Tag Archives: gratitude

How we enter and how we leave: some thoughts on International Midwives Day

How we enter, and how we leave. For a long time, in our culture, the ‘how’ has been considered unimportant, as long as we don’t suffer.

When my mother gave birth to her third son, the story goes that he popped out with a whoosh as soon as she got to the hospital, and before there was time to call the doctor.

Apparently her first words after this event was ‘Do I still have to have the enema?’

Possibly an apocryphal story, but such an eager entrance does fit with my brother’s energy and enthusiasm for life.

For the rest of us, it was the 1950s and my mother wasn’t even expected to be consciously present. In fact it seemed more convenient if she wasn’t, so she was given a good dosing of twightlight drugs to blank her out at that final painful stage. When she came to again, the birth was all over, and we were nice and cleaned and wrapped up and whisked away so she could sleep.

When my sister gave birth to her first daughter in the 1980s, things were different, and my mother was invited to hold her newest grandchild soon after she was born. My mother had given birth to six children, and this was the first time she’d ever held and looked into the eyes of a baby who was less than an hour old.

Do these things matter?

When I do EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique or Meridian tapping) and Matrix Reimprinting with clients and with myself, it certainly seems that it does matter. We often end up going back to the birth scene, and even before, as a place where patterns and negative beliefs first really took hold. The more sensitive the child, the more stressed the mother, the more impact these things can have.

Matrix Reimprinting is an amazingly effective method of sending yourself back, imaginatively, to re-story an event or experience, usually by tapping on the Echo of oneself in that moment (the ‘Energetic consciousness hologram’) to release painful feelings and fears; and to resource that earlier self and those around you in ways that weren’t available to them at the time.

The idea is to change the details of the memory to something positive, and thus change the feelings and lessons (the beliefs) associated with that memory that are held in our unconscious minds and in our bodies (including our neurological bodies). This way we can change the way we respond to events and opportunities and challenges in the present.

For instance, if your experiences lead you to believe deep in your being that the world is safe, friendly and nurturing and that your needs and feelings, and those of your carers, are important and respected, you will probably respond differently to life than if your formative experiences have led you to feel unsafe, uncared for, alone, and not even sure if you want to be here.

When I do EFT and Matrix Reimprinting with clients, if it goes back to birth issues they often want to bring in some great midwives to support their mother. It makes a huge difference to the imprint and thus impact of that deep memory.

And I’ve heard from those who work in this area that babies in the womb seem to love having EFT performed on their mothers. The bond in the womb is deep, and the womb is, after all, their world at this time.

So, happy International Midwives Day, and please take a moment to send a cyber-kiss to your midwife, if you had one, and to all those who supported your Mum at your birth.

If you are interested in EFT coaching and Matrix Reimprinting, there are lots of great coaches who can work with you via Skype or by phone, or in person if you live nearby. If you’re interested in having a chat with me about this kind of coaching, give me a call or send a message.

If you’re particularly interested in Matrix Reimprinting as it relates to the birth experience, check out UK trainer and practitioner Sharon King’s website at http://www.magicalnewbeginnings.com/

And for great links on all things to do with birth, science, neurology, health and the medical system, follow Carolyn Hastie at @thinkbirth on twitter, or visit her website at http://www.thinkbirth.blogspot.com


*the image of the baby’s hand is by Jonathan Fitch, courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net

*the image of the baby held by forceps is from the 1993 film, Midwives… Lullabies… and Mother Earth, available at http://aso.gov.au/titles/documentaries/midwives/

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‘Feeling Delicious’ – what’s in a name? or When life isn’t always sweet


It took me a while to set up this blog, because – to be honest — I don’t always feel delicious. Like most of us, my life has a lot of challenges. Yet I was drawn to the name and whenever I tried to think of another one, I kept coming back to it.

‘Feeling delicious’ is a great aim; although trying to feel delicious all the time can actually be a strain.

Perhaps the best goal is simply to notice when we feel delicious, and fully savor it. To feel it fully; but also to feel painful states fully too — the ouches and the purrs. And let them move through us, without holding onto either state.

Perhaps, by becoming aware of all our emotions and how important they are in a healthy balanced life, we can feel surprisingly delicious more often.

I remember watching a film a few years back, something I’d recorded late one night to keep for a rainy day; unfortunately I can’t remember the name. It was about a North American woman struggling with grief in the aftermath of losing both her husband and child in an accident, who goes to Burma for a holiday. It was 1988, and when the security forces fired on pro-democracy demonstrators somehow she got swept up in the chaos and ended up on the run with a group of dissidents.

Their escape from the city was fraught and horrifying and full of danger and tragedy. They reached  a village where they had some friends and were able to spend one night where they could be safe. Able to wash, given clean clothes and food, they laughed and talked with their hosts. The next day, they headed off again, into danger, uncertainty, pain and grief.

The North American woman was astonished and said to the older man who was with the group, ‘How can you be so peaceful and enjoy yourselves in the midst of all this?’

I was going through a rough patch at the time and his reply affected me deeply. What he said was something like this:

‘You Westerners think that happiness is your natural state and your right. And so you suffer when you don’t feel happy. Whereas we are surrounded by pain and hardship and struggle and see it as normal. Thus when we do have moments of happiness we embrace them with complete joy and make the most of them. We see these moments as a great gift.’

By naming my blog ‘feeling delicious’, I don’t want to suggest that life is or can be continuously sweet. Or that we are doing something ‘wrong’ if it isn’t.

But there are always moments of sweetness, even in the darkest times, if we can allow ourselves to be awake to them.

So this is my aim –  to feel all the moments in my life (this moment, right here): to taste the bitter and the sour, the salty as well as the sweet —  all the flavours of a rich and juicy embodied life experience.  To chew things over mindfully. To take in what nourishes me and throw out the bones and the bits I don’t need. To become adept at savouring and digesting experience and emotions fully, so I can let them go when they’re over, and keep moving into a new present.

Here’s to being open to the new, to reducing the junk in our lives, embracing what is fresh and alive, exploring a full palate of flavours and textures, relishing the spice that adds variety, letting go easily, respecting and appreciating the abundance of this planet, and sharing wisely and generously with good companions.

Or in other words, here’s to feeling delicious more often, whatever is on our plate.


Salute to the Sun of a New Year: on yoga, balance, change, flow (and how I finally worked out how to step forward!)

At one a.m. New Year’s morning I stood on the sand in the semi-dark at Terrigal beach and watched the waves, feeling the same pulse and rhythm in my breathing; feeling the world turn.

The previous day (New Year’s Eve), during my morning yoga, I finally worked out why I was having such a struggle stepping forward when performing a Salute to the Sun. For the past year this simple feat has seemed increasingly impossible. Annoying, because the yoga classes at my gym are based on Vinyasana and every one begins with a long series of Salutes. The more I tried to fathom what I was doing wrong, the more I urged myself to swing my foot up in between my hands, the more anxious and defeated I felt, the further back my foot landed.

Asking others who could do it without thinking didn’t help. All they could say was keep trying and it will get better (it didn’t); or just relax and don’t worry, use you hand to pull your foot up into position (sigh).

I don’t know what happened — perhaps a bit more awareness due to some Feldenkrais I’ve been doing — but the other morning I suddenly found the answer: I had to move my body weight up over my hands, and also go up on my finger tips a bit to get more height. But moving my weight forward was the key: as soon as I shifted my balance over my hands, my foot arrived into position effortlessly. The contrast was extraordinary.

I love the symbolism of Salute to the Sun: stretching up to the sky, bowing down to the earth; folding and opening, yin and yang, a constant movement of change.

As I stood on the beach, breathing softly with the waves, I suddenly felt the great privilege of having a lifetime in a body, what an extraordinary gift this is, so that we can grow and evolve. I felt it; and in feeling, understood it at last. Like that moment when I shifted my balance forward and suddenly what had been clumsy and difficult became energetic and light.

Feeling the supportive sand beneath my feet, I also had a sense that every moment is a fulcrum, every new day an opportunity to let the past go and swing into something different. One of the reasons I love the rituals of New Year.

Wishing you a wonderful New Year: may things that seemed impossible become graceful; may your heart’s desires be foremost; may you experience peace often; may love move you always.



Here’s some more youtube videos for Salute to the Sun:

step by step instruction

a ‘friendly down-to-earth’ explanation

Modified Sun Salutation for Big Bodies

Office chair sun salute!