Ever since passing through the metaphysical birth canal i find myself feeling a bit turned around. Not in the same way i was within the first few months postpartum where you feel like you are living in the twilight zone, but more so internally. I feel deconstructed. In fact this dismantling of myself actually began while i was pregnant. I’d often liken how i was feeling to the title of a book written by a Buddhist Psychotherapist called, Going to Pieces without Falling Apart. I felt just like that! Though i know that i am a particularly sensitive person and that my inner world is very visceral to me, i wonder if i am not alone in sensing this process of going to pieces without falling apart throughout pregnancy and during the dawn of motherhood.
I am definitely being rearranged since stepping through the great portal of mothering. During pregnancy all the pieces of me were just beginning to shift around so that the puzzle no longer reflected the image of myself as i knew me to be. And today, the image is not yet complete, for mother-me is still being cultivated and sculpted.
A few years before i had Veda i founded a nonprofit organization called Root For Trees. She was my baby. I conceived and birthed her with a wonderful partner and held such a powerful vision for her potential. Our mission was to raise environmental consciousness throughout NYC by using art and other creative mediums. Shortly after we launched our first major initiative i became engaged to my beloved, and shortly after that, pregnant. Once all that happened, the incredible passion and drive i felt for this dear cause just dissolved like ice melting into a puddle and evaporating into thin air. Just like that, my entire sense of passion, purpose, and service was gone. I used to wake up in the morning thinking about all the ways i could be of service to the planet, take action in my community, and elevate consciousness throughout NYC. Then out of the blue i just didn’t care about any of it. All i could think about was planning the perfect wedding rituals and ceremony, and the life growing inside of me. of course it’s ridiculous to expect anything else of myself, two of life’s biggest metamorphosis’s were happening side by side, hardly enough space to digest one of them let alone continuing to focus wholeheartedly on saving the planet! But if you’ve been following this blog at all you might have caught on to just how hard i can be on myself. At the time i was actually upset to have my focus shift so much, to have my entire center of gravity change course like that overnight. I felt like a betrayal. It was like falling out of love with someone in a flash, breaking up with them immediately, and then never once looking back. Here i had done all this work, so much heart- blood, sweat, and tears- and then just like that i felt nothing. Totally detached. As i look back now i realize that i was in a deep shedding process. I was having to let go of who i was for who i was becoming. And really, i’m just one woman. My nonprofit partner and i came to a place of completion and decided to temporarily suspend the organization until time, and genuine inspiration, revisited our efforts. And by the end of my pregnancy my coaching practice began to slow down too. By week 39 it came to a complete stop, as did my writing. Piece by piece, that which “defined” me in many ways began to get stripped away. From being so sick and disconnected from the world and myself during half my pregnancy, to getting engaged, then married, moving, dismantling my career, and then awaiting the arrival of my baby… it was like, who am i? What is going on!? By the middle to end of my pregnancy i felt pretty raw, like i had shed a skin without getting a new one. But that is always how it is, because a new skin is something that is grown and cultivated organically over time. And let’s face it, i had a lot going on! A pregnancy and birth is a lot to digest all on its own.
Since having Veda this process of stripping away has continued while the process of cultivating anew has begun. Some days feel like information overload between all the unsolicited advice to everything i am voluntarily reading about and taking in; everything from parenting and vaccinations, to the spiritual nature of children and Waldorf education. In the overall sense, i feel like i’m digesting a lot these days, yet i’m so hungry for inspiration right now. It’s almost as though with each new inspiring discovery, new parts of me are awakening, parts of me that are ready to blossom. Like being kissed by the right frogs at the right time, our souls unfolding is a magical process of grace, inspiration, and divine timing. I am taking in tons of new information and ideas, filtering and assimilating it all through my values and inner truth barometer, and then eventually integrating it into this reborn incarnation of myself.
However, being under construction can be really uncomfortable at times. To evolve consciously means that we commit at the deepest level to continue giving up who we are for who we are meant to be. And since becoming a mother is likely one of the greatest passageways in the human experience, a radical metamorphosis, we can expect that this period is a real breaking down of everything we thought we were, and a rebuilding of who we are becoming. There is a certain vulnerability to being unsure of who we are, sensing all too often the groundlessness where we stand. Of course i always know who i am at the core because i am my soul above all else; so even when my priorities, the city i currently live in, my daily routine, my wardrobe, my views on parenting, life, food, medicine, health, and well-being are all growing and changing dramatically, i am still “me”. Those Earthly things don’t define my essence, but they do comprise of my Self and sometimes when our Selves are under construction or going through an overhaul or period of profound growth, it can leave us feeling a bit awkward. Naked. Sometimes lately, when i catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror i swear that what i see almost looks like a Picasso cubism painting of my face. I know that sounds crazy, but i am not exaggerating when i say that i look as under construction to myself as i feel inside. It’s as though i can literally see the re-calibration of myself occurring on a cellular level. It reminds me a bit of the Woody Allen film Deconstructing Harry, where he literally becomes blurry and his family tells him he looks “out of focus.” I think if you could truly see someone re-calibrating on the cellular level, they might appear “out of focus”, as though the universal lens that is projecting their particular formula of light into the world is still shifting.
When our Selves are being stretched we are making more room for our souls to dance freely without restriction. When we inhibit the vulnerability of change and transformation, we are confining our soul.
Rebirthing is like watching a flower open in real time. It’s a holy process of perfect timing, nurturance and divine inspiration. It’s a natural cycle, it can not be rushed and each stage no matter how outwardly imperceptible, is vital. But even as we cycle through our process and eventually feel more rooted within and on our new terrain, our center is always shifting because, hopefully, we are. This is not the first time in my adult life that i’ve felt deconstructed, dismantled, or raw, and it won’t be the last. But of all the times of transformation i have had the great gift of moving through, this is and will continue to be amongst the most radical.
So if you too feel under construction, raw, confused, having an identity crisis, etc., just keep going with the flow. It simply means that either more layers are needing to be shed, or new inspiration is still unfolding! Join me in the surrender. My theory is that becoming a mother reflects what it’s like for a baby in their first year. Natures’ built-in empathy, if you will. Think about what a monumental transformation babies make in their first year. They are literally cracking the code to human life. Learning how to use their hands, voice, and legs, while also integrating many sense perceptions and taking in countless impressions on being human. It’s magnificent! Really. And becoming a mother is too. So be gentle with yourself during the process. It’s so easy to be hard on ourselves for not being more arranged or whatever it is that you are having a hard time being with, but it takes time to find our way back into our full body, heart and mind after having a babe. I keep telling my husband that i hope people buy me presents on her first Birth Day because it’s kinda my first year too.