Birthing Ayurveda: Week 9—Living by Example
Welcome to Birthing Ayurveda, where we follow one woman's pregnancy experience week by week—from a positive home pregnancy test all the way to delivery.
I started reading this book by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother (amazing, highly spiritual philosophers from the East). The Mother repeatedly states that the best parents live by example—it isn’t what I say to the kid, what schedule I put the baby on, what disciplinary methods I use, or debating regular diapers versus cloth diapers. It is what I am thinking, what I am doing, how I spend my day, how many times I lose my cool and get angry, how I handle difficult situations.
This hit me pretty hard. I had previously chosen not to have kids because I wanted to dedicate my time and energy to developing and cleansing myself, living a highly spiritual life, and serving others. But, if I take the Mother and Sri Aurobindo’s message seriously –
I started paying a lot more attention to Vrinda this week—what her thoughts were, the little things that irked her, the subtle comparisons and judgments she makes, excuses she makes. It’s all subtle, but it adds up. And Charlie (our nickname for the baby) is constantly watching and listening to all this—the Mother spoke about how the child’s education starts well before birth.
It’s a process. I just choose to watch the dramas of Vrinda and when I notice it, I go to the place that I know is more wholesome and pure—my soul. From that place, I watch the drama until it plays out. Dr. Lad calls this “watching the watcher.” The whole time I talk to Charlie about how silly his mother is, connecting him also to the deeper place within myself. No need to judge the dramas. I just need to connect to the higher truth within myself.
On the physical forefront, I have also become better about watching the physical dramas as well. Sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in the nausea and get frustrated (and ultimately, I am just getting frustrated because it is impacting my productivity and efficiency).
It is important to note that many of the sense organs of the baby have been developed or are developing by now, and so as I became more aware of myself, I also became more aware of what I was taking in through my senses—what was I smelling, seeing and watching, listening to, and touching. I became more selective of what my sense organs interacted with (for instance, I have put a hold on really violent shows or walk away from conversations if they are very negative).
Because of this, I have also become more present and am able to appreciate what my sense organs are currently interacting with. If I am outside, I block out my thoughts to listen to the birds or the wind going through the trees, I listen to my breath when it is really quiet, I appreciate the warmth of my husband’s hand, the taste of my food.
I believe that appreciating all of these things helps the development of the baby’s sense organs. Play with it. Choose a sense to be more aware of each week. I found a certain joy from the process that came from just being present.