Friday, July 8, 2011

Open To Grace

Last year, during a memorable visit with one of my most impactful teachers, I learned to articulate a fundamental aspect of my practice. In my favorite way of story sharing, we sat in my sacred kitchen - the birthplace of more than babies.

After briefly catching up, we dove right into what felt important - our hearts. She shared with me a wise message in the words of a dying man and I recounted a story about forgiveness, another about healing, and one about a birth I'd recently attended. We agreed about the immensity and power of love and then she said something else which shifted the conversation. I resonated so deeply with This.

Some time ago, with this teacher, I had immersed myself in an intense group exploration of midwifery and promised to "understand everything," including and particularly the unimaginable. At the conclusion of that immersion, I accepted the name, "Heart of Power," which conveys my understanding that Love is the root of existence and that knowledge of the root is where my power or shakti comes from. The name, my acceptance of it, and my promise are in spiritual alignment with.... what?

"Widen your gaze!" she exclaimed. A head-to-toe shiver left goosebumps and a forest of erect white arm hair in its wake. I shed tears. Stephen Buhner, refers to this experience as Goethe's "Pregnant Point," for which I named my practice. Loosely, to look at or experience with a soft focus and an open heart is to understand something....everything.

I know for certain that the heart of power is a devoted practice of surrendering to love and that knowledge comes from a source that is not my cerebrum. "Understanding everything" - famine, genocide, rape, the many faces of human suffering - cannot be accomplished by a thinking analysis.

What is called for is "Ishvara-Pranidhana," or what my teacher called "widening my gaze." A softening of vision, of heart....a surrender to love, oneness - to this I am aligned. Om Nameh Shivaya Gurave.

My practice, "The Pregnant Point," is an expression of that alignment and cultivates those shifts where we open to a deepened heart perception. Literally, what we see and believe morphs into something more. The shifts are divine gifts and may also be cultivated.

We are free to bring our attention back to this fundamental: We are love at our simplest, most pure particle and at our collective, most complex expression. Namaskar. XXOO

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Moth and the Flame - The Shadow of Devotion in Birth Work

Women in labor are amazing to witness and like moths to a flame, childbirth professionals are drawn with such zeal to the sacred realm of human creation. The shape, smell, sounds, and movements of laboring women riding the tides of birth are rich sensory stimuli of the most sacred variety. Such a sight is rich with archetype, layers of symbolism, and cues for personal transformation. For beyond contemplation of the feat of the gross body, there is of course an invitation to consider what else might be part of this magical dance?

Considering the thought process of the mother, her spiritual practices, her state of well-being and how these - the mind, body, spirit - play together is a holistic perspective. A sensitive observer notices how changes in the mother’s body position affect her state of mind, her emotions and vice versa. The impact of a damaged body or psyche on the spirit is lost on no one just as the spiritual impact of an undisturbed, ecstatic birth experience is undeniable.

Undoubtedly, being fully present for the birth of a child is an immense gift. The Quantum Birth Attendant meditates on the nature of all that is, at its simplest, most pure form. Potentially, she experiences transformation simply for having fully immersed her Self consciously in the sacred experience. In essence, she has experienced oneness and in her integration, contemplates the alchemy created by herself and those with whom she shared this sacred space - particularly the laboring woman.

When aware and celebratory of their innate power, birthing women are radiant - expressing pure love and consciousness. Enter the moths - light seeking creatures of devotion, unaware of the gifts of darkness . In self-sacrifice, women who attend other women’s births, frequently give up attention to their own self-care, in order to serve.

Qualities such as humility, service, flexibility, reverent, impartial, neutral, devoted are hallmarks of “good” birth attendants. But what of the negative qualities - the dark side of birth care-giving? Bullying, for example is written about minimally in some midwifery publications and on-line forums. Virtually nothing is written or discussed about greed, insecurity, egocentrism, woundedness, projection, dishonesty, or manipulation. Yet, as we are all human and breathe, we must be certain that these qualities exist in all of us to some degree.

Debbie Ford .suggests that “[o]ur so-called defects are powerful teachers, becoming our greatest assets and source of wisdom. In this there is self-love, freedom, and an ability to be with the darkness in others. It is the path of the Heart Warrior.” Calling to light these assets is Shadow Work - an essential process for those who touch the transformative experience of childbirth.

Indeed, the call to attend birth is a powerful one and an opportunity to root deeper into our existence, calling forth meaning and offering our gifts more fully in concert with others. There is no need to burn out. If shadow work is fertile ground to be cultivated, then we benefit from the act of cultivating, the harvest we reap, and the sharing of gifts.

Contact The Pregnant Point (pregnantpoint at gmail dot com) to inquire about details and register for Birth in the Shadow - a personal development process for birth professionals.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Pregnant Point serves families during peak experiences in the life-death cycle with a focus on homebirth, breastfeeding, termination, and loss. We are uniquely prepared to facilitate families of all persuasions, who seek to co-create a self-directed, spiritually sound container for their sacred experience.

We facilitate in these basic ways and MANY more:

* Free Initial Consultation to identify needs , resources, and optimal relationship alchemy
* Conscious Conception Consultation
* Birth Plan Consultation
* Co-creating a wellness practice
* Ceremony and Spiritual Rites
* Grief Processing
* Holistic Healing Practices
*Ancient Wisdom Birth Practices
* Relationship Mediation
* Breastfeeding Consultation and Facilitation (24 -hour house call/on-call available)
* Labor, Birth, and Postpartum Facilitation (24 -hour house call/on-call available)
* Termination and Loss Facilitation (24 -hour house call/on-call available)

The Pregnant Point is not a medical practice, including the medical practice of midwifery. Midwifery is becoming a legally and professionally protected title, globally. Where there are limitations in the scope of medico-legal practices, which lately include midwifery, The Pregnant Point makes no claim to said practices. Rather, we seek to share knowledge around ancient, sacred wellness practices; to create ceremony and sacred space; develop loving community through caring for others; and to facilitate and witness healing and creative process - all originating outside the realm of medico-legal practice. The Pregnant Point maintains relationships with various medical and non-medical practitioners and facilities in order to give referrals as desired and required.

Our purpose is to participate in a planetary shift toward consciousness by being fully present for peak experiences in the life-death cycle. The seed of the Pregnant Point’s philosophy is the belief that whole health is based in personal wellness practices that do not separate the mind/body/spirit and are derived from Self direction. Therefore, the responsibility of developing such practices lies in the heart of the person seeking wholeness.

Education, preparation, and training can be characterized as diverse, holistically focused, and family centered. Included are (on-going) life experiences; both formal and autodidactic education; elder-facilitated spiritual experiences, community discussion groups, conferences, skills workshops, and various forms of mentoring and council, and employment in various relevant practices to name a few.

References enthusiastically provided.