Learning to listen to yourself is an essential tool for parenting. This dimension of self-care is not often highlighted in parenting education. Considerations often focus on attending to kids, partners, and helping everyone function as a team. To truly be able to listen to others, however, and to create a cohesive family unit, you need to know where to begin. If you have the ability to start with yourself, then everything else has the potential to naturally fall into place.
As a parent, I see that if I am scattered and tense, odds are the rest of my household is also. When I see my surroundings have degenerated into chaos, it is a reminder for me to look at my own state. I can take a step back and remember the Breema Principle of No Force. I consider the irony—I am moments away from shouting at my children in order to get them to stop screaming. Continue reading “Self-Care in Parenting By Alexandra Johnson”
A friend was recently having a hard day. He had just found out that his dad needed surgery and that he would be responsible for months of aftercare. In communicating his frustration via text, he made a comment that sparked an emotional reaction in me. I reacted with such immediacy that it surprised me. It was clear to me that I was not responding to the circumstances in his life but reacting to something in mine. I saw myself in that moment. Where was I? Was I even engaged with what he was communicating? I wasn’t.
When I looked at what was bothering me, I saw I was upset from an earlier conversation with my mother. I had a wish to be available for my friend, and yet I was caught in my thoughts of past and future. I took a breath and wrote something that I thought expressed sympathy, but I saw that I was still in an emotionally reactive place. Then I put the phone down and just sat there for a moment. I remembered my aim was to be present, and to live my life consciously. Continue reading “Being Available to Respond in Relationships by Luna Lacey”
As soon as I opened my first copy of Spiritual Midwifery, I knew I wanted to be a midwife. This was confirmed when, still in college, I saw my first deliveries, shadowing the physician who had delivered me. My plan was to be a homebirth midwife, but I was inspired by a dynamic OB, and decided to follow in her footsteps. I tried to bring the energy of the home birth into the hospital setting and would often take transfers from home and birth centers. It was a joy to maintain the atmosphere that the family desired for their birth, whether it was a multigenerational party or just nuclear family; whether using medications for pain relief or getting creative with dance, water, and songs. Continue reading “Mutual Support in Childbirth by Alexandra Johnson”
I have an opportunity, in each moment, to enter into health. The state of my body, mind, and feelings play a role in this, but not necessarily the one I have been conditioned to think. Growing up, I learned that if I had an illness, such as a flu or stomach troubles, I wasn’t well. Once the malady was treated and had passed, then I could call myself healthy again. Over time, this created a setup in which I began to feel healthy less of the time. As I got older and experienced more chronic issues, for example knee problems, thyroid dysfunction, or allergies, I was rarely able to consider myself in good health.
As a physician, I see patients of all ages with varying physical, mental or emotional conditions. Many times, those with acute illnesses relate to the state of their body with fear and anxiety. From childhood, we receive messages about how the body “should” or “shouldn’t” be. In the absence of questioning these preconceptions, we continue to live in reaction. As the state of the world often has us in crisis, this exacerbates a cycle of tension and stress.
Continue reading “True Health Means Harmony with Existence by Alexandra Johnson”