As we shift into parenthood we often go through multiple changes within our body, our mind, and our soul. One of the biggest changes that we often do not talk about is the change that happens to our spiritual selves. As a doula I have come to see that most of us experience a sort of spiritual high shortly after we welcome a new baby into our lives and it can be really overwhelming to experience it at this time even if your spirituality or religion is already a strong part of your life. While it isn’t something I often talk about, the spiritual shift that happened to me as I became a mother has had a great influence on who I am now, not only as a mother but as a person.
People who are close to me know that I was graced with my first real job in a metaphysical bookstore early in high school and stayed in the same store for almost a decade. That job allowed new age and metaphysical philosophies to be present in my life and opened so many pathways of learning for me. Until I became a mom the things I had learned over all those years had never really held a place in my day to day life, the books and cards and crystals lay on shelves and in drawers, hidden away and collecting dust. Outside of a regular yoga practice it all lay dormant inside of me until a few months after my first was born. All of a sudden the things I had be exposed to were showing up in my life consistently, like it was an old friend calling to rekindle a forgotten connection, and for the first time in my life I fully embraced that side of me. I started to meditate regularly and soon started to work with energy and my chakras (are you still with me?). I began to track astrology on a regular basis and worked on raising my vibration. My oracle cards got dusted off and began to see the light of day regularly. For me, it was a very natural transition, one that my whole life had been preparing me for yet I very rarely talk about it or share that part of myself with the outside world. But, as I grow my second child, I began to wonder how my spirituality is being influenced by the new soul within my body. Is it alright to balance my chakras and get energy work while pregnant?
I recently had a chance to connect with Sarah Nolan, a Reiki Master and Spiritual Coach here in Denver, to have some of my questions answered. Sarah gave some wonderful suggestions on how to embrace this change. I also really wanted to know how how pregnancy and energy work flow together.
Sarah began by telling me that Reiki works only for the highest good. When healings are done in pregnancy the mother and the baby get healed together and can increase the bond between them. Some people are more sensitive to the energy used in Reiki during pregnancy and while it can be intense, the positive energy used during healings can be regulated by your personal need allowing you to only take what you need out of the healing. As with many other healings, Reiki can make you aware of any fears that may be hidden away and bring them to the surface so that they can be healed as well. Sarah made a good point when she touched on how those fears can affect you during your pregnancy and birthing time. She suggested processing the fears before your birthing time begins as it will help open your ability to guide your energy where it is needed most. As she told me about her experience using energy during the birth of her son she mentioned that is was one of the first times she realized she could use energy in this way as well as how much other people's energy can directly affect your own energy. During your birthing time this can be especially true as certain people’s energy can cause a flight or flight response which is why I make sure to talk to people about being selective about who the welcome into their space as they labor. We then talked about how a lot of people have a great fear of opening up to this powerful energy at all because they are afraid that they will be overrun with the energy from other people. She went on to say that by simply setting the positive intention to not allow other people’s energy affect you, you create boundaries that will help you to be aware of other people’s energy and, in turn, be able to create your own protective layer from other people’s energies as well as allow you to maintain your own energy vibration. Our energy is also closely connected with our children, especially in the first few years, and these boundaries can also help maintain healthy energy exchanges with our children and be able to set new boundaries as they grow. I use an intention that a dear friend of mine gave me years ago to help me set boundaries: “I now close my aura to everything but my higher self. I release all negative thought forms with love and light.” It works wonders for me, but sometimes my four year old can definitely probe that boundary and that’s alright. We’ll keep on working on our boundaries as the energy we share continues to change.
As we chatted about ways to embrace the spiritual change she made some powerful recommendations. One suggestion was releasing any fears around the new energy. There are a number of ways to do this and it is always best to do what feels best for you. I suggest finding some fear clearing meditations on YouTube (here are a few that Sarah has done: Release Self-Doubt & Self Love For Parents), getting an energy healing (like Reiki), or journaling about any fears that come up around the new energy entering your life. Another suggestion is to find a spiritual community that suits you! No matter what your spirituality is or where it’s shifting to having support will help guide you through this transition. Again it should be support that is suited to you so find a meditation group, a new church, a yoga class, a red tent... somewhere that you love and feel supported on your spiritual journey and can connect with like minded people. And lastly, be prepared for a change in friends. As your energy shifts people who don’t vibrate with you probably won’t continue on the same journey with you. Friendship dynamics change as we become parents anyways but it is also normal for your tribe to change with spiritual shifts as well.
No matter when this happens in your journey, know that you are not alone. There is so much going on in that shift to becoming a parent that this shift can be pushed aside or ignored or feared. Sometimes it happens during pregnancy or way later down the road. It can be a big shift or a little shift. Maybe it comes in an epiphany or appears in little ways in your daily life. No matter how shows up in your life or when I encourage you to reach out, connect, and talk about it. Do your best to embrace the new energy, find your tribe, and enjoy the ride!