Up until very recently I didn’t really know what a Blessing way Ceremony was nor what one entailed. I’d seen photos of women with beautiful henna covered bellies wearing crowns of flowers, but I hadn’t understood the significance of what it all symbolised.
I’ve only been to a few baby showers in my life and they were all lovely, but I observed that it was more focused on the baby and preparing the mother practically. There didn’t seem to be much time for the pregnant woman to reflect on how she was feeling and it certainly wasn’t the deeper spiritual ritual that I instinctively knew that I wanted. I chose not to have a baby shower when I was pregnant with my first but, during this (my second pregnancy), after looking in to Blessing ways further, I felt like I had finally found a way of celebrating this life event in a way that was meaningful to me.
I was fortunate enough to have my Blessing way two Sundays ago and it was the most incredible experience! My beautiful meditation teacher is Sara of ‘The Space In Between‘ and as the weeks ticked by, I felt more and more drawn to ask her if she would consider doing a Blessing way for me. Anna was the one who encouraged me (read: kicked me up the butt) to finally ask Sara, even though I knew she hadn’t done one before and I wasn’t sure if she would even be interested in doing one! All I can say is THANK YOU Sara for saying yes, for sitting with it, researching it and ultimately giving me such an amazing gift. It was like a meditation/healing/celebration all in one.
Here’s a link to Sara’s blog post about what a blessing way actually entails as she’s far better at explaining it than I am.
I thought I’d share what the Blessing way experience was like for me as the pregnant woman. The Blessing way is all about celebrating and supporting the pregnant woman, so the focus was on *ME* rather than the baby.
Fire Ceremony – Releasing Fears: I’m 37 weeks pregnant now and in the final few weeks of my pregnancy with my (not so little) *Pip Bump*. I have been preparing myself physically and emotionally for this birth; eating well, moving, having regular acupuncture, SOT Chiropractic, Kinesiology and weekly meditation, but now I am at the ‘pointy end’ of the pregnancy and the fears and doubts had started to kick in.
I am aiming for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean) with this second baby. With my first baby I had an unplanned and unwanted caesarean that, after much reflection, was actually unnecessary so I had some work to do in order to let go of past feelings of disappointment, frustration, sadness and fear. I’ve worked through a lot of these emotions, but suddenly they were all bubbling up to the surface from my subconscious and so the Blessing way came at the PERFECT time.
The most important part of the Blessing way process is the part where the pregnant woman reflects on (leading up to the ceremony) her fears around the birth and also any fears around becoming a mother. These fears are written down and shared with the group.
A Blessing way is all about having a safe space to share these fears and it was a hugely powerful process of bringing these fears in to the light, looking at them and then seeing them as the illusion they really are. As a group, we were able to transmute these fears and we burnt my list of fears and watched them turn to ash. Then, everyone helped me create new powerful affirmations about my ideal birth scenario, adding their own wishes for me for the birth. This formed a powerful list of affirmations which I can read aloud, print out and stick on my wall, surround myself with in the coming weeks to empower myself.
Sara is a very talented meditation teacher, so as an extra bonus, she also turned these affirmations in to an AMAZING guided meditation which she took me through as I was ‘adorned’ and she recorded it for me so I can play it back for myself.
Bead Ceremony: The beautiful women that surrounded me that day (and my mum remotely, as she’s in the UK) each chose a crystal for me to make up an amazing chakra bracelet to be worn/kept near me up to and during labour. It encompasses all the love and support that I have around me and within me. After *Pip bump* is born it can be hung under his/her bassinet or I can continue to wear it as it works as a chakra balancing bracelet as well! I was extra spoilt as my sister *Anna* makes jewellery, so she made it for me on the spot…I’m definitely blessed.
Being Adorned: The ‘adorning’ part of the Blessing way was the most nurturing and loving experience. The girls had made me a crown (yes a crown!) of beautiful flowers (each woman had brought a flower for me). At first it felt so alien to just sit and receive love…..I mean when else in your life do you have someone brush your hair, massage your hands and shoulders, give you reiki and bathe your feet in flower petals and herbs at the same time??!!! My mind wanted to apologise and then I realised that in not fully receiving I wasn’t honouring myself or the gift that was being bestowed upon me, so I consciously tried to relax and let go.
Feasting: Finally we ended the Blessingway with a nourishing feast and a delicious cake – I didn’t know this but the cake symbolises the placenta! We ate and celebrated and most of all we all felt grounded and connected. I am so grateful to the powerful women that have and continue to support me as I walk this journey. I encourage every woman to look in to a Blessingway Ceremony as a way to honour this important rite of passage.
Ooh and last but not least, Anna and I ended the day by making an awesome flower essence (which I can take leading up to the birth) with the flowers that made up the beautiful Blessing way flower mandala. We were inspired by the wonderful workshop we did with Melinda of MK Wellbeing where we learnt to make our own essences. We carefully put all the flowers in to a bowl of zazen water and left them outside to soak up the beautiful sunlight. I love flower essences and the gentle support they give and I was really happy that Sara used Melinda’s beautiful flower essence mists during the ceremony as well!
For anyone in Melbourne interested in having a Blessing way of their own, I can 100% recommend Sara of www.spaceinbetween.com.au she is the most beautiful, caring, wise soul and she holds such a sacred and safe space! You can get in touch with her by email.