I've been reading Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth" and one of the parts reminded me of childbirth. I had chosen to do the "Bradley Method" with my oldest daughter. Natural childbirth, with as little pain medication as possible. Not, by the way, a method that is for everyone. But something Tolle said brought back memories, and highlighted what I think he was trying to bring to light. And that is that the human mind is incredibly resilient, and strong. Once an understanding of how it works is illuminated, you can never go back.
The Bradley Method teaches you how to go into the pain, during childbirth. Using your mind to allow your body to do what it needs to do without resistance. And I can tell you - it works. I was able to literally control the pain by controlling my thoughts. Now if I was nudged out of my intense concentration, the pain would roll over me like a steam roller, thus I needed to stay fully invested in the work at hand.
Becoming aware of the ego, and how it uses emotion and thoughts to feed dysfunction, is the basis of Tolle's book. That incessant voice that is constantly being critical of self and others, creating whole scenarios of winners and losers, judging, manipulating, controlling, and competing to the point of making us miserable. These thoughts create our reality, drawing negativity and unhappiness to us.
So how does that relate to the Bradley Method?
By becoming aware of what my ego is doing, and learning to watch it from a distance, I can then become engaged in the process of awakening to the truth within. I begin to see how it is controlling and manipulating me. It is creating resistance to the work at hand, and that is to be mindful of how I respond to those inevitably painful and tricky situations that I will encounter in my life. Thereby not drawing more pain to myself through resistance and fear and unconscious responses. For what we resist, we strengthen. If I can do it in childbirth - it's possible to do in my life as well.