I had my own grand ideas about how I envisioned that moment and day. I wanted to meet with our mother daughter group, take a hike in the fertile darkness of our nearby forest and gather around the labyrinth that sits at the top of the hill. I imagined each mother speaking about what it meant for her to be a woman…You get the picture.
I had asked my daughter if she would trust me with creating a ritual for her when the time came. I was elated when her initial response was positive, but as time went on her response changed. First she began naming restrictions to what could happen during the ritual, and then, months later, she had a complete change of heart. The truth is, she had initially said yes, to please me.
I was very disappointed, and found myself at a crossroads. My choices felt like either, moving ahead with my own vision, albeit watered down, or letting go completely and being left with what felt like a gaping hole, in the fabric of my female ancestral lineage.
As I sat with it, I contemplated the idea that this passage was about her, not about me and what I love, believe in, and value. And yet, I was her mother and how I met that moment still mattered deeply. So the question remained, how to meet the moment? How would I pass on a positive message without bombarding her with my worldview?
How would I honor who she is, and who I am, at the same time?
This question led to my own inner knowing:
One thing I knew in my bones, was that the soul speaks in symbols and it doesn’t take much to communicate something deeply through the language of the soul.
As if a response to my question, one morning, an image came to me of a charm bracelet. I immediately saw that this could honor the need to include both, something that she valued, as well as a meaningful symbol, representing something that I valued. The main idea that I wanted to transmit was that having your period, and being a woman, is to be charmed, not cursed.
On a beautiful crisp morning, my daughter and I did something we enjoy doing together. We took a walk in the woods, with our hot cups of chai warming our hands. It was on this walk that I gave her the charm bracelet, at a special spot, and with just enough soul to be a ritual in essence, and just enough modesty to allow her to enjoy her gift, while still receiving the blessing that came with it!
It takes the creative mind, not the linear plotting mind, to weave the deep honoring that we wish to transmit to our daughters, without trying to make up for 5,000 years of the suppression of the feminine in one exchange. I hope that we can each find ways to hold on to the essence of what we wish to transmit, without succumbing to the illusion that we have to choose between our daughters desires or our own.
And perhaps it is helpful to entertain that, the deepest most lasting message we can give, is how we treat ourselves, our bodies, and the other women in our lives. As well as, how we imagine ourselves to be part of the greater whole, and the ways in which we express that. Do we point out the moon in its rhythmic changes? Do we take time to go within during our cycles? Do we trust our intuition and name it as such? Each mother has her own unique way to carry forward what she most deeply values. There are no formulas, no right or wrong ways. And in the end, it is the daily messages over time, that will create the legacy.