SELF-MOTHERING and the art of learning to be a better mom.

Connect with your inner mother to develop a healthy motherhood.

Leonor Adriana Díaz Sánchez (Shakti-Seva/l.a.d.s)/ The Woman Post

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Awakening your inner mother allows you to become a better mother, therefore, learning the practice of Automaternaje is vital for developing a healthy motherhood. Automaternaje is the way we connect with ourselves in terms of self-care and self-love, providing a secure foundation of self-containment that manifests as confidence in ourselves and the world. Connecting with your inner mother enables you to develop healthy motherhood.

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The first gateway to life is the mother, thus the relationship with the mother is the first bond of connection and closeness with the rest of the world, setting the tone for how we relate to ourselves and others. The term "maternaje" stems from " motherhood," which means nurturing, caring, protecting, and emotionally containing. When we talk about "automaternarnos," we are taking on the responsibility to nurture, care for, and emotionally contain ourselves, regardless of what we received from our mother.

Symptoms of a Lack of Inner Mother

• When we haven't developed our inner mother, meaning we don't know how to self-nurture, we feel anxious and abandoned in the face of complex or difficult situations. We lack the emotional containment and support to navigate these situations, leading us to depend on others emotionally to solve problems and constantly seek refuge and support from them.

Emotionally dependent individuals are prone to developing dependencies or addictions to food, alcohol, cigarettes, or psychoactive substances, as a way to escape situations they cannot resolve. In the worst cases, these addictions become self-destructive, serving as a means of self-punishment for not knowing how to confront or resolve situations.

 • Victimhood arises when individuals fail to take responsibility for resolving their situations. They tend to blame others for what happens to them, seeking pity or compassion from others to feel protected, cared for, or loved.

Guidelines for learning to self-maternal

There are two ways to build our inner mother to nurture ourselves. One is from the outside in through constructivism, which is the therapy generated by a theoretical and practical current in psychology that affirms that human beings are constructed from the outside in and therefore give what we have received.

The other way is from the inside out and is achieved through meditation, which allows us to strengthen ourselves and connect with our inner teacher or higher self. As a life mentor and transformative holistic therapist, my role is to accompany my patients by providing them with tools to develop strategies, skills, and capabilities that help them build a better relationships with themselves, to improve relationships with others. Therefore, I will now break down some of these tools that I hope will be useful, as we treat ourselves as we have been treated as children and treat others as we have learned to treat ourselves:

  1. The first step is to know ourselves and understand what we want and don't want. Recognize our shortcomings and needs, our preferences and affinities, know what makes us feel happy and fulfilled, and find what gives meaning to our lives, not based on others, but based on ourselves. It involves delving into the depths of our being to discover what we truly long for so that we can work towards it. It is about discovering our childhood wounds. In self-awareness, we must embark on an inner journey to see what happened in our relationship with our mother and father.
  2. The second step is to identify and acknowledge our childhood wounds. Once we have identified our shortcomings and needs, we can begin to work on healing that wounded inner child within us, so that we do not project our frustrations and insecurities onto our children. When we heal our inner child, we take responsibility for her, and as adults, we can start nurturing, caring for, and containing her in an integrated way—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. This is when we begin to nurture ourselves as mothers, as we maturely and responsibly assume this role, without depending on others for it to be possible. Allow the past to be the past, in order not to go back, therefore, recognizing and identifying the wounds is recognizing and identifying the medicine, that is, healing.
  3. The third step is to reframe our story by identifying the sensitive points in our life and performing the necessary alchemy to transform the wounds. We analyze how we relate to those wounds, knowing what to do with them, changing the internal narrative, and distinguishing between the narrative of the wounded child and the narrative of the adult woman who takes responsibility for her life.
  4. The fourth step is to build nurturing and nourishing habits where we celebrate the care of our bodies to ground our lives. This involves connecting with nature, and engaging in rituals of constant regeneration through exercise, proper nutrition, and meditation.
  5. Develop healthy lifestyle habits that allow us to maintain a healthy physical, mental, and emotional body. Implement a healthy diet, engage in exercise, practice meditation, breathe consciously, and allocate adequate time for rest and recreation.
  6. Learn to accurately read and understand our emotions and feelings, identifying the extent to which we are capable or prepared to manage them. When we realize that we cannot handle them alone, accept that we need help and support from a professional and seek it.
  7. Create strategies to build a support network and emotional containment that nurtures and strengthens us, enhancing our self-management, self-containment, and self-care abilities.
  8. Through self-observation, identify our capacity to set boundaries with ourselves and others in a loving and compassionate manner, learning how to establish them.
  9. Develop independence and financial autonomy to not rely on anyone and avoid allowing dependence to lead to control by others. This empowers us to improve our self-esteem and feel free to make decisions regarding money management, purchasing what we need or enjoy. In conclusion, if we learn to take care of ourselves, we will be capable of caring for others.

Therefore, we can have a healthy motherhood free from unhealthy attachments, pathological dependencies, or toxic relationships. No human being can give what they do not possess. Consequently, we give to others what we give to ourselves, based on what we have received. Knowing how to nurture ourselves allows us to be healthier mothers, raising healthy individuals who can live a more conscious and responsible life.

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