Tag Archives: baby

Being very (selflessly) selfish

Sometimes I feel that extended breastfeeding, (by now we are 1.5 years and going strong) or even breastfeeding on demand, is a very selfish act. I get to have theo in my arms very often, it gives me a break, a pause in the day when I need to sit and just be (at the beginning this was really hard, sitting for so many hours), I don’t need to worry so much about that he eats so much, I don’t have to prepare any bottles, I get to be cuddled and caressed (he pulls at my hair all the time while breastfeeding), and and I get to reconnect. Those lovely eyes when he looks at me are killing. And the oxytocin of course! The rush in love hormones is priceless!
Well that compensates for the sleepless nights breastfeeding on and on (still waking many times to feed at night-I keep there as well an attitude of no hope). No sleep training in this house allowed, I want to be selfish, very selfish and feed him the breast, when he feels bad, sick, tired, hungry, overexcited, lost, happy and sleepy. All those times. I am very very selfish.
Part of this selfishness is not my fault. It was because my firstborn died and my cells have evperienced loss. They have come to know that what is one day, may not be the next. It is a cellular memory, I can’t do anything about it. So I’m selfish. and give the breast as if it was the last day I have.
Before we start judging we must accept that for every person, every situation, every relation, there is a destiny. And let’s accept that destiny without comparing. Tomorrow may be a whole different story.
So
Let’s be all very selflessly selfish.

Small insights from a sleeping posture

A few nights ago I got a virus. Nothing extraordinary, but I was weaker than usual so I put Theo to breastfeed before going to sleep on the bed (he usually only eats and falls asleep in arms, even now at 9-months). That day I asked him kindly to understand that I couldnt carry him, and although it took longer than usual, he was patient enough and finally did fall asleep.
Next day when I was already feeling better, I tried the same thing. It was of course not the same situation and he knew it, it took us quite long and at the end he didn’t fall asleep, he got very tired and frustrated and he didn’t understand why now we had to do it like this. It had been my intention to see he difference, and I learnt quite a lot about how the reason behind makes all the difference.
He wants to fall asleep in arms. He wants me to be next to him when he is sleeping. That’s not too much to ask is it? I provide him as much as I can, and do it with gratitude. One day will come when he won’t want me there and won’t need me to fall asleep. That day will come probably sooner than I will want, so why push it?
Children understand more than we adults think. We sometimes dont realize that they are fully conscious beings with need and right for respect just as all others. If we want to instill in them values, let’s then go for the ultimate values of respecting others just as we would like to be respected.
Being a parent is a sacrifice and it is a big one. It is not Fair for the children that you “get away with it” by trying to teach them something they don’t want to learn. There are also times when I would like to fall asleep in my husbands arms, or when I need some comfort. We are all humans, day and night, and children also need us during the night, with the same love and understanding as during the day. That is part of the sacrifice, the difference lies in my attitude: do I do it because I have to, with a face and rolling my eyes? Or do I do it from my heart, with love and compassion and voluntarily, because I want to? (all things in life indeed can be dramatically changed by asking ourselves these questions). And even if it is something that I do not want to do (like going again for the 7th time in two hours to get him to sleep), my attitude makes the difference. After all here is absolutely nothing in this world that I HAVE to do, all is free choice.
A small note: when I lost my first daughter I noticed some of my friends with toddlers that the mother often rolled her eyes to certain behaviors like tantrums. I promised myself I would never ever do that to my children.
In love for the divine in all,
Sukhdev

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Your child wants you to be present

Sat nam dear family,
I have been lately so concerned on getting Theo to sleep well, trying to analyse different methods for baby sleep (cry it out, no-cry sleep solution, all kinds of advice..) without really feeling that any of these is the one that works for us (didnt even feel like trying out any). It has been really hard to get him to sleep lately, taking over an hour and he’s whining, eventually crying…
Today I found the key. 
He is sound asleep after 20 minutes of pure pleasure.
What I did?
I breathed differently, and it all changed. I didnt feel anymore like I wanted to escape from there, I was present with Theo and enjoyed putting him to sleep, and I was there voluntarily instead of feeling like dragged in to do it. And I felt intuitive and creative enough to make up a new fun sleep routine which we both enjoyed.  
This new routine was: go to bed, dim the lights, sing our lullaby (while continuing with the rest until he sleeps) change diapers, massage with lavender oil, put pijamas on, (allow him to be and move while doing all this, all this time I was consciously expanding and coming down into my grounds mentally and physically), breastfeed, after a while he didnt want to breastfeed anymore, sat up and played a little bit (and I allowed it calmly which was something I didnt do before, and it was great – he actually always sees and tries to reach the water bottle so I decided we “put the bottle to sleep” together), then I laid him on the bed and pat him from head down to his toes while singing for a good 3 minutes (not just 5 times… to let his energy down, and I saw him start to calm down), and breastfeed again, this time after a bit of kicking and moving around he settled down calmly and sound asleep after a few minutes.
It was all a combination of what I did physically and mostly what I did energetically. I changed my feeling of “wanting to be somewhere else” (having 10s other things to do waiting for me: emails, work, dinner…) into choosing to be in the moment with him and enjoy it. That was it. That was the golden key which I had been looking for! 
Your baby wants you to be present. All babies need physical contact and all are fighting to get it, thats why they wake up at night, want to be carried and held, play with you, sleep close to you. Since our minds are somewhere else, we are not fully present with our children they get our presence only partially, and they keep yearning for more. The moment you start giving (constantly) full presence, the less your baby will be needy for you and the less you will feel dragged into the parenthood and everyday duties. When we give only partial presence to our babies (and also to husband, even to ourselves!) they become needy, whiny and grumpy. We are actually teaching them that in life, you can only give partial attention and presence to others, so they start acting the same way. The challenge lies in accepting and living the full presence of oneself, which at the beginning can be scary (am I really that great and divine? can I really just be and not do-do-do all the time?), and as we start expanding that awareness more and more into every day, into each breath, the simpler all gets.
As easy as a baby sleeping (parents will recognise the paradox in this)
The breath that helped me was to inhale while expanding into myself (if visualizing my lungs and chest grow sideways, not vertically), and exhaling coming back inside (like a reverse fountain, downwards and into my core/ground, not exhaling my soul out and up away from my body). Hard the first few times, but I started to enjoy it more and more and Im sure this is something that will stick to me for the rest of my life.

The hardest practice is not to run away. Can you BE while doing all the things you do? Can you dedicate your life to being present, regardless of where, what or how you are? 
Such is my prayer that you and I live in constant applied awareness
In humble service,
Sukhdev K

8 months… into the ocean

A thought has been haunting me lately about the next step in our family life. Theo is already 8 months and although it sounds funny or strange, as a mother I feel him as still that tiny baby. My mother says that even 30 years from now, to her eyes we are still the same. Many others might agree.

Yet our relationship has been evolving and changing, routine slightly evolved and grown. He acts and does more things and is now more ‘human’ like… I had Always the feeling that as a baby he was more living the life of an angel (some call them fetuses..) not really human, not really here in this world.
What is stronger is now the change of energy and in a lack if better word, what astrologers might refer to as ‘ruling house’.

When Theo was a small baby, I experienced strongly the effects of the number 1: humility, need for developing patience and endurance (those long endless nights and days which were no different from each other, wakings and crying without any possibility to do anything), the surrendering when realizing that now he is outside (it may sound logical but as experience it was (still is) quite challenging and slow to realise), the timelessness of those sleepless moments and never ending arm carrying, the infinite and ageless wisdom from his eyes, the strong foundation to be formed by the first 40 days and 3.5 months, the love and headless heart needed for the journey, confusion and overwhelmedness of my new role as a mother, the ‘mysteries’ of motherhood and parenthood (as an unreachabley high standard), the need to focus on the one and only task in front (baby), the seed implanted in our relationship, in his life and karma; the need to set up a clear intention of my task as a mother (protection, love, patience), clarity of vision for choices of breast feeding with no bottle, no pacifier, no distractions nor ‘easy routes’, the determinism to keep up with those decisions and keep them clear despite the constant reminders by others of the ‘easy way out’ commodities (like pacifiers or medicine), the patience to carry him as much as possible (99% of the time) next to my body to remind both of us of the oneness in all, the breast feeding on demand as a reminder to my surrendering to his essential inner wisdom, the leaving all external influences out as much as possible to focus and con-centrate on the inner world, honoring his sleep, rest and quietness, listening and tuning into his world and experiences.

Slowly these experiences have given way to a stronger influence of the number 2, after approximately 6 months after birth: me being dreamy and off concentration, feeling of being dragged by the everyday routine (being out of hands), establishing more the role of me as the nurturer, the keeping up with breast feeding on demand while including solids, the need for moving on into a more structured life (2 as a link to 3), being a mother and remaining also a woman, keeping the obedience to the intention and to listen to my intuition and soul inspire of the fuzziness, starting to set up needed limits to our relationship and to Theos behaviour (like no biting the breast, no scratching my face, unavoidability to put on winter clothes on..), to recognize my own personal needs parallel to his (when in 1 I would retract and completely bow to his needs first and only, which sometimes meant no toilet breaks or no food for a while), his becoming more emotional and reactive as part of a natural evolution of his character, and my need for structure and force (need for 3 and routine, structure and my own space and time, the timing of everything and in general experiencing time, the letting go of unconscious fears, the realisation of the organic and biological relation between us and our processes, the drowsiness and dreaminess of a breast feeding life informed by the return to work (teaching yoga) experienced as a polarity, and the journey of separation of us as two entities in two bodies and the growing gap between us (which in this second stage is healthy and in the first stage seemed completely impossible), having the devotion to continue with the dedication and intention set up in our relationship as mother-son and also in the cosmic play of teacher-student (at the same time I am and he is my student and teacher)
I’m blessed to have the consciousness to go through this process accompanied by these teachings and also to share it with others through this writing.

Keep tuned!

In love and devotion,
Sukhdev Kaur

some thoughts on motherhood

Motherhood is actually the chance to practice all I believe in, going beyond the thinking of what others might think, and diving deeply into the seed and the soul of my child. The more I can teach him by my own centeredness, zooming in and out from the 1 to the 10, from the situation into the big picture and viceversa, realising of the situation. Parenting is when children reflect the mirror of what we show them. And motherhood (as pregnancy, childhood, adulthood, and well, LIFE)is the time to keep in mind (and meditate on) the nine treasures:

1 humility

2 loyalty and devotion

3 equality

4 selfless service

5 sacrifice

6 fearlessness

7 forgiveness

8 compassion

9 peace

and also, the 10th hidden treasure behind all, which is courage

The things I learnt from my 40 days after birth

– Accepting that my child came to this world to learn something (even though I don’t know what it is) and that he has his own karma (which is partly also my karma). All that happens during birth and the first fourty days after birth (eg unexpected changes in plans, complications) is part of that higher plan in which we all fit in, although we don’t always see it.

– The only thing that never changes is that everything changes. Although it may seem that the sleepless nights will never end, they actually will end, sooner or later.

– It is unbelievable how flexible the human body, mind and heart can be. Allow yourself the flexibility to become a mother. I never would have imagined before that I could sleep in such strange and seemingly uncomfortable positions such as the ones I sleep in when Theo wants to sleep on top of me. And I did manage to sleep in such positions. Get someone to do a massage to recover from such events.

– Accept help from loved ones. I would not have managed to come out happily and easily out from the exhaustion of birth and postpartum without the great help from my parents. If it is cooking you a nice meal, rocking the baby while you take a nap, or even changing a diaper, bringing some food from the shop. From my mother I got great emotional and spiritual help and support with all kinds of new-mother’s questions.

– Trust your intuition. At first I thought that intuition would just be there or come instantly on the first cry of the baby, but I realised that it is something that builds up, that you learn together with your baby. It comes with listening to his needs, to your heart and to experiences. With each day I learnt something new and listening to what my baby wanted in an ethereal way. Trust that intuition, if you feel that this is what your baby is telling you he needs, then go for it. All others might say other things but YOU are the mother and your link with your child is infinite, beyond this world, indescribable. You don’t need to explain why and how you feel this is what your baby needs, just trust that feeling.

– Give yourself a moment each day, to be with yourself and meditate, stretch, breathe or at least enjoy a warm shower (for this you need the support of your husband or a loved one who takes care of the baby)

– Patience, patience, patience. And more patience. In the learning of anything new, you need to be attentive and listen, and have patience with your baby, with your partner, with yourself. Having a baby is a whole new yoga – union – and as any new yogas, you start from scratch and you need to build up on experience. Keep in mind always that union and that connection with the infinite which is beyond this world. In those long sleepless nights of the beginning, when there was no more hope to get sleep and patience was scarce, I thought  to myself (and to my baby) something like this “patience is nothing that I can run out of, since I have no patience, patience has me and it is endless”. For this, a great support was the affirmation by Yogi Bhajan “patience pays”. (words and affirmation here)

– See the big picture. This is a hard one. As a new mother, your baby draws you into a very small picture, which is only the space between you and him (usually, and ideally, only a few centimeters or not even that if you are often skin-to-skin). When it gets hard, like when your child is crying inconsolably at night because of colic, and you feel you cannot do anything (you have probably already tried everything), just open your heart, thank your child for crying and communicating (and thank god for giving your child lungs and the strength to cry), and open the space to uphold your child and his cry within your heart. It will soon be over (and if its not then there might be something more than just colic so check that) and your child will be off stress and sleeping soundly. Sometimes crying is needed (although every time Theo cries my heart shrinks to the size of a raisin). Seeing the big picture also implies understanding with the mind that these times will pass, so you might as well enjoy it. And it also means that there is a reason for everything – even your not understanding why he is crying or why he is not sleeping or eating as usual. Your baby is a human like you and me – somedays you are more hungry than others, some days in a bad mood. Just keep an open heart to accepting everything and not expecting anything in advance. Your child knows what he needs – trust that beyond anything others might say.

– Enjoy every moment. Everyone has heard stories of mothers who stay staring at their babies all the time, and accordingly melt to that vision. Allow yourself to fall in love with your child again and again. It is nature’s way of making sure everything is taken care of for our little ones, and to remind us that there are greater things in this world than we can ever think of with our functional brain.

– Allow yourself to shut down from the outside world. Even reading an email in the first days after birth was hard. No brain, no thinking was easy. Let someone else take care of the rational things, give yourself the time to be only with your baby and mind only baby business. 40 days in your life without having to worry about other things is such a short time after all.

– Learn from each other. Your child communicates with you every moment. Allow him the opportunity to communicate with you, and listen attentively. Listen to his changing needs, every day you can discover something new, in this amazingly quickly growing moment of his life. This is the time when he will change the most, grow the most and he needs the most support from you. Be with him, carry him as much as possible, protect and provide all he needs. Give him the security and strength you want him to have all his life, if you do this now he will have it forever. He will be self-confident, and I see that already after the 40 days, my baby who before wanted to be in my arms all the time, now he needs and demands his space and solitude for some times of the day. He can rest from his mother for a while, and he needs that space, already now.

– Relax. Every new mother wants to do everything perfectly. You are the perfect mother already, you don’t need to become it. I got into a lot of stress trying to do everything “right”, and after some hard lessons I realised that everything I do will be right for my child when I do it consciously. I cannot protect him from everything in this life, I can only do my best, and let God do the rest. If there are flaws in your partner, in your home, in yourself and in your day, it is fine. Just trust the infinite and relax. If a mother is stressed, the whole family and home is in stress. If you are happy, relaxed and centered in yourself, the home will be like that. Treat yourself and others kindly.

– Don’t think too much. It can damage your relationship with your partner, put you under lots of stress. Better just focus on your intuition and shut down your brain. In its due time, your brain can be re-awakened. Just focus on loving and providing all for your child, and love all, be compassionate to all (including yourself).

 

Reporting from the 40 day blessing

On those moments of despair, when baby is crying uncontrollably every second hour of the night, I see his pain (emotional pain mostly) and I know that I can’t do anything to change that, there must come a higher power to remember and remind baby that he is part of
god, that the universe holds him and to remember the connection to the soul. To dwell in god and find strength within, mostly as the mother, and call that unconditional and indescribable love for this soul in a wordly pain, opening up the space in order to allow the healing to happen. In those moments, I bow to the infinite wisdom to shield us and protect us and cover for us and that pain, since love is beyond all patience and suffering. Holding the baby, providing warmth, protection, safety, compassion, understanding and love is sometimes all that we can do for them. That is already a high blessing. When Theo cries, I constantly thank him for letting me know of his needs, there is nothing greater than the power to be alive and breathing and ask for what you need. I remember that longing to hear Vida’s cry when I lost her, and that is a constant reminder of the bliss behind every challenge in motherhood. Thank you Theo for crying.

Patience pays. Staying with the baby for the first 40 days of his life helps to build him strong in self-confidence and to reassure him that he has a place in this world.

Now that our 40 days are coming to an end, i am very thankful that I had this time to get to know Theo so well and also to see him grow and mature so quickly. Its amazing to see how fast time goes, and all the changes that it brings.