Birthing’s are almost always associated with having a child, but they are not always defined by the generative process
There are thousands of ways we “give birth” in our lives, such as birthing an idea, new artwork or plans for something novel in our lives. I have experienced many different birthing’s of myself over my lifetime. Some more painful than others. Some bearing more fruit or a fuller and much healthier result. Other birthing’s were wrought with much loss like divorce and the death of family and friends. Some were lower on the pain scale like when changing jobs or schools. Many others were very simple, quick and over without a pause between the before and after. Several birthing’s took a lot of planning, editing out some fluff and whittling down the initial expansive idea to a more workable and achievable reality.
We are constantly birthing and re-birthing ourselves throughout our lives as we learn new perspectives, travel and our experiences increase. In Composing a Life, by Mary Catherine Bateson, she explores the lives of several woman who were very successful in their careers’ but later in life they changed their professional direction. All of these women gave birth to completely new careers’ requiring them to re-define themselves as women, mothers and partners.
After several years of growing and nurturing the concept of Airmid, the labor ended, and she was birthed. Airmid is now in the world, conceived of all the dreams, ideas and hopes for her presence in the world. My partners’ and I held hands as we stood on the precipice of change. We each left full-time jobs with paid vacation and health plans, to bring forth this labor of love and passion. As we stood there, silent, hands clasped together, and our eyes speaking a mutual fear and joy, we jumped off the cliff and into a new unknown.
We birthed and rebirthed Airmid daily, nurturing her to her full potential as a mother does her child. Those daily birthing’s, although, laborious, almost go unnoticed as do many of the smaller birthing’s everyone experiences from day to day. Today I invite you to remember, and in remembering, to honor, all the birthing’s you have had in your life. There are the birthing’s after a loss and the ones meticulously planned for, but none the less they are birthing’s.
Writing Prompt #1
Make a list of all your birthing’s, in chronological order or in thematic order (i.e. family, work, relationships) or in the order in which they occur to you now.
Choose one of the items identified on your list and write about that.
Continue to move through your list and write about each of the birthing’s you identified,
Write about birthing your dreams, a new business or relationship.
Think about times in your life that you may have changed directions professionally, academically, socially or creatively. Often one birthing can lead to many others like where you go to college could lead to where you work and start a family.
Write about leaving an old identity and venturing into a new one.