What Have You Learned from Your Mother?

Siona van Dijk by Siona van Dijk | May 10th, 2009 | 9 Comments
topic: Green Living

Every day, we pose a question to the members of Gaia, Gaiam’s online community for individuals committed to creating healthy lives of meaning and purpose. Recently, we asked our community for answers to the question, “What have you learned from your mother?” In honor of Mother’s Day, here are a few of our favorite responses:

“What have I learned from my mother? How to set a gorgeous table; how to wrap presents and make the bows to go on them; to always remember birthdays and special days in the lives of family and friends; good manners; an appreciation of how special fresh-cut flowers are in the house; how to savor a sunny, bright day; the importance of visits with friends; that you should always poke potatoes before baking (she once had one explode in the oven); giggling; a love of live theater; the pleasures of singing; how to bake amazing cookies.” – F.S. North Carolina

“I learned a great deal from my mother, but what stands out in my reflections is how to remain hopeful even in the worst of times. My mother lived through so many adversities, but she always maintained a positive attitude towards life. We had misunderstandings and intense conflicts when I was growing up, and today, looking back at those episodes, I feel equipped to be a better mother to my own child.” – Armila, Vancouver,

“Of all her talents and features and accomplishments, one technique of my mother’s stands out: her ‘mothering’ capabilities. She’s the closest thing to a universal mother I know, full of compassion and caring and unconditional love for each and every soul.

And this is what I’ve learned from her: to love the entire world of children unconditionally. By children, I mean old and young, whether one week old or 99 years old. We are all children. We were all somebody’s baby at some point. We all need love and sunshine to thrive and grow. I learned from her to be like the sun and touch all that comes in my path with love and motherly sunshine.

Thanks, Mom. Here’s to you. On your next birth, may other souls be lucky enough to be born in your heart and home.” – Amy, Toronto, ON

“My mother taught me how to love. She had a passion for the rights and well being of all those who are less fortunate. She gave me a copy of the Tao Te Ching when I was a teenager, even though she didn’t understand it. She kept an open mind to the explorations of her children, and supported whatever direction we wanted to go, as long as it was a path with heart.” – Forrest, Albuquerque, NM

You can read more replies here, or share your own story in the comments below:

What have you learned from your mother?


  1. The most important thing that I learned from my mother was not to fear birth. In constantly refering to me as ‘the big sneeze’ she managed to unconsciously raise a daughter with the idea that birth wasn’t scary, could in fact be easy, and was as natural as breathing. Two home/water births later, I”m grateful for the lesson.

    The second most important thing that I learned from Mom was to speak the language of craft. In many ways, we are very different women, and I struggle sometimes to find common ground with her nowadays. However, no matter what our issues we always have craft as our common ground, and it’s often been a source of great comfort!

    Kristin | May 10th, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  2. My mother taught me a lot, Respect other people, to care, morals manners and how I love my brother sisters &mother and dad. And how to laugh and have fun life is to short. How I wish things would change.

    Joan Hipps | May 12th, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  3. Kristin: Your mother sounds like an amazing woman. And I love what you wrote about the shared language of craft; it’s only been recently that I’ve started to appreciate how important a certain physical creativity can be. It’s beautiful you’ve received that from her.

    Joan: What do you wish would change? You sound as though you gained so much from your own mum.. :)

    Siona | May 12th, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  4. My mother, Dot Danum Foreman, is a natural healer from birth.
    She nursed parents, grandparents and relatives as well as pets during her Depression Era childhood. As a WWII wife and mother, she coupled her inate skills with nursing courses to earn an LPN diploma. She dedicated 48 years to this healing profession. My entire childhood as a baby boomer was spent listening to my mother say, “Ah, baby, that is not so bad. There was just a man in ER who had his arm severed…” or “Now honey, It could be so much worse. Dry your eyes.” Then with a smile and a soft stroke of those amazing healing hands, she brushed away my tears.
    Although at times, I resented this atttitude of seeming indifference: I grew to truly understand what she meant. The tears fell less and less. The pain always seemed to disappear as I felt more fortunate than cursed by the small bruises and cuts of everyday life.
    These lessons in putting our small woes into a universal perspective were a true blessing from my mother. Today, I pass on her innate wisdom as I teach yoga and healing through Guided Meditation. Thanks, Mom, for helping me to access my own inner strengths in healing.
    Penny Meaux Edwards, CYI, IAFP
    Yoga & Beyond by pennimo

    Penny Meaux Edwards | May 13th, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  5. Penny: What an incredible inheritance you have. I love imagining how your mother’s spirit is carried through your own voice in those meditations you offer–what a gift. Thank you. :)

    Siona | May 13th, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  6. Siona:
    Although I have been practicing yoga personally for 35 years, I have just began “offering up” my journey through my own home Studio. In the last 3 years ( my response to Hurricane Katrina/Rita stress) , I have evolved a wonderful practice with emphasis on guided meditation. It seems to be what my students request and appreciate most. Also, as a result of the demand for a guided meditation CD, I am currently producing my first guided meditation CD with Steve Halpern background music entitled, Universal Flow with pennimo (approx. 80 minutes to be released Summer 2009). If you send me your address, I will be happy to mail you a complimentary copy.
    (aka pennimo)

    Penny Meaux Edwards | May 13th, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  7. Penny: Oh, congratulations… and how beautiful at the way your path has naturally lead you to produce a CD.

    And thank you for your offer. I’ve already found guided meditations to have made such a different in my own life (from my physical and emotional well-being to just being an easy and meaningful personal gift; it’s so easy to just never make time for oneself!), and I love how yours flowed from an earlier yoga practice–you already know so much about the importance of being present. I’ll pop you an email. :)

    Siona | May 13th, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  8. Penny! I just wanted to thank you again–your meditations arrived today and it is simply extraordinary. Your voice is sheer liquid. I’m so glad you were moved to produce a CD. It’s beautiful.

    Siona | July 9th, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  9. Siona:

    Your praise is well received and it makes me very happy.

    As I work my way through the quagmire of the “Recording World” and try to accomplish things that are beyond my realm of reality…I struggle to
    keep an even-keel.

    There are MANY who have passed before us, like John Denver and Michael Jackson & Ghandi , who were quite removed from the day-to-day reality of of “mundane lives”.

    There are so many of us who strive for PEACE (SHANTI) that I bow my head with reverence when I say:

    “Namaste, Siona.”,

    Penny Meaux Edwards | July 9th, 2009 | Comment Permalink

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