You're about to give birth. It's a natural process and something we all long for. Secretly, we wish to hear the collective YES when we deliver. Yet, so many older women don’t realize their power or are afraid of what they could do and be. It’s common to hear talk about not knowing what to do, of feeling useless. They feel tired and unfilled. What they haven’t realized is that this phase of life is the best time to give birth to their personal power.
It’s a journey that often begins by looking from the bottom up, as we recognize that most cultures believe women lack something. They’re damaged goods, second-class citizens. Dr. Christian Northrup wrote in her book Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom of being in countless delivery rooms and hearing women apologize to their husbands that the baby wasn’t a boy. Too often, it’s said that a man could do the job better. He’d be less likely to veer away from the goal because of family obligations. I find it significant that the earth is commonly referred to in the feminine, Mother Earth, Nature. Not only is Nature a mother, she’s seen as unpredictable, vengeful. Excuse me, men don’t ever choose to act out in those ways?
I believe women are less emotionally fragile than men. Who’s usually the one to raise the children, along with all the other details that fall in your lap? As a woman, you’ve headed a small corporation, and have been running it at full speed. Right now the world is poised for women with LIFE experience to take the lead. Older women are needed to inform others of healing ways that can only be learned in the course of a lifetime. We must tell those around us what it’s like to come full circle and set out on a hero’s quest from a different level of consciousness. We must tell them the stories of life’s beauty, of love and chaos, what it’s like to plant seeds, and about the pain and the grace that can be found when you’re preparing to die.
First comes the quest.
At the onset of the quest, a ceremony is held for the hero. Use whatever feels appropriate; candles, music. Gather a circle of women friends and tell them what you’re about to do. You’re pregnant and determined to go full term. Ask them to bless your commitment and the journey you’re about to take.
Ten things you need to know:
1. Make a birth plan, and be alert for signs that say you need to adjust your direction. Be prepared the possibility of shifting from a breech birth position, for long hours, days and weeks of hard labor. Be kind and compassionate to yourself and seek beauty.
2. Keep a journal of where your choices lead you. Write them stream consciousness and use colored pencils to draw any images that come up spontaneously. Borrow a phrase from one of my favorite motivational coaches, business woman and author, Danielle La Porte - What’s dying to be born? (go to www.whitehottruth.com to find the pdf file of responses she received when she asked other women that question). Ask for everything that’s holding you back to be burned away. (Healer and spiritual counselor Abdi Assadi has some wonderful ideas and a book at his web site www.abdiassadi.com ) Ask what you’re passionate about. What compels you to stay in the game? What gives you pleasure? What are you curious about?
3. Bring light to your shadows: Remember how many changes you’ve survived. You’ve faced fears before and come out alive. Since you’re going deeper, fears may hit stronger. Ask what you would do if the fear wasn’t there. Do you need it? And imagine the possibilities that are waiting once you’ve given birth to your full potential.
4. You’re in charge: No one else can do this for you. Take time for mindful solitude and meditation.
5. Pregnant women are beautiful: I remember walking down the street, noticing other women who were pregnant. They glowed with the knowledge of the life they were carrying.
6. Keep the communication lines open: Gather stories from older women about giving birth to their power. Reach out to younger women who make wonderful cheerleaders. They’ll be inspired by what you’re doing and their youthful energy is revitalizing. I know this because my daughter cheers me on. She tells me I inspire her and sometimes we cry together.
7. Disregard the naysayers: You’ve been delivering what they need and they don’t want you to rock the boat. It’s their loss if they say no to the opportunity for a more meaningful life with you.
8. Take time to wonder about what you’re giving birth to: Will you be a storm, a song, a poet, a physician, an artist, a story teller and a story catcher?
9. Purify your body with good food, rest, exercise and quiet times: You will have good days when the birthing channel is open, bad times when you’re straining and nothing seems to be happening. Some are downright ugly, when it feels as if what’s coming is in a breech position and about to tear your apart. If you feel bitchy, find the power in that.
10. Breath, take it one contraction at a time: Taking a break can be vital since it gives you time to assimilate what you’re experiencing. Knowing comes when you’ve breathed deeply through the pores right down to your center.
Perhaps, there will be additional laps to make, but you’ll know when you’re ready to call a halt. You’ll feel lighter, stronger, more daring having left behind what was holding you back. Now is the moment to tell your hero’s story to your women friends. Talk about what you’ve found and how you might nurture the newborn gifts of power you brought back. Ask for their support. Then go out and find the men who know and love crones and ask for their support.
And when all is said and done, CELEBRATE! You’ve become a woman who dares.