When perusing several new blogs... which I do often... I found a link to Super-Mom. She is a yogi, naturalist, business owner, raw vegan, etc. She recently had twins and I read all about her wonderful delivery.
Was it really wonderful? Well, she had twins. She was 36 weeks. She was in natural labor and had a doula. She had a good support network. Some of her docs really dicked her around with their scheduling her induction and then her c-section after one twin turned breech. So yes and no... it sounded like something that would raise MY blood pressure. She is 40+ years old, has had other children and practices yoga religiously. She said something in her post a couple times that just really struck me.
Not only did I search in google randomly for the best labor and delivery (I was going to end this with "list of essentials" but serendipitously didn't and found her blog). So already her post was telling me HER perspective of things. She felt happy. Despite not wanting an epidural and medical interventions and liking Eastern medicine and believing in the power of the body, she said she didn't want to "swim upstream." She wanted to have safe and healthy babies and that meant swimming "downstream." I thought that was interesting. I reflected for a moment... and then moved on.
But then she spoke again and this time about yoga and her family. Her kids are into yoga and she is a consultant and instructor. She's a firm believer in our natural states being brought to the surface by yoga. She was named the UN Yoga Peace Ambassador (how bad ass!). So I'm sitting here forming an opinion of this mother of... four or five... and her yoga expertise. And then she writes this regarding the rules for her family:
"treat people with love, respect, dignity, kindness, and openness and that will be reflected back to you. Be flexible and flow with the Universe and things will go well. Walk with grace and integrity. Breathe in and breathe out in the midst of challenge. When you step off your path, clean the slate and begin again. When you wish you’d done something differently, say you’re sorry and then forgive yourself. There are no mistakes, only learning and the path. Forgive others because they’re doing the best they can in this moment. Do your best with breath—that’s all anyone can do. Whatever you focus on––wanted or unwanted––you are creating, so choose wisely. Always paddle downstream. Your thoughts and your words create your reality so continually revise and edit the story you tell everyday of your life and you will create the life of your dreams effortlessly. And as such, you can be, do and have anything that you want."
I suppose that if my father-in-law was ever trying to tell me how to be it wasn't necessarily to not "rock the boat" but instead to "swim downstream." I'm not sure I know HOW to paddle downstream. Not against the current, but with the current. But think about it... you get further if you do that, don't you. Kris informed me that when it comes to relationships, I choose the harder of the two options. The first being to put a bandaid on it, duct tape it up. The paddle downstream version.
AND then there is my version, where if I see a problem... lets say a house that needs some fixing up. Instead of a paint job, a bandaid, I like to gut the place. HELL! I'll even tear that motha down! And start from scratch. It's traumatic for everyone. Including myself. This is called paddling/swimming upstream.
I tackle it. I pound it. I mold it. I shape it. I don't observe it. I don't accept it. I don't adapt. Hmmm.... maybe. Just maybe. I will, for my own energy and benefit practice some downstream paddling. It's hard for me. It doesn't come naturally. And let my classify it... it's not yelling and screaming in a relationship. Nope. More often than not it's just confronting a situation. Other people don't do that. I always wonder why.
Now the bandaid version is not a perfect option. It leaves room for resentment and yes, sometimes people accept and move on. They also remember the shit out of it. And without any discussion have themselves set in stone, when maybe, just maybe they were wrong in their perceptions or mistook or misunderstood situations. I like to understand it... so I talk about it. I am a proponent of boundaries... but that's often swimming upstream.
Is there a happy medium?
I wish I knew. Is there place where I can be an agent of positive change that isn't emotionally exhausting. Well, sometimes our gifts are burdens. I bear mine and find even if I run from it, I am found and recognized. It finds me.
Downstream... with this pregnancy... is where I want to paddle. I think I'm going to practice this in the delivery room. I'll follow Kris's lead :D.