‘Motherhood’ Category

Journal From a New Mother

Sara Puharich
July 30th, 2010

Sarah and Michael Puharich

I can’t see the next step. I can’t plan. I have a general idea of direction, but I alone cannot determine speed. “I alone” does not exist for more than moments in the shower. In those moments the question arises: What do I want? And I can’t quite say—I don’t know.

Until now, I have been defined by my rank, my performance, my contribution, my effort—I alone. I don’t want to go back to seeking those definitions, and I can’t. You, sweet daughter, for now…well, it’s not that you define me or control me or limit me. I don’t see it that way. It’s just, I am not alone. In a society prostrate to individuality, we are interdependent.

I dreamed of the joys of being the family. I whitewashed the challenges of redefinition. Sometimes I feel lost. Sometimes I feel sad for the chapters that have closed. Mostly I am present and I offer of myself in an unpretentious, homespun way.

I’m in no hurry to jump-start the engine, the drive. I accept this darkness on the deep, this unexpected and undefined territory on the map. And I reach out my eyes, my ears, my heart, and my other hand to the mothers around me. No, I am not alone.

This little piece of prose is a reflection on my first months as a mother. It is also my experience of the creative process. In the beginning, darkness is on the face of the deep. As a farmer, I know the darkness of winter and the darkness of night. Living things need darkness to grow. And we need to make space for darkness for the creative cycles in our own life—the darkness of unseeing and unknowing, when you can feel the presence of life, whether you’re pregnant or whether you have planted the seed that hasn’t yet germinated. Or perhaps it is the darkness of having a vision but not seeing the person with whom you might share it. In the beginning, darkness is on the face of the deep, and I know that now in a way that I never have before.

With darkness, there are certainly moments of sadness and fear—sadness about what is gone, fear about what’s coming. All of us get to experience that sadness and fear whenever we choose a direction—in other words, whenever we give ourselves to the creative process. And you can’t be in the creative process without choosing to join with someone or something new. That joining, leading to some kind of union, is the very nature of creation. It doesn’t have to be a marriage; it doesn’t have to be a long-term commitment. It can just be our passion in whatever field, joining with another. That creates a direction, and once we have said yes to something, we’re saying no to other things, so it also creates a void.

But I’m in this place now where I’m welcoming that void. The last time I felt such a lack of clarity about my next step was when I flew back from South Africa, where I took a life-changing program, Deepening Spiritual Expression. I felt my life purpose more powerfully than ever, but I didn’t know what form that was going to take. As I flew over the Atlantic on that eighteen-hour plane ride, we were chasing night the whole way, so it was dark. We couldn’t see anything below us. It was such a graphic moment of darkness on the deep for me.

I’ve kept that image with me, and I keep it still. I can feel the excitement I felt, knowing I could create anything! A farm, a family, a whole-foods kitchen, a program for personal development. I didn’t know where the creative process would take me, but I had found union with the direction for my life. I knew that I had something profound to share with others. I just didn’t have the form.

There is a phrase from the Dances of Universal Peace that we offer at Sunrise Ranch once a month. It is of Jewish origin, and the words are: “To heal the world, you must feel the world, and heal the world with the power of Shaddai.” One of the translations of Shaddai relates to the milk-giving breast, which of course is another one of my favorite meditations at this point in time, being a nursing mother. But I think of it more as giving of the very essence of myself as an action of healing. For me, it speaks to the way I can offer healing. It is the power that I believe we all have to extend ourselves to another and to be a blessing. That is union, the power of Shaddai.

Sara Puharich