the Mother's Wisdom Deck

The Mother's Wisdom Deck is a new tool for mamas. A space maker. An intuition tuner. A breath calmer. (It doesn't do dishes though; I was bummed about that.) This deck, and the accompanying guidebook, is so beautifully written by Niki Dewart and Elizabeth Marglin, and illustrated by my inspirational friend Jenny Kostecki-Shaw. In their words: "The deck meets you wherever you are on your journey—losing it or loving it—and gives you permission to call forth the wisdom within... Drawing a card can either reveal a message (like Tarot) or simply provide you with inspiration for the mothering journey." So for me -- I like to get quiet, pull a card and just feel what it might mean for me. Most of the time, something immediately pops into mind. Something I could work on (patience perhaps) or something I need to keep close to my heart for that day (remembering to play). Then I read the description in the guidebook, and maybe it gives me more insight or a different view.

There is an accompanying blog, also. If you haven't already bookmarked it, it's worth setting aside some quiet time to read. I especially loved this interview (as sometimes I think my 3-year-old might be a teen in a toddler suit). Even if you don't have kids, I think it'll inspire you.

Anyway, this morning I decided to ask Veda if she wanted to pull a card with me. Lately I've been trying to include her in my mama-spirit-stuff because it's just easier to play and try to make it a game than it is to get all uptight when there are interruptions, noise, etc. At least it sort of happens when she's involved! -- A big letting go. -- My yoga practice has turned into time to pretend we are animals for approximately 2.4 seconds before I turn into a human jungle gym. It's all good though... Veda now forms her body into weird shapes and says: "What's this one called, mama?!" and then runs around shrieking "Supta baddha konasana!" (hee!)

Back to the deck: so we sit down cross-legged on the bedroom floor and I ask that we take two deep breaths. We take one (off to a good start!) but are sidetracked by the mosquito bite on her leg. Scratch that for a sec and then take our second breath. I spread out the cards and Veda so-very-carefully chooses one for me. I turn it over and we look at it together. It's "Oshun", a goddess that I don't know (last picture above). We look at it together and Veda notices Oshun is standing in water (because she's hot, she thinks) and that she has a bandana on -- "like you wear, mama! Only hers is super big!". We also notice that she has peacock feathers behind her.

So in the split second I have to hear what intuition is telling me, I hear: Veda brought up that she's hot... I have a hot temper... could that be something to be aware of today? And I wonder why the water is orange and her shadow is green. I would think it'd be green water, orange shadow. Why opposite? She has her arms open wide... exposed. Maybe I need to be more open somehow.

I decide I'm not getting anywhere so I read the story of Oshun in the guidebook and learn that she promotes Harmony. Part of her story reads: "Oshun wished for babies of her own. She was unable to conceive until she remembered how the gods had given up something they valued in order to create harmony. A lover of beauty, Orshun cherished fancy robes and fine jewelry. She chose to let go of her excessive finery in order to restore balance and make room for the joys of motherhood. A bevy of babies followed. When the children were grown, they showered her with lavish gifts in recognition of her sacrifice. Again, balance was renewed." ..."Let go of something in the name of harmony, Oshun counsels. Trust that it will come back to you again when the spheres align and the time is right."

Then I know immediately what this card is saying to me today. It's about my illustration career. How much it's changed and morphed since I became pregnant with Veda. Before her, I breathed... ate... talked... LIVED!... illustration. And now it's a much smaller part of my life. It's still a big portion of me, but it doesn't consume me or make up my whole life anymore. And I had a super hard time letting it be the shape it is now. In fact, it wasn't until a few months ago that I deeply made peace with it. I am still not sure how (this post is long enough as is!)... but I'm now ok with art not taking up 99% of the thoughts in my head. I decided I had to let that part of my life simmer down for a while in order to be fully present and happy with how things are right now. (And now is so, so sweet!) And that happiness right here in the moment -- enjoying how things are now -- is more important than how I thought my career ought to be going. My career will be in full bloom again when the time is right -- when I can, and feel called to, put more energy into it. (I'm studying Thai massage now too... so who knows what kind of possibility awaits!!) What I'm currently giving is all the energy and time that I want to devote to it right now... It's my choice to be present with Veda while she's little (how grateful I am to have that choice!). And it's my choice to downsize my art so it fits perfectly in the space that I have to offer. And all that is just perfect.

WHEW!

All that rushed in after reading the "Oshun" card and I realized I was in a good AMAZING place. That I am happy right now. That being there in the moment, playing with my kid was where I wanted to be. -- And that I should be getting my butt in the "boat" (laundry basket) with her because she'd moved on to the next thing already. What a gift.

What a gift.

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Addition: I just found out that the deck creators are offering to give away one copy of the deck to a lucky reader! Leave a comment below to enter. I'll pick a random winner on Monday, June 4!!!

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Winner is Denise:

Denise says: What a great set of cards! Love the idea and the illustrations!

Congratulations, Denise. And thank you everyone else for your heartfelt, understanding and thoughtful comments. I so appreciate your thoughts and similar stories...