I was honored to get to host one of my dearest friend’s Mother’s Blessings Ceremony this past weekend.  If you’re asking yourself what, pray tell, is a Mother’s Blessings Ceremony, then you are where I was just a couple months ago

A Mother’s Blessings Ceremony is not your typical baby shower, as the focus is to shower Mother and baby-to-be with blessings both during the pregnancy and after the birth.  It’s a gathering of the mother’s closet girlfriends who come together to charge the feminine divine within each of us. Although, one of our dearest friend’s husband is a chef, and we let him in to create the most magical Fall fruit plate I have ever seen!

As the women arrived, we had them wash their hands in a bowl of rose water.  The idea is to cleanse our selves and set our personal intention for the afternoon’s festivities.  If you’ve never smelled rose water, that is truly a crime. Fragrance is such a powerful way to calm our senses and help ground us back into our bodies.  After serving everyone a piping hot cup of lavender and mint tea (the lavender was from my girlfriend’s home country, and the mint from her mom’s backyard), we gathered in a circle in my living room.  I led us all in a guided meditation, invoking our feminine spirit, and offering gracious reminders of the love we were there to celebrate as women – the majesty that is motherhood.

Next, one-by-one, we offered my friend our individual blessings.  Some spoke off-the-cuff, some read from books, one offered the etymology of the word ‘blessing,’ and I, of course, wrote a poem.  As we passed from person to person, we also passed a ball of yarn for each person to wrap around her wrist, connecting us all.  Once all the blessings were delivered, we each tied the yarn around our wrists into a bracelet to keep on until my friend delivers her baby.  Once the baby is born, we will all cut our bracelets and re-release our blessings back into the universe, renewed for the baby.

We also each brought my friend an element of nature.  I brought her back a small piece of driftwood from a private ocean cove that I descended on an 1100 foot redwood forest cliff to access.  For me, it was to serve as a reminder that while our path may sometimes be grueling, there is still beauty all around us, and ultimately, we must hold within ourselves the belief that we will get through it to reach a new perspective. Often, a much more beautiful perspective!

From here, I got my friend situated on my massage table, and while we feasted in the kitchen on our dishes to pass, one-by-one each of us would wander into the massage room to do a Henna design on my girlfriend’s pregnant belly.  This offering was directly for the baby, but also to serve as a reminder for our pregnant friend, during her labor, of all of our love and support, as our designs were sure to still be visible during her delivery.  Henna is an ancient eastern tradition that’s been around since the Bronze Age; essentially it’s a flower paste that temporarily tattoos the skin a reddish-brown color.

Finally, as we wrapped up our ceremony, a candle was given to each person to light once my friend goes into labor.  We will leave the candle burning until the baby is born, to show our love and support during her labor.

It was such a special day, to get to meet so many incredibly wonderful humans, and to celebrate the magnificence that is motherhood; expressing our excitement and joy for our dear friend.

This gathering was a reminder to me of how important it is to physically express our love and support for those close to us.  Honoring our friendships by making genuine time for them, and lending our ear and support when it is needed.  I felt such gratitude to get to host such a special event for my friend, as it has renewed her strength as she enters these last couple weeks of pregnancy, and begins to envision her future as a mother.

Perhaps there is a call you could make, an email or card that you could send, or a coffee date that you could set with a dear friend?  It doesn’t need to be for a specific reason, other than to touch base and remind yourselves of how blessed you are to hold each other as dear.

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