Letting change unfold is a tricky business in this driver survivor culture. For some reason we have gotten caught up in believing if it’s going to be it’s up to you to make it happen. This is not quite true. If it’s going to be, find the best things about where you are right now, feel good right now, and then you will be inspired to take action.
Think about it, how many of the best things in your life happened by more of a chance set of circumstances than sheer willpower? Look at your best relationships, jobs, health and hobbies and unwind the path that led you to them; usually it doesn’t match with any plan you had or particular effort you’d put in that direction.
While this only just seems to be sinking in for me, it struck me this week that I had been taught this lesson in spades a few years ago in one of the most common situations on this planet – birthing a child.
Something crucial to know about birthing, is only to push when you feel the urge, because pushing too early creates distress and resistance, it creates more problems than it solves, babies come when they are ready.
This is exactly true for any change you want to create. Yet I think my own story speaks well to the reason that I believe we have stopped listening to our inner knowing that things will unfold naturally for any change we are seeking – fear.
My template for birthing a child was that you felt pain, got an epidural (why wouldn’t you?) and semi sat up in a hospital bed while pushing out a baby – which looked sore. Of course there was also the horrifying chance of emptying your bowels at the same time. In all, not a process anyone birthing is looking forward to.
The same can be said of dating, losing weight, job seeking, and so on, there are always the horror stories and the terrifying chances that we could fail, be unworthy or look silly.
So when it came to actually birthing, I just couldn’t draw enough oxygen through the mask every time a contraction came (or get it back off my partner quickly enough!) to keep my breathing deep and calm. That said, I felt like a trouper 24 hours into the labour, doing it the natural way. After a few more hours though, when there was little progress, I decided enough was enough and wanted to get an ambulance to take me to the hospital for an epidural.
The admiral state of deliberate calm quickly dissipated at that point, knowing the epidural would take away the pain. However, 3 hours later once the ambulance finally came (yes it took 3 long hours), I was a crazy, screaming shadow of my former self and sounded like cow in distress. 13 hours later, my beautiful daughter arrived after much pushing, although I was numb to it all.
After that experience I was determined to base myself at the hospital for delivery number two, with an intention to deliver naturally if I could stand it (ultimately because it’s better for you and baby, not because I’m a masochist). Interestingly the labour went from ‘early labour’ to almost ready to deliver surprisingly quickly, the midwife was taken aback when she checked on me and declared there was no time to get to the hospital, not good news to the half-crazed lady who had called her over (me).
What she did next changed both the momentum of that labour and, in retrospect, taught me a valuable life lesson. She physically grabbed my hips and showed me how to rock them through each labour pain, sternly talked me through my breathing and trained me to be completely present to the moment. I somehow transcended the horror of it all, just focusing on being completely there in my body, following my breath and the rhythm of the contraction, allowing things to naturally unfold.
7 hours later… through the mists of the world I had transcended into, the midwife was asking me to push. I didn’t feel any urge to push, but then I didn’t know what the urge felt like because I’d been numbed by my epidural first time around, so I obeyed because I thought she knew more than I did about what was happening.
It was a painful experience. Then came the very words that kicked everything into action “we need to get her to the hospital” (my daughter was coming out superman-style with one arm up, likely saying “wait, I’m not quite ready”).
Hearing those words mustered a visceral response, after the previous horrific ambulance experience. All at once I felt a convulsion pass through my body and out came my beautiful daughter. Now I really understood what ‘the urge to push’ felt like, what inspired action feels like, it was so much easier than all that damaging, resistant, pushing.
In that moment I remember pondering the irony of finally learning how to birth a baby, by simply feeling as good as I could in the moment and being the vessel through which it gets born, while simultaneously thinking “I NEVER HAVE TO DO THIS AGAIN”.
That experience though had so much teach me about the process of all creation, not just of babies, but of everything we can imagine from our health, careers, relationships and everything in between.
If you’ve never thought about it in this way I’d start with something small and inconsequential, maybe that you’d like a coffee. Think about that coffee and savour the thought. Without going through your normal process of getting it, go do something else you enjoy, distract yourself totally and then watch how it shows up in your life.
Whatever you desire, big or small, easing it into your life, rather than pushing against it, begins with being present, in tune with yourself, and taking control of feeling good. If you don’t believe me, try it.
This article was originally published on LinkedIn.
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/46673620@N02/19879178319">Dry Before You Can Fly</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">(license)</a>
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