Celebrity doula, pregnancy, women's wellness and empowerment coach Lori Bregman brings a holistic guide to being a more balanced, authentic, and joyful mother. Introducing the "five expressions of motherhood"—Action Mama, Flow Mama, Rebel Mama, Vulnerable Mama, and Free Mama—Lori offers supportive advice, exercises, meditations, and yoga practices to cultivate a healthy balanced life and stronger bonds. Accessible and encouraging, Mamaste provides foundational tools for parenting, relatable examples, and exercises to build self-awareness and mindfulness. Guiding new mothers along a journey of self-discovery, these practices ultimately lead to a more enriching and contented experience for both mother and child. Packaged in an inviting paperback and filled with nurturing advice, Mamaste is essential for any expecting or new parent.
|Publisher:||Chronicle Books LLC|
|Product dimensions:||6.25(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.87(d)|
About the Author
Lori Bregman is a Los Angeles–based doula and healer, and the founder of the Rooted for Life Pregnancy Coaching Program. She has worked with many high-profile celebrities, including Kristen Bell and Anne Hathaway.
Ursula Cary is a writer and editor with 15 years of publishing experience, and the mostly Action/Flow Mama of an energetic toddler and a senior rescue dog. She lives with her family in Connecticut.
Read an Excerpt
THE PATH TO MAMASTE
This is not a book about breastfeeding versus formula, sleep training versus co-sleeping, or working mamas versus stay-at-home mamas. This is a book for any mom, or anyone with mamas in their life (and by the way, all women can serve as mothers, too). It's a guide to better understanding yourself, to finding more harmony and balance within, and to engaging positively in the fraught mommy world.
Of course, we're all unique, but I've narrowed my focus down to five expressions of motherhood: Action, Flow, Rebel, Vulnerable, and Free. We'll get into what they all mean soon enough, but for now, just know that we all possess all five expressions. That's right. Mamaste means, quite simply, The mother in me honors the mother in you. If I am you and you are me, then we must share each other's strengths and weaknesses. We must be more alike than different (after you read this book you will see that we truly are). And if we're mostly the same, then why don't we understand each other? Why do we often seek to tear each other down instead of rising up together to support one another?
Once you realize that you embody all five expressions of motherhood, you won't be able to judge that mom who does things so differently, because in fact, there is an aspect of that mom in you! You may each embody the same expression very uniquely — your vulnerability may not look like hers, but I'm sure you have both experienced moments of fear. Understanding and accepting all five expressions within yourself is the biggest first step; making peace with the expressions that you're uncomfortable with is the next step. This book will help you do both and, most importantly, integrate the expressions in various ways that are truly authentic to you.
Motherhood often strips away some of the expressions you think you're tied to and opens up a whole new outlook. As I wrote in The Mindful Mom to Be, you're not only giving birth to a baby, you're giving birth to yourself as a mother. It's an incredible (and sometimes incredibly challenging) transformation that begs for openness, acceptance, and empathy. At any stage in your life, you may relate more strongly to one expression or another.
We all have these different parts of ourselves that I am calling expressions (some like to use the term archetypes). Some of these expressions are more active and present, and others lie dormant or repressed. I first experienced this years ago when I worked with a healer. He was doing an energy session with me and after an hour he asked me to do some breath work. I started breathing and this feeling as if I wanted to cry came up so clearly. I looked him in the eye and said, in the strangest, innocent, little-girl voice, "I want to cry."
"Let her out," he said, and I reverted back to my normal (Rebel) internal voice: No, no, I'm okay. We did some more breathing exercises, and he asked me to make eye contact as I breathed. He repeated, "Let her out." And I said again in that vulnerable childlike voice, "I'm so scared." Where was this coming from?! I felt really uncomfortable, as if I was having some sort of psychotic episode! The healer reassured me that he was helping to pull out my inner child, the vulnerable self that I had long ago repressed deep down inside.
Later, when I assisted Deborah Raoult in her Birthing from Within class, I heard her tell the group that all their different archetypes (or expressions) would most likely come out at some point in labor and birth. They all make up who you are and will be part of your birthing journey as well as your entire journey of life.
When my co-writer, Ursula, gave birth to her daughter, Zoe, she admitted, "I thought I'd want to control everything like a true Action Mama. I even sent out a detailed email letting my family know when they could visit the hospital! But once the baby was born, I felt my mind and heart shifting away from rigidity and more toward Flow. I just wanted to enjoy the quiet moments with my baby and not worry about all the details." As Ursula navigated her new role, she noticed other shifts, too. "I tend to avoid conflict, and 99 percent of the time I'm willing to go along with others' preferences. But sometimes I feel railroaded into going along with things that don't feel right. Having a baby has helped me channel my inner Rebel and stand firm for what I need or believe in. In my own way, I can say 'no' until my voice is heard."
You may relate to the idea that the things we resist are the things we need to tap into the most. When I feel irritated or triggered by another person, I always know it's because they're expressing something I really need to pay attention to, accept, or heal within myself. Often what we dislike in another is part of our own self-criticism, or a repressed part of ourselves that we work really hard to keep beneath the surface. That's a lot of energy spent fighting your own being! By experiencing and channeling all five expressions, you'll build deeper self-awareness and let your whole self exist. This amazing, radical kind of honesty and awareness is how we grow strong enough to practice empathy not just with ourselves, but for others, too. Mamaste is the path to the elusive inner peace as well as peace in the world, which we all crave so much.
Moms today face a constant stream of information, choices, activities, and pressures like never before. You're bombarded with ads and social media feeds, mommy chat rooms and lengthy blog posts on how to pack the perfect lunch, preschool rules and complicated schedules. And that's not even including the seemingly endless daily tasks (naps, meals, diaper changes, colic, messes, LOADS OF LAUNDRY, tantrums, sick days, sleep training, potty training) of actually taking care of your kids! As a doula, I help moms-to-be make the right choices and advocate for themselves throughout their pregnancies. As a life/wellness coach, I help moms use all five expressions to work toward a deeper self-awareness and navigate their own set of choices. The mom world is hard enough! Let's make a shift away from fear and judgment. Let's seek harmony both with others and within.
Let's agree to come together, if not for our own health and sanity, then for our kids. I've been incredibly privileged to witness the magic of birth many, many times, and then see those beautiful babies grow and blossom into extraordinary individuals. As I continue to work with clients and friends as they transition into motherhood, I've come to understand how much children really do watch, mimic, and become. In today's world, where hate runs rampant and has the power to separate and divide us all, we must seek love and kindness as our bridge over the madness. It's up to us, as mothers, aunties, friends, and women, to be the role models for our children and give them a path to greatness for the future, because the future is in their hands.
Within these pages, you'll discover your own path to Mamaste using a variety of helpful tools and information. First, you'll take the quiz in chapter 2, which will help you identify your primary expression, as well as how the other expressions manifest together within you. Then, as you read about each expression, you'll find useful tools and relatable anecdotes to better understand and appreciate your inner self. I've created special mindfulness exercises, journal work, and prompts to help you deepen your self-awareness.
I've tapped a wonderfully talented group of friends and colleagues who have provided the ultimate toolkit for each expression, offering a range of resources from essential oils and crystals to yoga sequences and meditations, designed to help you find balance, harmony, and inner peace. I'm thrilled to share their expertise with you! Your team includes:
* Heather Askinosie is a leading influencer on the power of crystals, feng shui, and holistic healing, with more than twenty-five years of experience studying with the best international healers. In 2000, Heather cofounded Energy Muse, a conscious lifestyle brand, and published a book, Crystal Muse, providing tools of empowerment, inspiration, and hope in the tangible form of jewelry and crystals. Here she offers customized crystal recommendations, tailored to the unique needs and energies of each expression. Visit Heather at energymuse.com.
* Lena George is a certified hypnotherapist, holistic nutritionist, and advanced EFT/Tapping instructor. She teaches weekly classes at Unplug Meditation in Los Angeles and works privately either in person or via Skype. For this book she created an exercise specifically for Free Mamas called Acupressure for the Emotions on page 178. Visit her at lena-george.com.
* MaryRuth Ghiyam is a certified health educator, nutrition consultant, and chef, who has worked with private clients for more than a decade. She is also the founder of an organic and gluten-free product line called MaryRuth Organics that includes the number-one-selling liquid vitamin in the nation. She contributes a list of important natural remedies for the Vulnerable Mama on page 148. You can visit her at maryruthorganics.com.
* Alessandro Giannetti is an intuitive and spiritual teacher and founder of the School of Guided Light Healing, which he started to help people reach their highest spiritual potentials. Alessandro shares his Human Pendulum exercise on page 77, which can help all mamas trust their inner voice and make the choices that are right for them. Visit him at guidedlighthealing.com.
* Elissa Goodman is a holistic nutritionist, a lifestyle cleanse expert, and the author of Cancer Hacks (she is a survivor of Hodgkin's lymphoma). The creator of Cleanse Your Body, Cleanse Your Life and the S.O.U.P. Cleanse, she is a certified integrative nutritionist from the American University of Complementary Medicine. She holds a BS in advertising and marketing from Arizona State and a BS in business from the University of Arizona. Elissa has provided nutritional supplement recommendations tailored specifically for each mama expression. Visit her at elissagoodman.com.
* Michele Meiche is an intuitive soul coach, the author of Meditation for Everyday Living, and the host and executive producer of the podcast Awakenings. She has generously provided customized meditations for each mama expression, guiding you step-by-step through imagery and mantras to feel more connected and empowered. Visit her at soulplayground.com.
* Heng Ou is the founder of MotherBees dishes and drinks, inspired by the healing foods she experienced during her own regimen of zuo yuezi, the Chinese tradition of postpartum care. Her recipes combine traditional Eastern and Western ingredients to fortify the body after pregnancy and birth, encourage lactation, and calm hormones. Heng is also the author of The First Forty Days: The Art of Nourishing the New Mother. You'll find handcrafted recipes for each mama expression that are both healing and delicious. Visit her at motherbees.com.
* Dr. Habib Sadeghi is the founder of Be Hive of Healing Integrative Medical Center in Agoura Hills, California, specializing in comprehensive and holistic treatment protocols for chronic illnesses. He has served as an attending physician at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center and is currently a clinical instructor of family medicine at Western University of Health Sciences. He also holds a master's degree in spiritual psychology from the University of Santa Monica and is the author of Within and The Clarity Cleanse. In this book he shares his groundbreaking PEW-12 exercise on page 139, which has helped clear the minds of many of my clients (and myself!). Visit Dr. Sadeghi at behiveofhealing.com.
* Martha Soffer is an internationally acclaimed Ayurvedic Panchakarma expert, Ayurvedic chef, herbal Rasayanist, master Ayurvedic pulse diagnostician, and the founder of the renowned Surya Spa. Together with Aleiela Quintero-Allen, an Ayurvedic Panchakarma therapist and a birth and postpartum doula, she has created an Ayurvedic practice specifically geared toward the Flow Mama on page 71. Visit Martha and Aleiela at suryaspa.com.CHAPTER 2
THE FIVE EXPRESSIONS OF MOTHERHOOD
So, you might be wondering, what kind of mom am I?!
Remember, this approach is not meant to corner you into any one "type" or make you feel as if only one part of this book will be useful to you. Rather, it will show you how ALL five mama expressions manifest in you so that you can focus where you need to. This assessment will help you identify your primary mama expression along with a breakdown of the other expressions that we all embody. It will help you better understand how each expression manifests within you, and how you can channel them to practice greater understanding and compassion for more balance and harmony within.
As I wrote this book, I identified strongly as Rebel, followed by a tie of Free/Flow, then Action, and finally, Vulnerable. This didn't surprise me, as following the norm has never been my thing. I have a lot to learn from all the expressions, but I know the one I struggle with the most is Vulnerable. I have a hard time asking for help, expressing my needs, or sharing my emotions with others. But I have to embrace my vulnerabilities, not only to seek help when I need it, but to be there for others in their time of need with real empathy and compassion. There is that saying, You can't love another until you truly love yourself. You can't be there or accept another until you embrace and accept what's within you. By focusing on the expression that showed up as the "lowest" score, I'm actually uncovering the part of me that needs the most attention. Without integrating this aspect of myself back in, I will continue to live out of balance.
My co-writer, Ursula, easily identified as Action, then Flow — and then Vulnerable, something she didn't expect. "That was a surprise," she said. "I guess I am more emotionally sensitive than I let on. I need to better express this somehow." You may uncover a similar response when you see your results, or you may get exactly the breakdown you expected. Stay open to learning more about yourself.
This assessment is here to help you get started on your journey toward Mamaste. It's meant to serve you and give you the tools to grow and get the most out of motherhood. And it's not a definitive test, either. Your primary expression can also change over time or in response to a particular situation, so always feel free to go back and redo the assessment if you feel you need a refresher.
MAMA TYPE QUIZ
How to do it: Please read through the following paired statements and choose the one that is the truest for you. If the statements don't resonate perfectly for you, please choose the one that feels close enough, or that happens most of the time. It's good to be relaxed and in the moment when taking the assessment, and try not to overthink it!
1. After you have a disagreement with someone, you don't hold a grudge. D
People ask you for things because they know you will always do it. B
2. Everybody wants you on the planning committee for their fundraiser because you know how to get shit done. A
When it comes to raising your children, the more people to help guide you, the merrier. C
3. When trying to make decisions, you look to outside sources to seek your answers rather than looking within. C
It's hard for people to get to know the real you because you guard your feelings carefully. D
4. Your family vacations are planned with an hour-by-hour itinerary. A
Reality is overrated. D
5. Being creative is how you express yourself. E
You tend to sweep your emotions under the carpet instead of dealing with them. D
6. Your own needs are usually at the bottom of your to-do list. B
Making mistakes makes you cringe. A
7. You have a unique perspective. E
Like a chameleon, you can fit in just about anywhere. B
8. Because you're so capable, people expect a lot from you. A
People often come to you for your ability to see the big picture with a thousand-foot view. E
9. If an opportunity to join a mom's group or take a parenting class comes your way, you are the first to sign up. C
You let things go easily in order to avoid conflict. B
10. Your to-do lists guide your life. A
You don't often worry about the outcome of the situation. D
11. Following the rules makes you cringe. E
You're happy to play a supportive role to an established leader. B
12. You are a master of multitasking. A
You do you and live your own way without caring about what others think. E(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Mamaste"
Copyright © 2019 Lori Bregman and Ursula Cary.
Excerpted by permission of Chronicle Books LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
chapter one THE PATH TO MAMASTE, 15,
chapter two THE FIVE EXPRESSIONS OF MOTHERHOOD, 25,
chapter three ACTION MAMA: Just Wanna Get Things Done, 37,
chapter four FLOW MAMA: Easy Like Sunday Morning, 67,
chapter five REBEL MAMA: Born to Be Wild, 97,
chapter six VULNERABLE MAMA: Can't Stop the Feeling, 131,
chapter seven FREE MAMA: Let It Go, 167,
chapter eight LIVING IN MAMASTE, 197,