This is me, hours after my son Zack was born.  July 30, 2014.  

What does it mean for me-to take care of me?

Taking care of others is something I do quite naturally.  I don’t even think about it.  I wonder-how are you?  Do you need help?  How can I support you?  I tune into you.  My empathy tunes me in, feeling the joys, sorrow and distress of others.  Some people feel the tide this way.  I feel the tide within people.

I am a person with outward flowing energy.  An extrovert.  My nature is on the yang side of yin and yang.  In learning polarity therapy as a massage therapist, I learned that the right side is the masculine side, the out-flowing energy side, yang.  The left side is feminine, yin, in-flowing.  It is hard to tune into the one that isn’t your dominant. Like clasping your fingers and then shifting them so the opposite thumb lands on top, suddenly your brain pays attention.

Today marks the decision on the end of an era.  I have delivered around 350-400 babies.  Midwives would say I caught them.  Doctors would say I delivered them.  I feel I participated.  It has been glorious.  I have loved being a part of birth for ten years.  You either love it or you don’t.  I can’t imagine my career without it.  But it is time to do so.

Sometimes when you are on the precipice of change it is time to alter your orientation.  You unclasp, reorient, new thumb on top, deep breath.  Something new.  You start to pay attention to nuances of what feels different and why.  The mirror on the other side of your homunculus gives you a moment, a pause, presence.

Like all things that change, it is time for the in-flowing energy to come home and rest.  To cultivate the feminine, to nurture and mother myself and my children (though I did fail miserably at making a birthday cake from scratch tonight, some tasks in mothering baffle me).  My children are on a light-rail to change station, falling down the tunnel of time.  We have already passed babyhood and soon the toddler years will be fully behind as we veer toward childhood, tweens and teens.  I am not ready.

Changing as an adult is hard work.  It requires stamina and courage and resilience.  I have two more months to catch babies.  I will enjoy every one.  The flow of life is taking me in new directions and it is time to Let It Go (coincidentally my four year old’s personal anthem and hence the cakes which will be regarded as “Frozen” cakes if the second cake doesn’t flop).   Letting go has never been one of my strong suits.  Now this is where empathy comes back in.  This time directed inward.  Letting go is simple, it is seeing-who or what you are resisting?  Noting your right thumb crossed neatly over your left, fingers interlaced, brain awake.  Breathing.  Acceptance.  Birth and babies will always be around me.  Catching or not our paths will cross.  Of that I am certain.

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