Next Mother’s Day, we invite you to think of the word mother as a verb (“to mother”), versus a noun. Why? Mothering transcends the female–you’re mothered by anyone (or thing) who offers you acceptance, nourishment, instruction, and empowerment.
By detaching motherhood from any particular person, you’ll begin to notice where you could personally use more mothering. Ask yourself when you feel lovable or disgusting, empty or needy, stupid or ignorant, helpless or incapable. Clear answers hint you need to patch yourself together a new kind of mother that nurtures your unmet needs.
Mountain Trek does not have mammary glands, or any other physical feature of a stereotypic mother, but we mother regardless. We provide a safe and healthful environment, teach the important rules and roles of life through our lectures on stress, detox, sleep, nutrition and fitness, and we meet your emotional needs with our empathy.
The Mountain Trek program provides a space for you to not only feel deeply mothered, but to seek out the mothering you may be lacking. After my week in the program, I learned nature is my mother, and that hiking is the mothering I need; exploring trails enriches my soul in a way I’ve never before felt. The trees wake up my mind. The rivers refresh my soul.
This isn’t to say I won’t be celebrating my biological mother this weekend; rather, I’ll also be celebrating the many ways in which we are all uniquely mothered. I’ll be celebrating nourishing foods, the open spaces we play in, and the soft blankets we swaddle ourselves in with a book. I’ll be celebrating the fluidity of motherhood, and the gift we have to see mothering as more than a trait of female humans.
Kirkland Shave, Mountain Trek’s Program Director, says, “When we’re on the treadmill of life, we lose track of the wounded child in each of us, and we need to take a break to not only acknowledge our unmet needs, but to reflect on how we can self-care.” He continues, “The need to be mothered doesn’t disappear with age, and the real work is done when we learn how to parent ourselves.”
Kirkland’s top two ways of mothering oneself in adulthood are:
- Play and wonder. Open your senses through new tastes and activities. Experience what it’s like to try something for the first time again. Take a ballroom dancing class, or try that funky-colored fruit you always bypass.
- Free your emotions. Deeply connect with yourself by letting go of the notion that adults should always be strong and unaffected. The Stiff Upper Lip syndrome only leads to disconnection, and disconnection only leads to feeling lost and neglected. Laugh, cry, go in for energy-releasing body work treatments: do whatever you need to do to tap into your raw feelings.
As the grandfather of a toddler, Kirkland feels mothered when he’s playing with his grandson. Making forts out of pillows and towers out of blocks, he’s able to nurture his creativity and connect with his desire to live boundlessly.
Other ways to mother yourself are by:
- Creating a comforting bedtime routine
- Taking a break from social media (because the unfair comparisons are driving you nutso)
- Getting fresh air daily
- Eating nourishing foods
- Saying nice, encouraging things to yourself in the mirror
- Doing puzzles, and other mind-challenging activities
- Keeping cozy comforts easily-accessible, like a basket of fuzzy socks by the door for when you take your shoes off upon returning home
- Journaling, in a free-flowing stream-of-consciousness style
- Listening to uplifting music
- Making yourself a nice drink (hot chocolate! ginger tea! sparkling lemonade!) and sipping it slowly
- Planning a special one-on-one date with yourself
- Building a cozy fort to relax in, equipped with a book, movie, snacks, you name it
I mother, you mother, he mothers, she mothers, we mother, they mother. The ocean mothers, and the mountains mother. Pets mother, and travel mothers. Look beyond the female who raised you to acknowledge all the different ways you are mothered, and can be mothered. Open yourself up to new perspectives and opportunities, and embrace the ability to meet your needs in a myriad of ways. Seek comfort in the potential. You are not alone. You are not stuck.
To realize a new kind of mothering, book your stay with Mountain Trek. Our program will uncover a new ability within you to grow, to heal, and to show up for your life as fully as you can.