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Friday, January 12, 2007
I am going to ramble for a bit to see where this takes me, funny how I don't know....
This weekend I had the opportunity to visit Pam England in Albuquerque. Those of you who don't know who she is should know the title of the book that she wrote "Birthing From Within". At any rate she has been a mentor to me and a transformational figure in my life. How she has mentored me goes way beyond birth, she has taught me to find beauty in the mundane, beauty in what others might see as ugly, beauty in the moment.
She has mentored me to heal myself, silence my judge, nuture my child and develop my inner warrior. I have crossed many thresholds in her presence and for that I am grateful...
I got to see the inner sanctum of her world, her little casita in Albuquerque where she runs BFW and spend at least 2 hours with a cup of tea in my hand and warmth in my heart.
I was so grateful for a peek at how ordinary her life seemed. Sometimes I think the perception that we have of a figurehead of an organization can be that they are untouchable, and though she has never appeared untouchable, I have always thought that I could never aspire to be a person so centered as she is.
I noticed many things as I sat and spoke to this woman one on one. This was the one that was most powerful for me:
She is a master weaver of words. She doesn't speak as most people do, she speaks with tenderness, she speaks with images and she speaks with stories. She uses what she calls "delicious" speech. The words that come from her are carefully chosen for their affect...yes they are hypnotic and she is a master at that hypnotic language.
Some describe her as shamanic and I always wondered what that meant as I have never met a shaman. I always have envisioned that as a mysterious leader as someone who is capable of leading people across profound points in their life through ceremony and ritual. And she does that for many. But she does it unmasked...there isn't a mystery to it. She has mentored many about how to do this leading of parents across a threshold into birth.
I had my 1st mentor training almost 3 years ago but I have not delved into BFW as much as I would like, parts of me where afraid to because it is so very unconventional. My conventionalized mind couldn't always accept it.
And I see here at MLL how much it has helped me. I would like to bring a little BFW to the new students coming in. I think it might have a profound affect on how they experience MLL.
So why did I title this post dreaming? Not because I am dreaming of BFW but because of a story that Pam told me about how we dream our reality, how our perceptions influence our joy and how much we open our hearts to people.
How do we dream our lives?
I will give an example....
The photos I post here are of pure things, it is intentional that I do this. I love to capture the pure joy of moments. I think it sets the feeling tone before you read, dear readers.
So what if I posted photos ugly things, a piece big piece of raw meat or a car crash...
How would you then begin to dream my posts? How would you then receive my words with this simple change?
Pam gave and example that I will summarize:
When you are walking out in nature, up in the mountains, or surrounded by tall lush trees in the forest, how to you greet people as you pass each other on the path? Notice what your eyes and mind do when you see people in this setting.
Think of a dangerous city that you know imagine yourself walking there midday, how do you greet people? What do your eyes and mind do there?
Both of these situations are interesting are they not? In one setting you might "dream" people to be gentle and smiling. In the other you "dream" people to be in a hurry or to have poor intentions.
It is a really simple concept, one that most people are aware of. Pam calls it "dreaming" because it is something of the mind
and only of the mind that we create.
Then translate into your birth life if you are a doula or a birthing mother. How do your "dream" a cesarean birth with lots of interventions? Now how do your "dream" a homebirth lit by candlelight and warmed by soft music.
Most of the people who read this would dream the 1st one as awful and the other as lovely and transformational.
But haven't we met many individuals who would dream the opposite dreams that one was scary and the other predictable.
And we judge them as wrong.
Pam would argue that these are just judgements that we have and that homebirth or cesarean could have the same level of transformation...one doesn't have to be good or bad. It is how we help, as care providers, to shape the dream that is so important.
she rocks many worlds.