My phone lit up. Lindsey BIRTHFIT sent me a text that read, “Nast, what are you doing on the 9th? You should go see Kelly Brogan in NYC!...if I was there, I would come with you!” Lindsey, founder and CEO of BIRTHFIT, had messaged me all the way from LA to tell me about this event happening in NYC. I thought, this has to be good! Ten minutes later, two tickets purchased to see someone I did not know.
I had never met Kelly Brogan, nor had I heard of her work, but through the strong suggestion of my West Coast friend, I decided to see what this woman was all about. First impression: Kelly seems sweet and unassuming. Oh, she’s a doctor; a beautiful medical doctor with impeccable taste in shoes. We’re probably going to talk about medicine because isn’t that what MDs do? Kelly began with, “We are going to talk about the deconstruction of a mindset...that we need medicine...because they steal our greatest opportunity for transformation.” Whoa! As soon as she began her lecture, I realized I had it totally wrong. My assumption about doctors talking only about medicine was far from the truth; at least it was in this case! I began to learn that Kelly was extremely well educated not just because she’s a doctor, but because she’s the “I’m-not-going-to-believe-it-just-because-everyone-else-does” kind of doctor. Or the “prove it” kind of doctor. It wasn’t just because she’s a true New Yorker, but because she questioned everything, including her own research, that I began to really pay attention.
Kelly wasted no time jumping right into her topic, The Future of Women’s Health: Conventional Medicine to Integrative Wisdom. She began by speaking about a shift in the mindset of society from militant, rigid, masculine, science-only thinking to reconnecting with a softer power within our own bodies and even within our own communities. “We are medicated into submission by being sold a story; a story of lies...and the medication we are taking is not only not helping us,” Kelly went on, “it’s actually stealing our greatest opportunity for freedom, for joy, for transformation.” The shift in mindset to remove medication is a struggle. Kelly compared the struggle to that of a baby struggling in the birth canal. The struggle is not comfortable, but is is necessary in order to achieve birth. We need this type of birth - or rebirth - in order to attain the feminist awakening. This awakening brings us closer to our innate, feminine roots - that softer side - that connects us to ourselves and to each other.
Enter Kelly’s mentor, Kundalini Yoga Instructor, Swaranpal. Swaranpal began by stating that we are a bridge between the East and the West. I sat there wondering what she meant by this. As if she had read my mind, Swaranpal continued with, “we don’t respond with people shoving stuff down our throats, we respond to consciousness and conviction behind it.” She went on, “we must find a way to bridge or balance your feminine and masculine energy and bring into union and balance your body, mind, and spirit.” Kelly and Swaranpal’s message is that information and medicine alone will not solve our problems, but allowing ourselves to experience the fire and the struggle within is what’s needed for true transformation. In other words, don’t try to medicate or mask the pain, but go through the struggle of overcoming it. I had never heard it quite like this before. I realized right there and then that I have a choice, we all do: to commit to a transforming experience or to hide from it and even to mask it (aka. medication). Kelly, this woman I had never met before, encouraged me to commit to the experience. And I listened. Commit to the experience, Nast. That’s where integrative wisdom begins and true awakening occurs.
Commit to your motherhood transition. Go through it. Don’t tiptoe around it or look the other way or avoid tough conversations. Meet the obstacle head on. Buckle up and ride that bull.