Have we lost the beautiful art of yield?

Photography:Wild Flow Her

By Claire Eccleston, Midwife, Spinning Babies approved trainer, Biodynamic Craniosacral therapist. © 2020.

What is it to yield?  

To willingly bend and stretch?  

To willingly give over; to the Divine, to another, to a higher power, to situations we cannot change? To our baby’s growth and our baby’s big stretch out of our bodies?  

I find surrender hard to sit with – the thought of waving my white flag and bowing my head low into submission (it’s like battle imagery). 

Somehow yield is sexy. The CHOICE is to soften and go super languid (physically or otherwise). 

In the battle of just surviving in a western, sympathetically charged, nervous system charged environment, through waves of feminism that required us to battle and fight to be acknowledged for our rights and for our needs to be met. 

In needing to be so strong all the time, somewhere did we lose the practice of yielding?  

During conception we can yield to our lover, in pregnancy our body yields and stretches, at birth our vagina and the tissues of our perineal yield and stretch. After the birth our breasts stretch and fill with milk, our nipples yield to a little ones suckle and our heart stretches and yields to the rhythms and needs of our baby. 

Some of us are very good at body mastery. We can make our bodies ‘let go’ – what a skill! For me, yielding is the art of letting go deliciously, it’s dropping deeply into what is, rather than trying to change or force change. For me, yielding is stepping into a place where softening feels so good, where there is peace in all I allow (I can choose to allow what is in and what is out of my control).

Where rather than mastering my body or situations (being the master), I just drop and soften deeply into what is and let it get really loose. 

In yielding I feel held – like a wild animal that is held.  There is an art – it is holding the space for someone to yield within. I am still wild but like a wild animal by a warm fire who is being fed.  

How do we hold our own space as birth workers/ birth support people so that the wild animals of birthing women, so deeply primal, instinctive and wide eyed can feel safe enough to yield to the experience of their own bodies? To the wild rages of labour and to the deep stretch of their own hearts as their baby comes to rest on their chest after its slippery entrance into the world. 

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