Many of us are into our second month of lock down, with a long(ish) road ahead. As we have just found out in Oregon, somethings will be starting to re-open next week, but life as we know it will no longer be the same. I've been trying to limit my news headlines and intake, but with this advent of re-opening information, I thought I'd tune in. And, as I was just catching up and reading the good&bad news about the state of the world, I was flooded with a mix of emotions. My main take away, is yes, there has been, still is and will continue to be immense suffering, but there is also immense healing. SO much healing is happening when we turn our gaze beyond the pain. People are healing from COVID. People are healing from the stresses of daily life. People are grieving, but also healing through the grief. And, the best news, Mama Earth is healing. All of these headlines and article got me to thinking, well about healing.
I'd like to share a story that might shed a little light on why this notion of healing has struck a chord for me. Many of you know, some of you do not, that my son Reeves (who is now 8 months old) was born via cesarean. Our cesarean was not planned, and quite frankly was the opposite of our birth plan. I had intended to have a natural birth at the birthing center. With my daughter, I birthed her vaginally, but still required a slew of interventions to keep us both alive. Given this history, we had been cleared to try for a natural birth with him but definitely needed to be at the hospital. The short of the long birth story, is that by hour 15 at 9cm dilated and a baby boy stuck in the birth canal, my doctor (whom I adore!) made the call for cesarean. I had told her all along that my primary motivator for this birth was healthy baby & healthy mama. She knew that is was time for my body and baby's body to have the release of birth and we needed a bit of help. In this quick moment of transition (mentally, emotionally, and physically), I dropped deeply into my meditation practice and allowed my heart/mind to soften and relax during the whole procedure. It turned out to be a truly remarkable moment of surrender and transformation. With my partner by my side, we birthed in the most unexpected way for us. But it was magical and we were in awe. Our beautiful, calm, and very patient son came into the world, wide-eyed and alert, full of awareness and presence. He was perfect and we were both still alive. That is the short version ;)
And, thus started our journey of healing. Healing from any birth takes time. Healing from 15 hours of labor, an emergency c-section, and postpartum hypertension - which I had with both children - takes, well about weeks, months and sometimes more! Here is the thing, before we knew how Reeves would come into the world we had already planned to honor the 40 Day postpartum window (for those of you who are unfamiliar with this, check this out). We did not know, however, how tender this window would be as I healed not only emotionally and hormonally, but with an intense physical healing as well. We also did not know that our emotional healing would involve reframing our understanding of birth, releasing expectations of what was supposed to be and allowing a great acceptance and joy to overcome us as we told our story to family, friends and community. As we navigated our new way of being as a family of four, nourished our bodies and allowed for space, the healing came naturally. We moved through each day slowly. We created new routines. We created new understandings. We let go of what was. We leaned into what is. (((Sound at all familiar to what we have all been doing the past few weeks?!)))
Yes, the physical pain was real, my body needed to heal. Yes, the emotional pain was real, our minds needed to heal. And yes, the wisdom that settled in was also real. It told us that the heart is always healing. The heart is always healing from the wounds of being human. The heart is healing from the unexpected changes, fear, anxieties and stress of life. The heart is always healing, and that makes it so strong. Without our 40 day window, we would not have healed. We would have launched into old patterns and behaviors. My physical scar would have been bigger, my emotional scar could have been lifelong. But they aren't. Instead, the are small beautiful reminders of the journey of this life. The unexpected twists and turns, and our innate capacity to heal.
I share this story to shed light on the fact, that indeed we are all healing. And while we might be resisting, grasping, and clinging to what was, eventually we will let that go, and step into what is. It takes 40 days (or more!) to find this kind of acceptance. And it isn't easy. Healing takes work. From the repairing of tissues, to the repairing of hearts.
So, as we move through the end of our shared quarantines and lockdowns (which have all been pretty close to 40 days - give or take), I hope that you have healed, or are at least allowing space for new ways of being to settle in. Things will feel and be different and that is ok. If you never found a new rhythm, start now, start again, keep going. Healing leads to a newness of being - transformed but stronger. We have to allow what was to be gone, allow the emotions of grief, anger, fear to move through us. And create space for a fresh start. This time in the history of the world, we are being asked to start a new. This is a time of great awakening, be mindful of how you step forward, but know deeply that you can and will find your way. Yes, we are seeing immense pain and suffering, that is real. Really, real - I do not discredit the loss, the hardships, the deep ache of bodies and hearts. But, I do know that on the other side of pain and suffering is JOY. And that is really, real too. The 40 Day healing window allowed for me to move through pain to the healing and see the joy of all of it. And you too - we all can, if we honor the healing - move through it too. The healing process is always available to us if we slow down, if we pause, if we allow for change. We have an innate capacity to heal - it is truly miraculous. Know that hearts and bodies can heal. Hold onto that knowing, and trust the process.
So I ask you, in these last of quarantine, before we all reemerge into the world, can you allow space for healing? Can you connect to the global healing? Can you put your hand down to Mama Earth and remember that she too is healing? We are in this together, now more than ever. Collective healing leads to collective awakening. Awaken to a new way of being. Heal your courageous, strong heart and allow yourself to use this time to rise a new.
From my heart to yours, thank you for showing up.