Mother’s Day: Mother is at Home
My mother passed away when I was seventeen. But my memories, photos, and the stories my father told me all remind me of who she was to me and what it meant—and still means—to have her influence in my life. More than all of that, I have learned who she was to me by who I am.
My mother was educated and had a career but her nature remained foremost that of a nurturer. She was a cuddler, a sympathizer, an enthusiastic playmate, and a good listener. In my presence, she was always patient, kind, and warmhearted with everyone. Something about her made me feel more than safe and loved—something gave me a sense that no matter what was happening or where I was, my mother was there to support me.
In my personal observations of mother and child behavior, I have seen that when an infant needs mothering, ideally then a good mother is there to support in every way, always with the child as needed. As the child begins to move about and grows to be a toddler, the child runs about the room and plays independently but always running back to the mother to touch, show, share, and get support. When mother leaves the room for too long, the child feels distress.
When a child reaches more independent stages, she can be in a different room from mother but still feel that “mother is at home.” I believe that feeling of “mother is at home” is internalized and stays with the child who then goes off to school and eventually moves away from home. If the feeling was never sufficiently developed, the child may grow to be unbalanced, frightened, lacking in self-confidence, and always seeking to find that support outside herself.
It seems that a large part of a mother’s role is to insure her child’s survival and healthy growth, of course. But along with that, it is essential both for psychological health and maturing that a parent instill confidence in the child from infancy! So, when—at the right time—the mother bird pushes her baby out of the nest, the baby bird is capable of flying.
It may be that parents, who do not instill by their presence and love a field of support deep within their child, push their child into a world that may appear frightening and overwhelming. What if, even with the best of intent, a mother lacks the skill or time or good emotional or physical health necessary for the optimal nurturing of a child?
It dawned on me after learning the Transcendental Meditation technique that the inner security that comes from feeling your mother’s love and the knowledge that she is always just around the corner, ready to offer support and protection and guidance, was now being further cultivated in me. I found that the TM practice was affording me more of that same platform of well-being and a sense of connectedness to something constant and infinitely nourishing.
From more than forty years of practicing and teaching the TM technique, I have come to recognize the immensely rich profound experience available through TM. At the basis of each one of us, deep within our individuality lies a silent field of infinite intelligence, energy, creativity, and invincibility. The experience of this universal field within us is blocked by the stress in the nervous system and the lack of the development of our full brain potential. The TM technique allows the mind to settle naturally and effortlessly to deeper levels of its own nature, through sequentially more restful states, while simultaneously our body experiences profound rest, allowing deeply rooted stress to dissolve. As stress is eliminated and the full potential of the mind becomes enlivened, the inner experience of silent unwavering inner Self is developed.
With regular twice-daily practice of the TM technique, this internal fullness becomes a feature of our daily life, no matter how busy or chaotic our activity may be. One can experience at all times that comfort of “mother is at home.”
I have observed that mothers who learn Transcendental Meditation find that with the decrease of stress and fatigue and the increase of energy, clarity, and nourishing ability, they are more capable of meeting the needs of the child and setting them on an easier path toward fulfillment in life.
Fortunately, my mother’s care allowed me to be confident and free enough within myself to pursue my adventures in the world. And most fortunately for me, one of those adventures was to choose to take the TM course. So the base of unqualified, steady, invincible support within me continues to grow.
About the Author
Janet Hoffman is the executive director of TM for Women Professionals, a division of TM for Women in the USA