And not because there’s a unique, fresh, innocent, [adorable, snuggly, pink, delicious] new baby that comes into the world as a result.
It’s because as that unique, fresh, innocent, [adorable, snuggly, pink, delicious] baby is born,
so too is a woman.
A wise woman who is love, she is of love.
She looks at you with different eyes once they have cast a first glance at the child she grew and nourished inside of her. They are welled with tears and yet steadier. Stronger.
She is stronger than she ever thought she would be.
Her self-doubt, dissolved.
She is deeply, inherently, in-tune with her instincts. She is confident, not just in birth, not just in mothering, but in her ability to go forward in her life
asking for what she wants
letting go of what doesn’t serve her
standing in her deepest power
At least, this is what we hope for. This is the potential of birth.
But as women, as a society, we overlook this potential.
The vast majority of us think of birth as something to be gotten through, numbed and distracted. A means to an end. We give up our agency and our power and we hand
our complete transformation as women
over to a medical system that is completely and utterly disconnected from the beating heart of what birth could possibly be, if we would only let it.
I blame no one, for ignorance is nothing to be blamed for: ignorance, by its very definition, releases the bearer from responsibility – both onus and, as my dear friend often reminds me, the “ability to respond.”
But I offer this:
What if we took back birth? What if we embraced it as the transformation it is? What if we went into this transformation with our eyes wide open? What if we were supported to realize our own power through the event of birth in a way that can never be taken away from us? What if we placed the medical system precisely where it belongs within the context of birth, which is to say, only when truly necessary, and then supported women to ensure that necessary really meant only that.
What if every time a woman gave birth, we, as a collective, took back a piece of the power that has been systematically and systemically disallowed us.
I don’t like to use the world revolution lightly,
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
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!