It is Peace Day. Only the fourth I have been aware of…the first was the day I gave birth to my beautiful son, Joe Benedict. Joe can be derived from “Jonah” – it comes from Hebrew, meaning ‘a dove’. Benedict is not in honour of the current Pope, but rather we chose the name because in the original Latin, it means ‘blessed’. I chose these names for Joe before a family friend told me it was Peace Day. Had he not been Joe, he would have been Fred – meaning ‘peace’, ‘peace-keeper’ or ‘peaceful ruler’.
My pledge to the Peace One Day campaign is that on my son’s birthday, as I light candles to celebrate the blessing he is my family, so I will share candles with our friends and family to spread the message of peace.
It was whilst I was pregnant with Joe that I discovered Birthlight and began my training with Francoise Freedman & Ingrid Lewis. As Joe grew in my belly, I began my case studies and coursework, and after his birth I continued my studies until I finally gained my Perinatal Yoga Diploma (Level 2) in Autumn 2011.
In Spring of this year, I attended the Childbirth Preparation course, and was lucky to be taught by Ingrid once again, and to meet a wonderful group of mothers & yoga teachers all wanting one thing: to support mothers in finding ways to birth gently, to experience the transformational rite of passage that is the birth of a child (whether your first or your fifth) in a positive, supportive, empowering relationship with her birth partner, and to feel that they made real, informed choice about their place and manner of birth and those who would be honoured to share the sacred birthing space.
Peace and birth are linked ~ to freedom for birth and to understanding that women’s bodies are not lemons ~ because when women are free to birth as nature intended, it has physical, emotional and mental benefits to our health & well-being as a society, not only as mothers. A healthy society is one in which fear and greed are not the ruling attributes. When mothers fear birth, something is wrong. When women’s birth rights are restricted by greed (eg unnecessary caesarean births motivated by a desire to avoid perceived potential litigation or insufficient numbers of midwives where managers & policy makers abound), fear takes over. It is time to stop this trend, to halt it now, at the ‘bottom of the abyss’ (Michel Odent), and begin a slow, determined climb back into the light.
A beautiful birth, no matter how hard or long labour has been, yields peace in a mother’s heart. Every woman deserves to feel that peace looking back at her child’s birth. A mother’s peace brings peace to her children, and in turn peace to the world at large.
I hope that I can play some small part in working towards peace in birth for the pregnant women I encounter in offering yoga that empowers, that celebrates the beauty and intelligent design of the female body as it morphs from maiden to mother, that supports a positive and joyful approach to the journey into motherhood, and especially labour & childbirth.
Pregnancy Yoga is a passion, and a lifetime’s learning ahead of me; I offer my heart & soul to women everywhere with the promise that as I glimpsed what birth could be when my first son, Bill, arrived Earthside, and experienced my beautiful birth breathing Joe out into water & into my arms, so I will endeavour to support you to find the path leading to yours ~ here’s to peace in every mother’s heart as she experiences beautiful birth ♥