Prana Shakti, Partnership, Pregnancy, Parenthood, Preparation, Power and Pranams.

My personal Path of Practice:
Prana Shakti
(the creative & pulsating life force within me), Partnership (a love story of two people who consciously choose one another every day), Pregnancy (Grace in my belly revealing herself through this growing baby boy who lives in my womb), Parenthood (The highest calling of them all), Purification (of all self-defining labels accumulated along the way) Preparation (for a new life, a new calling and for the birthing of all this woman has yet to become, experience, learn and know), Power (to fully stand in mine as a wife, mother and creative woman) Pranams (daily gratitude and humble thanks for my beautiful life and blessings along the way).

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Motherless Daughter...20 Years Later

"If you don't know where your area of service is, go to your wounds. Not only are you serving, but you're healing yourself."

I can still see the joy and excitement on her face as she told the story. She was driving across the country to visit her parents in that little sports car as a convoy of semi trucks were passing by. One of them slowed down enough so that she could get right in the middle of them and sail her way along the interstate. She just thought that was the coolest thing ever.

There have been two life events that have literally changed me on an alchemical level. The first was the death of my mother, 20 years ago on May 13th, and becoming a mother just over 18 years later. I was 17 when I lost my mother and it came full circle when I gave birth and became a mother myself in 2012...the very year that would make my having lived my life longer without her than I did with her a reality. It's pretty surreal when I think about that. The imprint of her Being, her Love...just HER has remained such a potent energy in my life and my body.

I spent the first 10 years after she died trying to be her and the next 10 trying to honor her in learning to just be myself. In my experience, it doesn't get "easier with time." It's not like you ever wake up missing, thinking about, longing for or loving your mother any less no matter how long its been or how love-filled and truly blessed your life is. It doesn't really get easier. It just changes.

She was beautiful. She was vibrant. She was Graceful. She loved Stevie Ray Vaughan, Steve Vai and Don Henley. She was truly the person who made others better for having known her. She left the fragrance of her Love and Light everywhere she went and when she left her body, immediately, she was deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.

On this 20 anniversary milestone, I thought about starting a foundation or a camp for other mother-less daughters like myself. I thought to call it Patricia's Hope in recognition that it was her hope I'd grow into an empowered, confident, and Graceful woman. For those of us who had to find a way and teach ourselves how to become women, wives and mothers without our own mothers in real time, Patricia's Hope could bring us all together so that those of us who struggled on our own could help shepherd the new generation who are trying to find their way on the motherless path today.

What's for certain is that I'm opening to feeling my Earth mother's presence in the way I never really felt until very recently. She's so clearly been with me me in the last few months and I'm learning to dwell in her love there when I miss her most. It's taken me a lot of years to get to this place, wherever it is on the motherless journey. All I know is that grief still lives here and comes to the table sometimes and that's okay. I imagine it always will. But so does Love and feeling my mother's arms wrapped around me again for the first time in 20 years.

Monday, March 3, 2014

How I Became Happier...Overnight.

It's no secret that we can be our own worst enemy, biggest critic and worst abuser. This is of no secret to anyone.

I just turned 37 less than a week ago and as per usual when I have a birthday approaching, I was having a serious look at my life and state of being, asking myself what needed changing. I've been in a little bit of a gloomy state waiting for the clear skies to break through the clouds in my head and heart but it just wasn't happening...or staying that way when it did.

I'd been fighting with myself for quite some time because I consciously chose a path of self-study long before conceiving, then recommitted to this path having taken serious vows once I found out I was pregnant. I proclaimed to the Universe that I'd go through whatever it took to purge my heart and life of my "stuff" and to enter a new way of being so that I could be the best mother possible for my child. This was my declaration from the moment I found out I was pregnant and let me tell you what... The Universe definitely answered that call and continues to do so. It's been the most beautifully, gut wrenching, heart expanding, most excruciating experience of my life but I will walk through any fire and die to my old self as many times as necessary in order to leave this body and exit this world having been my very best for this child. 

What I have found hard to admit, never mind say out loud, is that I am often burdened with a very powerfully negative mind. Not to say that I don't experience happiness and positivity. It's just that my brilliantly creative and powerful mind has not been used in a way that maximizes my most optimal state of existence.

It's really much deeper than that but in general, I have a very conditioned tendency to create stories in my head very quickly that always result in toxic levels of self-inflicted stress...very, very high stress and a whole lot of suffering. It had gotten so bad that I recently found myself at a medical facility having blood drawn because I was growing seriously concerned that something was wrong.

What I've come to realize in less than a weeks time is that my thoughts have been wrecking havoc on my body and wellbeing. 

Let me explain...

I began researching case studies and more "scientific" aspects of stress and how I could decrease mine stress levels. I should add that I have a regular yoga and meditation practice that is my saving Grace but it doesn't usually sustain me in the heat of the moment. I truly couldn't imagine where I'd be without my personal sadhana (sacred practice) because my stress and anxiety levels can go through the roof on any given day. This, I found to be a little depressing considering how long these practices have been a way of life for me. They definitely help me in so many ways but I was seeing that I needed to address the root of the problem. Fortunately I had a good starting point in knowing that the problem had everything to do with my thoughts.

I had been listing to an interview with Amit Sood MD of the Mayo Clinic when something clicked for me. When my mind began to write and play out the next "story", it just came to me and I immediately interrupted the thought by saying, 


That's it. Not real.

It's NOT real. It's conditioning and while I've had experiences in this lifetime and in lifetimes past that have deeply affected my present day experiences, I'm realizing that

I have the power to change my neural pathways.

By telling myself "Not Real." mid thought, I stop the story dead in it's tracks at its conception and I save myself a plethora of bodily tension, stress, anxiety and even anger. I'm seeing that when I buy into the conditioned addiction (conditioning and repetition of any kind can definitely become a subconscious addiction) of allowing these stories to play out, my vibrational frequency becomes lower and lower.

What I means is...

When I'm (you/we/anyone) under constant stress (which results in an overspill of cortisol/stress hormone which can create a whole *other* problem), I'm in my lower level thinking (in yoga we would call this the Ego self) human self. When constantly in our lower level thinking brain, our vibration/energetic field decreases. When our energetic field decreases, WE BECOME SICK.

I have not been feeling well. It matters very little what I change in my diet or how much yoga and meditation I get in, my wellness and how I feel has not improved over the last several months. In my current nutrition studies, one of the first things I learned was the differences between what we call "Primary" and "Secondary" food. If any aspect of our state of being OR outside world, relationships, creative expression in the world or lack thereof are off balance, we can eat all the kale in the world and we will still find ourselves unwell. 

In less than a week, I've mentally spoken these 2 little words to myself no less than a few hundred times. 

In less than a week, I've elevated my levels, frequency and consistency of happiness and have decreased the levels and frequency of stress exponentially. 

To add to this, I've also consciously begun offering something to myself that increases my vibrations immediately following these 2 very powerful words... 

You see, when we're consistently in our negative mind or our reptilian brain, we slowly diminish our vibration over time. When we shift our awareness to something that brings us genuine innate joy and happiness, we feel our cells begin to dance instantaneously.

Try it... think of the face of someone you love beyond words or your "happy place"...notice what changes in your body when aligning yourself with Love. There's likely a softness within your tissues whereas before (in a state of stress) there's a gross muscular tension and/or a tightness of breath...nothing too subtle about it. In your sweet space, the tissues soften, the muscles relax, the corners of the mouth turn up, we experience an inner spaciousness and a lightness of Being... and our energetic heart field expands. 

So today... less than 1 week after this life altering practice, I've got a lot of work to do in developing a new neural response and natural reflex. Today, I'm telling myself what is and is not real and when I catch myself in a moment of story telling, I NAME IT...and then I bring my conscious awareness to images and people that make my heart sing. This, I believe, will play a huge role in what makes and keeps me WELL from here forward.

(Sanskrit for "VICTORY!")


More On Letting Go

'In the endthese things matter most: How well did you love? How fully did you live? How deeply did you let go?'
~ Gautama Buddha

Letting go... 

It's truly my biggest karmic work in this lifetime and motherhood is a very intense, very "in your face" practice of this on a day to day basis-one that literally brings me to my knees on a regularly. Matter of fact, it was earlier this week that I found myself on the floor in a dark yoga studio bathroom praying and talking to the Universe...

"Okay... I need help...and I'm listening now..."

Letting go... I our primary aim in yoga practice and is the sole vehicle to opening not only to the beautiful possibilities but to the Truth of who and what we really are.

When I look far below the surface of all that I have often made things to be about and begin to have clear seeing in the direction of what truly is, in hindsight, I've only been able to achieve this *because* I had the courage to let go.

It's a daily practice and one that has to constantly be reinvented. In my experience, it most definitely isn't a passive practice, it's a very conscious one. Learning to let go, even in the tiniest bite size piece at a time, has been instantaneous in decreasing opportunities for me to shame and guilt myself and has increased my vibrations and energetic field. Quite simply stated, I FEEL better when I am able to let "it" go a little bit.

Above all else, when I'm aware of my holding patterns and work to let go of my conditioning, I'm Graced with elevated happiness and inner ease and this enables me a deeper presence to my life, my child and husband and to my own experience.

May we be compassionate witnesses towards the part of ourselves that creates the self-inflicted wounds. May we put down the weapon and begin to hold ourselves in the Light of Love.


“It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles." ~ ~ Gautama Buddha

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Opening & Unfolding

"Sometimes your life boils down to one insane move." ~Avatar

The diaper wearing Guru Buddha baby is nearly 7 months young. Finally, finally, I'm consistently feeling the ground beneath my feet and a sturdiness within my (new) person. 

I'm in a little bit of a (spontaneous, of course) routine that has so graciously afforded me room for a much needed self-care rhythm as well. A night of uninterrupted sleep sounds like a foreign concept so I don't feel that I'm missing much there and have adjusted pretty well. My nutrition has been pretty spot on-because it absolutely has to be right now- although I could be and should be drinking more water. Always, more water. 

All is changing...

I've been getting in a lot more yoga than I had been as well. Recently, I resolved to practicing some yoga and meditation every day for the next 365 days. How's that for creating a habit :) It's just become so clear that I'm simply a better woman, a better human being and certainly a better wife and mother having a daily yoga practice. And quite honestly, I *need to meditate regularly. Chilling out does not come easily or naturally to me. People who relate to me as a yoga teacher might be surprised to hear that but if anything about me is true, this is it. It's also true that I practice yoga and meditate out of *necessity, because I have to. My refreshed and fierce new found love of it is so satisfying yet so different than before, in so many ways. Quite honestly though, it comes down to the fact that I've learned I simply must.

That said...

My mantra for 2013 is "I am Opening too...".

I've thought a bit about what that means, what I'm wanting to open myself to. I'm definitely still in the continuum that is the process of birthing my new self after birthing our son. Within that, I have been going inward, listening to what is in need of letting go of ...then have rephrased what I've found in the affirmative. This is what I've come up with so far:

I am opening to...
Being someone people feel good being around, someone who people miss when gone

I am opening to...
Connecting with other women near and far...listening to the inner whisper in what that will look like

I am opening to...
A steadfast and ongoing evolution of my Mindfulness practice..."Pause, breathe, inner smile, respond"

I am opening to...
Softening my edges

I am opening to...
Cultivating inner beauty

I am opening to...
New, fresh & authentic creative self-expression..."You get a brand new, blank canvas, Sanieh."

I am opening to...
365 days of yoga and meditation

I am opening to...
Pausing before speaking and becoming a master listener

I am opening to...
Discovering, fulfilling, developing and using what I've been given to its fullest potential..."What would my higher self do?"

I am opening to...
Slowing down, Checking in and remembering that THIS moment is all there is all that needs my attention and tending to. This is my job. Nowhere else more important to be, nothing else more important to do.

I am opening to...
Conscientious daily expressions of Loving Kindness ...How many different ways can I show and express my love for my husband?

This is where I am right now. 

Opening, for me, is about a continued practice in Surrender... of all things that were
When I surrender, I'm left open. 
When I am left open, I'm also left with a curiosity of all that wants to be born through me. 
May I be awake, willing and open to watering those gardens like never before...for the greater good.

Love All Ways.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Memoir in Three.

I read about this exercise that helps writers uncover details of their lives by picking 10 years and writing about it. The catch? Use three word sentences. For years, I've wanted to write a book but the aim of that book has died, been reborn and changed many times as my life has. This is a little more than the last 10 years of my life, out of order and less some specifics, parts and people but it is honest, at times a little messy and a reflection of my vulnerability.

I began writing this several weeks ago and would come back, reread and add to it. I intend to spend more time with this kind of writing, focusing on condensed periods of my life. To be honest, I don't know proper writing organization nor would I win a spelling bee. I can get wordy and I have an incredible ability to create run on sentences for days on end but I can write from the heart and do so in a way that is very conversational as if we were sitting together having tea. :)

I write to clear my head and to organize my thoughts and the experiences that have made a home in my heart (and everywhere else in my body for the matter). I also write with hopes that through sharing my experiences, someone out there can find some healing for themselves. Writing helps me get to the heart of some of my experiences in life. I hope that the unfolding of my life, through the written word, can be evidence that in the end, it all works out.

Maybe I'll end up getting the memoir written one day after all.

Before and after. Then and now. Life in words. Tell a story. Not just any. But YOUR story. In three words. Three words Only. Ready set go.

Who was I? A yoga teacher. An only daughter. A motherless daughter. An only sister. A middle child. Bunch of brothers. One parted ways. Was his decision. Had to forgive. "Let it go." Lots to forgive. Lots to admit. Lots of anger. Anger lasted years. Heart was broken. He blamed me. I was young. So very young. Took me years. To stop personalizing. Not about me. His own karma. Much easier now. Then the truth. Found out truths. Many many truths. Deceptions and lies.Truths about Dad. Love my dad. Still love him. Despite the secrets. Mom never told. Then she died. Death defined me. The "story" did. This lasted years. What a mess. So many secrets. Had difficulties coping.  I'm a secret. She could've shared. She should've shared. Tried to protect. Would've hurt less. Little less shock. But she didn't. Lies create lies. Secrets create lies. Finally moved on. Met another brother. Brand new brother. 10 years older. A loving brother. Loves and accepts. We share eyes. Name is Mike. Big brother Mike. We've moved on. From the lies. From the secrets. Had to forgive.  Healing is crucial. Forgiveness saves lives. Mistakes are made. Lies are told. Still must forgive. I'll never understand. As a mom. But I've forgiven. Really have forgiven. Even the deceased. Only love now. 

How about yoga? There was yoga. Ohhh the yoga. I was humble. Yoga was grounding. What is this? Who was I? "What is Namaste'? " "Read the sign." Loved my teacher. Very first teacher. Tried to meditate. "Are there colors?" She said no. No more meditation. No more colors.  No inflated ego. Just self-discovery. Just my curiosity. Things were fresh.  Moved to mainland. Bounced around some. Started teaching yoga. Was quite bendy. Slowly became strong. Met another teacher. "Studied studied studied." Slowly grew ego. Ego hurt heart. Heart still recovering. Yep, from ego. Only different now. Self-defining ego. Self-defining bullshit. I was "teacher". Such a joke. Self-defined teacher. Forgot about student. The student within. Became pretty bored. Became pretty self-absorbed. Became very frustrated. Frustrated with students. Not just self. But outside students. Saw it happening. Had to crash. Hard hard fall. Had to fall. Not really recommended. Was my path. Wouldn't change path. Death by ego. Harmful Inflated ego. Creates false seeing. Creates false everything. 

Ohh before that...Lived in Austin. Moved to Hawaii. I got married. Didn't have "marriage". Just the title. Much to young. Both of us. Moved to TN. Moved to Clarksville. Then got divorced. Moved to Nashville. Major life changes. Got a "job". Hated that job! Then another breakup. Got very depressed. Slept on floor. Darkness for days. 3 days specifically. Then heard birds. While on floor. Birds at night? Singing at night? Wrote about it. Just like light. Light in darkness. Got off floor. Took a shower. Met with Daphne. Gave me peonies. Love peonies now. Met Dr. Robin. Went twice weekly. "Challenge irrational beliefs!!" Never forgot that. Never forget that. Never forget myself. Thank you, Robin. 

Then what happened? 

Went to Vipassana. 10 days straight. 11 hours daily. Silence and mediation. 10 straight days. No eye contact. No spoken words. Absolute self-study. Silence Silence Silence. Body, speech, mind. First time ever. All in nature. It was perfect. Back to meditation. Didn't see colors. But saw soul. Soul was injured. Remembered some things. Didn't want to. We're all healing. 

Often felt separate. "Separation is illusion". Was never separate. Just got lost. Didn't love self. Didn't *know Love. Didn't know *self. Didn't know *how. Lived in "stories". World's biggest judge. Judge of self. World's biggest critic. Critic of self. Abused my body. Recklessly abused body. Abused my intuition. Didn't honor intuition. Felt a fake. Felt a hypocrite. Wore many "OM"s. Wore many malas. "Aren't I legit? See my malas? See my website? See my backbend? I'm a teacher. See my photographs? See the magazines?" Me me me. Sanieh was lost. Sanieh...who's Sanieh? Slowly started realizing. Path is inward. "Definition" isn't external. Truth isn't backbends. "Yogini" isn't malas. Truth is Love. Nothing else matters. All is Love. Whatever that means.  Seriously, just Love. Am still comprehending. Want to know. Letting "it" go. Biggest karmic work. LET GO, SANIEH. To be realized. Fully fully realized. To teach son. Teach through being. Still not there. At my potential. Not there yet...
Am growing though...

Then met Jeff. We just clicked. Timing finally right. For us both. For *someone right. Had some healing. Had some forgiveness. Not complete yet. Mostly inward stuff. But much better. We both knew. We both grew. He loved me. He told me. I told him. We both loved. I thanked God. Who was God? Jeff showed me. Didn't mean to. But he did. Never was alone. Never was forgotten. Was Always loved. Loved by God. God inside me. Not separate God. Not outside God. God within me. He teaches that. "He" meaning Jeff. Doesn't mean to. Doesn't even know.  But he does. Love him so. Still searching though. Searching for God. Makes no sense. No "search" needed. God is there. In my everything. Always been there. Still absorbing this. Still digesting it. May take time.  Is "Love" God? Maybe Loves' God.

"Oh My Goddess". "Jeff! Jeff! Jeff!". I couldn't speak. Sat on toilet. Covered my face. Literally, 20 minutes. Couldn't speak words. Only spoke tears. "Oh my God". Was *this God? In my belly? Always wanted motherhood. Started to wonder. He held space. "Gonna be PARENTS!" He said whispering. I'll never forget. I was terrified. Wanted it though. Was still terrified. Motherless daughter here. Wondered, "Could I?" Knew I could. But was sad. Wanted MY mom. Was "story" defined. Worked through that. Very different now. Am still sad. On some days. Am also strong. On most days. And I remember. Its all perfect.

Jeff proposed marriage. At Yoga Vida. On his mat. Where we practiced. In the mandala. "Help with handstand?" But no handstands. On his knee. Gave me kisses. Still was clueless. Then a ring. Made for me. I said "Yes". Vic freaked out. Quite funny, really :) We married there. AT Yoga Vida. Couldn't believe it.  I cried hard. Finally my turn. "I choose you." Giant Ganesha Altar. On yoga mat. Where we met. Yoga mat altar. OM Jai Ganesha. Auspicious new beginnings. 

Something started happening...
Ego began deflating. Damn inflated ego. Was still teaching. With more humility. Think they knew. I definitely knew. It was time. I would pray. Pray for love. To share love. Teach from love. Real deal love. "Just breathe, Sanieh." I spoke less. I loved more. Wanted to heal. Myself and them. For my son. Can I heal? Knew I could. If I loved. Space was created. I stopped talking. Opened my heart. Facilitated fluid peace. Opening for all. I would cry. Chant and cry.  "Mata Durga Swaha." Cried during Savasana. So did they. We cried together. Did they know? We're all healing. The yoga heals. The right kind. "Right" is relative.

Felt baby move.  On wedding night. Sweet baby boy. God loved me. I never knew. I felt punished. Did something bad. Really really bad. The mom died. Thought God punished. That's not true. God doesn't punish. Its all lies. Love only loves. Wondering what name. "God" and baby. How about "Universe"? How about "Goddess"? How about "Light"? How about "Grace"? How about "Spirit"? How about "Love"? Sometimes resist "God". Name and essence. Name and existence. Existence within myself. Working on that. Again, for son. Know there's Truth. Truth deep down. God in belly. Grace in belly. It's all love. Names don't matter. God doesn't punish. Grace doesn't forget. I was loved. Had to be. I had proof! Proof in Jeff. Proof in belly. I was opened. I was loved. I am loved. Was always loved. 

Sweet growing baby. Labored at home. Chose home birth. Best choice ever. Rocked my foundation. Foundation still rocked. Still quite profound. "Profound" is overused. It's MUCH bigger. Shook ENTIRE Universe. Everyone is different. Everything is different. Who am I? Not the same. Never her again. Pregnancy did that. I saw suffering. As a child. My own mother. I remembered that. During my pregnancy. Saw her suffer. Hurt my heart. Growing momma heart. "Please God, please. Not my baby." Never see suffering. Can't protect that. But not ME. No suffering mommy. Not like mine. Please God, please. Protect my child. Protect his eyes. See me thrive. See mommy happy. Never suffering mommy. Jeff promised me. "It's my gift. Gift to you. Not our baby. Don't you worry. I promise you. Not that life. Won't be his. Not that loss. He'll never see. No suffering mommy. No suffering parents. Not like that." Thank you, God. Thanks for Jeff. Thank you, Jeff. For our baby. For your promises.

June this year. Busy hot Saturday. Went to nursery. Got some plants. Hot  Hot Hot. Took a nap. Felt some cramps. Then water broke. Labor happened quickly. "Gum Ganapatiye Namaha". Removal of obstacles. Fear lasted seconds. There I chanted. Chanted during labor. Many different chants. Some the same. Same as pregnancy. He was familiar. Knew my voice. Recognized the chants. 1 specific chant. 1 specific song. Recognized them both. Then it happened. I saw God. In my arms. Baby loved me. I loved him. In an instant. Never the same. Shiny, new baby. Thank you, God. Smiling right now. I gave birth. Then I died. Died right there. In our home. Where I birthed. 

Who am I ? She's no more. Brand New Woman. Grew a baby. Then baby left. Left my body. Now new body. Trying to ground. In new body. In my heart. Catching my breath. Still, almost everyday.  My new heart. My new thoughts. My new worries. My new love. Protect him, God.  Please protect Keyhan. My heart expanded. Grew another chamber. Still in recovery. Open heart surgery. Recovery never ends. Body recovers though. Still in adjustment. I'm a mom. A motherless mother. Its all serendipitous. Its all inexplainable. I'm a mommy. Mommy to Keyhan. Keyhan means "Universe". He's OUR Universe. 

Yoga is random. Random at home. Perfect yoga though. Teacher no more. That's not true. Teacher of love.  Now a student. Student to Guru. Baby boy Guru. Jeff is yoga. He's my yoga. Opportunities in humility. "Letting Go" opportunities. Inflated ego shatters. Its a mess. Death of ego. Starting brand new. Not her anymore. Never her again. Self-Identification struggles. Who was I? Who am I? There is time. Time for everything. I am unfolding. New me unfolding. Keyhan's mommy now. Jeff's wife now. Focused energy now. There is time. For other things. Just not now. Focused on love. Loving my family. Being their heartbeat.  Brand new Sanieh. Not sure yet. Who she is. Who she'll become. Slow, full breaths. Om Jai Ganesha. Here I am. Every new day. I wanted love. Now its here. Saw this life. Was always here. Just didn't know. Once was blind. Now I see. In my belly. Now on bed. Sleeping sweet baby. Happy happy baby. Happy happy mommy. Happy happy Daddy. I'm still adjusting. For a while. Just my path.  Hard to convey. But am breathing. Thank you, God. So much love. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Letting Go

"The journey into Motherhood can be seen as 'breaking open'. We have to be willing to go through the pain and struggle of the changes that Motherhood brings with it in order to be able to break through and show our fullest potential and our hidden splendour, like a butterfly coming out of its cocoon."
I've been trying to write this for for a few weeks now. Each time I have a moment to come back to it, I have to modify it as things continue to evolve. That said, I've grown with some of this as it has evolved, or shall I say as *I* have evolved. After all, I'm a Mom now. I'm an entirely different person on an honest to goodness cellular level. 

This whole thing that is Motherhood continues to school, open and humble me in ways I could have never, ever planned on or imagined. Pregnancy was one thing. Being a mother to a living, breathing baby outside of one's body is an entirely different thing. Wow.

Here's to my new calling. I bow to you, Motherhood. I'm on my knees...bowing to you...

If pregnancy was about the ultimate practice of surrender, then being a mom and actually having my son outside of my body is the most intense act of letting go I've ever experienced in my life.

For me, if there's a heart break to any of this, it's this part.

Obviously I absolutely love having him here outside of me to love, hold, nurse and to nurture, yet its also heartbreaking as I endure what's sure to be the first of many moments of letting go.


Within days of giving birth, I became very weepy. It wasn't a normal weepy nor was it a postpartum depression or "hormonal" kind of weepy. My husband put a call in to our midwife realizing that he didn't know how to help me and when he would ask me, I couldn't tell him what I needed either. Our midwife recommended before all else, that he feed me then put me to bed immediately suggesting he take the baby out of the room so that I could get some sleep. She instructed that he wake me only to nurse. The night we did this allowed me my first 3.5 hour stretch of sleep which was most needed, but I wasn't "all better" even so.

GB called us a day or two later to check in on me and to see how I was feeling. I'm usually pretty good at expressing myself but this postpartum experience-my changed heart that is-has trumped any prior experience and all previous knowing altogether.

What it came down to was this:
I was grieving.

I was in a serious state of grief knowing that never again, would I be able to protect my child in the same way as I was able to do while he was in my womb.

Nature didn't intend for him to stay there and I was saddened by this in a way. This not only troubled me deeply, but gave me one serious case of anxiety. I have been grieving the suffering in the world, my contribution to its current state and the affects it will have on my son in the likely, almost guaranteed event that he too, will come to know this suffering within our world in some way, shape or form.

How can I protect my son from the suffering in the world, yet make him aware that it exists so that he may do his part and add healing where his life and karma calls him to?

I have grieved his vulnerability and I have even grieved the loss of my carelessness, ignorance and all that has been dormant inside of me up until this point. The ignorance truly was bliss...

But now I have a son.
I have a child
I have a responsibility to my child 
that has pulled something out of me...
Something that I didn't even know was there.

I'm sure this too will become a little easier but for now, it is what it is. I know that in time, I can find more peace with the world that circumbobulates around my son a little more than what I feel capable of at the moment.

This reminds me of the story of Prince Siddhartha before he became a Buddha. He lived much of his life unaware of the suffering in the world. One night he escaped the walls of his palace and went out into the world looking for it. It took his witnessing this suffering to change his life so that he could desperately answer the call of how to end it…


Since all of this started, I've expressed to my husband (and have asked for his help and support in expressing to those closest to us) that what I need most isn't to have my home cleaned or a meal made. What I am in need of is space for my new family so that I can recover from the intensity and deep emotion of bringing my son into the world and learning to be his mother. What I need is understanding and support in my following my intuitive mother-guide no matter how much or little sense she makes to anyone else. She will serve her purpose in the highest when it matters most. This I know more than anything else.

In my anxiety it comes to me…

People in our society seem to forget the strong need for a mother to tend to and be protective of her child after birth has been given. It's really quite primordial and there are cultures in our world today that still honor this something fierce. They honor that the way to the infant and the way one cares for it is through the mother first and foremost. As my dear friend reminded me, my vagina totally broke open as did my heart...only the vagina has worked its way back together, but not the heart.

My intuition is at an all time high and I sense everything around me much more deeply than I had previously.  In relation to my son, I am sensitive to over-excitement (as is his tiny nervous system), uncontrolled and unmanaged excess energy of others and other people coo-ing over my child up close in his face. Much more than I can express, it's all quite anxiety provoking for me which affects my entire foundation and by default, that of my son. Crazy? Perhaps. But it is what it is...and it's Nature. I’m certain this is something that I’ll be able to soften into as time goes by but he’s still brand new and I’m still a brand new mommy.

What I know now is that the biology of a woman changes once she gives birth. Her radar and biological hardwiring in respect to her infant is one of the strongest forces on the planet and should be regarded and honored with the upmost respect. I cannot even begin to get into all that Science has and has not been able to document as far as what forces are taking place in my heart field right now. There are pulls and forces within me that I am not qualified to explain but am more than qualified, by laws of Nature, to have unwavering confidence of and in their Truth.

I understand that not everyone can relate or understand what I’m trying to express here but it goes beyond reason, ration, logic or explanation. It's all I know to protect and guard my child and right now, everything and everyone is a perceived threat in a way. It’s got nothing to do with anyone or anything…it’s biological. It’s undefinable. This goes back to the fact that I carried him inside of me for so long, the outside world in *general is a threat. It's all I know to tend to his needs and to keep his environment energetically sterile and pure. It's not for others to get or to understand try as I might, but it IS for me to tend to at any cost and at any price necessary.

I've avoided with great caution the modern medical model up to this point... why would my approach post birth be any different just because he's outside of my body? I'm still the sole provider/life-giver to my child right now and I am extremely protective in the newness of it all. It's my job to be.

Really what I need is little expectation outside of all of this right now so that I can be given the time and space to learn how to breathe again being Keyhan's mother, a wife and my new self now.


As I learn to sink into the grief, I learn to breathe through the self-judgment of not always being the giddy, shiny new mother. I remember to be compassionate towards myself and to remember that he must need my sensitivity to help facilitate and support his own karmic path. Without these aspects of myself, without my cracked open heart, I could not be all that he needs of me. This being so very AWAKE, so raw and tender right now is a glimpse into a purity I've never experienced. There is so much beauty in the intensity of it all yet feeling everything so deeply can take my breath away at times.

I'm still visited by this grief and I'm sure it will always walk beside me in a way. But now, I'm learning to "be" with it. I'm learning how to adapt in/to the world and how I relate to it now. So now I sink into it. I feel it in my belly, throat and heart...but I continue to sink...

When I look back on labor, during specific parts in particular, I felt an all encompassing surrender and that the gate of that surrender was the Mystery; The Feminine and ultimate of all love. God. In the eye of that Love was Me. I was there, I was all of these aspects, not separate from them. For the first time in my life, I experienced true non-dualism in the way of all that is. 

As I remind myself of this I remind myself that my child too, is not separate from this Love Light. 

There's a surrender that continues, a surrender to the Universe that my child will be held in this Light and will be supported, protected and loved beyond that of my human and motherly control and comprehension.

Dear Self,

In his perfection, his innocence, his contentment and his smiles, I am full.
In his drinking in the nectar of life at my breast, I am Mother Goddess.
In his curiosity, I too, can be curious as I learn and learn and learn.
In his trust, I can trust that I am still supported 
and so intimately carried 
and connected, 
as is my child 
by all that is Love.

I am at peace with my world.
My child chose me and needs my sensitivity.
I am so strong that nothing can disturb my peace of mind.
I am a powerful, confident and an incredible mother to my child.

"There is no force more powerful than the Love of a mother to her child.....not even God can match it." Yogi Bhajan 

Friday, June 22, 2012

"Birth Story"

"Being pregnant and giving birth are like crossing a narrow bridge. People can accompany you to the bridge. They can greet you on the other side. But you walk that bridge alone.” African Proverb

I've been doing tons of writing since June 9th (and long before) including trying to write my "birth story" for some time now (I actually asked my husband to write his version since his perspective and relationship to it was/is a completely different one that mine). I had heard that "processing" one's birth can take some time, years even. I had initially assumed that if processing were required, then the birth must have gone in an undesirable direction. Having experienced the very birth I hoped for, wanted, meditated on and visualized, I still find myself trying to process the experience as a whole.


 It's Wednesday, June 13th, 7:20p.m. My name is Sanieh and I just gave birth to my son 3 days, 21 hours and 47 minutes ago.

I recently began writing details of our birth story and by "our" I mean that of my family; not only the birth of my precious son but that of my husband becoming a father and of myself being born as a mother.

As I find myself just a few days on the other side of that narrow bridge and as each new day brings its own insights of that sacred process, I've realized that I cannot possibly write, never mind share, my birth story at this time. It's still being digested.

I could tell you that the duration from the time my water broke to the moment I birthed our son was a quick and progressive 7 hours.  I did it completely drug-free, through my body's wisdom alone, naturally, in the comfort of our home and on my own terms...thank you sweet Grace.

I could share that there was a very emotional and symbolic lighting/prayer vigil at my family's Ganesha altar where I initially labored and that at my Mommy altar, I got on my knees and made a mantra of asking my worldly mother to be with me and put a photo of her in my shirt close to my heart...only to later realize I was asking THE Mother to be with me... She hasn't left me since.

I could share that there was a birthing tub in the center of my bathroom and 4 people who were all meant to be there loving and supporting me-even though my eyes were closed the whole time and I never looked into the eyes of any of them. At one point, the bathroom was filled with dozens of candles they lit as well. I only know this because the photographer turned on the bathroom light which got an immediate reaction out of me as my senses became incredibly heightened (still are in many ways) and the midwife had the lights turned out instantly. The remedy was candles...lots of them.

I knew that while none, one or all them were interchangeably in that room with me throughout this period of time, my work was an inward one. I never once asked where anyone was nor did I ever feel scared or alone...just incredibly and miraculously present.

I could "tell" you that I was in another state of consciousness; a state that only a woman who is free of any kind of drugs in her system could possibly go to, scientifically speaking, due to the hormones and endorphins that can only be released as Nature's coping mechanism and as a result of experiencing what is happening on the physical plane. I could also tell you that I danced that dance embracing the changing tides and called upon something I remembered, making a choice to go to the center of each swell .

I can still hear my beautiful midwife telling me,
"Sink into it, Sanieh."
And I did.
Those words changed everything...

Through words, I could tell you that there was an in-explainable ability to float between the two worlds I found myself in but words could never do justice. In one world, the waves came on stronger and more powerful than anything my body or mind has ever known or had to comprehend. So much richer than what I could have ever possibly imagined; I was somehow able to come back yet stay connected during the lingering sensations that flirted with brief pauses. I could share my visualizations, my repeated visualizations that got me through the most challenging part of child labor or that the most challenging part  was followed by what my husband said was accompanied by cycles of extreme intensity and the deepest state of peace he'd ever seen me in...I think I remember him whispering in his amazement during the peace.

I could try to explain how I found myself praying to Mother Goddess and Father God (it's all the same to me...) that I too would be delivered with my son...even though my inner, wordless prayer could never have been translated by anyone...not even myself until just a short while ago.

I could try to express (and fail miserably) how it is that I would never describe the physicality as "pain" but that it truly was the BIGGEST physical experience of my life and that the only word that could ever come close to labeling this experience is "Surrender". And that through the death of self, fear, worldly thoughts and expectations; through the cessation of time, space, names, faces, colors, perceptions and beliefs, I existed in the Mystery itself, in the presence of my Source. I was with God, AS separation...only devotion, commitment and love.

I could share the chants I chanted during the different stages of the process and the sounds I found myself humming as if to somehow cradle and carry myself through the particular parts that were beyond any kind of comprehension, previous experience or description.  And in raw honesty, I could say that hearing one of them in particular now is almost unsettling even in its immense beauty and significance of this moment in time.

I could attempt to express what it felt like to hear the brief cries of my creation after he left the vessel of my inner body and what it felt like to see his head turn towards me as his cries stopped while he looked at me as he heard my voice chanting a familiar chant the moment we touched one another's skin for the very first time.

Grace is real.
And I was held by Grace
as I held my child for the very first time.

I could get excited and talk about my newfound amazement in just how wise and brilliant my body is, how deeply I've tuned into my innate intuition and how it's served me, how powerful I feel, how rocked I am at my core, how different I feel when I wake up in the morning and how different my husband looks to me, right down to his long eye lashes.

And of course I could share details of how my every wish, prayer and care of this home-birth were fulfilled and that the only void was of those things I had truly feared and didn't want to come to know anyway.

What I cannot share is the story of our birth because I've realized that while I could put these details and include intimacies, my prayers and conversations with God and my child moving through me and words I heard around me all into story form, this birth story of ours and the processing of it is still writing itself. This that will continue for some time.

Through the magnitude and enormity of my experience,
I have been birthed a new woman
and its something I'm reminded of and visited by every day now.

Knowing what I know and knowing the Truth
as I now know it
I am forever changed.