REBEL SPIRIT

Our girlfriend Shauna has always been a trip. She’s the friend you’ve bumped into in foreign countries; the girl who would never choose vodka over tequila, and the one who always had the most obvious zest for life.

Sure, it was a surprise when she told us she was expecting; but it was certainly no surprise that she was the one to introduce us to a spiritual approach to pregnancy.  We love her conviction and we also kinda sorta think that the world would be a better place if everyone looked at life as the kind of learning experience she sees it as!

Baby Wolfe is a one lucky dude… 

REBEL SPIRIT

BY SHAUNA IRELAND

For as long as I can remember, I have felt an insatiable pull from the moon and the stars.  With them as my guides, I’ve found myself constantly seeking out the symbolic meaning of everything. This intuitive nature has led me on an exploratory journey of abundance discovery, healing, and growth.

When I found out I was pregnant, staring, overwhelmed with shock at the all of a sudden not-so-little plus-signed pee stick, I instantly felt myself catapulted inward… But not like ever before, I went deeper, and into places I didn’t know I had.

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It was an out of body experience with intense emotions, spiraling me on a tumultuous rollercoaster – fluctuations to the utmost degree.

Having not outright ‘asked’ to become pregnant, though obviously knowing how, my friends and family repeatedly told me “Shauna – YOU manifested this”, and, well, they were right. Creation, in some form or another, has always been part of my mission in life and business, and now, my biological destiny was following suit. It was time to step into the unknown.

No sooner had I come down from my pee–stick–induced–out–of–body experience, did my body begin its purge – violently hurling out all that would not serve me on this new nine–month journey.

Five to ten times a day I found myself bowing to the porcelain gods; scenes reminiscent of the movies when addicts wean off heroin. I was so sick, and the chronic exhaustion I felt was no barrier to the poltergeist, that not so angelically, needed to be released from my body.

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There were no cupcake cravings for me, just violent, stressful and unpredictable uproars that seemed to have come on too quickly. Things got real, and I could barely move let alone ‘celebrate’ the news. I was going inward towards to the darkness.

My distant past was returning full force – I had been here before. Having been hospitalized for severe depression, I learned through what I can now call a ‘blessed curse’ how to manage my lows. As a beneficiary of the “struggle” to understand the many layers of the self, I learned, many years ago that to overcome this personal horror I must fuel my spirit and be unconditionally mindful of my entire being.

This “breakdown” was fortuitously my breakthrough and by realigning with my supportive community and living with compassion, I was able to turn this potentially earth-shattering darkness into a time of learning and growth.

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Having almost ritually experienced the need to overcome my struggles, my energy has always drawn me towards working with healers– energy workers, shamans, psychotherapists, and neuroscientists. I knew from all I had learned working with them and on an instinctual level that those pregnancy uproars were much more than hormones and morning sickness.

I mean, HELLO, if you are to be energetically aligned with creating life, you must be clear of anything that no longer serves not only you, but also the new life blooming inside.

Parents often say that their kids teach them things about life that they never expected, and I can already say that my unborn Wolfe already fulfills his role as a teacher. He has taught me the true meaning of the sacred nine months. I used to think it was just the woman who “grows” the life, but I have awoken to the truth that we both, in tandem, create each other.

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In exchange for nourishment, a home, and unconditional love, he helps birth me into a new being.

The power of this ‘coming into being’ means that many – if not all – of your emotional portals will open wide, flooding you with past woes and future worries to release and be cleansed from your life for good.

The work has been some of the most challenging I have ever faced, but in reminding myself that I had asked for this, I was refueled with faith, and began to practice mindfulness to see what would come up that I would need to work on next. I began to notice an overwhelming invitation to seek forgiveness and a yearning for new beginnings.  

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Sacred practices in a modern world became my new beginning. Going through this transformation process in the physical, spiritual and energetic body called for a number of things, first and foremost, community. I figured that if I was to explore this energetic and spiritual journey, who better to do so with than my friends who were also with child?

Together we lived my mantra “Align and Shine” in an urge to heal the past as a means to properly step into a promising future. Together we discovered our strengths, revealed our vulnerabilities, shared our experiences, stomped with the stars and drummed and danced with the moon.  I have never felt more challenged and empowered all at once as we embraced the true fullness of it all.  

I discovered that these sacred practices, practiced for centuries before us, was exactly what I craved in this overbearingly separated modern world.  We had found the satiation to our innate craving – connection to the divine source.

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Here are some pregnancy rituals I have discovered for you to release and renew with:

Sound bathclothing not required

My friend Phillip Jacobs, an acupuncturist and R.TCMP at Helix Healthcare Group lead me and my Preggo friends through an experience of the science of sound.

When you are pregnant you are abundant with the source energy, Yuan Qi.  As the baby grows, it expands and takes up more of your space – pushing against the original boundaries of the mother.  This includes expansion and pushing of all biological structures and emotions- every part of you is related to an emotion: tendons/liver/anger/ compassion, muscles/spleen/worry/trust/ bones/kidney/fear/wisdom, skin/lungs/sadness and grief/ integrity, and blood vessels/heart/anxiety/joy

Everyone will always remind you to breath while pregnant, but sometimes you literally just can’t.  Phillip explains that emotions often get stuck in the diaphragm and the breath/lung system can be compromised.  It is common for sadness and grief to get stuck because the baby is expanding and pushing up on the diaphragm and not allowing the lung/breath to fully descend, allowing for sadness and grief to get stuck in the body.  

How do we release this?  JUST LISTEN. A sound bath with crystal bowls known as sound vibrational therapy is a unique therapeutic intervention that integrates specially tuned instruments to create shifts in the human nervous system.  On a cellular level we operate on vibration.  Sound vibration capitalizes on that science and fine-tunes the vibrations of the human body. We all lay together and went on a sound journey with crystal bowls, drumming and voice notes.  Our babies drum in our bellies and we all left feeling refreshed and energetically aligned.  Sound baths are the new DJ event.

Full Moon Dance Parties

I used to throw really fun parties; DJ’s tequila, and all night to morning ragers!  Times have changed, however, and there is a whole new meaning to pregnant, barefoot and DANCING…I am a cancer and am ruled by the moons. Full, new, or eclipsed, there is always an energy associated with the waxing and waning of the night’s bright light.

The full moons are a perfect time to release the old and welcome in the new. Being pregnant has connected me to this source of energy and power like never before. As the moon rules the water of our earth it affects the water and emotional tides of our being. The full moon ceremonies have been an important practice through my journey. Working with ROC, a group of healers, musicians and intuitives lead by Shelly Burton, they guide us through a full moon ceremonial practice that curates unity, healing as one in a group, and sharing.

We stomp into the ground our fears and we raise our arms up together into the skies what we need to receive.  We set intentions and move through the discomfort to feel light and connected.  I have learnt so many ways to process through dance, chant, song, and movement.  These traditions have been passed through time for many years and I think it is time to bring some of these experiences back.  

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The strong call to community and sacred tradition has helped me to understand some of the things I am feeling on another level.  There are days when everything goes wrong… my emails don’t work, the screen of my phone breaks, my bank accounts are frozen and a car accident prevents me from getting to an important meeting.  

I have learned to TRUST the universe, and trust that all of its alignments are what I need to go through in order to understand.  We are supported, especially when things look to be otherwise.  We are guided.  Every single one of us is a miracle and the experience of creating life within is that reminder.

As I near my due date, less than a month’s time coupled with a Wolfe who has reached a size no longer meant for my body, I have been blessed with a new door to walk through. The riddle of my lifelong struggles with sadness and the perfectionist tendencies I’ve tried to trap myself within have been put under the ultimate test through pregnancy.

With the need to connect with the mother earth, the sacred moon and the heavens have proven to be the ultimate cure for our man-made insecurities – the source will always provide if you can attune yourself accordingly. We have been given the opportunity to be reborn – literally, and to raise a bright teacher that can be the mirror to your soul and the universe that you could never have imagined. The self becomes we, just as it always was, and together we dance as destiny seekers, with love and eternal gratitude.

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Connect with Shauna Ireland
Photography by Aleksandra Jassem

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