Two of the most isolating experiences in life are; becoming a parent and going through a spiritual awakening. But what if you are doing both at the same time?
I have always been a solitary soul. I used to lose myself as a child in the bush of southern Africa, and when I discovered I had a home within myself, I rarely wanted to return to reality.
Before family life, I solo-traveled extensively for almost ten years, so I got used to being self sufficient and valued the time to myself as self-developmental.
But then I became a mother. And suddenly being alone became actually lonely.
I didn't only struggle with very common challenge of becoming a mother and trying to hold on to some threads of identity - but I also married a foreigner, embarked on an inner spiritual quest and literally became the lonely writer scribbling away her thoughts in an attic.
Loneliness as a new mother was already well and truly present in me before I found my spirituality - and I was not prepared for how the two types of isolation would deepen the void.
To be clear, I refer to spirituality as the ability to find guidance in your life - whether it comes in the form of a God, the universe, nature, your higher-being or simply yourself - doesn’t matter in my world - but the power to guide your life through intuitive alignment is what makes spirituality so incredibly empowering.
Spirituality is the greatest act of self-care any woman can give herself in motherhood, because it is a time that we are most prone to the influence of other’s expectations.
I know what it is like to try empower your own life while also being responsible for your family.
I know you don't only want to share your challenges of motherhood with someone else who is a mother - you want to share your inner being with someone who understands the universe.
Not only do you want to hang out with other 'awakened' people who have soulful conversations and inspire you with their own journey - you want to be around people who are doing this while still getting through piles of laundry, dropping off/picking up kids, bettering the lives of their families by being present and are possibly in the process of becoming independent with their own soul-crafted business - because they too, have recognised their contribution to the world comes from being able to tell their story and help others.
Spirituality in motherhood and motherhood in spirituality are both truly complimenting elements, but the weight of both their isolations can become twice the density.
When you feel the compounding weight of loneliness on your spiritual path as a mother, I have 7 steps that will change the way you see your loneliness.
These are seven fundamental steps that can bring you back to your wholeness when loneliness hollows you from the inside out.
1 - Recognise your loneliness for what it is
You can be an active member on every spiritual/motherhood community page on social media - and still feel lonely. In fact, the modern interpretation has become synonymous for its psychological state of feeling separated - and not a physical distance from other people. Feeling lonely as a mother while on a spiritual journey is supposed to be an introspective process. Although at times these feelings can be shifted by being in the company of those who truly understand you, accept that life is simply a journey through your own consciousness. Even when your partner can’t support your spiritual needs, become the person who tells yourself everything you wish others would say to you and watch how incredibly strong you become.
2 - We are all lonely
At the same time as understanding that you are a singular person - remember the inherent Oneness of the world. Every single person you meet has been lonely in some way and will understand the magnitude it can weigh on your heart. Even the most confident, outgoing, social woman in the playground will have bouts of extreme loneliness so come to see past this ego because it is often those who make overt efforts to seem sociable that are most lonely. Compassion towards others and keeping in alignment with your core being can help ease the feeling that no one else understands what you are going through.
3 - Notice loneliness as a sign of dwindling empowerment
When you feel most empowered in life, you rarely feel that hollowing isolation, even when you spend days on end only talking to a baby or your own family. It is the difference between owning your solitude and becoming victim to it. Unlike the overtly confident person who compensates loneliness for false confidence - the woman who is empowered by her life is subtly strong and recognises this period as transient. When you use the self-empowerment that comes with spirituality, you can see how this time alone offers deep introspection into who you really are - as a mother but also as an independent being.
4 - Do more of what you love
Creating that sense of empowerment means doing what makes you you - and more often. When you feel isolated and cannot take control of the emotions that keep you being victim to that isolation - do something that you truly love. As a parent, this is the crux to life - how to find the time to do what I love?! Consider time spent in early mornings and evenings as sacred - a time to indulge in self-care. Time spent in a creative process is the highest form of self-love. So whether it is knitting, drawing, writing, painting, cooking, reading or meditating - know that this is combatting the emotions that keep you pinned into a helpless state. Loneliness can also be an incredible tool for creative writing, art and even entrepreneurship - so it is essential to channel these emotions into creative work so they can be shared, and perhaps you will even become a platform of resonance to others.
5 - Write your own poetry
You may journal - but have you tried poetry? As a mother, condensing time into only potent activities can be the difference between feeling exhausted all the time and feeling free. This goes for writing too. Poetry has been used for centuries as healing for the soul as it simplifies complex emotions into simple sentences. You can write your own witness-based poetry, which means you describe the emotions you are feeling and use as many metaphors and similes as possible to try and articulate your emotions. Or, you can write intention-based poetry, which means you try and stand back from your emotions and see how to navigate yourself towards a more healing state of mind. I have written a book of intention-based poetry, which you can find HERE - or simply try using your higher-self to give you advice through the pen.
Don't worry what form, grammar, style or voice your poetry has. It is about being truly mindful to your state of mind and writing short, potent sentences to transform these complex thoughts into simple statements that you can step back and read to gain insight.
6 -Accept that everyone is on their own path
Being a spiritual mother makes you more susceptible to other's mindlessness. But it is not a reason to use up your energy on trying to awaken others. I would personally love this super-power but I try transmute this energy in my books rather on the streets of Copenhagen. I spent 6 months actively trying to find people like myself when I arrived in Denmark. I was a new mother without roots or culture - I was deeply trying to find myself through Buddhism - I was sleep-deprived which felt the same as experiencing a constant psychedelic trip - I needed to find people who I could share the burden with - so I went out looking. I attended yoga, went to sister circles, mixed-religion choir classes, cocoa ceremonies, philosophy nights, book clubs... I made some incredible friends and when it came to meeting up - I never had the time to meet them on their schedule because they were all single - and schedule wasn't even a thing to them. What I learnt from this 'experiment' was to own my unique situation and to appreciate myself for at least trying. I settled into being ok with this type of loneliness and have actually made more friends this way.
The few women who are spiritual and are mothers with packed days will be the people who notice you a mile away - and will not likely let you get away.
7 - Free your loneliness into nature
I am an advocate for how nature truly heals and we spend most of our holidays in the wilderness. This is a place you can be most at ease with your loneliness because you become one with your primal essence. There are few things in nature that have a life-span as long as humans, and yet they are all busy being themselves. We have bee hives at our cabin and they are what I go to in times of isolation. Each, individual bee has a task and each and every one is valued for their contribution to life of the Queen. I feel she represents the collective consciousness in our world and as long as we are doing our individual inner work - we can take care of the greater monarch.
The secret to dealing with motherhood and spiritual loneliness does not lie in trying to make it disappear but in finding ways to dwell within its abstractions, talk through its contradictions and seek to destigmatize it through using it as a creative tool.
I would love to share journeys, challenges and experiences in motherhood while on a spiritual path with you, so feel free to share, discuss and connect with me if this post resonated with you by leaving a comment below or joining our group online HERE.