Many years ago I went skiing with some hot shot male friends - you know the type: over confident 20 -something dudes, completely lacking in a sense of their own mortality. Fun, but crazy. And then there was me, a wimpy intermediate skier at best - preferring to stick to the nice, easy, meandering paths down the mountain. At one point I find myself at the top of a very steep, double black diamond hill next to one of these guys completely by accident. I turn to him, looking down this crazy hill, scared out of my gourd and say "Hey, this is way too steep, I can't ski this whole mountain!". And in his best Buddha like voice he turns back to me and says "You don't have to ski the whole mountain. Just the two feet in front of you".
And there it is. This isn't a pregnancy story, but I often start my pre-natal yoga classes with this story because it is actually the perfect pregnancy (and life!) story. It's all about the overwhelm - pregnancy, childbirth and parenting is that crazy double black diamond hill. It's completely scary and overwhelming. But the reality is that you don't have to do it all at once - you just take it moment by moment, contraction by contraction, breath by breath. Pema Chodron, the acclaimed Tibetan Buddhist Monk, has a simple practice for overwhelm - when you find yourself overwhelmed, just stop. Stop and take three deep breaths. And as one moment moves into the next one, you will find yourself managing it, little by little. Even when you lose your stuff, even when you think you can't do any more, there it is, the next moment, the next breath, the next contraction, the next foot. You've got this. And I've got your back in the journey, if you invite me along. Welcome!