being present, letting go & finding fascination everywhere

Six months ago, I was about to pop.

pregnancy photo

And while I’d read too many books explaining how to stay healthy during pregnancy and how to create the birth of my desire {I chose to stay home as long as possible & deliver in a birth center, but more on that in another post, perhaps…}, I read precious little about what becoming a parent would actually be and how I would shift on a soul level in so many ways.

Maybe it’s because I believed that I couldn’t focus on being a mama until we got through the birth & Campbell came out healthy.

Maybe I actually was reading it, but just wasn’t ready to absorb it.

Maybe it’s because there’s no possible way to explain it until you live it.

Whatever the case, these last six months have been full of extraordinary learning, stretching me in every possible way. And, I thought I’d take over the blog today to share a few of my biggest insights with you…

*Note: I am by no means a master of these insights, and am still allowing them to settle more deeply daily.


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#1. Our bodies are magical & spectacular even though we don’t often treat them that way.

I have never been as fascinated with my body as I was after giving birth. I did it naturally, without any drugs, considering this my first gift to my baby. Instead of an epidural to numb the pain, I used wild & primal hip movements to get through contractions, the support of my incredible husband and our undeniably essential doula to stay in the zone. I had never listened to my body and truly let it guide me as I did through those 17 hours. Looking back, it was positively incredible to let go and release all intellect, inhibitions and itineraries and simply be in my body. What a ride!

It certainly made me realize how much I underestimate the power of my being {and everyone else’s} and how sacred our bodies truly are. My goal is to treat my body with the love and awe that it deserves.

#2. Being present is one of the biggest gifts that you can give someone.

When Campbell arrived, all I wanted to do was be present with him. I’ll admit, it never crossed my mind to turn on the TV, check my email or hop on social media. Even other people sometimes felt like a distraction. I wanted to give him the gift of my full attention, to be in each moment with him as I watched him unfold.

Now I totally realize that being truly present is hard, especially as I’ve been layering back in all of the “normal” activities like working with clients, meeting with girlfriends once a month, seeing family, and of course checking email & social media {interestingly, TV has taken a major back seat}. It’s really tempting when I’m with Campbell in the morning to be thinking about just how many things that I have to accomplish that day, or when I’m talking with my team to be thinking about lunch with Campbell, or to let the feeling of being behind creep in…. but that’s when I can feel the moments slipping away, being wasted, because I’m not fully present.

Simply being present is a constant and continual act. It’s a choice every moment, and it’s HARD. But, when I look into my baby’s sweet eyes and am really there, nothing feels more rewarding. And when I’m able to fully listen to a client with my whole attention, no act is more important. Being fully present truly is the greatest gift you can give someone. Try it.


laughter

#3. The world is genuinely fascinating, we just forget!

As Campbell is awakening to the world around him, every discovery he makes is truly sensational to him.

Seeing his reflection for the first time made him buckle over in laughter. Watching me drink water made his eyes fill with wonder. Touching our cat, Cronkite, for the first time made his entire body surge with excitement.

It’s so easy to take everything around us for granted. I’m incredibly grateful that he is now a daily reminder to actually see the world for the fascinating place that it is!

#4. We choose what we focus on.

Becoming a parent is truly the hardest thing that I’ve ever done. Being totally responsible for another human being who can’t fend for himself is exhausting, consuming and challenging in ways that are impossible to describe in words. Yet, it’s also the most beautiful journey, filled with daily delights, sweet joy, the purest form of love and deep purpose.

It’s not one thing or the other thing, it’s everything at once. Allowing all of these realities to exist and not clash is key {as my very wise parenting mentor & client, Carrie Contey, told me}. I also believe that I have a choice in what I focus on each day… the tough, draining bits or the soul-filling sweetness.


whole family

#5. Being a mama has added to {and NOT taken away from} my mission & Media Bombshell.

I was curious to see how I would feel being away from my baby for my first live retreat of the year. I was thrilled to discover that it made me an even more connected & inspired leader. I believe that there are two reasons for this.

  • I really do feel that if I’m going to spend precious time away from Campbell, I better make the time count. It’s a different type of accountability. One that involves valuing my time and everyone else’s in a whole new way, and that makes me acutely aware of how much of myself I am {or am not} putting into each moment.

 

  • My sense of my mission has never been stronger. I truly believe that we each have a story to share and a message to offer that’s incredibly valuable. I am seeing Campbell’s unfold each day, curiously & eagerly waiting to discover who he’ll become, what he’ll love, how he’ll live & what his passion and mission might be. I have a renewed sense of understanding that if we’re not using our voices to their full power, we’re truly doing a disservice to ourselves and, more importantly, to everyone else.

#6. We can always act from a place of love.

My amazing client, Michelle McQuaid, talks about how every action is proceeded by a question. It’s true. What I’ve realized lately is that I want to be a person who is able to ask myself where I’m coming from, why I’m doing what I’m doing, and be curious as to whether my motivation is love or something less deserving. And while this was sparked by how I speak to my child + husband, I believe that I can always act from a place of love… even when I’m sleep-deprived, don’t have time, or am dealing with someone who is not acting out of love one bit.

I mean, how different would the world be if we were all acting from a place of love? Think about it. How epic would that be? What would you do or say? I know that I would be more patient, more understanding and more genuine. I would stand for my beliefs and for the people I believe in. I would speak from a softer place, in a more meaningful way.


green & white

What’s so intriguing to me is that these lessons are incredibly relevant to running a business, to serving my clients, to enjoying being a wife, to loving my family, to supporting my friends… I hope they’ve sparked something within you.

I’d love to hear from you. Which of these speaks the most to you and why? How can we hold each other accountable to these new insights? Or, if you’ve got another one you think needs to be on this list, dish! I’ll be looking for your replies in the comments below.

Responses


  1. Lynn Korst said:

    Hi Ellie,
    I met you at Marie Forleo’s RHH live event in New York a few years back. I remember having fun dancing at a bar with you! 🙂 I have been getting your emails ever since and have really enjoyed following your journey. I am so thrilled to hear how rewarding your parenting journey has been. This blog post is fabulous! I am a big follower of Carrie Contey so glad you have her to count on. I have taken her year long Evolve class and loved it. I have been following her footsteps and I am getting a certification in Pre and Perinatal Psychology.
    My business is focusing on educating pregnant couples and new parents about the journey of parenthood (from pregnancy through the first year) and walking them through the emotional roller coaster ride.
    You mentioned something in you blog that interested me – ” I read little about what becoming a new parent would actually be”. My feeling is that there is not much out there that really speaks to this in a meaningful way. That is what I am putting together as a live and hopefully online course. I would love to talk to you to get more of your juicy insights to this awesome journey you are on. By the way…I so love your description of your birth process…major kuddos to you for having an empowered birth!! As you said what a huge gift for you and your son.
    I would love to connect!
    Lynn Korst

    Reply

    • Ellie said:

      Lynn! So lovely to hear from you… I remember your dance moves!

      Thank you for your sweet and thoughtful comments. I love that you love Carrie, she’s such a rare gem. And what an exciting path you’ve chosen!It sounds like you will be able to make HUGE impact.

      Absolutely, let’s chat. Email me through our contact page. Looking forward to reconnecting! xx

      Reply

  2. Lynn scarborough said:

    Hi Ellie, just want to let u know that I love your wisdom and your ability to put it into words! You are an amazing and wise teacher and leader! To endeavor to act from
    Love and presence is what moves and inspires me !!
    Hugs!

    Reply

  3. Nadia said:

    Love! It’s so much love! Overflowing. It’s amazing how you can just never tire of the giggles. I haven’t laughed so much in years. For someone with so few words, ok none so far, they really communicate volumes. From the last paragraph of your #5… “I have a renewed sense of understanding that if we’re not using our voices to their full power, we’re truly doing a disservice to ourselves and, more importantly, to everyone else.” I have a vision of you in a few years putting on a kids workshop (when it’s age appropriate for Campbell of course) where you teach them to value themselves and the things they have to say. There are so many loud voices out there nowadays… our littles will need to learn too how unique and valuable their voices are.

    Reply

    • Ellie said:

      Woah, Nadia! I hadn’t thought of teaching these skills to children, but I LOVE it. Thank you for your insight.

      And yes, never enough giggles!! xx

      Reply

      • beth said:

        ellie and nadia, you both type such profound words in this time of our lives. I look forward to seeing you face to face again sometime soon. live and love on! beth

        Reply

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