Spacious Stillness

 Humanity is fumbling for an ancient longing at the centre of her aching heart.
 She is like the blind mother labouring to birth her precious child whom she has forgotten she knows in every cell of her body.
 She is like the young woman searching for her lover who has gone missing in action.
 She is like the moon howling to her soul in the dead of night, pleading to see the beauty of the stars.
 I am the thrum of your steady heart.
 I am your midwife, your lover, your moon pointing to the stars.
 Follow me through veil after veil of illusion in your dark labours 
 as you un-earth your true consciousness from within the blood and the bones of your beautiful body. 

I wholeheartedly believe that our only hope for resolving the planetary crisis we humans have created is to find our way back to the soft pulse of life that resonates with the songs of the earth. And before that happens in corporate boardrooms or medical institutions it must first happen in our individual hearts.

At births that I’ve witnessed as a midwife or doula, I’ve seen so many newborns shocked by the over-efficiency of their caregivers. Often parents, despite loving their babies deeply, have allowed the hospital staff to take them away and interfere with bonding because it was the “way things are done here”. Babies were being cleaned up, wrapped up and placed nicely out of the way in nurseries, whilst the birth team were efficiently clearing up the messiness of the mother and of the birth to make space for the next arrival, almost as if babies came in on conveyor belts. I’ve also been privileged to witness the births of babies who birthed into the most sacred spaces. And I’ve recognized that as a doula the quality of my awareness can assist the mother and the baby to create a birth experience that is sacred and magical for them even in difficult circumstances.  

I discovered that working as a doula was only barely about the techniques I learn for massage, listening, advocating and encouraging women in labour. More important than this was the quality of my attention at birth. The spaciousness I held within myself supported a woman to let go into her primal birthing being and to transform the experience for her baby and for herself in the process. This quality of spaciousness felt like dappled light through a grove of trees, or a field of barley swaying in the breeze, absorbing the sun through its kernels and water through its roots. It was like a patient rock, spaciously enduring millennia. It was like the sea that may be churning its experience as heaving waves, but deep beneath the surface is a vast expanse of ocean flowing with the ease and grace of the life force that feeds its soul. 

This quality was as present and as serene as the natural world, which no matter how wild it became, was accepting of the cycles of coming and going.

 Like the vastness of space revealing itself once the clouds disperse.
 Out of the stillness of your unobstructed mind,
 The luminous clarity of your True Self will naturally emerge. 

Stillness Is.

The quieter I became and the more deeply I listened, the more I accessed the Still Point within myself. This was a place of absolute peace and calm, and when I held myself in the Still Point, I transmitted peace and calm into the space around me. Attuning to the infinite power at the Still Point, I aligned with everything outside. From the level of fine-tuning where I actually came to a full stop, I became one with everything within and without myself.

I needed to remind myself to come back to the Still Point every time I remembered to come back to my breathing or the present moment.

My perception of this consciousness felt delicate initially. I dropped into it, and it felt like a flutter, a momentary awareness of my potential, much as a foetus is felt in the belly when we first discern its movements. The foetus is already there—we have received the pregnancy test results, seen the scans, yet the first felt movements are like a whisper we cannot quite believe. We begin to feel the baby’s movements without having to focus so intently on them, although the movements are felt more strongly when we are quietly aware.

When I tuned into this delicate space, I became present. I listened with deep and alert awareness. I quieted my churning mind, my emotions, and my loud bodily demands in order to sink into the moment. It was the awareness of being a part of and One with a Universal flow of energy that was always there. A few years later, when discussing it with a group of friends, I called it ‘coming home’, Ruth called it ‘not interfering’, Annika called it, ‘doing less to create more’, and Zo called it ‘being present’. We all agreed that the value of settling back into ourselves and holding space could become a guiding principle. If we cherished this as the core reason for being here, it could serve as a reminder that this was the only work there is. It assisted us to powerfully transform our worlds, each in our own way.

By Robyn Sheldon

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