Little did I know that as my son and I sat in awe as we watched athletes dressed like Spider Man, Thor, Black Widow, and other Marvel characters flip motorcycles, spin on silks, and bend in every which way, we were slowing down our perception of time, enhancing our ability to be generous, and promoting our good health.
A study done at Stanford University [http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0956797612438731] found that when people are in a state of awe, they feel like they have more available time. In addition, the study, published in Sage Journals, reported that being in a state of awe also encourages people to prefer experiences more than material items, and promotes greater life satisfaction. They determined that “the power of the awe” primarily comes from a heightened ability to be in the present moment when experiencing something that makes the jaw drop and the mind pays attention.
One of the most common questions I get about Feng Shui Mommy is “What’s the deal with the section on the Fourth Trimester? What the heck is the Fourth Trimester?”
The first three months of a baby’s life out of the womb are referred to by many as the “fourth trimester” – while the baby is no longer in the womb they are still helpless in so many ways and fully dependent on their mother.
These first three months out of the womb are also the first third of what is sometimes referred to as “exterior gestation.” This term comes from the belief that infants are born before their brains are fully matured (because their heads would be too large to fit through the birth path at full maturity) so, their brains finish growing when they are outside the womb.
During this “fourth trimester” the mother can no longer just take care of herself and trust that her baby will receive all he requires (as he did in the first three trimesters), she now has to be really intentional about caring for her own needs, while also of course caring for her infant who is now much more demanding than he was in the womb – it can be incredibly challenging/ overwhelming / (insert your favorite emotional adjective here)!
So, beyond the support I offer for the fourth trimester in Feng Shui Mommy I am now certified to teach HypnoMothering!
HypnoMothering is a 2.5 hour class for moms to be, new mothers, and moms of young children. Developed by two hypnotherapists, each a mother of twins, this fun, practical class teaches mothers easy and fast self-hypnosis techniques to make the most of limited sleep, keep calm and balanced on challenging days, and find focus and mindfulness amidst the myriad of feelings that mothers face.
I’ve had the pleasure of many amazing clients under the age of 18 (many of them under the age of 12) come through my hypnotherapy practice in the past few years, and after seeing similar issues come up over and over again (in my own child as well!) I decided to make a set of short hypnosis tracks to support children with the trickiest issues such as sleep, fears and phobias, potty training and bed wetting, and much more.
All recordings are under 10 minutes and follow a very specific formula geared towards offering children a clear, gentle, and effective experience.
If you’re interested, check them out here. (P.S. The page takes a few seconds to load.)
Here is a complimentary sample for you to check out 🙂
Fact: Pregnancy is related to sex and the naked female body. So, why are women being shamed for connecting to their innate sexiness and showing off their bare bellies?
Serena Williams recently appeared pregnant and nearly nude on the cover of Vanity Fair. Her beautiful image made me proud to be a woman, causing words like empowerment, courage, and goddess to float through my mind. But for others, words like “disgusting” and “trashy” floated from their minds and onto the internet, contributing to a disappointing trend of body-shaming pregnant woman who publicly display their pregnant form.
It’s not just celebrities who are being told to put their bare bellies away. When I was eight months pregnant, I went to the beach in a two-piece, trying to survive the triple digit temperature of the day. As soon as I plunked down into a beach chair, a woman rolled up to me and said, “Ma’am, please cover your belly. There are children at this beach.” I didn’t cover my belly.
I also recently received a tearful call from a pregnant girlfriend who had received negative comments from her in-law’s friends telling her the exposed-belly photos she had been posting on Facebook were “shameful.” She took them down.
If sports or socializing aren’t your thing, navigating school as an adolescent can be challenging.Avid reader Shayna Anne Rose, 10, discovered this truth in second grade when her teacher told her she could no longer read at recess and needed to interact with classmates.
To cope with this shift, Shayna started a class newspaper on the advice from her mom, Julie Rose, where she interviewed other students during recess. The paper was such a hit, classmates volunteered to help. Soon, Shayna had a “staff.”
As Shayna’s interviews grew in popularity, she reached beyond the playground and began interviewing teachers, police officers, and firefighters. The tipping point came when Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker agreed to be interviewed by the budding journalist. This interview was quickly followed by a chat with New England Patriot’s Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski, and two rather well-known people with the last names Clinton and Trump.
When a large cyst was found in my left ovary, a cyst that might be the first whisper of endometriosis, I felt shame: shame that I might not be able to conceive again, shame that this cyst had grown without my knowledge, shame that I must be broken.
Shame sauntered into that examination room, handed me a cold platter of pity, and said, “Infertility issues, huh? You should probably feel like less of a woman.”
And I did. As I walked out of the clinic I felt like a shaving of the whole woman who had walked in an hour prior. I eyed the other women in the waiting room, wondering what messages shame was feeding them.
After two hours crying in my car, and being the life of a raging pity party, I called bull.
Hi friends! Tune in to my interview with Marianne Pestana on her radio show tomorrow – info is below 🙂
Click here to listen LIVE on Friday, June 9th & Thursday, June 15th at 5am & 5pm EST!
Fear can be a catalyst for growth only when it is acknowledged and accepted, then shown the door.
When it becomes a festering guest it begins swallowing up your reserves of health, happiness, and sanity, sticking you in a “what-if” paralysis. The oftentimes-falseillusions that give birth to fear (e.g., a misconception that your body doesn’t know how to build and birth a baby) are frequently left unchecked in the vulnerable heart, mind, and body of the pregnant mama.
You may believe the fears are there to protect you, maybe to “prepare you for the worst.”
But instead of helping you prepare for an unlikely and unwanted outcome, the stress produced by these fears often creates the unwanted outcomes, like pregnancy complications, medical interventions, or postpartum depression.
You deserve to be nourished and honored as the radically capable and loving woman you are – and you’re just the person for the job.
But wait, is your inner “guilty mom monster” siphoning away all motivation for you to dip into the harmonizing waters of self-care instead sticking you in a perpetuating cycle of putting your own needs last?
Let’s be done with that – let’s move you up on your list of priorities.
Begin weaving the following practices into your daily way of being so you can blossom into the most vibrant version of you.
- Separate Your Emotions from Your Child’s. Do you feel intrinsically linked with your child’s well-being? Do you hurt when they hurt? Do you fill with joy when they fill with joy? While these shared emotions can be a testament to the strength of the mother-child bond, they also prevent you from supporting your child without fracturing your equilibrium.
I thought a lot about motherhood yesterday – how it has changed me, how it has reinforced traits I had before pregnancy, how it confuses and astounds me.
Then, I meditated for the first time in five months because I was given the ultimate #MothersDay gift: TIME.
As I meditated, I saw myself as an outline filled with hundreds of images and it was beautiful. It blew my mind… and my body… and my spirit.
We are never just one thing. As we grow and evolve, especially through pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood, we gain new layers, slough off those that no longer serve, and live life as dynamic and complex beings.
This (and all my free time!) inspired me to create collages based on the personalities, interests, fears, and dreams of the powerful women I have worked with – and am.
You can find them all here, http://www.baileygaddis.com/motherhood-collages.html
And I’ve attached a few for your perusal.
P.S. Because I’m on a “get Amazon reviews for book!” kick, I’ll send you your own custom mama collage if you leave a quick review, and then let me know 🙂
Are you due this summer and looking for one last dip into relaxation before the real fun begins? I’ve had a few readers ask me for summer #babymoon ideas and I thought of one of my fave spots, Lake Tahoe, and some fun (#pregnant lady approved) activities.
Here’s your mini guide to the ultimate Lake Tahoe baby moon:
Stay: Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe
While packing a baby in my womb I like to strap a seat belt on about as much as I like to drink two gallons of water and go for a jog. So, this resort is ideal as it allows you to walk to pretty much all of the following spots and offers rooms so comfortable you’d be happy to skip the activities and enjoy your final days of pregnancy resting and binging on television and room service.
Eat: Stillwater Pool Bar & Grill
This spot is my personal fave as it allows you to enjoy a meal while still wearing your damp bathing suit. A juicy cheese burger at this pool side eatery is just what the midwife ordered – and you already have a round belly so who cares about a bit of poolside bloat.
Explore: Sunset Catamaran Cruise
Explore Lake Tahoe without having to move your legs! This sunset cruise usually includes a captain overflowing with strange yet interesting history of the area and crew members that are rich with wit and jokes that are actually funny.
Pamper: Stillwater Spa & Salon
A spa trip is obligatory if you’re preggers, and you can tell your partner I said so. Ask about the Citrine Dream treatment, Basil, Cilantro and Avocado treatment, and couples packages – and don’t skip the pomegranate mocktail.
Happy baby mooning!
I’ve sought out the services of many “inner work facilitators”: hypnotherapists, meditation teachers, yoga instructors, psychologists, the eccentric old lady next door- pretty much anyone who would listen. I partook in all this wisdom seeking in the hopes of feeling like less of stranger to myself.
All the forementioned facilitators were lovely, providing open ears and sage words, but I usually left my time with these folks feeling confused, like I needed a wisdom decoder.
My desire for such a decoder persisted, until I met David Wagner. David is a transformational teacher and author of the book Backbone: The Modern Man’s Ultimate Guide to Purpose, Passion and Power – he aptly describes himself as “a combination of a healer, life coach, and life strategist.”
As a friend, David exudes a refreshing transparency: precise with his language, and unafraid to express love . . . or raw humor, or curiosity, or whatever the heck he feels compelled to express. As a teacher, David fully shows up for the individual he’s working with. Every time I’ve experienced David in a professional capacity, he seems to enter the space holding a proverbial clean slate – having no agenda but to support that person (or group of persons) through whatever they’re navigating, and to support them in finding their freedom and power in the process.
David’s responses to my scattered thoughts and emotions, during a private session, were so uncontrived and clear I felt them strike me in my core, then resonate up to my mind, where I experienced dozen of ah-has in the span of an hour.
Because of this clarity and candidness, I thought it best for David to speak for himself – so, I sat down with him in his cozy office in Ojai, CA to get a better glimpse of what it’s like to be David Wagner.
Bailey Gaddis: How would you describe what you do?
David Wagner: People work with me on whatever they’re navigating; I’m like a midwife of freedom and power for people. When people are at that point where they’re ready to break free, where they’re ready to unearth some inner power that was previously jammed up, then I can help them to do that – to create space for them as they do that; I can assist that, I don’t do it for them.
I have made it my work to understand people, and to understand the way people live a life of wisdom. Basically, I help people to have a relationship with God; God in the broadest sense, meaning a relationship with Spirit, or something greater than themselves, or some unseen element of life. In some cases, that’s a matter or training people in practices like meditation, self-inquiry, etc.
BG: Why do you think it’s important to approach spirituality in a straight forward, no-BS manner? Or is that even an intentional choice?
DW: It is intentional.
Many teachers talk in that soft “spiritual voice” and create a certain environment (chanting, incense, etc.): they have a certain style. Maybe it’s useful, maybe it’s not, but you feel better when you leave because you’ve been bathing in a vibe, which is great; but, that’s not natural for me.
There’s a place where spiritual teachers can talk in a really ordinary language. I live a relatively ordinary life, so it’s natural for me to use sort of ordinary language.
BG: How are you affected each time you lead a retreat, or work with a private client?
DW: Every time I teach it’s different. Whenever I’m doing whatever it is that I’m doing, I’m not completely in it the way I would be if I were only a participant, but I’m immersing myself in the content I’m offering. Often, when I’m teaching, I’ll hear myself say things that are much more enlightened or wise than I think of my actual experience being. So I’ll hear myself teaching and I’ll learn from listening to myself.
Also, being in the experiential process with people, I’m right there in it with them. So if we’re meditating together – the way I do it – we’re going into a shared psychic space together; I’m experiencing what you’re experiencing.
The other piece of it is, it’s just incredibly moving for me to see people interacting with grace, and to see people going through the process of transformation – when they do it.
BG: What were the primary catalysts that led you to teaching?
DW: It’s my dharma; I was born to do this. So, in some ways it’s one of the only things I’ve been able to do well and feel like “yeah, this is my thing.” So that’s part of it, but the way I first got into spirituality was in AA when I was very young, a teenager. There was a heavy emphasis on service, and we had this expression, “you’ve got to give it away to keep it.” So, that was a general orientation and I discovered that was a really good way to stay sober and assimilate the work of transformation if I knew that I was going to have to help other people go through that process.
I also had a moment when I was in college [an art student.] I took a course called Mystical Consciousness, East and West, and it was a really cool teacher who was exposing us to all these different mystical traditions. One of the things he exposed us to was mystical Christianity. He showed us a documentary about mother Teresa, and there’s a scene where she and some missionaries have to go in and rescue children that are abandoned in a hospital in a war torn area. She enters the hospital and picks up an emaciated baby and looks at the baby, strokes the baby and says “beautiful child,” with so much love, and poise, and steadiness. She’s radiating so much love. It hit me in that moment; I realized that I could be whatever I want to be in this life. I could be a vehicle for God’s love on Earth; that was an option to me. Once I saw that I could do that, the realization erased all other options; there was nothing else I could do, as my main thing in life.
The way that I’m teaching right now, something that I’ve settled into over the past 15 or 20 years, is the most natural expression of that calling.
BG: When men complete Backbone, how do you hope their life (or their perception of their life) has shifted?
DW: It depends on the man. I wrote Backbone because after many years of teaching I realized 95% of the people I was working with were female, and the other 5% [the men] were already very open. There was no Oprah for men; so women had this huge expanse as a group, and men stayed out of it.
I wrote Backbone, and some of the men’s training that I do, to answer that. I wrote it in a way so a man that’s already on a spiritual path, could read it and find a masculine expression of his spirituality; and for a man who has no idea about his spirituality, the book can act like a primer for having an inner life.
A lot of men don’t really have a conscious inner life, and so if a man reads Backbone it can be confronting – they may need to take breaks. They’re confronted with the knowing that they can create themselves; they’re confronted with the idea that their life is theirs and the way that they are is their choice. If they get some tools about how to that from the book, I consider that an extra bonus.
To learn more about David, visit his website DavidWagner.com
This interview has been condensed.