In the midst of a busy birthing season, I have been harboring a secret fantasy; zipping off to a hot springs resort for some solo relaxation time. These days my practice is so full that someone is due as soon as someone else gives birth - no time off for me until July, when I don't deliver babies. Except last week, when a tiny miracle unfolded for me. Instead of the one expected birth, I attend two in two days - someone went a couple weeks early! As I rolled out of bed in the dark of night to attend this birth, I realized - hey! I'm going to be off-call this weekend! I was fried, but I would be free.
Friday afternoon, I popped my little bag of snacks and my little bag of clothes into my car, and I was off on a weekend retreat to Harbin Hot Springs . Its funny how in the midst of raising a family, even the act of tossing ONE bag in the car for a trip seems so light and carefree. My hubby and the girls would have a great weekend here in town, and everyone would appreciate a happier, de-stressed Mom! I had known for a while I was in need of a break because everything was starting to feel heavy - the responsibilities of work, keeping house, the cooking, and the kids' activities, and on and on. I believe in BALANCE as a guiding principle in my life - when things are big and heavy in one direction, we need to swing a little in the other direction. Some carefree bliss was in order.
So what did I do during this weekend away? Relaxed profoundly. Soaked and soaked and soaked in the hot pools. Sunbathed. Received a knockout massage and a Watsu treatment. Got away from cell phones, computers, and cameras which are all NOT allowed at Harbin. Ahhhh....a midwife not checking her cell phone every half hour, how bizarre. I ate meals in the restaurant - organic and delicious, and had spiritual, uplifting conversations with fellow weekend Harbin-ites. For a mother to take 48 hours off cooking and tending to others - it is amazing! I read an inspiring book called A Woman's Worth by Marianne Williamson
The hot springs are considered sacred at Harbin and silence is honored in the pools. There are beautiful alters everywhere with flowers and Goddess statues. As a soaked I visualized all my worries and cares just dissolving out of my body. I prayed that the cleansing makes me clearer, a pure channel of light, love, and holy, wholesome work. I jumped from a very hot pool into a very cold pool over and over, with rounds of prayer in between. I prayed for my husband, and for friends and family who are in need of healing or transformation. I prayed most of all for our Mother Earth, and for healing and help in Japan. I prayed to all the Goddesses and fathers and guardian angels to help us clear the radiation damage from our lands and seas and air. It felt so good to lay down my worries and just pray.
Ahhhh. When I set down everything I do, I can go inward and re-connect with who I really am. I surrendered my tense posture of "I must DO everything!" and came to a place of "What I do, will come from my divine Heart of Love".
Mothers, wives, sisters, midwives, helpers - in the fullness of work and/or raising our children, let us not forget to also raise up ourselves! This weekend was a gift for me but everyone I love and care for will benefit from a clearer, more tuned-in me. Is it time for you?