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Lessons from the womb

“The morning’s splendour is conceived in the dark womb of night. A truth … we all know and believe. Yet a truth, that is most difficult to live and endure when one is in that dark womb. Alive and breathing … but inert, vulnerable, and ‘in waiting’. Witnessing but not conscious, wakeful but not awake.” […]

“The morning’s splendour is conceived in the dark womb of night. A truth … we all know and believe. Yet a truth, that is most difficult to live and endure when one is in that dark womb. Alive and breathing … but inert, vulnerable, and ‘in waiting’. Witnessing but not conscious, wakeful but not awake.” ― Neena Verma

In the early months of pregnancy, there is so much that you wonder and worry about. Will the baby be healthy? Is it a boy or a girl? Is the baby moving? What are my birthing options? Do we need to start thinking about names? The list goes on. Amidst a global pandemic you have even more items of worry to add to your list. Will it be safe to have the baby in hospital? Will I have support during the birth? Am I at risk of getting sick? Will the baby get sick?

While you are fretting and making plans on the outside; anticipating everything that could go wrong and everything you need to plan for – a baby room, clothes, maternity or newborn photos etc. – the little being inside you is happily going about his/her biggest job, which is to grow. Inside the womb, oblivious to all that is happening in the outside world, this little person is doing the one thing that he/she can do – growing and evolving, going about the business of being alive. It takes no effort, it simply is. With no outside influence, your baby has no preconceived ideas or expectations. Your baby is not comparing him/herself to another baby or worried about how much or how little progress he/she is making. They are simply doing what they feel compelled by nature to do – grow.

This got me thinking. There is much to be learnt from this little one in the womb. Imagine if we could maintain that level of presence and innocence once outside the womb… For a little while we do. As young children, we are simply living in the moment, focused on growing and learning. And then the conditioning sets in. We learn how to engage in analytical thought and that sets us on the path of constant worry and anticipation of the next moment and literally pulls us away from the now of life. The conditioning invites comparison and competition and discontentment with what is. We start pushing against life instead of giving over to the flow of life.

But what if we could maintain that innocence and that focus on what we are called to do here on this earth – which is to live? What if we didn’t have any preconceived ideas or any set expectations and we could just accept the moment for what it is? What if you did not get distracted by what another person was doing, and could simply focus on your own growth…? Imagine what the world would be like?

Not only would we find ourselves experiencing more moments of free-flow thinking, but we would no longer get stuck in regrets about the past or anxiety about the future. Amidst a global crisis, we would not hold our breath and push the pause button on our lives, we would make the most of this moment, knowing that the only thing we can control, is this moment. We would stop pushing against life or complaining about not getting what we want. We would see the deeper wisdom that every event in our life allows us to experience life in all of its complexity; allows us to know what it’s like to think, to discover, to feel, to ache, to yearn and to evolve. Every moment is a moment of learning if we allow it to be. And every moment can be a moment of awe if we allow it to be.

We would approach everything in this life with innocence and awe. We would be amazed by simple things and would enjoy every moment as if it were a gift. What we have unlearnt in our adult lives, is that life is a gift – in all its forms. There is no “right” way or “wrong” way to do this. There is simply being. And if we were to focus on our own journey, we would no longer feel the need to compare ourselves to others or compete for attention or accolades. We would recognise that none of that matters. What matters is that we grow. Every day. Incremental, step-by-step growth eventually becomes exponential growth. We go from being but a mere speck to a living, breathing, thriving being capable of connection, understanding and love; capable of recreating life.

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