In the USA it’s Mother’s Day this upcoming Sunday so in honor of this day I’m sharing 3 reparenting exercises that I practice that have helped me feel more nourished and cared for than ever before.
Mother’s Day can be really lovely and can also be incredibly complicated and even incredibly difficult. Our relationship with our mothers is often fraught.
She may have passed away, she may be absent in some other way, we may long for a different kind of relationship with her than we have, we may want to become a mother ourselves but are unable, or any other number of uniquely heartbreaking circumstances.
My relationship with my own mother and my relationship with being a mother to my kids is both beautiful and complicated, too.
And you know what really helps me?
Why? Because the part of me that craves mothering doesn’t need to receive it in a certain way from a certain person (like my mother.) Often, the part of me that has the hardest time mothering is the very same part of me that craves mothering.
The more I practice reparenting exercises and find ways to receive mothering from sources other than my mother, the more I’m able to receive nourishment and care in every area of my life (including what my biological mother has to offer.)
The more I’m able to find that sense of calm, safety, and openness to receive in my body and my energetic field, the more present I am in my business, the more deeply I’m able to serve my clients, the more I’m able to collaborate with and receive support from Team Origin, and the more our revenue and impact grow.
So how do you know if you need reparenting exercises?
If you find yourself feeling dysregulated (anxious, agitated, perfectionistic, depressed, or responding to situations in a way that’s out of proportion to the situation at hand), then you could probably use some reparenting exercises.
What exactly are reparenting exercises?
Reparenting exercises are simple things you can do to help soothe your nervous system and heal the parts of yourself that didn’t get the kind of parenting you needed when you were little.
Here’s why it works:
Here’s what’s so wild about the body: it has no sense of time and it holds memories.
The great news about these facts is that the part of you that didn’t get what you needed when you were little still lives inside of you and has no sense of time so if you give it what it needs today, the rupture from the past gets healed.
You don’t have to go back in time to get the parenting you needed when you were little. It’s available right now and your parents don’t have to have anything to do with it.
Here are 3 reparenting exercises I use that help me run my business more effectively, parent more consciously, and show up in every area of my life as the truest version of myself:
1. Talking to myself in the way I would want a loving parent to talk to me
When I’m going through a hard time (even if it’s a tough set of crunches in a workout class) I’ve trained myself to say things like, “You’ve got this baby girl. You’re doing so great. I’m so proud of you.”
When I’ve been working for a long time and it’s time for a break, I say things like, “Ok sweet girl, You’ve been sitting at your computer for a long time now. Let’s go lay on the grass and get some rest now. You’re doing great and it’s time for a break.”
Even if you feel kind of silly at first, notice the physiological changes that happen in your body when you say kind, loving, parental things to yourself either inside your head or out loud. The shift is profound.
2. Call in a supportive figure
My coach, Dr. Anne Davin, walked me through an exercise where I called in specific supportive characters to join me in a past memory where I didn’t receive the support I’d needed from adults in my life.
One of them was a motherly figure who I was invited to welcome in and receive a name for. The woman who showed up isn’t someone I actually know (though that’s certainly an option) and her name is Gladys. When I’m having a hard time and I need mothering (like when I’m sick or life is feeling hard) I close my eyes and call Gladys in. I visualize how she might nurture me and I’m able to receive the mothering energy on a deep level even though there’s no one actually physically there with me.
3. Connect with Mother Earth and the Great Mother
Reparenting exercises 1 and 2 both tap into the energy of the Great Mother which is the pervasive presence of nurturing energy that’s available to all of us at all times. Sometimes I’ll lay out on the grass and ask Mother Earth to absorb my stress or worries or anything that feels too heavy for me to carry anymore. I feel her taking it all in and then letting it alchemize into fertilizer for new life.
Praying to the Great Mother for her support is another practice that can be incredibly helpful and bring immediate peace and relief. Plus, when we pray, miracles show up.
Getting our parental needs met is available to all of us anytime regardless of our relationship with our own parents. By tapping into these reparenting exercises we can be liberated from waiting for someone else to give us something and find immediate access to it right here, right now through the ever present, infinitely renewable resource of nurturing energy that we can tap into anytime.
Over To You:
Which one of these reparenting exercises speaks to you the most? What other reparenting exercises do you practice? We’d love to hear about them!Kate Northrup is an entrepreneur, bestselling author, mother, and founder and CEO of The Origin Company, which reaches hundreds of thousands globally. Kate is committed to supporting ambitious women to light up the world without burning themselves out. She’s the author of Do Less, the Do Less Planner System creator, and runs The Origin Membership, which helps business owners grow their business while doing less.