As the time comes for me to drift into maternity leave and embark on the next chapter in my life, I’m left to question and reflect on so much within myself and this journey that is pregnancy. There have been divine blessings, many of which I had no idea would occur, and also many challenges. So much change, both physically (obviously!), mentally, emotionally and spiritually. The energetic shifts that have occurred have catapulted me into new terrain, awareness and presence. I have so much gratitude for this process and wish to share some of my experiences with you...
However, as I often talk with my clients about taking time to acknowledge the achievements gained before catapulting forwards, I know I should start with some refection. Over the past 6 years I have built a thriving, inspirational and fulfilling business as a Kinesiologist/ energy worker/ life coach. It has been quite the journey, from my spare bedroom in Sydney to a clinic in Sydney, then, taking the leap to move to Brisbane and develop a entirely new client base whilst undertaking further study. This leap greatly changed how I worked with my clients and inspired me ultimately to form my own clinic.
Along the way there has been much learning, moments of pure uncertainty and despair and moments of extreme gratitude, love and laughter. Much like the pregnancy! Everyday I am inspired and challenged by each client, each soul I connect with provides me with an opportunity for personal growth and self reflection. I could not have chosen a more beautiful role to step into at that time of my life.
It has been an achievement that I’m completely proud of. My challenge now is to not hold on too tight and allow this next phase of me to unfold organically.
So…now... I’m at the edge. In the rocky land of transition. I’m saying a (temporary) goodbye to my regulars and turning away new clients. It’s hard. I can hear the voice in my head saying, “oh but what would have we discovered there” and placing my self worth in my work rather than in who I am. However, I know if I listen to the deeper me, it is right to let go for the moment. I detach and surrender to the grand plan. It fills me with anticipation, uncertainty and possibility all at once. The moment just before you jump into the unknown.
It conjures a vivid image of myself (and my friends) at an isolated rock ledge in the south of Italy; we had all run to this amazing grotto and were just about to jump our hot and sweaty bodies into the cool blue Mediterranean Sea. I’ve never been one for rock jumping, but I could not say no, so just as I decided to take the plunge, I felt the adrenalin, a huge smile spread across my face, a yelp of excitement and then into the deep depths of the ocean of that soothing water I plunged. Once in the action of it, the joy was there, right with me. The fear was all in the decision making and thinking. The mind.
To a degree, I’ve already jumped. Being now 38 weeks pregnant, there is no turning back. It’s happening. And the joy is here! The joy is strong! This is however a two phase change (and most changes ultimately occur in conjunction with many other changes) The next big jump will be labour and the birth of my little bambino/a. And then the journey of parenthood. And then the journey of melding motherhood and kinesiology together. Though lets not get too far ahead of ourselves!! One jump at a time otherwise the overwhelm and fear can get in the way of any the jumps occurring. I remind myself to stay in the present. Stay in this moment. Life seems to unfold at such an incredible pace, however the present moment is always the present moment. There is no speeding or slowing of the moment, it is what it is. It holds much potential and much peace. In the moment of the jump, I must stay present to feel the joy, otherwise it will all be fear in the mind.
"To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders"
Chuang-tzu, Taoist philospher
I’ve found my two biggest sources of comfort within this process are getting into nature regularly and my yoga/meditation practice. The deep peace that comes simply by taking a deep breath and truly seeing the amazing surrounds of the bush/beach/ inner world never ceases to amaze me. I know I would have found this journey of fluctuating hormones, change and decisions much trickier without being connected to these gifts. The journey of pregnancy has allowed me to experience these joys in an ever deeper way. The feminine energy that is me at this time, sees colours in new ways, hears the birds sing with greater freedom and feels the sun reach deep into my bones. I was not expecting the deep bliss that has come from this heightened feminine state.
Water and connection with all things feminine, especially other women, has also been deeply comforting for me. The peace that fills me with a lovely bath, swim in the ocean, or sitting beside a river is intense and at times overwhelming. The pure love and support I have felt from other women during this time has also been wonderful and surprising. I feel so much more connected to the ‘sisterhood’ and marvel at the feats of women and how we can support and inspire each other in our own unique way. I’m hoping to find this peace and support in my labour where I plan to have a strong midwife present as my primary care giver and a water bath as my primary pain relief (or so the plan goes!). It is interesting (but perhaps not surprising) how my increased femininity has also deepened my connection with my husband. He has stepped into the role of holding the space and offering me exactly what I need when I ask. I am less afraid to ask for the support I need during this time and he is less afraid to offer it. This, I feel, has strengthened our relationship and does not make me feel like a 'weak woman' but rather a women on a mission that she does not want to do solely on her own. I feel empowered. More so than ever.
The more I understand this journey of pregnancy and the power in the feminine, the more it is becoming clear that the people and environment we surround our self with, can make or break our experience and ability to be in our power. This is not a new concept, and is not necessarily positive or negative, however it is in these heightened states of change and growth that the energies of others are more greatly felt. Be wise with who/what you surround yourself with.
The other huge factor I have become aware of is the power of the expectations that we place on our self. If I can offer one piece of advice, let go of all expectations in pregnancy and in life in general! Be present. Allow. Trust that you’ll deal with it when you get to it. Trust your body. I personally can not think of a bigger lesson in the wonderful, incredible, mysterious power of the body than pregnancy. Over the past 9 months, my uterus had expanded to over 1000 times it’s original size!!! It’s grown a placenta and of course a LITTLE HUMAN! All without me knowing or thinking or understanding this process. WOW. Imagine if we trusted ourselves completely to intuitively and genetically know how to live. Know what to feed our body. Know how to move our body. Know how to rest our body. This stuff all seems simple in comparison to what the uterus does, yet why do we get so stumped by this in daily life?? Is it the mind getting in the way?
"Develop a mind that is vast like the water... Rest in a mind that is vast like the water"
The feminine energy grows very strong in pregnancy, or so I’ve experienced. It has been a wonderful journey of observing myself understand rest, stillness, creativity and timelessness. Of course, I’m still living in the modern world, so can not live completely timelessly, but my approach; my inner clock, the pressure I put on myself to be logical, organised and on time has all softened. I guess as my body has softened. As my intuition, energetic awareness, connection and vision has sharpened. It’s actually really lovely.
This is a state I believe we can all tap into if we choose to. It is not a state found only in pregnancy. It is an awareness, a choice and a suggestion. An alternative way of living rather than the ‘norm’ of the ‘doing’ state we are so often in. Life is much to do with balance, so if you find your days are usually full of doing, how can you invite in some being? Some stillness. Some connection. Some feminine power.
"People say that we're all seeking is a meaning for life... I think that what we're seeking is an experience of being alive, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive"
Here are some more specific tips and tools I used in my pregnancy which might be helpful for you if you are also on this journey;
· Swimming has been my saviour when I need to move and breath deeply. My focus has shifted from how many laps I can swim (yes I was an exercise-aholic at times!) to the beautiful patterns the sun makes on the pool tiles through the water… :)
· Yoga and Meditation… When I shifted from my usual strong Vinyasa practice to a softer pre-natal style, I truly began to connect to the little person inside me. It also altered my meditation practice greatly; I shifted into deeper inner exploration meditation. I have meditated most days in my pregnancy and I don’t think I could have continued to work for as long as I did with out this practice.
· Getting into the bush. Sunshine, moonlight and fresh air.
· Talking and connecting with other women, my midwife and my partner. Asking for support and advice when needed. Taking the pieces of advice that you choose to.
· Educating myself on my body, the process of pregnancy and labour;
My favourite books have been “The Mama Bamba Way” by Robyn Sheldon and “The Down to Earth Birth Book” by Jenny Blyth. Also Juju Sundin’s “Birth Skills” has been so empowering for the labour. I also attended an Active Birth workshop which was super great for my partner and I.
· Eating well but not being too strict. I decided to not eat out as often so I knew what I was putting into my body. Cutting out foods that affected my energy and that I was naturally turned away from, for me that was red meat, refined sugars and gluten. I introduced in more dairy (apart from milk) I ate as much organic produce as possible.
· Trust and Surrender. Everyday is different in pregnancy.
· Kinesiology and Acupuncture, especially in the first and third trimesters
· Essential Oils; Lemon and Peppermint for nausea and headaches. Lavender for sleep and calming. Citrus for energy.
I hope this is of some benefit to you or someone you know