Fourth Trimester Podcast Episode 12: Realizing our potential as parents
What does realizing our potential as parents mean? Guest Reise Tanner applies her decades of mentoring experience to share guidance on creating an atmosphere of confidence and acceptance for new parents. She helps parents articulate new visions of themselves amid their most challenging and inspiring periods of change. There is no “silver bullet” correct answer for how to parent. The trick is to learn enough to be confident in your choices, compassion and in your ability to listen to yourself. When parents are empowered, they are in a position to realize their full potential.
“I’m really passionate about supporting new families as a starting place to tend to the future, to attend to a vision for a more sustainable society where women feel more confident, they feel more embodied, they’re using their voices and they’re able to make their valuable contributions.”
— Reise Tanner
Sarah Trott: [00:00:05] My name is Sarah Trott. I’m a new mama to a baby girl and this podcast is all about postpartum care for the few months following birth, the time period also known as the Fourth Trimester. My postpartum doula, Esther Gallagher, is my co-host. She’s a mother, grandmother, perinatal educator, birth and postpartum care provider. I’ve benefitted hugely from her support. All parents can benefit from the wisdom and support that a postpartum Doula provides. Fourth trimester care is about the practical, emotional and social support parents and baby require, and importantly, helps set the tone for the lifelong journey of parenting.
When I first became pregnant, I had never heard of postpartum Doulas, let alone knew what they did. So much of the training and preparation that expecting parents do is focused on the birth and newborn care. Once baby is born, often the first interaction parents have with medical or child professionals, other than the first pediatrician visits, is the six-week checkup with the OB/GYN. What about caring for mama and family between the birth and the six week doctor visit? What are the strategies for taking care of the partner and the rest of the family while looking after your newborn?
Our podcasts contain expert interviews with specialists from many fields to cover topics including postpartum doula practices, prenatal care, prenatal and postnatal yoga, parenting, breastfeeding, physical recovery from birth, nutrition, newborn care, midwifery, negotiating family visitation, and many more.
First-hand experience is shared through lots of stories from both new and seasoned parents. Hear what other parents are asking and what they have done in their own lives.
We reference other podcasts, internet resources and real-life experts who can help you on your own parenting journey. Visit us at http://fourthtrimesterpodcast.com
Sarah Trott: [00:00:46] Hi welcome back to the fourth trimester podcast. I’m Sarah Trott. And I’m here today with Esther Gallagher my cohost and with a special guest Reise Tanner Reise, we are so happy to have her today. She is an experienced doula, educator, yoga instructor, body worker, parent mentor and mother. She has been practicing a studying yoga for 17 years. She’s an advanced Birthing From Within mentor and as a doula employs various methods and techniques to support, inform and comfort women and their families throughout the birth process. So welcome Reise.
Reise Tanner: [00:01:24] Hey good morning.
Reise Tanner: [00:01:26] Good morning. I’d love to just to hear a little bit of an introduction from you. And hear more about what you do.
Reise Tanner: [00:01:35] Well you said a lot already. I think you got some of that from my Web site which is currently being updated. So I have been a yoga instructor for about 20 years. Oh wow. And very interested in not just physical health and hormones but embodiment. So bringing mindfulness together for the mind-body connection and healing. I’ve been a doula for about ten years now and an educator for most of that time and for the last few years have been a life coach focusing on healers, helpers and mamas. Because we’re all working together and I’m really passionate about supporting new families as a starting place to tend to the future, to attend to a vision for a more sustainable society where women feel more confident, they feel more embodied, they’re using their voices and they’re able to make their valuable contributions.
Sarah Trott: [00:02:37] I love that.
Reise Tanner: [00:02:38] And I’m also a mother myself.
Esther Gallagher: [00:02:43] Excellent qualifications right there. So I would love it if we talked more about how you actually work when you’re working with this process of life-coaching. Just give us a nice overview and even any number of details about how you do your work.
Reise Tanner: [00:03:11] Well as a life coach I’m using many of the tools that I cultivated as a doula for the last 10 years. As you know, going through the birth process and this isn’t just labor and birthing a child, it’s the preparation is part of the journey and the preparation for some women is nine months or it’s last minute right before when it starts to become real right before they go into labor. But for other women this has been a lifelong dream and the seeds of birthing something or mothering something start very early in their lives. Or maybe their pregnancy journey didn’t start right away and they were thinking about it for a long time, deliberating over it or trying to get pregnant for a long time. And I think that when we speak about mothers the way that I’m thinking about it is also an archetype: to mother something, so women can relate to those who have not given birth to a human being but have given birth to her vision or to a project or to their art. So I’m very interested in seeing how we evolve and we transform and our identities shift and one of the things that often happens in this shift of identity is we fall apart to be put back together. And there’s a false belief in our culture that you’re supposed to do this all by yourself. And even for people who don’t buy into it they may not have the kind of support that they really need to feel safe enough to fall apart so that they can come back together. And I came into yoga through the fitness store so I have a background as a fitness instructor, even though I haven’t activated it in a really long time and just learning about muscles. If you want to make the muscles stronger you work it out and there are micro tears and then it’s during that rest period of rebuilding that we actually get stronger. And so I like to create the space for women to do that and there’s several themes that seem to be coming up because I work with so many moms and I work with doulas who are moms and doulas who are not moms to support them. And I think that a lot of us are working with expectations that we have of ourselves and the gap between what we expect in our idealism and what our reality is. And that leads to a lot of suffering, leads to emotional exhaustion, burnout, and I’m hoping to restructure the conversation so that we can change those expectations. And I’m definitely an idealist so when I say realistic expectations it doesn’t mean that’s where we stay but creating some soft space maybe a safe container for that rebuilding to take place and that falling apart take place so I’ve witnessed it for years as women are raw and vulnerable giving birth and then I started to see that the same trends were happening outside of birth in women’s lives.
Esther Gallagher: [00:06:25] Yeah it’s wonderful. I like the muscle metaphor because it’s so simple. It’s wonderful wonderful overview. And I know I can look back up on my 57 years and go, oh yeah that happened and that happened and it happened in that way: I needed to go through a major life transition. Part of the experience meant disintegrating and then reintegrating into the next permutation of Esther. So I think that’s really fantastic what you’re doing.
Reise Tanner: [00:07:07] Thank you. And being a mom I’ve been witness to that too with my child. And so in child development we see that children often fall apart. They have a regression before they take a developmental leap and we give them the compassion and the space to do that, hopefully. So, my desire is for us to start giving that to ourselves and giving it to the moms and giving it to the grownups because we have inner children inside us too.
Esther Gallagher: [00:07:39] Whenever I talk about this subject and especially in reference to child development, part of what I experience, part of what I think is maybe a layer of truth in all of that is that often when we’re parenting and we come to a developmental juncture with our children not only is there a really unsettling place where if we might not have been met at the time of our own developmental transition of that age our child might be, but also if we’re really just not well-resourced at the time that our children are going to be going through that developmental period it just really can be rough in a way that it wouldn’t be. Might be rough anyway but it might not be so rough if we’re not so, you know, if we are well-resourced and by that I even mean something as simple as getting enough nutrition, getting that wonderful exercise in the form of yoga or whatever is really nourishing for us and feeling our embodiment in a resourced way. Do you agree with that, Reise? Do you feel like that’s touching on part of what you’re trying to hold for parents?
Reise Tanner: [00:09:01] It’s definitely an aspect of it and there’s a book that I recommend to a lot of people who ask about parenting books and I’m not into the how-to. I’m not interested in telling people how to parent. Obviously I’m interested in people supporting their children in ways that are compassionate and support their growth. But my approach is if we resource the parents they’re going to be able… and we give them the tools they need, they’ll be able to figure out their way and their path and that really is the feminine being able to listen to intuition instead of experts and allow that inner guidance and the connection with that child. Because that expert has never had that child before and the history of those parents… Our issues definitely come up when our children reach ages that were difficult for us. I’ve experienced that in my own family and had many aha moments. My mother her mum had her leg amputated due to diabetes and my grandmother when my mom was 12, and that is the exact same age where things got difficult probably hormonally also when I was growing up for my mom and there’s a great book about this so: Parenting From The Inside Out, and so it’s like if you want to learn how to parent work on your own stuff. So I definitely agree with you about getting triggered but not everyone has time for reading a book whether it’s in pregnancy or postpartum. The biggest myth for me as a new mom was I thought Oh with all those hours breastfeeding I’ll read all these parenting books.
Esther Gallagher: [00:10:40] How lucky for you here that I think we would probably agree it just is toxic..
Reise Tanner: [00:10:52] And it creates a culture of sherds and guilt and shame and blame and I’m really wanting to eradicate guilt, blame and shame in mothers because it doesn’t help them. Those are those are secondary emotions that stop them from listening in. So I think working on their own stuff and getting those resourced as possible. But oftentimes when, especially new moms are most challenged, the last thing they need is someone giving them a list of self-care things that they should be doing like getting more sleep and nutrition. So I’m trying to figure out ways to make sure it happens that it’s not paternalistic and coming from the expert doing it’s co-created and there is a partnership, but moms aren’t left with a list of things they should be doing like, you should eat more greens. How about some more kale and kombucha and quinoa. That doesn’t empower them.
Sarah Trott: [00:11:57] Speaking as a new mom that’s a really powerful message. I have to say. I know that when I found out I was pregnant for the first time I was so thrilled at the prospect and everything was going kind of exactly how I wanted and I really can’t complain. But I do remember feeling a lot of pressure and stress to suddenly kind of research and know everything and prepare and it’s overwhelming the amount of books and advice and things that are directed at seemed to be first time parents. so I really like this idea, this notion of saying, you know no one has been a parent to your baby and you do know what’s best and it’s OK to listen to yourself. You don’t necessarily have to listen to everyone else. I wonder if there are some new parents who get lost in the mire of advice and feel like if they don’t do it according to some method or some book then they’re doing something wrong.
Reise Tanner: [00:12:53] Definitely. And I teach childbirth classes and the goal is not to tell people how to do things and at first that’s disappointing for some of my students. I want to give them the information and the initiation right. So the experiences that are going to help them tap into their own inner wisdom. But sometimes they need some information. We can’t leave people hanging. But they are already given so much information so more of my role is to help them get to the insights of how the information works for them and what works for them. So it’s a little sexy to say, I know the map, I know the way you do these steps that I tell you then everything’s going to go perfect. But while it may sell books but it’s an actual lie. But it is sexy to think that people have the answer. And so I think a lot of childbirth education is about giving the answer on the map if you do these breathing techniques you’re going to have an orgasm while you give birth and then people do those exercises and it does once in a while it works. I will tell you there have been people who have orgasmic births but they’re a small minority. And so the rest the people are left feeling like someone failed me. They made a false promise and I was let down. Often they take it on themselves. I was a fool to believe them. And this isn’t just about birth. Or I did it wrong or I should have done it more I should have done it more really.
Esther Gallagher: [00:14:20] I hear it a lot, I didn’t do enough of that thing. Or somebody didn’t. It’s heartbreaking. It is, it’s terrible.
Sarah Trott: [00:14:28] Esther you gave me great advice as my birth doula. I said but I wanted to write down my birth plan. And you said call it intention, which is a subtle but important difference because you know my personality is such that if I say I have a plan I want to execute that plan and if I don’t it feels like failure. So calling it an intention was a lot healthier for me because if things didn’t turn out exactly the way I’d imagined it was OK.
Esther Gallagher: [00:14:59] Because you can’t really imagine what you were really going to be doing. It was different once you were doing it. Yeah. Yeah I really really appreciate this right. I just resonate with it. And I know as a postpartum doula like, I’m pretty strong with my clients now like, keep this really simple: eat -sleep -pee; really simple and I know that comes off as a should. In the meantime I hope to be showing them what that means rather than just saying here’s a prescription and walking away. And likewise with getting to know their babies you know put away the five S’s and see who your baby is. You know it’s very tempting to think that there’s a list of things to do and you just do those things and once they’re done you have a baby you can tolerate, but it’s more interesting to just be curious about who that baby is, and more fun; challenging, way more challenging.
Reise Tanner: [00:16:20] Well I love that you said the curious and you know what you’re doing is you’re creating the situation with your clients where these things like good nutrition and better sleep can take place instead of leaving them with a list. And I think that we’re looking at child birth and postpartum as as a template for our lives. So this could happen elsewhere. But the way that we prepare something that really is going into the deep feminine which is also undervalued in our culture, we really value the more masculine patriarchal way of doing things, that’s how we get ahead, it’s more linear ordered, organized, there steps to it. And so then we take that and we put that on top of something that is the absolute feminine right, it’s about softness and opening and juiciness and transformation and fluidity and flow and we start from the beginning to prepare for it in a way that fits the masculine model. I love information so I’ve done all of the same things and I’m not saying the masculine is bad I’m saying that we need to balance the masculine/feminine. But we go into it, we go into classrooms to learn are getting our left brain ready. We’re taking notes because we want to catch everything we do our research with Dr. Google. We read books that have codified things like, you brought up the five S’s, which drives me crazy by the way. Because those five S’s become tools. It’s supposed to be there to have the happiest baby on the block. But really what it is to make your baby quiet. And people think that a quiet baby is a good baby.T
Esther Gallagher: [00:18:00] There’s not much that is interesting about that but there’s also nothing true about that, because you can apply any number of rules to humans and they won’t work.
Reise Tanner: [00:18:15] As much as we still have all these books that try to tell us the contrary. And that’s the thing you said before, you brought up about getting triggered: one of the things that is a trigger for a lot of people is crying, babies crying and it is designed to keep them safe and to, I mean as a mother, cut right through your heart so that you take care of your baby. Because as we evolved if we put our baby down to go do some work there could have been a predator there. So I really do get that and we’re hormonally primed. But at the same time a lot of our discomfort with crying comes from not being allowed to fully express our feelings and being told our feelings are wrong or they should be different. You know you shouldn’t you shouldn’t avoid hugging Aunt Sally, or you should respect police officers, like all the things that we’ve been taught and when they go contrary to our inner knowing we shut it out so that we as women especially don’t make waves don’t piss anybody off. And so when a baby is expressing these feelings it can be overwhelming, it could be flooding especially if that’s something that you were taught you weren’t allowed to do yourself.
Esther Gallagher: [00:19:34] Well I, I’ll just mention that in the era that I gave birth there was of course a strong patriarchal upbringing on the one hand, where I was told unequivocally don’t do this emotionally and do do that emotionally. But also around that time when I was giving birth there was a whole kind of, woowoo Psychology that said you know if you’re experiencing anything negative you’re going to pass that on to your baby. What do you do with that? You know it wasn’t subtle.
Sarah Trott: [00:20:12] So are you both saying in a way that when we listen to our baby’s cries and we comfort them and we don’t shoosh them but we let them cry and we give them the comfort they’re asking for we’re setting them up to learn as they get older that their feelings are valid and they’re deserving of comfort and love.
Reise Tanner: [00:20:33] Absolutely.
Esther Gallagher: [00:20:34] And , Sarah, I would say that if a parent is distressed by the babies cries, that’s natural and normal. The answer to our distress isn’t to freak out or try to shut the baby down or try to shut ourselves down but really come fully to that relationship, “oh i’m feeling so sad that my baby’s feelings so distressed.” You know, it’s OK in other words, to have your own feelings while this stuff is happening and not shut down and think that you have to be a robot that somehow fixes your baby. And I’m sure Reise has has a much more sophisticated way of talking about this.
Reise Tanner: [00:21:25] Oh no. I second what you said wholeheartedly and that you know, accepting our baby’s cries is as important as accepting our own emotions and our own reactions to it. And we’re going to have our feelings and my message is that all feelings and even desires or wishes are OK. All feelings are ok. They’re all acceptable. And it’s you know it’s what we do afterwards that counts. But our feelings are feelings and what we resist persists and it either goes into shadow in hiding to protect ourselves we close ourselves off to a whole bunch of other emotions which is like what Esther was describing as this flatness. Or it starts to live in our two shoes this tension and we’ll show up in dreams or through anxiety and if left really unchecked can manifest as illness. I’m not saying that to freak anybody out but what we do know is the same way that many women cope with Labor comes in waves that usually don’t last more than 60 to 90 seconds at the longest. The same thing with emotions if we actually breathe into them and feel them, so it can feel scary because emotions can be overwhelming. It can be scary because we think it feels like they’re going to last forever. But if we disengage from the story or the interpretation and just engage with the feeling, usually doesn’t last more than 60 to 90 seconds and it starts to loosen its grip on us. And I’d like to create the safe spaces where moms can do that. Sometimes they’re really busy and their baby needs them or they need to step away for a minute before they can attend to their baby and that’s totally OK. But creating spaces where moms are not isolated and someone’s telling them this is normal and you’re ok, it’s okay to feel these feelings. Because what happens is we tend to judge ourselves for feeling the feelings that we have the feelings that are just they’re emotions, they’re in motion, they want to move through. And we try to stop them so they don’t get to move through but we judge ourselves. And that’s what stops them. So we feel bad about feeling bad. And I think it’s difficult in our culture to be comfortable with contradiction. And I’ve spent a lot of time living abroad and working with people from different countries and I think this is a very American, to not live with contradiction and that you can be absolutely in love with your baby and having a very hard time in that moment and wanting them to shut up really bad, but we’re big enough containers to hold feelings that are contradictions and it’s safe enough to feel that feeling without judging it. So the judge comes in to say you shouldn’t be feeling angry at your baby. So then you’re feeling bad and you’re feeling bad about feeling bad. And that’s where suffering comes in. In Buddhism they call that the second arrow. So the first arrow’s how you’re feeling but then the second arrow is shooting yourself for feeling that. So just disengaging from that second arrow and taking the time to notice, noticing your body, what’s coming up when a baby’s crying and just acknowledging it and maybe later coming back to soothe yourself the same way you want to sooth that baby.
Sarah Trott: [00:24:47] I think sometimes when we hear a baby crying we want to make them feel better. It’s this desperation or you know I wanna make them feel better; the feeling that we have is to want to fix it, make them happy. Maybe that’s something that we experience and we’re giving that back to them when maybe if I hear what you’re saying correctly it’s that maybe just letting our baby feel what they’re feeling, letting us feel what we’re feeling and being OK with that.
Esther Gallagher: [00:25:16] Not only that, but that there is a process to every emotion. There is a physiological emotional social spiritual process. So you know whatever comes in to field that prompts one to feel a feeling of an emotional feeling that it has a trajectory like it has a trajectory and the body needs to fully engage and fully realize and get to the end of that process. Reise was using the example of you know just giving birth. You have surge after surge after surge. They only last minutes and then there’s between-time. If you get hung up in any part of the surge in your mind and your body and you carry that through past when it was finished and resolved, there’s a problem. But also if something comes along in the midst of that surge to disrupt the flow of it, and we we all have those examples, those of us who are birth doulas in hospital settings, you know if you get in the middle of your baby’s cry and say this has to stop, what would have been just a normal kind of arc. Gosh I don’t feel so good. I’m going to cry. I really like this. I’m gonna really cry this out and OK I’m starting to feel better, and i’m crying crying crying, now I’m really finished you know and I can move on. You know that that really disrupts the baby’s process. That baby had to do that thing physiologically, emotionally, interactively with you. And instead was getting blocked from doing that thing by a perfectly lovely intention, which is that they feel better. Right. That’s hard to remember as a parent when our child is just apoplectic, that this isn’t going to last forever. and that having been apoplectic a time or two there’s something really powerful in it. And restorative even, sometimes.
Reise Tanner: [00:27:35] Yeah.
Sarah Trott: [00:27:37] Reise, can I ask you a little bit about something you mentioned earlier; this notion of disintegrating and then integrating, falling apart and then coming back to give something, sort of give something back?
Reise Tanner: [00:27:50] I think that it’s happened multiple times and it’s been really amazing to watch my child even though I was a professional and I knew intellectually what was happening and I had read so many books about attachment and development, seeing my child regress and like literally I mean even from the first one first growth spurt around three weeks where it seems like I can’t, nothing is soothing my baby my baby is not ok. Is my baby getting enough milk? What’s happening? And then just rereading that this is a normal growth spurt and then seeing afterwards that something new happens. So really early that imprint was there and being able to witness it in my child reminded me that is what we adults do also. I know for a lot of people when their second child is about to be born their first child falls apart and they regress whether it has to do with sleep or they had skills and suddenly they want to be treated like a baby. There are some practical examples. I think you know for us women it might be easier to relate to the archetype in the archetypical story deeply immersed in the Birthing From Within approach which is one that uses narrative and storytelling and is overlaid on a more feminine version of the Hero’s Journey. And if we look at that and look at the stages of preparation, descent, ordeal and in the story that we use the oldest story is the story of Inanna and is the oldest epic stories ever in the world from ancient Sumer where the Goddess of heaven and earth descends to the underworld because she hears the call. And she does all her preparation but when she goes down there she is hung on a hook, she’s disembodied and she’s there for a while and there’s a beating of the drum you know above the underworld, calling her back, but she doesn’t have the strength to come back. These allies need to be sent to bring her the food of life and the water of life so she can slowly get stronger and she was literally disembodied. And this is a metaphor for a lot, especially how we feel after birth. Our bodies have changed. What was inside our bodies has shifted. Our brains change in pregnancy. When you’re pregnant MRI studies have shown that the brain can shrink up to 5 percent in size. So people make jokes about the mommy brain but what’s actually happening is it’s like a chrysalis and it’s rearranging itself. So it’s like the caterpillar turning into a butterfly. That we have to develop superpowers. We have to allocate new areas for brain growth and then the brain goes back to its normal size within a few months of the birth. So we are, we’re turning to putty just like the butterfly in order to grow and our wombs are also our sources of growth, our sources of repair where we can let the light out. But we have to attend to them first. So i don’t know that I’m being concrete enough with my examples but I want to give more of a metaphor that women can see themselves and it allows for recognition and self acceptance and knowing that this is part of the journey; it’s exactly where they need to be because they are growing.
Sarah Trott: [00:31:36] I also like giving a name to this experience for women and actually being aware of that throughout our lives are we ourselves not just our children are going through periods of regression and then taking two steps forward and I think I just want to keep that in mind that when I go through something, I’m feeling like I just, I know something’s not right. I feel… because I can recognize that feeling. I know I know what it’s like inside of myself to feel like something is just a little bit off. But being able to put a name on that and think, wow, I’m growing. I’m this is OK. I can be patient because I know I will get through this and I’m going to feel great and I’m going to feel on top of the world. I just need to give it some time.
Reise Tanner: [00:32:22] It’s also holistic. It’s looking at the big picture when we’re in it. When you’re in it you can’t see above you. But we can take those opportunities to recognize when we are above it. The big picture is that when we’re in it again we can recall that. And you talked about her emerging and Sarah when you said you wanted to name it. I was like well, if I had a word for it it would be emergence.
Sarah Trott: [00:32:47] I like that. Yeah, like being aware. Are there tools that you talk to women about using when going through the stages?
Reise Tanner: [00:32:55] I’m sure we both have a lot of tools. I think for me it starts with a foundational understanding as well as tools: Mindfulness is the biggest tool and mindfulness is a practice right, it’s not a performance, it’s something we continue to go back to and there’s a lot of ways to do that. And I’m more interested in what already works for people than giving them a prescribed way. So that’s also having a not letting making sure people know that I have their back and they’re being attended to. So I’m using my intuition of how much to step in or not. But it’s also more feminine way where it’s not rigid rules of this is the tool for everybody. I do have a particular tool that evolves from applying mindfulness understandings in a very practical way for women in birth. And I started to use this as an everyday tool in my own life and with my coaching clients. And it’s super simple and I just made a little series of videos about it. It’s called Poco which means small or little in Spanish. And part of it is about perspective right. So whatever is happening often feels really big it feels so big that it’s hard to deal with it. And if we come to the example of a woman in labor she isn’t, and not every woman gets to experience labor, but for those who have, you don’t have much time between the waves of contractions. So it has to be something that is quick and sometimes decisions need to be made or sometimes it’s just, how do you get through one then the next. So the idea behind this is instead of seeing the mountain which is really a molehill that you see the mole hill for what it is. And so this stands for getting really present and there’s a lot of ways to do that. But if we start with a body that’s usually the easiest and best way. What is happening in this moment asking yourself what’s happening this moment and noticing what’s happening and noticing as sensations not as the story that we’re telling ourselves about it or the interpretation of the events. So we can do that any time we can do that as a stand-alone tool. What’s happening this moment. So I can usually tell someone in this moment, “you are safe in this moment everything’s okay”. Even when they’re falling apart, we’re falling apart as much because of what happened in the past and that we’re still holding onto and as much about what we think might happen in the future. And then it’s one thing at a time of the present, one thing at a time, which is we get flooded because we’re trying to do too much all at once and if we can make it into baby steps… I know this is something that Esther probably does: just doable simple simplifying. So one thing at a time; what’s the one simple next step. Then choosing, making a choice and seeing what choices are available. Because we freak out when we feel like we’re trapped and feeling trapped is connected with experiences of trauma and when people are able to find choices and act on them, trauma does not set as deeply into the body if it’s a traumatic experience or we could maybe even bypass or avoid it. So what choices are available? How am I going to perceive the situation? How am I going to react to this situation? How am I going to interpret it? How how and why and what can I do? What is available to me? So what choices are there? And then owning it, so owning and taking into your body, committing to yourself, taking responsibility for your experience. Because you’re not a victim. So that that’s the acronym Presence, One thing, Choosing and Owning it. So I have a lot of tools that I use but I think that that’s probably the simplest one that you could do in 30 seconds flat and that I may even not explain it to a mom. But will be mantr like “One thing at a time” or “what’s happening in this moment? You’re okay in this moment”. Or, “Own this. Let’s do this on your terms”. So might even just be a series of mantras, but when I step back holistically these are the four steps that have worked for me and for hundreds of my clients and many students and coaching clients as well.
Sarah Trott: [00:37:34] Reise, do you have any last thoughts you’d like to leave our listeners with?
Reise Tanner: [00:37:39] Sure. At some point i was talking a little bit more about how we approach a very, and I’m saying feminine energies, not gender, a very feminine deep experience. That we are overlaying a more masculine model of preparation and rules and steps in trying to codify it and know how long it’s going to take and plan it and this could be the birth process itself. It could be the postpartum period. It could be mothering or getting to the next stage and that if we take some of these qualities that Esther described and allow them to emerge, these more feminine attributes, such as curiosity and wondering and allowing ourselves to be messy and emotional and not know what’s going to come next, that is safe too; that it really is OK to be there. That is where we need to be and we will not be stuck there forever. And I would just add that whether it’s our babies or ourselves when we approach it again from that masculine model of fixing, we’re sending the message that something is broken and we’re not broken. We’re emerging.
Sarah Trott: [00:38:59] I love that. Thank you so much.
Reise Tanner: [00:39:01] This is really fun. Thank you both.
Sarah Trott: [00:39:04] Well thank you so much. And we’ll see you again next time on the fourth trimester. Reise Tamer has her own website which is her name. Reise Tanner dot com. On her home page there’s a box where you can enter your name and your email address and sign up for her newsletter so I encourage everyone to do that and you can find out more information about her on her Web site. The book Reise mentioned, “parenting from the inside out” is also available as an audio book. So parents who are busy can always put that on in the background. Just listen when they’re on car rides here and there. I know what it’s like to be a busy mom and audio books are really helpful that way.
You can find out more about Esther Gallagher on http://www.esthergallagher.com/. You can also subscribe to this podcast in order to hear more from us. Thank you for listening everyone and I hope you’ll join us next time on the Fourth Trimester. The theme music on this podcast was created by Sean Trott. Hear more at https://soundcloud.com/seantrott. Special thanks to my true loves: my husband Ben, daughter Penelope, and baby girl Evelyn. Don’t forget to share the Fourth Trimester Podcast with any new and expecting parents. I’m Sarah Trott. Goodbye for now.