Dear Yoga Birth and Womb Room families,
We all experience times in our lives where we stand at a crossroads between what was and what is yet to be. Pregnancy and birth is such an intersection – a place of in-between where you aren’t quite fully a parent yet, but you are also no longer your old self. Perhaps there is no other experience in life where there is so clearly a BEFORE and an AFTER. Before – a self-centeredness – as you rightly spend your time and attention figuring out who you are and how you want to be in the world. After – an awakening selflessness as your time and energy and attention becomes devoted to carving a path of health and happiness for your child. Once you are a parent, you are never NOT a parent, and this informs your worldview, your state of mind and your every decision.
Giving birth to my daughters remains the most profound, transformative and impactful experiences of my life. As a result of these moments, the entire trajectory of my life shifted to place motherhood at the center. Over the course of one (then two, then three) precipitous labor(s), everything I thought I was and everything I thought I wanted shifted, and I became consumed with using my skills and passion to support others in their journey through pregnancy, birth and mothering. As a yogi, a student and teacher of the sacred, I could think of nothing more impactful to devote myself to than uplifting other women going through this dramatic reorganization of body, mind, soul and self. Over time, it became clear that my drive and singular devotion to supporting others in their mothering was also motivated by an unconscious desire to heal and re-parent the un-mothered parts of myself. Serving moms gave me an outlet to heal the mother wound within myself as I contributed directly and significantly to raising consciousness around the profound impact we have as mothers on our children’s development and future well-being through our quality of presence (or lack thereof).
As I approached 40, I began to feel a stirring in my soul to break out of what was once a burning passion, but had become a comfort zone, and dive into new intellectual and energetic territory in the spirit of growth and evolution. It has taken me three years, and a lot of active soul searching, to find the clarity and courage and trust necessary to take the leap of change. But that time has finally arrived. Though I know the work of healing the inner child lasts a lifetime, my heart feels as though much deep and necessary healing has been accomplished and we – my heart, body, soul and family – are ready to take a leap into a new adventure and a new way of being of service in the world. I’m being called to change, to create, to sing, to play, to learn, to grow, to trust and to serve in a new way. So today, I relinquish the person I was and the space I created to a new team, ready to carry the torch forward with their own passion, energy and dedication.
As I reflect on a over a decade spent in the service of mothers and mothering, as part of the process of creating closure around this deeply significant time in my life, I asked my deep well of experience what I’d want to say to other moms as the essence of what I have learned over the years. These are my parting words…
- You do you. The poet Rumi says “there are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” Indeed there are infinite numbers of ways to experience motherhood. While we look to those who have gone before us, to books, to experts, to the Internet, your most important guiding force as a mother should be your own intuition, your own inner compass. Listen to those instincts that arise from deep within you, trust your own inner wisdom.
- Take care of yourself. Before everything. While parenthood of course requires sacrifice, it should not equal martyrdom. There’s a reason they tell you to put your OWN oxygen mask on first. You cannot take care of your children and your family if you are chronically depleted. The nature of the universe requires a balance between giving and receiving. Modern motherhood sets us up to heavy on the giving and light on the receiving. You do a service to yourself, your children and the village when you make yourself a priority in your own life. What that means will look different throughout different stages of motherhood, but find ways large and small to live into that priority.
- Get support. A chat with a friend. A trusted therapist. A regular playdate with other moms. A postpartum doula. A visit from your parents. Wherever and from whomever you can get it. We are not meant to shoulder the monumental task of child rearing alone. It will break you. Allow yourself support. Seek it. Pay for it if you have to. Do not allow yourself to become isolated and to drown in a river of your own stubborn independence. INTERDEPENDENCE is the way of the natural world and it is meant to be the way of human culture and child rearing.
- Practice presence. The ability to be truly present in the here and now is the most impactful spiritual practice a person can have. The VAST majority of our mental stress and anxiety comes from worrying about something that happened in the past or projecting a thousand possibilities on some future event – neither of which we have ANY control over. The only moment we can ever truly inhabit is the one at hand, and in that space, you can savor more of the awe and wonder and joy of your own life and your relationship to your children. You stress less, enjoy more and feel a greater sense of ease in your days.
- The struggle is the point. Perhaps the most important life lesson I’ve learned – the obstacles we face in our lives are not something that get in the way of our path, the obstacles ARE the path. The challenges we encounter in our lives are the very substance that forms our character, the fuel that pushes us to grow and the motivation to make meaning and generate healing within our body minds. So embrace, rather than avoid or deny, your difficulties and hold the intention to mold them into your beauty and strength.
As I close one door, I eagerly open another, and I invite you, if you are interested, to continue the journey with me as I birth a new vision into being. While the exact form and shape of this vision is still emerging, I will be offering private Therapeutic Yoga & Somatic Healing, as well as Transformative Coaching Services. I aim to work with those who:
- Seek support to reintegrate body, mind and spirit to heal from
physical or emotional trauma
- Seek a greater connection to and expression of their intuition
and personal creative power
- Seek to align their reality with their deepest desires and make
big changes in how they are living.
- Seek to reject the cultural narrative about what you “should” be
and create a life you truly and deeply desire.
- Seek to raise consciousness and align state of mind to live with
greater joy, ease, freedom, creativity, courage and trust.
If this resonates with you and you would like to keep in touch with me in a professional capacity, you can find me on Facebook at Awakening with Heather Brown.
It has been an honor and a privilege to educate, enlighten and support thousands of families over the years and I am beyond grateful for every person I have met, every life I have touched and every imprint left in my heart by all the beautiful people who have been part of my circle. Thank you for trusting me with your pregnancy, your birth, your mind, your heart and your family. Keeping doing the good work of raising consciousness for future generations through mindful parenting.
I truly believe that “peace on earth begins with birth.” Or rather, with enlightened parents who understand the factors that create a healthy, balanced, creative, happy, productive human being and want to give their children that foundation freely. I am beyond thrilled to pass the baton of that work day to day to my friend and colleague Karen Kindig, who will assume leadership of The Womb Room and keep the community thriving for years to come as I focus my attention and energy in a new way.
With deep gratitude – Heather Brown