I've been noticing something lately. People are having a really hard time right now. The state of the world feels like it is hanging in a precarious balance. We are bombarded by SO MUCH INFORMATION. One quick google search can take you down any bunny trail you'd like to uncover. And with it stress, fear, anxiety, worry, concern....
Are we really headed for nuclear war - see North Korea?
Are the hurricanes just getting worse - see Global Warming?
How do we know our credit information is really safe - see Equifax breech?
What happens if I have a pre-existing condition - see continuous attempts to repeal and replace ACA?
Does my financial advisor even work for me anymore - see Dodd Frank repeal?
One quick perusal on the internet and you can find millions of people who are suffering. Rohingyas in Burma, Puerto Rico and other hurricane devastated areas, the countless number of people killed by the police, meanwhile Africa is facing the most perilous famine in recorded history. It is all so devastating.
I just want to take a moment....and breathe.
So what in the world does this have to do with labor and birth you ask? Well, everything. Having a natural birth demands everything of you. You bring to sum total of who you are, what you believe and what you experience to your birth.
Women through out history were not subjected to the inordinate amount of information we are subjected to today. Pregnant women in the past has self reflection built in to their life, merely by life's simplicity.
Natural birth brings you to your knees on every level. It is physically demanding. The hours of pain we experience serves a purpose. It is opening our bodies, our hearts and our minds to deep love.
It is emotionally demanding. There is no other way to become stronger than to face the edge of what we thought was possible and move past that edge. Natural birth expands our capacity. And the only way to expand our capacity is to face great challenge.
It is psychically demanding. What happens to the psyche in birth is rarely talked about. Most birth preparation centers around educating women about what happens physically and sometimes mento/emotionally. However, the act of giving birth itself is something that brings us to the gate of life and death. It is a deeply spiritual process. When a person stands at this gate, whether it is through the experience of birthing or the experience of witnessing birth, the psyche - the sum total of the mind including the subconscious and the unconscious - is deeply affected.
All of the great mystic religions talk about Unity. All humans are made from the same elements - protons, neutrons and electrons - the same basic material. Not one of us is really different from another. We are all connected to the One Human Family. Every mother loves her child. Every father feels protective. Every child has the same wonder. We all have 10 fingers, 10 toes, 2 eyes and 1 nose. EVERYONE has a belly button! And most importantly, we all feel love. Our psyche is how we sense the love that connects us all.
So, knowing that we are all connected, and knowing that your pregnant body gets more psychically open, how do you remain steady in the face of so much information about the pain, threat and struggle in the world? You must find equanimity.
Finding your equanimity in birth requires that you take time in your daily life to get quiet and centered. Meditation. Prayer. Yoga. Exercise. Self Reflection. Family Check Ins. Swinging in the Hammock. These are all different ways to bring equanimity into your daily life.
I love the Islamic practice of praying 5 times a day. Everyday, Muslims take time out of their busy life to get quiet and centered and reflect upon something greater than themselves. Doing this throughout the day builds quiet reflection into the fabric of one's life.
So how will you take the time to get quiet every day? How will you open your heart, mind, body and spirit while the tempest storm rages around you? How will you turn that quiet reflection into a positive birth experience? A meditation practice is your protection from the challenges in the world. It is in meditation that you will find equanimity. In equanimity is a unending well of Love - the source of All.
Please spend time shaking off life. And search for greater meaning. This is absolutely imperative! Freeing up your coping mechanisms and putting your trust into something greater than yourself will bring ease and equanimity to your birthing process. Birth is hard. And it will make you dig deep. Anytime a stressful situation is resolved with love at the center, it adds to the love in this world. This couldn't be more important right now.
Peaceful birthing to you all....