Spiritual Birth Preparation

Embodying the Sacred programs invite you to connect with your body in a spiritual way as you prepare to give birth (or any time you wish to reflect on the experience of childbirth, even if it’s years later). Scroll down to see praise from past participants.

1363464818919Through expressive arts, movement, ritual, reflection and meditation drawn from feminist Christianity, you’ll explore birth as a personal rite of passage and find inner resources for the journey ahead. While our culture focuses on birth as a medical event, this approach encourages you to discover it as a sacred body process.

 

Expressive art activities consist of drawing, collaging, painting, journaling, working with clay, and knitting, with the emphasis on simply enjoying the process.

Themes of the retreat include:

  • Creation
  • Vessels and passages
  • Birth pain
  • Mothers, sisters and saints
  • Labyrinths
  • Birth stories

In each theme area, the physical processes of pregnancy and birth are related to Catholic-inspired practices in an empowering way, inviting you to conceive of a “spiritual birth bag,” and in so doing, to inhabit and celebrate your body.  Focusing on the inner journey, this approach complements other forms of childbirth preparation.

Experience Embodying the Sacred for yourself:

Praise from Past Spiritual Birth Preparation participants:

IMG_0823[1]I loved the art and labyrinth part. When I was laboring, I kept thinking of going round and round and getting to an end, a destination through the maze. That really started with me. And the book with my artwork? It’s a journal for me for Charlie! I’ve been trying to keep track of thoughts in there–different than a baby book. Loved that I started it when I was pregnant with him.  (Nell)

The two parts I loved most about the retreat were doing all the art activities and reflecting on the painting of Mary and the midwives. The first because I loved the earthy experience of working with the clay and making my own bowl. It made me think a lot IMG_0107[1]about what it means for mothers to be both vessel and passage And the image of Mary was so powerful because when you invited us to reflect and write and draw quietly about it, what struck me most was her hand – the way it was just resting so peacefully at her side, despite the fact that here she was in the midst of labor’s hard work. The whole drive from our home to the hospital (which truthfully was most of my labor!) I kept picturing her hand when I would close my eyes, and I would remember to relax in the middle of this intense work my body was doing.  (Laura)

1378742121429It was such a blessing spending the afternoon specifically focused on the sacredness of carrying a baby, exploring emotions and fears related to labor and delivery, and using various art forms to express my thoughts. I really enjoyed walking the prayer labyrinth and wrestling with the question: “How do I carry God’s presence into the pain of labor and delivery?”  (Jill)

The Embodying the Sacred retreat brought a much-needed opportunity for prayer, reflection, and sharing about my pregnancy and birthing process. It was a rare and welcomed time to pause and prepare for the most important parts of motherhood – praying and connecting with my little one. (Maura)