Covid Births a Sexual Renaissance

I’ve always loved this painting. Like Venus relaxing here, I’m also expanding, stretching myself out on the waves of the ocean. I am feeling very blessed right now. There are angels hovering around me. Some are whispering in my ear.

I chose this picture to go with my writing today as it feels as though the waves of the ocean are up underneath me, supporting me too. Yes, beautiful new energy is bubbling up from inside me and my whole being feels good.

My sensual self is awakening. Some days she is soft like water. She sends bubbles of joy to my heart. She delights and enlivens my soul. She wakes me up. She calms me down. She draws me inwards. She surprises me on her waves of wonder. Sometimes her sighs can be heard across the land. Her aliveness nourishes every cell. She may well be the forgotten key to heaven on earth.

In the past I wasn’t listening to her call.

For a long time I did not want to make love, and my whole being felt sad.

Yet my deep mystery …

She was patient.

She never gave up.

And as I listened to her and allowed her to be loved she began to blossom. For a while I turned away from sex. I became a sad flower, a sad pussy. I wanted to scratch the furniture and tear bits of fluff out of everything.

When covid arrived the world stopped. Time is a great blessing to a sweet pussy in lock down. Her true nature emerges when she has time and space for loving. There is a fine art to making love and this temple cat requires much patience. Much gentleness. I’m loving the slow spacious mornings and the long golden afternoons.

I’m enjoying the golden light of sunrise and even though we are moving into Autumn here I’m still cherishing the apricot skies and sunsets on my surfboard out in the deep water on the sea.

Perhaps it’s time for a sensual renaissance for you too?

If it’s been a while since you experienced the depth of your own pleasure …

If you feel stuck in a low grade depression or malaise ….

I know how that can feel.

No matter what your story, I have good news for you.

Your feminine essence is a divine treasure within you. You can still blossom, no matter what you have been through. Your erotic intelligence is still fully intact. She is alive and well. There is a wellspring of vitality within you no matter what your story, age or stage of life. You have a wise and powerful healer within.

Our sensual nature waits patiently for us to come close.

Birth and sexual trauma, pelvic floor damage, prolapse and unexpected outcomes of pregnancy and life itself can profoundly impact your sexual experience. I am here to support you to nurture yourself. If you’ve experienced an intimacy breakdown post birth or a dry spell since menopause I’m here to whisper in your ear.

You are not alone.

Perhaps it’s time to return to the promised land. We will find our way together. Many women turn away from sex and gradually close down their vitality in the process. I know how sad this can feel. We can dissolve the barriers to love’s presence together.

Why am I so passionate about this?

Womb health is connected to mental health. Sensual health can ground and balance a woman’s emotional nature. I offer gentle womb healing to women no matter what your age or story may be.

I love what I do.

If you know that there’s an erotic Venus living within you, perhaps it’s time for a sensual renaissance and rebirth for you too.

An ocean of bliss awaits you.

Roots and Wings

I am feeling incredibly grateful right now. I’ve just been dancing at home, alone, yet also together with a beautiful group of women from the South Island of New Zealand via zoom. Yes, dancing with a class in New Zealand from Australia. It’s quite miraculous what happened in our virtual circle this morning.

It was so good to shake off so much old stuck emotional energy. So good to shimmy my hips and empty my mind. It was pretty awesome to be able to make sounds and cry without worrying about the impact on others too. There are many blessings to this alone time.

I feel freer than ever to express myself.

Today, I could easily move off camera for a bit of a cry or a yell.

All the while I felt deeply held by the dance chief Hester. When she guided us to dance in connection with something from nature I gave my attention to the tall gum tree outside my cabin. I found my feet and I felt something new.

I felt the root system of the tree go deep into the earth.
I felt as though I was dancing inside these roots.

For the first time in many years I felt anchored into the land here.

I felt the tree as my spine, giving me more backbone.

I saw the root system under the tree like a placenta that protects a newborn.

I felt held by the roots.


After the class I went outside and gave thanks for the warm golden sunshine here in Australia today. I gave thanks for the clear blue sky and the abundance of green billowy trees around me. I am changing.

I am letting go of old ways of being.
and …

I am safe.

I am not safe because someone loves me.
I am not safe because I’ve got a job.
I am not safe because I own things.

I am safe because I am home here in this flowing body.
I am connected to the web of life.

I am even connected to you reading this now.

I am more than my old wounds.
I am growing taller.

I can nurture the hurt child within me.
I can feed and love and protect her.

I have two feet that can walk.
I have legs that can dance.

I have hips that hold goodness.
I have lungs that breathe.

I have a heart that loves and breaks and loves.
These soft hips are home.

These feet are moving ground.

This spine is free.

These hands can heal and caress and write.

That class was the most powerful I have experienced in a very long time.
You are a gifted teacher Hester Phillips. Thanks to you I’ve found wings to fly today!

Well done on navigating an excellent class from home with your beautiful smile, your grace and your seamless guidance … all delivered with a deep reverence for each and every one of us.

I’m standing tall like a tree.

I’ve got roots and wings.

Thank you so much to Hester Phillips for a sacred and powerful gathering. Hester usually offers dance classes in Nelson, New Zealand on Sunday mornings. During this strange time of Covid 19 she offers her wonderful classes at 8:45 am Eastern Australia time (10:45 am nz time) on Sunday mornings via Zoom. You can email her at hester@snap.net.nz and also find her at https://www.consciousdancenz.com/

Two Dolphins

This morning I had a totally sensual experience. As I paddled out on my surfboard I felt called to go deeper. I soon found myself being carried up and down by the rise and fall of huge mountain like waves. I lay quietly on my board, belly down, feeling like a seal inside the tight thick skin of my wet suit.

And then, it happened.

Two dolphins gently emerged up out of the water. Soon after rising, they slowly slid down under the water again.

Just a few days before I had wondered what it would be like to be out on the water with dolphins so close.

My dream came true. It was like they were gently dancing together. Perhaps it was a mother and a baby. Perhaps two adults. I don’t know, but they moved calmly and swam super close to one another.

Like a dolphin I too enjoy to roll off my board and plop into the depths of the sea. I like to see the underwater world. The allure of endless turquoise enchants me.

The sunlight in the depths brings so much joy.

How I love to just fall … forgetting all about surfing and just fall …. fall …. lightly off the board.

Sinking into the arms of the mother.

A vast mother full of mystery and beautiful colors.

Sometimes emerald.

Sometimes light green.

Sometimes deep blue.

The sparkles on the water refresh my soul.

Being close to dolphins.

Naturally, I am happy.

The Howl

When I was a young girl aged nine I received a life changing gift. A beautiful wild Australian dog. A kelpie dingo cross that Mum got from the RSPCA. I still recall the moment I glimpsed her leaping from the back of Dad’s purple valiant. Her swift entrance into my life was unexpected. It was love at first sight. Her quick footedness, bright spirit, slim figure and gorgeous red coat put my Georgie girl in a class of her own. She became an excellent protector and companion.

In the throes of new love I also knew that one day my dog would die. I knew then, at nine, that I would not be able to hold onto these feelings of love that I felt. I knew at the beginning that an ending would come. This thought was too much for my child heart to bear. I quickly buried my realization like a bone in the backyard.

We had many years of adventures together. We were even photographed in the local paper with the headline “Everywhere that Angela goes,” with a picture of Georgie sitting on the back of my bicycle. Dogs had way more freedom in those days; none were chipped and few were ever seen on a leash. My Georgie girl howled at the moon, caught frisbees and swam in the sea. She followed me closely in the day and ran free and wild at night. She’d arrive home before dawn to rest and dream a little. I loved her free spirit and everything about her.

Slowly her back legs grew weak and sometimes she couldn’t walk. She died when I was 21, hit by a car and unable to run away fast enough with her legs so weak. When I heard the news I felt a bruise in my heart. I had distanced myself from Georgie well before her death. This pulling away was a self protective measure. I was uninitiated into the mysteries and blessings of death and had no tools for coping with the loss of my dog as a young woman. I didn’t contact my feelings in those days, in fact I avoided them like the plague.

Life brought me many opportunities to learn about the power and beauty of death, dying, change and letting go. However awful the loss may look and feel like on the surface, still, underneath I always found riches, much unexpected treasure. Uninvited deaths have brought me intense grief, but given me incredible gifts too. With loss I’ve gained empathy, insight, awareness and immense gratitude for all the ways love has danced through me … in and out of my life.

Life is not linear, it doesn’t move in a straight line like I was taught in school. Far from it. Life is circular and cyclic. I’ve had many new beginnings, achievements, experiences, adventures and then also many unwanted letting go’s, deaths and endings. Despite constant movement and change one truth remains. All our power is here now in this very precious moment.

Five years after my dog died a small baby bird fell from its nest during a windy rain storm. I’d been eagerly watching the parent birds feed the little ones for weeks from my loft where I had a good view of the daily activities of the nest. When I found the tiny featherless creature dead on the wet earth beneath the tree something inside me cracked opened. Firstly, I began to cry and soon I was sobbing. Waves of grief flowed through me. When my boyfriend came out from the cabin to see what my howls were about he was bewildered. He couldn’t make sense of the situation and assured me I was seriously over reacting. It was just a dead bird.

There’s a line in A Course in Miracles that says “you’re never upset for the reason you think.” All that parental bird work I had watched for weeks on end seemed pointless. This one dear small little bird life hadn’t made it. The sight of the lifeless creature on the ground had bypassed my thinking mind and reached further into something much more tender and deeper inside me.

Many years before a part of me had died too but I wasn’t in touch with that part. I’d been a dancer, performer and choreographer in my youth for very many years. When I was sent to boarding school at sixteen, I stopped dancing completely. For years I felt cut off at the root.

The well of grief inside me about this disconnection with a part of myself was invisible to me and immense. For years I worked hard to become someone I felt I should be (what others expected of me) rather than become myself.

I created a false self which covered over me. My real feelings underneath felt too big for me face. Throughout all this I discovered that the beauty of our spirit and inner truth cannot be destroyed by anything external. Bad choices, wrong turns, disconnections, failures, famines, breakdowns, heartbreak and even illness does not change who and what we are at our core.

Grief may seem to come ‘out of nowhere’. Yet grief doesn’t come from nowhere. It comes from inside us. In my case it came from not being able to express my artistic spirit. Like stagnant water, grief too, can become lodged within our lungs, stifling our spirit and swamping our joy. After rainfall, rivers are washed clean. So it is too with us.

Grief can open the soul in a way nothing else can.

Grief can expand us and open our capacity to let love in.

Grief can open us up to new ideas and creativity.

Grief can be meaningful, nourishing and life affirming.

Grief can be a beautiful stream that may even lead to peace, completion and reverence for Life itself.

Grief can birth gratitude.

Grief can birth grace.

Like a good wine, grief may still be waiting for us down in the cellar. That’s okay, there’s no rush to get to it. You can’t force it. One day grief may just turn up unexpectedly out of nowhere. If and when this happens, you’re not losing it. Open the bottle with gentleness.

First, we take the lid off and let it breathe. We each grieve in a way that is meaningful to us. For some it will be with nature, the earth and the sea. For others with a loved one. For some with children. For some with spirit, god or the universe directly.

When it comes to flowing feelings with ease, we can learn much from our youngest people. Babies and kids are awesome at it. I’m getting much better at it. I’m noticing that I’m slowly becoming more tender with myself when tears and other big feelings come. And as for wild dogs and other creatures they go with it and they don’t hold anything back. They know the soul soothing freedom that comes with a good howl.

Taonga

Taonga is a Maori word I love so much. It means treasure.

I once read that the greatest treasure of all are people.

I agree.

Traditionally Taonga were considered valuable objects, possessions such as swords, stones, knives and tools. I’m not referring to that kind of Taonga here.

No.

I’m writing here about love, and love can really only thrive in a space of freedom. People are not possessions to be clutched onto, no, they are sacred beings.

So for me, love is Taonga.

He is not Silver, he is Gold.

My time with him was heavenly.

Before meeting Silver I walked on eggshells in relationships.Before meeting Silver I was naive. I was prey.

I was harmed in relationships.

Harmed physically, emotionally and spiritually.

I had no voice. I couldn’t speak in other relationships.

During my time with Silver, wrapped in the gentle embrace of his wings I found the courage to speak. And he very kindly and very very patiently listened.

Day by day, over five years I found safety and a place inside myself to call Home.

We set up two beautiful homes together in New Zealand (three if I include the van).

I loved every single moment, every morning, every evening meal, every blessed day that we shared.

I loved walking barefoot on the grass alongside him. I delighted in a new found land with no snakes, no bugs, no spiders, just gentle soft steps with his hand in mine.

When I put my feet on the ground in New Zealand I feel that I have come home. Like the traveling migratory birds I enjoy flying across the space of the seas. This has been my path for the last few years, much like a shorebird I have traveled great distances to be close to the people and places I love the most.

Now I feel that wherever I go, I belong.

Wherever I am, I am home.

When I met Silver I felt as though I died and went to heaven.

I died.

We met at Mana.

Heaven.

I went to Heaven with you my darling.

Such a HUGE change from my life before that point.

For the first time no gun pointed at my head. There was finally and for the very first time no anger, no blame, no guilt trips and no shame.

No harmful words ever passed his lips.

Only Love came through this man. Only Love came through this man to me.

Silver held a clear mirror for me. He was a safe space for me to grow into myself. He was a safe space for me to expand into.

Something broken (trust in the Sacred Masculine) was healed in his Presence, in his embrace and living each day with him.

I was loved like I have never been loved before. I was cared for. I was cherished. I was fed soul food and nurtured on so many levels.

Finally after so much hell, I was safe.

Yes, I landed in Mana, in HEAVEN!

During my time with Silver he held the space for my Spiritual side to emerge. He helped me come into contact with my healing gifts and also he supported my writing. He edited my work. I consulted him when I couldn’t hear the message in my healing work too. He backed my work and he backed my evolution fully.

He held the space for me to Birth my Truth.

There are so many gains.

He protected me from harm and I blossomed.

He even spoke the words, he even named my Beauty out loud for me, so I could hear it.

He spoke his heart, he spoke clearly to me, as he saw things. It was profound for me. He saw that I am a Dancer. I am a Dancer. I reclaimed that one fully!

He saw that I am a Writer. I am a Writer. He saw that I am a Healer. I own my capacity to heal myself and hold space for others to do the same.

He was drawn in by my Woman, supported my Warrior and held the little girl, the child in me too.

He loved me completely with every cell of his being. I am deeply and eternally grateful to this man. The opportunity for growth I have now is to let him go even more fully than I ever imagined I would ever have to do.

It’s easy to talk about letting go, but to actually see the man you love walking away from you and towards another woman is a whole other level.

I’m open to multiple points of view, to open my mind to what is happening I choose to celebrate this juncture and say Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I am so grateful for all that I experienced in his Presence and all that I learned and all that we shared together. It was awesome.

As you dive into the unknown, delight fully in the magick of the Yoniverse. You have entered this life through the loving womb of your mother, then as a man you enter the beautiful womb space of your woman and then after that the void, the mysterious space of the great Mother, through the veil, to your Death.

Dive fully in dear Silver. Dive fully into Love.

I wish you great health, hope, happiness and humor. I love you across all time, dimension and space realities. I set you free again today.

Be well Dear dear man.

Remember this always …

You are a Great Man.

An Impeccable Warrior.

Walk in Beauty Beloved.

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind always be at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields. And, until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

You are Taonga.

Natural, sacred and beautiful Treasure.

Love,

Angel 🙂

 

My Love Story

Three years ago on top of a mountain in New Zealand I met eyes with my gorgeous man Silver. We met on the dance floor in the Coromandel Peninsula. This is my love story. 

In December 2014 I left Australia to pursue my Midwifery career in New Zealand. I knew I could not be a part of the medicalization of women and childbirth in my homeland.

I knew that New Zealand had one of the best maternity systems in the world and had often joked during my midwifery training, saying things like

When I finish studying midwifery, I am moving to New Zealand!”.

As a new graduate midwife I knew the time would come where I would have to leave my home to work away from home. There were very few jobs in Mullumbimby!

I had told my daughter and she was adamant she was not moving. I raised a tiger with voice, teeth and claws intact. No convincing her otherwise; I was heart achingly aware that this would mean leaving my teenage daughter behind with her father. (note – not my abusive ex)

I felt that a year away would do us both good. Her father had always said he would have her when she was a teenager. I didn’t fancy working out in the bush or in any other city in Australia.

A male friend suggested I go to New Zealand for a year.

At first I thought, “I can’t leave my daughter!” But after sitting with it for a while I knew I couldn’t leave myself where I was.

I had to go.

It was time.

Although this was difficult to do, I had to do it for me.

I had to walk on, I had to honour my soul, I had to say yes to me. As a mother it was hard to say yes to me yet the truth was that martyring myself to my child was not working.

I was worn out and I needed to heal and reclaim parts of myself.

I packed up my home and belongings and on the 1st of December 2014 I flew into Auckland airport. As soon as my feet hit New Zealand ground I felt a deep peace in my body and heart.

I felt safe.

I still feel this way.

My old friends Andy and Claire lent me their van so I could explore the Coromandel. A friend had told me about Mana Retreat and I knew there were dance classes there.

I headed alone into the soft green healing mountains. I felt vulnerable navigating this new land alone, yet exhilarated too. Bravely, one breathe at a time I ventured into the unknown. I knew I could not be the sort of midwife I wanted to be in Australia. I had to find another way to work and live.

I let go of everything to start over, little did I know that so much magic awaited me on top of that mountain.

Early one morning in the cold and mist I navigated the van through the windy mountains up to Mana Retreat in the Coromandel.

Hours later, through rain and summer fog I found myself on top of a mountain on the dance floor, my happy place, with around 20 other beautiful light filled souls.

Mana Retreat is a holy and sacred place on my soul pilgrimage.

While I danced freely around the floor a moment came that would change the course of my life, but I didn’t know it at the time. Out of nowhere he suddenly appeared, bright dark blue eyes, a man of courage, beauty and passion, wide awake. He looked straight into me. It was a moment of wonder.

In a single moment I had been penetrated by a man whose energy would soon go on to change my life. I wasn’t looking for another relationship. I wasn’t looking for a man.

I wanted to follow my calling, and it seemed the universe wanted to support me in that in mysterious ways too.

In matters of the heart I was most gravely wounded. For the two years prior I had grieved the loss of my whirlwind first marriage, which although passionate was cruel, destructive, painful and thoroughly unsustainable.

It wasn’t kind and it wasn’t safe.

I had to get out. I got a divorce.

Seeking a new path I threw myself whole heartedly into Midwifery studies. It was a rigorous journey for my spirit but I completed it.

Throughout the sad times I had a picture stuck on my desk that made me feel wonderful. It gave me hope. It was a small hand painted card by Annie Haywood, a brilliant New Zealand artist featuring a man and a woman together in a garden.

The image was one of peace and kindness.

As I studied and wrote essays I decided that I would never be abused again and that one day I would have a kind and loving relationship. As tears poured out of me like rivers I looked at that picture by Annie Haywood.

I affirmed to my heart and soul that I would never again settle for verbal, physical or psychological abuse of any kind.

I drew a line in the sand, and I dreamed of a better life.

Little did I know that I had invoked a King.

Looking back I can see that in the steaming compost of my marriage heartbreak, loss, pain and grief …. I surely planted a seed for myself.

I had no idea or concern for when it would happen. I was thick in a challenging career path with a teenage daughter to support.

I was not looking for love.

I forgot about that picture, packed up my house and got on a plane. Lo and behold my seed of hope sprung up unexpectedly in the Coromandel, a place of peace and extreme beauty. Heaven on Earth.

If we are courageous enough to face what isn’t working, what stinks, what is broken, what has failed, and what hurts like hell, from this place of dissolution and despair we can make wonderful compost and then go on to plant new seeds of hope. It’s fertile dross, grist for the mill.

Our seeds of hope will grow and sprout in divine timing. The process cannot be forced or controlled in any way.

Three years on I am softened, humbled and blessed by the presence of my divine man Silver by my side. It has in no way been easy, with my daughter in Australia and my relationship hurts… er… baggage.

Yet love has prevailed. Silver has sustained my heart, body and spirit through good times and bad.

I even left him for a year to return to my daughter and we did the dance of long distance love, flying back and forth across the Tasman.

Silver is by far the strongest, kindest, deepest and most wonderful man I have ever met.

The journey is still as mysterious and magical as it was when we first met three years ago today.

I am reborn in love.

I am softer, because he is so kind.

I am kinder, because he is so loving.

I am happier, because I am seen and truly accepted as I am.

I am more myself, because he is so patient with me.

He is my Man Angel.

This is my love story and I am truly blessed.

3 Big reasons why women don’t heal from Birth and 5 ways YOU CAN

We can become quite attached to our wounds. Yes, we can even become addicted to our awful birth story. We can increase our energy from emotions such as rage and anger, which does feel better than sadness or depression. But when we are stuck between the two we are still stuck. We are not at peace with our birth, with what happened and how it made us feel.

I was like this.

The story I told myself in my head was that I had FAILED at childbirth. I told myself this story for many years. I was ashamed of my birth. It was painful and I wanted to heal it by ‘getting birth right’, by having another baby. This approach totally didn’t work for me. I didn’t get to have another baby. I actually ended up having a miscarriage that initiated me into Death and Midwifery instead.

This was my medicine, my path, my healing. Looking back, I can see the absolute wisdom in Nature’s plan. She is Wise.

I had to come to peace with my daughters birth exactly how it happened. The healing was in the story I told MYSELF, in my head, in my heart, in my body. I learned so much about myself and about birth that I saw clearly that this was the birth I needed to have to learn what I have needed to learn. I look at Birth now as a treasure chest offering gems of wisdom to anyone who cares to see.

If we cling to a broken story, we don’t tend to see the gems and we certainly don’t heal.

angel-card-tarot-card-reading

So here are 3 Big reasons why women don’t heal from Birth.

1. We are stuck in Blame and Shame

We either blame others (the system, the doctor, the midwife, the doula, our partner) or we blame ourselves. “If only I had declined the induction,” “If only I had said no to the epidural,” or the caesarean section. “If only I’d done classes.”

Mine was, “If only I hadn’t pushed!”

Either way, blame is a ball and chain. We remain victims, we feel damaged by birth and we feel alone with our birth story. We secretly tell our horrible birth story over and over in our head and we may even feel we need to warn pregnant women of the pending danger that lays ahead for them.

2. Stuck in Wrath and Resentment

We are angry at care providers, support people, partners or ourselves for how our birth turned out. We feel sad, envious or resentful when we hear of friends or relatives who have beautiful natural births or home births.

An enormous amount of energy can be wasted in anger and resentment. I wasted years of my life being angry. Looking back I can see that if I truly feel my emotion of anger, sometimes I need to do something like smash a plate or hit a pillow or scream under water. If I allow it to pass through me physically, these days it flows through pretty quickly.

Feel anger, let it move through. Make sure nobody, including yourself, is hurt.

It’s only taken me nearly twenty years to get to this point. I regret taking my anger out on the people I love in my life. Looking back I did not know how to feel and process anger efficiently.

Being stuck on the A note has dire consequences. I started out as a young girl being an imploder (keeping it all tucked away safely inside) and then in my late twenties I became an exploder (spraying it all around, hurting myself and others, mostly the people I loved).

I’ve had a long journey with anger. Now in my late forties I am finding the middle path. It feels wonderful to know I can let the wild fire move through my system and out of me in a matter of minutes.

3. Stuck in Guilt and Failure

When our birth goes pear shaped we can even feel that we have failed as a woman, that we are less of a woman because of our birth experience. We may work hard to ‘suck it up’ (I really dislike that expression) to protect our wounds and cover it over with a ‘socially acceptable face’, rather like a false self, a functional, strong mask of ourselves that ensures the wounds we carry are buried safely in our underbelly where they cannot be seen, even to ourselves.

We soldier on. We go into denial.

We may even feel disgusted by the sight of a pregnant woman, we push the pain away in an attempt to never feel that hurt or vulnerable ever again.

Okay enough of the stuckies…. time to MOVE ON….. here are 5 ways you CAN heal from Birth.

1. Spring Clean your Birth Story

What is the storyNew Life - unfurling fern frond. you are telling yourself? Write it down. Get a piece of A4 paper and draw a line down the middle. On the left write at the top of the page What Happened and on the right of the page write How it made me Feel.

Be willing to feel how you really feel about your birth. Go through each part from early labour, through transition, birth, delivery of placenta, and post partum. Break it all down, moment by moment if needs be. Be gentle, and be open and willing to accept painful emotions. Feel them and when you are ready, let them go.

2. Express yourself

Get those feelings into the light of day. Writing your birth story, painting your birth, drawing and dancing are a few creative ways to start the healing process. Whatever your style, fully acknowledge that this was your experience. Have no judgements about whether your feelings or your expression are good or bad – they are yours, and that’s what matters.

3. Empower yourself

Write your story again, and this time claim the power. Write in the first person “I did…, I chose…, I created…, I felt…, I knew…” This is not to change the past, or to deny any of it – it is to claim the power to choose, so that right now you can choose your experience, choose to heal, choose to empower yourself for the future.

4. Share your truth

Find a safe person to talk to about your birth. Someone you trust, who won’t interrupt you or try and fix you or be triggered by your emotions. As best you can, choose someone who will simply hold space and witness, rather than somebody who will ‘sympathize’ and reinforce any dark story or victim feelings.

You are a valuable part of this world, and you deserve to be witnessed. This is a huge step out of shame, and into self worth.

Fully honouring your story like this is part of the process of completing and letting it go. It can feel so good that sometimes it is tempting to keep doing this step. Don’t let this build into a pattern, where you become dependant on this story – there are so many beautiful stories waiting for you.

If you know you are ruminating over and over about your birth, seek professional support that feels right for you.

5. Honour your process

Carve out the time and space for your healing. I work on the principle that every woman has a Divine Healer within. She is unique and creative and powerful in every woman I work with. Some women are very earthy, some are very spiritual, some are emotional, some are singers, some love to sew, some need to laugh, others sweat, others bake. Every woman has her way.

There is no ‘right’ way, only the way that feels natural in your body and spirit and right for you.

Give yourself some space to tune into your unique way of healing. Trust the Healer within who is guiding you every day.

Whichever way you choose to heal, whichever path you follow, fully acknowledge that this is important, valuable, worth while. Consciously choose to support yourself by committing the time and resources to heal, because you are worth it. Whether that means buying a new box of paints or investing in a three month programme, you are worth it.

How can you heal from your birth?

I think it comes to down to willingness, readiness to let go and openness for the birth story to retell itself within your body and spirit. Women that heal tell me that they have a new found appreciation for the miracle of their wise body and they come to peace with the birth they actually had.

What has changed?

Perhaps it’s a small shift of perception that releases a whole lot of energy, our feelings about our experiences. It can be a number of things, but often it comes down to a few key moments. It boils down to reclaiming power in the moments where we felt we were powerless. It boils down to having a voice now where we didn’t have then. Not what happened, but how we feel about it, where the story we tell ourselves has become a story we can now feel good about.

Blessings on your healing journey. I wish you every success, however you choose to proceed. The most important thing is to begin, because you are worth it.

And if ever you want help, I am here for you. For an hour, for a season, for a therapeutic massage or a heartful Skype session. You can even use my box of paints. Just call me.

Spiritual Midwifery

Spiritual Midwifery is a holy and sacred partnership between women based on trust and respect. This bond between women has been broken yet its power is intact, alive and breathing as I write this. When I became a midwife I believed midwifery was a spiritual profession, however I was soon to discover that the spiritual aspects of midwifery have been seriously caked over with way too many mental concepts, procedures and rules, many of which have become arduous annoying burdens for the midwife.

In clinical midwifery partnership, the woman is the expert of herself the midwife is the expert of normal pregnancy and birth. The midwifery model of care is well documented and research tells us that continuity of midwifery care is highly protective for mothers and babies. Evidence shows continuity protects women and babies from 50-80% of medical interventions in the birthing process.

Spiritual Midwifery works in the same way and is protective of a womans soul. The woman is still the expert of herself and the midwife the guide through the mystery. I witnessed spiritual midwifery first hand when my daughter and a dozen of her friends became adolescents. The girls were prepared through a gentle process held by Moana Pearl when the girls were aged between 9 and 11, just before the tide of hormones kicked in.

Each girl and mother pair met with Moana weekly over a 6 week timeframe. Every week mothers and daughters participated in a living lesson, not through facts and information, no. Through the senses, and the felt experience of sitting in a tee pee with a dozen mothers and daughters, sitting close to the earth, with fire, stars above, sensing the dusk turn to night, tasting the food made by each woman, with carefully chosen storytelling and mask making activities. I witnessed these girls moving into menstruation with dignity, self esteem, confidence, peer support, ease, grace and even, lo and behold celebration!

A major turning of the tide. One huge step for woman kind. (Deep gratitude goes out to Moana Pearl) As a midwife helping women heal from childbirth I know how crucial this phase of a girls life is. Many a womans birth is deeply influenced by her feelings of how her body and blood were received by those close to her at the time of menarche. The imprints at these times are subtle yet profound. If a girl doesn’t feel loved, held, good and right in her body and blood, it can show up in her birthing process, years later.

Reclaiming menstruation as a sign of health, fertility and connection to natural cycles is powerful preparation for childbirth. Bleeding well teaches girls the essential art of self-care. It teaches girls to listen for what and who is nourishing and therefore helpful to her and what is harmful, essential skills to learn before we become mothers.

Spiritual Midwifery is like a navigator is to a yacht at sea. She leads the boat directly through uncharted waters, through danger, storms, rain, hail, snow, blistering heat, steering away from rocks and cliffs, recognizing predators and then eventually steering her home to a safe harbour.

I experienced spiritual midwifery again six years ago when I had a miscarriage. I was 13 weeks pregnant. There was no physical or emotional pain. It happened over a few days at home. I was in a state of peace, trust and surrender throughout. I accepted that this flow of blood and bone was nature’s plan for me. I didn’t fight nature. I didn’t try and hold on. I am fairly sure the experience might have been very emotionally painful if I had fought it or been afraid.

Katherine Cunningham held the space for me to safely let go of my baby over that time. She was my spiritual midwife. A guide, a safe soft ground, a woman, an Angel.

She respected my spirit and my soul throughout this process.

I had felt the baby leave my body as I slept, one night two weeks earlier.

It was like the feeling of a cord releasing from inside me and I noted a distinct freeing sensation. It was like a dove being released from a cage.

My intimate relationship at that time wasn’t a healthy place for me, let alone a baby. Shaking and terrified after a frightening scene with my ex, sensing I was beginning to bleed, I ran for cover. I threw a few clothes and towels in the car and drove to safety to my friend Katherine who happened to be holding space for the Womb Awareness Week art exhibition in Melbourne.

She said, “Yeah, come down and see me honey,” when I phoned her. Katherine was sitting alone in a gallery full to the brim of women’s Womb art. Art made by women inspired by their awareness of their wombs – some had even been painted with menstrual blood. I didn’t get to see any of the art, neither of us knew what was about to unfold.

I sat down. I took off my rings my partner had given me and placed them on the desk between Katherine and myself. My soul had not a minute longer to carry what was within me. Two minutes later I felt a river of warm blood begin to gush through my clothing onto the floor. I looked down to see blood running down my legs and filling my shoes. I made my way to the ladies bathroom where I began bleeding like a running tap. I could hear loud splashing noises.

I was calm. I knew I was okay and realized why I had thrown a few towels and old clothes into the car. We needed them.It was obvious that I was losing the baby. The only time I felt fear was when I went to see a doctor a day later. The GP said I needed to be rushed to the women’s hospital immediately for an emergency D&C, to have an anaesthetic and to have my womb scraped.

I still remember the jolt of terror that ran up my spine as she spoke those words. It seemed strange to me. Nothing in me told me I needed medical assistance. The GP was very convincing and I began to feel afraid. I had been completely okay and calm up until I went to see this doctor. Looking back I guess I felt “I should” talk to a doctor about what was happening.

As I left her office, Angel woman Katherine stepped into the waiting lounge and hugged me. Katherine placed her gentle hand on my lower back as I sat in the waiting room. I told her about the doctor’s suggestion of a D&C.

Katherine asked me… what feels right to you? I got a clear answer from my body that said, go home and rest. Everything flowed well for a couple of days I bled out some big clots and stayed close to home.

I prayed to the Goddess to help me complete the process naturally as I didn’t want to go into hospital. That night in my dream I felt a hand gently enter and cleanse my womb. I will never forget the feeling of kindness that came with that hand. The next day I awoke feeling that everything was complete. A large splosh in the loo and I knew this was the last of the pregnancy. I gathered everything together for blessing and releasing.

II found a sacred place to see and be with the loss. It felt very natural to stay with and see the remains for a while. Fortunately I had no fear, no surgery, no drugs and no antibiotics. My body healed beautifully. I know that I wasn’t meant to have a child in an unhealthy relationship. I so wanted to have another baby but the baby I needed to love and hold was the one inside of me.

I am holding her now.

I’d like to expand on what Katherine did for me over this time and what thankfully, she didn’t do. I am speaking here of the ancient art of woman to woman care, the lost art of spiritual midwifery. We can burn a forest to the ground and she will still sprout forth green shoots. She will always rise up. We cannot be destroyed and neither can our wisdom and our ways. Spiritual Midwifery is an ancient practice of deep listening, nurturing and protecting women and babies during life transitions such as menstruation, birth, menopause and death.

Katherine listened to me with every part of herself.

She listened to what I was saying in words and she listened to my soul. She didn’t judge. She didn’t try and save me from my process. She didn’t rescue me. She didn’t take pity on me or feel sorry for me. She didn’t panic. She didn’t stop me from bleeding. She made sure I was safe. She made sure I was listening to my my heart. She did seek advice from a registered midwife. She did convey her guidance to me. She trusted my process. She trusted my blood.

She didn’t offer me drugs. She didn’t do clinical tests. She didn’t take swabs. She didn’t fill my head with complex ideas. She didn’t take me into my head. She didn’t tie me up to a machine. She didn’t leave me with strangers.

I learned a lot from my miscarriage. I learned that if the space is held strong and safe, I can let go with a fair amount of ease.

At this time my tears flowed, my blood flowed and love flowed too. It all flowed out of me into the river by my house. I am grateful for this blood mystery. I learnt so much from this experience that I feel inspired to hold space for women who may not have had the loving support I had. I am grateful to Katherine for her gentleness towards me at this time. I felt so safe in her arms.

Elephant in the Womb

I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I decided to quit my job and start helping women heal from birth. It seemed the natural next step to go from being a midwife.

What I didn’t realize was how life changing this work would be for women.

My life also has been completely changed, we never heal alone.

When women come to me to heal from their birth what they are really healing from is the underlying patterns that created the birth outcome in the first place.

The truth actually DOES set us free.

How do I know this?

For the last year I have sat and listened to women’s birth stories from all over the world. It’s not only the story women tell me that they have come to heal, it’s the story underneath that often they can’t tell me or anyone that they most deeply want to heal.

A woman’s birth story is a doorway that takes me straight to a woman’s soul.

My gift is that I can hear the story beneath the story. I can hear the soul speaking to me through women’s birth story.

What exactly am I talking about here?

I am talking about the elephant in the womb, the deep wound that can’t be spoken.

I am talking about the weight of these wounds on our life now, on our body and soul now.

I am talking about our relationships with our mothers, our mother wound.

I am talking about fathers, what we learned to expect from the men in our life, and how that shapes birth and us as women now.

I am talking about our experience of Menarche, our first menstruation and how that experience impacts our births and now.

I am talking about our ‘other’ pregnancies, the terminations and miscarriages and how those experiences impact our life and our births, often decades after, they can be elephants in the womb.

I am talking about our losses, our stillbirths and how those experiences impact our life now.

I am talking about our first sexual experiences and how this dances into birth and life now.

I am talking about our sexual energy and how safe we feel to let this flow at birth and now.

Why am I talking about all this?

When women SEE the elephant in the womb, when they feel the weight of this creature inside them, they will lead the elephant to new pastures.

And then what?

Life changes, big time.

~ Women clear their shame and blame and move forward with their dreams

~ Women suddenly meet their soul mate after years of single parenting

~ Women regain their lightness of being

~ Women release guilt and create happy lives

~ Women return to pleasure and sex with renewed delight

~ Women deeply re-connect with their children

~ Women’s businesses take off

~ Women regain their vitality and dive into life again

What am I really doing by helping women heal from childbirth?

I am holding the space for women to heal their womb space, so they can live fully, so they can birth themselves.

At some point we know when we have birthed enough babies and it is time to birth our truth.

If you look back on your experience of childbirth, how do you really feel?

Take a moment and allow your body to inform you how she feels about that experience. If you sense there is something that still needs completion I am here ready to listen.

Angela Fitzgerald is a birth healing coach, midwife and mother. She helps women heal from birth and prepare for next births. She supports the birthing of new women through her unique personal coaching programmes.  To read what women are saying click here