It’s not all that bad…

Jun 20, 2017

I remember, distinctly, my husband and I sitting in the living room of our friends, who had recently become parents for the first time.  We were having a glass of wine while their kid slept.

(though I thought nothing of it then, now of course I see this as a small miracle)

I knew we would probably choose to have children one day, but we were decidedly on the fence.  Both avid scuba divers and with a great number of unchecked boxes on our respective bucket lists, the decision also seemed a bit life sentence-y to me.

Also, a researcher by trade and by preference, I could not get a handle on this one:


It sounded like having children was awful.  And awesome.


No one could give me the straight goods.

But I hoped my friends could, as we sat across from them, the baby monitor filling the space with white noise as we sipped our wine.

“It’s not all that bad,” my friend said.

“People make it out to be this awful thing.  No one ever talks about the good stuff.  Really, it’s not that bad.”

Nowadays, I feel like I spend a lot of my time in my doula work preparing women for the transition into motherhood.  I’ve experienced it for myself now, twice, and know that it is not for the faint of heart.

I often liken it to my travels in India:  “It was simultaneously completely overwhelming and dazzlingly spectacular and wonderful, All. At. The. Same. Time.”  (which, in and of itself, is, of course, a total mindf%&^).

I do a lot of postpartum support in my day-to-day life.  Arguably, even when I coach with women for whom motherhood has been the catalyst that has launched them into a new career or a new lifestyle, I am still doing postpartum support.

And in that, I do a lot of warning.


“It’s a life change.  You’re going to become a totally different person.”

“Things are going to look totally different for you now, and you’ll grieve the loss of your former self.  Some parts of her will return, and some won’t, and none of this is going to happen on your timeline.”

I don’t mean to be scary.  I do it because so many of the women I talk to say, “I didn’t know it was going to be like this.”

And I just want to show them a little bit of what it’s like, and to say that it’s normal, and that the transformation into motherhood is both challenging and profoundly powerful, if you let it be so.

Because there are also

those moments


that you wonder how you would have survived without

when a fuzzy-haired little head nestles into your chest, a tiny body curls up on your lap 

and you become a home for another person, a safe haven, for a while.

It is unbridled pleasure.  An exquisite honour.

That is motherhood, too.


The Becoming Podcast has been on a short hiatus while I focus on writing my book, but oh what a comeback episode I have for you!

This month, I spoke to Toko-pa Turner, who many of you may know as the unofficial patron saint of many of my circles and gatherings because of the sheer number of times I’ve quoted from the wisdom of her book, Belonging.

Toko-pa is a Canadian author, teacher, and dreamworker. Blending the mystical teachings of Sufism in which she was raised with a Jungian approach to dreams, she founded The Dream School in 2001, from which thousands of students have graduated. She is the author of the award-winning book, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home, which explores the themes of exile and belonging through the lens of dreams, mythology, and nature. This book has resonated for readers worldwide, and has been translated into 10 different languages so far. Her work focuses on the relationship between psyche and nature, and how to follow our inner wisdom to meet with the social, psychological, and ecological challenges of our time.

Here’s some of what Toko-pa and I talk about in this episode:

> The dream that changed Toko-pa’s life, causing her to question her career and, ultimately, her identity

> How we can court our dreams to support us during times of radical transformation – and the reasons so many of us have a hard time remembering and working with what shows up in our dreamscape

> Toko-pa’s perspective on the message of Belonging after the divisiveness our society has experienced in the years since it was published

> What happened for both Toko-pa and I when we fell out of belonging from the ideologies of the “wellness world”

> How to build community when you’re under-resourced

> “The Big Lie” when it comes to belonging, and how we can reclaim a sense of belonging to the greater family of things, as Mary Oliver so famously wrote

Listen to the episode on iTunes


Show Notes

Toko-pa’s Website

Belonging:  Remembering Ourselves Home, Toko-pa’s book

The David Abram video about animism mentioned in the interview

Toko-pa’s self-guided program, Dream Drops

Companion, the program that accompanies Belonging


Also, while you’re at it, if you enjoy The Becoming Podcast, I would be so grateful if you would rate and review, and even subscribe to it on iTunes.  That goes a long way to helping more and more people find and benefit from hearing these interviews!  Thank you so much!