The “Negatives” ARE Positive.

How can that be?  Well, because inherently everything is created for your growth, healing and highest good.  What makes the difference between something being “negative” and something being “positive”? It is simply our perception of the experience that makes the difference.  For example, one person may find the laughter of children to be “annoying” and a nuisance getting in the way of their television program, while another perceives the same laughter as a beautiful sound of joy and a reminder of their grandchildren and children.  The only difference is the perception and the choice of how to see and experience it.

The same goes for ALL things.  However, many of us have deeply embedded belief systems that cause us to believe that things are either “good” or “bad” and that there is no other way to see the things we have chosen to be “good” or “bad”, “favorable” or “unfavorable”, “achievable” or “unachievable”, “preferable” or “not preferable”.  It isn’t that we CAN’T see things differently, but rather that we WON’T see them differently.  There is a “payoff” in staying low and being a victim to the world– you get to receive pity from yourself and others, you get to complain all day long about your awful circumstances, if you’re really lucky you get your significant other to dote on you because you’re “in a bad mood” and you get to go off on people and be mean to them simply because YOU “feel bad” (which is your choice).  But in the grand scheme of things, none of this contributes to the actual solving of your perceived problem, in fact it only contributes to the expansion of it. And who decided that your experience was so awful anyway?  Only you.  You did.  And you can also choose to see it differently.

In my own experience, I have learned this many times over.  MANY.TIMES.OVER.  For the majority of my life I was unable to take responsibility for myself and my emotions, and consistently blamed others for how I FELT and experienced the world.  The game of finding something to point a finger at about my “awful” experiences– be it my physical health, my location, other people, what other people said or did, my job– literally ANYTHING other than myself– became normalized for me.  My life was a roller coaster of drama created by my own perceptions and inability to take responsibility. Eventually I realized that only I have power over how I experience my life– no matter what takes place within it.  How did I learn this?

My journey began when the impending dark hole within me was unable to be filled by my constant grasping outside of myself and blame games.  It became increasingly deep and I could no longer ignore the suffering I was experiencing.  By way of what I would call Divinity, or Divine Order, I came into a phase of my life where I learned the psychology of taking responsibility and letting go of the rest– SURRENDER.  A long journey it has been, indeed, but I have never and will never look back.  Beginning with learning the principles of Buddhism and Quantum Physics, I started to see very clearly that the world each of us sees is truly just inside of our heads, and that what we focus on expands.  To make this relational, remember the different reactions to the children laughing– the differences are only inside of our minds– there is nothing more or less real about either of the perceptions except that once we choose them, that is what we see.  This is a scientific and divine law– taught throughout the ages, now backed by evidence-based FACTS.

Accepting this is usually the hardest part.  Mostly because, again, we don’t want to take responsibility and be in control of our lives.  We don’t want to admit to ourselves that the life we’re living is of our making.  But, eventually we have no choice.  Oftentimes people only begin to wake up to this Reality when they literally have no other options– when the hole is so deep and so insurmountable that they no longer can ignore that they are unable to heal it alone.  I went through this myself, as most people do when they reach the turning point in their lives that shifts the perspective from “victim” to “creator/power”.  After discovering Buddhism and Quantum Physics, I discovered A Course In Miracles, which is very similar.  The basis of A Course In Miracles is FORGIVENESS.  We must simply forgive all of our perceptions of things, and in doing so, we become free.

You see, we are not free when we are tied to anything outside of ourselves.  We are a slave to the world if we think anything happening “out there” is going to be the cause of our happiness.  The reality is that we must choose to be happy, and then the outer world will only reflect happiness.  Things may not ever change on the “outside”, but you recognize this world and all that is within it as transient–temporary– and you find peace within your True Self.  Your True Self is the part of you within that is infinite and unchangeable, always there awaiting your rediscovery of it, guiding you to true joy.  Once we are in touch with this True Self, it doesn’t matter what the “outside” stuff looks like.  We no longer wish to control or change anything, but rather to trust and have faith and enjoy the ride.  There is so much FREEDOM in the ability to let go and to choose to be happy NOW.

Why would you suspend your happiness to a later time?  My dear, you want happiness NOW.  I know it, you know it, everyone knows it.  No one wants to wait for happiness, we all would have it right now if it were up to us….  SO GOOD THING IT IS!!!  Your happiness is all up to YOU.  This can be seen as POWERFUL or as fearful.  Maybe you don’t want to take responsibility for your own happiness.  Maybe you were waiting for someone else to bop you on the head with happiness or for some outside event to take place that just magically makes you happy, but that is never going to happen, ever.  You have to do the work yourself, and you have to choose happiness for yourself– in each moment, in each experience, emotion, event and circumstance.  It really doesn’t matter how grave and dire and depressing it seems, your seeing it that way is only your choice. 

The reason it seems so difficult to come to this realization is because we have a part of ourselves that I refer to as the ego.  You may call this what you’d like, but I strongly advise you to acknowledge it’s existence.  It is the part of you that loves feeling bad, that loves judging, being mean and talking about people, that loves to fail and be miserable “OH WOE IS ME”.  Yes, this exists in you and you KNOW it, whether you accept that or not, however, is your choice.  This part of ourselves would like for us to stay under it’s manipulative power more than learning of True Power because once we begin to see True Power, the ego begins to die.  We no longer want to give our energy to suffering and infinite darkness, we would rather experience happiness and joy so we begin to do what it takes to reach that, which threatens the ego’s existence.  This is why it SEEMS so hard to change and grow past old patterns of belief.  The part of yourself that LOVES to suffer does not want you to feel good, so it tries to prevent that by extending “bad moods” and “annoying people and circumstances” to try and enlist a reaction from you and to get you to remain it’s slave.

But as you will begin to see, none of these moods are inherently “bad” and none of these experiences are inherently “annoying”, only your perception of them has created that image for you.  Every single thing that we experience can either be seen in light of growth, expansion and power or in the darkness of victimhood/forcefulness.  When something “undesirable” happens to me, my FIRST reaction is to be upset and play victim, but if I take a moment to step back and see it just a little more clearly I can see that these times are grand opportunities for growth to put these truths into practice.  So, for example, a break up with someone can be seen as total heartbreak and a loss of a will to live (because you put the source of your life/happiness outside of yourself and into the relationship), or it can be seen as an opportunity to learn more about yourself, to grow yourself and learn to love yourself better (because you see the source of your happiness as coming from within and you take responsibility for being happy).  The reason the event takes place is ALWAYS for your Highest Good, ALWAYS.  Even in the event of a loss or a trauma that seems devastating, there is a great OPPORTUNITY to heal and grow through it.

Nothing that we experience is actually “negative”.  All “negatives” are really positives because they are a part of your experience, created to help you evolve and overcome.  What would life be if we never had opportunities to grow and put these lessons into action– to make our dreams (of happiness, peace, love) come true?  How else would we ever do better?  We simply need to trust the process of the events of our lives.  When I dedicated myself to patience, BOY I had a lot of opportunities to practice PATIENCE.  And again when I dedicated myself to unconditional love, I had multitudes of experiences where it would have been so “easy” to hold a grievance instead of forgiving and loving anyway.  And when I committed to peace, I experienced immeasurable opportunities to practice peace.  Through another lens these opportunities could’ve been seen as “doom”.  I could’ve chosen to be victim and to allow the circumstances to control me, but instead I chose power and I learned to control my perception of the circumstances.  With out these experiences, though, I never would have learned ACTUAL patience, ACTUAL unconditional love, and ACTUAL peace, I never would have found ACTUAL happiness.  I simply would have missed the lesson time and time again and maintained a victim consciousness.  Instead, I chose to overcome, and I do so every time something “disturbs my peace”.  I have learned to relish in any opportunity to practice peace, perseverance, faith and love.

If something doesn’t work out the way you envisioned it to, it is simply because there is an outcome more suitable to your happiness to come– something you are unable to see yet because you’re so focused on YOUR idea of how things “should” be.  We can block and limit ourselves by believing only a certain outcome will bring us joy.  Once we open up to ALL possibilities and once we heal old belief systems that are creating unwanted outcomes, we are able to receive the one that is best for us.  We have to be open to seeing the “bigger picture” and to trusting our journey.  This begins with the choice to realize that a simple change in perception is all it takes to see life as a miracle instead of a mess.

Your innermost beliefs are what create your reality, so what are you CHOOSING to believe?  What “negative” circumstances in your life could be seen as wonderful OPPORTUNITIES to heal?  In what ways are you saying “I can’t” when it’s really “I won’t”?  In what areas of your life can you shift your consciousness from apathy, guilt, anger and jealousy and into love, grace, peace and joy?  Forgive yourself for creating a suffering world, and take the power back by choosing to consciously create a happy, loving, peaceful one.

“Loving people live in a loving world.  Hostile people live in a hostile world.  Same world.” -Dr. Wayne Dyer.

What sort of world do you want to live in?

Stay tuned for a follow up blog about HOW TO TURN YOUR NEGATIVES INTO POSITIVES!!!!

Please comment and share your own stories of overcoming “negatives” to see a positive!  What practices do you use to help keep your mind “in check”?  Remember to share this post if you love it!  This practice is SUPER useful during the parenthood journey.  If you or someone you know is looking for more help or guidance on how to thrive along the family journey (from pre-conception to parenthood) please visit http://www.birthpurpose.com to learn more.  And make sure you subscribe to receive practical tips, tricks, meditations and more by entering your email here https://birthpurpose.wordpress.com/contact/ !  Thank you so much for reading.

Love,

Muriel

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UPDATE: New Read Up On the Reading List

414S9bTa4aL._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_“Letting Go: The Pathway Of Surrender” by Dr. David R. Hawkins.  Please enjoy a quick review and recommendation for this book– one of my all-time favorites.  Truly Transformational.  https://birthpurpose.wordpress.com/reading-list/

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Why You Don’t Need To Wait Until It’s “Safe” To Talk About Your Pregnancy

woman-1922353_1920Many women are told not to share their pregnancy news with others until they are “in the clear”– far enough along in pregnancy to be “safe” from the risk of miscarriage (typically after the first trimester, or the first 10-12 weeks of pregnancy).  But why do we feel that talking openly about miscarriage is a “bad” thing?  What is the point of hiding our news?  Is it really all that helpful to us not to have the support of others in the event of a miscarriage?  Is our first trimester of pregnancy not as important as the others?  Do we not need support and guidance early on just the same as we may in the later trimesters?  This practice is old paradigm, built from fear instead of love and it’s time to let it go.

One of my first clients ended up miscarrying in her 16th week of pregnancy.  For those that are unaware, that is past the “safe zone” many women stick to (which takes place around 12 weeks).  The experience of this was transformational both for her, and for me as a doula, because I learned the power and importance of having loving, immense support during the aftermath of such a loss.  I walked into the hospital to see an entire room full of loved ones, all there to support this woman through what felt like a horrible tragedy.  My immediate reaction was to thank every single person in the room for being there to bring laughter and light during what could have been seen as a completely dark and devastating time.  She wasn’t alone when she experienced her loss, and that made so much more sense than a woman going through it alone (or solely with her partner), and her healing began immediately.  Why is it that in the case of a loss in (almost) any other circumstance we would find it completely normal, and likely expected, to have loved ones near to help us cope, but in the case of a miscarriage we think that we should be quiet?

Let’s also discuss how important support during the first trimester is.  A lot of times, the first trimester is very tough for women as their hormones are thrust into new waves and their body begins to grow new life.  These profound changes take place remarkably quick; physical, emotional, spiritual and mental transformations begin the instant you become pregnant.  Why should women have to bare these times alone, or with little help?  Why do we not find support in the early months of pregnancy as important as support when a woman is farther along?  I have news for you, it is VERY important to have support AS SOON AS you become pregnant; the first trimester is not an exception to feeling loved, helped, supported, guided, and cared for.  Your hormones don’t wait until month three to let you know you’re pregnant, your baby doesn’t wait until then to start growing, therefor, there is no need for you to wait to be pregnant or to honor your need for support.

In a previous blog I discussed the importance of choosing who is part of your birthing experience, and emphasized that we must be wise with whom we want to share our news with, and this is really what should be expressed about sharing your news with others.  It is not a bad thing to share your news early on, in fact, you will likely experience a happier, healthier pregnancy by having support from the very beginning, and in the case of a miscarriage you will have a strong support system ready to carry you through.  What you may want to consider, instead, is who you truly believe will provide unconditional love and support, no matter how things play out, and be sure to share your news with those whom you trust.

It is time to put away the need to appear “perfect” by keeping certain things to ourselves.  Here are three solid reasons you should share news of your pregnancy as soon as you conceive:

  1. You deserve support, love and guidance.  Yes, even during your first trimester, if not ESPECIALLY during your first trimester.  I prefer to meet clients as early in pregnancy as possible, because the transformation of pregnancy begins the instant you know that you are carrying life.  The influence of a healthy support system is insurmountable.  The statistics regarding having a doula show that it is incredibly helpful in reducing c-section rates, need for pain medication/epidural, use of episiotomy, reducing the odds of postpartum depression, and helping mothers to feel good about their birthing experiences, but the reality is that having support far before labor begins is even more helpful and transformative.  Pregnancy brings through us new, unknown parts of ourselves and opportunities to grow.  Each pregnancy is different, just as each child is, and therefor, each pregnancy brings through us a different call to grow and transform–new symptoms, feelings/emotions, new ideas and insights, etc.  The first trimester is often a rough time; where the mother is accepting new life into her current world, her body is changing rapidly to accommodate and grow a healthy baby often bringing with it lovely side effects, and she is often balancing other children, work, and life events while these things take place.  It makes a lot of sense to say that women in their first trimester absolutely should share their pregnancy with loved ones who can lend a hand (outside of their partner), and professionals who can make the transition easier.  Being pregnant doesn’t start three months after conception, it begins immediately, and so should your support.
  2. In the event of a miscarriage, you will have a support system that you can depend on, ready to help you begin your healing process, and everyone (even children) can learn through your experience.  As I mentioned earlier, I witnessed this firsthand early on in my career, and I firmly believe that it is imperative to have more than your partner as a support system during such a time.  Everyone grieves differently.  In the case of a miscarriage, the father/partner is typically hurting just as much as the mother, and the both of them need unique support to honor their healing processes.  By allowing people whom you trust to be a part of this experience, you are allowing yourself to be loved, supported and to begin to heal immediately.  Family, friends and your children will truly benefit from being a part of this sort of experience.  Let’s face it, life does not always go as planned, and allowing your experiences of that to be shared in order to help others is truly a wonderful gift.  Children who are informed about the realities of life (and death) thrive when the same sort of things happen to them, and others will, too.  Choose what feels best for you, but don’t be afraid to share your REALITY with others.
  3. It is just as important to discuss the “hard” parts of life as it is to discuss the “good” stuff.  Why have we decided that there is a level of safety in what we share?  We think that we must portray ourselves as superhumans who are always okay, when in reality we all have “ups and downs” and they all make us who we are.  By sharing our “dark” times, we help others through theirs, and that is just as important as being present for the “light”.  Sometimes the first trimester SUCKS– you’re tired, you cry about everything, you can’t seem to stop puking your brains out, and it is perfectly normal and okay to share that in order to gain insight or simply to “get it out” and help you cope.  Our culture has created an unrealistic idea that hiding things, sugarcoating and lying to try and make things look different than they are is normal and such behavior is often encouraged, however it is actually destructive and prevents growth and happiness to do so.  If we want to live in a great world, we have to create it.  Part of life is that sometimes things don’t go as planned, in some cases we would even deem our experiences as “awful”, but if we look at those “awful” experiences, they also helped to create who we are now, helped us learn new solutions to hardship, and to see with a larger lens, learning that things are never as “bad” as they seem.  I know personally that my darkest times have truly been the most transformative, and by experiencing and overcoming them I am in turn able to help many others through their darkness.  All of our experiences are important and none of them are shameful or “bad” until we deem them to be.  Choose to allow yourself to experience and discuss ALL parts of your journey through pregnancy and life, and notice the relief and empowerment you feel to grow through ALL of it.

It is time to let go of the fear culture we have been raised in and rise up into a culture of sharing, and lovingly supporting one another.  We fear what others (or ourselves) may think or say or that we may be judged if things go differently than the planned “ideal”, but our true power comes from OWNING all parts of our experiences and in turn teaching others to own theirs.  Through empowering ourselves to share, be honest and clear, we also empower others.  We are not alone in our bold endeavors, every time that we step away from fear and into love, we teach others that it is safe to do so.  Step into love with your pregnancy.  Share it with your support system as soon as YOU feel you’d like to– regardless of any outcome.  Suppressing our experiences doesn’t help us to grow, it puts a heavy damper on our abilities to feel good, and we aren’t able to experience all parts of our lives.  We are not saving anyone by lying or keeping things in.  Nor do we need to try to “save” others or ourselves.  We expand suffering when we don’t honor ourselves, so the answer is to surrender the old belief that there’s anything to be afraid of, and to step into the empowering truth that ALL experiences contribute to the whole, and by honoring that, we live peacefully with ourselves.  Being pregnant begins the instant that you conceive, so honor your inclinations to share as early on as you feel and to enlist loving support and help through the TOTAL experience.  Be sure to choose who you share with wisely (especially if you want to avoid unnecessary input or commentary), but SHARE.  Be bold, and honor what feels best to you!

 

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about having a wonderful pregnancy, labor and birthing experience in Denver, Co., please visit http://www.birthpurpose.com, send an email to muriel@birthpurpose.com or fill out the form on the “contact” page here on WordPress.  What have your experiences with sharing your pregnancy been?  How early did you choose to have support?  Share your stories in the comments!  Thank you so much for reading.  Love, Muriel.

 

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Shockingly Beautiful Birth Photos Named The Best Of 2017

Shockingly Beautiful Birth Photos

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How To Respectfully Tell Your Family That You Want A Private Labor and Birth Experience (And Why You Would Want One)

 

Choosing who is allowed to be in your birthing room, whether at a hospital, birthing center or home, is a very important part of your birthing experience.  This discernment should begin even before you enter labor, choosing who you share your goals and fears with carefully.  Whatever your goals may be, it is absolutely possible to have a say in who is a part of them, and you should take full advantage of the ability to choose.  Although you may not be able to control the nurses on duty, or which midwife or doctor you end up with (depending on when you go into labor), you have the power to choose who stays with you, and who you allow into the room.  I have noticed that many women choose to have family members or friends present during their labor, and then end up regretting that decision to some extent.

This makes perfect sense, because labor is a sacred time that calls for a peaceful environment that caters to your preferences.  In order for labor to go as smoothly as possible, it is essential to maintain an environment that supports you.  Although you love your mother and your sister very much, their nervous chatter and constant text updates to Grandma about your labor progress aren’t helping you to have your baby, they are actually very likely taking away from your ability to do so.  Imagine if you had to conceive your baby in front of an audience of family, friends and strangers.  While some people may be able to tune out the audience, most of us would have a very difficult time accomplishing the task, if you will.  It would feel violating, intrusive and nearly impossible to conceive a baby if strangers and family members casually walked in and out to watch, give input, check your progress and fulfill tasks, etc. The same applies to labor.  Labor is an incredibly intimate and vulnerable experience.  It requires an environment that supports your full surrender.  The more people you have surrounding you, the more “outside” opinions, ideas, judgement, and energy you experience.  If a persons energy and philosophy about labor and birth doesn’t jive with yours, you better believe that is going to be subtly felt and you are going to subconsciously feel the pressure of their expectation “vs. yours”.  Or, even if someone’s ideas are in line with yours, maybe they are very attached to those ideas and have heavy expectations for you, and you feel the pressure of having to try and live up to them.  The possibilities are extensive, and in order to prevent any of them, you must use strong discernment about how you will choose where you labor and who you choose to be there.

So how do we nicely inform our loved ones of our wishes, with out hurting their feelings? Here are four tips for telling your friends and family members that you don’t want them involved in your labor experience, 

  1. Get Straight To The Point.  This is truly my motto for everything.  We save ourselves a lot of overthinking, brewing and sulking about our choices when we simply make them and let them go.  Once you have decided who you really believe will benefit you during labor and birth and who won’t, get straight to the point about it with those people.  Just be honest!  Honesty is loving, easy and vital to good communication.  We don’t need to sugarcoat or create an elaborate explanation to try and ensure that other people accept our honesty, we must simply be honest.  We then let go of the outcome and move on knowing we were honest and we are staying true to our highest self.  Not only will it save you time, it will save you drama!  What do you do when someone tries to fight with you about your decision?  You get straight to the point about why you don’t need them involved, in a very loving way, and then you let it go and leave it alone.  There is a way to be clear and honest with love, instead of fear.  Dont be afraid of what the other persons reaction may be, you can only take charge of YOURSELF and YOUR choices.  By making the choice to have a specific environment for labor, you are loving yourself and your baby.  If anyone has a problem with that, it is not yours to deal with.  Don’t take it personally.  Simplify your life with honesty, and get to the point about it.
  2. Let Go Of What Other People Want.  Although it can be difficult to speak up for our own needs and desires, it is essential to loving ourselves and being at peace with our choices.  When we stand up for ourselves and our choices, we are teaching others to love themselves in the same way; to stand up for themselves and their choices.  On the other hand, when we do things to try and “please” others, we teach that it is okay to put other peoples needs and desires before our own.  How do we make the choice that we know is truly best?  We let go of what the other person may think about it, and choose the option that WE can wholeheartedly stand behind.  When we know that our choice is for our highest good, and not to please any expectations, we realize that it doesn’t matter what others think or how they feel.  You will be the one to remember your labor and birthing experience like it was yesterday, you will be the one that has to “live with yourself” for the rest of your life after birth, therefor only your thoughts and feelings about it TRULY matter.
  3. Trust Your Decision.  The easiest way to take the pressure off of telling someone your choice, is to be so clear and trusting of your decision that it really doesn’t matter how the person receives it.  You can even preface the conversation with something along the lines of “I want to fill you in on my choices, however I would appreciate if you kept any opposing feedback or input about it to yourself in order to keep things simple.  I have already made my choice, I just want to share it with you so that there is no confusion when the time comes.”  This is not rude, it is loving (of yourself and the other person).  Sometimes we don’t get what we want!  That is a very healthy part of life.  We don’t need to try and give everyone what they want.  We will never please everyone, so we must focus on pleasing the person we have to live with forever: ourselves.  Trust that when you have made your decision, it is for the highest good, and let go of anything else.
  4. Offer Other Ways That The Person Can Be Involved.  After telling your loved one(s) your decision, offer other ways to help and be involved that don’t include being present during your delivery!  Your sister may be bummed that you don’t want her in the delivery room, but maybe she would be super happy to help you prepare meals, do some laundry and care for the new addition when baby comes home!  There are so many ways that people can be involved in bringing your child into the world that don’t involve being present at the birth.  Offer to have your mother organize a photo album of your pregnancy and birthing photos to share with you and other loved ones, ask your beloved Aunt if she would like to help sew a quilt for the baby… GET CREATIVE!  It may be disappointing for some people to learn that your personal plans for labor and birth don’t include them, but you can “cushion the blow” with alternatives.  People love alternatives!  People really just want to feel like they are a part of something, to feel like they are helping and contributing in a supportive way, so give them ways to do that!

As for the medical team, all facilities will have protocols they must maintain and may be hesitant to changes.  However, you can choose where you labor, so do your research and choose the place that feels most in sync with your goals!  You can also choose to share in your birth plan that you would like minimal disruptions, and people in your room.  If at any point you need someone to leave, you (or partner, or doula) can ask them nicely to give you privacy.  Some people may scoff at you, but again, you simply remind them that this is YOUR birthing experience, not theirs.  Unless there is an urgent medical need to be tended to, there is no reason that you should not be able to have the space you need to labor peacefully.

Let’s review more in depth WHY would you want to be selective about your birth team.  Well, because you don’t want anything to interfere with your birthing process.  The more people, the more input; energetically and physically.  99 percent of American women give birth in a hospital and experience an average of 6 strange people (people she has never seen or met) during her labor.  That’s six chances to be alarmed, feel on guard or even invaded, and six chances to slow or stall your labor due to (often subconscious) unexpected discomfort.  If you have the possibility to see strange people during your labor, you want to ensure the faces you do know are ones that provide comfort, security, safety, love, support, and respect for your labor and birth experience. Your doula and your partner and other support people you have chosen will help you to maintain your birth goals. Let them know your choices so that they can help you enforce them should you be in the middle of a rush (contraction) and unable to speak up yourself.

There you have it, my dear friends!  Now go forth and OWN your ideal birth experience!  Be clear and confident, and trust in yourself to choose what is best for you and your baby.  

If you would like to learn more about how to have a wonderful birthing experience, please email muriel@birthpurpose.com, or visit the contact page to send me a message and subscribe to Birth Purpose for updates, events and fun tips for Mama’s and Families!  What have you found to be helpful in choosing your ideal birth team? How did “strange” faces or interventions affect your labor process?  Please share experience and tips in the comments below!

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20 Breathtaking Birth Photos That Highlight The Strength Of Doulas

58d5d9bf2c00002000ff05e520 Breathtaking Birth Photos That Highlight the Strength of Doulas

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6 Ways To “Let Your Monkey Do It” During Labor and Childbirth

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“Let my monkey do it?….What in the….?!”  That’s right, this post is not for the faint of heart.  It’s about real, natural childbirth based off of a teaching Ina May Gaskin shares in her renowned book “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth”.  The pages of this must-have handbook detail the many ways to achieve a healthy, happy, natural childbirth and why you would want to (including INCREDIBLE, REAL birth stories that will inspire the baby out of you!) .  Ina and her midwife sister’s at The Farm (a wonderful community in rural Tennessee) have maintained a cesarean section rate of less than 2 percent, 96.8 percent successful VBAC (Vagina Birth After Cesarean) rate, and only .04% vacuum delivery and .37% forceps assisted deliveries for over 40 years.  They must be doing some things right in the name of a wonderful, natural birth experience!  So, let’s look at the technique of “Letting Your Monkey Do It” for some simple, applicable tips to enjoying your birth experience.

6 Ways To “Let Your Monkey Do It”

  1. MOAN & GROAN LIKE YOU MEAN IT: Many women get the urge to make noises to help them through their rushes (contractions– we will talk about the importance of terminology in another post), and with good reason!  The throat and mouth are connected to the cervix, and if they are open and relaxed, you better bet that your bottom side is, too!  Monkey’s and other animals do not concern themselves with how loud, weird or “ugly” they sound during labor, and neither should you!  Your naturally inclined sound effects actually help your labor along, and make you more comfortable.  (When allowing noises through your body, remember to keep them low and open, almost like a cows “moo”.  To experiment with why, scream or try to make a higher moaning sound and notice the tightening that takes place in your throat and body– it doesn’t feel open or easy.  Now try low, deep and full moans– similar to ones you make while you’re making a baby ;)– and notice how open, free and loose your throat and body feel.  The difference is important and has a huge impact. Be mindful to keep those low-tones throughout labor.  Ask your doula and partner to help remind you if you forget!).  Moan and groan like your baby depends on it, because she does!  The better your labor is for you, the better it is for baby as well
  2. MOVE, DANCE, SHAKE: Movement is another extremely helpful labor technique.  Gone are the days of women birthing only on their backs, confined to the bed.  (This varies in each State, so check for local hospital and birthing center options that allow mama to get up.)  Trying to sit still during labor makes it much more difficult!  First of all, moving is a mild distraction from the pain– focusing your mind on more than the intense sensations of labor; second of all, it actually helps the process and allows your body and your baby to make better progress.   Mama monkey moves, and grooves and finds a natural rhythm with each contraction.  We can find power in this too!  Although painful, we can find rhythm with our rushes including movement, noises and more, and with the rhythm we step away from our thinking mind into a surrendered space of allowing, helping to open and work with our body to bring baby to us.
  3. DON’T WORRY ABOUT WHAT YOU “LOOK LIKE”: Monkey’s are certainly not thinking about their self-image while in the throws of childbirth (or ever), and we can learn from this care-free way of being!  Your pubes don’t need to be perfectly arranged, your hair doesn’t need to be fixed, and you don’t need to make sure your face doesn’t look funny.  Childbirth is not glamorous, it is powerful.  Bringing a life through your body requires no specific physical appearance at all.  Often in our society, we as women feel pressure to look “perfect”, this obviously carries over into labor and birth.  We want to “look good” because we believe other people care and we believe that what other people think matters– it doesn’t.  Especially not during the birth of your baby.  Take the pressure off of yourself, at the very least during childbirth, and accept yourself as you are.  Maybe you went into labor before you got that bikini wax, or your contractions became heavy very quickly so putting on make-up and doing your hair was out of the question, so what.  Your mission is to have a baby, not to have the world’s “cutest” childbirth!  This may be difficult if you are used to a certain appearance, but I invite the chimp in you to come forth and OWN IT, whatever you “look like”!  Trust me, no one in the birthing room is going to think anything except that you are a magical, powerful goddess!  There may not be glamour, but there is absolute awe over the power to bring life forth during every birth– no matter what it looks like.  Let go of your critical self, and let your powerful goddess, messy hair and all, shine forth as you and baby work together to bring her home!
  4. MONKEY’S POOP (AND PEE AND FART AND PUKE) AND SO DO WOMEN: Many women I have met and worked with have a similar fear: pooping during labor.  I attribute this (again) to our societies theme of pretending women are robots that always look perfect, never have bad days, and don’t have normal functioning human bodies with elimination systems.  All of that aside, sh*t happens!  Pun intended.  Sometimes during childbirth you poop.  Sometimes that big belch you were holding in was just the release baby needed to slide down into the birth canal.  Sometimes you puke or pee or fart, sometimes all of the above!  Okay, so what would a monkey do?  Nothing.  She would have her baby.  If you have convinced your partner that you never poop or pass gas, great job!  But labor is not a time to worry about upholding that “ideal”.  If you do poop or get sick, your team will swiftly clean it up, and it’s likely you and others present won’t even notice it happened.  Again, childbirth is not “pretty”, it is RAW, REAL and HONEST!  Your partner won’t remember any poop or farts when they reflect on the fact that YOU BROUGHT A LIFE INTO THIS WORLD THROUGH YOUR BODY!  Trust me, they aren’t holding onto the memory of anything that slipped out of your rear, they are holding onto the memory of YOUR BABY coming into the world!  And the birth team?  They experience birth FOR A LIVING.  They are concerned with a happy, healthy mother and baby; the most they care about your bodily fluids, releases and excretions is making sure things are cleaned up swiftly to prevent any risk of infection or discomfort.  If you are worried about anything, you risk the chance of slowing your labor by thinking too much/remaining too “in your head”, so make it easier on yourself and baby by letting go of the really small stuff, like poop.
  5. KEEP IT SIMPLE: Most animals retreat and find a quiet place to labor and give birth.  With out distractions or interruptions, the labor goes more smoothly.  We can follow suit by doing the same!  Having your entire family nervously chatting in your labor room will certainly not provide assistance to relaxation.  Even if your mother-in-law and sister “have” to be there–it’s not about them.  Create boundaries about who and how often people can enter your sacred birthing space.  Let those you want involved know your goals and make it clear that if you find having them there to be an issue of any kind, that you may ask them to leave.  This is not personal to them, it is simply important for you to be relaxed in order for you to have your baby, and they should be understanding of this.  (If they are not, don’t deal with it during labor.)  Your labor and birth is not about anyone else, but You and Baby.  Do not aim to please ANYONE (ever, but especially) during your birthing experience.  Also keep in mind that more isn’t always better.  Do your best to keep a simple atmosphere with minimal distractions and include this in your birth plan so that your team knows how to respect these boundaries.  If anyone tries to convince you to do things differently than you want to, remind them that it is your birth and your baby.  (Make sure to let your partner and/or team know your feelings before labor so they can speak up for you if it is not possible for you to due to the intensity of labor.)  You don’t need to think about anything else except for relaxing and allowing baby to come through you.  So keep it simple, retreat and enjoy a peaceful birthing environment tailored to your specific needs.
  6. SURRENDER TO YOUR BABY AND YOUR BODY: The number one key to an easier childbirth is surrender.  Animals don’t have a thinking mind, so this is easy for them.  However, we as humans experience our thinking mind all of the time, birth included!  We can’t necessarily “stop thinking”, but we can surrender the thoughts we think.  Oftentimes a mothers labor slows or stalls completely due to a psychological block caused by active or subconscious thoughts.  This is why I created my Doula program to extend into the many emotional and psychological aspects of labor and birth as well.  Including  reflection over concerns, history of your life/relationships/experiences, and bringing forth all of the thoughts or worries that may come up during labor, before labor begins.  Ina May expresses the power of the subconscious in her book, retelling the story of a mother having a difficult labor being asked “is there anything on your mind?”.  Once the question was expressed, the woman immediately opened up  about a fear she was experiencing, and upon doing so, relaxed and progressed quickly from that point.  We needn’t be afraid of any of our thoughts, and if we become aware of them and choose to let them go, they hold no power over us.  We are not our thoughts, we don’t have to attach to any thought.  We can simply let thoughts be.  We do this often subconsciously; when we have a thought we deem “silly” we are able to immediately let it float by and move on.  So, we can do it consciously as well.  Choose to surrender all of your (distracting) thoughts, concerns, fears, expectations, “likes/dislikes”, and everything you want to “control”, and you will find your labor and birth taking place (often a lot more easily than when we were thinking about it) whether you’re thinking about it or not ;).  Yes, labor (and being a mother) is intense, however we have been created to birth (and mother!), and our body and our baby know exactly what to do.  So, TRUST that!  Surrender the process of birth and unleash the natural, powerful flow that takes place when we LET IT GO. (FUN FACT: Did you know that if you were in a coma, your body would birth your baby?  This is how natural and phenomenal birth is.  You don’t even NEED your mind to have a baby!)

There you have it!  If you take nothing else to your birth, make sure you bring your monkey!  Give her a name if you want, let her loose and allow your birth to be a naturally wondrous experience.  You owe it to your baby and yourself to surrender into a wonderful birth.

How do you “Let Your Monkey Do It”?  Please share your own helpful tips and stories, questions and comments in the space below!  If you are interested in learning more about how to surrender and experience a purposeful, natural childbirth please contact me at muriel@birthpurpose.com for more information.  I would love to help you meet your inner monkey and learn the keys to a more enjoyable birth experience, and beyond!

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