Thursday, March 03, 2011

The Courage to be Different

In one of the chapters of my upcoming book, Miriam’s Secret: Midwiving the Birth of Your Inner Transformation, entitled, “Your Voice Matters”, I write about the literal birth process and the role of midwife in it, to explore how we can begin to support ourselves as if we were midwives, in giving birth to our inner transformation.

To learn more from the first hand perspective of a professional midwife, a few days ago I met with Mindy Levy, who has assisted over 1500 births, within both a hospital environment and also within a home birthing setting.

I asked Mindy, “Through all the births you have assisted in, how do you relate birth and transformation?” Her response was direct and to the point:

Transformation is birth. Birth is transformation.

“I’ve never seen a woman give birth without being transformed. The transformation is the birth of a new self, a changed person, a changed being - someone who has been willing to die in order to be born. It may sound overly simplistic, but every woman I’ve ever witnessed or participated in her birth has always undergone some form of transformation. You have to go into hell, then come out and find heaven. If that is not transformation, what is?”

Touchee… Do you know the sense of going through change… you get to a point where you think you’re going to die?

You can’t go on and you can’t do it any more. When that moment comes, it’s like the saying goes:

The darkest hour comes just before the dawn.

Can you see a correlation to your life? I certainly can. Yesterday, excited about receiving the response as to who moves up to round two in the Next Top Self Help Author’s Contest, I opened the email to discover that my name was not on the list. Big ICK! My immediate response was that old familiar voice of the victim, “It’s not fair; I should be on the list! No matter what I do, it’s notr good enough for them.” Butterflies churned in my stomach.

Levy describes: “There are contractions. There’s pain. And then there’s a rest. There is this movement going on. It gets more and more painful all the time. Yet with it, the capacity to deal with the pain increases as well.

While the pain is stronger, the hormones that the body releases are stronger and they help the woman deal with the pain. As the observing midwife, when a woman says she can’t go on, I say to myself “oh good” the baby’s on the way. That’s when I know that she is about to give birth.

I remembered her words as I dealt with the pain. I allowed the butterflies to be there, along with the voice of victim, yet I chose to choose a different response to the old pain. It wasn’t comfortable, but then, who said birth is comfortable?

"When you control your thoughts and emotions you can actually being going around in circles, not moving ahead.", Levy noted, “When the movement becomes more chaotic there is more opportunity for something to break out. From that breaking out, something new can happen. Something new can come in. That is when the transformation comes."

I appreciate every one who cast your vote for the book. Thank you. I feel empowered to keep writing when I remember that the discomfort is part of the birthing process. Babies need families to connect with. Miriam’s Secret will be published because her voice matters. Your voice and my voice matter.

To explore this issue of "Your Voice Matters" more, I’ve scheduled a free teleseminar for March 20th at 1pm EST – 18:00 GMT. We'll explore:

1) How we can exercise our self-esteem by being honest with others and with ourselves.

2) How to become the midwives of our own inner transformation.

What changes are you in the midst of? Where are your biggest challenges to show up for yourself? I will use your responses to build the content for the conference call. I will also compose special live music for whoever will be on the call.

Sign up for to receive call in details.

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