What labor has taught me about life

Spiral series. Spiral backdrop for use in projects on math, science and computer art.
Spiral series. Spiral backdrop for use in projects on math, science and computer art.

I have attended many births and here is what labor has taught me about life…
In order to give birth to anything significant you will inevitably go through certain phases. How they will feel to you and how you will be equipped depends 100% on you.

Labor has several distinctive phases.
It often starts with early labor or even prodromal labor that may last many hours or days. As my beloved teacher Whapio beautifully calls this phase: “The Embarking”.

Imagine you embark on a new project, idea you want to birth into the world.
This initial part is relatively manageable. You are excited. You get right into it, you have ideas, you easily reach out to others and share about it. It can go slower at times and a bit faster at others. You feel that you have time. You can also relatively easy move forward by yourself. You got it! Not a big deal.

How many of us have dropped once things start to get complicated?

Well, here comes the active part of labor, also referred to as “On the mountain”.

It’s getting challenging. The incline is steep. Intensity raises. You’re getting serious. It’s not so much fun any more as that initial part. Emotional, mental, spiritual blocks are all coming into the surface. Sometimes all at once. You have no choice but to face them if you want to move forward. Some experience pain. Much of this pain if not all is our own RESISTANCE.
Some come into that phase prepared mentally and emotionally, arrange the support they need in advance, so that when this moment hits, they know they will be held, they know they will be supported. They arrange the environment so that it’s the most conducive for them to feel more empowered and more capable to face the challenges that are showing up in the moment. They still need to do the work, but it somehow becomes more doable. One step at a time. One breath at a time.

And yes, we may experience falls, we may experience challenges beyond what we have ever experienced. This is the initiation part. These are moments in lives where you know you will never be the same. You crossed the treshold. You are rebirthed. There is no going back.

This is the phase where some people would choose not to feel. It’s too much for them. Maybe because they do not have the support they need. Maybe because the environment they chose is not conducive. Maybe because they choose to, simply. There is no right or wrong here. Sometimes, not feeling may mean surviving.

If you’ve made it so far, brace yourself. Ready for a transition (aka The Summoning) ?

Transition is very intense. No wonder! A baby is about to be born. It feels like the final challenge, the final big wall that sometimes appears impossible to cross. Doubt sneaks in. It’s normal. It’s part of the process.
“I can’t do it” thoughts try to occupy your mental space, they try to take over. It takes stamina, determination, mental strength, emotional and spiritual support to go through this phase. If you are alone, it will make this passage so much harder. It’s messy. Oh, yes it is. You feel like you’re going to break in half. And you are going to break… Some parts of you will die, so that the new you can emerge. It is time when you’re letting yourself totally go, totally wild, raw as you were created! You’re going to places you’ve never been. It’s scary, it’s dark, and it’s overwhelming.

At the end of this phase, the cervix is out of the way, there is even a little slow down in sensations, a tiny little break – the quietude. You get a chance to gather yourself, to take a deep breath, to truly prepare and welcome what’s about to be born.

Isn’t what you’re feeling when your big project is ready to be launched or whatever steps you detailed at the beginning of the process are all complete except of that very last one???

You’re ready. Homestretch and you’re home!
You are motivated, excited again as you can see the final line! You’re there, you came that far.

There is still effort to be done. And not an easy one. It’s this final big stretch, big opening, total and complete surrender. There is a rush of adrenaline coming through all your body. You may feel like you are in between two worlds. (Whapio, my teacher and a wonderful midwife refers to this stage as the Breakers). There is no going back.

And here comes the baby! The Birth. The Emergence. You did it! You feel ecstatic! Tired and energized at the same time.

The joy of giving birth to a human being is indescribable! The joy that comes from the completion of anything significant in our lives is also beyond what words can describe. It’s a full body, mind, spirit experience!

Whenever you find yourself in the moment of extreme overwhelm, doubt or feeling like giving up, remind yourself WHY you are doing what you’re doing, remind yourself of your highest purpose. Pull your resources, tap into your own power within and keep on going.

Don’t give up, it can get stormy and messy, but you got it!!! You can do it! You’re doing it!!

Oh wait! You thought it was over? There is still placenta and this baby needs to be raised for the next two decades!!! Yes, you just gave birth to something BIG! And you got it! Trust me.

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