Seven years ago, I wrote my first book, Journaling by the Moonlight: A Mother’s Path to Self-Discovery. It was inspired by my own journey into motherhood – a time of joy and celebration, but also a time of anxiety, depression, and confusion. I was a mother, but who was I really?
Those first two years of motherhood proved to be a challenging experience for me – one where I lost a sense of personal identity, spiraling into darkness and losing my self-esteem. And it was that experience that ignited my passion for supporting mothers on their journey toward a more purposeful and peaceful life.
Today, I’ve invited Bailey Gaddis, author of the book, “Feng Shui Mommy: Creating Balance and Harmony for Blissful Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Motherhood” – to join me for a dialogue about what it takes to create a balanced and harmonious experience as a mother. Her book was recently published by New World Library and is already receiving rave reviews.
Before she was a beloved pregnancy blogger, certified birthing doula and childbirth preparation educator, Bailey Gaddis met her own pregnancy by buying a bunch of books — which, for the most part, made her even more confused, insecure, and scared. So by adopting the principles and philosophy of feng shui, the Chinese system of a connected inner and outer harmony, she wrote her own book – one that guides women to their balanced center and supports them in tapping into the primal energies brought forth in the birthing and motherhood experience.
Here’s what she had to say on the topic of balance and harmony in motherhood.
What is Feng Shui and what does it have to do with being a Mom?
Feng shui (pronounced “fung shway”) is an ancient Chinese philosophy that focuses on harmonizing humans with our surrounding environment. Feng shui is based on the idea that nature, including our material environments, is alive with an invisible energy — our chi, or life force. In Feng Shui Mommy, the concept of feng shui is pushed beyond your physical environment into a space where your mental and spiritual environments, and the life force they’re alive with, are honored.
This book offers support regarding how to nurture and harmonize the life force moving through these three primary aspects of your life — physical, mental, and spiritual — allowing you to move into childbirth and motherhood with a balanced, empowered, and calm energy and knowledge about how to realign that energy when it’s knocked off balance. That’s what being a Feng Shui Mommy is — knowing what it feels like to have balanced and harmonized life force flowing through all aspects of your existence, and knowing how to jump back into the flow when you’ve been thrown out.
What inspired you to write your book?
I wrote this book because I was in dire need of a better way to move into, and then “be in,” motherhood. The idea came to me when, one offensively early morning, around 3 am, I was crying with my newborn son in a pool of breastmilk and spit-up. Something was poking my back and it was a lid-less blue gel pen that had been soaking into my glider chair. I took the pen and a copy of Women Who Run With Wolves, and scribbled my ideas for Feng Shui Mommy in the back cover of the book. The notes seemed like milky tear-stained gibberish at the time, but when I found them a few months later I was struck with their helpfulness, and ability to make me see the light and humor in my (many!) flaws.
As I began working with pregnant women and new mothers I would show them these notes and ask their thoughts. I was met with a resounding, “Oh my yes! I’ve totally had these questions and thoughts. Do you have more of this?” Um, no, I didn’t – so I decided to write more. Over the next two years I became obsessed with collecting stories, knowledge, and personal experiences that I would weave together to create Feng Shui Mommy – my second child in so many ways
What do you most hope women will take away from your book?
I hope that women will take away from this book a knowingness that they deserve to claim their journey into motherhood and make it their own. One of my main messages in the book is the importance of tuning in to one’s intuition, or gut, or maternal instincts, or whatever they want to call that guiding feeling that will lead them into thought processes, decisions and actions that will best suit their unique path into motherhood. The more they tune into this intuition the less chaotic and confusing their adventure into motherhood will be.
Throughout the book, I urge the reader to absorb and practice the ideas and techniques that resonate with them, and let go of the rest. My goal is not for the reader to end the book set to birth “my way” but to have gained deep insight into what her way is; so, every reader will end this book with different takeaways, many of which they likely came up with on their own, and I love that.
Bailey Gaddis, C.Ht., HBCE, is a childbirth preparation educator, birth doula, and hypnotherapist who works with mothers-to-be, new mothers, and their support teams. She is also a regular contributor to media outlets including Disney’s Babble, Working Mother, Pregnancy & Newborn, Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, and Woman’s Day. In addition to her childbirth-prep work, she volunteers for families in need of postpartum support. Bailey lives in Ojai, California with her family.
A percentage of the author’s revenues will be donated to support maternal health care. To learn more about Bailey’s work , please visit her website: Bailey Gaddis