Learning (Again!)

I’ve been having a lot of fun learning how to create videos, lately.  I’m fascinated by story and how EVERY person’s story is powerful and significant in the scheme of Eternity.

I am playing around with how to tell stories, how to share pieces of awareness and experience through the camera.  It’s a challenge!  Mixing technology with vision is a complicated process for me.

For all the learning, it’s amazing how the outcome can still be so weak for so long… it seems our hands need more time to work out what our mind has grasped for a while.  Ah well, I’m so very enjoying sharing bits of our story on Youtube.

I’m fascinated by this learning process, because this is how I see my children learning as well: one fumbling step at a time, but willing to be exposed in the process.  Children are so brave this way.  I, however, often hang back creatively, for fear of failure.  Now, I’m understanding that it’s in the very act of *putting yourself out there* that forces massive growth that nothing else does.

How are you putting yourself out there creatively?  Where are you stretching?

Finding Yourself

“Finding” ourselves can be a loaded initiative.  For many mothers swimming in laundry, stepping on squished cheese curds, and trying to stay sane with cleaning up endless Lego, thinking about our deeper self can feel a bit painful… almost stinging, as we already feel buried under the messy stuff of life.  

Unearthing our greater purpose can almost be guilt-inducing, because “What if I’m nowhere near being able to achieve it?”  One more thing to fail at.

But what if you had one core purpose that was so simple, it would actually free you?  What if it was as easy as resting in the Goodness already present inside of you?  

What if your primary purpose in life was to be a Beneficial Presence?

As you live your love aloud, as you let the God-given goodness in your heart activate your present moment, you will draw the beauty and goodness out of your family.  Instead of being sin-conscious, you will be God-conscious.  As you direct your attention to what is good, you will find goodness everywhere you look.

You are here to be a beneficial presence in the lives of your husband and children, and so many others!  This can have many flexible expressions, but as you live quietly attentive to the Goodness of God, you will invite more of this joy into your life.

This does not required that you do anything!  No need to talk more, teach more, train more, drill more, discipline more, try more… no, that is the beauty of it.  You only need to be alive to love in your awareness.

You’re already benefitting your family by how you serve them in their physical needs.  Now, lean in to the Sanctuary of your own heart and discover the Beneficial Presence of God in you.  As you grow in the awareness of this power inside of you, it will spill out of your own life in a hundred different ways.  You will see differently, and through your observation you will change what seems to be.

Perfect Timing

My latest video… about slowing down life and finding out what comes when we live in the joyful expectation of Good!

A Spiritual Birth Story

Our newest little babe arrived a few months ago, just minutes before Valentine’s Day ended.

His arrival signalled a shift in me that I was unprepared for.  Yet, looking back, I can see that his entire gestation was a season of enlightenment that was dawning in my heart, only to be accented by an entirely new birth experience.

Of our ten previous children, Ben had caught two speedy arrivals before the midwives came.  I looked back on these as my favourite births.  No strangers, no loud, careless conversations, no bright lights or medical junk… just Ben and I in our bedroom participating in the unfoldment of life together.

Leading up the birth of baby number 11, I skipped the ultrasound for the first time.  (It’s unbelievable that I never thought to research the negative effects of ultrasounds before now, but there you have it – always growing.) Even though I had no idea regarding the date of my last period, I had a strong inner sense about when baby would arrive.  The midwife thought otherwise, but I kept my opinion to myself. 

During the last months of my pregnancy, I experienced a quiet sense of increasing anxiety.  As I pressed in to explore it, I realized I was not afraid of potential pain, and I was confident in a peaceful outcome, but I was fearful of what I can only think to call: exposure. 

It’s the part I have disliked about most of my labours – the intimacy of birthing violated by (well meaning) strangers (midwives) who sometimes talk too loud, who put their “practice” above my intuition, and often seemed to erase the spirit of my birth atmosphere with their presence, views and assumptions. (I did have one stellar midwife, but still felt awkward about opening myself up so intimately to anyone.) 

Each of these women were incredibly competent and well-meaning in their service, but I felt as if their presence was blocking me from entering a more spiritual birthing experience.

I brought up the idea with Ben: would he consider aiding me in delivering the baby, intentionally not calling the midwife?

We both just let the idea sit for a while. At this time I became acutely aware of how fear had been guiding my thinking, as if the presence of a midwife would determine a particular outcome.

What if following my inner peace trumped medical convention?  How would this change my labour experience?  What about risk?  Where was I seeing the power in this situation?  As well, what about the risk of not knowing what an intentional free birth could be?  I strongly sensed God directing my inner process.  I pondered a lot of questions until I came to the still space in my heart where I knew my course.  Ben was a gentle and willing helper.

Not long later, birth day arrived.

Just when I sensed my belly had fully ripened, my body turned to labour, and the waves began.  It was late, and our other children were all sleeping.  Our room was darkened with the cheery glow of twinkle lights: a soft warmth lit our yellow bedroom.  Ben prepared the bed and lit candles.  Then he went to sleep, as I desired to be alone in the presence of God in my labouring.

I mostly walked and sang and breathed, tucked into the bathroom off my room to meditate in the stillness of the dark night.  A candle kept me company; I listened to a little music.  I talked to baby and anticipated the wonder of this little life soon to be in my arms.  I was so very happy – ecstatic almost – to be alone, yet not alone, with my Creator and my child.

Nearing the end of my labour, I joined Ben by the bed and he helped to prop me, so I could rest upright on my knees.  Though the labour was smooth and relatively painless, there emerged a deep body pain in the end that drew me out into a hollow desert of desperation, as I began to sense the baby wasn’t ready to come out, though I knew it was time.  For a couple of minutes, I was so parched, so bewildered, so overcome with pain I felt delirious with fear.

But then, in an instant, something cut through the weariness and I became fearless.  I can only describe it as Infinite Love.  All of a sudden, I had this wild grit at my disposal that knew this act of sacrifice in my body would change the world.  I had no more fear of pain, no worry about a negative outcome, just an awareness that heaven was shaking down through me and I had but to surrender. 

I remember a delicious sort of joy thrilled through me as I realized that I was participating in something ultimate, an act so profoundly free: free from  trauma, medical entanglements, disharmonious opinions; and free towards intimacy, beauty, and power.

Baby was a wee bit tangled in the cord, which Ben worked to undo, and baby unfolded and was put into my arms. 

In that moment, I only seemed to recall a video I’d seen about a mother elephant vigorously awakening her newborn to it’s first outside breath.  She was so aggressive, it was shocking.

Baby was quiet on his entry, so I rubbed his little back, as he lay on my chest skin to skin, and welcomed him with warmth, vigour and hearty intention.  He awoke to his new reality and his lungs brought forth sound!

Glory washed over me.

All was well.

I nursed, and bathed, and cuddled into bed with my new treasure: Keats Freeman.  “Keats” is an old English word that means Shepherd.  This boy in my arms is a Shepherd of Free Men.

Little did I know he would Shepherd me into new freedom as well.

The entire rest of the night was washed with a bliss I cannot explain.  I had stepped through fear into a realm of joy that was completely new to me.  Something shifted in the atmosphere, and I know looking back, that I was born anew through this experience.

This life, this free birth, was a defining moment in my journey to discovering the deep waters inside of me where love and power dwell.

Spiritual Motherhood

I’ve started a youtube channel called Spiritual Motherhood.

I love watching other families grow, I love the power of story, I love the beauty of life shared.  I thought I’d reflect on the spiritual side of motherhood, as opposed to the “how to”.

Enjoy!

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In grappling with this immense universe, in approaching the infinity of God, in evaluating the wrinkles of this reality, I have hatched many a hair-brained theory as to why this or that is the way it is.  Ideas, both profound and ridiculous have flowed from my mind and mouth, and my husband has casually shouldered every single thought.  He has never met my musings with judgement, or push-back, or aggressive proving-otherwise.  He listens.  And then he plays with the idea and discusses it, but he never pounces on me for being a fool, for being a weirdo, for having too great an imagination.  He is never threatened; he doesn’t shut me down.

This is probably one of the things I love about him the most.  He is willing to play with the grand cosmic puzzle and enjoy the process along with me, without stuffing doctrine, or law, or “common sense”, or “because, that’s the way it is”, or “that’s not my experience” down my throat.

As often happens on my birthday, I was reflecting about my life yesterday, and noting this strange tension I feel between desiring to all out disappear and hide out with my little tribe living a joy-full, obscure life, versus shouting out my thoughts and ideas to see if there is anyone else out there who wants to travel the questions with me. 

I realize how insecure I feel to communicate about things below the surface.  Looking at my life thus far, I wish I was braver, but there’s no sense on focusing on who I have been, only on who I’m becoming.  So, braver it shall be!  Though I think there are great gifts found in living quietly and off-the-beaten-path, I don’t believe that muting our voices out of fear is God’s desire.  Ah, so once again, I must embrace tension and courage if I am to live alive.

The *magic* that has grown between Ben and I as we have explored the sublime to the gritty to the nutty, is indescribable.  It is as if new worlds are opening up to us as we stare deeply down into our darkest questions and deepest wonderings.  It’s as if these musings have telescoped us into a deeper reality of goodness and richness, that we never tasted when we lived on the surface of things.  

This reality only shouts at us in a million ways to “look beyond”.  All is not what it seems… there is so much more.