Intensity and Recovery

Intensity and Recovery.jpg


40 seconds of intensity. 20 seconds of recovery. The pattern of this morning’s spin workout took me back to the final phases of labor. When the contractions were so intense and seemingly on top of each other. My body was screaming, I was exhausted and wondering if I could actually do it. But really, there was no choice. I was not in control, the baby was calling the shots—and I could either work in harmony with my body and my baby or I could focus on just how hard it was, on all the pain and intensity that stood between me and my baby.

The birthing analogy continually resurfaces for me these days—a pregnancy and birthing fractal, if you will. Just yesterday, I read a chapter of Naomi Levy’s book, Einstein and the Rabbi: Searching for the Soul, where she talked about the stagnancy of being forever pregnant. And the necessity to embrace and transcend our fears to be born into the next incarnation of ourselves.

I am in such a transition. I am on the verge of rebirthing myself. Of coming fully into this version of myself. Of stepping fully into the woman, the visionary, the messenger I am meant to be. The births of my two sons were easy compared to this. Perhaps, because I did not envision myself as really having a choice. I had chosen my pregnancies and I had faith and confidence going into labor that all would transpire as it was meant to. I was matter of fact, this is something that I am going to do, that the baby and I are going to do, and we have support.

This birthing of myself feels more intense somehow. I know, from that place deep within, that I am meant to shine forth, to share my message with others. And here, on the precipice, in the transition—I am terrified. Of showing up fully—to myself, to the world. This time, I’m not just on the outside; I’m the one inside—and although it’s been safe and cozy here for quite a while, I know it’s time. Time for me to trust—to look inside and see that beautiful head, my beautiful self, to feel the burning that is the crowning, to bear down, to push, to birth myself into the world.

In my darkest moments, I feel alone in my fear, alone in my process. Yet, I am deeply supported in this work I am called to do. When I allow it, when I reach out, the help is there. Sometimes that reaching out is the hardest thing to do—to admit that I cannot do it alone— that I don’t want to do it alone. And so, today, I answered the mundane question, “How are you?” with the vulnerable truth—“I am on the verge of greatness and I am terrified.” And I received messages I needed to hear from my beloved mentor and friend, Kimberly. I allowed the tears to flow and I heard her wisdom; I took in her love and support. Breathing easier, I got up off the floor, headed to the locker room, showered and continued with my plan—heading with my computer to a coffee shop to begin writing. I texted my husband to say that I was going to stay out this morning—to write, to do this, to birth me. And I received this message in response:


“Cool. Proud of you. Stay with your breath. You are just reclaiming yourself. Your true self. The self that you deserve and the rest of us are on the edge of our seat to see. There will be fear and perhaps some grieving, but you/we are HERE now. Allow your feet to be touched by the floor and feel nature and the trees themselves and all of nature come to you with pride and appreciation to support you. I am with you. Follow your in breath and out breath to the end. It’s a miracle. All of it, including you. Xo.”


And when I really breathe into it, breathe into the process, breathe into me, I feel not just the intensity of labor, but the recovery, the release, the support, the easy spin that is a beautiful outstretched hand, an pair of intent eyes, an open face, communicating clearly that WE can do this. That I am not alone. That WE are together—she and I, with all of the brave women that have come before us, with our beloved community that that surround us now, and the tribe who is awaiting our birth. That we are rooted in strength and love.

I have had a reminder on my phone for about a year now: “I recognize the fire within. It is safe to be me.” Today I am exiting the safety of my own womb. I am strong, I am supported, and I am allowing that fire within to shine fully without.

Jennifer Knight