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Flexibility
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Flexibility


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.

It was five days after my son was born.  I stared down at him in wonder with bleary eyes in milk stained pajamas and greasy hair.  His eyes were closed as he made that little sucking motion with his mouth as if he were nursing in his sleep.  My nipples were raw and I could feel the sticky lanolin under my shirt that I bravely smeared on after each time I fed him.

Kristen, one of my midwives, was visiting.  We sat on the couch together and her loving eys held me in complete appreciation.  Whenever Kristen entered a space, a warm energetic embrace of loving compassion came with her.  I often found myself crying in her presence at just being given the space to do so.

“I thought I had a rhythm going.”, I said with a slight tremor in my tired voice.  “It seemed like we had a schedule figured out yesterday, but this morning was totally different.”  Her energy became a little playful and her eyes danced with a lightness that helped me to transition out of my concern.  “Oh, that sounds just like parenting!”, she mused.  My eyes widened with the realization that it was SUPPOSED to be like this.

I thought I was a flexible person.  I really did.  I actually prided myself with being easy going, laid back and “go with the flow”.  Everyone said so when they described me.  I’m a water sign after all.  Yet in those fragile (rickety might I say?) days and weeks after birth, I was downright weary.  My resiliency for bending and adjusting to any change and schedule was limited.

Years later, as I meditated on the qualities of care that actually allow us to heal, flexibility immediately showed herself to me.  When I could not feel strong in weathering the unexpected, I needed those around me to hold us steady.  In addition, when I realized that the unexpected was to be expected, I could proceed with a new belief system.  I did not have to figure it out, we would figure it out one moment at a time…ideally with support.  I had the choice to bend or break.

Flexibility

Ayurveda, as we teach and explore it, is medicine for the moment.  It is simple, intuitive and immediately applicable.  It is amazing to set intention (see email one!), which shows us a map to arriving where we wish to go.  Yet along that journey, there will be things - lots of things.  How we navigate those things is what creates how we feel not only along the way, but at the moment when we actually arrive.  If we take that journey with a set of expectations that we are unwilling to change, that trip is certain to be stressful.  There will be experiences to handle, others to consider, surprises to manage - for this is what gives us the wonderful adventure called life.  

An option that embodies the universal mother principle of flexibility can look like this.  

I take a deep breath and feel my body right now.

My breath fills my lungs and I let it expand into all of my cells.

With this wash of inhalation and release of exhalation, I visualize my prana - my life force -  becoming awake and activated.  

I become aware of and connected to my heart center which opens like a rose in full bloom.  Mine is a light pink rose and I smell the instantly balancing fragrance which connects me to the universal mother.

As I open my eyes from this short moment of centering, I am ready to be in the present moment.  What do I need now?  Is it water?  Is it a stretch?  

What does my baby (or the person I am caring for) need now?  Is it to be changed, is it to be held or heard?

I begin here.  We craft a plan that centers on bringing balance - medicine - to this moment.  

The day may go differently than we expected but our intention guides us to the same outcome.  

With flexibility, we can embody the element of water and nourish the ways things need to move rather than holding tight to something that cannot be controlled.  The thing we can control is how we decide to experience it.

The realization hit me like a brick in my son’s first year of life.  “This is a human being, and I cannot control how this is going to go!”.  I could only control myself, my moment to moment.  During those early years, I felt as though I was at the mercy of outside forces, hanging on for dear life to keep a sense of calm and ease during the torrent of transition into parenthood.  One wave could send me into a panicked fight or flight response.  I hardly recognized myself at times, and I still look back in sadness to the helplessness I felt.

Journeying into the Universal Mother Principles, into caring for others, into deeply honoring my role as a mother and caregiver in this world has shown me how to embody the loving compassion I felt from Kristen, Jharna and the amazing midwives and caregivers who witnessed me over the years.  I began to apply those energetics to myelf every day.  The ways in which I experience flow, ease and resiliency are all the encouragement I need to keep going deeper.  I am in awe of the difference and the recognition of myelf when the big waves come and I ride them rather than trying to fight the ocean.

Ways to bless flexibitlity in your life today:

  • Before you get out of bed, breathe and connect for a few moments.

  • As you make your list (physical or mental) for the day, build in some awareness for adjusted outcomes.

  • Do something unplanned each day.

  • When a potentially challenging moment arises, take a deep breath and make a decision to be curious.

  • Think about a moment when you handled something with flexibility and grace.  How did you do that?  What were you feeling before that happend?  How would you like to bring more of that response into your life?  Now do it.  It’s really that simple.  You’ve already done it. 

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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About the Author

Conscious Postpartum Caregiver Program

Inspired by Ayurvedic Principles