At the beginning of my 3rd pregnancy (2nd baby), I began a morning routine of setting aside a few minutes to slow down, enjoy a cup of tea and set an intention for the day. You can read about how this practice changed my life and my pregnancy here.
Today, I want to share with you 3 intentions I used during my first trimester that really felt powerful to me. Using these I let go of my fear, and moved into the power that comes when a woman trusts herself, trusts her connection with the divine and acts from this place, instead of being trapped in one place by constant and elusive negative mind chatter.
“I made my decision, I will go forward with courage.”
Shortly after I found out I was pregnant, I had a huge panic attack. I had thought that I had worked through all the pain and trauma that had surrounded my first daughter’s birth. Yet, when the realities of actually having to birth a baby hit me again, I was afraid. Afraid of being alone, afraid of the depression that plagued me postpartum, and afraid about the safety of birthing a baby. It may sound extreme, but the only time in my life I have ever felt “I might die now” was during my unplanned and unnecessary c-cection. While I was excited to be pregnant, I also felt the reality that some women do die during childbirth.
I spent a few days crying, but then I realized, that being in this place of indecision didn’t do anything for me; it is the dying places of all beautiful dreams. So I began interviewing midwives, I began interviewing doulas, I began eating healthier than I ever have before and got myself into yoga classes and went back to review all the knowledge about birth I had worked so hard to gain.
You know, this magical thing happens when you believe your best possibilities are possible, actions flow from you that make them so. Every simple decision to nourish myself at each and every level, was a chance for me to say goodbye to fear and lean into trusting the divine plan that is laid out for me and my baby, whatever it may be.
“I am worthy of the most beautiful life.”
First trimester is an interesting thing, it is a time of intense internal change as your body switches from nourishing only you to building a tiny little body. All of this work is done without consciously deciding for it to be done, but by the wisdom that lies in your DNA. It can feel exhausting, overwhelming and invites us into making spiritual and mental shifts to slow down and enjoy life in the present moment. From this space, our spirit calls us to begin practicing the skills that will make transitioning to life with a newborn simple.
One of those skills is recognizing the beauty in the mundane.Weaving sacredness into simplicity. Developing gratitude when we might easily sink into negativity.
First trimester is a wonderful time to shift from work work work to allowing yourself to indulge in play and rest. Create simple and joyful moments, such as:
<3 sinking into a deep belly laugh
<3 going for a walk and enjoying the abundant beauty of nature
<3 taking long sea salt baths
<3 and doing that which makes you happiest.
Now is the time to explore the internal world of creating positive experiences for yourself, it is one of the best medicines to the physical changes that plague first trimester.
“I refuse to think of anything but the bright possibilities of today and tomorrow.”
Yes, I know there are not so pleasant things that need our attention during pregnancy and in life, but so often for me, these things have a way of snowballing into bigger problems because I have thought patterns like this:
I am so excited, my dreams are coming true!!!! OMG, but what if they don’t? What if something goes wrong? There are so many thing that can go wrong! This is never going to work out. I shouldn’t let myself be so excited about it. Enter ice cream and tv binge watching to numb the disappointment over something that hasn’t even happened.
With this intention, I decided to break up with my negative thoughts loudly and clearly.
One great way to clear your fear of birth is to answer the question of what do contractions really feel like anyways and come up with a clear coping strategy.
Any time I would notice myself talking myself out of enjoying the beauty of the present and future, I told myself “this thought no longer serves me, I choose to think of something better.”
Especially with my morning cup of tea, while I was setting my intention for the day, I let my mind wander to the things I was most excited about: like the first time I hold my baby, seeing my 4 year old daughter oooh and aaaah over the baby, enjoying endless snuggles and curling up in a cozy place and reading with my littles. Oh these thoughts make me feel so good and I began to love spending time in gratitude for them even before they happened.
New research out of Berkeley, shows that spending time enjoying positive emotions, whether in a current experience or cultivating gratitude for experiences we have had or will have, creates physical changes in your brain. Gratitude in part with therapy, can help those with clinical anxiety or depression more than just therapy alone. The changes caused by gratitude can be measured in the brain 3 months later!
If you are finding yourself overwhelmed in the first trimester whirl, you are not alone. Join me is having a serious breakup with negativity and replace those negative thoughts with ones that will serve you and your family.
PS if you haven’t downloaded them yet, I have a wonderful tool to help you start building your positive thoughts. Download these free pregnancy affirmations, and spend a quiet 15 minutes by yourself reprogramming your mind into a more positive state.
If you need a wonderful pregnancy tea to begin your own morning tea drinking practice, this one from Nil Organics is my favorite. I use this little tea pot at home and it has made for the most wonderful mornings.