I knew I was pregnant while riding the C train and reading some Marianne Williamson. You may know her as the writer of the speech made famous by Nelson Mandela.
You know the one.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”
It’s so good.
It wasn’t that passage actually. I was simply reading about love. While scanning, I felt something cleave strangely in my heart. I felt something open, almost in a painful way (no, it wasn’t heart burn). It felt super tender and vulnerable in a way I had not experienced. It was white and hot and it vanished almost as soon as it came. There was a flash of pure and distilled love. And even though I hadn’t thought I was pregnant up until that point, and didn’t have any other physical indicator that I was, I went straight home and told my husband, “I’m pregnant.”
‘Lo and behold, I was.
Why do I tell you this story? Because I know that motherhood is going to open my heart in ways I have never encountered, in scary but really exciting ways and I love all this heart-centered stuff! It’s what I live for! I want to be a mother. I want to love like that, and in my deep bones, I know that it is a part of my deeper journey.
So, then, half-way through my pregnancy, why the hell was I having such a hard time with my body changing? Why was I experiencing SO much fear of change? Of losing control? Of everything crashing and burning?
Well, because I’m a human being, and regardless of my deeper journey, it can be SO easy to default to my hard-wiring.
I thought it necessary to be honest with you because I have sat over the phone with so many of you, or across the room, and helped you move through your attachment to the perfect body, the perfect weight, the perfect job, income, role, and that being what gave you value. I have seen HUGE shifts in you. I have seen you wake up from those nightmares. I have seen you really start to believe that you are so much more than that, and that you have been creating your own purgatory. You are bigger and vaster and deeper and capable of SO much impact. And I believe it with my whole self…when I’m looking at YOU.
With me, it can feel like a different story sometimes.
But then I remember…“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look. You can only lead others where you yourself are willing to go
This whole idea of my body and life changing is rubbing against an old wound that I thought had healed. I can laugh at it now because I realize that whatever happens is supposed to happen, any pain that surfaces was already there, lying dormant, waiting for it’s moment to wash onto shore. This was supposed to happen all along. How do I know? Well, because it’s happening.
In all honesty, I may not be totally “over it” (this whole body thing, this whole white-knuckling my life and death-gripping success thing) and I’m not sure I ever will be. Part of my ego strongly identifies with it. What I can say, however, is now I question that in a way I NEVER did before. I have tools that can change the conversation…fast. Now, when the voice the tells me my career is going to fall apart or that I’m getting fat and I’m not supposed to get bigger is met with a stoic, compassionate big sister who connects me back to my heart, who chuckles and rubs her hand over my baby bump. The irrational critic used to be the only truth I knew. The other part is growing and swelling and taking over the dressing room. She is peace and she is love and she is space. She encourages me to feel it, release it and to keep surrendering to the possibility that can only come with change.
Regardless of the fear popping up unannounced, my experience now is SO starkly different from five years ago, when I was at war with my body, but even more, at war with myself. Outwardly confident, and inwardly shredding myself apart. But regardless of where you are on your journey with yourself, there always moments when the critic returns, usually in times of CHANGE, because it is always desperately trying to protect our feelings of safety. Growing in pregnancy is new, and to my animal brain, it is unknown territory, that could equate in disaster. I can meet that fear with compassion now, instead of judgment and anger.
In having worked with hundreds at this point, I have seen such incredible transformation in people. At the end of our time together, they are usually flying high in a way they hadn’t experienced. Not only are they are experiencing results with their body, they are experiencing self-acceptance in a totally new way. Hint, hint, these things come together. They are like peanut butter and jelly. But I know they will have moments of darkness. I know they will forget their own power from time to time. I know they will emotionally eat again, or have a wicked hangover, or give into destructive thoughts. It’s a part of being human being.
They will fall, and it is perfect. And they will learn how to stand on their own again. Every time they lose their way, they will learn something about who they are and how they operate, if it serves them and this will bring them closer to the life and body they desire.
These past months, I have sunk into the darkness with my fear (of my bodying changing, of my life changing). It was familiar as I journeyed into this new territory, and I clung to my fear like my own baby blanket. Now, I’m ready to stand again. I’m ready to let love guide this journey.
If you have been struggling to own your own power, to remember yourself, to remember your truest desires, to take care of yourself like you know you can, if you have been letting the inner critic, destructive thought patterns and the “should” run your psyche and your life, I have a couple of possibilities I would like to invite you into this January.
The Desire Map Retreat (January 16th + 17th)
I have a few slots left for my two-day immersive retreat for women in NYC where we learn how to connect to our intuition, deep desire, and create soul-aligned goals for the next year and for our lives. Amidst candles, healthy delicious food, meditation, group coaching and light yoga, we will connect with other women, with vulnerability and with possibility.
Soul Body System (Registration has been so high, we just opened another session!) starts in 3 weeks!
A 10-week mind, body and soul mentorship that bridges the gap between nutrition, self-care and deep personal empowerment, that results in huge physical and life-shifts. This group program meets at Mark Fisher Fitness in NYC. Participants have described it as soul-shifting and life-affirming. The whole point is to become your own health guru (inside and out).
To all of you. It’s okay to forget your power. It’s okay to fall off the balance beam. Just don’t forget you know how to get back on. You always have that in your grasp. Just wake up again, look down and find your path.
Rock On & Be Well,