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The Path-working of Pregnancy

“I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born. ”
~ Henry David Thoreau, 19th-century Writer, Naturalist & Philosopher

Spirit Mother

And, with hand on my heart, I reemerge from human creation to bring forth this other brief creation…

It has been several months since any new articles have been appearing here on Awaken Light and I have finally stepped into the daylight to birth this story for you today.

My absence has been both spiritually and physically prescribed for me by the universe. My beloved soul mate, Serge, and I are, at present, expecting our first child. A miraculous turn-of-events and a unique shift in his, and my, daily focus.

The metamorphosis going on within my body has drawn all of my energy and attention for many months now. All spiritual pursuits have been swept aside and my grasp on myself has been necessarily loosened. The gauntlet has been thrown down that has challenged us both to simply allow and embrace, as change and beauty have taken on different meanings in our lives, day by day.

Though some of my spiritually-minded, health conscious friends have managed to keep up with these ideals during pregnancy, I myself cannot imagine yoga or meditation in the same light at the present moment. What inspires me has become much more simple than that. Peaceful morning mist on the seashore, a hearty home-cooked meal, the words of ancient poets and the sound of a baby’s heartbeat. These are the keys to my heart while in pregnancy. Some may call it mundane, but I see it as a different form of the One divine.

Of course, there is certainly nothing mundane about two souls mingling their energies in loving creation and then inviting another divine spirit to inhabit that creation. It is, however, a very physical process. It can remove one, somewhat involuntarily, from dwelling on the spiritual mysteries of life and ground you sharply in physicality, at least for a time.

When I look upon this process with awareness and non-judgement I can see its mechanisms more clearly. For the one carrying the child, and I think for the fathering partner as well, it is a path-working, a catharsis, requiring reassessment of both self and selflessness. The shamans would recognize it as a meeting with inner truth.

As you grapple with this life-changing event, you begin to assess your own childhood, your experiences with children, how you became the adult that you are, and also what you still wish to achieve in life. This is deep and penetrating work, not to be tackled by the faint-hearted. At the same time you are forced to assess very mundane realities such as finances, living arrangements, time management, medical insurance and any number of other real world concerns. Some of these things will require attention and drastic change in the coming weeks and months.

Meanwhile, inside the womb, the baby is taking all that it can from the mother, in terms of energy, nutrients, etc… What mattered to Mom before may be of little consequence during the growth phases of pregnancy. Friends and family may find this hard to absorb, but so does Mom. Certainly her diet, physical and spiritual states are very important for herself and the growing baby. But if this was a main focus before pregnancy, she may feel unable or unwilling to pay attention to it now. Or, if work, business, socializing, crafting, gardening or other such pursuits were her mainstay beforehand, she may now become much more insular, preferring to focus on walking, reading, cooking, planning and other new pursuits.

A woman in transition from maidenhood to motherhood is not a predictable element, because in essence she is no longer the same person. She is becoming herself, all over again.

I have found that, during this pregnancy, I am still willing and able to do some of the spiritual things that took up much of my life before, but that I am drawing within much more. I only feel comfortable carrying on channeling or meditation for myself, by myself, or perhaps just a few family members and friends.

I feel certain that this is more of a learning phase than a permanent change. A woman entering motherhood must learn how to prioritize and how to focus first on the home sphere if she is to maintain a happy relationship with her partner and to also raise a child who feels that they are loved and appreciated and who feels confident in asserting themselves in the home environment.

Talking to other pregnant friends and to loved ones who have recently become mothers, I see two distinct mindframes at work. The one says that becoming a parent is hard work, an inconvenience, something that they wish they could undo. The other takes in stride both the pregnancy and the changes that occur in life after birth, embracing and allowing the child-rearing to become a positive life shift. I don’t judge these sentiments, as I can see arguments on both sides of the case, depending on your point-of-view.

I do not know where I presently, or will later, fall on this scale. I know that the “aches and pains” of pregnancy have not really been that for me. I see how nature carries out its cycles effortlessly and how one need only “go with the flow” to have a joyful and exciting experience along the way. My plans for the future have changed, but not dramatically. Writing, channeling, teaching and simplifying are all still major aspects of the life I am building.

On this inward journey I have reassessed my relationship with myself, and am still drawing conclusions there. I have reassessed my relationship with the past and now see it for the abstract thing that it is, meaning it is no longer happening to me over-and-over again in my head. I have reassessed my relationship with other women and discovered that my being particular about who I surround myself with is, indeed, the right thing for my spirt and my family. In short, the path-working has been both troubling and freeing and I feel a much more personal understanding of why the drab-looking cocoon is required before the world can be beautified by the butterfly.

At the same time that I, myself, have been experiencing a downshift in my normal spiritual and worldly pursuits, I have felt a definite upswing in other abilities and interests. The deepening of empathy in pregnancy has been one of the most surprising things to me. One’s connection to all life becomes much more obvious. For me, it resulted in extreme levels of sensitivity to pain and suffering. (Even more sensitive than I was to begin with…which is quite a bit.)

I can no longer watch movies or news programs that gave me no trouble before. Any form of emotional upset, either real or pretend, on the part of other people, has become so deeply scarring that I have to turn away, even from relatively innocuos things such as teeny-bopper movies and political commentary shows. Once you begin walking the path toward motherhood, you can see that any child could be your child, any creation your creation. You wouldn’t want them to suffer and thinking of it pains your heart.

Likewise, as your pregnancy carries onward and you see (3-D ultrasounds are miraculous) or feel your baby for the first time, you might begin to equate yourself with the Earth, or the Universe. It is a fitting metaphor and no doubt intentional on the part of the Creators. Inside of you, where all the the water and nutrients that you take in dwell, you are creating an unseen future life. It will grow and change, all within a dark, wet, warm and stable world. But, when the time is right, just like the seedling below ground, it will emerge from that reality into the opposite world. Once it comes into this bright, dry, cool and changeable world, it cannot go back. All creation must always move forward, and you are the one on whom it will rely for safety, love and sustenance. Each woman who gives birth comes to know the position of the life-giving Mother Earth.

Thus, among other things, I have become so very tied to nature and her generously provided resources. What I have come to know for myself is that working with nature, whether it be through gardening, hiking, cooking, camping, ecology, is essential to a human being’s sense of peace, calm and well-being. One day spent in silence by a lakeshore can erase months of stress and toil in a big city office. We have all the we need, but we have forgotten the difference between need and want.

What I need is calm, quality time with my family. Somehow this is as clear as crystal now. My husband and I can find time everyday to talk to the tummy-dweller and read the same storybook over-and-over, but before I could not make the same five minutes for creating a podcast or cooking a home-made breakfast. I also need to be out in nature, a little bit, every day. Camping, canoeing and walking on beaches have all become a big part of how I see myself when I see a me that is at peace.

What I want is for us all to be forever happy, healthy and in fully-aware love with each other. I also want a 100-acre farmstead, mortgage-free, to write a best seller and to become an Irish citizen some day. Laughable but, easy to simplify…if you get what you need, then not getting what you want is easier to accept. Or as John Lennon said. “All you need is love.”

Will everything, as an adult or as a parent, always work out to my personal benefit? Doubtful.

Will I deal gracefully with any ups and downs that are encountered along the way? Maybe, maybe not.

Will I achieve all that I dream of and make a better life for myself, my husband and children? Hopefully so.

Will birth, whether at home or in the hospital, be as easy as taking a pee. Anything is possible.

What is definite is that I have the greatest of faith in nature, in my body, in love and in my spirit to carry me through and teach me beautiful lessons along the way. Perhaps waiting to know myself before having children has aided in shaping the positive feelings that I have about impending parenthood and will be helpful in the adjustments beyond. I’d like to think so.

  • Simone

    Thank you for sharing your experience during pregnancy. I can totally relate to this as I went through the transformation of pregnancy myself last year. One thing that I found super helpful was meditating and connecting with the being inside of me while doing so, and breathing with the being inside of me. This helped me a lot during labor and delivery. The first few weeks and months are hard times of transition and I was not able to do much of any spiritual practice for a long time, except when my daughter was only a few weeks old, I would put her on my belly and I would breathe and meditate with her. Only now, that my daughter is seven months old, I am starting to get back into my spiritual rhythm ofb practicing reiki on other people and meditating more. Do you connect with your baby through channeling?