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This month as we focus on being empowered through our feminine nature and biology, I can’t help thinking about my own journey into motherhood. It is not a story unique to me, but rather an experience shared, with variations, among the vast majority of women around the globe.

I remember the moment I found out I was expecting. The pregnancy was not planned nor at that time in my life desired. However, after a few moments of utter shock and disbelief, an overwhelming feeling of love washed over my body. I put my hand on my womb and although I could not yet feel the life that was beginning to grow inside me, my heart opened and I knew instantly that I would do whatever was needed to protect and honor this gift of life that I had been given.

As I prepared myself to deliver my precious daughter, I found a picture of my own mother in labor with me. As I looked at her–arms raised above her head, an oxygen mask covering her face, and her eyes closed in what appeared to be complete surrender–tears began to fall from my eyes.  At that moment I felt a powerful connection to all my matriarchal ancestors and appreciation for their strength and conviction in honoring their procreative powers, thus providing me the chance to do the same. As I began to labor, I placed this picture on the table next to the bed.

Between contractions, I would look over and feel empowered as I was reminded of my place in the human family. As a woman, I could feel the power of being the connection between past and future–a single link in the growing chain of my family line.

Whether you find your place in this continuing chain through labor, adoption, or making the conscious choice to place the best interest of the rising generation at heart by willingly giving of yourself to nourish and protect those who are not your own, the result is the same:  a stronger, more united human family. As we celebrate mothers this month, let us honor the experiences of those who came before us and protect the experiences of those who come after us. There truly is no greater work to accomplish, nor any that should be as highly regarded as that of motherhood.