postpartum depression, mental health, maternal mental healthDear new mama,

I’m about to share with you the invocation that helped me recover from PPD.

An invocation is a declaration of healing intention. You could also call this a poem, a prayer, or a blessing. The name doesn’t matter. It’s the intention that counts.

I survived PPD three times. The first time was when my mother struggled with it, and then again with each of my two sons. I shared my story here at Postpartum Progress in this post:

My recovery from PPD involved meds, therapy, and most importantly learning self-kindness: changing my self-talk from the self-judgment that leads to self-loathing, to gently meeting myself exactly where I am, on a path that helped me find healing and comfort.

Meeting myself with self-kindness can be hard, especially on the rough days. Yet it’s worth it, because it makes the rough patches shorter and further between. When it’s hard to talk kindly to myself, I re-read this invocation. Sometimes I even read it out loud.

We read this text at the beginning of every mother’s support meeting I lead once a month in Ithaca, NY. The mothers in my groups tell me that they return to it often, because they find it both comforting and empowering.
I am grateful to Katherine for the opportunity to share this invocation here, with you:

The Self-Kindness Invocation

I am a woman and a mother.
I nurture. I give to others with love.
I am learning how to nourish myself with love.

I give myself permission to feel all my emotions.
All my feelings are valid,
but the scary stories they tell are not necessarily true.
I am learning how to tell the difference.

I am learning how to outsmart perfectionism, 
how to disarm anxiety and depression, 
how to release shame and harvest guilt.

I have an internal source of light: 
I turn it on with awareness, intention, and loving attention. 
I am learning how to shine the light of my attention 
to illuminate the scary and the painful, 
I seek the treasures hiding in the dark.

When my inner critic shows up in my head, 
I invite the wise woman who lives in my body to come out and play. 
I teach the body and the mind how to dance together.

I invoke the essence of trust, playfulness, sisterhood and self-kindness.      
I invite these qualities to show up in my heart and in my life.

I am new at this. 
I’m taking baby steps and leaps of faith:
faith in myself and in the power of love.

~ Yael Saar

Yael Saar  (@yaelsaar on twitter) is a mama on a mission to remove guilt and shame from parenting, to make room for joy, love, and rest. She is the Founder and Keeper of the Mama’s Comfort Camp: a Facebook community that functions as a safe haven and refueling station for hundreds of mamas from around the world. This community is free and open to moms of kids of any age, and we share our laughter, tears, and triumphs, all the while normalizing motherhood struggles and bridging the gap between expectations and reality in a uniquely judgment-free environment.

You are welcome to join the Mama’s Comfort Camp facebook group right here:

To download a printable poster and an MP3 audio recording of this invocation, go to the Mama’s Comfort Camp Self Kindness Pause page:

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Postpartum Progress, the world’s most widely-read blog on all things related to emotional health around pregnancy & childbirth, is a service of Postpartum Progress Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit devoted to raising awareness of postpartum depression and similar illnesses. Please consider making a donation today, Mother’s Day, so we can continue and expand our work supporting maternal mental health. Thank you!