Monday, August 10, 2009

Beginners Mind

When we are beginners at something, we must learn from books or teachers. Before we can paint a masterpiece, we must study the masters. Before we can surf, we observe, then we practice "popping up" on the board on land. Then one day whatever you were studying comes naturally to you. You can leave the rules and instructions behind and follow your instincts. A surfer leaves behind the programmed set of moves and responds to what each individual wave is giving her.

We begin our first pregnancy and subsequent pregnancies too, with a beginner's mind. Not all of us are the same as beginners. A beginner's mind is sometimes a blank slate, but it is sometimes fearful, insecure, and easily led. Beginners, by definition are inexperienced, yet in spite of, or because of it, beginners can be cocky and overconfident.

It is true that pregnancy is a natural process and that your body knows what to do, but if you don't know what your body is doing, you may not trust it, which can cause all kinds of problems.

Now, in the beginning of your pregnancy, is the time for honoring the beginner that you are. Now is the time for book learning, for seeking out teachers, knowledge, options, and stories other than the ones you know.

Doctrine and Covenants 109:7 says "And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom, seek learning even by study and also by faith;"

In next several blogs I will be including a history of childbirth throughout the last several millennia. But feel free to share your own histories or your own stories regarding the beginners mind--how you began your pregnacy and how you ended it. For example, most people who didn't know me before i had a child find it hard to believe that I once wanted to have a planned c-section and didn't want to nurse at all (I didn't want to ruin my perfect breasts). But through learning about my options and being in tune with what my body and my baby needed, I completely transformed. I ended up having a natural home birth and nursed my daughter till she was 3 years old. (And incidentally, my breasts are still perfect.)

You can post your stories here or email them to me privately. If you desire I'll reword them and post them anonymously or change your name.

Love and light.

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