These past few weeks have been incredibly difficult for me, not only in terms of transitioning my family into new routine and daytime locations, but in transitioning myself and my philosophies into an institutional environment.
As the leaves have fallen off the trees, I’ve been falling apart.
I’ve fallen away from myself. I stopped honouring my own wisdom because I felt overwhelmed and because I felt I needed to put those parts on a shelf in order to be safe. I’ve spent a great deal of time being afraid to be seen. In doing so, I inadvertently allowed my “inner child” archetype full access to my thoughts and feelings. Everyone has that inner child – the part of yourself that is desperate for acceptance and loves people pleasing. It’s the one archetype that I absolutely despise embodying, even though I know she has her place. It’s been alarming to notice the pattern that has occurred . The curiosity and self led study that I’ve found so natural – the part of me that does not wait to be “taught”, the part that embraces intrinsic knowing, that seeks out knowledge and alternative perspectives – that part has been woefully quiet and complacent.
I’ve not been kind to myself, I’ve not been gentle. I’ve called myself a neglectful mother and an incapable student. I’ve cried rivers of tears about my inability to “cope” with my schedule, mother my children, be a “good” wife, to connect with my spirituality and uphold my brazen heart. None of those things are true, they are simply symptoms of being out of balance with myself and allowing my inner child, judge and victim archetypes to run the show.
This week, I asked for and allowed myself to receive help. I gave others permission to connect to the sacred in my home, with my children and with me. I gave myself permission to sit in ceremony with my community on the new moon, to connect with my partner, to take some room to breathe.
And I realized that while I identify as someone who has “taken back my power” in birth, with my health and my life in general, that I have been giving away my power in terms of my education. In reality, I need to define what the next four years will be for myself – beyond required courses, papers and weekly readings. While I cannot control some aspects of this journey, I am in charge of what I choose to take with me and what I reject from it.
I’m saying yes to being a heart led midwife.
I signed up for the Indie Birth Wise Woman Circle a few days ago as a way to connect with mentors and other birth keepers who understand birth and midwifery as an art that “blends the sacred and the scientific”. I’ve also taken some steps to continue my mentor training with Birthing From Within, as well as my herbal studies with Aviva Romm. I need these aspects to be a concurrent stream throughout my time at university, because without access to resources and people that resonate with me, I will not come out of this a whole person.
With all that in mind, I make the following Acts Of Will.
I will be kind to myself and comfort my inner child by acknowledging her existence and desire to protect me, while also acknowledging that her perspective does not serve personal growth. I will find allies to connect with and I will create safe space of my own making. I will build bridges and plant seeds and be open to all perspectives.
I will speak up even when my voice shakes, not because I believe to have the truth of everything, but because I refuse to participate in the single story, or in harmful perpetuations against people in my community that are currently under threat. I will not censor myself, my experiences or who I am. I will ignore admonishments by others when they themselves are mired or governed within fear and intolerance. I will rise up with strength and integrity and lift others alongside me, whenever possible.
I will take care of myself nutritionally, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. There is no room for any aspect of myself to fall by the wayside. I will embrace a healthy dose of selfishness and boundary building to protect this for myself and my family if need be. I will allow myself to say “no” and I will surround myself with people who are willing to call me out, challenge me or otherwise keep me grounded through this experience.
As I type, I feel a rekindled fire in my belly, the ferocity of my purpose and an irrepressible courage to speak, walk and act in my truth. While I know that the inspiration to do this will wax and wane as new stressors and conflicts arise, I can take heart that I know myself and that I will always come out on the other side.
(Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons – Jean-Pol GRANDMONT – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3111695)