As we honor mothers, past and present, maternal figures in our lives and the feminine qualities that mothers embody, I recognize still another expression of motherhood.  That is, the women who have had the experience of motherhood through miscarriages, stillborn births and the loss of a child before birth.

Most of us know someone who has lived through a miscarriage or stillborn birth. It is not rare and happens in approximately 15-20% of pregnancies in the United States *.  I have an amazing 16-year-old daughter, Nicole, who is my light.  I also experienced miscarriage five times, once at six months gestation where my baby girl was born prematurely and died. In the case of the premature birth, while I was put under anesthesia to undergo a D&C to remove the placenta, my baby was autopsied and incinerated.  All without my knowledge nor consent. My husband and I were never able to hold our child, nor bury her. The autopsy indicated the baby was perfect. There was no medical answer to help us understand. Our perfect baby simply died.

The loss of a pregnancy and a baby is devastating. So are many of the comments women hear by well-intentioned folk who truly want to do good. I heard “it is for the best”, “it is what God wanted”, “you probably are not meant to be a mother”, “the baby was probably deformed/retarded/sick, etc.”, “why bring babies into the world anyway when you could adopt unwanted children”, and the list goes on and on. I also heard healing words that led me to recover and open my heart again.  Those words were “I love you and am here for you”, “what can I do to help?” and “you are a wonderful mother to the child you lost- he/she only knew love.”

For all women who share the knowledge of this type of loss, I honor your motherhood.  I am filled with gratitude for every experience of motherhood I have been gifted.

Let us pay homage to all children, those who were born and those who weren’t, for choosing to make us mothers; a truly wondrous and humbling experience.

*US National Library of Medicine statistic. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001488.htm

I have very fond memories of my “Grandma Downstairs” who taught me many useful things like cooking, baking and gardening.  She also triggered my trust in my own psychic abilities.

My maternal great-grandmother immigrated to Pennsylvania from a small Czech town east of Prague called Chvaletice.  Her name was Marie Babicka (nee Bezdek) and she was the first-born in a large family. When, at age 12, her mother died, Marie was taken out of school to stay at home and care for her family which was now even bigger since her father remarried.  How is that for a Cinderella story? I remember combing her long, silver hair, that she plaited and pulled into a proper bun.  My siblings and I called her “Grandma downstairs” since her daughter, our “Nana” lived upstairs in the same house.

When I was five years old, Grandma Babicka began giving me advice.  She told me “learn how to cook and you’ll always have a man”, “don’t be a hussy” and other wise things.  I loved being near my great-grandmother and was flabbergasted at the many skills she had mastered: cooking (she did everything from the tending the garden and raising turkeys and other animals to putting the food on the table), sewing, embroidery, flower gardening, she ran a candy shop when my great-grandfather lost his sight in an accident, raising 6 children and baking.  Grandma Babicka was an extraordinary baker.  I would hold my breath when she placed that beautiful, brown, round bread onto her bosom and began slicing the bread towards her neck. Yikes!

Grandma Babicka died when I was 7 years old.  It was the first time I consciously lost a family member. Then I started “hearing” from her and from my Nana who was alive and living in Pittsburgh.  What I mean is that I could discern information communicated by my grandmothers.

At this point, my immediate family and I lived in Chicago, 750 km from Pittsburgh.  Sometime during my primary school years, I relayed a message or two to classmates and teachers and I quickly comprehended that I was doing something unacceptable. Not wanting to be “different”, I stopped sharing these communiqués with others. I did continue to sense messages from other guides and spirits, but I did not receive any more messages from Grandma Babicka until I moved to Montreal in 2012.

Our move to Canada was fraught with a number of unexpected and inconvenient circumstances.  I was awaiting my work permit and Canada Immigration suffered an employee “walk-out” and the processing time for my work permit went from 3 weeks to two years.  Because of this, the job I came here for fell through and I remember sitting in my living room with my head in my hands, wondering aloud “now what will I do”; and hearing a response: “use your hands”.  I could envision Grandma Babicka’s sturdy hands kneading a big ball of dough. I asked her “how can I be sure that it’s you?” She said “when you go outside and see coins on the ground, that is me”.  The very next day I took the dog out for a walk and it was wet and rainy.  I suddenly heard “Now! Look!” and I looked on the ground to find a shiny, clean two- dollar coin sitting in the mud.  The coin was not dirty or wet! What ensued was an ongoing communication from my great-grandmother that continues to this day.  Information and step-by-step guidance in the pursuit of a happy, meaningful life.

We can indeed find answers to our dilemmas and dramas within.  Whether it arrives as communication from a loving grandparent no longer on this Earth or our own inner wisdom bubbling to the surface. Even if one has never sensed this type of communication, it can be learned.   We humans are naturally programmed to perceive all information that exists. We can learn to perceive everything. The first step is to believe it is possible.

Libérate de tus pensamientos o cómo sentir paz y alegría

Are you free to feel peace and joy?

Are you aware of the free, natural state of being when you feel light, happy and alive? Can you remember the last time you felt this way? Perhaps on a special vacation, a momentous occasion like a wedding or graduation or a job promotion.  Children are great examples of humans in that state of “freedom”.  They observe and experience everything in their environment, gravitating to people, places and situations that are joyful.

If it has been days, weeks or years since you enjoyed this feeling, then you are in luck! You can heal the stressors that block your inborn system of joy.  Indeed, you can allow yourself to enter this state of being as it is your right.  You were born to feel this on a consistent basis.  Wow!  The key is shifting your awareness away from your mental constructs- your thoughts.  You can harness a peaceful state of being by learning to release thoughts (especially when they consist of “to do lists”, worries, fears, ruminating over past events and future events).  The absence of thinking brings us into a naturally happy state of consciousness. It brings us into the present moment.

Fortunately, liberating ourselves from the prison of an over-active mind is a matter of practice.  Practice breathing. Ask yourself “Am I breathing” and feel your awareness move immediately out of your head and into your heart.  Then, continue to breathe and simply observe. Any thoughts, worries, can be observed for what they are: ways of preventing us from just “being”.   Begin with brief moments of focus on breath.  Once you feel peace and relaxation, you can extend this practice for as long as you like.

If this does not bring you immediately into a blissful state of peace, do not worry.  Just try again for a minute or two when you feel rested.  Lack of sleep is a common stressor that can undermine your initial breathing efforts. Just try at different times of the day and find when you are most receptive to letting go.  Then, make the decision to continue experiencing the absence of thought.

It all boils down to making a choice. First you choose freedom from your mind and thoughts.  Then you choose breath and relaxation. Finally, you choose joy and happiness.