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Embracing the Spiritual Journey of Motherhood

By Ashley Elmer, DC

Motherhood is a profound physical, emotional, and spiritual journey, brimming with opportunities for inner growth. Our purpose becomes clearer. Our capacity for love expands. Our ability to handle difficulties deepens. Each joy and challenge that motherhood brings can lead us to a more profound understanding of ourselves and the world. The day-to-day realities of being a mother, however, can seem less like a self-actualizing journey and more like a stressful slog, especially when we’re depleted and isolated. But I’m here to say that you can do more than survive motherhood—you can thrive in every single stage of it. The key is learning to embrace practices that foster health and vitality, especially a practice called self-compassion. Let me share my story with you, and you’ll see what I mean. 

My initiation into motherhood began unexpectedly when my son arrived prematurely at 32 weeks. That night, the streets of Minneapolis flooded as thunderstorms raged, bringing down trees and causing widespread power outages. The setting was far removed from the serene birth I had imagined. 

Yet amid the chaos, I found solace in the techniques I had learned. Tuning into my breath, I rode the waves of labor, anchored by the support of my doula. My beautiful son made his entrance into the world on the summer solstice, illuminating our lives like the brightest ray of sunshine. 

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