Soul Mothering is the foundation of Core Desire. It is the intention, practices, and in-action love for ourselves and the world that create safety and coherence with our being and body for all of ourselves.
It is a soul process because it affirms the presence of Spirit in our Flesh, and honors the individual constellation of our humanity while simultaneously re-weaving the web of life within, around, and between us.
Soul Mothering is inherently a process of healing Eros because our bodies, and all life, are sensual--we feel, we flow, we spark, we dance.
Our bodies, our desires, our flesh has been slandered in an effort to shame--and therefore control and suppress--the vast power of bodies that are othered, that are not white/cisgender/male/heterosexual/colonizer, etc. So the fastest way back to our wholeness, our vitality, our agency--both individually and collectively--is to reclaim our desire, our erotic truth, our embodiment, in a way that makes space for a complexity of truths.
Too many of us have internalized the ways we need to be small/complicit with the white cisheteropatriarchy in order to grasp at some level of perceived safety. But that "safety" has always been a lie, a highly conditional promise that can and does turn on a dime. As Audre Lorde wrote,
"In becoming forcibly and essentially aware of my mortality, and of what I wished and wanted for my life, however short it might be, priorities and omissions became strongly etched in a merciless light, and what I most regretted were my silences. Of what had I ever been afraid? To question or to speak as I believed could have meant pain, or death. But we all hurt in so many different ways, all the time, and pain will either change or end. Death, on the other hand, is the final silence. And that might be coming quickly, now, without regard for whether I had ever spoken what needed to be said, or had only betrayed myself into small silences, while I planned someday to speak, or waited for someone else’s words. And I began to recognize a source of power within myself that comes from the knowledge that while it is most desirable not to be afraid, learning to put fear into a perspective gave me great strength.
I was going to die, if not sooner then later, whether or not I had ever spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you. But for every real word spoken, for every attempt I had ever made to speak those truths for which I am still seeking, I had made contact with other women while we examined the words to fit a world in which we all believed, bridging our differences. . .
What are the words you do not yet have? What do you need to say? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence?"
Soul Mothering creates space within us for those parts we learned to silence to finally be witnessed, considered, loved unconditionally--so that we no longer have to fear what is actually both the beauty and pain of who we are as messy, sacred, desiring humans.
Instead, as we begin to know ourselves more fully, our voices gain courage. We find real solidarity. We expand our bandwidth to be both loud and beautiful, and are more willing to stand the discomfort of others being uncomfortable as we make better boundaries, speak out against injustice, learn to repair when we make mistakes, and no longer apologize for taking up space.
Soul Mothering grows our pleasure compass, our erotic intelligence, because the presence of real pleasure (vs a coping mechanism) indicates a level of safety and resonance with our inherent sense of goodness, love, and sacredness in the world.
Too many times in the world of healing and transformation, the cart is put way before the horse: "Here! Have this amazing eye/heart/erotic opening experience--but without foundational preparation or integrating follow-up. Some of this is offered with the best of intentions (after all "healers" are human, too), and some is a gross, ego driven fuckshow (not only but especially by both white men and women). Almost inevitably, the post-expansion contraction is as big, if not bigger, than the expansion, and comes with a lot of confusion, self-judgement, and even retraumatization. It's like building a dream home on top of quicksand.
But when we intentionally offer love, witness, and real curiosity to the parts of our being that feel ugly, shameful, or maybe even disastrous, what felt like boogie men in our closets reveal themselves to be aspects of our being that are beautifully, tenderly complex--the wound that is the portal to parts of our deepest essence that we have been instinctively protecting for many years.
The wound is real, and so is the power. We hold them, two balls of energy, pulsing in our hands. We listen, we nourish, we get curious, we grieve, we rage, we cry, we love, we fuck, we pray, we create, we rest.
Honestly, your soul is smarter than your intellect about these things, and your job is to become discerning, to be a better and better listener, to get curious about the deeper truths underneath an old wound that was never adequately tended. Soul Mothering is the place to start, and deepen, when you are tired of the ways you self-sabotage your needs, dreams, and desires, and don't know what else to do about it.
Soul Mothering says, Give up trying to fix yourself. Stop trying to barnstorm your own humanity, your own beloved mess of being a spirit in a body. These parts that seem to yell and throw tantrums are asking you for attention the only way you would listen--but if you stop and turn to them, you will find they are ready to speak and grown and absolutely metamorphose your experience of love, connection, and possibility.
Photo credit: Mary E. Orin