Saturday, January 9, 2010

Doulas for the everyday

In December I traveled to Seattle, alone, to be around for the birth of my good friend's first baby. While I was there I visited with a friend who was fresh from a weekend workshop in Matrix Energetics. I cannot begin to pretend that I know the first thing about what that is, but something must have sunk into my subconscious (which is some of what it's all about. I think.), because in a moment of imagined crisis on the plane ride home, that bit of something is what surfaced and made sense. What J explained to me was that you can visualize yourself essentially channeling knowledge that you don't have from your own life experience, and use it for healing in your present moment. Her example was a surgery she had recently, where she visualized the world's best surgeon in the room, guiding the hands of her surgeon, with the result that the mood in the operating room was one of levity and light and the successful surgery was done in record time, much to the surprise of the professionals present.

I'm on the little airplane, from Chicago to Columbus. I've been expecting delays due to weather all day, so the 20 minutes we're running behind is nothing. As we begin our descent, the wind picks up. Then it really picks up. Like it's tossing us around like mad, and I am starting to panic. I think about my girls and I actually start to cry. Then I imagine all of the panicked scared thoughts of the one hundred-plus passengers putting out of balance the pilot and co-pilot on the plane - that's a lot of negativity to counter. So I try to shift my thoughts. I start with the explanation given to me by my Matrix Energetics friend, of borrowing the knowledge that is already out there, and I call on the skills of the best pilot ever. I imagine him in the cockpit, confident and unrattled by a little wind. I imagine him having fun and fully present. Then I am imagining the positive thoughts and joyful energy of everyone on board - unskilled to actually fly the plane, but able to lend their strength, confidence and energy to the pilot. Maybe it's because I was just coming from supporting a birth, but it felt so much like being at a birth - you cannot birth the baby for the laboring woman (not even if she turns her beautiful brown eyes to you and they say so much, but all she manages aloud is "DEBBIE.") - but your energy sure as hell affects how she does it.

There was a moment at the end of Bubbie's labor when it seemed that she needed the focused energy of everyone in the room to help her find her last reserves, and we were all there, doing our part - her husband had her ear and was digging deep, past his own high emotions, to find the words that would help her hold onto her strength (I believe the words he found were "add it on! add it on!" - we all had a giggle later that it was his inner soccer coach kicking in, and no one, not even he, was quite sure where "add it on" came from but guess what? It helped!); I was at her right leg, helping her find her grip behind her knee, my beautiful wise friend Carrie was across from me on the left knee, we were both doing a low reassuring moan of sorts I guess, a lot of mmmhmmmm, that's it, you're doing it, we're with you, you're doing it...it could only be her strength that would birth her daughter, but we were there to remind her of what was inside of her.

So - once I feel that everyone on board is "on board" with their positive thoughts, I start thinking of my girls again and imagine that we've landed and I'm walking down the hallway and they spot me and are so shiny and bright and brilliant in their joy and excitement, ...and then we're landing and I'm breathing consciously to calm myself, and the guy behind me starts whispering "smoooth, smoooth, smoooth, come on, smoooth" and it was all very clear for that instant: we all landed that plane, no question about it. I was euphoric - so relieved to be safe, and high in a way similar to how it feels to see your friend do the most amazing thing her will and her body have ever done, birthing a human being.

Also clear was this: this is the potential we have every day, to lend our energy to the world, to consciously work together with people we don't know to change our situation, turn things around, heal. Like we are all doulas* for the everyday.


*"Doula" is from the Greek for "woman who serves"; a doula is one who lends physical, emotional and informational support for a woman and her partner during pregnancy, labor and postpartum.

7 comments:

alissa said...

gorgeous. thank you!

Kerry said...

So right, so helpful. Smooooth.

poppy said...

i think this is what you meant by being mindful of what you are reflecting back. yes. it makes perfect sense.

Stacy (Mama-Om) said...

I am just so filled with joy reading this!

If we were together in person I would be sitting on the couch going, "Yes! yes! yes! I know what you mean!" and "You're articulating this so well!" and "This is so much like what I've been realizing about the power of my thoughts, and the energy behind them!"

and and and...

Thank you,
s

slim pickins said...

I'm glad it's resonating with someone else! it's been rattling around in my brain for the last month and finally had to get out. i thought it might be too...woowoo or something, but it tumbled out just the way i wanted it to. sometimes it's hard to explain those openings in the clouds in a way that makes sense...

Nicki Wilkins said...

I found this post via Stacy at Mama-Om. I love it! As a trained doula, I love how you use the postive collective energy to birth a smooth landing to the plane. And I love seeing us all as potentially being everyday doulas. Yes, really really brillant! Peace, Nicki

woowoomama said...

i also came via stacy (mama-om) and i loved this post. i think you did a wonderful job presenting some beautiful learning in a clear way. and i love love love bringing the doula into the every day. oh yes, that is good stuff!