Happy Easter! Happy Passover!
What are you celebrating at this time of the year?
I remember being a child and told that Easter is the most important holiday because Christ conquered death and now, believers (Catholics) could live without fear. My small mind was really confused because, although I was brought up in the Church and celebrated Easter, I still had a lot of fear - fear of bad guys, fear of disappointing my parents and teachers, fear of rejection...
"Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over and through me. And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." ~from Frank Hebert's Dune
Easter and Spring time are opportunities for reflection, regrowth, and rebuilding. And facing fears.
I've stayed quiet during this journey of Becoming Mom because I've had a lot of fear:
Fear regarding my career.
Fear regarding the availability of reproductive care with the current political climate.
Fear of social rejection.
Fear of my body and how she's changing.
Fear of how my child will grow and grow up.
Fear of how my child will journey into the joys and challenges of being a member of society.
Fear of losing control of how my body looks.
Fear of how the health of my body will change.
Fear of perception - that by being pregnant, I'm somehow less of who I was and have become a vessel instead of an intelligent, functioning, active member of society and my community.
Fear of physical vulnerability.
Fear of the vulnerability of this little life growing inside of me.
Fear of emotional vulnerability - as I become more aware of the human condition through the development of this little new person.
Fear of emotional vulnerability - as I become more aware of the changes occurring in and around me.
Fear of artistic vulnerability - putting myself and this changing body in the public eye.
Fear of artistic vulnerability - as my artistry changes as my awareness changes.
Fear of how this new life will effect the life I've created - professionally, physcially, artistically, socially...
Fear of how my relationships will be challenged, strengthened, and changed.
Fear of admitting I am afraid of all of these things... and some I'm sure I'm not ready to admit.
In the past week, specifically, I've received more honest questions about this process - how am I feeling, really? What's it like to be pregnant and a professional dancer? Will I continue to perform?
And while some people have asked "what happened to you?", in the way that their sarcastic personalities allow them to connect with the world, most of the questions have been genuine curiousities. Because of the courage of the the young women who have bravely asked me these questions in the past week, I realize that it's time to face my fears, let them pass over and through me, and to remain.
I missed the Lenten tradition of giving something up or sacrificing. 1) because I'm not a practicing Catholic and 2) because I've been wrapped up in my world of finding ways to protect myself from my fears. During this Easter season of rebirth, I'm going to spend some time talking, sharing, and listening to this journey with a spirit of renewal. It's my hope that through sharing this vulnerable (and yet completely normal, natural, super-human) and embodied journey, I'll open doors for conversation, education, strength, and compassion. But first, I need to face the fear.
Happy Easter! I look forward to learning more about your journeys, adventures, and experiences of embodying the story of Becoming Mom (or Becoming Dad. Or Becoming You).