You have waited nine plus long months, doing your best to create optimum, healthy, and loving conditions for your baby. Now the day of his birth has finally come, you are in labor. Will your intimate, loving care end now? How will you carry that loving care forward into your labor? Will you choose to labor and birth your baby upon the altar of this present, sacred moment, or upon the altar of fear?
If your body, your mind, your spirit, and this birth experience were a Metta Loving Kindness prayer to your baby, would your heartfelt prayer be:
May you be well, healthy, and strong in body, mind, and spirit.
May you be happy and know loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity.
May you feel safe, protected from fear, free from all harm, and secure.
May you feel loved, cared for, wanted, and connected to a loving family, and to all sentient beings.
May you know a great and natural peace.
May you always know that your mother holds for you a boundless and unending love.
Or will it read:
May you be birthed into this world in resistance.
May you know the stalling of our labor,
and the effects of unnecessary interventions it necessitates.
May you feel my body and mind saying NO to your coming.
May you know the DNA altering effects caused by your belief in an unsafe world, that my fear is imparting to you.
May you respond to my resistance, fear, control, and saying NO to your coming, in body, mind, and spirit,
and be birthed with anxiety, struggle, and impediment.
Any loving mother would choose the first, not the second prayer, and yet, time and again, I see expectant parents choosing not to listen, not to practice or prepare, not to hear teachings, education, truths, admonishments, or to walk through the doorways they open, or the path they lead down, toward a joyous and sacred birth. You do this because you fool yourselves into believing that you and your birth are two separate things. What birth will ultimately show you though, is that this notion of separation is an illusion. You and your birth, your labor, you and the expansions, opening, sensations and pain, are not separate, but rather One. You think you will be okay if you distance yourself, turn off, tune out, numb, medicate, and escape the pain, but what you are seeking, and what you find is not relief, but is instead loss. In denying yourself the fullness of this birth experience you are saying No to your womanly well of intuition and wisdom, No to the realization of your inherent strength and power, No to the intimate dance of life you share with your child, and No to present moment truth, beauty, and the miraculous. When you seek primarily to escape from pain, (rather than learning how to work with it), to an imagined future place of ease, relief, and contentment, in effect you are saying yes to doubt, yes to weakness, yes to chimerical tales of vague, suppositional, impending, future doom, which may never come to pass, and yes to former pains and anxieties that you have carried forward and allowed to muddy and stain this present, perfect birth. You give away the magnificence of your child’s birth, of his bursting gloriously forth into life, to some imagined thoughts of how you might potentially fail. You do this because all you can allow yourself to envision is a great, interminable length of pain, rather than seeing yourself immersed fully in the joys of this one present moment, as it naturally unfolds. This moment that is all you need, this breath, this in breath, and this out breath, which are enough to sustain and carry you, right here, right now, in present moment, mindful awareness. Just this one moment, and when it has passed, just this one, and now this…
When you allow these illusory future scenarios and fears to take you to places of escape, instead of embrace, you miss the fullness of this present moment, and all the conditions for joy, surrender, welcome, and gratitude it holds. You miss the realization that, these waves you fear will crash over and sweep you away like some great tsunami of pain and discomfort, are not actually something you can escape or separate yourself from anyway, because you are both the fullness of the water, and too, you are the momentary expression of the wave. Thoughts of separation and escape are merely a short sighted, surface view. You are seeing only the waves on the face of the ocean, and forgetting entirely that you can dive more deeply into the water, to experience a place of no waves, no turbulence, just fullness and oneness of water and wave together, a place of peace. This is the peace that is always present and available to you as your true nature, if only you let go of spinning mind and its fanciful tales, allowing yourself to wade more profoundly and passionately, and find yourself at last, right here, right now, in this present mindful moment, body and mind connected as one, not body here, and mind someplace else, lost in fearful or anxious thought stories. If you can but take hold of the anchor of your breath, of the fullness of your in breath, and the release of your outbreath, you will find yourself carried thusly to a harbor of safe repose, where no wave or storm can hold sway, inflict harm, or unsettle you in any way. If you can embrace a Beginner’s Mind, a mind that is ready, open, and willing to experience things anew, to adventure to places as yet unknown, with a heart that welcomes and surrenders, you will find that this is the mindful place of peace that no thoughts, or means of escape, can bring you too, and know the truth that all you had to do to get here was just breathe.
When you say “Oh No!” or “I’m Afraid”,” I can’t do this!”, “No!”, you tell your brain to respond with a cavalcade of concurring neurochemicals and hormones that command your physical body to put on the brakes, back away, resist, stop, stall, and do everything possible to avoid what you have labeled, with your negative and unyielding thoughts and emotions, as dangerous and injurious. What you are doing is allowing your body to be overtaken in thought, word, chemical, and physical manifestation, and to have your healthy birth process overthrown, by FEAR! You are in effect saying No! to the coming of your child, No! to the natural, unimpeded forward progress of your labor, and No! to the release of natural pain relieving, bonding, and life readying hormones and neurochemicals that you and your baby need for wholeness, health, and the successful beginning of his new life, and your life as a mother and baby couple.
What do you think might take place in your brain and body, and that of your precious baby, if you were to say YES! instead? If resistance and escape transformed into surrender, welcome, and full embrace? Can you imagine the opposite, open, ecstatic, unencumbered outpouring of life expression that would fill you both then? Can you envision the power, body intuition, wisdom, strength, fortitude, and overwhelming joy that would be released if you just told your thinking mind to say YES!, and embraced the complete oneness and fullness of this precious, present moment? Can you choose to continue the loving care you have bestowed for nine long months upon your as yet unborn child, by birthing him upon the sacred altar of this present moment, united as one with the entirety of the process, rather than sacrificing the day of his birth on the altar of resistance and fear? Dear one, I tell you truly, all it takes is to let go into the present moment, and say YES!
Inquire about our Mindful Birth and Beyond childbirth education Playshops to teach you how.