“If there must be madness and time crunches and chaos in your life then let there be chaos. But find the strength and stillness to be the eye inside the storm. These things are happening around you, nothing is happening to you.”
Good to remember during pregnancy, when anxious thoughts hold sway, and in labor, when the scary what ifs come marching fiercely in, and we give in to berating and doubting ourselves as inadequate to the task. In life things happen, events arise and pass, but nothing is permanent, the one constant in life is change. Just take time to breathe, letting things be just as they are, without attaching or clinging to them. Be the stillness and calm at the eye of the storm, let the ten thousand things whirl around you, and follow the anchor of the inflow and outflow of your breath, returning home to this present moment of peace. And those anxious thoughts, let them go, recognize them for what they are, stories your mind is fashioning, giving rise to this swirling energy of emotion and sensation in your body. Sense where this energy is, and what it feels like in your body, and let go the anxious thoughts, breathing in peace, and breathing out worrisome sensations with the rise and fall of your breath. Just let them go. Drop the labels and repeat the gentle mantra, “let go, let go, let go”.
What if we were to look at events, situations, challenges, thoughts, fears, emotions, differently as they arise in our days? What if we were to pause, and instead of resisting and fighting, what if we simply welcomed them, and let them be just as they are. What if we simply took a few moments to be still, to breathe, to calm our mind, to still our heart, and to take peacefully hold of the reins of the racing stallion of our thoughts? What would happen if, instead of reacting with our usual, habitual knee jerk response of labeling and then reacting to whatever label we assign, we were instead to just let things be, and notice the whirling energy and sensations in our body and mind? Notice what we are feeling, notice where in our body we feel it, and notice how it feels. A sensation of tightness in our chest, a pounding in our head, a stinging at the corner of our eyes, a heat that wants to rise and release itself on our raised voice. Could we notice these things, let them be, and then open more, see deeper, sense what is underlying the sensations that we usually label as anxiousness, fear, anger, sadness, frustration, worry, awfulizing far into a non-existent future? Would our labels be different if we took a moment to pause and recognize that what lies beneath our anger or anxiety is maybe fear of losing control, fear of being seen as wanting and being rejected or ridiculed, fear of losing something or someone that matters to us, fear of not making the grade or being strong enough to stand up to a challenge? Could we then be kinder to ourselves and, as a mother comforting her beloved child, place our hands over our racing heart and simply say, “it’s ok, I’m sorry, I love you, you are safe, sacred, and worthy.” Could we offer ourselves the love, acceptance, forgiveness, gentleness we need, and realign our vision of ourselves to one of a more true and sacred vision, seeing the preciousness of who we truly are beneath it all, and just let go? Breathe in peace, breathe our fear. Breathe in love, breathe out negative energy. Breathe in joy, breathe out feelings of being alone and separate in our cares, and remember ourselves as Love, intimately interconnected to all that is, and as such, unable to be anything other than beautiful, sacred, and worthy. And in this space of love and peace, could we then feel an opening, a spaciousness that will allow us to simply breathe and be peace?
Drop the labels that bind you and what do you find, spaciousness, stillness, and freedom. This holds true for labor sensations as well, simply energy, rising and passing away. Don’t label the sensations of labor and birth as pain, experience them as a rising and passing wave of stretching and opening sensations, while you surrender to allow them to bring your baby into your arms, and just breathe. Return to the anchor of your in breath and out breath, arriving home once more, in this present moment of peace. See if that interpretation and choice of perception doesn’t change how you process and ride the waves of labor and birth.