Experiencing support beyond measure — Indra’s birth story

Indra turned two this week! We had the most beautiful birthday celebration. I feel so loved by our community and pretty sure he does, too.

This week has provided me so much reflection and processing. It was our first birthday home as last year we were traveling in New Mexico, visiting the Kundalini women in white at the Guru Ram Das Ashram ❤ But this year… being back home in the space where Indra was born, it felt like I really relived the experience. I also have been processing a lot preparing for this next babe, so this post may be one of my longer ones.. So happy to finally get a more detailed recap of Indra’s birth down…

Here’s our story;

Contractions came on so slow and gentle for me. As the fireworks went off on July 4th, 2015, I felt tiny little vibrations that told me our babe was coming soon. I was just shy of four weeks past my original due date of June 12th, waiting as patiently as I could. Michael had picked up a massive load of seconds from Dripping Springs and we chopped literally hundreds of onions that night on our counter. I swayed my hips while I danced with the knife, swimming in a sea of excitement. I would pause and go outside and watch the fireworks from our back deck. Pure bliss.

Inspired by Ina May’s advice to drink a glass of wine, take a bubble bath and go to sleep, I did just that. The wine didn’t do much for me though and the excitement continued to build as contractions built ever so slightly. I didn’t sleep at all that night. I stayed glued to a contractions app, wanting to track my progress and so anxious for what was to come. When was it going to be time to call our midwife, Maria?? Am I really in labor? When will the baby come?

This next time around, there will be no contraction apps..

Flash forward to early morning where I had given up on sleep. Krishna Das played in the background and I wandered around our house lighting candles with the intention of resting. “Save your energy” was a theme that played loudly in my head. Michael texted Maria a few updates as the contractions really began to build with the sunrise.

By 9am Maria, Misty and my Mother arrived. Maria checked me and I was at 3cm, confirming we were in motion. I remember being fairly aware of logistics, where people were in the house, feeling intensity and so unsure about where things were going from here. I spent a lot of time in a deep OM as the waves of contractions would come on. A low groaning hum that I worked to match the intensity of my sensation. Later Maria would tell me I had a very peaceful birth and at the time it felt like I was screaming.

I progressed very steadily. We had our house filled with sunflowers. Maria would check me, and then find a flower that matched how wide my cervix had become. It was such a sweet visual representation of my progress. I had no low back pain, however, the heads of my femurs were starting to burn with each contraction. More than anything the waves of energy were completely exhausting with each surge. My body was doing so much and I was still working to stay in control of it in many ways.

Then, early afternoon, something seemed to stall. By 4pm I hadn’t made any progress in some time. As my pelvis began to widen and babe inched down further, my thighs started to scream with pain. I had one moment on my hands and knees of “I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to do this”. I didn’t even want to say it. I was almost testing myself whether I would voice it or not. I changed course with, “I want to do this” and felt myself continue back on the path of my work. But I was surely at a point of exhaustion. We identified that I was at 9.5cm, so close to there, yet a lip of my cervix had begun to swell and it wasn’t clear whether babe would be able to push through.

Maria encouraged me to walk more. I didn’t want to move. The pain in my thighs was so intense. Misty and my Mom were putting hot rags on my legs and Michael pressed against my knees as I begged for more pressure — the only momentary relief I could find. Between contractions I just wanted to freeze and avoid any sensation.

Finally, around 6pm I managed to leave the bedroom where I had spent most of the day, apart from a few rests in the shower. The feeling of water rushing down my body offered peace. At one point earlier in the day, I was sitting in the bathtub talking to my Mom and suddenly had an overwhelming urge to get clear on something from my past with her. At 14 she sent me to live with my Dad against my choice. My experience was being put on a plane with a letter saying that she was done raising me. At the time I had an Uncle who had asked me years earlier to be sure that I stayed living with my Mom. He said if I did, he would generously cover my college expenses to anywhere I wanted to go. He had the means to do that and I was committed to following that path to ensure a certain life for myself. Over a decade later and multiple years of not speaking, my relationship with my Mom had moved on. A combination of student loans, working full-time and with her helping me as much as she could, I had a college degree and the exact life I had wanted. So between contractions and from the bathtub, I told her I wanted to apologize for holding onto resentment and anger. That everything had worked out as it should and I love my life exactly as is. She asked if I wanted her to say anything and I said I didn’t need her to. Later, my midwife would tell me that she spent time on the porch crying after that. She was beyond strong for me during the birth — I had no idea the impact that entire experience would have on her. Once a midwife’s assistant herself, I have early childhood memories of being at home births with her. It seemed like a natural thing to have her there and I wanted my Mom’s help. Upon seeing and knowing what I know now, for my next birth, I fantasize about having no one there. It’s such a personal and intimate process and no one can do the work but you.

Now back to the 9 hours of active labor in full force. By 7pm I tried to head toward to the bedroom again; however, this time I wouldn’t make it there. A contraction came on as Michael met me in the kitchen. He held me, looked into my eyes, and told me I was going to have to do this. “You’re going to have to push this baby out”. I was so scared. I felt like I was going to break if that happened. As I told him that he stayed present with me, held me, and offered me love. I dug deeper into some of my fears and let them pour out. I told him I was afraid we weren’t going to make it, that he was going to leave, that we weren’t going to have enough money, that the baby wasn’t going to be okay. All of these things began to rush out of me as we lowered down to the ground. At that moment I rotated my pelvis in a new way and big shifts followed. The baby was coming.

Michael started to sing our song, “Danny’s Song” and full transition was on. We sang it together as he held me and I cried. We never confirmed a gender for the babe and the song specifically says, “think I’m gonna have a son.”

Then, I rolled onto my back. My Mother sat behind me with Michael and Maria ready to catch the babe. This part felt natural and powerful. While intense, I found major confidence through my transition. By the time we met Indra I felt like full on mama — give me that baby was my first reaction. I held him close to my chest, so happy to meet him. As we waited on the placenta Michael held his son and I got to watch them bond from across the kitchen floor. That picture will be burned into my mind for life. Indra (unnamed at the time) was born at 7:51pm on 7.5.15 and our lives were never the same.

So here I am today, with a cup of Chicory sun tea (The Mother flower, wildly harvested from my front yard). And doing more work than ever on feeling supported by the universe. My highest thinking never questions my daily experiences or the big picture. But the lower instincts, of fight or flight and scarcity or rejection, those are most definitely present in my functioning brain and beyond triggered during a primal process of labor. Looking to release, to be, and to experience what is in front of me.. a wonderful family that makes my heart explode, a huge community of loving friends, a home that I fall more in love with every day, businesses that inspire me and a beautiful garden of wildflowers, cultivated for my spirit and body by my Mother Earth.

Written from my lips center on a warm summer day.

 

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Eleven Moon Centers: Cheeks

“Pinks of the checks” comes up a lot when this center is discussed. During the time I am in now, in my cheeks, I work to hold back quick responses and more often than not let go of my reactions.

I always love hearing Yogi Bhajan reference a woman’s passion — I feel acknowledge by the fire within me and my capacity to create joy and play as well as discomfort and stress in an instant. This is the time when we are told that we may be most disillusioned about what is really happening — easily offended or hurt, I am not looking to come from that space. The mind can turn and twist anything, so during this time I look to let go of right and wrong in others and just be. I find that if I am able to hold back, sit, watch and find appreciation in a moment early on in this center than I am on track for a beautiful few days. 
A dear friend was over for lunch asking me, “when do you want to do your blessingway?”. I find myself feeling a little shy, maybe even bashful. I want to hide in a corner and NOT do a blessing way. I even suggested having the party after the babe is born. Which does actually sounds quite fun.. Maybe a 40 Day celebration where I tell the birth story is what I want? I also know it’s not the right time to make that decision either way. So I shared what was going on for me and asked for a little more time to decide. Felt wonderful.

Less serious, more sweet. Nah, on the decisions.

Tomorrow I will wake up in my inner thighs. Which means oh so soon the stack of bills by my door will get paid! And my inbox will be empty! So fun. It’s even more fun though because I give myself the freedom to get less things done today and have more patience with the growing checklist knowing that the time for the checking them off is coming.

Om Namah Sivaya Gurave

Grace and love and patience to you, friends!

Eleven Moon Centers:  Finding Your Map

>>Wondering what a map is and why you would even need it? Go here.

There are two things to keep in mind if you wish to establish your map;

1. Be patience with yourself. Trust in your process and it will lead you to the quickest, most in-tune results.

2. You have the answers within. When in doubt, ask yourself and listen to the response.

Some women I know have been able to simply journal over a 28.5 day cycle and feel very clear by the end of it that they can map their own centers. If you are someone who has an honest dialogue between a pen and your mind this may be a beautiful way to create.

For those who may be looking for a faster process and have practiced inner hearing, working with a pendulum and muscle testing are both great options. Because these are not things that can be taught in a blog, trust that where you are at today is exactly perfect. If you have questions or are looking for a dialouge opportunity to work on your own map, don’t hesitate to reach out. Here are notes for those who are ready to begin the process on their own;

– Using a pendulum

I recommend writing down all Eleven Moon Centers down on a piece of paper, seated in a easeful position close to the earth and making sure all your basic needs are met (food, water, intimacy, sleep and temp). Take your pendulum and find a clear yes and a clear no. Then begin by asking “am I in my ___ today?” Lips, for example, and go through each of the centers in the order that calls out to you until you get a clear YES.

Note, there may be times in which you get a yes more than once, meaning you are in a transitionary period. Look then for morning or night, dusk or dawn, finding the times in which you are transitioning from one center to another.

Then you will find yourself going through the list, taking notes on your own map. You can ask things like “Yesterday I was in..” or “Tomorrow I will be in..” or “After my Thighs in am in my..”. Keep going until you can confirm an order. If you get confused or frustrated, pause, breath and read points one and two again.

– Muscle Testing

Training in energy work enables a greater understanding of this process as does a traditional Yoga practice. Your body is always a well of information, including a clear yes and no to your subtle body field. It is quite possible to muscle test yourself to find your Eleven Moon Center map, as well as have someone else do it for you. This process can be taught from experienced readers from many modalities, including Chiropractic, chakra work and GEMs (my training). I highly recommend the process as it is an invaluable life tool itself. If you want to talk more, reach out.

Eleven Moon Centers: Eyebrows

Just finished giving a presentation on my current business plans and discussing opportunities with my ScaleUp group, local entrepreneurs supporting each other and discussing all things growth. Perfect activity for today. I appreciated the input and support coming from once-strangers who are all up to their own big things in life.

In my eyebrow center all my senses can tune to the possibilities my heart desires. I have plans to turn my home into an ashram — a space for group spiritual study and inquiry — and right now I can literally feel being there, even as I walk down a hot sidewalk with cars rushing by. I can smell delicious food cooking in the kitchen. I can hear the sounds of laughter and chanting and even crying and old patterns are released. It feels real enough to taste.

I can also see myself walking into this cute new storefront I am passing as I walk  – what is this place? For another time. I know today is not for shopping.

The eyebrow center is a wonderful time of brainstorming, sharing ideas and visioning where I see my highest self calling me. Not so much a space to take action on purchases and final decisions. I’m just now remembering my purchase yesterday — a front porch swing I have wanted for months — and realizing I probably still would have saved that purchase for another day had I not been in my eyebrows.

That’s what this process is all about. Self-reflection, realization. Space for understanding with love and intention. The swing is so cute. Will post a pic soon.

Eleven Moon Centers: Introduction

If this is your first introduction to the Eleven Moon Centers, congrats! This is perhaps one of the most powerful things I have studied on my path as a yogini.

Whether you have been studying your centers for some time or are just looking to get them mapped, this site should help you on your journey.

I was first introduced to my moon cernters during a Kundalini Womenen’s gathering at the home of Yogi Bhajan in New Mexico. With many ancient spiritual teachings, when I am clear and ready, information often feels like it is downloaded in an instant. As with this, the moment I heard “all women have eleven moon centers..” I knew it to be an instinctual truth and one that would change my mind in perspective from that point on.

So what are they? Eyebrows, Clitorus, Vagina, Earlobes, Cheeks, Inner Thighs, Back of the Neck, Nipples, Hairline, Navel and Lips

The eleven centers are unique pulls of energy within the female body that shift throughout our being every 2.5 days. Each woman has her own unique pattern of movement, that draws her attention, energy and focus in a rhythmic way every 28.5 days. Perhaps the most inspiring piece of this understanding was that I was able to fully resonance and experience confidence with my ever-fluctuating emotions. I can now forsee what my energy will be like in a coming week, day or time frame. I am not surprised by the times that I feel more tired or more sensitive and I can care for myself in new ways that empower me to live the highest divine expression of life that I can.

Yogi Bhajan taught us that women are 16 times more sensitive than men. Meaning they are 16 times more intuitive and 16 times more emotional.

To live confidently and resonate with a flow of life, I highly recommend you study your moon centers, connect with other women on the same journey and above all, trust and love yourself.

Namaste, blessings and love to you!

Eleven Moon Center: Thighs

The action addict in me looks forward to this time so much. It is a beautiful time of productivity, internal affirmation and strong energy for me. I often move out of it with greater confidence in myself and hope for the future.

A magic rule I live by: Spend more time doing things than thinking about doing things — and if you find yourself thinking too much, put it out of mind until your next Thigh cycle!

The productivity that courses through my aura during this time is so much fun. At the end of my 2.5 days I find myself looking around with amazement at all that I have accomplished. Often there’s still a voice of “More! Why can’t I be like this all the time?!”. This is the addict speaking.

If you aren’t able to feel centered during this time yet, consider the following;

1. If you find yourself disappointed in others or your surroundings:  Are you controlling your environment too much? Others? While the confidence and affirmation that we feel during this time is very valuable, if not channeled internally it may allow us to think we know better than even the universe. I am very intuitive about what is right and wrong during this time. I love that! And I have to be careful not to let my inner knowing enmesh the reality of my world in any moment.

2. If you’re spending time doing things you don’t want to be doing:  Ask yourself what you may be avoiding in those moments instead. This is a beautiful practice to take on in any cycle — I once realized that I was in a bad habit of over eating when I was avoiding cleaning my house. I caught it once when I was asking myself, “what am I avoiding doing right now?” As I reached for the fridge. Too often we are busy giving ourself a hard time about what we are doing rather than looking at what we are avoiding doing. Lean into the things you avoid even a tiny bit and you’ll find the other things loose their grip.
3. If you’re stressing about getting it all done:  Relax. With high energy we can trigger anxiety. Notice if you’re in this patter and relax. Look at the things you have accomplished! Can you really acknowledge yourself? If you’re reading this, I know you are a woman created to growth and evolution, there’s no doubt about that. Love yourself. This is your journey and it’s going by fast. Enjoy it, you amazing, talented goddess you.

Clear periods?

Whoa, I am writing a blog! The boys are in bed and I’m up late(r than normal).. This hasn’t happened in a long while. Little man is intoxicating with his sleep vibes at night. I love how chill he helps us stay.

While I haven’t been posting blogs, I have been working on them a good bit! A friend is helping me compile some thoughts and challenging me to practice writing in new ways. I have had some really cool experiences with words this year. Putting some big things on paper in a healing way. Grateful Indra’s birth sparked that growth, among so many other things. More to share in time.

Until then, back to this post, which yes, is titled clear periods.

A couple months ago we stayed the night at a friend’s place in Madison County. She was traveling and we had her big farmhouse to ourselves, with big bookshelves and nothing to do but eat and read on a cold country day. Michael picked up one that was written in the ’70s by a group of hippy farmers while Indra crawled around on the floor and explored a new place. The book had great thoughts about living natural, healthy and happy lives. Michael would call out to me anything he found interesting as he read, including, “he says here that if you eat all organic, primarily sprouted, fermented, non-processed foods you will have a clear period”.

What? Yeah right, my mind protested. I shook it off but found myself stuck with that thought. And here I am a few months later writing a blog on it..

Red bird flew over me again on exactly Indra’s six month birthday. Many mommas go up to a year with breastfeeding. I was a bit surprised to see it so soon with my little guy has been direct from the tap milk on-demand his whole life, and that is what this whole parenting journey has been so far. One surprise after another 🙂

Before I got pregnant I was still using tampons. I cringe when I think of that now. I spent so many years putting chemically bleached cotton from China inside my body without batting an eye. I knew I should have switched sooner but I didn’t have the enthusiasm to make it happen. If you are one of these people now, trust me, it is time.


Note, This is not meant to scold anyone still doing that. It is meant to highlight a shift that is available to you should you chose to care for your moon cycles in a new way. Years ago I started being a more conscious consumer and the past couple — buying way less clothes and products, But for some crazy reason feminine care was the last big shift.

So here I am today, using cloth pads and watching my cycles more than ever while on the mission for clear periods. I will let you know when I get there, until then, here are my biggest tips for a pleasant and blissful flow,

  • Use organic cloth pads. I have been purchasing mine on Etsy. There are some really great handmade options there. I can go on and on about why to do this, but in summary, the main points are your health, your comfort, your finances and our environment.
  • Balance your primary dosha for the lightest flow. I am primarily Kapha and a gentle asana and walking routine is very helpful for me to maintain throughout. This will vary person to person. Diet wise this also means that balancing sweet impacts my cycle the most. I can eat all the fruit and concentrated fruit I want as well as honey, but add in any kind of syrup or sweetener with sugar and my flow increases 30-70% as quickly as overnight.
  • Be extra kind and sweet to yourself. This means baths, self hanging out with people you love (ladies, primarily for me) and reserve more down time to rest and sleep. There is a reason a beautiful reason why we tend to have increased emotions during this time — process your sensitivity. Use it to care for yourself and those around you. Channel this energy into a more patient, kind and loving version of you.

That is it for now and feel free to reach out with questions or thoughts. As always I have loads more to say with little screen time and lots of interest in you and your spirit. Sending love beyond time and space.

Xo,
Alexandria