Archive for December, 2007
Rules of the “Survivor Needs” Meme:
- Please link back to this post so people can see the origins of the meme, get ideas for their own self-care list, see who’s already been tagged, and maybe we can track how far this meme goes.
- List 25 needs and five wants. Try to restrict your needs list to things that have to do with being a survivor of some sort of abuse, assault, etc. Your wants list can be anything…you want!
- Use this list to remind yourself to get your needs met this holiday season and in the New Year.
- Pass on the meme and tag five people to play the meme with you.
I’m not tagging anyone, but I invite anyone who’d like to do this to go right ahead.
- Respect for my inherent worth
- Sensual excitement
- Cuddling & other communicative touching
- Passion for my job
- Sympathetic friends
- Emotional release
- Orgasms, general sexual pleasure
- General sensual pleasure (from eating good food, listening to good music, etc.)
- To have supportive, trusting relationships
- To be part of a supportive community
- To laugh & have a sense of humor
- To give advice
- To be given advice
- To listen to/read the experiences of others and learn from them
- To have strong women to look up to
- To express myself without censorship but with wisdom
- To be intimate with a woman
- To workout, stretch and generally keep my body in shape
- To eat well and joyfully
- To honor the Earth
- To honor the Divine
- To be taken seriously
- To be taken with a grain of salt
- To be admired
- To travel internationally
- To learn French
- To practice on my bass more often
- To learn how to cast Runes
- To learn Palmistry
Your Question: what do I need to know in order to create community this year?
|Self: Queen of Hearts
POSITIONAL (MAIN) MEANING
The card in the Self position reveals aspects of how you perceive yourself right now.
The Queen of Cups is the archetype of loving kindness, someone imbued with a strong concern for the well being of others. This is a good thing to develop and practice. At the same time, make sure you don’t get carried away and lose track of what is healthy and sensible for yourself. Like a mother, the Queen of Cups is accepting and nurturing, with a natural capacity for bonding.
The vulnerability of openness and empathy are important qualities sorely lacking in today’s world. Learn to develop these capacities in yourself, but avoid codependency. Love is ultimately about dissolving boundaries, but not at your personal expense. Feelings of emptiness will do you no good. Know your boundaries and make sure you are not being taken advantage of or relied upon too heavily. Express loving kindness, but don’t let an intense concern for the welfare of others compromise your own well being.
Situation: Ace of Swords
POSITIONAL (MAIN) MEANING
The card that lands in the Situation position refers to social or circumstantial factors which could be affecting your life at this time.
With the Ace of Swords in this position, circumstances indicate that the path to your destination twists and turns in a bewildering way. Your insight, however, can penetrate and make sense of the confusion.
You possess an outlook or vision that can harmonize with whatever competing interests and needs present themselves. Ultimately, it is up to you to reveal the big picture, point out the middle path, and reconcile the polarities. You are aware of what the next step is. Continue to focus on it solely without letting yourself or others be distracted.
Challenges/ Opportunities: Prince of Hearts
POSITIONAL (MAIN) MEANING
The card that lands in the Challenges/Opportunities position refers to ways that you can turn obstacles into stepping stones.
With the Knight of Cups (in some decks, a Prince) in this position, distill the essence of what you have learned on your journey, in order to let your wisdom inform the dreams and aspirations of others. Not everyone is able to go through the kind of awesome transformations you have.
But you can wring the essence of your experience, and the feelings and insights that came with it, into the grail cup, and share this elixir of knowledge. This multiplies the benefits of your quest, and vindicates the difficulty of your labors, by uplifting everyone. In this way you can also relieve some of the loneliness you suffered while undergoing your trials.
Foundation: Four of Pentacles
POSITIONAL (MAIN) MEANING
The card in the Foundation position points to influences from your personal history, your roots and background.
The Four of Coins in this position suggests you are blessed with substantial gift assets of one kind or another. Some families are culturally rich; some are spiritually rich, while others have financial wealth. All of these can be blessings.
Take stock of your personal inheritance, and honor your roots. Be grateful for, and take advantage of, the natural resources passed down to you in this lifetime.
In the English-school decks, we see the image of a person who is stuck in his or her misunderstanding of how the material plane works. He’s afraid to let go of his four measly coins, because he doesn’t know he has to give in order to get. When looked at this way, this is the card of “poverty consciousness.”
Recent Past: Two of Swords
POSITIONAL (MAIN) MEANING
The card in the Recent Past position refers to events that are just departing, recently influential but now diminishing in power.
When the Two of Swords is in this position, a rude awakening in a relationship or situation shook your assumption that everyone understood circumstances clearly. You thought you knew what to expect of others and what they were expecting of you. It is a shock to discover that a past agreement had distinctly different meanings for you and another party. Don’t assume that you have been set up or deceived, however.
Use the situation as an opportunity to recognize the differences in peoples’ experience of reality, their priorities and their points of view. Rather than leap into blaming others for what are essentially differences of perception, you can begin to appreciate the rich diversity of this world and the importance of making clear understandings and agreements. Laxity in communication due to assumptions all too often results in arguments over differences instead of leading to celebrations over shared endeavors.
Higher Power: Seven of Hearts
POSITIONAL (MAIN) MEANING
The card in the Higher Power position reflects the broader perspective and influence of your conscience, Guardian Angel, inner wisdom.
When the Seven of Cups comes up in this position, you have a spread of options that are testing you. Can you really choose the best for all concerned, or are you going to fall back on short-term gratification? Be assured there is no wrong choice, but there is a spectrum of better and better choices that culminates in the very best choice.
Your Higher Power would like to see if you have learned enough in your spiritual, intellectual and emotional growth to be able to freely make the best choice without coercion, based on what your heart knows to be true. There is no way to fail this test, but there are ways to pass it with flying colors. Follow your conscience and, relatively speaking, you can do no wrong.
Near Future: Five of Hearts
POSITIONAL (MAIN) MEANING
The card in the Near Future position indicates which way the wind is blowing with regard to your situation. If you follow the Advice card, however, you can improve on or neutralize tendencies.
With the Five of Cups in this position, you are called upon to temper inflated expectations. Whatever motivated you in the past no longer applies, because it’s now apparent the situation is not going to turn out as you had wished. That doesn’t mean it’s destined to turn out badly. Reality takes a bite out of every dream. It’s a natural adjustment to any ideal or vision. Occasionally we have to accept a humbling development.
Although you have some disappointment to work through, don’t let it undermine your enthusiasm. You have not done the wrong thing, walked the wrong path or followed the wrong guidance. A zigzag path is just the nature of the path. You win some, you lose some. Don’t let setbacks take you out of the game.
Blocks & Inhibitions: The Fool
POSITIONAL (MAIN) MEANING
The card in the Blocks position points to self-undermining tendencies, areas where you could be in denial, where you could get stuck — unless you examine yourself and make some corrections.
When the Fool comes up in this position, lack of trust in your authentic, original nature causes you to resist spontaneity and freedom. Without trust in your essential nature, you can’t afford to move in any direction, take any steps, make any decisions. Without trust, you are riddled with fears and insecurities.
Don’t inhibit yourself by the fear of what might go wrong. Determine what you would like and how to get it to happen. Look at your current situation as an opening rather than a trial. It’s a chance to go where you have never been before and experience new dimensions.
Allies: The Lovers
POSITIONAL (MAIN) MEANING
The card in the Allies position points to people who can be supportive or helpful to you at this time.
The Lovers in this position suggests that you are receiving more than one attractive invitation. In this case, if you promise yourself to one, you’ll have to forego the other. This principle applies in romance, business or any other alliance.
Sometimes we need to focus our attention on the highest priority, putting second and third considerations aside. Perhaps you are being distracted from a pivotal, important relationship by a possibility, promise or hope. Choose what is real over what is just a possibility. Work to raise what is real up to the level of the ideal, rather than just wildly grasping at the ideal. Your true ally is waiting for you to get over your flirtation with an attractive bit player.
Advice: Prince of Swords
POSITIONAL (MAIN) MEANING
The card in the Advice position suggests a course of action which will harmonize what you want with what is currently possible.
The Knight of Swords in this position advises you to remain open to conflicting ideas instead of surrounding yourself exclusively with people who agree with you. This knight is most effective when testing his ideas in a debate. Emulate his ability to communicate successfully by keeping your conversations impersonal and humorous so no hurt feelings are provoked.
Practice your negotiation skills so you will be in shape for imminent diplomatic challenges as they arise. A sparring partner could help you learn to control impulsive comments and stem your urge to be right at the expense of others being wrong.
Long-term Potential: Queen of Wands
POSITIONAL (MAIN) MEANING
The card in the Long-term Potential position points to unknowns still taking shape. It is the “wild card” yet to be played.
The Queen of Wands in this position suggests bright prospects. Your record of achievements is enough to advance you beyond your peers, inevitably attracting the attention of your superiors.
This can be both a blessing and a challenge — because it is as easy for a person to feel threatened by your considerable competence as it is for them to admire you. But love you or hate you, they need someone like you. Your style of practical hands-on leadership is essential to the success of any project.
I’ve added two more affirmations to my daily routine:
I respect myself unconditionally right now
I am intending vibrant health.
I felt moved to add both from reading Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, which, if you’re sick of hearing about, you’ll be happy to know that I finished reading it today and probably won’t be quoting from it any more. On the other hand, if you liked what you’ve read from/heard about it, I suggest you pick up your own copy. It’s a very powerful book.
Overcome any bitterness that may have come to you because you were not up to the magnitude of the pain that was entrusted to you.
Like the mother of the world who carries the pain of the world in her heart, each one of us is part of her heart and therfore endowed with a certain measure of cosmic pain. You are sharing in the totality of that pain.
You are called upon to meet it in joy instead of self-pity. The secret is to offer your heart as a vehicle to transform cosmic suffering into joy.
- Sufi saying
(Image from GreatGoddessTemple.com)
I just finished reading Truth or Dare: Encounters with Power, Authority and Mystery the other day. I highly recommend it to everyone, but the reason I bring it up today is because in it Starhawk suggests an exercise that I finally attempted this morning: writing one’s personal mythology.
Here’s what I came up with:
The Myth of May
There once was a girl, but she was Troubled and her family was afraid of her. She was afraid of them too and she ran away to the Cold East. But the Wind was like ice cutting through her, leeching at her memory, personality. And she wandered across the country to the Golden West as if a ghost. She needed someone to name her True Name, but she was a stranger. Then, one day, a Raven passing over head dropped a stone into her lap as she lay reclining against a tree. She smiled, cupping it in her hands and as she washed it in the nearby stream, the bubbling seemed to form her name and suddenly she knew who she was again. Returning home to the Great Plains, she found that the plants adorning the front garden had completely grown over, choking the house. But the Sky and the Land remembered her and embraced her and she danced between them in joy.
A few nights ago I was half awake when I had a dream: I was being chased around what might have been a submarine by something that I couldn’t see. The fear I felt is the fear I associate with being around my parents. In my dream I didn’t have any means of protecting myself against this imminent threat except throwing pieces of paper with the word “no” written on them, and hoping that would make them go away. But then I stopped running, turned around and saw nothing but the pieces of paper behind me.
I knew then that it was a symbol that I wasn’t going to let my parents get to me like they’ve been able to my whole life. The litmus test was getting 3 emails from my mother early this week, which normally would have sent me into an emotional tailspin. Instead, I had absolutely no emotional reaction. This is a major personal miracle.
YOU’RE INVITED by June Holte to
Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream Symposium
DECEMBER 29, 10-5
I realize this is a bit belated, but I didn’t want to break up my excerpt sequence last week. Anyway, I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I had to endorse Karen Bishop‘s What’s Up on Planet Earth update again because I am finding it to be so comforting. This last update in particular, because it seems to be addressed directly to me. So much of what she is saying directly applies! Here is a segment from her latest update (I’ve bolded the parts I strongly relate to):
2007 was a rocky and challenging year for many…especially the latter six month period after the solstice. And now, another solstice is due to arrive, marking the final point of this deep transitional and preparatory period.
This deep period of excavation that lasted for so many months was vitally necessary to our spiritual evolutionary process, as it prepared us for the next level of spiritual hierarchy. And the best is yet to come…we have been preparing for it! Higher vibrating key concepts and ways of being were integrated within us, notably: learning and experiencing how to stay still and in our center and how to harmonize with the energy of community.
When we first arrive in a higher dimension or higher vibrating energy, it feels glorious at first, as all our needs seem to be met and we seem to be able to create much of anything instantly. As time progresses, we find ourselves aligning with these newer higher realms, and this always involves a clearing and purging of any energies or patterns within and without which no longer match our new surrounding vibration. So we first feel great and then we feel not so great.
And as complicated as it may seem, our outside vibration does not dictate our inside vibration alone. How we vibrate on the inside, also dictates what occurs in our outside reality. So then, creation and evolution is always a two edged process. It comes from the outside and it comes from the inside, culminating in an alignment and burst of creation and change, similar to the big bang theory.
This process can create some confusion, chaos, and what may seem at times, an unending roller coaster ride. We adjust our vibration within, through clearing and letting go of lower vibrating energies (which is initiated by the newly arriving outside energies!), and then the outside reality feels downright unpleasant to be in, at times causing depression and anxiety, and always, that no sense of place feeling. This is because the outside physical manifestations no longer fit our new inside vibrations.
Add to this the waiting times, as we need to wait for a critical mass to catch up, in order to arrive at that culmination point for creating new in the physical, and this results in the wading through quicksand experience, the lethargy, and the lack of passion. All are typical ascension experiences.
And in addition, it seems that some of our beloved animal companions seem to choose to depart the earth plane as well during these deep transitional times, as they have chosen not to continue on to the next plateau.
So then, how does all this relate to where we are now? We are most certainly moving up the rungs of the ascension ladder, piece by piece, and experience by experience. Currently, we have reached a new level, and this involves the level of living in unity and within community. This new level, as with all levels, also connects us more fully with Source, or our souls, and this then, has most recently created the adjustments involving being still and staying in our center.
Having a physical ailment or injury forces us to stay down, and thus creates a situation where we must get out of the way, allowing Source to enter more fully. Do you remember in months past when some of us re-visited an old injury or physical malady that lasted several weeks? This was why. If the right side of your body is continually aching, stiff, or uncomfortable, or even if you experience injuries on your right side only, your soul is making an attempt at re-aligning you with Source. [Note: This knowledge in general is very encouraging to me... my right leg is shorter than my left which causes all sorts of weird pain to it, but only sometimes. It makes me feel like I can reclaim this 'gimpiness' as a power source (kinda) now.] Making things happen by ourselves is not the way in the higher realms. It is Source who does it all (or our souls), and this can readily happen when the lower vibrating aspects of ourselves are out of the way. Injuries or discomfort on the right side of our bodies indicates an over-use of the old masculine.
We are needing to evolve from the old male identity on the planet, to the new identity embodying much more of the feminine. (None of this is new news to most of you, just a recap here to assist in explaining our current status.) And the feminine is needing an adjustment as well. We are learning the true and higher ways of giving, supporting, allowing, and receiving. All these adjustments within involve a way of staying still, in our center, not extending, not doing it all, and the like. When we are present and still, Source can then find us and we are then within a portal or an alignment with the higher realms. And this is where true creating occurs.
Living in communities? We have just gone through a massive clearing of arrogance. This created a need to really look at ourselves, what our patterns were which might have involved a disrespect for others, or any dominance, etc. and a special time to fully examine how we had been vibrating even though we may not have know that we needed to adjust a thing within ourselves. We may not have seen our patterns before, but now this light has illuminated much. It was grand opportunity indeed. And know as well, that some of our old patterns were necessary in order to survive on a planet that was vibrating in a much lower and denser way.
Living in community involves a special harmony. We each have a special gift and contribution to make, and we are now finding that even though we may indeed embody our gift right now, we need not be utilizing it 24/7. If we do, we are then over-using our gift, and being “on” 24/7 creates a separation from the whole. It was meant that we enjoy ourselves the remainder of the time…we make our contribution, we create according to who we are and what we are here to contribute, and then we enjoy ourselves with the remainder of the whole.
So then, for the past several months we have been preparing for what is due to arrive in January. I cannot emphasize this enough….January will bring in the new in a very solid and grounded way. Things will be oh so much better, and really take off for us. 2008 will be the year of new beginnings, and in order to utilize them and be ready for them, we had to be in alignment with them, and thus, this phase of deep preparation for the past several months.
Solstices involve going deep. The days and nights are not equal. This creates the excavating energy. Equinoxes involve moving forward, and reaping the rewards we have generated. Phil and I are finding most certainly now, through our work and observations at the ancient sites, along with our communications with the ancient ones, that the ancients were very aware of these fluctuations and timelines, and their inherent purposes. So even if these patterns were not evident through experiencing the energies alone, they would be known by observing the petroglyphs and occurrences at the ancient sites.
For the past several weeks, there has been massive darkness on the planet. Horror, creepiness, and a vulnerability could be felt (especially if you are a sensitive one). This is because much is being excavated and is up and out, right in our faces. This phase also creates a feeling of no sense of place, as we do not belong anywhere right now. We may feel displaced, not know where in the world to go now, and feeling grossly insecure. It may feel as if there is nowhere left to go. And who wants to land somewhere when most of everything feels dark and creepy? This temporary darkness can also cloud any judgments or clarity we may desire. It can be difficult to make decisions, when we are not sure what the darkness is indicating.
When the darkness occurs, though a massive purging like this one, it seems this is all we can see. We are thus looking through a filter that is not real.
Know that there is an end to this phase, and very soon. We will again find home. We will again see beauty. We will again feel good. We will again experience caring, love, and a feeling of home and unity. It is this that we have been preparing for. We needed to be in alignment with these higher vibrating things before we could embody and experience them, and they will be arriving for us in January.
January will be huge. It will be solid. It will be real. It will be like a massive bulldozer moving us forward…not excavating this time, but moving us into and supporting us in our new spaces and in our new endeavors.
The last few pieces are now being wrapped up. These involve the solstice of the 21st (some say the 22nd, but Phil and I are finding that it greatly depends upon where you reside on the planet anyway), and the portal of December 12, or 12/12.
12/12 will open us to opportunities. It will re-validate what we have been wanting to create. It will align us with higher intentions and with our soul’s direction. It will re-connect us. Do we need to intentionally do anything on this date? My stance has always been “no.” Things will just happen naturally. On the 12th, you may find that things seem to be falling into place all of the sudden. You may find that situations seem to be resolved. You may feel lighter. You may get clarity.
“Why do you tell of the 12/12 portal on the exact day and not before, so that we can prepare?” you might wonder in annoyance. It is because I don’t think it really matters. Things always occur very naturally…we need not force them or make them happen. And in addition, there is always a window of energy around every alignment. If we wish, we can write down what we wish to create for our futures on this day, or near this day. But our souls know what is in store for us. It is always there, hidden away, ready to be hatched, even though we may not always be consciously aware.
If we can place ourselves in a space of relaxation, joy, creativity, simplicity, and happiness, all things align very naturally. In this way, intentional ceremony is not necessary either. Just allowing is enough. When Phil and I stand at pivotal points in ancient ruins at solstice and equinox times, we can feel the alignments and the portal openings. They all occur very naturally. And the alignments know what our soul’s intentions are…they only serve to open them more fully.
In the last energy alert of December 2, I spoke of a high energy pyramid hidden beneath the earth in the area we just moved to. This pyramid will open when the surrounding energies begin to vibrate at a certain pitch, or when the inhabitants of this area begin to embody these higher energies. In this way, an activation occurs very naturally. We need not intentionally activate a thing. If we did, the very thing we were trying to activate would hold a higher vibration for a short while, and then most likely not be able to maintain it. Not really doing things intentionally is part of clearing the arrogance.
As we begin to vibrate higher, most things come from an intent of love and caring, or joy and passion, and that alone places us in alignment with the higher realms. It is always the emotion behind the creation that fuels it’s ultimate destination.
Again, staying still, not reaching or trying, not extending, but creating in our joy, loving and being in the moment, and just being who we are, are all that is necessary for aligning with the higher realms. If we can maintain this state as much as possible, while not taking things personally or being affected and reacting to outside energies, we can much more easily go through the doorway to another dimension.
So as we complete this very last phase of preparation and alignment within ourselves, we can rest assured that a very new reality is on the very near horizon.
The last in a series of posts from Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing by Christiane Northrup, M.D., Chapter 12: ‘Pregnancy and Birthing.’
Reclaiming Birth Power Collectively
“Imagine what might happen if the majority of women emerged from their labor beds with a renewed sense of the strength and power of their bodies, and of their capacity for ecstasy through giving birth. When enough women realize that birth is a time of great opportunity to get in touch with their true power, and when they are willing to assume responsibility for this, we will reclaim the power of birth and help move technology where it belongs – in the service of birthing women, not as their master.
“For many women, having a baby is their first experience of being connected with other women and with their vast creativity. It has the potential to transform the ways in which we think about ourselves. As one patient said to me, ‘I felt at one with every woman who ever gave birth. I felt powerful and in touch with something within me that I never knew was there. I took my place among the lineage of women as mothers.’”
From Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing by Christiane Northrup, M.D., Chapter 12: ‘Pregnancy and Birthing,’ this section is the one I referred to in my post last weekend.
Amanda’s Story: A Home Birth
“Bethany also attended a birth in which one of her patients went further into herself than either of us had known it was possible to go. Amanda’s first baby had been delivered by Bethany by cesarean section. ‘I thought we had done everything right,’ Bethany says. ‘She had been healthy, confident, and wanted a normal birth, including labor without anesthesia. She had labor support, family, and friends. Though it seemed perfect, the baby simply wouldn’t come. We did everything I knew to do, which at that time was not a lot. I finally did a cesarean.’
“With her second pregnancy Amanda returned to Bethany’s care and said, ‘I want to have a normal birth this time.’ Bethany agreed and told her that she thought that was entirely possible. The owmen who are most motivated to give birth normally are those who did not succeed in doing so with their first child but hadn’t lost the desire to try. Amanda also did not want to have her second baby the hospital, because she felt that the hospital environment had been part of the problem the first time. Instead, she would have it at home.
Strong Labour © Marcia May
“For years I’ve always had a special place in my heart for those women who choose home birth. The reason for this is that these women trust themselves more than doctors and hospitals. Though they sometimes make mistakes, they have something to teach us. My sister had a home birth, and I wish I had had at least one child at home. Though I left the hospital right after both my children were born and neither of them went to the nursery, I would still have liked the experience of waking up in labor and not having to get into the car and go someplace. Both times it felt like a very unnatural interruption of my process.
“Though Amanda wanted Bethany there, Bethany does not do home births. Finally they reached a compromise, Bethany would be there only as a labor support person, and Amanda herself would hire the best midwife she could find. For an OB/GYN to do a home birth is politically very unsafe. Many hospitals will not allow physicians who do home births to have hospital privileges, and most malpractice insurance companies won’t insure such physicians. (Many physicians even consider home birth to be “child abuse” because of the potential risks associated with childbirth.) But Amanda was determined to have Bethany present, and Bethany was interested in supporting her, as long as she wasn’t responsible for being the caregiver.
“Long discussions intervened, regarding risks, uterine rupture, fetal compromise, their liklihood, and what Bethany could and could not do if these problems happened at home. Ultimately, Amanda convinced Bethany that she herself was in charge of the safety of her baby and the integrity of her uterus, and that if she felt she could not do this job, she would let Bethany know and they would all go to the hospital.
“The day of Amanda’s deliver came. Her early labor was long and painful, but she didn’t call anyone. When she finally invited her caregivers to join her, they found Amanda in the rocker. ‘I feel so great,’ she said in one breath. And with the next she said, ‘The pain was so bad this afternoon, I thought I would die.’ Bethany later told me, ‘I didn’t know how to put those two statements together.’ As the birth neared, Amanda lay on her king-size bed on her side. ‘As we tried to keep up with her,’ Bethany told me, ‘she circled the bed. Her head remained in the center, and her feet made a full curcuit around the bed twice, a maneuver that I had not seen before in the hospital. It was very primitive. Though it was not clear to me what it represented, I trusted her need to move in this wa as part of her unique birth process.
“There was little talk. Amanda said nothing and made little noise. She pushed her baby out on hands and knees and then kneeled over her. She was somewhere else. We were all commenting on the baby, but she was not looking at her infant. Her body was in a pose of ecstasy. When spoken to, she did not respond. For a moment I was frightened that she might not come back from wherever she was. Then she looked down at her infant and slowly came back into her body – or was it back out of her body?
“Bethany took a picture of Amanda in that ecstatic state, and she showed it at a recent medical meeting in which we both lectured on women’s health. From this and from reading Vicki Noble’s Shakti Woman I learned that Amanda’s experience of exstasy is potentially available to all women at birth. Since then, I have talked at length with some of my patients who have had home births. One recently told me that during her home birth she ‘left her body’ and became an eagle flying high overhead. She experienced no pain. She had never told anyone about this. From that moment on, however, she trusted her body completely.
Radiance © Marcia May
“Women have learned collectively, though not necessarily consciously, to fear the birth experience, and from every obstacle has been put in our collective paths to keep us from experiencing this power. But as Bethany says, ‘This kind of birth is possible in many environments. It requires a mother who trusts her body and is connected to all of its parts. She must love and want her baby. She must understand that birth is a sexual event and be comfortable with her sexuality. She must feel safe. She needs to know that the people around her accept her body and the sexual nature of what she is doing and are not embarrassed by it and will not interfere with the process. She needs to know that she can go down inside nad come back safely. If she has never been there before, she needs the grounding love of family and friends who will, if needed, call her back.
“Those women who have already had babies in standard ways should understand that they are not responsible for what they didn’t know at the time. I was born drugged, as were all my brothers and sisters. Though we were breast-fed, we were still left in the hospital’s nursery for hours while my mother woke up. This isn’t the way she wanted it, but she didn’t know she had a choice.
“Remember that being responsible simply means ‘being able to respond.’ No one is guaranteed a perfect birth. In fact, the concept of a perfect birth is part of the perfectionism of the addictive system. Sometimes a baby needs to be observed in the nursery right after birth. Sometimes an emergency cesarean is necessary. When this happens, it is not a failure on the woman’s part. She is only one part of a complex and mysterious process. The baby herself (or himself) is also an active participant in the labor process. Each baby makes a unique contribution to her mother’s pregnancy, labor and delivery. We can always learn something from it and use the experience for personal growth. But whatever happens, parents should be involed as much as possible, at all stages of pregnancy, labor, and delivery. They need to understand that their input is very important to their baby’s health.”
Images from sheilakitzinger.com