The Power of Beliefs
I recently attended a Shift Retreat with Lacy Young, a weekend full of meditation, reflection, examining our beliefs, and working towards shifting those beliefs. I took a lot from the experience - I deepened my meditation practice, was reminded of how much love I have in my life, and got to know a group of amazing and brave women. But one thing I'd like to share that I know will be so useful to my clients is the power of belief work.
Beliefs are those things that we know to be true. Things we were told over and over again from a young age, or ideas that we have adopted through experiences in our lives. Some beliefs are valuable and help shape our identities in positive ways. And some beliefs are limiting and cause unnecessary grief, stress, and hardship in our lives. The beautiful thing is - beliefs are just that, beliefs. They are not facts, which means they can be changed.
Below in italics are some limiting beliefs that I hear all the time in my line of work. But what if we changed the narrative, and worked on shifting those beliefs?
Birth is the most painful thing I have ever experienced.
Birth is an enjoyable and empowering experience!
Birth is hard.
Birth is easy!
I have to breathe through my contractions.
I will breathe into my contractions and work with them to bring my baby to me!
I can't do this.
I can do this.
I'm scared of birth.
I am not afraid.
It's true that beliefs can't prevent complications or unexpected outcomes in birth. But they do have the power to change your experience of birth. And you might just find that if you're able to shift the narrative in your head about birth, your body will follow suit.
So how do we shift these beliefs that are so deeply engrained in our minds?
1. Examine your beliefs
You must first start by identifying your beliefs around birth. Take out a notebook and start writing. Be honest with yourself - start by writing about where you're at, not where you want to be. Take some time to reflect on where those beliefs come from, and whether they are serving you. Here are some good prompts if you're not sure where to start:
Birth is ___________.
My birth will be ___________.
2. Re-write those beliefs
In your notebook, look at every belief you've written down and think about how you might shift that belief to be more loving. For example, if you wrote "birth is scary," could you change it to "birth is beautiful?" You don't have to believe these statements yet, start by just writing them down.
3. Practice those loving beliefs
Every day, when you're in the shower or driving to work or laying down for a nap, repeat those new and loving beliefs to yourself out loud. Write them down in pretty colors and tape it on your wall. Close your eyes and picture each one of those beliefs & watch them become part of your being. With practice, you will be amazed at how easy it is to shift those beliefs. All you have to do is trust the process and know that it will work.
You deserve to be excited about bringing your baby into the world. There's no need to be afraid.