Putting the "OM" in Mom
"Omm na para sheevar.""Om na para sheeeeee- wait, what?”
Rennie sat cross-legged on my mom's old plastic cross-hatched patio furniture by the pool, eyes closed, attempting to lead me in a "baby meditation.” It was typical San Diego weather in September, a current of forceful warm winds called the Santa Anas were blowing mayhem. It was excessively pleasant.
"Om. Na. Pa. Ra. Exhale when you say "pa" and keep a low tone. You need to create the 'container' for the baby.”
Wait. The container? But my container is filled with coffee, beer and a large assortment of red wine. I'm not sure if it's quite ready to house a small human.
Rennie's eyelashes always stunted me. Her features and style were so unique- she looked like the exotic muse for an Anime artist. She had fallen happily into motherhood with her husband and one of my favorite oldest friends, Adam. They had a sparkling little one-year old named Chloe who walked around in pink tutus and oversized Elton John sunglasses and was most definitely a burgeoning rockstar.
Rennie was studying and teaching Ayurvedic pre-natal yoga, and it was only in this moment with her and her maternal ripeness, her inner calm and exuberance in motherhood, did I realize that I was definitely not prepared, at all, to bring a child into the world.
The past few months I'd charged through life like I'd always had. We traveled for a month through Russia, camping in Siberia, and I thought that I'd just you know, get pregnant in the tent. Michael had just about had it with me- "life isn't always about getting what you want! " were his lovely words atop Mt. Tolbachik. But by her presence alone, Rennie had slowed me down and helped me see that it takes more than just knowing what time of the month it was.
"Let's do a chant." We'd known each other for close to 15 years, there was nothing new in each other's lives that couldn't be shared in silent meditation. "Um. Ok. Sure.” I settled in and closed my eyes.
The gardeners next door powered up a sledge hammer. My mom's golden retriever barked and whined from inside the house, so emotionally hurt to be missing the party. The wind picked up.
I suddenly wondered when the last time I did have a moment of silence. I was always filling my brain with ideas, creativity, what ifs, visual stimulation, writing, making things, hugging people, putting it out there. I had forgotten to "listen" to the most important part- the stillness.
Here I was, a musician who plugged in and dealt with sound all day long, yet it never occurred to me that it could also be a tool to heal versus one to solely express oneself. Sure I knew “Om" from yoga classes, but was always so self-conscious about how I sounded- was is it in tune?- that I never paid attention to what it felt like.
I did a little digging and read that the world “heal” actually translates in Old English, “to return to a sound state.” And mantras or hymns, are sacred sounds that affect our vibratory “being and consciousness." Actually, the word mantra itself means "protection and instrument."
Was I really ready to "be the container" Was I ready to be a mother? Was I really ready to "om"? Short answer: Yes. I tuned in, slowed down and surrendered as Rennie took me out onto the beating wings of the California winds.