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The Edge of Her is dedicated to all who honor the edge of our creation through life's traditions, stories, and connections with the Divine Feminine. "When you can't go forward and you can't go backward, and you can't stay where you are without killing off what is deep and vital in yourself, you are on the edge of creation." ~ Sue Monk Kidd, Dance of the Dissident Daughter
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What if I Were a Normal Mom?

A recent household occasion presented an opportunity to implement a natural solution instead of using a chemical-laden product. My daughter Emily is eleven-going-on-20 and upon her happy discovery of my homemade concoction, she sat quietly for a while and then asked, “If you were a normal mom, what would you have done instead?” Huh. If I were a “normal” mom, what would I have done? This question has sat within for a few weeks now and it has led to a good chuckle more than a few times. Emily and I did talk about her question at that moment because I was curious to know what she defined as being a “normal” mom compared to being a mom (perhaps me) who is “not normal”. It generated a lot of laughs between the two of us and offered up great time to connect deeply.

If I had been asked this as an ungrounded new mom years ago, my psyche easily could have taken a backseat on the train toward the villages of Panic and Self-Doubt. I suppose there have been conscious choices which have been made through the years to define myself in her mind as being somewhat “not normal” as she places that language in her mind. Upon inquiry I learned that she sees me laughing. A lot. Singing, playfulness, prayerfulness, and random dance moves are busted out at random times of the day, often early in the morning in the kitchen while I "should be" packing her lunch for school. Dress-up consists of wrapping ourselves with big swatches of colorful fabric and then often these pieces are brought outside on windy, sunny days to watch how they shape-shift in the light and air.

Friendships are deeply cherished and close friends are looked at more as family. Gypsy-family members often stay here at our home to receive the “Love Boot Camp” experience where everyone knows it is ok and even encouraged to bust out their own random dance moves, participate in spontaneous jam sessions, and be offered healing sessions at sometimes late hours of the night if that is what is called for. It's ok to cry here and there is always a set of arms, usually many, which are available for embrace. We hold summersault contests up and down the hall and create ceremonies around the fire out back. We listen to a lot of music; the type depending on our moods, but I’m known in Emily's mind for listening to “hippy” and “spiritual” stuff while she prefers classical, jazz, and talk radio.

There is drumming and chanting and dancing like the goddess embodied around bonfires. When the energies wane, this mom prefers quiet time. Pleasant weather invites sleeping outside. Stars are for gazing and for blowing prayers to. Emily is taught the moon cycle reflects our own body’s innate monthly cycle. The garden and woods are sanctuaries and while Emily calls me a “flower child”, it is typically her hair which is adorned with gifts from the land. We enjoy reading books: paper ones that don’t need plugged in. Rest is encouraged and long naps on rainy days are relished. She asked to receive her first Reiki attunement when she was four and has mingled amidst energy work and energy workers ever since.

Chore time is traded for gazing at bald eagles cruising above the field across from the house and there have been times, one very recently in fact, when this “not normal” mom pulled my child out of her warm bed in the dark of the morning, only then to find herself wrapped snuggly in woolly blankets, as she was marched outside to snuggle and listen to the great horned owls call to one another in the back yard. She’ll find me crying openly at sunsets and sunrises. When she has asked why I weep, I explain they remind my soul the process of transition can be soft, quiet, and beautiful instead of hard, loud, and painful.

I would love to say my life has always been “not normal”, but it has not. True, I had these strong tendencies as a child, but they were discouraged out of me by a society which thought it knew better. It has been a gradual transition, a slow blossoming back into the truth of who I am as a mother and as a woman. I was young when I became a mother and it left me tending to this deep scar of “responsibility”, “accountability”, and “what is right” based on others’ approval. I was pregnant with Emily before I was married and the events of September 11th hit just after my first trimester during that sacred time when I dreamt of bringing a child into a safe, predictable, and “normal” life. It was the perfect storm for an early crash and spiritual burn out.

In the years since, there have been many moments which and people who serve as reminders of just how precious and sacred our time is. I have learned to evaluate and recalibrate and have been gifted a hawk’s eye for divine detail of living an aligned life. Life, I truly believe, is like Joseph Campbell says; it is about falling into the track of our bliss. It may not always be the easiest path, but…maybe it really can be. I think it can be easy if we allow a complete surrender into it. Suppose it could be about following our dreams and dancing alone in the kitchen knowing we truly have only our self to dance and be happy for. It could even be about taking that next opportunity which, as much as it might not look “normal” or “make sense” on the surface, something just "feels so right” in our flesh, in our mind, and in our heart.

May Life be about embodying happiness, living and loving honestly, and being of maximum service to others. May we all have a deep appreciation for and genuinely love and respect one another no matter how we each embrace our own sense of "normal".

If these ideas can make me a better mom for my daughter and a more present, passionate woman for those around me, then I’ll take being “not normal” any day. Thanks, Boots. You still stand as my greatest teacher to this very day. So proud to be called your mom.

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Jennifer Mills is an Eden Energy Medicine Certified Practitioner, Reiki Master, and student of life's beautiful transitions through story and sacred practice. We all have the innate ability to move towards healing and her passion is to help empower others to fully embrace their own health, joy, and unique vibrancy along the journey.


  • Paola Suarez
    Paola Suarez Friday, 06 September 2013

    We all choose our parents as spirits and I'm sure you provide the right mix of magic and love for your old soul of a daughter. Thank you for letting us see into your world. Blessings! :)

  • Jennifer Mills
    Jennifer Mills Friday, 06 September 2013

    Oh, Paola, thank you. She is quite the wise woman indeed. When she was two, she would ask her father and I to play a game where we called her "Mamma". She called me "Sister" and she referred to him as "Child". Haha!

  • Paola Suarez
    Paola Suarez Friday, 06 September 2013

    Ha! I love it when they remember in that way. So wonderful! :D

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