Naoli is a midwife and she talks of the amazing depth of maternal instinct that we all have that gets ignited during pregnancy. She believes it’s most useful for us as pregnant women to expose ourselves to a wide range of advice and then apply only what feels useful to us. She says that we know best, even better than medical professionals, about what is going to work and feel good for us. Sometimes what feels best goes against societal norms.
I agree. It’s easy, when certain choices are expected or assumed, to thoughtlessly follow along. What’s expected and/or assumed might work just perfectly for us, certainly. And, it might not. We want to give ourselves the chance to consider all possible alternatives that might feel good, not just the “typical” choices. And, then to give ourselves the permission to freely choose what works best, even if it might make others uncomfortable.
This can be a tough one. I know many of you, like me, are fearful of the judgment that comes with doing something that is unexpected, out of the norm, or that might not present us as 100 percent fully competent super woman every moment of every day. This is an opportunity to increase your capacity to not concern yourself with the opinions of others.
Naoli practiced what she preaches during her pregnancy and completely set aside her concerns of what others might think! She, for example, gave herself permission to fall asleep during a meeting at work. It was one of those “everyone around the conference table” meetings. She was feeling extremely tired, and she simply and unapologetically allowed herself to go to sleep at the table. Amazingly, she unabashedly gave herself permission to give herself what she needed in that moment regardless of what others, including herself, might think about it.
Undoubtedly, for some of you, falling asleep in a work meeting might be well beyond your comfort zone or what you consider to be acceptable behavior. I’d be with you on that. I share Naoli’s story because I want to challenge you to challenge yourself to stretch your boundaries. See if you can take time for yourself even when you feel others are relying on you to prepare dinner, submit a project report, or pick up the snack for the basketball game. Make sure you’re giving yourself full permission to follow your intuition in the moment, even if your instincts are pointing towards something whimsical or unexpected or seemingly inappropriate.