Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On TwitterVisit Us On PinterestVisit Us On Google Plus
Tag Archives: Mothers Day

“Mothering” and The Moral Strength of Women

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone out there Mothering - a way of being in the world, of nurturing and cultivating the highest within you, so that you can bring that to your family, your friends, and the planet.


In 1908 a woman named Anna Jarvis started a campaign in West Virgina to create a nationally recognized holiday to recognize mothers. People loved the idea, and it spread quickly. Hallmark and florists promoted it heavily to become what it is today.  (And Anna herself was reportedly already disappointed by it’s commercialization by 1920.)

While motherhood has not been a major topic of the modern world’s great spiritual leaders and teachers,  There are a lot of references in history to a unique spiritual trait of “mothering” that all women have.  Many natives and aboriginal tribes, as well as early Paleolithic and Neolithic reference great respect for the Clan Mother, or Earth Mother, and “Great Females,” who give birth to humans and all other beings and things, who are responsible for the cycles of nature, and on whom we depend on for life.  In fact, prior to the introduction of our modern, organized religions, all women and mothers were honored and revered for our unique feminine power, regardless of whether they physically gave birth to a child.  In fact, there’s plenty a PH.D paper on the web making the case that the men who wrote our modern Bibles intentionally left out this ancient wisdom, but that’s another topic…

Ohiyesa, a Dakota Indian, also known as Charles Alexander Eastman, wrote a book called “Soul of the Indian” in the early 1900′s to give voice to the spiritual vision and ways of the Native American people and his book provides many references to both the sacredness of Mother Earth and to the intertwined importance of the role of the mother in their society.  (Ohiyesa had many accomplishments, among them; he was a physician, lecturer, Native American activist, help to found the Boy Scouts, and received a degree from Dartmouth in 1887, and an M.D. from Boston University in 1880.)

Ohiyesa wrote this about Motherhood:

The Moral Strength of Women

In the woman is vested the standard of morals of our people. She is the silent but telling power behind all of life’s activities…Possessed of true feminine dignity and modesty, she is expected to be the equal of her mate in physical endurance and skill, and to share equally in the arduous duties of daily life. But she is superior in spiritual insight.   She is the spiritual teacher of the child, as well as its tender nurse, and she brings its developing soul into the world.  It is her responsibility to endow her child with nature’s gifts and powers, for we believe that from the moment of conception…it is her spiritual influence that matters most.

There is nothing artificial about her person, and very little insincerity in her character…. She is, in fact the moral salvation of our people.

Today, it IS clear that we have lost the power of the mother. When you look at our culture and media, there is no question why bullying has come in (even look at our presidential debates.)  Consider climate change, our wars, and the male domination in everything from video games to the sports we play. There is obviously an absence of the mothering intuition and female spirituality in our culture because we stopped living and teaching our essence.

Perhaps the Feminist Movement did move us off course.  When we put on our suits and marched into the meeting room, we followed men into THEIR way of being.   We can be more successful at work – and at home – by reclaiming our deep spiritual feminine power, and our natural connection to Mother Earth and her cycles.  The world would be well-served if we put our female intuitive – or mothering way of being – back into power, to build up our families, and to teach men (and especially our male leaders) our way of being.  It’s our collective intuition to care for others, for the world, and for this planet.

As Ohiyesa wrote, in the 1800’s, this is a massive responsibility, but it is our nature.  And as the Dali Lama said in 2009, “The world will be saved by the western woman.”

Photo: 13 Indigenous Grandmothers. Read about their amazing story and mission to save Mother Earth.

Find Ohiyesa’s book and many other great recommendations in our store. (thanks for your support!)



Comments ( 8 )

Ode to Mothers. (The Furry and Cuddly)

The 10 best Mother’s Day Quotes and mother/baby animal photos.  If there’s one day a year to do cute and sappy, this is it, and we’re doing it!  Enjoy.

The art of mothering is to teach the art of living to children.  - Elaine Heffner


My mother handed down respect for possibilities – and the will to grasp them. – Alice Walker

All mothers are working mothers, – unknown author.
mothers day cutest animal photos

To a child’s ear, ‘mother’ is magic in any language, ~ Arlene Benedictmothers day cutest animal photos

“A mother understands what a child does not say, ~ a Jewish proverb.mothers day cutest animal photos

If you have a mom, there is nowhere you are likely to go where a prayer has not already been, – Robert Brault. mothers day cutest animal photos

When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child, ~ Sophia Loren.mothers day cutest animal photos


There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it. ~  Chinese Proverb

mothers day cutest animal photos

Mother is the bank where we deposit all our hurts and worries. –  unknown
mothers day cutest animal photos

Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.  ~ author unknown

mothers day cutest animal photos

I believe the choice to become a mother is the choice to become one of the greatest spiritual teachers there is. – Oprah

mothers day cutest animal photosA mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.
- Tenneva Jordan

cutest mom and baby animal photos

Mother is the home we come from. She is nature, soil, ocean.
- Erich Fromm, psychologist

best mothers day quotes


Coco and Franka, this is for you.  You will always be my baby bears. (And like I always say, no one messes with mama bear’s cubs.)


Happy Mother’s Day! 






Comments ( 0 )

May 10 – Woman and Earth are Inseparable

women and mother earth

“Our long motherless period is coming to a close. Hopefully, too, the long period of our mistreatment of earth is being terminated. If it is not terminated, if we fail to perceive not only our earth origin but also our continuing dependence on our earth-mother, then our failure will be due in no small measure to the ephemeral spiritualities that have governed our own thoughts, attitudes, and actions.”

“…The emergence of the new age of human culture will necessarily be an age dominated by the symbol woman. This, too, depends on the identification of woman with the earth and its creativity. Woman and Earth are inseparable. The fate of one is the fate of the other. This association is given in such a variety of cultural developments throughout the world in differing historical periods that it is hardly possible to disassociate the two. Earth consciousness, woman consciousness; these two go together. Both play a stupendous role in the spirituality of humans as well as in the structure of civilizations. Our alienation from the earth, from ourselves, and from a truly creative man-woman relationship in an overly masculine mode of being, demands a reciprocal historical period in which not only a balance will be achieved but even, perhaps, a period of feminine emphasis.”

~Thomas Berry

Comments ( 0 )

Are You Your Mother?

turning into your mom

Yesterday, when I was standing in the aisle of my local card store, I flashed back to all the years when buying Mother’s Day cards felt like an arduous task. How could I possibly buy a card that said, “Thank You Mom for your soft and caring ways” or “Your words of encouragement and praise gave me the confidence to pursue my dreams”? Having had a love/hate relationship with my mother for as long as I could remember and resenting her for being mean, self-centered, negative and judgmental, there was no way I could be in integrity and give her cards full of such niceties and accolades.

Then I went to a Shadow Process workshop, a process created through the Debbie Ford Foundation, and learned about my shadow — the parts of myself that I disliked, disowned, felt ashamed of and tried to deny or hide from others. Debbie instructed us to make a “Negative Word List” and write down all of the traits we did not want to be. To support us in finding these traits, she told us to think of someone we did not want to be, identify the characteristics we disliked in them and add those words on to our list. Easy for me! I had sworn years ago that I would not be like my mother! Debbie went on to explain, “You possess every trait that you see in others and each trait comes bearing gifts.If you can find the gifts of every trait then you will be free to be the totality of who you are, free to be fully self-expressed, free to love all of you and all of what you see in others.

I began to unwrap the gifts of the traits I rejected in my mother and by extension in myself. The gift of “mean” was that it allowed me to say “no” and set boundaries. The gift of “self-centered” was that it taught me to take care of myself and others. The gift of “negative” was that it challenged me to find the positive and keep looking for the happiness that I knew in my heart had to exist. The gift of “judgmental” was that it pushed me to always try to do or be better. By the end of my first Shadow Process, my heart had opened up to myself and my mother. I was grateful for being just like my mother.

This past November, my three daughters came to The Shadow Process workshop. I must admit that part of me cringed when I saw them writing down words on their “Negative Word List.” Yet another part of me was thrilled, knowing that by the end of the weekend, they would make peace with the “best” and “worst” parts of me, each other and ultimately themselves.

So often, it is not the ones around you who cause you pain. Your pain comes from the meanings you assign to their every word, gesture or glance. Yes, it’s true! When you make peace with those parts of yourself that you judge, then not only can your mother and all of those close to you show up in a new way, but you can also give birth to a bigger and brighter you!

Transformational Action Steps

1. Make your own “Negative Word List.” Sit down with a piece of paper and pen and make a list of the traits and characteristics of your mother that annoy, upset or frustrate you. (If you need any help go read some Mother’s Day cards and pick out all of the words or phrases that make you roll your eyes!)

2. See if you can identify times in your life when you have demonstrated these traits. If you cannot think of a time, ask yourself in what circumstances might it be conceivable for you to demonstrate these traits. Would anyone else in your life say you’ve demonstrated these traits? Write down your notes next to each word on your list.

3. Now knowing that every part of you comes bearing gifts, take a few slow deep breaths and then for each item on your list, ask this part of yourself (your Angry self, your Judgmental self, your Selfish self, for example), “What is your gift to me?” Write down the gifts.

4. Sign up for The Shadow Process to make peace with yourself at the deepest level. And bring your mother and/or your daughter to cause a revolution in evolution!
With love,


Check out some of Debbie Ford’s best selling books in our store – recommends “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers” (page 4 in our store.) Thanks for supporting!

Kelley Kosow, Chief Creative Officer:
Kelley Kosow joined The Ford Institute faculty in 2007.  Lawyer turned Certified Master Integrative Coach Kelley Kosow was hand-picked and personally trained by Debbie Ford to lead The Ford Institute and continue the legacy of this life-changing work. Truly gifted in supporting people to realize their limiting patterns, self-sabotaging behaviors and shift their lives and relationships, Kelley has been a staff member at The Ford Institute since 2008. She is a leader and teacher of emotional education, shadow work, personal mastery and guides participants to transform their own lives or to become certified coaches and transform the lives of others. She founded the company, Go Goddess! Inc., which created games, books and seminars to empower, inspire, and entertain women and girls. Featured in Oprah Magazine as someone who could “Dream it, Do it,”as well as In Style, People, Working Mother, Latina, NY Times, LA Times, Kelley has also appeared on “The Balancing Act” and Kelley received her bachelor’s degree from Brown University and her Juris Doctor degree from the University Of Miami School Of Law.

Comments ( 1 )