i sat down at my table last night as the dark came upon us in scotland in the mid-afternoon during the shortest day of the year – i closed my curtains and lit some candles and put pen to paper. the candles shone brightly and warmed my heart with the love that was contained in the ones that were gifted from birthkeepers i helped along their path this year and the ones that were for lighting at birth and the baby came before the candle burnt out. this is witchcraft 😉
i sank back into the restful, womb-full darkness and welcomed back the light into my world and my heart. verily out of the darkness comes light!
every so often at an auspicious time i set my intentions and assess what needs to be discarded. this year i’ve been drawn to the camino de santiago and i’ve been fascinated with the pilgrims shedding their physical load as they let go of their spiritual baggage along the path. this is an essential blood letting and pruning to let new growth flourish, walk forward and let the magic come in. my intentions were set for my whole life picture but i got to thinking about my work here as a birthkeeper. its central to all that goes on in my world and needed extra thought and love and most of all tuning in. its served me well to go through this process over the years and i wanted to share so it may be useful to those coming after me.
wysewomen are running a red tent in london in a couple of weeks at the start of the year and we made the intention it should have the theme of clarity as this is what we realise is crucial to sewing the seeds for the next year. we are all great list writers and planners but we will often write generic titles such as “get fit” on these lists with no real step to be taken – clarity brings intention to fruition.
so what do you need to be clear about this year? i like to break it down into doable chunks. what are your long-term goals? where are you going on your path as a birthkeeper? where do you see yourself in ten years? most importantly once you set these how do you get there? this year i’ve been blessed to come across the japanese term kaizen (read more about it here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaizen) loosely i’ve understood it to mean constant improvements in small steps to achieve greatness. i’ve been encouraging those i’m around in my workshops to identify what great things they want to achieve (healing the earth with gentle birth anyone?) and see what that first small step is towards that goal.
be clear about your intentions for this coming year. this year are you focusing on serving your local community? the women of the world? do you want to teach and grow the next generation? are you tired? do you need to be restful this year? would you like to improve health outcomes amongst your people? build the family? how much money would you like to make this year? do you want to stay broke like many birthkeepers? does this keep you holy? would you like to be able to meet your rent this year without struggle? would you like to earn so much that you finally put that deposit down on your own home? would you like to be fully abundant? where are your yearly markers? what do you really want?
i believe to really find the answers to those questions you need to think about what you need to let go of what is serving you? what is growing you? what is nourishing you? what is serving the greater good and growing love in your community, nourishing the world. how do all these things impact you and your family? to grow and blossom we need balance alongside adventure and a good intention. if something is no longer serving you but you feel its a service to others you want to provide to the world/women/God you may choose to keep it. if its damaging you you may need to think twice. birthkeepers are renowned for running themselves into the ground – all of my heroines in this world keep black circles under the eyes and a generally worn down look which is entirely overshadowed by the beauty of the Godly service they do for the world. none the less it is there.
so what are you saying yes to this year? what are you saying no to? write it down, draw it, sing it out, shout it to the world and bring it to you. let me here about your plans 🙂
nicola mahdiyyah goodall is a revert muslim who grew up with hip hop based in edinburgh, scotland and london, england. she works with women trying and mainly succeeding to build circles of knowledge and community primarily with birth. she is also the director of wysewomen publishing and facilitates wysewomen workshops and red tent doula courses.