In December, I participated in a personal development challenge with Rosetta Thurman over at www.HappyBlackWoman.com. This challenge was designed to help participants “Reset your Life in 31 days,” (For the record, if you are a woman of any color or a man for that matter you are welcome to participate :D)
I joined along with over 100 women, full of enthusiasm. I saw it as a timely challenge, one that would move me toward my goals and prepare me for a prosperous 2011. As the days of December rolled by, I quickly realized that I was going to have difficulty completing each “assignment” on-time. I didn’t worry, because I knew as long as I continued to move forward I would eventually finish. Unfortunately, I watched December days come and go and I looked up to find I was stuck on day FIVE!!
I noticed on twitter that @happyblackwoman had put out an announcement for participants for a January #31DayReset. Surely, having already started, I could finish by January thirty-first. I was determined to get all assignments done, and reset my life. NO. MATTER. WHAT.
Well…. Here we are in February and somehow, I barely got past Day EIGHT!! The great thing is on day 8, not only was there an assignment, there was a “bonus post” aptly named What to Do With the Resistance.
It prompted me to ask myself…
Why has it been so hard to complete a thirty-one day challenge over sixty-two days? Am I feeling resistance? If so, where is it coming from? How is it sabotaging me from reaching my goals? And what can I do to get rid of it?
Like most topics, I like to examine the parallels between life’s lessons and lessons learned from observing birth. As I thought about pushing through resistance to reach personal goals, I began to think about pushing through resistance to birth a baby.
One of the statements in the bonus post that REALLY resonated with me was: “When you feel the resistance, that’s when you know you’re next in line for a miracle.” I LOVE this. Surely I am due for a miracle!! Aren’t we all?! :-) And furthermore isn’t this what also happens with birth?? Many women initially resist the intense feelings of pushing and in the end experience the miracle of birth. I felt relief, and thought to myself… I am on the verge of a miracle.
@HappyBlackWoman wrote: “When you’re in the clutches of resistance, you begin to doubt yourself. You begin to resent the process. You feel yourself wanting to give up and throw in the towel.” I have seen all of these emotions come up for women just before they birth of their infant.
For each woman, the pushing part of labor is different. For some it can be hard and painful. For others it provides much needed relief from the pressure and discomfort of contractions. Regardless of a woman’s initial pushing experience, for most, there comes a time when they encounter the “Ring of Fire,” the stretching of the perineum, the feeling that your baby won’t fit, that this birth won’t happen unless your entire bottom rips open. Some women get to that stage and for a moment, stop pushing because that which once felt good and provided relief, all of a sudden becomes painful and scary. I have seen many a mamma, on the brink of birth, baby hair actually visible, who stops pushing and suddenly says “I can’t!” They are RESISTANT to pushing and stop just short of their miracle.
The thing is, this resistance, is futile. When baby and maternal forces are ready for birth there is little that can be done. And low and behold, just when she thinks she can’t, she deals with the pressures, the pain, the stretching and moves past the resistance to birth something beautiful!
Now what about me?? As I read the Day-8 resistance post not only did I think about birth, I thought about my life, this blog, Sista Midwife and asked myself… “Where are you going?” I revisited my last post where I state clearly I am ready to push and I wondered if I was feeling my very own sort of resistance to life’s “Ring of Fire.”
The fear of the pain, possible failure, and the unknown can keep all of us paralyzed where we become resistant and we stop pushing. I began to think about the difference between wanting to push, feeling ready to push and actually pushing. There is something to be said about actually pushing. Not talking about pushing. Not thinking you need to pushing, not simply wanting to push but actually bearing down, putting in the work, putting forth the effort and making your birth happen.
I have heard many women say “I think I need to push.” I usually smile and wait awhile because I know that they will soon move from thinking it to saying directly “I have to push.” OR… they will say nothing at all and will simply begin to bear down and push without announcement.
I was reminded that the results of my life just like birth will not come simply from talking about pushing but from actually doing it. Just as a baby won’t be born without the maternal forces in place, our dreams, and the lives we imagine won’t manifest without the actual force of moving past resistance, buckling down, getting dirty, perhaps bloody and pushing THROUGH that ring of fire. Birth is hard work. Life is hard work. But as @HappyBlackWoman said so succinctly “… anyone who’s ever accomplished anything in life has had to push through the fear and the resistance to get to the good on the other side.”
I am pushing now. I spent the month of January talking, thinking and planning it. Now I am actually bearing down. How do I know? Well for starters, I moved past a bit of resistance earlier this week when I finally went in for The Big Chop (Something I had been talking about for months!!) A simple action but one that I believe says “I’m Pushing!!” (Said in the best grunting, bearing down about to give birth voice I can muster up. And if you have been in the room when a mother says this you know EXACTLY what I mean! LOL)
Is there something holding you back from what you want to manifest in your life? I hope you can find the inspiration you need to keep pushing… through the fear… through the resistance, through the ring of fire onward to your miracle and onward to Birth Something Beautiful!!
In Birth and Love
What was pushing like for you? Did you stop or get fearful when you encountered the Ring of Fire?
Is there a Ring of Fire in your life holding you back right now? Are you ready to push through it?? A good place to start may be at Happy Black Woman’s #31DayReset available to you right now.
I would love to hear your experiences!!