Martha Beck: On Mothers and Mothering

Martha BeckI’m not a Mum although I have often referred to my businesses as my babies. But I know a lot of my readers are Mums (and we are all children) so I felt inspired to share something with you which I read recently in a book called Expecting Adam by Martha Beck.

This is the second time I have read this book and I am pretty sure I never even noticed this passage first time round which just goes to show a couple of things.   One that it’s worth reading books you love more than once and Two that you only see stuff when you are ready.

I hope you enjoy this excerpt from a book by one of my very favourite writer/gurus, Martha Beck.   I used to own a copy of this book which Martha herself inscribed for me.   She told me that Adam was thriving and in his early twenties now and she wrote in my autographed copy of the book that I am a Shaman. Of course I am.

My only regret is that I lent that book to a client and it has since been lost in the post on it’s return to me. Still, perhaps that’s just as was intended by what Martha calls the Bunraku puppeteers and I feel sure it must have fallen into the right hands.

Here’s what Martha wrote.  “This was my first tentative, wary encounter with one of the greatest gifts I would received from Adam: the understanding that the word mother is more powerful when it is used as a verb than as a noun. Mothering has little to do with biological reproduction – as another friend once told me, there are women who bear and raise children without ever mothering them, and there are people (both male and female) who mother all their lives without ever giving birth.  The bad news is that not all of us have the good fortune to be born to our real mothers, or to stay with them as long as we need them. The good news is that, while mothers are often in short supply, mothering is not. Against all odds, despite everything that works against it on this unpleasant, uncomfortable planet, mothering is here in abundance. You can always find it, if you’re smart and know where to look.”

I will be eternally grateful to my fellow writer, Marion Ryan, for introducing me to this wonderful, life-changing book which she just happened upon in her local library. The Banraku again, no doubt.

And here’s the video of Adam’s 22nd Birthday with Oprah!

Martha Beck: On Mothers and Mothering

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5 Responses to “Martha Beck: On Mothers and Mothering”

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  1. Anne says:

    Ah, that was lovely. Also a big fan of Ms B. – Although I haven’t read that one..gorgeous video and of course great piece about mothering – and mothering is definitely a verb…thanks for sharing this.

  2. Judith Morgan says:

    Thanks, Karen. Lovely to connect with you here. I hope your lunch was salvageable! See you on Twitter.

  3. Amanda Thomas says:

    Judith, very poignant …. Amazing that you read and took that in on the second read. Totally agree with you that we hear things on different levels when we are ready to take that in. Also, very true that not all mothers mother and you don’t have to be a mother to mother. Love ( and can see ) the idea of your businesses being your babies. You make a great mother. I for one will be looking out for Expecting Adam by Martha Beck. Thank you.

  4. Janet Swift says:

    Judith – I’m covered in goosebumps having watched that video. What an amazing lady and seeing the sheer joy in Adam’s eyes reached right into my own. Thanks you, my day just improved.

  5. Karen Knott says:

    Lovely… just lovely. (Made me snivel into my lunch. Not so lovely!)