Mother’s Day celebrations can be traced back to Ancient Greece. Discover how the ancients celebrated & how you can celebrate the Ancient Greek way.
Ancient Greek Mother’s Day
Did you know that Mother’s Day is an Ancient Greek concept? The earliest history of Mother’s Day dates back to ancient Greece. An annual spring festival was dedicated to the celebration of “maternal goddesses.” The Ancient Greeks participated in springtime rituals in which they would make offerings of honey-cakes, fine drinks, and flowers at dawn.
They used the occasion to celebrate Rhea, wife of Kronos (leader of the Titans) and the mother of Zeus, the king of gods. She was also considered the mother of all Gods. Rhea has been referred to as the goddess of female fertility, and the goddess of motherhood and generations to come. Her name has been interpreted to mean “flow;” specifically representing the flow of time and future generations, along with the flow of “menstrual blood, birth waters, and milk.” She was also considered the goddess of “comfort and ease.” Others have likened Rhea to be merely another form of era, the earth, and she was also sometimes represented as a goddess of childbirth.
The story of Rhea is a fascinating one. Kronos is said to have devoured all 5 of his children birthed by Rhea. However, when Rhea was about to give birth to her 6th child, Zeus, she instead gave Kronos “a stone wrapped up like an infant, and the god swallowed it as he had swallowed his other children.” As an obvious result, Zeus not only survived, but went on to become the king of gods.
How can you use this fascinating story help you celebrate Mother’s Day the Ancient Greek way? Read on to find out.
Flow like Rhea this Mother’s Day
Honor the Rhea (or flow) within you. In psychology “flow,” (also often referred to as the zone) occurs when we perform an activity from a place of energized focus, full involvement, and full immersion. We’ve all experienced it; when were so immersed in an activity that we don’t pay attention to time and/or distractions and 100% enjoy what we’re doing. Many experience this while working, others while engaging in a hobby, and/or social interactions. Not only is this state pleasant to be in but it’s also been found to be highly beneficial for overall well-being. People who experience regular flow states have been found to have more confidence, higher self-esteem, and greater happiness and meaning in their lives.
One of the easiest ways to get into the “flow” state is to spend the day technology-free and reduce cognitive (information) overload. More and more research continues to indicate that the information overload that we experience, as a result of our technologically driven society, not only leads to indecisiveness, bad decisions and stress but also blocks us from entering a flow state.
This Mother’s Day, make a conscious effort to honor “flow” within and fully immerse yourself in your daily activities and interactions with your family, without the distractions of technology.
Don’t let Kronos devour your children
While debatable, it seems that the ancients attributed the name Kronos to symbolize the personification of time. Hence; the above story can be interpreted as “time” devouring children, rather than the literal sense of a husband devouring his children. Today, we’re all too familiar with how quickly time passes when it comes to raising our children and before we know it, the “kronos” has swallowed them up. Thankfully, there are ways to stop, or rather, reinterpret our perception of time so that we can fully and attentively appreciate our children’s childhoods.
Bending time may sound woohoo, but it’s actually about how you manage your time rather than letting time manage you. Time management ultimately results in us always playing catch up with what we want to accomplish and/or do in a day. Managing your time in a way that you’re always ahead will help you leave room to fully and attentively spend more time with your kids while they’re still children.
How? Fully schedule your day. Take a few minutes to quantify the amount of hours you use for necessary activities such as work, sleep, hygiene, chores etc… Then, schedule ALL of it. From the beginning of the day till the end. It’s important that these activities are well-defined, doable things that have a definite end.
The key to being ahead of time (and ultimately “bending” it) is by actively having a start and end to your activities/projects. That way, you’re not rushing to catch up on your daily to do’s. The amount of time left over is the amount of time you can then schedule to spend with your kids.
Be flexible, as those with kids know, that many unforeseen events can interrupt your schedule. Being open and expectant of these events happening will help you adapt. This Mother’s Day, practice “bending time” by scheduling your whole day with your loved ones and feel the difference yourself.
Honor the Greek goddess with you
Celebrate the Ancient Greek way! Give yourself permission to surrender to your imagination! Ultimately, as mothers, this is our work and the choice of how we’re going to show up to do the work is on us. Honoring the goddess and the associated attributes within you is a wonderful way to show up this Mother’s Day, not only for our families, but for ourselves as well. And while receiving modern-day versions of “honey cakes, fine drinks, and flowers” are wonderful, ultimately, actively attempting to connect to our ancient roots will not only help us have a more honorable Mother’s Day, but an honorable motherhood journey as well.
Happy Mother’s Day to all!
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More from Roula Marinos Papamihail, CHHC
She trained at Functional Diagnostic Nutrition, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. and holds a Masters in Clinical Psychology from the University of Indianapolis. She’s also the proud mom of 4 little boys. Roula is currently accepting new clients in her office, at home, over the phone, or via Skype. Visit her website at www.myhealthysoma.com.