A key piece of Landscape of Mothers is that we want to remember to give ourselves credit for what we're doing. Remember that we're in a world that devalues caring for others, whether that's children, the elderly, or the disabled. Needing care is often seen as a characteristic of weakness.
But the world needs true caregivers. We need one another as a fundamental part of our humanity. And so it's helpful when we're in caregiving situations that we make sure that we celebrate and honor our own work.
This is downright countercultural in a time where we are all familiar with the term Mommy Wars. We can go about this differently. Landscape of Mothers gives us a map to do this differently. But, I digress.
When we are willing to celebrate, when we honor our caregiving work, we can be simultaneously building from the shore of "this-doesn't-work-I-want-it-to-be-better" and from "woohoo-I-know-what-does-work". And building on what works is so much easier than trying to create an entirely new foundation for something we can only hope will be better than what we've got goin' on!
And... my invitation to you is to write what you are celebrating below. No celebration is too small! A shower without an audience, one meal that felt nourishing, something begun that feels like it's going somewhere good... it's all part of honoring what we're in. Once you have your celebration, notice the reaction in your body. Notice and name the sensation.
Archetypes can help us get unstuck when we feel like we are out of options through giving us perspectives or lenses that we might not otherwise entertain. This removes us from the habitual neural patterns that have us stuck in a loop that doesn't feel good. Patterns in which we have to lose or let go of something that feels important.
Archetypes can also help us choose a path when we feel overwhelmed. By looking to an archetype that has a particular perspective and personality, we have perspectives available to us that we don't have to create. That is, we don't have to know what we want the situation to look like, we can just know that we don't want what's happening. We step into the perspective of an archetype and try it on. What works for us? What is possible? Does this feel better? What can we do with this understanding?
It's important because when we are parenting we are so often sure of what we don't want, and not as sure of what's possible. If we also have to create that whole dream world of what we do want and how to get there... it can just be overwhelming. And limited. Working with archetypes invites us to step back a bit, give more room to the situation, and to slow down. From there we are able to locate the context of what we're doing. We can see more clearly, we have more options, and we have choice about what we can do. We see different facets of what's important to us, where we're stuck, where we're having success (oh... never forget that last bit... notice and appreciate your successes! Don't gloss over them... they are the strengths that you build with!).
Archetypes are particularly helpful where we are in situations that feel hopelessly tangled, messy, and every question is met with more questions. By stepping into the perspective of a particular archetype we get a finite perspective that has particular possibilities and we are able to manage some understanding or insight from it. The perspective of the archetype has an inherent understanding and knowledge there to build on. When we personify the archetype we can relate to their perspective easily and we can often find guidance in the perspective. We are not obligated to act on that guidance, but the simplicity of having an offering of a way to proceed can open the power of the brain to locate other possibilities. This was not available to us when we were feeling stuck or overwhelmed.
I explore this further in a YouTube Video if you'd like more of my thoughts on archetype as parenting help. You can also sign up for my newsletter if you'd like to hear more.
Author: Jill clifton
Hi, I'm Jill. My intention with this space is to share how exploring the archetypes of motherhood can make room for us to be whole people within our roles of nurturing our children.