Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Change & childbirth

I still remember the deep breathing I learned several months before my first-born was due in what were then called natural-childbirth classes. We were taught to breathe deeply, lifting the stomach with the in-breath and allowing it to deflate (as much as a pregnant woman could deflate her stomach!) with the out-breath. This was to allow a contraction to move through the body unimpeded. The idea was to work with a contraction rather than fight against it. If we breathed in the shallow fashion we often do and if we tightened up and fought the contractions, they would prove to be more painful than they would if we breathed with them.

I've thought of that often as I move through life's changes, too—trying to remember to roll with the waves of change rather than fight them. I remind myself to stay flexible. To breathe—and to do so more deeply. Change can be similar to childbirth in that something new is coming. Something new may be ready to be born in us. Resisting, tensing up and fighting it means even more pain than would otherwise be true.

Because I am constantly trying to make things better, I often embrace change. But not always. Sometimes I clench up and resist mightily. I know better. It just makes things worse. But I'm human. I don't always do what I know is best. Then it's time for some self-compassion and patience before I move into a place of accepting the change and going with the flow.

You, too?

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