As she sang to me that first time, i began to understand the importance of being in the womb; of allowing ourselves and others to be in the womb.
There is so much rushing in America to get out. As there is with anything else in America, rushing. But there is so much value in not rushing. There is so much value in being in the womb at times.
The womb is a warm, quiet, and dark place where we grow and develop. It is a receptive place. In the womb all we do is receive. There is a retreat from giving, and a singular purpose of receiving. We receive nourishment. Nutrients for body and for soul. We are usually alone in the womb although we are being fed by at least one other, a mother.
Anytime we are in a life transition, healing from illness or injury, giving birth, or dying. is a good time for womb time. Just as the wild animals know to do, and my grandmother’s cattle. They hole up somewhere away from the herd in some grassy bank of earth.
The isolation, break from everyday routine, internal focus and biochemically or physiologically-induced changes may all lead to an altered state of consciousness while we are in the womb. This altered state of consciousness is powerful, our bodies can do things in them that they wouldn't normally or otherwise do. When we come out of the womb we are transformed. We have changed somehow and in some way.
The celestial cycles offer further natural times for being in the womb. The winter season here in the northern hemisphere is a time that we can rest in the cave of regeneration. The new moon each month may also be considered as a natural time for us to turn inwards rather than outwards, as the full moon tends to draw us to do.
The ideal womb is a place of unconditional love and complete acceptance. It is a safe place, a safe container. In the water of the womb you may dream, imagine, and feel.
I saw my 22 year-old daughter in the womb. She quietly knew that this is where she needed to be after her accident. Yet even i wanted to coax her out into the sunshine and fresh air. Encouraging movement and the light of day. Even i wanted to save her from the sadness that she was feeling, even though i know that it is in the depths of sadness that a holiness may be found.
There was an urgency from the whole world it seemed to rush my daughter back out and into classes, onto the streets and into the buses. To be seen when she didn’t want to be seen.
Why would we all be using this as a marker of progress or success so early in the game? When clearly, womb time was needed.
I decided to be completely okay with my daughter’s womb time. To relax around it entirely without worry or fear. To fully embrace the absolute rightness and need and worth of it.
There is no objectivity when you see your own child in pain. Yet objectivity is exactly what she needs. An absolute and unshakable trust in her and in life.
I consciously created some womb time for myself, allowing myself to bask and contemplate. I understood then, that my role, like a midwife, was to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and the birth of the new baby, steadfastly holding the vision of the the end goal, the desired result, when, in so much pain, the woman in labor cannot.
When we step away from the hubbub of activity, either by choice or circumstance, we find ourselves in a sacred place. We can hear that still quiet voice within, or if you like, God.
It was my dear friend and Sufi sister, Cynthia R.,who was like mother to me while I was in the womb, singing healing prayers in Arabic over the phone, rich soul food, an unforgettable experience.