A Spiritual Midwife recognizes the birthing-something-new process, and acknowledges it as holistic—the physical, emotional and spiritual all intertwined. She has some tricks of the trade—remedies and techniques—while at the same time recognizes that they are not cures but instead compassionate aids to help you stay present to the new life emerging within you.
Labor and delivery split us open, turn us inside out, yank off our masks of self-control and ego. We generally think of spiritual practice as something tidy as a temple, smelling of jasmine and sandalwood. But for most of us, labor and delivery are wild and messy and animal and angry and bloody and painful. The transcendent act of giving birth is made up of the earthliest of elements. It pulls us straight into the heart of what it means to be alive, and reminds us we are part of a universe that is infinitely creative and breathtakingly beautiful!
- Susan Piver, Joyful Birth
We were blessed to have had midwives for our boys' births. Each of the midwives were very different in personality and philosophy; yet they had some similar characteristics. They were gentle, strong, nurturing, challenging, present, wise, compassionate and patient during a lot of pain. After our second son's birth, I thought for sure that I would become a midwife as I could not imagine a better job than to walk with a family through one of life's most profound experiences. Indeed, I have become a midwife but of a different sort.
Spiritual Midwives are companions or guides who help during difficult physical, emotional and spiritual transitions. They hold hope for new life and see the beauty in staying present during painful shifts. Our culture usually encourages us to check out or numb ourselves during hard times. This often results in migrating back to what feels comfortable even though it is no longer life-giving. Or we choose to get to the end as quickly as possible, again missing out on the deeply transformative process.
A Spiritual Midwife recognizes the "birthing-something-new" process, and acknowledges it as holistic—the physical, emotional and spiritual all intertwined. She has some tricks of the trade—remedies and techniques—while at the same time recognizes that they are not cures but instead compassionate aids to help you stay present to the new life emerging within you.
When a pregnant woman begins having contractions, they are not considered problems that need to go away. Instead, they are understood as a necessary part of the process in order to give birth. In the same way, we are better able to accept our emotional and physical pain when we surrender to the Bigger Story with joyful anticipation and gratitude. Our painful symptoms often disappear with this new birth. In our journeys we all have seasons of loneliness, pain, fear and confusion. During these times it is helpful to have someone to guide, nurture and remind us that choosing the natural and choosing to be present will eventually give birth to something wonderful.
The acceptance of suffering is a journey into death. Facing deep pain, allowing it to be, taking your attention into it, is to enter death consciously. When you have died this death, you realize that there is no death--and there is nothing to fear. Only the ego dies. Imagine a ray of sunlight that has forgotten it is an inseparable part of the sun and deludes itself into believing it has to fight for survival and create and cling to an identity other than the sun. Would the death of this delusion not be incredibly liberating?
- Eckhart Tolle