Growing another human being requires transformation: mental, physical, and emotional transformation. The thing is, sometimes we get so wrapped up in the physical transformation, that we forget to focus on our emotional state. One of the things that fascinates me about the pregnancy journey is the subtle internal transformation that occurs. We go from looking outward to looking inward. All of a sudden the journey is not just about us and our exterior environment, but it is also about us and our interior environment.
The knowing that another human being is present and with you at all times, is both fascinating and eerie. Certainly, there is the excitement that one might experience in the last weeks of pregnancy, upon having the belly stretched so thin that your babe’s hands or feet might be seen. Your belly might take on odd shapes, you might begin to gather a sense of what position your baby is in based on where she kicks, or you might feel her head low in your pelvis, pressing on the pubic bone and reminding you, that she is on her own journey. Just as you journey inwards into the depths of your soul and your emotional being, she begins her journey outward into the climate that exists beyond the confines of a uterus.
I read a lot throughout my first pregnancy. It was my first, after all, and I had the time! But what I didn’t have was the wisdom of having crossed into labor land and having journeyed through birth. I didn’t have the traveler’s wisdom and I sought out all the gurus for answers: Ina May Gaskin, Pam England, and Gurmukh Kauer Khalsa. I even read “The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth” by Henci Goer. I welcomed the stories of women birthing on the “Farm” as they were described by Ina May. I considered the emotional dissonance of women experiencing a Cesarean birth that did not plan for or desire one. I considered that I might feel out of control in labor, that I might succumb to suggestions that didn’t fit my birthing preferences. I had a lot to think about, but that was all that existed. Thoughts. I had no tangible experience and that fact in itself, was unnerving, raw, and liberating at the same time. My story was a mere whisper on the wings of a Monarch gathering momentum, passion, and direction.
There were so many possibilities. I envisioned my birth experience in a certain way, yet I knew that the story would not be mine alone. The story was also his. My son had a story to tell on his journey from the inner cocoon that involved transformation and my story was incomplete without his. Together we entered labor land. Together we entered the unknown, fueled only by snippets of wisdom, whispers of advice, and a vision that was in flux.
A Multitude of Hats ~ Embracing the Meditative State
“A woman’s life is like a juggling act. We’re constantly trying to balance different roles.”
~ Dr. Jannie Chan as cited in Think and Grow Rich for Women, by Sharon Lechter & the Napoleon Hill Foundation.
I love this quote. How many hats do you wear in a day? Perhaps you go from the role of wife or partner, to mom, to chauffeur, to volunteer, to employee, to chief problem solver. Perhaps you are a business woman-by-day & a homemaker-by-night. It can be exhausting and overwhelming. Unfortunately, operating on overwhelm and shuffling through task after task in exhaustion mode doesn’t translate into excellence. This is where mindset comes into play.
Mindset. A simple concept, right? Easy to master? Not really. I know what you’re thinking. No, I REALLY do. When I’m at the kitchen sink doing dishes, typically a thousand thoughts are running through my mind. Some of them neutral, most of them negative, and then of course, there are the lists. The THOUSANDS of lists that I make in my mind.
What does it take to really operate in your “zone of Genius” as Robin Sharma likes to say? It’s simple. It requires intense focus and being vulnerable to the meditative state. I’ve decided, in fact, that washing dishes is a form of meditation when, and ONLY when, I can silence the chatter of the ongoing lists and intermittent negative thoughts. Then, washing dishes actually becomes, dare I say it, RELAXING.
I notice the water flowing over cobalt blue Sushi dishes. I marvel at shrimp tails leftover from my husband’s midnight Sushi snack after a long day at clinic (I’m not sure how the cat didn’t get to those already). I notice how beautiful the texture of their paper thin crustacean propellers is in neon light illuminated above the kitchen sink. I notice my sweet German shepherd at my feet snoozing and running in her sleep, chasing rabbits, or eating them, for that matter (point taken, that last image was NOT meditative).
The point is, the act of simply washing dishes, allowing the cool or warm, or SCALDING hot water (if you are a germ-a-phobe) oddly enough, can be soothing, calming, and serene. Moments of Meditation, are possible, and tangible.
I recently purchased a book called “Meditation Secrets for Women” by Camille Maurine & Lorin Roche, PhD, at the suggestion of my Intuitive Life and Business coach. I have to be honest, I was reluctant to purchase the text. For whatever reason, meditation scares the sh*t out of me. Are you kidding? I can’t find a serene location, filled with soothing greenery, quiet (except for the sweet sounds of a trickling fountain) and the scent of cedar incense in the background, to meditate for 15 minutes to save my life?!? And, quite honestly, I hate to sit still. But I purchased the book anyway. And, so far I have managed to read a few pages, though not really meditate, yet, other than at the kitchen sink. But here’s the takeaway that I want to share with you…
There is no secret recipe for the perfect mediation. Meditation can feel simple, effortless, and doable. Three minutes of uninterrupted serenity at the kitchen sink, 5 minutes of glorious inner calm while basking under the shower head, 2 minutes of peace while brushing your teeth with the bathroom door shut, or locked! You put a pause on those nagging lists, you clear your mind, you begin to gather a sense of living, existing, being in the moment. And, best of all, you become open to clarity. Now you are on your way to your zone of Genius.
When do you meditate? For how long? How do you create space to operate in your zone of Genius?