In a month or so I will be going on maternity leave. In the last two weeks I have been giving in to plenty of nest-y impulses – cleaning, clearing and reorganising. And I have surprised myself by experiencing a new surge of energy for Lifebulb and a rather different perspective on the best way to approach my work.

This will be my second birth. For the first, I attended a hypnobirthing course – twice over. None of it stuck with me, and when labour started I hadn’t embedded any of the practices well enough – nor truly believed in them – for it to occur to me to even try to put myself in a state of deep relaxation. It was a fast and extremely intense labour – just 2.5 hrs – and was painful beyond anything I have ever experienced.

This time round I haven’t attended any courses. But I have been listening to the hypnobirthing tracks again, and something seems to have clicked. I went to the dentist last week to have an old filling drilled out. He suggested that we try to remove it without an injection, but that I should raise my hand if it was needed. I agreed. Although we didn’t know it, under the filling my tooth was rotten. As he began to drill, I practiced the self-hypnosis techniques. I was still aware of what was going on, but the pain and discomfort were no longer centre stage. I didn’t raise my hand. When he finished he congratulated me for being tough – but of course actually the opposite was true. My whole body, breath and being was soft and at ease.

I have also been joyfully re-educating myself on straightforward and easy childbirth (sounds impossible? There are now hundreds of hypnobirthing women on YouTube, laughing and chatting or in full, deep relaxation right until the moment that they ‘breathe the baby down’, without apparent pain. Here is one of my favourites) Not only is this changing my perception of birth, and connection to my body and baby, but of how powerfully our fables of fear affect each other, and what is possible when we re-examine them or work to dissolve them. I am in the process of creating self-hypnosis tracks for myself; for work, for self-development; to overcome the negative beliefs that limit me. It is a truly wonderful, heart-opening experience. So much to do before this spring-time baby arrives.

I have no idea how this next birth will go – I am by no means a seasoned practitioner. But I do know that self-hypnosis has given me a new tool to play with on the path to delight and love. Fancy stepping into a delicious alternative reality anyone?

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Exploring Self-Hypnosis