“Self Awareness = Self Care”
By Eve Bernfeld, In Balance Alexander Technique Teacher
[The other day I wrote the following blog. I must have been wearing rose-colored-glasses, because it’s awfully perky. Then at lunchtime I found myself eating cold soup in the bathroom while sobbing. Parenting is hard. All the suggestions below are how I get through it. And often love it.]
What a remarkable time pregnancy is! (Says a person who is not currently pregnant and has enough space to remember it nostalgically…) And I mean remarkable not only because you’re growing a frickin’ human, but also because pregnancy has the possibility to be such a transformative time for the pregnant person.
Soon enough that baby will be earth-side, and you may find yourself putting aside all your own needs, from sleep to showering to social life, in order to care for it. But during pregnancy, self-care = baby-care. So it’s a great time to lay down self-care habits that you can use as a life-preserver when the time comes that caring for baby seems to interfere with thinking about yourself AT ALL.
As an Alexander Technique teacher, I teach people how to take care of themselves. This may sound strange, I mean, we’re all grown ups here, right? We all (hopefully) know how to feed and clothe ourselves. But take a minute to ask yourself a few questions:
Do I know how to take care of myself from moment to moment?
Do I know how to rest? And when?
Do I know how to stop when I’ve had enough?
Do I know how to go through a day without being in pain at the end?
Do I know how to manage stress well?
If you had less than an emphatic “YES!” to any of these questions, let me offer a few things to try.
Find a quiet spot and stand. Take a moment to pause. Notice that you are standing on your own two feet. Those two feet are doing a lot of work for you. Allow your body to softly rise up from those feet on the ground to your head in the sky (yes, that is a Talking Heads reference). Ask yourself:
Am I Seeing?
Am I Breathing?
Am I Balancing?
Then carry on with your day. Now, if you do this once, I don’t expect it will be life-altering. But what if you took moments to do it throughout your day? What might you notice if you quieted yourself in this way repeatedly, with curiosity? What if you started Seeing, Breathing and Balancing even in the midst of life-chaos? Could you See, Breathe, Balance while you’re at work? While you’re cooking dinner? While you’re chasing your toddler? While you’re in your prenatal yoga class? While you’re in line at the grocery store? While you’re in labor (maybe early labor…)? While you’re changing ten diapers a day?
The title of this blog is a proposal: That deepening our Self Awareness is a way of Caring for our Selves. And that Self Care includes an expanding Self Awareness. The equation goes both ways. The process of examining this proposal can take a lifetime. I guess it’s my life’s work. But there’s no better time to start experimenting than during the rich and challenging days of pregnancy.
Eve Bernfeld, M.A., M.AmSAT is a certified Alexander Technique Teacher and a licensed Drama Teacher. She is the owner of In Balance Alexander Technique where she helps all types of people—from pregnant moms to performers to people in pain—learn to take better care of themselves so they can be more calm, confident and coordinated. She is also the proud mama of five-year-old triplets.
Do you live in Oregon or Washington and serve babies and families?
Meg Ross Photography, a Portland Birth Worker Photographer, wants to capture you doing what you do best!
REACH OUT TODAY and invest in your business brand.