The last 6 months have been a wonderful opportunity for me to be quiet and reflective. Being pregnant and 40 have been great teachers, in both expected and unexpected ways. Here are 6 reasons pregnancy and and growing older are teaching me to listen.
1. Quiet - As the wise Ram Dass said, "The quieter you become, the more you can hear." This has definitely been true for me. At the beginning of my pregnancy I dealt with some annoying morning sickness. However, this was somewhat of a blessing because it served as an invitation to slow down and get quiet. Though I did feel some resistance and desperation of "when will this be over," I also began to fall more in love with my alone time, my home yoga practice, reading, taking naps, and allowing myself to be. I needed this time to practice listening more deeply .
2. Surrender - With a constantly changing body and an influx of hormones, I'm noticing more and more how each day can be very different. By listening more deeply, I'm more in tune with the fluctuations of energy. I'm learning to let go of my ego drive to do all the things I want to do, and to listen more closely to my intuition and surrender to what I need.
3. Focus - Growing older has shifted that sense of unlimited time I used to feel when I was younger. Also, having experienced major losses in my life over the last couple of years has taught me about the preciousness of each moment. And now, with the countdown till the birth, I'm feeling a sense of urgency to get things done! I've felt a calling to stay focused, minimize procrastination, and make the best use of my time. And I have to say, when I allow myself to stay focused I feel less overwhelm and worry about conquering my to-do list. Focus can channel the worries into a sense of productivity.
4. Discernment - It's been a time to reflect on what's essential, and what can wait. It's also been a time of letting go of some things completely. Getting quiet and listening deeply has helped me to clear out some of the mental chatter and make more authentically informed decisions. The art of listening helps me to connect with my wise self.
5. Celebration - Another aspect of honoring the preciousness of time is celebration. I recently turned 40 and had 2 surprise birthday parties by family and friends. I had been hoping to not to pay much attention to my birthday, but rather to focus on other "more important" things. But my loved ones reminded me of the importance of celebration. As my Sri Lankan friend told me, in his culture the older you get, the greater importance of your birthday. This is a testament not only to honoring the birthday person, but giving thanks and respect to the community that supports that person getting older. In celebrating my birthday, I was reminded of all the love in my life that continues to support me on this journey. Sometimes listening is a wake-up call, especially when it comes by surprise.
6. Trust - Being pregnant is teaching me a lot of about trust. In the beginning there was pressure to keep things a secret until I was in the clear after the first trimester. And being of "advanced maternal age," there is a higher risk of complications. It's been an important time of not getting caught up in fear and worry about the "what ifs." Listening in has helped me to keep a connection to my inner calm. I've had a deep sense of knowing that everything will be Ok, however things turn-out. Listening in has been an opportunity for me to focus on trust in the process, without attachment to outcome. Through listening I've adopted the mantra "trust."