Birthing our creative projects is similar to birthing our babies in that both can challenge us and take us places we have never been before. We can come through to the other side having had an experience of intense grueling difficulty or an experience of intense empowerment and rapture. The difference between the two is rarely the objective facts of the birth, but our subjective experience of it.
In my work helping women birth their babies with pleasure, I have found that a woman who prepares to have an Ecstatic Birth brings this wisdom into her mothering and all aspects of her life.
Used consciously the underlying principles of Ecstatic Birth can enable us to birth our metaphorical babies through pleasure as well.
Know how it flows
There is a rhythm to every birth, a cycle we go through each time whether we are birthing a real live baby or a metaphorical one.The underlying rhythm of labor (and life) is a perpetual contraction, expansion, contraction expansion with the intensity increasing as we get closer and closer to birthing our baby. Objectively understanding the flow of birth removes layers of fear and resistance around the contractions and empowers you to integrate pleasure in moments of intensity and create structures of support for when you will need it most.
Consciousness + Inner Wisdom= Empowerment
Empower yourself with knowledge, study positive models and sources for inspiration. Sometimes this can feel overwhelming. There is so much to learn and to do! Where should you put your attention? Cultivating your connection to your inner wisdom is an invaluable tool to guide you on your path. When you are armed with the knowledge to succeed and guided by the wisdom of what is right for you, you will feel empowered through your journey without attachment to outcome.
Contractions are not a bad thing
Have you ever gone through something challenging in life that you are now so grateful for? For all the gifts it gave you? Just like a laboring woman, we have contractions as we birth our creative projects, rough spots in the midst of our journey. Contractions are not a bad thing. Contractions exist for your growth, so you can open wider than you ever have before, allow more life force creative energy to flow through you, so you can birth your babies and with it a new version of yourself. Contractions exist to support you in becoming who you need to be to birth your baby, or book, or romance, or career…
Lean into pleasure
Pleasure is a powerful tool to support you through your contractions, both physical and metaphorical. Pleasure puts you into a state of oxytocin flow, allowing you to feel calm and connected. It also allows you to be receptive to the creative life force energy that is always available to you (as opposed to fear which causes you to resist). Practice filling your senses with pleasure regularly through your process. Consciously use pleasure to steady you and carry you through the moments that feel particularly challenging. Actively build oases of pleasure into your gestation and labor. Consider all your senses. How can you create environments and experiences that nurture and fuel your sensual self?
Dissolve your fears (and with them the pain)
Fear causes resistance to the birth process. That resistance disrupts the flow of energy and the creative process and makes everything much harder than it needs to be. Rather than dodge or hide from your fears, get really honest with yourself and look your fears in the eye. What if your fears do come to fruition? How can you still be ok? (AND thrive?) Consciously examining your fears is like turning on the light in a dark room and watching the monster in the corner dissolve into a pile of clothes. It disarms them of their power to hijack your process, so everything can flow more smoothly.
Breathe deeply. And often.
Breathing is the first thing that gets restricted in the body with fear, pain, or resistance. Training ourselves to breathe deeply, especially when we are stressed, supports the physical flow in our bodies and the energetic flow in our lives. Breathing can be done anywhere, anytime, amidst any activity. As a mindfulness practice, tune in to your body throughout the day and breathe and then notice the sensations in your body as a result. Breath is also a gateway to experiencing deeper and deeper levels of pleasure in your body. Train yourself to breathe deeply and often, especially when you are stressed. It really is that simple.
Allow others to bolster you
Gather SUPPORT!! Surround yourself with people who will cheer-lead you and support you when you lose faith and vision. Studies have shown that having a doula at your birth reduces your labor time and risk of interventions dramatically. The baby will emerge regardless but support allows you to surrender more deeply especially when you are going through a contraction. This is true for all your goals and creative projects as well. Find people who can hold you and believe in you, especially when you have those transition moments of “I don’t think I can do this anymore!”
Get comfortable with your sensual/ sexual self
This might seem a bit “out there” when thinking about birthing a creative project vs. a flesh and blood baby, but stay with me a minute… Childbirth is an inherent part of our sexual body. We experience desire (to merge with another, to have a baby), we get pregnant, gestate, and after 9 months comes labor and delivery. Childbirth is inherently part of the same system that creates the baby works under the same principles. What enables the flow of sexual energy and the sensation of pleasure during sex also enables the flow of sexual energy and the sensation of pleasure during birth. Now consider this– Sexual energy and creative energy are one and the same. So just like in the physical act of childbirth, you want to really get to know your sensual/ sexual self. What turns you on? What enables you to feel open and relaxed? Under what conditions are you most able to stay present and open to the flow?? You will want to consciously include as many of these into your process and environment as possible.
Orient yourself towards pleasure
It is one thing to surround yourself with pleasure, but a whole other thing to find it within. Noticing, feeling, and enjoying pleasurable experiences is an experience that can be heightened through practice and training.There are deep wells of pleasure that are available to us all the time, in every situation. Begin by tuning into your body regularly and noticing the sensations within. Embark on a journey of sensual expansion, exploring practices that support you in learning how to feel more pleasure, orgasm, or orgasms for deeper and longer. These body practices directly translate into how you experience pleasure in the world around you.
Give it up to the Divine
We can only prepare, empower ourselves, surround ourselves with pleasure and support so much. There is an element of magic that we can not control, an element that we can only trust is looking out for us even if we can not understand its ways. Doing all we can while simultaneously cultivating a relationship with the divine and surrendering the rest creates space for the magic to appear.
Bask in your postpartum bed
Various studies and philosophies show that it takes 1-3 years to recover from birthing a baby. A creative project also has a recovery period directly proportional to the size of the project and the amount of growth it inspired. Build this postpartum time into your process. Like the “baby moon” give yourself a contained period of time to bask in your postpartum bed, celebrate and enjoy all you have done, and build up your creative energy again.
So…, take a moment and consider what you are currently gestating. How can you incorporate pleasure into the flow of your labor and birth???