A Part of Your Whole: Spirituality

When we look at the whole woman, the whole human being, we consider all the unique parts that together create the whole. It’s like seeing the specific trees, plants, rocks and river that make up a forest. It’s all connected, and each part is dependent upon the other. And as each environment is a unique combination of its parts, so it is for each human being. And no matter what our unique formula may be, ideally, when the whole is complete, fulfilled, balanced and in harmony, our lives flow.

When one part is left out, neglected, unnourished, the whole is out of balance. And the reverberations come out in the strangest ways, times and places. But we do know this: they will come out! Maybe in birth, maybe in motherhood…

So part of the process of pregnancy is working towards wholeness. Healing those hidden wounds. Fulfilling all parts of the whole. Nurturing those parts of you which have been neglected.

Typically in pregnancy and birth, the body gets all the attention, and our modern practice of treating pregnancy as a physical/medical condition supports this. However, for many (most, even all?) of us, pregnancy and birth are so much more than the physical. We are growing a life, changing a life, evolving lives.

So let us slow down, stop for a moment and take a good look. Consider this, if you will: What are the parts that together create the whole person?

Your body.

Your mind.

Your soul.

Your feelings, emotions.

Your sexuality, sexual energy.

Your tribe – your partner, family, and those you are closest with.

Your place in community.

Your connection with nature.

Your spirituality, spiritual practice.

What are the consequences when one (or more) parts of this whole are not adequately cared for? What would you feel like if each element of the self was fulfilled? How can each and every part of your whole self be nourished during pregnancy, birth and beyond?

In our rushed, overfilled, over stimulated, over litigated, socially stuffed and personally deprived culture, the three most common places we find that personal balance disrupted or not complete is with these parts of the whole: our sexual nature, our connection with nature, and our spirituality.

Throughout the next few posts, let’s take a good look at your spirit, spirituality and your spiritual practice.

What is spirituality? Well, what does it mean to you? More than your beliefs or religion, maybe it’s about expressing and connecting. It’s about how you honor the spirit. It’s about fellowship, belonging, prayer, mediation. Maybe it’s about a teacher/guide/guru, a minister or pastor, a book, silence, art, incents, nature, music, rituals, ceremonies, traditions, meditations, church, tea, aromatherapy, astrology…What does it mean to you?

Take some time to explore. Yes, you can take the time, or rather, make the time if need be. Your spirit matters. You matter. And this is a part of your whole. This may mean turning off the TV, closing the computer, switching your phone to airplane mode, and simply sitting still… For just a few moments, the world will go on just fine without you clinging so tight.

  • What does spirit mean to you?
  • How do you celebrate it?
  • How do you practice it?
  • How do you nurture your spiritual self?
  • Is it balanced, whole, fulfilled?
  • Is it wanting, lacking, silent?
  • What can you do to enrich your spiritual self?
  • What more do you need for your spiritual life?
  • How can you honor your spirit?
  • How can you allow more for your spiritual practice?
  • Do you have any hidden wounds than we can work on now?

Our spirit may be hard to define. Another element of the whole self considered in the Nurturing Spiral and throughout my WildBirth Workshop is the soul. What is the difference between spirit and soul? What does it feel like for you?

For me, soul is the eternal essence of my being. The deepest part of my self. That which is ever lasting, all connecting, and knowing. That which is beyond my ego, my body, my self importance. It’s the part of myself I let go to, surrender to, and from whose perspective I see and hopefully understand the bigger picture.

Spirit on the other hand is more here and now. It is my soul manifest. The essence I omit. It is the outward presence of my inner being. It is expressed both by practice and principle. Thus spirituality is the actions I give to spirit, and the revelation of my soul in this lifetime.

That’s just my belief, what I have become to believe. What is your belief?

If we consider spirituality as a practice, we acknowledge it involves commitment, community, discipline, growth. It too is not stagnant but evolving. It is expansive and by nature, nourishing and nurturing, just as it needs to be nourished and nurtured to remain vibrant.

Today spiritual practice is often ignored. We don’t have time. We don’t make time. What we grew up with may not work for us now. We may not feel a part of what others are preaching or practicing. We may feel separated and confused, rather than included and comforted.

As such, there may be a void in our whole self. And this void may be our spirit.

Throughout these next few posts, and throughout life, please reflect on that potential void. Or is it filled? If so, with what, and how is that evolving? For spirit is a living thing – breathing, growing, changing. And as such, we must honor and change with it.

How is your spiritual practice evolving?

How are your spiritual beliefs evolving?

How does spirituality affect your pregnancy?

How do you see spirituality involved in birth?

How will spirituality continue and grow with your growing family?