We each have the capacity to be present and joyful during labour.
When we live from our most authentic selves we’ll find a lightness and power spring spontaneously from within (Matthew 11:30, Romans 15:13). The fruits of the spirit will flow. It will be glory, glory, glory.
I’ve found a model for understanding the ‘authentic self’ and love how it connects to having a beautiful birth—so that’s what I’m sharing today.
A Quick Snapshot of the Enneagram
If you’ve spent time with me you’ll know I’m fascinated by the Enneagram. For six years now I’ve studied the model. The Enneagram is a set of nine distinct personality types. Everyone emerges from childhood with one main type that governs their personality. And each type has a primary desire and fear. If you want to take a quick, free, Enneagram test you can here.
What We Do To Belong
Based on conditioning from our culture and family of origin, we develop mechanisms of successfully navigating our early years and circumstances. We become what we’re required to be in order to belong, be accepted and thrive in our first place of existence—our family (‘family of origin’). As we grow, however, these mechanisms become outdated and unuseful, trapping us in patterns of addiction and low self-worth. Each Enneagram type has a spectrum of health and ‘un-health’. This model helps unpack the ways we can fall back into our most whole and authentic selves. It’s a model of awareness which allows us to unlearn patterns that no longer serve us. The Enneagram can hold a mirror up and show us what it looks like when we’re living our true identity—the health, the power and the radiance of leaving old patterns behind and living as a New Creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Being Your Authentic Self During Birth
I believe the Enneagram has powerful implications for husband and wife partnerships, as well as a tool for personal growth. But it’s also great for understanding yourself in pregnancy, labour and postpartum.
If you can recognise your new creation self, then you can realise what you’re not. This process is about seeing what you look like when you’re living authentically. And then identifying the patterns that keep you from continually manifesting your authentic self.
It’s true. Pregnancy and birth can be an emotionally turbulent time because of the heightened sense of ‘every choice I make matters 100% because I’m caring for another life in here’… but it doesn’t have to be that way! Understanding your old patterns, coupled with the Deep Imaginings in the ORIGINAL DESIGN workshop, will allow you to really sink into your authentic self and let everything else melt away.
Okay, so at this point, you need to know your basic personality type in order to get value from the next section. If you haven’t yet discovered your type, go do that now. Now that you know your type, allow yourself to take a few deep breaths in and out. Settle into a state of peace and calm mindedness (Colossians 3:15). Now, let’s see what you’ll look like, in your most authentic state, during pregnancy, labour and postpartum.
Embody Your Authentic Self
If you’re Type One…
Letting go of the trappings of being ‘doing things perfectly’, I deeply accept what is. Extraordinarily wise and discerning, I am transcendently realistic and can access the wisdom of knowing the best action to take in any given moment.
If you’re Type Two…
Deeply unselfish and radically humble, I have a cup that’s constantly overflowing to give from. Unconditionally loving of myself, my baby and of others, I feel it’s a profound privilege to have the experiences I have, and to have been given the baby I’ve been given.
If you’re Type Three…
So done with illusions of every kind, I fully and deeply accept myself. This acceptance gives me courage to appear exactly as I am—I am everything I seem to be. I own my birth experiences and story, often with powerfully relatable humour. I live with a fullness of heart and embody a softness and gentleness that warms those around them.
If you’re Type Four…
Where I lived on a sea of constantly shifting emotions, now I’m meaningfully balanced and centred. I am blessed with a tactful and gentle compassion for myself and those around me. Self-aware and self-creative, I know how to accept and integrate my unique birth experiences with kindness.
If you’re Type Five…
Observing my experiences with extraordinary perceptiveness and insight, I am beautifully engaged by the present moment and what has caught my attention. A true visionary, I can broadly comprehend the world whilst staying actively engaged in the day-to-day joys and realities of practical living.
If you’re Type Six…
Able to wholeheartedly trust my inner intuition, I independently choose what my authentic desires for pregnancy, birth and postpartum are. Rich in self-expression, I lead each day with courage and autonomy. Marked by uplifting thought patterns, I live my life with ownership and it brings me joy.
If you’re Type Seven…
Deeply grateful and appreciative for what I have, I integrate my experiences with profound depth. Awed by the simple wonders of life, I revel in the present moment and all it has to offer. Trusting in the boundless goodness of life, I’m genuinely joyous and ecstatic in response to the beauty I perceive in each moment, experience and opportunity.
If you’re Type Eight…
Courageous through vulnerability, I embody openheartedness without cynicism. Able to stand up for what I authentically want and desire, I am resourceful and have a passionate inner drive. Capable of incredible surrender, I inspire others with my strength.
If you’re Type Nine…
Intensely alive and fully connected to myself and others, I’m emotionally stable and serene. Where before I was practiced at disengagement, now deep contentment exists within me because I’m present to myself and my authentic needs. I live with autonomy, able to choose and be chosen by others.
Where to From Here?
You have a few options.
If you’re looking for a tailored understanding of your Enneagram type and how it relates to your pregnancy, inquire about a 1-on-1 coaching session with Stephanie via firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you haven’t yet completed the ORIGINAL DESIGN workshop, it’s perfect for identifying all of the clutter that’s between you and embodying your authentic self. Launching late 2019, the workshop is perfect for releasing fear in order to truly live as a new creation—free, open and surrendered (2 Corinthians 5:17). The ‘self’ that’s listed above!