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40 Days of Paradox

Unmedicated Birth was raw, rough and yet grounded and beautiful.

I have felt love that could lift a car and sadness that could fill a river.

I’ve experienced pain through the same area of my body that had always given me pleasure.

I’ve lost track of time and yet keep checking the clock.

I’ve inhaled joy through the top of her head and gagged through her bottom.

I keep thinking there is nowhere I rather be and nobody I would rather be doing it with and yet some days all I can think about is when I will be able to leave.

I don’t feel like I lost anything but nothing feels the same.

My body weight is almost the same but my body is completely different.

Almost every night I have a nightmare of falling asleep while breastfeeding and not finding her and in the mornings I live the dream of watching her smile or cry….

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A Motherhood Manifesto  

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It’s scary shit to become a Mother- no operation instructions included. All our vulnerabilities, fears and traumas rise to the surface and the gap between who we were, who we think we would be and who we are might be bigger than we imagined.

I’m on week 38 of my pregnancy one of the stages in my life I have enjoyed the most (I feel like a unicorn, a really pregnant unicorn) and so many people ask me “are you ready?” If the question where “do you have all the material things in line?” my answer would be “probably and I can Amazon Prime the rest” but “are you ready?” how can you ever be truly ready for the unknown? By being completely open I guess would be the right answer.

But I made myself a list of reminders because that is what I do when I need to feel a little more control over what is to come. A list that will probably change with time. One that I might look back and laugh at or one that I might print and have on my nightstand. I’m not sure.

 

  • I am enough and whole exactly as I am.

  • Say Yes to Help and then let go of the expectations of how that help needs to be.

  • Build a Tribe that makes you feel loved and supported (Even if you have to pay for a portion of it)

  • You will feel guilt, shame and regret. Learn from it but mostly be Kind to yourself. You are doing the best you can and that is good enough even when it doesn’t feel like it.

  • Your husband is doing the best he knows how. Even if that doesn’t ever feel like enough. Treat your relationship like the foundation on which you will balance and juggle. Be gentle with your words and show love through your eyes.  

  • Every stage will bring a challenge and a blessing. Focus on the blessing.

  • You will shed skin like a snake. Give it time to get comfortable in this new skin and pay attention to the relationships that matter.Mostly the relationship with yourself.  

  • Teach from a place of love not fear. Less with words and more by example. Learn from a place of openness and curiosity.

  • Relax into it. Even if it feels like you are relaxing into a prickly cactus. The more calm you bring to the table, the more calm you will eat.

  • When you look at your body think about it like a Miracle making Space Suit that you are living in. And the way you talk to it and treat it will probably be how your daughter talks and treats her body.

  • It’s ok to lose your shit. It’s ok to cry. It’s ok to not feel ok. Welcome all of it.

  • Practice deep gratitude. Long Inhales. Slow exhales.  

  • This is a separate little person. Don’t take her cries, words or actions too personally.

  • Carve your own path into motherhood. Only you get to decide what that looks and feels like.

  • When you feel like you are drowning. Go out in nature, Play your favorite song, Dance, Jump, Scream to the top of your lungs, shake, take a bath, massage your whole body with oil, meditate, paint, journal, bake, pray, cry…..

  • Comparing and Judging will make you miserable.

  • Fear mixes really well with Faith. In other words “Let go and Let God”  

 

 

 

 

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Happiness Threshold

“You need to increase your happiness threshold,” my Acupuncturist said to me as she poked me with a tiny needle that made me feel like she was stabbing me with a knife. I actually go to her because I love talking to her. If I got it my way I would skip the needles lay on my back and talk.

I don’t consider myself a pessimist but I must admit that I have trouble being fully happy. I always look for the broken piece. A part of me believes it’s due to the fact that I’ve never trusted people that make their life sound like they have it all together and another part of it is I’m afraid of the impermanence of happiness. It’s as if I’m always slightly prepared for chaos and that gives me a false sense of security. This was one of the reasons why finding a partner became so hard for me. I kept pushing away the good guys because I was afraid of losing them.

This might not make sense to most of you. You might be logically thinking “well why not enjoy it while it lasts?” Because after much thought on this subject I came to the conclusion that happiness along with any other emotion requires us to be completely vulnerable. The only way to fully experience our lives and stop hiding from them is by being remarkably open and curious to what is showing up. Some of us are more used to the language of fear and some people can only relate to happiness. But wherever you fall under this spectrum the only way not to be dragged and drained by life is by saying YES to whatever shows up.

Yes to happiness, yes to pain, yes to the good, yes to the bad, yes to anxiety, fear, and depression, yes to love kindness and compassion. You can’t pick and choose there needs to be a full embrace of the whole spectrum of emotions. That is how you find your wholeness. It’s as if you open your house to every homeless on the street and instead of just approaching the ones that feel familiar you simply let them all come and go without judgment.

I never thought that saying yes to happiness could be hard. Isn’t that what we all strive for? Don’t we all want to be happy? Well apparently some of us need to learn to embrace it. What feeling or emotion do you have a hard time opening up to?

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Just people

Something shifts when you stop looking at people for the roles they play in your life: mother, father, daughter, boyfriend, girlfriend, sister, friend, mother in law. Something happens when you remove the expectations of what those roles are supposed to look like and you simply look at them as people.

People that have traumas, ignorance and dramas running through their heads at all time. People made of flesh and bones that have probably been hurt in places we don’t know. People with good and bad, fears and hopes, kindness and sadness….

When we decide to remove ourselves from how their attitudes, words and decisions affect us and are able to look at them. Even for a second, to truly look at them without judgment. With compassion. With an open heart. To be in there shoes and when we see them recognize a tiny bit of ourselves.

In Judaism when you get married you pronounce the words Ani LeDodi VeDodi Li it translates as “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine,” my interpretation of those words is- in you there is a part of me and in me there is a part of you. We are not separate. What if we can see this in every relationship we encounter? What if we can see the humanity in everybody?  

Holiday season is the perfect time of the year to practice this.

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Healing

For the last couple of weeks, maybe months I have been waking up between 3:30-5am staying in bed tossing and turning (thank you hormones) eventually giving up, going downstairs and sitting down to meditate. There is something very special about meditating at that time. It’s as if only me and nature are awake (maybe a couple other people with insomnia). I have witnessed shooting stars, a raccoon that could eat my cat for breakfast and a skunk whose smell has penetrated my brain.

Recently my meditations had been what you could consider “uneventful” thinking, coming back to my breath, thinking, coming back to my breath, a glimpse of insight, coming back to my breath….. But the other day a memory kept showing up as an image in my mind- I was 17 hanging out at a friend’s house when I decided to place a Christmas Sphere on my mouth thinking it would be hilarious. Instead, it completely shattered inside my mouth (on my defense I didn’t grow up with a Christmas tree and had no idea how sensitive those spheres were)

As this random image showed up I asked myself “What needs my attention?” “What needs healing?” I placed my hand in my heart and asked “What can I do for you?” and I sensed myself at 17. This girl who was the life of the party, who acted so strong and confident but deep in her eyes was a shame a sense of loneliness, of not belonging anywhere. She was her own mother and father.

I sat with her. I felt what she felt at the time. As I write this I can still feel her. I hugged her and started to rock her “I’m here for you,” I said. “I’ve always been here for you” “you will make it through” I started to sob because cry would be an understatement. Until we stopped. As if the pain was being washed away. As if space was being created inside me for her to live.

Healing takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight but it starts with our attention. When we are ready to stop looking for the answers, apologizes and forgiveness from others and we are ready to start having the conversations with the parts of ourselves that have been hurt and shamed. When we can be vulnerable and compassionate at the same time for the people that hurt us and the versions of ourselves that came before us and for the “us” that carries them with us all along.

It’s not the first time I experience talking to parts of myself that seem to live in the shadows and I’m sure it’s not the last time. Trauma gets trapped in our bodies even if our minds are not aware. I wrote about the lenses we use not long ago and I believe this is how we peel some of the layers. Talking to a therapist or booking a session with me might also help :)

So we stop experiencing the world from our distorted (hurt) perspective.

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