The following is part of a series of posts detailing the information in my free download Connect With Your Baby A-Z!.
Clay is a wonderful, forgiving medium to work with. If you haven't worked with any kind of clay or play-doh since you were a kid, you are in for a real treat!
First you'll need to get yourself some clay. I like to work with Sculpey, which can be found at most craft stores. This clay is easy to use (once started) and can be baked in the oven to harden when you are finished. Whatever kind of clay you get, make sure you can fire it or bake it so it will be set.
Tear off a handful of clay and start kneading it in your hands. It will be super firm at first, but as you work it, the heat from your hands will soften it up. This is an integral first step. Work it until it is really soft and pliable. While you are working the clay in your hands, tune into your breath. What do you notice? Is it fast? Shallow? Deep? Slow? Now notice your body. Are you holding tension anywhere? Your jaw? Neck? Shoulders? As you knead the clay, allow your breath to slow down. Feel it move through your body and release any tension you are feeling. (There is no need to be nervous... it is just clay!)
Now that the clay is soft, begin to shape it into an image or a symbol of being Strong in Labor. What does strength look like to you? How will you feel being strong in labor? Is there a symbol of strength that is speaking to you right now?
You may have an idea of what strong looks like for you. Great, go for it.
Or, you may have NO idea what it looks like. That's ok, too. Keep working the clay until it comes to you.
Remember, it doesn't have to be perfect. In fact, chances are you will mush up the clay and start over a few times before your image comes out. That's ok... just go with it. Turn off the left side of your brain that keeps telling you it has to "look" a certain way. Or that what you created is "right " or "wrong". Let the right side (the intuitive, creative side) of your brain take over and see what comes out.
In the end, you just might be surprised when the image you created is NOTHING like the image you had "planned". It may be something you never would have considered at the beginning. Much like labor, the outcome cannot be planned, but must be allowed to reveal itself.
Once you have baked or fired (if you have the resources for this) your piece, place it somewhere you'll see it on a regular basis. Let it be a reminder of how strong you are now, and how strong you'll be in labor. When you go into labor, place this somewhere you can see and let is inspire you to keep going!