of nature. The qualities of silence, compassion, devotion, loyalty ~ to name a few ~ were learnt by me equally from my ‘mother’ and ‘father’ influencers.
In the interest of narrowing down the discussion, I invite you to come and share your experiences of the influence of those who exhibited Mother-like qualities ~ on your Spirit. And, if you happen to be a Mother, or are in a ‘mothering’ or ‘caregiving’ role (yes, I’m also talking to you, Fathers :-)) ~ your influence in that role on the ‘children’ in your lives.
Before I close, I will be remiss if I don’t mention the influence of my wife, in her role as a mother, not only on me, but on the daughter that she raises in front of my eyes. It has been my privilege to observe this mother-child interplay unfold in front of me ~ what a tremendous blessing!
The morning discussion will be followed by an evening discussion at 7pm PT / 10pm ET and flow into the week. I realize that there are many social and cultural interpretations of the roles of a ‘mother’ ~ perhaps we can discuss a few.
I have roamed from country to country, keeping Her in the core of my heart. Around Her have risen and fallen, the growth and decay of my life.
~ Gitanjali, verse LXVI, by Rabindranath Tagore
P.S. If you are unavailable for the twitter chat, please share your thoughts in the comments below. What does the word ‘Mother’ mean to you?