23 July, 2015
Before I fell pregnant I viewed pregnancy as something of an enlightened experience. Steadily over 9 months the body blossoms, you glow from the inside out, floating around in soft maxi dresses, people spoil you with gifts and sweet treats while your only important decision is coming up with a unique and meaningful name for your new protégé.
Of course, now further down the track of parenthood, I have had to eat a lot of humble pie. So much so it would make you sick to your stomach. Ideas, plans, schemes, firm like the concrete ways in which I was going to do things have literally come crashing down frequently in a wash out of bitter tears.
In reality pregnancy was bloody tiring. In the first trimester I was plagued with morning sickness, not the vomiting kind but the never-ending quezyness kind. Every few weeks the body seemed to throw up some new obstacle; bladder infection, back pain, insomnia and then right at the end a nice 14 day wait passed my due date, my mother reinforcing the agonising slow motion with a phone call every 20 – 25 minutes, ‘just to check in and see if anything was happening’.
The saving grace of my pregnancy and my launch in to the depths of mother hood has been a regular meditation practice. Creating space for ourselves as the nurturer has never been so valid as it is today. We live in an epidemic of stress, which not coincidentally is related to almost 99% of disease. Our ability to de stress effortlessly is an important skill that should not be overlooked.
How do you de stress in your life? Perhaps you take a nice long bath, phone a friend, read a book or take a nap. Meditation is the optimal form of resting; a 20-minute meditation is the same as a four-hour sleep – something to ponder! During pregnancy while the body ferociously works away at creating another human, we as woman can miss out, from the nutrients in the food we eat to the amount of quality sleep we’re given. If you’re pregnant and feeling a little out of sorts, what can you do to help maintain natural flow in your body and mind?
Meditation is not about clearing the mind of thoughts, mindfulness or ‘stopping thinking’. It is a simple technique, that when done accurately will help lead your mind to ever deeper levels of conscious relaxation. When we are able to switch off, we can access a reservoir deep within us of creativity and bliss ~ attributes that will be called upon in the maze of parenthood.
Starting a meditation practice is as easy as sitting comfortably for 10 minutes a day to begin with. There are various techniques you can use, like finding a mantra. A mantra is a phrase or word that you repeat silently to yourself. It is very charming to the mind and helps you to slip in to deeper states of relaxation. When the thoughts start rolling in, which they naturally will do, you acknowledge them and come back to the mantra, continuing the process.
The experience of pregnancy is undoubtedly a challenging one, which can bring up a lot of stuff. Meditation is an easy and free way to help you keep balanced and calm. By practising every day you continue to ‘fill up’ your own energy container, so that when it’s time to deliver your baby and enjoy those first 6 – 10 weeks of motherhood, you have a reservoir to rely on and a new skill that will support you through the many years of ups and downs ahead.