Living On Purpose

Being ‘on purpose’ has little to do with goal setting or change in my experience. Yet ‘being on purpose’ seems to create Space for something new to appear.

My attitude is different, and that difference feels related to uncovering purpose. When acting from a deep sense of purpose life takes on the characteristics of good Art, original, fresh, stimulating vitality and new thought.

I have some ‘stuff’ I am going to do. I don’t mind if no one is interested, I shall not be doing market research, these are projects I feel passionate about.

I’ve made a mistake in recent days of being too concerned about wether there is a ‘felt’ need out there in the birth community for what I have to give.

It’s just time to get on with it.

The immediate projects are:

Love & Birth (published in April 2015).

Being Present: A workshop for birth professionals. (First one is Feb 2015)

Sprogcast in conjunction with @wokingdoulas (first episode Jan 2015)

A Workshop looking/speaking at/about how our language influences pregnant women’s experience of birth.

My approach to the workshops from now on is going to focus on preparing the material, finding a ‘host’, announcing where they are going to be held and booking a maximum 16 people on each.

There will be a charge for the workshops, the content explored will end up as printed materials and audio MP3’s.

If you want to be kept informed or host an event follow this blog, or email me.

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welcoming back the light as a birthkeeper – setting your intentions

Reflection. Wise words.

wysewomentalk

light

i sat down at my table last night as the dark came upon us in scotland in the mid-afternoon during the shortest day of the year – i closed my curtains and lit some candles and put pen to paper.  the candles shone brightly and warmed my heart with the love that was contained in the ones that were gifted from birthkeepers i helped along their path this year and the ones that were for lighting at birth and the baby came before the candle burnt out.  this is witchcraft 😉

i sank back into the restful, womb-full darkness and welcomed back the light into my world and my heart. verily out of the darkness comes light!

every so often at an auspicious time i set my intentions and assess what needs to be discarded.  this year i’ve been drawn to the camino de santiago and i’ve been fascinated with…

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LOVE it’s that simple

Loving people is the ‘key’, the ‘foundation’ of all care. If I love the people I care for, the care they receive will be perfect.

This kind of loving has very little to do with filial or romantic love, or even the ‘preference’ based love shared between friends.

This love, is the love of ‘total acceptance’. Acceptance of what ‘is’ happening presently, ‘All’ that is occurring now.

When our ‘attention’ is off the distracting stream of thinking that we confuse as ‘me’ and the trail of emotions left in it’s wake, then the ‘Space’ in which it All happens is revealed, Love.

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The Fear Of Death Is A Great Teacher

There is a feeling of sobriety that floods me when I hear of 50 year olds dying. The fear of death clings to me.

Friends will post their well meaning ‘phrases’, ‘it’s just a thought’, ‘Who dies’? Or ‘Who you really are never dies because ‘it’ was never born’!

I’m going to sit with the fear, no ‘sticking of cliche plasters’ over this fatal wound, chaining myself to this ‘place’, staring the ‘Reaper’ in the eyes I wait.

Here I Am Death, this is all…….no place to plan a future feeling……in a moment like this breathing will stop, transparent conveyer of minutes halted, Timeless, familiar Stillness. Peace.

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Home Birth ‘Safe’ Says Nice, Where Have You Been?!

The new NICE guideline recommending home birth/birth Centers for women who have already had one baby ‘successfully’, reminds me of an old consultant obstetrician friend of mine who still insists that birth is only safe in retrospect.

Leaving aside some of the annoying issues relating to risk and first time
mothers raised by the guideline I’d like to remind you of two woman focused documents we have seen in the past.

Changing Childbirth’ (1994) was a woman centred report recommending one to one known midwife care, it wasn’t really implemented nation wide, Why not?

The Winterton Report pre-dated changing childbirth, again pointing to the ‘evidence’ supporting midwifery led care, we got excited about it.

Did it lead to wide spread change to pregnant woman’s experience of birth? No. Why?

An even earlier publication, The Peel Report published in 1971 recommended, I kid you not, 100% ‘hospital confinement’, meaning that all women should give birth in hospital. Was it successful? Yes. Why?

The Peel Report was successful because Doctors ran the show back then, and to a large extent they still do.

Will this new recommendation of a safe place of birth lead to a ground swell of home birth through out the country? I’m not holding my breath.

Doctors, with their ‘pathological frames of reference’ are still in charge of the institutions that shape the birth culture in the UK.

Education and birth politics are similar. Teachers have a vested interest in us believing we need them to educate our children and obstetricians are the same.

Top down change of birth ‘politics’ hasn’t worked and probably won’t ever work. What will, is there any hope for a woman centred maternity service?

Our hope rests with awakened pregnant women who will challenge and transform political birth structures, it won’t be midwives, doulas or other birth professionals.

Pregnant women have resident power for giving birth. Obstetric/political structures want women blinded to their own internal brilliance.

A midwife’s role is to point in the direction of a pregnant woman’s inner power.

Even the phrase ’empowering women’ is pointing in the wrong direction. It suggests an outside-in source of the ‘Power’, she already has all the power she needs.

What’s required if our maternity services are to truly serve birthing woman and their emerging families?

A return to the ‘old paths’, care and support led by Wise Women being with women as they give birth, unfettered by the masculine energy driven regulations, free from the medical power hoarders.

There is hope, life always finds away.

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The Sabotage Of Breast Feeding By Ignorant Professionals

For as long as I have been a midwife I’ve seen many women start to breast feed and stop after 2 weeks. Looking at the statistics this pattern seems to have been going on for a long time.

A woman has a right to change her mind about her feeding choices, and guilt should never be the feeling she is left with, but what I object to is the amount of substandard advice and information given to breast feeding women by so called birth professionals.

Often the support offered is in direct conflict with what we know about how breast feeding works, what’s going on? Do some midwives not fully understand the physiology of breast feeding?

‘Top your baby up with a bottle, you need the rest’.

‘Wake your baby in the day to feed, you need to get this baby into a routine’.

‘Nipple shields are a good way to get you through this painful feeding period’

‘Your new born is sleeping too much, wake the baby up and offer the Breast’.

This is said to women who have had a ‘straight forward’ birth and whose baby is a good weight, physically well in every other way, just sleeping.

I’m sure you could add your own example to this list.

Even a basic understanding of the physiology of lactation would cure this pernicious sabotage of breast feeding which often leads to the demoralisation of desperately tired and worried new mothers.

Breast feeding subsequently stops because the advice has been acted on thus impacting on this ancient process, a process that has kept man kind (mammals after all) alive on the planet for millions of years.

Like the process of birth, breast feeding works perfectly and birth professionals would do well to humbly step back, deferring to a woman’s inner intuitive knowing.

I am working on a resource aimed at men who are supporting their breast feeding lovers.

It will include video clips , a full explanation of how breast feeding works, liking that physiology to our evolutionary development over many years.

Examples of baby feeding signals, good ‘latching on’ and position for feeding will be shown to him. He will understand the function of the brown fat across his baby’s scapular in those early hours as the placental hormones flushes out of his lovers body allowing prolactin to do its work.

After a man has seen the video and worked through some written material including exercises designed to reinforce this knowledge, he will intuitively know what is poor/good advice (this can be done on his own or in a facilitated group).

He will then be able to support his partner in her feeding choices. The truth will set him free from the constraints of having to ignorantly follow the advice of professionals visiting his home.

Watch this space for further developments. If you have examples of the kind of poor advice given to breast feeding women please post in the comments section below.

I am speaking at the ABM conference in June 2015 and hope to present the fruit of this work there.

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