April 22, 2008

More on, "No," and Finding Your YES!

On “No”
Why is it important to be in touch with your inner “No?” Your inner knowing is immensely intelligent.

Recently Oprah spent a whole show on teaching people to listen to their inner senses. Her guest, Gavin de Becker author of “The Gift of Fear” talked about how we are all born with the power to know when we are heading into danger. As a violent crimes investigator he noticed that whenever he interviewed victims, the victims always told him that they had ignored multiple internal warnings that something was not right and they had walked right into danger.

Gavin explains that during our lifetime the brain takes in and stores more information than we can consciously be aware of. The brain is constantly taking in new information and comparing it with our old experiences, but we can’t recall everything at every moment. Many times our warning of danger could be a gut feeling or a body sensation, or even a flash of a thought.

In addition to body sensations, de Becker feels that you should pay attention to anything that makes you say, “Hmmm. This does not seem right.”

He says that we all have this gift, but often we are taught to ignore it. He feels that women are especially disposed to ignore their inner knowing because of social conditioning.

Leading edge educators and scientists believe that that mind and the body connection are so important that we can no longer separate them when studying them. Dr. Bryan Post, the founder of the Post Institute for Family-Centered Therapy says, “The brain and body are a unified system, what happens in the brain happens in the body.”

Be aware that we are mainly talking about the unconscious brain, the part of the brain that is mostly responsible for our survival.

Anxiety and nervousness that is not resolved leads to a long term stress response in the body. Our cells go from functioning normally, called thriving, to functioning in a survival mode. This is harmful to well being which needs cells to be in the thriving mode to regenerate. Being in stress ,and thus the survival mode, is most unfavorable if you desire a normal pregnancy and birth.

When I read about medical care providers telling women that they will need to be induced if the baby does not come by a certain date, or that the baby may be “too big” to birth, or that their pelvises may be “too small,” I cringe at the constant messages that she is receiving in her minds conscious and unconscious- messages of fear.

It is a wonder that any women can have a natural birth after being kept in this constant state of fear, and I commend any women who is able to birth naturally despite that.

How can this empower us?
Birth counts on you to have your body, mind and spirit at-ease. You will want to know your body’s “Yes!” intimately because your body will work at its optimum during birth when it is at-ease.

Finding your yes! Some exercises…
•Think of a food that you love. Feel it in your body, what does your body do? Sit with this. This is a, "yes!"

•Try it another way. Sit still and smile without moving your face. This feeling is a "yes!"

•Think about your past and look at some memories where you knew that the answer was “Yes!”

Your, "yes," will guide you where you want to go. Your path of power is to find this place. For instance, if you are with a medical care provider, and every time you visit them you feel badly when you leave- this is a “No.”

If you don’t feel a 100% “Yes!” when you are with your birth attendant, then how do you expect to give birth easily with them? Find someone who is your “YES!”

When I was pregnant, I visited a hospital and took a tour of the maternity ward. They told us that after the birth, the baby would be taken away for a minimum of four hours for bathing and procedures. I felt sickness in my body whenever I imagined having my normal healthy baby taken away from me. This did not feel safe. I felt a huge inner “No!” which started me on my path to education and empowerment for my birth.

Looking inside, I always knew when I was headed right. I felt ease in my body when I made a good decision, even if others argued with me.

Make each decision one step at a time, and follow your inner knowing. We all have it, we just need to practice listening to it.

copyrite 2008 Barbara Rivera