COVID-19 Birth: Awful or Amazing?

I recently read a post on a FB group I’m a part of. The lady posted an article from a mother who recently delivered with all the COVID-19 restrictions. She explained some of the different things that happened and how those ended up allowing her and her husband a most intimate & beautiful birthing experience. It was beautiful, and I was interested to see how it was accepted by the readers, so I clicked on the comments.

The majority of the comments showed gratitude for the offered perspective. In fact, one 38-week pregnant mom (let’s call her Kelly)  said she instantly felt relieved after reading that and felt more excited for her upcoming birth that she had since the whole COVID-19 stuff started.

There was one comment that caught my attention. It was long. She (let’s call her Melissa) was mad and was also due to have a baby in the next few weeks. She judged the mom in the article for everything she allowed to have happen. (wearing a mask during the birth, etc) She went on and on how awful it all was. Her anger was palpable. 

I get it. I wouldn’t want some of those restrictions either. That wasn’t the point. That mom didn’t necessarily want them either, but in the end, she saw the beauty in it all.

Let’s look ahead at these two commenters’ upcoming births. Anyone that’s ever given birth knows that birth is always unknown no matter how much planning we do. They are each so perfectly unique. But I could probably predict a little about how Kelly and Melissa’s experiences are going to go. If Kelly stays on the trajectory she’s on with seeing her COVID birth as uniquely intimate and beautiful, there’s a good chance she’ll find that in her birth regardless of how it plays out. 

As for Melissa, she will still have a uniquely, beautiful birth although she may not see it as beautiful. Chances are that she’ll see herself as a victim, robbed of the birth she was ‘supposed’ to have by COVID and the nurses and staff. For the record, I don’t judge her for that. It’s her story and that’s okay. 

But what do you want your story to be? How do you want your COVID birth, or anytime birth for that matter to be? Your thoughts have everything to do with how you show up for birth. Want help prepping your mind for birth? I’m here. I can help. Email me today to learn how.

Thoughts are Like Shoes

Thoughts are like shoes. You can try them on, see how they fit, see if they’re comfortable. Then you get to decide if you’re going to buy them & take them home or leave them in the store.

Recently, I found myself getting caught up with all the ‘shoes’ that I saw everyone wearing, even some I had purchased, (programs I bought into). I was really slipping into the lie that I had to take advantage of trying on & wearing all of these shoes. I mean, I’d paid for them. I figured once I got through all of the stuff in those programs, that I’d know enough, somehow be enough. Well, the truth is I have enough shoes to match all the outfits I have already. I am enough right now, without all of those programs.

Now this isn’t to say I don’t need or shouldn’t use some of those shoes, but what’s driving me? If I’m coming from lack, searching for something to make me enough, I’ll never find it. There will always be another pair of shoes out there that is even better. If I come from sufficiency, believing I’m enough already, then I’m just accessorizing. I lead from abundance. That’s a confident energy.

You’re already enough, right where you’re at right now. Ponder that. Feel that. Believe that. Settle into that. Then decide what you want to do in the shoes you’re already wearing.

Sometimes I Yell

Sometimes, I yell. I didn’t think I’d be that mom, but sometimes I am. I have lots of other parts of me that aren’t my favorite. You know when I realize those parts? When they drive me nuts in someone else. I see me and my shortcomings written all over them and their actions.

Yesterday, I was sitting in my office in front of my computer hoping for just a few more minutes before I was needed by a little human. I was thinking about me and all those areas that I want to improve. Let’s just say those kinds of thoughts lead to feeling overwhelmed. Then I had another thought.

If life is 50/50 (see this post for an explanation of that), then maybe I’m 50/50, too. Maybe 50% of me is awesome and 50% of me is a work in progress. What if I could accept that and show compassion for the work-in-progress part? Ahh…my shoulders relaxed just a little. 

And if I show compassion for that part, it opens me up to feel compassion for others & their lower 50. Open. Now I feel even more open. This will be something I can practice. Compassion for myself as I navigate this thing called life. You can, too! Bring on those little humans. I’m feeling more ready now.       

On the Receiving End of Coaching

I’m a life coach. I understand the model. I take clients through this model all the time. I’m good at it. All that said, I have a coach. Everyone needs a coach. Even coaches.

My coach does for me what I can’t do for myself sometimes. She pulls me out of my own story and pulls me back just enough to show me what’s really going on. She shows me where I do have control and where I don’t. Then I feel the calm slip back in where panic or frustration butted in for a bit. I can see again.

I’m grateful for my coach. Everyone need a coach. I’m ready to be yours!

The Rule of 50%

What’s that, you say? The short answer is that 50% of the time you’re going to feel great and 50% of the time you’re going to feel…not so great.

Now, let’s remember that it’s not our circumstances (the things that happen in our lives) that cause us to feel good or bad, but our thoughts about those things.

So the longer answer is that 50% of the time you’re going to have thoughts that lead you to feel a positive emotions and 50% of the time you’re going to have thoughts that are going to lead to negative emotions. Nothing’s gone wrong. This is the ebb and flow of life. It’s the natural law of opposition.

So when you’re having one of those crappy days, just remember that nothing’s gone wrong. Sometimes you just get to hang out in the lower 50 for a bit. The other will swing back around eventually, and you’ll probably appreciate it even more.

Looking at You

What do you think about yourself? Really. Stop & take a minute to answer that. Do you like the answer you’re coming up with? Did you answer it truthfully? Did you add what you think others think about you? Don’t, because their opinion has nothing to do with this.

The good news is you get to decide. You can believe anything you want to believe about you. You can just make that stuff up. The key is believing it. A belief is a thought we’ve thought lots of times.

Pick what you want to think about yourself & get to work believing it. It’s fun!

5 Questions to Get Through Rough Spots

Before I share the 5 questions that will help you get through stuff, I want to warn you of the one question that will throw you in victim mode faster than you can blink. It’s never helpful. That question is ‘why?’ Make sense? Don’t go there. You’d serve yourself better to ask ‘why not’ rather than ‘why.’ Okay, done with that soap box. On to the good stuff…

1. What’s the story I’m telling myself about this? If you understand the difference between thoughts & circumstances, you know that our thoughts are the stories. I’ll do a more in-depth post about this soon, but you get to make up the story however you want. Pick one that serves you.

2. What if this is so much easier than I think it is? ‘This’ refers to whatever you’re going through or have to do.I like to use this one when I slip into the overwhelm trap when going over my to do list. It just helps me call out the drama my brain is offering me. It’s a good one.

3. Who do I want to be as I go through this? You can be the helpless victim at the mercy of everything happening around you or the strong and resilient one who figures it out and pushes through. You get to decide.

4. What if this actually turned out to be a gift in my life? This question makes a little room to let you see what good might eventually come from a situation. You might even see the blessings that already come with the trial.

5. What would my future self 15-20 years down the road tell me about what’s going on right now? She’s a wise one, you know. She has perspective & is distanced from what feels so big to you right now. You might even consider writing a letter to yourself from her perspective. That is a powerful tool.

Obviously, there are an endless number of great questions that raise awareness. That’s you’re goal though….awareness. You’re trying to pull back just enough to gain a little perspective. You’ve got this!

Long Shortcuts

When we bought our home 10 years ago, the first thing we did was gut the kitchen. We had a certain amount of money saved & wanted to stay within that budget and make every penny count. I remember planning out all the details.

We decided to have the cabinets installed before putting in the tile. It didn’t make sense to pay for tile under the cabinets where we’d never see or actually use. Makes sense, right? Wrong. That decision to cut a corner & save some money has definitely cost us much more than it saved us.

We didn’t consider that our dishwasher wouldn’t fit because the counter height goes from the floor, which was 1/2″ lower than the tile. We had to have the counter guy come cut the granite to buy a little room for the dishwasher as well as pop 2 tiles up to be able to get the dishwasher to fit.

Not to mention the 2 times we’ve had to pop & relay the tile since to replace the dishwasher & have a recall item fixed on the dishwasher. Would I change my shortcut if I could go back to those early planning details. Heck yeah!

Sometimes shortcuts backfire. Sometimes we just need to invest up front, do the hard thing. I can’t go back and change that now, but I can learn from it as I move forward. I’m willing to do the hard things, willing to invest time, work, and money. The payoff is well worth it.

COVID-19: Can’t plan for the future?

COVID-19 has really tossed life around a bit. It’s our Spring Break right now. A couple months ago, you probably made plans for this week. Those plans may have included a trip, one you may have even purchased tickets for. You had no idea that you’d be quarantined instead of partying it up at Disneyland. 

The future changed and now we are adjusting to those changes. The future with Coronavirus is uncertain, but the future is always uncertain. It always has been. We just take all the information we currently have and make a plan, and we realize that we may have to be flexible as the future continues to unfold its pages.  

The fact is we never know what the future holds. Yet we still make plans. Who could have predicted 6 months ago that the world would be homeschooling and for the most part, not leaving their homes? Not me! But that doesn’t have to stop us. 

You’ve got this. Don’t let the uncertain future stop you in your tracks. Gather what information you have and start working your plan.

Missing the Boat

I was working with my life coach yesterday. (Yes, life coaches need life coaches. Everyone needs a life coach!) I was unloading my drama, play by play, feeling the overwhelm & agitation of all of it. The thought that was causing all my drama was about missing the boat. She asked me what comes up when I think I’m missing the boat. 

I’m not sure how long it took me to actually reply to her question, but I felt like life paused for a few moments to show me a scene in my mind’s eye. I was standing watching a boat pass by. Then I turned to wait for another one, because I hadn’t caught the first. Something didn’t feel right. Then I realized that underneath me was a boat. I was ON a boat! 

That other boat was someone else’s boat. I didn’t miss the boat! I realized I was moving. I was already on my journey, in the right boat, at the right time, and at just the right speed. There was a peace & a trusting that settled in.

Listen, my friend, there are so many voices out there telling us where we “should” be. I say to those voices, “STOP IT!” It’s not even about where we end up in the end, but the journey we’re on right now. Take a minute & breathe. See that you’re on the boat. On the journey. Don’t miss it looking for other boats.