Viola and belly surrender pose, Tilden park, Berkeley, Canon Rebel Xti
I remember that at times it was annoying to have people tell me to “surrender” or “let go” or just relax when I was going through infertility. Really annoying.
I think what was missing was the idea that letting go meant giving up, or tricking myself into not wanting anymore. How can you let go of wanting a child when you want this with all of your heart and soul? Similarly, how can you decide you don’t really want a partner when every cell in your body is full of longing? Impossible.
What helped was when my coach finally said to me, “I’m not trying to take this away from you. You don’t have to let go of wanting this baby. That is non-negotiable, I get it. But let’s figure out what is negotiable. What about the how or the when? ” I told her that the how could perhaps be negotiated.
“Okay then,” she said, “I challenge you to throw out all of the herbs in your kitchen drawers, toss all of the potions, cancel all of your acupuncture appointments and start drinking coffee again. What do you say?”
My eyes got huge and I saw instantly how attached I was to my way. My natural, wholesome, green tea, “right” way. I was terrified to let go of these things. I took her challenge though and soon after decided that we should at least explore the western medicine route. (For those of you who know my story you know that we ended up conceiving Ben with the help of western interventions and medicine) For me, the breakthrough came when I was willing to do it differently than I had planned.
As I strolled around Tilden Park yesterday with my dear friends who will have a baby soon, I shared my birth story. I told them that the thing that helped manage the pain most was having my palms open, in a relaxed pose, my entire body in a casual gesture of this is totally no big deal. All this pain, whatevs! I told them that it was surrendering to the pain, not resisting it, that helped me the most.
I think what these two stories have in common is that in both, letting go means surrendering to what is happening right now. It is not letting go of having a beautiful healthy baby, but surrendering to the pain and discomfort of the now. It is surrendering to how long it will take, how painful it might be, or how exactly it goes down. It’s not about giving up your power but stepping fully into it by stepping into the moment. It is noticing where you are resistant and relaxing those parts too.
Is there a place in your life where you can surrender? What parts are negotiable for you? Where are you resisting?
Grant, Tilden park, Berkeley, Canon Rebel Xti