Birth is an Invitation

“You are the only one who can make it happen for you. Others can support and encourage you, but you have to find the energy and power within in order to step into the center of your own life and take charge.” – Lynda Field

Birth is an invitation. During labor, time and space are no longer relevant. Minutes are hours and days and lifetimes…

You exist as a portal between two realms. The spiritual and the physical world unite within you. It’s always been this way. That power has always existed inside you.

As your body opens, everything shifts into alignment with your spirit. Everyone in the room can feel the energy change. They follow your lead as you guide the way into the deep. You are the trailblazer. Even though you’ve never been here before your body knows the way.

Birth brings us to the end of ourselves, to the bowels of our being. Not one of us discovers the depth of our soul in the same way. And when we think we’ve pushed ourselves as far as we can go, we dig just a little deeper. One last time. To that final place. Where we find the light within that no other person can show us. Where we literally birth ourselves anew.  

The Labor of Birth

The work of labor and delivery most simply put is to ‘open’ and to ‘let go’.

Labor is an opening and birth is a letting go. 

What makes this process so different for each woman is what they’re opening to and what they’re letting go of. I’ll give you a hint, it’s rarely the baby. By the time labor comes around, most women are well acquainted with the idea that their baby will soon be here. Instead, the baby acts as a tool or a catalyst as the mother grows into herself and prepares to be born anew.

Some mothers open to the unknown. Some open to receiving help. Some open to their own courage. Some even open to the reality that they’re not in control, no matter how bad they want to be. 

Similarly, mothers experience a letting go of exactly what is needed for their own birth to happen. Some let go of self limiting beliefs. Some let go of fear. Some let go of unhelpful but well-ingrained thought patterns. Some let go of the wheel…

Women labor and deliver not just in their bodies, but also in their minds, in their hearts, and in their souls.

A Poem about Birth

I came across this poem about birth on Instagram. If anyone knows the original author, please comment below and let me know! It’s so beautiful, I had to share…

“In case no one has told you…
the journey won’t make sense until you’re on the other side

While you’re walking the path
Doing the holy work of birth
Sweating and swaying and swearing
You’ll be so deep in it
So consumed by the sensations
That you won’t be able to see the end
Or even the progress you’ve made

You’ll feel lost at points
Desperate even
Grasping at some sense of linear time
At a roadmap you can follow
At a finish line you can see
And coming up empty handed

Minutes are hours are days are lifetimes are galaxies
Each contraction takes you deeper
And it’s impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel
When you are the tunnel
And the darkness 
And the whole entire planet
hurtling through space

And those electric candles and twinkly lights that you put up to set the mood
Seem so silly now
as you’re being tossed and turned 
Inside out
Moaning and panting your way through
celestial portals 

But then you’ll emerge
Unimaginable relief
Tidal waves of joy crashing over you 
Triumph and deliverance 
Pride and peace 
And a love so expansive 
Your heart will explode 

And it will all make sense
You will see how your journey
Was written in the stars
That you were never lost
Every contraction
Every moment when you thought you couldn’t go on
Was simply a stepping stone
On your way home 

You will see 
that your magic mirrored the universe
That you were one in the same
birthing new worlds
Power and beauty in ecstatic motion”

Birth is not only about making babies

“Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers — strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength.” 

—Barbara Katz Rothman

It’s important that we pay attention to what’s showing up for us during pregnancy and birth. Even while trying to conceive. The journey of motherhood is a spiritual one first and foremost. As we begin this journey, many things rise to the surface within us. Examples might include; finding our voice, setting boundaries, learning patience, trusting our gut, standing in our truth, surrendering, or receiving help. All things designed to better equip us for the other side of birth.

See, where there is birth there is also death. And as the Mother, you are no longer who you once were. You can never go back to your old self. That self has to die in order for this one to be born anew. And with that birth, everything shifts. Your perspective. Your priorities. Your relationships…

Resistance to this transformation can be painful. It’s better to honor and trust the cycles of life. To surrender to what is. More to come…

Matrescence

I’m over five months pregnant and have been doing a ton of research on all things labor, delivery, newborns, and motherhood. But there’s one area in which research is lacking and that area is called, “Matrescence”. The term was coined by Dana Raphael, Ph.D. (1973) and it remains a largely unexplored area of study. In fact, I conducted a survey on my social media pages and 82% of women (mostly new mothers) had never even heard of the term!

In short, matrescence can be likened to adolescence. It refers to the process of becoming a mother. The developmental passage where a woman transitions through pre-conception, pregnancy, and birth, to the postnatal period and beyond. It recurs with each child. Of course, we all know that during pregnancy a woman’s body is changing rapidly and inside a tiny life form is taking shape to be a completely unique and individual human being upon birth. But what we often forget is that the woman herself is also changing rapidly and taking shape. Not just in a physical sense, but in a bio-psycho-social-political-spiritual way.

Yes, the mother gives birth to a child. But the child also gives birth to a mother.

Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh said it best, “The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.”

I’m currently working on a series about Matrescence, including a poem, which will be the first of its kind. I can’t believe no other artist has delved into this topic before! I hope that you’ll stay tuned and share this information with the women in your life. New mothers, expecting mothers, and women who want to be mothers. May we all be comforted in knowing that we’re not alone.

New Year, New Me

Do you want to live out the phrase, “New year, new me”?

Of course you do! You’re likely following my site because you’re interested in personal growth, and this means we’re continually trying to improve ourselves in order to be the best human beings that we can. (Which, of course, involves giving ourselves lots of grace. Grace on grace on grace. 🙂

So here’s my big insider tip: Make goals. 

Dig within. Write down what you want to happen in your life this year.

What do you want to accomplish? What good would you like to attract into your life? What blocks do you want to remove? Where do you want to grow? Where do you want to go? Be specific!

This is how you do your part. The rest takes care of itself.

See, goals give us direction. They send out a powerful message to the universe on a conscious and subconscious level. They serve as an affirmation for us, our life, and our ability to choose.

New year, new me? Make goals.

A New Years Eve Poem

My hope for you this New Year

is forgiveness of yourself and others,

revival of what matters most,

relationships with friends and lovers.

My hope for you is motivation,

bigger dreams, and inspiration.

Realistic goals and follow through,

these things are my hope for you.

My hope for you this New Year

is healing what you’ve broken;

repairing, mending, letting go

of all apologies left unspoken.

I hope when you look back to where

 you were this time last year,

you’re in an entirely different place.

Your truest self is ever near.

I hope that you have grown and changed.

With open arms embrace the pain,

search for joy and new love, too.

These things are my hope for you.

The Meaning of Christmas (and a Poem)

As Christmas is fast approaching, my prayer is that we don’t get so caught up in our own celebrations that we forget the meaning of this special holiday. We celebrate because Jesus Christ purchased salvation for both the Jews and the Gentiles. Christmas would be meaningless if He didn’t purchase salvation for sinners. He lived a perfect life and died in our place. And then He rose from the dead! This is the meaning of Christmas. This is the reason we celebrate. And it sure is cause to celebrate!

God’s children are all across the Earth, in a variety of seasons and circumstances. May our hearts be grateful and generous this Christmas season as we reflect not only on our own lives, but also on the lives of others. Below is a poem I wrote entitled, “The Many Faces of Christmas.” Enjoy and Merry Christmas to all!

Cold streets, winter nights

Warm windows, wrapped with lights

Loneliness and hands that freeze

Mistletoes and sparkling trees

Santa Clause finds some, not all

Some are at the Christmas Ball

While some are huddled close together

Under bridges, facing weather

Some are warm, by a fire

Some at stores, the constant buyer

Some in Church, singing praise

Some are gone, been so for days

As you join family and friends,

Think of all the faces that Christmas lends.

And don’t complain, whatever you do

There’s always someone who has it worse than you.

Do Not Be Afraid

It is written, “Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated…” (Isaiah 54:4-5)

Why are you anxious, my precious child? Have I not promised you good things? What are you afraid of? Shame? Humiliation? Of not being good enough? Of not being able to manage the busyness of this season? Of other people? Of the direction in which this world is going? I’ll tell you again, do not be afraid!

Instead, meditate on my word. On my promises. It is your armor. And as more and more piles onto your plate, you’re going to need it. Collaborate with me as I grow the gifts that I’ve seeded within your heart. Rejoice and delight in the work that we’re doing together. I’ll say it again, rejoice! The journey only gets more exciting from here.

Beware of the devil. He prowls around like a lion, looking for someone to devour. Do not listen to his lies, which only serve to distract you and take you off course. Reject these lies and arm yourself with the Truth.

That still, calm, quiet voice that comforts and guides you, that’s me. I’m always here for you. Do not be afraid.

Uncertainty

It is written, “A man’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way?” (Proverbs 20:24)

Can’t you look back now and see the ways in which I was at work during times where you felt uncertain in the past? Hindsight often allows you to see my goodness and grace with more clarity. Have I not proven that I am good and graceful?

Take comfort in knowing that the uncertainty you feel is to be expected. In fact, this uncertainty about the path before you is actually a necessary faith booster. The less certain you are, the more you must cling to me. The more you cling to me, the straighter your steps will be.

I have big plans for you! Be excited about all that I have planned for you! Trust in my ways. Hold my hand through your days. We can partake on this adventure together, just as I intended.

Until one day, we’re reunited in the physical form for all eternity. This is the hope you have to look forward to. This is the hope you are to share with the world. In the unique and specific way that only you can share it. My will in your life will be done! Nothing and no-one can stop what I have planned for you. You play an important role in my master plan.

But since you cannot understand my ways, you must walk by faith rather than sight. Clinging to the one who loves you best and knows your heart. Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.