Hearing the call

In our lives, we hear many calls. Some are so small they go unnoticed, like feeling called to a certain colour, or to wear certain pieces of clothing. Then there are the bigger calls: being called to a career, to leave a job, to travel, to move to a new city, to buy a house, or to have children.
Recently, I heard a call that it was time for a change. Currently in my seventh year of practice, I began to feel that it was time to challenge myself, to do my own thing. More specifically, I felt it was time to let myself be seen and to allow more of myself to shine through in my practice. It was time to play big and risk discomfort for something greater:  the joy that comes with being completely and entirely myself, practicing midwifery in the way that I feel called to do.
~ It was time to start my own midwifery practice.~
What calls have you felt in your life? If you’re pregnant what has called you to have the birth in a certain place or in a certain way? If this was a planned pregnancy, how did you know it was time to have children? What called you to the journey you’re on?
Often, when we first hear a call, we don’t listen to it. Something inside us tells us that right now is not the time for a variety of reasons: too busy, too risky, not prepared enough. Sometimes, we don’t listen to the call because we also know that once we answer the call, our lives and our relationships will be changed forever; maybe we’re not ready for the change yet. Sometimes, we don’t listen to it because doubt sets in. Can I really do this? Listening to the call is difficult because it requires us to be vulnerable; it means going into the unknown, not knowing what will happen, how we will respond, or how others will respond to us.  Listening to the call requires us to be brave and courageous. Did you know that the origins of the word courage means ‘with heart’? Listening to the call certainly means acting with heart!
Can you think of times in your life where you were being nudged to make a change but you didn’t? How did you know it was not time?
For a while, I wasn’t ready to take the plunge. There were many reasons, both practical and wise. I certainly knew that my life and my relationships would change when I took the plunge, and that was scary. Can I tell you a secret? For a while I worried whether I could make it on my own and I feared, ‘what if I show myself to be exactly how I am and that is not good enough?’  However, as Anais Nin says so beautifully, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
Finally, I answered the call. Not practicing midwifery in exactly the way I wanted to was coming at a cost, and not fully being myself was coming at a cost. I decided that if I was going to open my own practice, I would unapologetically be my perfectly imperfect self. Brene Brown says,  “Our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self acceptance”. I have realized that fully putting myself out there and being me is what I need, in order to best connect with others, and certainly to connect with myself.
As I’ve embarked on this adventure, there are questions that I’ve been asking myself. As I take these brave steps into the unknown what do I need to know? What will help me navigate these uncharted waters, especially when things are challenging? What will help me on my journey? The answers that I’ve come up with are all the same: tenderness.
And so it starts now, this whole being tender business. When challenges occur, I ask myself, how am I being tender with myself in this moment?
I am curious, as you’ve entered your journey into the unknown, what questions are you posing yourself? What internal quality do you have, or want to have, that might help you on your journey into parenthood?
Maybe it’s compassion? Is it patience or resilience? Will you need to exercise your stubbornness, your selfishness, your kindness?
I look forward to journeying with you.