Moments of Transition
The past few weeks have brought on more tightness, tension, pangs of discomfort and even douses of pain than I remember experiencing before. While my tolerance for pain is quite high I’ve also never had to endure it so consistently for such an extended and unforeseen specific amount of time. As my body prepares to give birth in the next four weeks or so I’m being stretched beyond limits I onced perceived for myself, a true time of growth and expansion. From restless legs and pelvic pain to getting up to pee multiple times and finding it impossible to get back to sleep, I’ve begun to experience life through a different lens. One of transition from what once was to what will be, more importantly how it all is right now.
This transition isn’t one that took place over night, or even just over the past 9 months. In fact, I’d argue it started a few years ago, the moment my husband and I decided starting a family was going to soon be a priority. Back in 2020 when the world began to change in unprecidented ways we both felt called to share with one another the visions we saw for the future. That discussion consisted of what type of parents we wanted to be, the values in which we’d raise our children with, the intention we’d pour into ourselves to welcome this chapter into our lives, and the type of environment all of this would take place.
For the next two years the goal was to turn inward and get curious about the parts of us that were longing to grow. Individually we assesssed the values important to us and the goals we wanted to pursue before conception like health, nutrition, spirituality, healing, and other paths of maturity. Now, this isn’t to say we decided on the perfect time to concevive, I don’t believe any of us has the power to play God in that sense. But we did decide that an important part of conception was the intention that came before, the life we cultivated beforehand, and the energies we were planning to merge to create life.
For two years healing, maturity, love, and learning, and unlearning, were a priority both individually and collectively.
For two years we dove into becoming the greatest versions of ourselves, establishing deeper connections to our ideal selves and inching closer to them each day.
For two years we leveled up before ever “trying” to have a baby.
I’m so grateful this was our path.
But I’m also reminded of how mutlifaceted transition truly is. Shifts into who we are becoming start in subtle ways, most of the time before we are even paying attention and long after we’ve begun to see. This helps ground me into perspective in moments when my joints are achy and my legs are so swollen it hurts to walk. It reminds me this is yet another shift in transition.
And sure maybe it isn’t as glamorous as working out, eating healthy, or learning deeper self-love practices. But I’m also reminded that those moments weren’t always the most fun either. It felt good to share my life vision with my life partner, to talk about our desires and dreams about the future, but the work that came after wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It was two years of leaving no stone unturned so that I could face my inner world head on and heal the blocks that stood in the way of becoming my greatest self.
Transition isn’t meant to feel good all the time, it’s meant to uproot and redefine. So I’d like to believe these false contractions and sleepless nights are wonderful opportunities to help me continue to expand, pushing me toward the culmination of all my past efforts. The more I practiced shifting my mindset from “why is this happened?” to “this is happening because…” the less personal and painful it feels, and the more I’m willing to be with what’s happening rather than focus on my opinions about it all.
Being Okay With How Things Are
A struggle I faced this week is not feeling grateful 100% of the time about being pregnant. Even feeling the urge to complain about my physical discomforts and the ease of living that had been taken away. On a particularly challenging day where the baby’s head pushed deeper and deeper into my pelvis I sighed loud and said “JUST COME OUT ALREADY!” Almost immediately I felt awful, and here’s why.
Now maybe that doesn’t sound like the craziest thing to say to you but to me it felt like I committed the ultimate sin: not being grateful to be pregnant. To me, saying that was like saying I’m over this, I dont want to do this anymore, I’m tired and just want this to end already. And in that moment maybe it was my truth. My frustrated, exhausted, impatient truth.
I came down so hard on myself for not feeling enthused about being pregnant anymore and for finally giving into the urge to complain about the discomforts in my body. Expressing my truth felt like trading in my immense gratitude for a heaping pile of guilt because I “shouldn’t” be feeling anything less than joyous every moment of everyday of this pregnancy.
As my emotions cooled down, and my loving husband comforted my hormonal self, I began to see cleary that there were lots of expectations at play. The reason I came down so hard on myself for feeling that way was because I expected myself to feel a different way, all the time, everyday, no matter what this transition brought into my experience.
It’s funny, recently I was explaining the word perspective to my 5 year old niece after a conversation about change being hard, especially when we want things to go our way and they don’t. We talked about how perspective gives us a chance to see things differently and that different isn’t always bad. Sometimes, if we’re open to how things change, we may find a new even better way of looking at things, if we’re willing to try. And as I was simplfying this concept to her I realized how much more complicated I was making my own life.
It’s easy to want things to be particular.
It’s hard to accept that life changes.
It’s even harder to hold onto what we want as life is already changing.
Sometimes it’s just about choosing the road of least resistance.
Sometimes choosing to accept the change is a lighter load than holding onto how we wish things were.
And in those moments we accept ourselves as we are, adding a little more self-love and a little less judgment to our lives.
Accepting Life As It Is
Daily mindful living is a mantra in my home, an intentional lifestyle choice fused into how we move about the day. It’s been a refreshing challenge to welcome that way of navigating life into pregnancy. The beauty of mindfulness is that the principles apply no matter who you are, what you’re going through, or how it’s making you feel. But in my experience it’s been exceptionally powerful during trying moments that test your patience, faith, and belief. So it’s safe to say practicing mindfulness throughout pregnancy is a wonderful training ground for parenthood that’s soon to follow.
Acceptance and non-judgment are the attitudes that have come up for me most recently. These are the attitudes and lenses in which I’m anchoring into during challenging moments. I’d like to believe each of the attitudes feed off of one another but in particular acceptance and non-judgment are joined at the hip. Because once you’ve accepted life as it is you can recognize the judgment you’ve been passing about it. On the flip side, once you’ve recognized how much you judge your experience or circumstance, you can begin to accept what is rather than focusing on your opinions about how it makes you feel or how it should be.
Anchoring into these attitudes, along with any other mindfulness practice, is just that, a pratice. It’s implying that you’ll never truly master these ways of being and that’s the point. To continue coming back to apply what you learned last time and the time before that so you can choose to expand your consciousness once more, open your heart once more, open your mind once more. Mindfulness is a simple and profound in that it releases the unneccessary while inviting expansion.
That’s a reoccuring theme for me.
Physically, emotionally, spirutally, even on a cellular level, expansion has been happening within me for quite some time.
Maybe that’s one of the many miracles giving birth is meant to teach, how to expand beyond this version to create the next.
To expand from maiden to mother, from one archetype to the next, never able to shrink back to who you once were with a brand new capacity to hold what’s meant for you.
What a terrifyingly empowering thought that I will never be the same again.
As I enter the week ahead I leave behind my opinions of how it “should” be, what things are “supposed” to feel like, and how I “think” life should be moving. And instead I’ll practice anchoring into accepting what is, noticing judgments, releasing the heavy burdens of the unneccesary and tune in to what’s right in front of me. The expansion of my being, my body, my soul. It’ll be a trippy ride to reflect on one day, but imagine how powerful it’ll be to present to the push and pull of it all, right here right now.
May you choose to live mindfully in anyway you can this week.
Start small, start now, just start.