Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Last weekend I had a dear friend invite me to run the Red Rock Relay with her team in Moab. I'm gonna be honest, I am not a runner. I was shocked that she even wanted me anywhere near her team! 
I agreed to go as a favor to her, but really, she did me the favor. 

Beautiful. Powerful. Spiritual. Painful. Freeing.

Those are the best words I can come up with to describe the entire trip. 

I threw my head back and laughed aloud along the run when I realized that those words had everything to do with birth 

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. I was SCARED out of my mind to run that relay. I didn't even sleep the night before. It's hard to wrap your mind around the unexpected when it seems like the only guarantee is pain and a finish line. 

Unfortunately, that's how the vast majority of women in our birthing culture feel about childbirth. 

TV, books, memes, and other people love hyping up the pain and drama of the experience. 

So our mothers, our beautiful mothers, are walking into these hospitals with the expectation of life altering pain and an eventual finish line that will put a baby in their arms. They are left running--running from every bad and good thing that could happen in that room. 

So let's stop again to look at the full spectrum of birth experiences. 

Beautiful. Powerful. Spiritual. Painful. Freeing.


Dr. Steve Maraboli said, "There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty."

The human body is incredible and I am left in awe at every opportunity I have to witness a woman in her element. 


Birth comes from deep inside your bones. It is a primal and powerful wave that crashes within the core of your being. 
If you are still, you will find yourself in this place of inbetween. This place in time holds a balance between the side of you that is pulled into  the swirling tides that open your body and the crashing waves that could flood your mind. To surf this balance is to both utilize and respect the power of birth. 


There is spirit in the birthing space. It is calling forth your child from the unknown. The magic in the very creation of the universe courses through a mother's veins. Be it God by any other name--the mother links herself with the divine in a solemn sacrament that ushers forth a new soul. 


Pain is the most recognized and least understood facet of childbirth. Pain and suffering are equated as the same thing--but I can assure you that they are not. Pain is a refiner. It brings us to our limits. And then, when paired with surrender, it propels us into a state of acceptance and strength. Suffering is agony, but pain is the teacher. It teaches us of the beauty in our flaws--our very humanity. Beauty seen through the lens of accepted pain is more brighter and more brilliant than ever before imagined. 


There is freedom in the moment when you've scaled a mountain and turn to look back over the triumph you've claim for yourself. This is birth. 
It's an incredible experience to raise your child to your chest. The mother is free from pain. Her doubts are gone. Her faith in herself and her body is solidified. There is freedom in the triumph. 

Running the Red Rock Relay was one of the craziest things I have ever done. But I can't even begin to express my joy at having done it. 

I experienced beauty. The red rocks, snaking river, and vibrant green landscape now holds my heart. 

I experienced power. Who knew that my body could pull a run out of thin air?

I experienced spirit. There was no doubt in my mind that God had created this amazing world. 

I experienced pain. Oh man, did I ever. My muscles still aren't on speaking terms with me yet.

I experienced freedom. I laughed and fist pumped the air when I felt my body pushing through the pain. I was just around the bend from the next relay exchange and it was all I could do to keep from dancing along the river's side. 

But you know...there is one thing I experienced that I didn't list on here. A change of plans. 
For some moms, the birth they envision will not be the one they claim. It's disappointing and can be painful in a whole new way. But having to change plans doesn't negate everything I've just described. It's just a different way of experiencing it. And for you, and for me, that is enough. 

We are enough. 

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