Follow The Wave

Photo by Britney Gill

Photo by Britney Gill

FEBRUARY 14, 2012

Just over 8 weeks ago, I prepared for childbirth. And now, I feel as though I’m preparing for another gestation period, that of my new self. I began chemotherapy yesterday, the first of 12 treatments I will receive over the course of 6 months. I was pregnant for 9 months, and that flew by, so what’s 6 months in the big picture of life?

A lot, it turns out. Not in the quantity of time per say, but in the daily opportunities for growth, joy, sorrow, relationship and transformation it provides.

“Spiritual growth is like childbirth. You dilate, then you contract. You dilate, then you contract again. As painful as it all feels, it’s the necessary rhythm for reaching the ultimate goal of total openness. The pain of childbirth is more bearable as we realize where it’s leading. Giving birth to our selves, our new selves, our real selves, whether we are men or women, is a lot like giving birth to a child. It’s an idea that is conceived, then incubates. Childbirth is difficult, but holding the child makes the pain worthwhile. And so it is when we finally have a glimpse of our own completion as human beings–regardless of our husband or lack of one, our money or lack of it, our children or lack of any, or whatever else we think we need in order to thrive and be happy. When we finally have touched on a spiritual high that is real and enduring, then we know that the pain of getting there was worth it, and the years ahead will never be as lonely.”

-Marianne Williamson, A Woman’s Worth.

Although we tend to avoid the discomforts or contractions of life, they are necessary for the expansions that are always to follow. The idea is not to push them away, but rather to welcome them and even relax into them, as though being swept by a current or deeply powerful wave.

The more I ruminate in the present chaos that seems to have engulfed my body, our yoga community and our world, I’m somehow at peace knowing this wave will sweep away all the superfluous and extraneous banal minutia (background noise), and bring forth a refreshing truth: Although we try to know all the answers and reasons why things happen, we must welcome the discomforts and the unknown, and remember that as we feel ourselves being swept away in the mystery of it all, the wave always knows the way back to shore. 

Chantal Russell