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Compassion
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Compassion


Overview:
The inspiration for the Universal Mother Principles arrived as I pondered the unseen forces behind healing and being ‘cared for’.  What was that exactly?  In Ayurveda, we understand that perfect health is a combination of the body, the mind, the senses, the spirit and the power of digestion and elimination.  During massive transitions, everything is heightened.  The elements of ether and air are increased, bringing us deeply in tune with the subtle energetics around us.

“Compassion is the capacity to bear witness through empathy.  It means to “feel with” someone. Compassion, by itself, requires no action.  There is nothing that needs to be done.  It is simply the act of bearing witness through non-judgement and empathy.  Rising out of compassion is loving-kindness.”
  • Channeled by Tom Kenyon, “The Great Human Potential: Walking in One’s Own Light”

This passage came across my kindle screen last night as if urging me to begin writing about the Universal Mother Principle of Compassion.  I’ve been sitting with compassion the last week and seeking a greater understanding of her qualities, how they feel, how they are given and received, how they heal.

An integral part of accelerated healing (particularly during transitions) is being witnessed, seen, honored and acknowledged.  In so many cases, words or actions are simply unnecessary - it is the simple act of compassionate presence that allows for integration and balance.  

I remember Michelle, my birth doula trainer, sharing with us a significant study about birth outcomes with and without a doula.  The findings conveyed that a person in the room, who was not doing anything, but remained a compassionate and consistent presence, created better birth outcomes.  This was amazing to me.  Simply loving someone, giving my attention, sharing my space and time, witnessing them, was in itself powerful medicine.

As caregivers, we talk a lot about holding space, of giving people the opportunity to digest their experiences by talking through them and the power of listening (more on listening next week!).  A deeper dive into Compassion affirms this.  By bearing witness, and “feeling with” someone, we offer medicine that opens the gates to integration and resiliency.  These are tools of navigating transition.  These are tools of healing trauma.

The next step beyond compassion is supporting integration and balance.  Loving-kindness becomes our pathway from which to offer caregiving that consciously impacts the body, mind, heart and spirit.  Loving-kindness looks a million different ways and can be offered in a manner that deeply considers the individual…in a way that is conscious of who they are and what they need in each moment.

The wisdom of Ayurveda guides us in observing through visible and invisible channels the state of each person in each moment, and leads us to offering care that is perfect for them.  As a conscious caregiver, we are especially mindful that transitional care (such as postpartum) is best supported through gentle, non-invasive care including food, routine, bodywork, herbal support, meditation and spirit medicine.

An early memory of compassion…

Compassion

Martha had angelic qualities to her.  I was in 5th grade, and Martha was the associate pastor at Lombard United Methodist Church.  She was about 30 and towered over all of us at 6 and a half feet tall.  In her white robes at the front of the church, she held us all captivated in sacred space that as a child, I knew was ‘feeling God’.  Part of her ministry at the church was to work with the youth.  We were a bit of a rag tag group, all from different schools, and with very different interests.  We were awkward teens and pre-teens.  Martha’s presence can only be described as loving and compassionate.  She created a warmth in my heart that I can still feel as I write about her.  Her brown eyes held all of me as she spent time listening to my ideas, and offering ways to feel deeper into my spiritual center.  Her guidance went beyond Christianity or any religion.  It went to the heart of source that lies within every person.  Her compassion left an imprint that today guides me in knowing how to be that space and presence for others.  Her gift was an offering of acceptance, of love and of reassurance that I was just right.  Nothing about me needed to change, I could love myself just as I was.  She spoke to me of Grace, of experiencing the presence of the divine within myself.  Her compassion was permission for me to love myself in a way I desperately needed.

Noticing compassion in our world can feel illusive.  The pace of living is so fast, and compassion feels most evident when we allow ourselves to slow down and get quiet.  Compassion in its true sense is an inner experience that does not require outward action.  However, can we allow ourselves to quiet down and receive compassion in the invisible yet impactful ways it shows up as we walk through the world?

Water is the element we associate with compassion.  I’ve been working with Quan Yin, the goddess of Compassion.  In “The Sophia Code”, by Kaia Ra, Quan Yin offers a water prayer that embodies her grace, compassion and self love.  The healing that arises out of accessing compassion for self and others is transcendent as illustrated in Quan Yin’s story.  When our source being fully embodies compassion, there is a release of grief and judgement, a freedom from the heaviness it brings.  In this space of freedom and lightness we access love and connection in ways not available to us in the shadows.

Ways to honor Compassion today:

  • Give love and compassion to your water before you drink it.

  • Take a bath and give your love and compassion to the water before you get in.  Let your heart fill with compassion for self and others as you bathe.

  • Look into the eyes of strangers you meet.  Feel their humanity and invite compassion for the ways you both walk in the world with similar desires.

  • Take it slow.  In parenting, partnering, in community - with people it is best to go slow.  This allows us to connect and both sense and offer compassion in needed ways.

  • Meditate on your heart chakra.  Feel its warmth as you put your attention on it.  Visualize your heart chakra as a rose, slowly unfolding, not rushing it, just witnessing and loving it.

  • In your small acts of self care, such as oiling your body, brushing your hair or your teeth - intentionally give yourself love and compassion for all you do, all you are, all you aspire to create.  Appreciate yourself, correcting any negative thoughts that enter your mind in the process. 

A student reflection on Compassion and the Universal Mother Principles…

“As I head into menopause I feel like I have joined the Conscious Postpartum Caregiving course at a most serendipitous time. Self care and being supported is not something I am used to. My mum lost two babies after I was born and found it hard to process her grief and fear around this but rather just soldiered on. I was diagnosed with asthma soon after these babies passed, a heavy weight of grief in my family sitting on my chest and making it difficult for me to breathe. I have done alot of healing work with various modalities over many years but at the beginning of this year as I began this course I was ready to finally move through this grief and find freedom in my breathing. The mother principles guided my healing, compassion for my self played a big part, allowing whatever needed to surface to be expressed. I also experienced a deep well of compassion for my father who is unwell with dementia and will pass soon and for my mother who must have been overwhelmed with sadness at that time. Simplicity in my days have allowed me to take the time to nurture this new feeling in my chest, a vulnerable space that used to be contracted and stuck. I have been listening deeply to my body and letting it guide me to what I need. I walk in the forest so that my feet can root down and help me from spiralling with the intensity of emotion that wants to be felt. I take things slowly and do not judge what i feel and I intuitively know that after 45 years of having asthma that my soul has found a freedom that is has never experienced.”

Joanne - Current Student in the Conscious Postpartum Caregiver Program

My journey into compassion is deep and expansive.  I’m so grateful to be connected with you along the way as we build a more resilient and compassionate world through the divine feminine and the Universal Mother Principles.

With love and compassion,

Christine

Christine’s passion is in elevating care of self in order to amplify care for others. She is a busy mother to 4 boys and practices her skills daily in support of the divine feminine. Christine is an Ayurvedic Health Consultant, a Birth and Postpartum Doula and the Founder of the Center for Sacred Window Studies, an education platform for Conscious Postpartum Care inspired by Ayurveda and other universal traditions found around the world. She established the Universal Mother Principles as a way of accessing the foundational qualities of giving and receiving effective care for self and others. The Center for Sacred

Window Studies certifies caregivers from around the world in the Conscious Postpartum Caregiver Online Certification Program and the Sacred Window Postpartum Training + Embodiment Retreats. Christine hosts the Sacred Window Podcast and builds awareness and support for postpartum and transitional feminine care via monthly events and continuing education for people passionate about the postpartum window and sustainable caregiving. Christine is featured on many podcasts, publications and summits including USA Today, Orgasmic Birth and Birthing from Within.


Here at the Center for Sacred Window Studies, we share voices from many perspectives and backgrounds. We believe that the sacred weeks post birth, and the experience of humanity is experienced in countless ways. We learn by listening to one another and honoring our stories. The views and opinions of our writers do not necessarily reflect the mission, viewpoints or opinions of the Center for Sacred Window Studies.


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Conscious Postpartum Caregiver Program

Inspired by Ayurvedic Principles