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The Way It Is Supposed to Be

The Way It Is Supposed to Be

Tammy June 28, 2011 14 comments

Magnolia Blossom, Lewes DE (in the rain - look closely at the leaves)

 

Have you ever smelled a magnolia blossom?  They’re like honeysuckle on steroids – not sick sweet, just sweet.  Much like a gardenia.  This one presented itself at nose level while hubby and I were on a quick away to Philly for the Magic Garden and inspiration for my latest art project and then to Lewes DE for an overnight and walk around to take pictures even though it was pouring rain.

Awesome company, yummy food, fun travel, time to create (photos).  That’s the way life is supposed to be.  At least that’s the story my head seems to be sticking to.

Life is not supposed to be an almost trajectory where things are on the verge of shooting to the moon only to be killed by outside forces (rant:  greedy, self-serving bankers and CEOs who already make too much money to spend in their lives but want more so wreck the economy for the rest of us who they don’t want to catch up with them).   It’s not supposed to be that way until it is.

Life is not supposed to be about working hard (often two or three jobs), taking care of your kids, paying your taxes, serving your community and then finding there are no jobs when you discover there is no way that Social Security and a small savings account are going to carry you through now that your art business has taken a nose dive.  Did I mention that my art business has taken a nose dive?  Until we get back to $3/gallon for fuel I expect that to continue.  It’s not supposed to be that way until it is.

Life is not supposed to be about losing hope.  Until you do.

Earlier this year I spent some time in the Deep Darks – about 2 months in the spring when I couldn’t blame it on short days and long nights.  It rattled me pretty good.  I can probably say that it knocked my feet out from under me.  Well, you know, the only failure is not getting up again.  And I did.    I went to the Awesome Women Hub’s first gathering anywhere, which happened to be in driving distance from home.  And it was Awesome.  I made new friends.   I’ve reached out and reminded myself I’m not alone.  I’m stretching the boundaries of my art to see where it might go.  Hence the above-mentioned trip to the Magic Gardens since ceramic shard and mixed media panels seem to be the direction:  yard art, big, anything that reuses/recycles/renews.

In hindsight, the Deep Darks were about cracking open – to hold with my metaphor here, my water broke.  I have labored to live in the question, and begun to move out of sitting into the realization of potential.

I am in transition.  Any woman who has been through birth, or helped it along, knows that transition is where the really hard work gets done.  It is where you find, after you have labored and breathed and cried and laughed and waited and workedworkedworked, after you have come to the edge and think you can go no further – it is where you find that you can.  Because you must.  Because something is being born and you are the only one who can birth it.  If you give up, not only does your life force shrivel and die but also the thing that is almost here – the energy that is counting on you because you are the only conduit through which it can come in full expression – never gets any chance at all.

Transition is generally the shortest part of labor, lasting 15 minutes to half an hour on average. However, this is also the most intense part of labor for many women. Some women find that being reminded that they are in transition increases their ability to handle the intensity…Another physical sign is the inability to relax or be comfortable.   A woman who was handling labor well may suddenly find that she has no idea what to do and nothing is comfortable any more.

During transition, contractions will be long and close. They may be 90 seconds long and two minutes apart, which gives you a 30 second rest time between contractions. The contractions may double peak, or they may seem to be one right after the other without any break.  The major emotional marker for this stage is giving up.

The “giving up” or feeling out of control may be recognized by comments the mother makes. It is not uncommon for a mother to say, “I can’t do this,” or “I need something.” Recognize that this is not the mother asking for medication, but for help. She can no longer handle the labor the way she has been, and she needs to do something different. [from “Birthing Naturally” – which I didn’t by the way, altho the first time I tried.  That’s another story.]

 

Transition is full of potential and fraught with the danger of not trusting the hero you are. 

The hero is not “above,” looking down on human endeavor; she is often confused, living in the flux.  Therefore, she does not try to eliminate all suffering and pain, but to affirm life in all its manifestations, and through this affirmation to transform it.  Carol Pearson and Katherine Pope

This is the moment right before everything births.  This is the moment you acknowledge and live the hero you are:

  • This is the time to reach out for help if it isn’t offered.  Ask.  Be clear that you need help.  Tell others how they can support you if they don’t know.
  • This is the time when *everything* intensifies, when emotional pain peaks and double peaks closer and closer together
  • This is the time to do something different
  • This is the time to recognize that being uncomfortable is now “the way it is supposed to be” and that discomfort and neediness is okay right here and now
  • This is the time to fully live everything you are feeling and know that all the things that you are feeling are okay
  • This is the time to adjust your story to “Hell, yes!  This is the way it is supposed to be and Hell YES!  I’m a hero, and HELL YES!  I can hold on for just one more second, especially if you’re holding my hand.

Wylde Women’s Wisdom

Resources for transition:

Stacey Curnow’s blog “Midwife for Life” – let’s face it gals, there are a lot of us who understand birth as a metaphor.  If you’ve experienced it, use it!

Mo Davis’s Purplicious Passion Party starting July 1 AU$7 – 47 heart donation.

Coaching – I have space for new clients and it can be as little as a one hour phone call or as much as a year of customized sessions, whatever you need.

Comments

14
  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    June 28, 2011
    Tammy

    Hey Tammy!

    Thanks SO much for the shout out at the end of your incredibly insightful and thought-provoking post!

    As a midwife, mother, and life coach, I have seen again
    and again striking parallels between the stages of labor
    and the stages by which any person navigates momentous
    change.

    And the result is the same: at the end of these transitions, a person celebrates their own new life while coming to terms with the fact that their old life has
    changed entirely.

    You described the physiological process of labor perfectly. In the context of our lives, I think transition is the process of letting go of the way things used to be and then accepting
    and managing the way they subsequently become.

    In between the letting go and the taking hold again, there
    is a chaotic but very creative time when things aren’t the
    old way, but aren’t really a new way either – and that is
    transition.

    It’s pretty obvious to me that you are in this chaotic and VERY creative place right now.

    I can’t wait to see what you give birth to!!

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    Tammy Vitale
    June 28, 2011
    Tammy

    “at the end of these transitions, a person celebrates their own new life while coming to terms with the fact that their old life has
    changed entirely.” love that – I think it’s another post! Re “can’t wait to see” – me either!

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    June 28, 2011
    Tammy

    Yes and yes and yes. Having been through two labors, and trying to manage work/life/fulfillment this resonated on deep levels with
    me.

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    Tammy Vitale
    June 28, 2011
    Tammy

    Brenda – I think as we get older we discover that birthing our kids was the easy part!

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    June 28, 2011
    Tammy

    Luv your post Tammy. I really like your reply to Brenda. It’s so true!

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    June 28, 2011
    Tammy

    Tammy – inspired post. I think about giving up. Not every day, but some days. When I’m attacked by the “it shoulds” — it should have happened THIS way, this should have happened and it didn’t. It can be hard to “just keep swimming” (as Dory chants in Finding Nemo) when you feel that you can’t.

    These words in your post of beautiful words spoke to me in the first reading:
    “…it is where you find that you can. Because you must. Because something is being born and you are the only one who can birth it”.

    When I recognise that it isn’t about what anyone else is doing – it’s about following my own path, and not JUST that, but the fact that ONLY I can walk it, then a sense of natural order and peace fills me. Only I can sing this song my way.

    Thank you for another “delving deep” post… I have come to expect these of you now, and belive you have a gift for sharing what we think of as the ‘dark side’ in a way that makes embracing it more possible.

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    June 29, 2011
    Tammy

    Awesome post! I am in a new phase myself, and part of the transition was also the Magic Gardens!! Too funny. I went up to Philly by myself, for the first time, just to see Zagar’s work. And it was liberating and inspiring. I took a zillion photos and have started a bottle/mosaic wall in my front yard.. You can follow my progress on my site sloanesolanto.com. I had to ask for help from my husband (and thank God his part is done). I HATE asking for help but I needed a good foundation for this project. This weekend the bottles will begin to be put into place. WooHoo!!

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    Tammy Vitale
    June 29, 2011
    Tammy

    Kathleen – thank you! About kids – the other thing they did for me was prepare me for the really really hard stuff – birthing them was nothing compared to birthing myself. Some days I want to say: “Self: because I said so that’s why!” and get Self to cow just a bit. Not likely but you never know!

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    Tammy Vitale
    June 29, 2011
    Tammy

    jill: “.”you have a gift for sharing what we think of as the ‘dark side’ in a way that makes embracing it more possible.”

    You can’t possibly know how supportive that statement is. Thank you!

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    Tammy Vitale
    June 29, 2011
    Tammy

    Sloan – I am so headed over to and earmarking your site! My next project is a wall – here’s my email: info@TammyVitale.com.
    You need a cyber partner? Let me be it – and share what you did for the foundation part because I’m so there! Artgal pals and I made mosaic panels last week which will soon rise in the Garden Goddess area!

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    Anne
    June 29, 2011
    Tammy

    Transition is where this whole enterprise of birth is just out of your control. You can’t stop the contractions, you can only flow with them. You’ll never work that hard again for such a short time (unless, of course there is another baby). I agree, creative transition, life transition is like that, too. But after the transition and birth – there is always wonder!

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    July 4, 2011
    Tammy

    Thanks for another powerful post Tammy. While I’ve never had kids, I can relate to the need to maintain a sense of hope. Knowing that the transition, while the hardest part of labor, is not usually the longest, helps provide hope that the future will indeed dawn…as I am certain yours is doing.

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    July 4, 2011
    Tammy

    I think we need the darkness, as a time of gathering strength and energy for the push forward. Yes, it’s scary, but our intuition often knows better than the conscious self, so when we trust it and ride it, we find we get a lot further — with a lot less pain!

    So glad you had fun at the gathering!

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    Tammy Vitale
    July 4, 2011
    Tammy

    Anne – “out of control” – you know me well enough to know that makes me crazy! And yet: what you are saying is that all the choices we have made are now coming to fruition…we can’t stop it if we want to! (I guess that could be good or bad!)
    Patrice: Thanks for your encouraging words and for stopping by!
    Devon – well put! I so agree but I don’t know that I’ve ever quite said it that way “a time of
    gathering strength for the push” – perfect! Thank you

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