Thursday, January 29, 2015

This Is What I Pray For You, Sweet Baby of Mine

(Originally published on Sacred Pregnancy on January 29, 2015)

Photo: Lakeside Baby Bump at 12 Weeks by Papa Yves
For all of the babies: May you be loved.
I pray that with your very first cry (that mighty hellooooo world that will shift atoms and alter planet Earth forever), you feel my arms around you, holding you close to my beating heart, and learn that you can cry in this world, that you are safe in this world, that my arms and my heart were built to hold you.
I pray that with your very first feeding, nestled against the warmth of my chest, you learn what it is to be nourished by your mama (me) and by your Mama (Earth) and that you grasp, deep inside your brand-new-ancient mind, that you belong here, that you were called here, that you are worthy of receiving the sustenance you need to thrive amongst the big and small creatures of this difficult world.
I pray that with your very first pee and your very first poo, you learn to enjoy the crucial act of letting go, of releasing what no longer serves you, of making space inside and out for the continually unfurling possibilities of life.
I pray that with your very first laugh, you learn to embrace the pleasure of pleasure, to find the funny in a sound, a thought, a sensation, and to let the ease of the moment fill you up and burst out of you like speckles of starlight. Never be scared of the silly, baby. The silly will keep you strong.
I pray that with your very first awareness of your thumb, your hand, your toes, you learn that to inhabit a body is a miraculous thing. That with your very first crawl, you learn to be excited by moving in this world, by touching, and climbing, and chasing the wind, and feeling it all. That with your very first tooth, you learn that pain happens, that it cuts and pierces and burns, but that it also passes, leaving precious gifts in its wake.
I pray that with your very first sleep through the night, you learn not to fear the darkness but to find solace in the Moon’s glow, to fall easily into that limp and heavy state where the active mind surrenders to the mystical truth buried in dreams. Listen to your dreams, baby. They will connect you to the angels.
I pray that with your very first word, you learn that words are power and I hope that you unflinchingly say no when you mean no, and yes when you mean yes, and courageously walk away when others don’t respect the sanctity of your words.
I pray that with your very first prayer, you learn to trust in the unseen forces of this world, to listen to the guidance of the Great Spirit who speaks to us in birdsong and sunbeams, and to find the answers you seek in the divine knowing of your own perfect heart.
I pray that with your very first ache for the pain of another, you learn not to dread the ache but to welcome the ache, for this is compassion gently knocking at your door. Let it in, little one. Let the ache travel deep inside and crack you open so that all the goodness you hold can rush out of you and into this beautiful, broken world.
I pray that with your very first brush against warm fur, you learn to cherish animals as the blessed beings they are, that you allow them into your space, and invite their soft bodies to curl up against yours. Become friends with the animals, baby. They will grow your heart, if you let them.
I pray all of this for you, sweet baby of mine, knowing all too well that you will struggle as we all do, and hurt as we all do, and feel very alone and very confused and very lost, as we all do.
But I pray that when you feel lost, you know to look up at the sky, the clouds, the stars, my eyes and remember who you are, remember where you come from, remember that I am your mother and that, for a short time, your tiny heart beat inside of my body, filling me up with the most radiant light, and we were magic together.
I pray–and I pray this most of all–that with your very first breath, and with every breath that follows, you feel the sacredness of my love and know that it will never falter or fade. It is a love that lasts forever and it is the fiercest force in the world.
I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you.
I love you, baby.
Listen to the musn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” ~ Shel Silverstein 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ten Things I Learned (or, Remembered) From My Month Off Facebook

1.  It is a wonderful thing to wake up in the morning and not check your phone right away. The day glides onto you like silk – and it feels divine.

2.  Time not spent on FB can be spent reading, writing, making French toast (and other delicious food), cleaning bathroom cabinets, walking the dog, snuggling the cats, watching great movies, purging purging purging, having kitchen dance parties with your husband to Taylor Swift’s new CD (EVERYDAY), expanding your business (stay tuned for more on this), meditating (oh yes oh yes oh yes), taking pre-natal yoga classes, having brunch with friends, getting wrinkly in lukewarm bathwater, exfoliating your feet, budgeting for the new year, renewing your passport, putting together a crib, and rediscovering your love of mangoes.

3.  The beautiful moments that make up a full life happen even when they aren’t photographed, Instagrammed, or otherwise shared. They are still real – maybe even more real – because there is presence, without distraction, and there is appreciation. 

4.  It is really, really fun to bump into people you haven’t seen in awhile and ask, “What have you been up to?” without already knowing the answer. 

5.  Friends who want to keep in touch with you, keep in touch with you. There are ways.

6.  FB is not “good” or “bad” – it is neutral. The “good” or “bad” part of it comes from how and why it is used. (So ask yourself: How and why am I using this?)

7.  Social media does not give hugs. (Cats, dogs, and Moms, however, do.) Also, hashtags are #weird.

8.  Your FB world is a reflection of your real world so it is important to maintain a FB life that lifts you up, informs and inspires you, and makes you feel good. Delete/block those who suck your energy. De-clutter your page. Let FB be your ally in the creation of a better you and a better Earth.

9.  Disconnecting – completely disconnecting, for a week, a month, a year – is OK. It is better than OK. For the sensitive ones (like me), it is necessary.

10.  You will return to FB, not because you need it or even because you miss it that much, but because you choose it – mindfully and responsibly – as a tool for communication, outreach, and spreading goodness in this world. You will return to FB, but promise to (always always always) listen to your heartvoice and trust it when it says, “OK. Time to retreat now. Time to log off. Time to take a break from social media and go hunting for the best organic mangoes in town.” You will trust the truest part of you and you will disconnect from the machine (and reconnect to yourself) all over again (and again and again and again). Doing so, as often and for as long as you need to, will replenish your resources, honour your introverted spirit, and keep you well.