This week, two different strangers wanted to know if I was expecting another baby.
(Sidenote: Never ask a woman this question, please. If you don’t know her, it’s not your business. If you do, she’ll share on her terms. And when the answer is no—like for me—the exchange is awkward and abrasive, regardless of the intent.)
Loving my body through the changes of motherhood has been challenging. Those comments smarted despite the buffer of all the layers I’ve already healed around this issue. But then I remembered a different question I’d received only the day before:
“What do you want to give birth to?”
A dear friend had asked me this after I relayed a powerful experience in her magical stone room. During my meditation, I had opened my eyes and let them go soft as I gazed at the multitude of stones artfully arranged around me.
It was evening. A small polished surface of pyrite protruding from a white stone cluster caught the sunlight and my attention. It was shaped like a baby’s footprint and began to glow.
Interestingly, this exact stone and pyrite piece had also grabbed me the last time I was in the stone room. Yet that had been early afternoon when the sun shone at a different angle. Regardless, both times, this stone took center stage. And both times the white part of the stone showed me the face of an old, wise cherub.
As I gently focused on the pyrite footprint that night, it started to shift and pulse, reminding me of a fetus growing in a womb. I watched expectantly, wanting to witness a birth that never happened. The pyrite glow also felt reminiscent of a wisdom spiral at times. Then the entire stone shape-shifted under my soft gaze. I saw the face of a fox, a bear, an eagle and finally a hummingbird.
My friend’s question afterwards resonated deeply. It brought to mind my recent experiences with Grandmother Spider, whose appearance always signifies a time of creation for me. I’d been seeing her more frequently in my house, including that afternoon. And a couple nights prior I’d stopped myself from barreling into the massive web where she was enthroned in front of the patio plants I wanted to water.
My most impactful Grandmother Spider interaction was a vivid dream earlier this month. I was in a building that resembled a reptile house at a zoo. Everyone was freaking out because there was a brown recluse spider on the loose. My dream self reassured them, something like: “It's OK! I'm a spider whisperer! I can talk to them and help you find her. She's not going to hurt you. Spiders help us create!"
The zoo workers took me to a stairwell with a door that lead down. It was dark when they started to open it. I reached out to stop them, but not because I was afraid. Rather, I was worried they would step on the spider in the dark. I chastised them to get flashlights for us so we could see HER, not necessarily so we could see ourselves. Then I woke up.
The dream interpretation that came to me was this: I’m not afraid of going into my own shadows anymore because I know I can create new life from them.
All this to say—by the time I was feeling self-conscious about those body comments, Grandmother Spider and the pyrite / white stone cluster had already been encouraging me to own my power of creation. Remembering this helped me to shift my reaction to the comments.
Maybe those well-meaning strangers were simply picking up on the creation energy of whatever I’m gestating right now. And—even if they were a straight-up commentary on my body’s current shape—I get to choose my response. I and you and all of us are constantly creating through our daily choices and where we place our focus. Isn’t that empowering? And sobering? (But mostly empowering.)
That night I stepped out to look for the moon. One quarter full and brilliant as ever. When I tried my soft gaze again, her light and outline began to resemble the shape of a mother holding a new baby. I felt her impressing upon me that, in my current state, I am both.
It’s not entirely clear yet what I’m creating. For now, I will continue to ask myself what I want to be and bring into and nurture in the world, and I will continue to listen for the answers.
Now it's your turn: what do YOU want to give birth to?