Dina sighed heavily.
She plopped down on the couch in my office and immediately pulled off her light silk scarf. She'd had several sessions with me and I knew that her baby was due in about a month.
“How are you doing?” I asked her. Her eyes slipped to the side and she was blinked back tears. She let out another deep sigh.
“I'm just tired. My body feels so heavy, and I don't have any energy…but there's just so much to do.”
“Well,” I said, “Your body's already doing a lot. You're building a whole human being after all!”
She laughed a little, but then blinked hard and dabbed her eyes.
“Yes… sometimes it seems like that doesn't even count.”
I raised my eyebrows.
Dina continued, “My mom's coming to stay with us when the baby is born. And I feel like I need to get the house ready. You see, she's not going to be very patient if everything's cluttered, and, you know, I just don't want her to be uncomfortable while she stays.”
“Okay, but isn't she actually coming to help you?”
Dina chuckled a little bit more, “Yes, and, you know, I feel like I should be grateful. She is flying here all the way from India. But I don't know. Sometimes it's just hard to have her here.”
At this point, as often happens with my clients as they start talking about what's going on in their lives, I get what I’d call a “nudge” to start working energetically with their bodies. It’s time they climb on my massage table, relax, and receive.
In Dina’s case I was aware that her body, and even her baby, were asking for a process called “Access Consciousness Bars®”. It's the most effective way I’ve learned to clear stuck energy and get things moving.
Once Dina was comfortable, propped with several pillows to accommodate her pregnant body and covered with a cozy blanket, I wanted to explore more about this tired, heaviness she was describing.
I mean, it's a common thing, right?
Women talk about it all the time - they just can't wait to get that baby out! They complain about not being able to see their feet. They waddle when they walk. They feel huge, exhausted and awkward. It's pretty much the standard script for that last trimester of pregnancy.
But I actually know from working with women in pregnancy over the years that it doesn't have to be that way.
See, our bodies talk to us with metaphors. We feel heavy. There's probably something heavy going on with our lives. We feel tired. What are we tired of? These are great questions to ask. I wanted to see what Dina had to say.
“Dina,” I asked, “Are you ever allowed to rest and relax?”
She laughed, “What do you mean?” But I could tell she knew exactly what I meant.
“I mean, is it allowed that you relax and you rest? Or is it always your job to work hard? Is that what makes you valuable? Is that how you prove to your mom or the world that you’re doing enough to count?”
There was a long pause and then tears started trickling out of the corner of her eyes and she took the first deep, long breath I’d seen her take since she walked in my office door.
“Being with my mom is just so demanding. I never feel like what I do is quite good enough for her or she always has a lot of advice about how I could do it better. Having her stay with us after the baby is born - I think I'm just going end up working really hard having her here.”
Dina went quiet for several minutes and I just kept gently holding her head and keeping my barriers down, my own mind quiet, and stayed open and curious.
Then again she took a deep, full breath. Deeper than a body in its 8th month of pregnancy is supposed to be able to do.
“I am actually afraid she'll tell me I'm not taking care of my baby right. And I just couldn’t bear that…since I’m already afraid it might be true!”
After a moment, I asked, “So, truth, is this the heaviness you are feeling? Is your body trying to tell you that the weight of your mom's visit is more than you can bear?”
Again, a big sigh.
This is one of the ways I know when something is true and the energy matches what’s actually going on. The body is acknowledging the space of truth and letting go of the contracted strangle-hold of trying to keep that truth disguised.
By the end of our session, Dina was way more relaxed.
She sat up and got off the table. Instead of having the teary, tense look in her eyes and shoulders, she looked at home and at ease in her body. She gently ran her hands over the rise of her baby-belly.
“You know?” she said, “I don't think I have the nerve to tell my mom not to come. But what I can do is talk to my husband. He knows my mom can overwhelm me. We have some money that we could spend. We could get me more help around the house preparing. And I can let him know how I feel so maybe he can support me more and have my back. In fact, maybe it would be okay to ask her to come for a shorter amount of time.”
I smiled with Dina as we scheduled her next appointment, both knowing this was the part of her pregnancy in which baby might surprise us and schedules would go out the window.
As it turned out, Dina’s baby did decide to help her out – beautiful baby Uma was born a full two weeks before Grandma flew into town!
(Writer’s note: Dina is based on a number of women that I’ve known and worked with in “The Calmer Mom Project,” my business as a life coach and energy therapy practitioner. The story is fiction, but the language of the body, how changing the energy can change any situation, and the challenges of pregnancy and life in the mother-hood are real.)