This past bleed I cried so many tears and felt so much grief. I’m not the only one feeling the strain; any person who is awake to the brokenness of this world feels it somewhere in their being. And it’s not over yet.
Humanity is in transition: that moment during childbirth between the contraction stage (that opens up the womb) and the pushing stage that finally brings baby down the birth canal. It’s the moment when a woman has given SO MUCH that she’s totally spent - and yet it’s not over yet; in fact it’s about to get a whole lot harder, at least for a little while. It’s also that moment when the mind is screaming I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE...and yet the body knows better.
When Mary birthed Jesus she must have had that moment too. Dripping with sweat, gasping for breath, surrounded by donkeys and the smell of their shit, she probably looked at Joseph and grunted “You motherf***er. You did this to me!” (And unless he was a total fool he didn’t reminded her about the whole immaculate conception thing). In that moment, even Mother Mary probably didn’t want the assignment she’d been given. She probably thought she couldn’t do it. She might even have thought she was being punished.
But don’t believe what you’ve heard: birth isn’t this way because women are being punished. Oh no, it’s because the Universe trusts us so much. Birth is hard because it’s an initiation - a moment designed to bring us to our knees. It’s SUPPOSED to feel like an impossible task because it IS an impossible task FOR OUR MINDS. Thus, transition is yet another moment where we get to choose - if we haven’t already - to totally surrender to the process and give up the control that our minds think we gain through exercising our cognitive systems. It’s a moment we get to sink into Great Mystery and come fully alive.
This historical moment is our collective transition. We’ve been thinking so long and so hard, trying to work it out, trying to fix it, and it just keeps on getting more and more messy because our minds - the only place we knew to look for wisdom - are not equipped for this task. And so, my darling friends, it is time to claim a new way and the ultimate human Super Power: body wisdom.
What is THAT?
Yes, indeed, I would have asked the same thing a few years ago and really it’s impossible to explain a wisdom that lives beyond words using words, but let me try anyway.
Body wisdom is the thing that keeps your heart beating and your lungs expanding, it’s what grows the baby in your womb and heals the cut on your finger. It’s gravity and photosynthesis and conception. On a cosmic scale, it’s what keeps the earth circling the sun and the moon circling us. It’s E = MC squared. It’s what made the solar system, the Milky Way and Black holes. Its vast open empty space.
But isn’t that part of our wisdom already? With the scientific revolution haven’t humans unraveled all of those things and then harnessed them to do great things?
Hang on. Give me a moment whilst I laugh myself silly.
I mean, COME ON. Sure, we have names for things and we use those words to talk about them AS IF we understand. But do we TRULY understand? If we say a bird flies south in winter because of “instinct” have we explained the bird’s behaviour or did we just put a word on it? If we give a pill to a sick person, do we know that’s why they got better? Because what is the placebo affect anyway, other than the body getting better because the mind thinks it ought to? And if we learn how to drill for oil or make plastic do we understand Mother Earth and how she works, or have we taken a tiny piece, overused it and failed to understand the wholeness of things and the Great Mystery that wholeness represents?
Mind-based wisdom tries to EXPLAIN all things, rather than simply to enjoy them and let them be. It labels, categorizes and sorts. It breaks things down and makes them the same or different, ranking them as more or less worthy. Then it seeks to own and control those things: this forest is government property, that is his house, that child belongs to me. We think that we understand things and that we know what’s right for them and so we give ourselves permission to own and control them, telling ourselves that it’s for their own good.
We are mistaken.
The mind doesn’t really get it yet. It took hundreds of years to even realise that owning other human beings was wrong. For decades it was not only a way of life but a sign of progress and prosperity. Then a few people dropped out of their minds, into their hearts, and they started to question. So the mind changed tactics, labeling slavery an “unfortunate but necessary” part of economic survival. But the heart and the body are fierce and hard to ignore and so, after several more decades, owning another human being became barbaric and we realised that we shouldn’t do it. Finally we realized that we didn’t have to.
This moment in history is like the moment of transition in birth because the fight for liberation has come so far - we’ve been through so many contractions - and yet it seems like we have endless hours of pushing to go before any kind of true wisdom - embodied wisdom - can be claimed. We ended slavery, we gave women the vote, we let same sex couples get married and now we are embracing gender fluidity. This progress is real.
And yet when one examines the reality of our social and economic structures we are still stuck in transition and it isn’t yet clear if baby is even going to make it. Many people have woken up to the barbarity and the deadness of how we are living but we haven’t yet decided that we can really do it differently. We still think that we need immigration controls, insurance companies, legal systems and private property. We think rivers and forests and mountains are ours to do with as we choose, no matter how damaged they become. We think we need concrete and plastic, synthetic fertilizers and this thing we call “money”. We think that the stock market is actually a REAL THING.
Furthermore, we underestimate the capacity of Mother Nature so much that we think we need factory farming to feed ourselves, that women need doctors to give birth and that children need schools in order to learn. And FYI - mistrusting Mother Nature is the collective version of our individual mistrust of Body Wisdom.
So what gets a woman through transition? Simple: surrender to a wisdom that isn’t in her brain. That, and the immense love she already has for what is not yet manifest. Think about it. She hasn’t touched this baby yet, she hasn’t kissed it, she doesn’t know what colour it’s eyes are and how it smells and yet...YET...she already loves it with a fierceness that moves mountains. She’s willing to risk everything for it. Her love for the unmanifest is real because she feels - deep in her body - that this being is part of her and reliant upon her love of it. She knows that if she doesn’t have an outlet for her fierce love that HER heart will suffer. And so she surrenders - if she’s lucky - to a wisdom that brings forth new life outside of her as well as new life within her.
This is the definition of magic.
My grieving during this bleed was surrounded by a deep and profound love because I - like so many others - am pregnant with a new world. My mind is doing backflips trying to work out how to make it happen but it’s only in my moments of surrender to the primordial wisdom of my body that I actually know what to do. No, it’s not “rational” but it’s also not the TOTAL INSANITY that got us where we are. What’s more, though I can’t yet see this new world and I have no idea what it looks like, I’m already totally head over heels for it and I’m willing to lay down everything I have to birth it.
If you’re confused by what I just wrote, I don’t blame you. This shit is confusing. Because, if you break it down, essentially what I’m saying is the following:
- We are collectively giving birth to a new superpower
- That super power is body wisdom
- That body wisdom is actually the process by which we are birthing ourselves
- Soooo...what’s happening is we are simply becoming aware of how great we already are. That’s it.
You’re brain will never understand.
But you’re body already does.