October already!  Quite crazy how quickly time is now flying by and still I am wearing my flip flops, what wonderful warm autumnal weather we have had recently, long may it continue.  Not sure if that means we will have a really cold winter, regardless it is lovely to have an extended summer, so to speak.  Mind you the nights are drawing in and the lights are definitely needed during Yoga in the evenings.

I am 33 weeks pregnant tomorrow, in theory another 7 weeks to go.  I never really understood this until being pregnant, that you are actually, per the medical way of thinking, 40 weeks pregnant when you reach full term, which equates to 10 months rather than 9.  Even then there is no guarantee you will birth at 40 weeks and more often than not women go over the 40 weeks, after all we are all different.

This is one of the reason's I personally feel it is important not to get too attached to the due date.  After all the baby will come when it is ready (as I understand it, when the lungs are fully formed and ready to breathe in the outside world, a hormone is released that triggers labour) and being told that you are due on a certain date and then finding you have to keep going can be challenging, mentally and emotionally as much as anything else. 

Anyhow 33 weeks and my tummy is challenged with all the stretching it needs to do to allow for the amazing growth that is currently taking place.  The baby is still creating quite a bit of movement but he/she has less room so it is not as intense as it used to be.  Reassuring all the same however.  You start to notice patterns too, and if these continue when he/she is delivered then 10pm is going to be an active part of the evening for us, let alone the 4am shuffle!!

I am noticing that it is more of a struggle to get my leg forward on my Yoga mat now, inevitable really, but still so wonderful to be teaching, not least because I forget about everything else for a few hours, but my body gets to move and with that the back ache dissipates.  needless to say the back ache is worst when I am at my desk at work and gives me a good excuse to go and lull around in the swimming pool or bath each day!!

It is quite incredible the changes that go on in a woman's body during the course of pregnancy.  I doubt my body will ever be quite the same again!  Still I do love it, and will no doubt miss the bump when the baby is delivered, but at the same time I am quite keen to meet him/her and introduce him/her to this marvellous world we live in and learn all I can from this brand new being, who has taught me so much already.  It is true that our practice is right here in front of us, pregnancy has certainly proved that to me.

In fact they say that pregnancy throws up all sorts of things, so that stuff you have gone through previously and you thought has been done and dusted, healed then, comes right back at you again, so old scars start itching, old allergies re-appear, I can certainly vouch for that one, I think I spent a month just sneezing, and old emotional stuff too, and again I can vouch for that one, I thought the anger has dissipated a long time ago but no, there is was, the odd anger bout again!  Of course you can blame the hormones but it does feel as if a deeper healing is taking place, aligning yourself with your self in preparation for the new beginnings, open heart, ready to love unconditionally in a way you never thought possible...or so I am led to believe...

There has been a lot of reflection too, about life, how it has been, the journey we have found our self taking, and of course some thought to the future, which isn't all together very healthy as this is so unknown, and with the unknown often comes fear.  So it is perhaps good timing to find myself reading another book by the inspiring jack Kornfield.  There is a chapter called "Did I love well?" and in that a very interesting few paragraphs that we could all do with reading, because this is surely what it is all about, the rest, well the rest is just what happens along the path...

"In undertaking a spiritual life, what matters is simple: We must make certain that our path is connected with our heart...In the end spiritual life is not a process of seeking or gaining some extraordinary condition or special powers.  In fact such seeking can take us away from ourselves.  If we are not careful, we can easily find the great failures of our modern society - its ambitions, materialism, and individual isolation - repeated in our spiritual life. 

In beginning a  genuine spiritual journey, we have to stay much closer to home, to focus directly on what is right here in front of us, to make sure that our path is connected with our deepest love...

When we ask, "Am I following a path with heart?" we discover that no one can define for us exactly what our path should be.  Instead, we must allow the mystery and beauty of this question to resonate within our being.  Then somewhere within us an answer will come and understanding will arise.  If we are still and listen deeply, even for a moment, we will know if we are following a path with heart.

It is possible to speak with our heart directly.  Most ancient cultures know this.  We can actually converse with our heart as if it were a good friend.  In modern life we have become so busy with our daily affairs and thoughts that we have forgotten this essential art of taking time to converse with our heart.  When we ask it about our current path, we must look at the values we have chosen to live by.  Where do we put our time, our strength, our creativity, our love?  We must look at our life without sentimentality, exaggeration, or idealism.  Does what we are choosing reflect what we most deeply value?".

And on that note I shall leave us to reflect as I take to my mat and enjoy the background sound of the rain cleansing the earth as we step one day closer to the new moon on Saturday.

With gratitude,

x








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