It was the end of a long day of driving through traffic, running errands, and grocery shopping. Finally arriving home, hot, tired, and thinking about the phone calls I still needed to make, and the dinner I needed to cook, I began to gather packages to carry in the house. My trunk and back seat were both filled with bags, and I groaned at the thought of fifteen trips in and out in the heat, how long it would take to accomplish it all, and then putting it away too. Determined to get everything inside as quickly as possible I decided to approach it Wonder Woman style, and began to load myself up like a pack mule, with as much as I could possibly carry. I had my purse over my shoulder, notebook and books under my arm, four heavy grocery bags in each hand, and just for good measure, a seventeen pound bag of cat food under my other arm. Feeling proud of my strength and balancing abilities I began to stagger toward the front door, but the problem soon reared its head asking, how was I to unlock the door and get inside with so much in my hands? Somehow I was able to open the storm door, and to raise my arm, heavy with grocery bags, just enough to get the key in the lock, turn it, and then push the door open. As I started through the door, one of my bags caught on the storm door handle, I lost my balance, dropped the cat food bag, which broke open and spilled everywhere, and was then topped off by a large bottle of olive oil that fell from my bag and broke on top of the cat food. Disgusted with myself, and dismayed over the mess I now had to clean, I set down my bags and sat dejectedly on the front step. If only I had not been in such a hurry, and had not carried so much with me as I tried to push my way through the door.
Somehow, the mess got cleaned, phone calls made, and dinner cooked, though a glass or two of wine definitely made it all a bit easier! After dinner I sat in the living room, thinking about my day and how often we all carry too much, refusing to put things down so we can get through the door. I entertained images of enormous, five hundred pound back packs, or a huge shopping cart filled to over flowing, with the person behind ramming the cart quite unsuccessfully, again and again at the door, trying vainly to shove it through, and finally backing up to take a running charge through the doorway. I imagined each of us, walking about as breathless, sweaty, straining, and greatly over loaded beasts of burden, before the door of new endeavors we viewed as challenging or fearful. As we continued to pile on more and more weighty parcels full of anxiety, doubt, looming what ifs, and every excuse we could conjure, the doorways grew smaller, and our burdens larger and more cumbersome, until at last, there was no possible way we could comfortably or successfully enter the door of this new undertaking.
I thought of my precious expectant mamas, standing on the path leading to their birth, or just outside the labor room door. How many start on this path carrying bags, boxes, suitcases, trunks, pots, pans, and wheel barrows full of items such as fear, doubt in their abilities, distrust of the wisdom of their bodies, suspicion of their medical caregivers, interminably long to-do lists and time pressured excuses for not being able to find the time to learn, educate themselves practice and prepare for labor; and a need to remain hypervigilantly in control of everything beyond the door in order to feel competent, organized, and safe? How many realize they will never make it through the door while carrying so much, and even if they somehow manage to push their way inside, they won’t be able to make a single move without these burdens pressing painfully upon them?
The wise ones hear the messages along the way, “your body knows what to do”, “its about surrender not control”, “ don’t let anything or anyone steal away your joy”, “ say neigh to Naysayers”, “ don’t hang on to unnecessary fears”, “ you need to educate yourself and practice in order to meet and navigate the challenges of labor”, “use your mindful breathing”, “ stay in the present moment”, “revel in the miracle”, “ abandon yourself to the beauty, the sacredness, and in great joy and love welcome your precious new baby into life”. I am honored and blessed to walk beside each of them as they slowly but surely gain knowledge and confidence, find their feminine well of wisdom and power, and begin to trust their intuition and their glorious female body which was created to bring forth life. I am over awed again and again, as one by one, I witness the burdens of fear, anxiety, and doubt simply falling away. Free then, of the cares that weighed them down at the beginning of their pregnancy, they walk serenely, beautifully, and easily through the door of the birthing room, and just as easily, let go utterly into the sublime power and miracle of the Dance of Life, bringing forth their deeply beloved son or daughter in great, overflowing joy, love, and even ecstasy.
In life we seem to learn this same lesson over and again. We carry a myriad of weights, learn, prepare, and then let go the weights that no longer serve us as necessary, in order to grow, and to move ahead. It is my deep desire, my hope, and my greatest wish and intention, to help to support each of you to first recognize the weights you carry which will keep you from walking peacefully through the labor room door, and to help you feel strengthened, educated, prepared, and able to just let them fall away, set them easily down, simply let go, let go, let go, and birth in peace.