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TRIBE de MAMA is a global community of women that holds events throughout the world in addition to publishing a quarterly magazine

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The Opening: Rebirthing the Sensual Self Postpartum

Dori Varga

Illustration by Uyen Tran-Gjerde

Illustration by Uyen Tran-Gjerde

Motherhood is a quixotic beast. She calls to us through starry nights, pulsing through our dreams, infusing our daylight with the whispers of the souls dancing near us. She carves room for burgeoning bodies built of the four elements, and a fifth, slows down our pace with her weight, and then bursts the river dam when we least expect it. She has her own timing, not measured by the hands of the clock.

Once we birth our hearts onto floors fluorescent or worn, wooden or wet, we are never the same. We burn brightly with the iridescence of her grace. We are the happiest we’ve ever been, and the saddest we’ve ever been, for in our giving we have lost. In our receiving we are overwhelmed with joy, and with duty, and with life. Who am I now? We ask ourselves the same questions, over and over. How do I relate with the world now that all my tidy squares are tipped up? We look at our lovers differently, and they see us differently too. This is okay, in fact – it is glorious. You just brought life to this planet. You are a miracle.

As the babies grow and our days come to a close, we find ourselves yearning. That sweet yearning for long hours unrushed, for connection to the lover whose hands you held in bed, in the car, at the cinema. We yearn for the things we once had, tender lovemaking, candlelit dinners and wine. And yet, here is the opening. Here is the door. When your rugged heart feels tender and worn, please remember you don’t have to finish the dishes, or fold another towel. What we need to remember, is ourselves: our needs, our desires, our wants. Even when you don’t know what they are, when you can’t remember where to begin to reclaim yourself, start with something. Light a candle; hold a crystal under the stars in your fist. You are an earthly being sewn into the tapestry of this dimension by your senses. Touch, smell, taste, sound and sight. We are intrinsic to the experiences we participate in, absolutely part of the poetry.

I know your bruised body aches, your face is tired and your feet feel like lead – not too poetic at times. I also know that you feel bitter and resentful; you slam words that aren’t yours into the face of your beloved. This is not you. You feel disconnected. You must reboot the circuit; rewire the fuse. We need not do this alone, mamas. You need not pack your bags and leave town. It takes work – hard work – but what could be more rewarding? You can do this. Here’s how I’ve learnt to rebuild the bridges I have broken in relationship.  

First, take a moment with your lover, no matter how you feel, with the intention to connect. You could assemble an altar or sacred space, perhaps a bed, or simply arrive together in a quiet place. Sit or stand comfortably and gaze into each other’s eyes. Drop all of your resistance, your anger and judgments. Drop in. Arrive. Stay. See your beloved as the God/Goddess/ galaxy they embody. Hold hands. Talk. There is no other way to create more time than to take it. Take it. Don’t worry about how long it has been since you made love, how wounded you feel, how self-conscious. Your lover chooses you. Your lover loves you exactly as you are. Run a hot bath, swirl scents and flowers and salts in it. Let yourselves love each other, without condition, without cause, without reason. One of the most beautiful reconnecting practices is that of touching your partner in the way that pleases you. Let go of any concern over whether they’re enjoying it (I guarantee they will be) enjoy yourself. You are here and now. This is your life, and your love – it’s what we’re made of.

This is the way of Tantra, where everything is a door. The kitchen floor is a door. Your soap worn hands, your farmer’s market fingers, your body flowering babies, your windswept hair: You are a door. Your beloved is a door. Your pregnancy and birth and baby are a door. This is what we are here for, to go through these passages, journeying to the other side. Who we are becoming is a magnificent process, a storytelling, a verb. You won’t be complete until the last door opens. The story from now is as yet unwritten. Keep writing.