Every mother is faced with aspects of mothering which challenges her soul and sensibilities to the core. In our darkest, desperate moments I find it so very powerful to become still and watch what arises in the mind, in the heart. To be a witness unto yourself, unfolding the layers that are causing the sudden fall of us in a difficult moment or moments or hours or days. To watch with earnest discovery, curiously delving into the emotions that are causing our spiral downward.

One of my own triggers in my most depleting desperate moments is when I feel I have no solitude. Solitude has been an important part of my life since I was a child. Recoiling to my room, lying for hours in my bed, playing with my dolls in youth, devouring my books in adolescence and womanhood and throughout all of these stages of me, communing with nature.

Having time and space to honor that reclusive part of me, my powerful Cancerian Moon that not only loves but also thrives off silence and aloneness. This, especially crucial because I am an Aquarian, social butterfly, a spiritual martyr for justice and those in and of the world.

I have always sought this insistent peace for my elaborately pensive mind, to analyze, reflect, even obsess over my thoughts and feelings. It’s where I’ve come to know myself, to love myself.

Motherhood, while it gives unparalleled joy and fulfillment, it takes away the spontaneous medicine someone sometimes needs to find inner harmony. The constant demands and responsibility leave little time for the pause I know I need for my heart and mental health, strength and energy.

When I feel the need, which I know so well, because I ‘know thyself’, to seclude knowing I cannot, because I have to repeatedly answer my toddlers unending questions or feed or change yet another diaper for my littlest one, and I need so badly that time to just be, to answer my own call. When unanswered for too long, I can become lethargic even depressed because I do not have endless time to devote to the part of myself that needs attention I once did. This is very trying, very tiring and depending where I’m at, often.

It is the realm of mothering that necessarily takes from ourselves to nourish another, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It’s my greatest passion and gratitude and yet my hardest challenge and it doesn’t seem to get easier with time. And so one must master the call of how to maintain urgent time for ourselves in between creating an art project for our toddler (for not only excitement and encouragement of imagination) but as well as meltdown avoidance, cook dinner and make sure the second child, the baby, is also getting the attention the only child once did.

This new sacred self that is born the day we give birth is a new eternal rhythm, a new dance to lead and follow, an antidote to our heartbeat in unison with ourselves, and one, two and three others or more.

For me, I must ensue all methods of acquiring the art of remaining in the moment, yet reminding myself repeatedly that it’s not forever–they will sleep, I will get rest, I will have my own moments to hermit myself amongst me when need be.’Fore I’ve found this spiraling depression becoming quickened by the repetitive thought that it will somehow last forever and that I will have to abandon myself evermore, the love, the sad, and the needy call of myself.

I breathe, taking in action and a wish for peace. I go to nature, I close my eyes upon the hot healing sun, I run barefoot in the dirt, physically connecting to the earth because for a few wicked moments the ethereal existential identity of time has gotten the better of me. I actively, even aloud remind myself I am sovereign yet committed, a lone soul yet devout to my family. For me, the me has to always be there, heard, strong, listened to. It makes my connection and my bond to my lover and my girl’s meaningful, loving and authentic.

I need time for me, unapologetic self-love. I need time to sob in a lavender bath to release whatever pent up earthy matters surround me that weigh on my heart, I need to drink spirits while aimlessly, inspiringly writing poetry, I need time to build my arts and crafts, I need time to dive wholeheartedly into my beloved photography and dream of other images I seek to capture.

I, more than most perhaps, want to do what I want to do when I want to do it, I can’t help it, I’ve been like this since I was a little girl and traveling on through the thought that that is not my reality any longer. I must fulfill their needs first then my own. It sounds so obvious but succumbing to this new truth, this new spiritual identity is a daily practice.

To not run and not hide but once again be bold, honoring the child within me too and speaking gently and compassionately to myself, that I will indeed find the time, I must just create it. A harrowing feat when at any time of the day one is exhausted and weary feeling deflated, defeated. But you must act; I must act for the sake of femininity, for the love of an awakened soul. Learning new ways to contribute to our longings and yearnings, devising new paths in manifesting time and space for loving ourselves in every time of need, whenever that arises.

I am humble in saying the truth that I am an extraordinary mother–the conscious care I take in every word and gesture, in every adventure to inspire my little women, morning songs, preparing meals, communing with nature whereby living by the sun and loving by the moon, each book I read to them, each nap wish, and goodnight kiss, and what I practice is loving myself the very way I love them, devoutly, gently, powerfully, and with nothing but love and understanding…