Mother Blessings for Introverts

Feb 2, 2016

Mother Blessings for Introverts | www.nalumana.com

I know your story all too well: you have visions of all of your closest girlfriends, clad in flowy skirts and beads, tending to your needs – feeding you chocolate, washing your feet in a bowl full of rose petals – while you sit, respendently pregnant, trying not to break out into belly-jiggling giggles as you have a beautiful henna design painted on your gorgeously swollen baby bump. You feel confident, assured, and surrounded by the love of your supportive sisters.

Only you’re an introvert. You don’t really like hanging out in a large group, even if each member of that group is a dear friend. You don’t even count that many people as close friends; it takes more than just a beating heart to become your confidante. You value deep, carefully tended relationships cultivated over long, quiet talks and sincere moments of connection.

Parties, even those held in your honour, are not your thing.

 

So how do you, dear introvert, indulge in the beautiful ritual of mother blessing? How do you choose to ceremonially carve space into your life and your psyche to prepare to meet the baby you’ve been growing over the past few months? Here are a few tips:

  • Spend a day indulging your physical body. Go for a long walk in the woods, made all the more satisfying by deep breaths and careful attention to nature’s beautiful details surrounding you. Take a long, luxurious bath. See if you can procure yourself some rose petals for said bath. Eat a bar of good quality chocolate while you’re at it. Slather yourself in lotion; dab lavender essential oils on your pulse points. If you can, go for a pedicure or massage.
  • Make yourself a birthing necklace. Go to your local bead or crystal store and find some necklace components that speak to you. Spend a quiet hour stringing beads on to a necklace to wear while you are labouring. With each bead that you string, set an intention for your birthing process.
  • Have prenatal photos taken. Sure, you can involve your partner and other children if you wish, but entertain the idea of taking some stunning shots of just you in all your pregnant glory. This is especially applicable if your pregnancy has left you feeling a little less than stunning and glorious. In the grand scheme of things, you don’t spend very much time in your life pregnant and able to fully appreciate the miraculous, powerful process your body is capable of, so see if you can indulge in it, and record the moment for future reflection (and awe! and admiration!).
  • Do a releasing ceremony. Birth and pregnancy carries with it a lot more of the unknown than we are used to dealing with in our everyday lives, and it is normal that you might have some anxieties about how things might play out as you work to bring your baby into the world. You might find it powerful to name those fears and put them in their place by doing a releasing ceremony. To do this, take a few quiet minutes to meditate and quiet your mind. For the release, you could write your fears on a rock and then throw the rock into a lake or the ocean. You could write your fears on a piece of paper and then burn it. As you name your fears, take a moment to reflect on why that particular thing is causing you anxiety, and then what supports you could mobilize or actions you could take to begin to deal with it. Questions you could ask yourself include, if XYZ happened, how would I like to handle it? How can my support person help me calm myself? Do I need to find out more information to help me make an informed decision around this aspect of my birth? See if you can “own” the fear. If it feels safe enough, picture it coming true and how you might negotiate the unexpected circumstances. Take a deep breath and release it. I often choose to smudge the ashes of my fears or myself after the ceremony is complete, for an additional feeling of cleansing out that which I do not want to invite back into my life. (By the way, sometimes our fears remain with us, even after a powerful releasing ceremony. Sometimes I find myself releasing the same fears over and over again. This is okay: eventually, they will find their way out of your life.)
  • Journal. Make some time and mental space to let yourself feel your feelings about this pregnancy and birth. Free-write. If you need some structure to your writing, some questions you might ask yourself could be: How am I feeling about birth? What am I most excited about when it comes to birth and parenting? What scares me right now? You could write some thoughts down about what kind of little person you think your baby will be – will he have your eyes? Your father’s personality? Just dream and speculate: all of these things ultimately cause you to direct your attention toward your baby and your transition to motherhood, which is something many of us find ourselves challenged to make the time to do.

The bottom line with all this is: you don’t have to have a party that makes you feel uncomfortable. In the name of honouring yourself and your unborn babe, do exactly what feels good, and leave behind the rest.

Your turn:
Have you had a mother blessing?  How was it?
Are you an introvert?  Do these ideas resonate with you?

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!