10 years ago, I was close to giving birth for the first time, when I found out that midwife legend, Ina May Gaskin, was coming to speak in our town.
The venue was the basement of a church close to our home, which was crazy because we lived in a pretty uneventful neighbourhood. It was the perfect last stroll as a couple without kids and I remember carefully savoring every moment of it.
When I waddled into the church, I saw many of the moms I had gotten to know in the attachment parenting playgroup and the other soon-to-be first-time parents from our prenatal class.
At the front of the room, with feathers happily dancing under her Princess Lea-style buns, was Ina May herself.
The weeks leading up to this moment I had loaded my psyche to the brim with all of the positive birthing stories found within the pages of her classic natural birthing book, Spiritual Midwifery.
I had also just picked up Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth which was to be read a couple of days later, while in the throes of labour. I was actually reading the same few sentences over and over again, thanks to my encroaching lizard brain taking over my usual one.
So maybe it’s a combination of getting to see Ina Mae in-person, reading her books while I was high on naturally-occurring pain-relieving hormones or because she’s simply too cool for school, but her quotes have inspired me in many aspects of my life.
Especially when I make decisions like the one I made six years after her talk, the decision to make the shift from blogging for fun to blogging for biz.
“It’s important to keep in mind that our bodies must work pretty well, or there wouldn’t be so many humans on the planet.” ~ Ina May Gaskin
Her words offer me a reminder of the inner strength and wisdom within me when facing fears in other seasons of transition and birthing of dreams.
1. Overcome the fear that there are too many people already doing what you want to do.
There is a reason for the rise in what appears to be the niche you’re feeling drawn to, serving through your existing online presence. Don’t let the numbers deflate you. It’s a good indicator that this is a healthy market in which to participate.
“When we as a society begin to value mothers as the givers and supports of life, then we will see social change in ways that matter.” ~ Ina May Gaskin
2. The entrepreneurial path begins with a vision of how the world can be.
This is the epic starting point of considering what your big “why” might be. What is one struggle where you can offer some insight or relief to your tribe today? What do you write about right now that creates the most buzz—either with your readers or within yourself? How can you express your heartfelt values in a product or service?
“This is not pain, this is an interesting sensation that requires all my attention.” ~ Ina May Gaskin
3. You’re a sensation. Breathe through it.
There is going to be some points of discomfort when you start putting yourself out there. Maybe some backlash. A snide comment or two. Accept that and even wiggle your fingers all cocky-like at the backlash to bring it on.
From these sensations (fear, uncertainty, self-doubt) we grow and learn. Moving through them with small steps and deep breaths, while cherishing the lessons passed on to us, allows us to garner the strength, confidence and wisdom that leak out to other areas of our lives.
It almost makes me want to roar just thinking about it.
“There is no other organ quite like the uterus. If men had such an organ they would brag about it. So should we.” ~ Ina May Gaskin
4. Toot your superpower horn!
Not to be sexy in a This is Spinal Tap kind of way, but I typically find that most work-at-home mamas need a little bit more yang to their yin. It helps to continuously remind myself of all the struggles and problems I have the ability to solve and then go on to spread the word and hustle my little entrepreneur butt for it.
Remember, there are others out there hungry for your special brand of genius and medicine. Learn how to embrace the non-ick aspects of marketing and get comfortable with that sensation, too.
“If you can’t be a hero, you can at least be funny while being a chicken.” ~ Ina May Gaskin
5. Don’t take it too seriously.
When my daughter was born, my doula was in front of me with the camera just as my midwife asked me to spread my knees apart more. I said something like I felt I was at a photoshoot for some weird fetish magazine and everyone laughed.
Breaking the tension with laughter helps move energy.
Not taking everything so seriously grants you permission to showcase your unique stance on what can sometimes be heavy matters. Crack a joke here and there, if appropriate and if it feels natural, or do whatever it is that makes your voice and perspective on your area of expertise uniquely you.
You might weird some people out but the right people will stick around.
And that’s the poetic afterbirth of going after any dream.
You never know exactly where it will lead but if you listen to your heart and shake your apples (your butt, essentially) like Ina May says, you’ll move that energy downward to where it wants to land.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Kathy Stowell
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock