Rites of Passage
Whether we choose to view them as such or not, our lives are full of built in initiatory rites of passage. From birth to puberty, marriage to childbearing, menopause and, ultimately, our death. In western society, it is not deemed appropriate to acknowledge most of these, but they remain passages nonetheless and we begin to develop unhealthy behaviours around the natural aging process when we ignore them. Mothers are not considered attractive and are looked down upon ("mom jeans" says it all, don't you think? Though truth be told I was right there laughing along with that SNL skit in my early 20's) and all the attention that was once focused on mom during pregnancy shifts to the newborn baby. Puberty is downright awkward and embarrassing for most. Menopause, oh dreaded menopause - it marks the decline, "over the hill" as they say. Seniors are viewed as weak, frail and absentminded. And death is feared because we cannot see through the veil. Many traditions have had an unbroken continuity within their initiatory rites of passage leading to a healthier observance of life's inevitable passages. Birthing mothers are recognized as goddesses for the miracle of bringing new life into the world. Menopause is a shifting to wise womanhood - her childbearing years being over, she has the time and knowledge to share with others. Elderly have a respected place around the fire as they have garnered wisdom to share for they have made it to old age where some of their peers have not. And death is the ultimate teacher, a reminder that "we better have a good life before we turn to dirt" as my wise beyond her years five year old likes to say.
Mother Blessings: What if, instead of the traditional consumerism-based baby shower and the games that we have become familliar with, we came together to honor the woman as she is on the threshold of maiden to mother? We could share what helped us along through birth and through those early days postpartum. We could put our heads together and assign different jobs to different friends or have one friend assigned to a certain day of the week to help out after baby is born. A reasonable plan that fits the present circumstances of each participant. We could pray over mom and baby for the upcoming birth. The celebration could be a potluck, with all the leftovers carefully tucked away into disposable, reheatable containers in the freezer, so the new family doesn't have to cook as they juggle the new dynamic of a baby that sleeps opposite our circadian rhythms, feeds and poops often. It could be an opportunity for a blessing that left a family with more than just stuff (although mindful giving of favorite products and services can still be part of the equation too). If you are interested in more creative ideas for a mother blessing, watch this space as I will be releasing a blog post on this topic soon. I am also available for one on one strategy sessions as a Seven Sisters Postpartum Planner and facilitation of the event.
I adore this mama blessing! Want to make the Canadian version?
Officiating Weddings. With over 100 weddings from the beautiful Banff Springs Hotel to huddled under a tarp in a rain sprinkled meadow (and everywhere in between) under my belt, I believe I have the experience, presence and levity to make your wedding all you've dreamed. My former career was as a paralegal, so I am extremely thorough and precise with important paperwork such as wedding licenses. I was voted number one in Calgary, number one in Alberta and number five Canada-wide by my clients and peers in 2015. After taking a break to renew my health and raise my babies, I am currently waiting for an opening to return to this wonderful company, but in the meantime, it would be my honor and priviledge to officiate your wedding at a much lower rate than was needed previously to secure my services. It's one of my favorite things to do and brings so much joy to my life to celebrate love in all its forms.