Wait, you want me to do what? During Labor?!

160608 Blog 10Reading Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin, I kept seeing references to women “giving some” to their husbands during labor.  Yeah, my mind when there, too.  What in the heck are they talking about -surely not that, I mean, she’s in labor and they’re encouraging her to “give some” to her man?  Right NOW?!

No, that’s not what they meant.  Instead of sexual stimulation, they were talking about the laboring woman giving energy to and creating connection with her partner.

I thought about this.

When I was laboring with Tennyson -my only birth so far where I could actually feel anything and wasn’t numbed out on an epidural- all I could think about was 1) staying loose and open and 2) surviving this rodeo.  Brian was right there with me, but he was more of a handle or a prop than a supporting energy and I was quite focused on doing this birthing by myself.  I wasn’t engaged the way these women were talking about in their stories.  The mental model I had was of the lone woman squatting in a field or propping herself up on the wall of her hut, pausing between her work to push out a baby.  This pregnancy and birth, it’s different.  I want it to be different.

What does it mean to “give energy” to someone?

Previously I held the concept true that we’re vessels.  We can be filled up, we can be drained, but once we’re full that’s it until we get replenished.  A theory of limited availability of energy and love.  “This is all I got.”  So when you consider giving energy to someone else, that would mean you’d lose it -unless that other person reciprocated and provided energy for you as well.  Think of it like an open connection where the energy flows freely between the two.  This is where I hear the exasperated voice say, “I give and I give and I just get nothin’ back!”  That fear prevents us from creating connection -fear of being depleted, of having nothing in return, of being emptied.

But that’s not so.

If energy –love– is limitless, which I do believe, and we are free receivers of it at any and all times, there is no need to fear emptiness.

160731 July family edits 20

Working from home, I go between my office and the kitchen a dozen times a day.  75% of the time I pass my kids and, when I do, give them a squeeze or a kiss on the head.  But this week it struck me as I was in mid-hug:  “Am I giving to them or do I have walls up?”

160731 July family edits 14I had walls up, operating out of habit and self-preservation instead of openness and giving.  I paused, held my child and sent some extra love their way.  It was all about intention.  Attention and intention.  And you know what happened when I did?  I felt so much more energy and love by giving it away.

160731 July family edits 16How do we connect with others?  Is it an open flow or is it with blinders and a hazmat suit on?

I can only operate out of love and give energy to others when I am solid in who I am and in how I’m caring for myself.  My attention and intention to my own soul care is vital to what I can provide for others.  We are not meant to be drained, depleted and empty vessels.  Instead, love fills us and then flows through us as a conduit to others -ever replenishing itself, with no fear of ever running out.  But first we must accept it for ourselves.

Then we can give to others.

160731 July family edits 17It is so easy for me to go through my life without connecting, without “giving some” to others -even my own family.  Routine, to do lists, survival, the “let’s just get through this day” mentality put us in a mind set of plowing through life instead of truly living in it.

Sit up.  Take a deep breath.  Choose to allow energy and love to fill you.

Soak in it.  Acknowledge it.  Feel how blessed you are.  Think about how many small things in your life you’re thankful for and how each of them makes your existence easier or more meaningful.

Take a deep breath.

Again, choose to allow energy and love to fill you.  Feel how good it is to do so.

In the following interactions you have with others today, pause briefly and remind yourself to “give some” to them.  Make eye contact and think, “how can I help this person,” or “yes, I am here with you.  I’m listening.  Your story and feelings matter to me.”  When you give a hug, shake a hand, pat a back, be intentional about sending that person some love.  They don’t have to reciprocate, but I can tell you that the majority of people you do that with will notice something special just happened.  They will feel it.  And that matters.



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