Loving Pregnant Belly Abstract by teacupviking on etsy
I really have tried not to make all my posts about pregnancy but it is teaching me so much about life that I can't help it. And, I'm working on releasing all the 'shoulds' and just following the wisdom of my journey. Pregnancy is my current lens of experience and I hope you can learn from it too. I'm sure motherhood will be quite an interesting teacher as well when it gets here.
We talk a lot in self development circles about being present in the moment. Pregnancy has brought me into my body and into the present moment in ways I never thought about before. For one thing, I have a little being who will literally kick me occasionally to bring me back to paying attention to my body. That is a wonderous and startling and strange experience, certainly. And every movement brings me right to where I am and feeling my body. (My bladder also gets my attention fairly often, but that's another story...)
When I cook, I think more consciously about what I'm eating and I put more thought and love into it because it's for my little one. I'm taking self-care more seriously and trying to stay in optimum health so I can have a home birth. I'm drinking the amount of water I know I should, when before I sometimes missed. I have been lucky not to get too many bad side effects- no crazy cravings, not much heartburn, etc. But when I do get a pain or ache, I'm intensely aware of it so that I can make sure nothing is wrong.
I'm paying more attention to my body's cues. When I'm tired, I rest. When I'm hungry, I eat. I often have to move and stretch, so I'm getting up from my desk more often and sitting on a yoga ball at my desk sometimes. These all bring my attention back into my body. I'm enjoying reading and sleeping in and all the little moments to myself right now, because I know that soon those will all be different. When I bend over now to pick up something, I'm reminded that there's a little extra in my middle (although I'm very happy that my mobility is still mostly uninhibited). And I look at myself in the mirror all the time- looking for any changes or developments.
I've been taking more self portraits, to track the belly explosion, and noticed that people are so supportive about appearance to pregnant women. None of my other profile photos have elicited so many compliments and "You're glowing"s. Even when they're dimly lit and my hair is barely brushed and I am certainly not glowing. I think there's a lesson there for how we can support others- when a friend posts a photo, we should always tell them they're beautiful. Because we can always see it and they sometimes can't.
The bigger lesson, though, in all this, is that why do I have to wait until there is a baby in my body to care so much for me? Why can I nap now but not before? (Partly because the exhaustion won't let me get by without napping, but still, it's not fair to my body to push past tired.) Why am I paying attention to everything but what my body feels like right now?
I'm hoping I'll remember this, at least in glimmers, when I'm a mama, because I know mamas are the most notorious about forgetting themselves and their bodies. Maybe that's part of why we start out with these 9 months of intense presence, so we'll have something to remember when there are other beings calling out for our attention 24-7.
And I'm hoping that you'll be inspired to give yourself at least 20 minutes of paying attention to yourself today.
If you want to explore your dreams and open up to more self-care and attention, please check out my Work page for more info on how we could work together. Or go here to set up a free Fairy Godmother Session to dig into your dreams and see what magic we can find.
I've been missing here for the last couple months. I have a great reason- I'm pregnant (!) and that first trimester was just a lot rougher on my body than I expected. I had very little energy, so all of it had to go to basic functions. Most nights I was in bed by 7pm, even though I'm a night owl who is normally up til midnight or later. My thoughts didn't feel all that coherent sometimes, either, so blogging just wasn't on my menu.
Now, my energy is back up and I wanted to take a moment to share my Gratitude List. I try to remember gratitude daily and think of all of my blessings, but it's nice to write the list out and see it all there on paper.
Right now, I'm grateful for:
1. Most importantly, I'm grateful for the beautiful little being who will bless me as their mama in May. Pregnancy has been a whole new adventure and I'm sure motherhood will be more than I can imagine right now.
2. My husband continues to make me laugh and take care of me. I can't wait to see him as a daddy.
3. The rest of my family. My sister's cancer journey has continued and she's having surgery next week, but her strength and courage in this crisis are so inspiring. The rest of the family is rallied around her, as we do, and it's been a good period for all of us to grow and support each other. Lots of laughter has been part of the journey, obviously.
4. Cell phones and Facebook. My husband's family is on a whole other continent, worlds away. We miss them dearly, but cell phones and Facebook help us stay in touch, which is so wonderful. Also, some of my best friends are scattered to the four winds, so Facebook is how we stay together as well.
5. As glad as I am to be pregnant, I'm REALLY glad the nausea part seems to be over. I know there's probably more unfun stuff to come, but that was rough.
6. More than ever, I'm grateful for indoor plumbing. I think back to living in the village & using the pit latrine and I can't imagine doing that pregnant, as often as I have to go. Plus, squatting when I'm 8-9 months along sounds nearly impossible. I have a whole other level of respect for the women of Zambia that had never occurred to me before.
7. Speaking of amenities, my heart goes out to the victims of Sandy who are still without the basics. I'm so grateful for my home & electricity & I hope they get theirs back as soon as possible.
8. Pecan pie, baked macaroni, turkey, and fresh cranberry sauce. Some of my favorite foods and I get to eat them all tomorrow!
9. Beautiful fall days like today. They are such a gift.
10. That I don't have the slightest desire to participate in the madness of Black Friday and I don't have to.
11. Amazon Prime. I love being able to shop on my phone & get most things in 2 days. Our town has very few options for organic food or greener cleaning products, so I order them at Amazon.
12. Holiday Season. I love the winter holidays- the smell of cinnamon and spices, lights and decorations, snowpeople, carols, favorite foods, gifts, chilly air, parties, the whole package.
13. Health. So many around me are dealing with tough health stuff, so it reminds me how grateful I am for my health and how quickly all that can change.
14. Coaching. It is truly an amazing process to watch people wake up to their own magnificence and I'm so grateful I get to be part of that process.
15. You. If you're reading this, then you're part of my circle- friends, clients, or just stumbling across my blog for the first time- I'm grateful you're here.
There are countless other blessings- both great and small- that I'm grateful for, but I'll stop here so I can get my pecan pie out of the oven. Whether or not you're celebrating Thanksgiving, I wish you a joyful time with your loved ones this week.
If you want to explore your dreams and find more joy, please check out my Work page for more info on how we could work together. Or go here to set up a free Fairy Godmother Session to dig into your dreams and see what magic we can find.
One of the comments on my What's the Best? post
resonated as a comment that so many women might have made.
RT said "Reading your blog made me smile. It really struck deep. I'm the kind of person to think that their "best case scenario" is the dream that will never come true and their "worst case scenario" is reality. I'm working on believing that I can have a "best case scenario" reality."So many of us let ourselves be paralyzed by that fear that the Best Case is just a pipe dream. We focus so much on what we don't have and it locks us into that place of lack. We dream of the future and it never comes. And one of the
reasons is that we don't ACT. We say, "Oprah would never read my book", so we don't even write. In my post, the whole scenario hinged on Gayle buying my book for Oprah. But if I never write it, she can't possibly buy it. Maybe she still won't, but there is ZERO chance of her extracting it from my head. "Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Maybe the mere act of writing that book will reveal another dream or path to me. Maybe I'll discover that I really don't want to publish my book, but that my goal is to share my words in another way- maybe greeting cards or T-shirts. It may be that I'll never be on Oprah, but I'll have that same feeling of fulfillment and joy that my vision gave me. It's just a way to feel that feeling and the details are irrelevant. Without my action and dedication, my best case scenario will stay a mere hope in the distance instead of a bright light on my path, leading me on.
Don't forget that right now is a gift- that's why it's a present. (Yes, it's cliche, but it's also true.) Don't wait to to start living once your someday comes, or you're wasting all the gifts that today provides. Start to take the steps and do the work that gets you there. Gayle can't buy my book if it doesn't exist. You can't shine if you're hiding in a cave waiting for tomorrow. Your dreams are waiting for you to head in their direction.
Get up on your path and allow the Universe to shower you with all the Blessings you have in store. If you need support in seeing your path and setting your actions, please check out my Work page for more info on how we could work together. Or email me for a free Fairy Godmother Session to dig into your dreams and see what magics we can find.
I adore books. I read constantly, at least a book every 2 weeks. I love learning and exploring worlds I've never seen and all the wonder that a new book can hold. So, when Amy Palko announced her Summer Read-along
of The Time Traveler's Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger, I jumped right in. This is my first time reading it, and I have gotten to page 284. Even though I've seen the movie and know the ending, the book is so beautiful that I find it harder and harder to put it down. There are many messages in this book about love and time and memory, but the passage that I keep coming to over and over again is this: "I am having a hard time, in my tiny bedroom studio, in the beginning of my married life. The space that I can call mine, that isn’t full of Henry, is so small that my ideas have become small. I am like a caterpillar in a cocoon of paper; all around me are sketches for sculptures, small drawings that seem like moths fluttering against the windows, beating their wings to escape from this tiny space. I make maquettes, tiny sculptures that are rehearsals for huge sculptures. Every day the ideas come more reluctantly, as though they know I will starve them and stunt their growth. At night I dream about color, about submerging my arms into vats of paper fibre. I dream about miniature gardens I can’t set foot in because I am a giantess. .... The magic I can make is small magic now, deferred magic. Every day I work, but nothing ever materializes.
"I feel a great connection to Clare here, because I too have seen my dreams and creations shrink to fit the space I had. For the last two years, my husband and I have been in a very small space. We have a bedroom, a bathroom, and a kitchen. We have no privacy because my parent's pool is in our kitchen and no separate space to get away from each other. I am a creative, artsy craftsy person and I love to make things with my hands. While we've been here, I haven't been creating
or drawing or painting or feeding my soul in all those wonderful ways. I have felt myself receding away piece by piece. My inner muse was in hibernation and I was just going through the motions of life, without much real connection or meaning for myself.
n the beginning of this year, my sleeping giant woke up and I have spent this year growing and developing myself again. I have been taking art courses online and learning to create mandalas and writing again. I have found life coaching and a way to fulfill my purpose by helping other women to rekindle their own passions as I've rediscovered mine. I am leaping out into the great unknown to make my dreams come true. I am dancing again and dreaming big dreams and creating my best life. I feel like Alice in Wonderland when she eats the cake and keeps getting bigger and bigger. I look at the full moon and feel my own expansion growing to match. We are looking for a house of our own so that I can continue to grow and expand and flourish in a sacred room of my own. But even without that room, I refuse to let my magic be diminished. And I encourage you to make sure your magic isn't squashed either. The world deserves our biggest and brightest dreams.