Small Blessings Blog

Let the nourishment flow... Our first wave of postnatal sevadars is here

Jai Ram Kaur Hergo - Tuesday, September 03, 2019

If I were into conspiracy theories I could probably find one to fit this situation. In this western culture we are so effectively hypnotised into thinking we are alone that obvious, simple and doable ways to get together and nourish each other almost don’t occur to us. 


And also new mothers sit there alone with their babies, unnourished and unsupported, at a time when actually, in a healthy society, you would think that all resources would be pooled to flow towards her in this crucial time. 

Well, we woke up.


Last Saturday was the first edition of the 40 Day Blessing Postnatal Sevadar training here in Perth. It was just 6 hours, with a lot of richness to jam in, but we did it. And had a beautiful special for the postnatal time ayurvedic 3 course meal prepared by the women as well. 


                 


One woman told me that the next day she felt healed, calm and quiet through hearing of the teachings, learning how to serve women in this 40 day fourth trimester window. She felt the sadness and loss of her own postnatal time which was lacking in this nourishment. And in the food that we prepared and ate together was some kind of medicine that she felt healed this pain. So there is some powerful magic afoot when that happens.


Sevadar means one who serves selflessly. Frances Parkhowell of Perth Postnatal Village and Chair of Australian Doulas and I gave 11 women a training that covered the Kundalini Yoga teachings on this time – physical, emotional, spiritual; the scientific, hormonal and physiological correlates to these understandings; what a sevadar does; how to create clear documents with a check list of things you offer, from cooking, cleaning the house, taking care of older children to massage and nourishing conversation; how to create an agreement document to facilitate a clear relationship with the one receiving service; massage; belly binding; ayurvedic food as medicine .. and more. 


                      


We have emerged with a group of women who feel nourished possibly in places they didn’t realise were malnourished, and who are ready to wisely and tenderly serve their nieces and daughters when they have their babies. But also who are ready to serve other women in Perth who need it. 

It’s just a beginning, but a beautiful and encouraging one. 


If you are in Perth reading this and will be in your own 40 day blessing soon and this strikes a chord, get in touch with me. Perhaps there is a woman in your area who is available to offer you some help. And if you would like to be involved or come to the next training, also let me know so I can keep you posted. 


It is such a small distance really to reach across to take another woman’s hand. Such a small act, and yet the ripples of healing and happiness from that act may, eventually, be enough to change the world, one woman, one baby, one family at a time. 

My 40 Day Blessing experience

Jai Ram Kaur Hergo - Thursday, August 22, 2019


My 40 Day Blessing experience 

3 children under 5 and more peaceful and restful than I had ever felt!

Me reading in Foods for Health and Healing, planning what I would like to ask to have cooked for me next :-)

Living in Berlin, when I got pregnant with our third child, I knew that I had to do something radical to help me through the 40 days following birth. The two older children were less than 2 and about 3.5. It had been an intense few years already!

Thank god, by that stage I was immersed in my own yoga practice and also in a community of people who also knew and understood the teachings of Kundalini Yoga on the 40 days following birth. They saw the value for themselves of that time and also the value of offering Seva - selfless service. Plus they cared.

So I put out the call to the community for sevadars to come and help us. 
It took some organising, but in the end we had 3 different women at different times come and stay in a friends' flat just down the road which just happened to be empty for that time and look after me. One of these beautiful sevadars, Petra, is in the picture below. 

It felt luxurious. It felt a touch over the top at first. They cooked for me, cleaned, did washing, delivered and picked up the other kids from their kinderladen, made me endless cups of yogi tea (caffeine-less chai) and were generally wonderful. I quickly got over that feeling of indulgence, however, and lay back and enjoyed it. It was snowing and cold outside and to be inside in this bubble, with my baby and family while I healed and rested, breastfed and ate, was incredible. It felt like what I'd needed to do for years. My whole life perhaps. 


By the time the last sevadar left, I felt so full of beans. I felt ready to be a mother of 3. I was excited for it. Not anxious or overwhelmed. I didn't feel alone. I didn't feel exhausted. I felt energetic, balanced, peaceful and joyful. When I finally ventured out into the world with my small caravan of children, people literally commented on how peaceful and calm I seemed. They couldn't understand it. I knew it was because I had been able to touch into a deep well of peace inside of me and I was just still sitting near that well. And that I was able to take the time to find that because of the service of these sevadars.

Time went on and this peacefulness became a little ruffled. Staying there is the challenge. But I will never forget that. And my daughter Sophia's nervous system - her whole being - is imprinted with this deep peace. 

I also know what it is to feel scared, depressed and disconnected as a new mother. That story goes differently. 

When we nourish mothers we are investing in a lot more than just one woman (though that in itself would be enough). Her state imprints the baby. Her sense of herself a mother is forged there. If we don't value the mothers, what kind of society are we? If we won't bring compassion and care there, where will be bring it?

One woman at a time, one baby and family at a time, we can help to bring more peace, more deep security, to our planet


Miscarriage & termination - honouring what is

Jai Ram Kaur Hergo - Friday, July 26, 2019
Everything that is must be honoured.


My husband is a psychologist and facilitator of systemic family constellations.


This approach works with the family (or other system) field in which any individual exists and recognises that there is a lot going on in that field that influences us, and that is often fully outside of our conscious knowledge. Stories that have been passed down, patterns in relationships, emotions we carry for other family members, mis(identifications), ideas and beliefs that inform our sense of belonging, for better and for worse.


As an assistant and sometimes translator at these workshops, as part of the process of disentangling what is entangled and restoring what we call “the orders of love”, I’ve now stood in the shoes of hundreds of humans and felt what they feel. It’s humbling, educating, healing and also very inspiring.

I’ve learned a lot too about women and their babies.

I’ve learned that there is not a single baby that does not matter to the mother. 

It is such a profound thing, to carry a life inside of you, and the love is so great and involuntary that it changes the course of your life forever. 




Currently many are reeling from the ban on abortion in some states of America. The teachings of Kundalini Yoga are clear on this matter: the one who should decide what is to happen with a pregnancy is always the woman herself. Also, we say that the soul only comes in to the body at 120 days into pregnancy, so that has an influence. 

That women should decide over their own lives, hearts and bodies is not up for discussion. But it is so important, as I have learned standing in all those shoes, to see things as they are, to stand in and see and feel what is and to honour what is. There can be no peace without that.

A woman who has miscarried (though the amount of miscarriages that went by unnoticed is probably huge, and this is not what I am referring to here, but rather the miscarriages that felt significant and were very much noticed) carries that baby forever more, nonetheless. The grief and loss are huge, so that carrying that with us makes our hearts bigger out of necessity, to hold all that. Other, perhaps less progressed miscarriages aren't always acknowledged for the impact they have. They aren't considered significant enough. But, the truth is, in many cases the baby remains as a presence carried in the woman's heart forever, whether acknowledged or not. And that matters. 

 Honouring what is is all that humans can do. And it is a lot. Taking the time and space to fully honour and acknowledge that baby opens the door to a peace that perhaps sometimes we didn't know was missing until we felt it. And, a lesser thought of but hugely influential fact, this honouring also has a significant relieving effect on children who were born after the miscarriage, as these ones often feel not quite right, or even guilty of being alive, until this child who passed is fully honoured and given a good place in the family system. This we clearly see in family constellation work. 

Let's also think about terminations of pregnancy. There is not a rule to say how significant this is for a woman. But what we can see is that here too, women carry all their babies with them emotionally and spiritually, regardless. That a life did not come into being because of her (and the father’s) decision is something that too needs to be acknowledged. There are many good, responsible and valid reasons why a woman might terminate a pregnancy. It is never here about morals. Natural laws are just that: natural. Morality and judgement is man-made – projected on top of what just is. 

 To live with the full significance and consequence of our actions and to be with what is, to embrace what is and give the unborn baby a good place in your heart, all that is dignifying, strengthening and healing. It makes you grow as a person. And then life can go on with a deeper grace, a deeper reality and a freedom to live a future that is not hampered negatively by the past. Rather the past enriches the present and blesses the future.  Everything that is must be honoured.

If you feel stirred or triggered by this post because of experiences of your own, you may wish to get in touch with me for a private session. There are simple and quite light though deep ways to move through this process which have a significantly positive ripple-on effects in your life in unexpected and surprising ways. More info here. 

Also, if you feel called to know more about systemic family constellations, check out Beant’s website. We offer regular workshops in the Fremantle area. 
photo by Korrakit Pinsrisook

Cycles of Life - everything in its own time

Jai Ram Kaur Hergo - Saturday, April 20, 2019
   


Cycles of Life ~ everything in its own time

Kundalini Yoga teachings tell us that for the first 3 years of life the baby shares 8 of his or her 10 spiritual bodies with the mother. At 3 the child has their own 10 bodies and is fully separate. It takes a full 3 years for this to happen! And at this time a significant shift in the relationship can be experienced.


Life is understood backwards but is lived forwards.
First time mothers can be forgiven for thinking “Will I be in this cave forever?! Have “i” as I know myself disappeared for good? Is this it now?” 


How could you know that a new phase is coming.. and a new one .. and a new one?
So let me reassure you women in those first 6 intense and intensely self-sacrificing months: it will change, and quite soon.
At around 6 months a reorientation happens.
The first phase of firmly establishing a security and a deep bond and a sense of foundation, messy as it can get, imperfect as it may seem, is as important as it is inevitable.
You’re doing such important work there. 


And meanwhile you yourself are experiencing unprecedented growth in your humanity.
You may feel like you live in a cave or a pressure cooker. That’s necessary. It will pass.
At 6 months your eyes open wider along with your baby’s. The world opens up again with new possibilities. The father role becomes more activated as the baby has the inner security to be ready to open up into the world more.
And at 3 years this intense nurturing, nourishing, foundation-laying time will be finished. And a new cycle will begin.


So take a deep breath.
Feel accomplished. Honour yourself deeply and do and think what sustains and enriches you on the journey.
You are nursing a soul into the world as much as a body and a mind.


“In your caliber there is a consciousness. In that consciousness there is a caring being. In that caring being there is God. That's all I am saying. Look to your vastness. Look to your bigness. Look to your totality. Don't look to the little things.”
Yogi Bhajan





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