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Where there’s a will, there’s a wall

September 24, 2008

Hello everyone,

This reflection was written by a fellow Canadian hypnobirthing practitioner named Jennifer Ellliot who works in the Toronto area.  I just loved what she said.  It’s so yogic too.  Set your intention, fill it with love and then let life unfold.  Good advice I think in any situation.  Do you agree?

Here is the article


Where there’s a will, there’s a wall
That’s right, a wall. Let me repeat: Where there’s a will, there’s a wall.
I love this phrase for its contrariness. It questions the more common saying: Where there’s a will, there’s a way.  Giuditta Tornetta, hypnotist, doula and author, writes insightfully about this phrase in her new book, Painless Childbirth in the chapter titled, ‘The Right to Act.’ She credits the phrase to Reverend Michael Beckwith, leader of a spiritual centre in California and made famous in the motivational movie The Secret.

Tornetta describes the concept this way. “If I, or a client, stand firm in our will to have a certain outcome during the birth, a wall gets thrown up. Whether it comes from the nurses, doctors, or even the client’s unconscious, ego begets ego and resistance is usually the outcome. On the other hand, when having formed a clear vision of the birth and having set our intentions, we enter the birth setting with love in our hearts and the willingness to be open and receptive, the outcome is a natural childbirth.”  Think about ‘will’ for a moment. What comes to mind? Determination, inflexibility, gritted teeth, tension, force, pushing through, pushing others out of the way. Perhaps an image of the iron will of a strict father or a dictator. It implies an expectation of opposition to one’s desires, even an expectation of a fight. Tension in us. Tension in others. Not the atmosphere we want in the birthing room. The possibility of a wall. An impasse.  HypnoBirthing encourages a woman not to engage in debate but rather to deeply commit to her way of birthing. And to share her plans and commitments in writing in her Birth Plan. To fully envision a calm birth. To relax, soften and welcome the sensations in her body. To go inward and follow her body. In this state there is no room to debate because she has quieted her analytical left brain. She has developed a deep trust in her body and allows nothing to distract or derail her. It is her deep conviction that her body is perfectly designed to birth that carries her through birth, not will. She is not fighting or willing it to be so. She knows that it will be so. She requires little of others. Instead she is surrendering to her body’s innate wisdom. And she has no need to convince others. The work is all hers and she knows she can do it. Others will be convinced by her accomplishment.

Because she is so deeply committed no one can distract her. She is not open to unhelpful suggestions from others. She hears only what assists and supports her, turning inward for the information she needs.  Where there’s a will there’s a wall. Sounds like good advice for parents too. When dealing with a determined toddler or teen the least successful technique may be to be equally intransigent.

Tornetta suggests that we must let go of willing the hospital staff to be different from who they are and instead infuse the room with love and gratitude. She concludes, “It is willingness (not will ) that we are after, the willingness to pour love into every situation, and then accept and welcome the perfection that comes our way. With this state of mind the universe almost always responds.”

One Comment leave one →
  1. Amy Cormode permalink
    October 1, 2008 9:27 pm

    Thank you…I recently discovered your blog at my doula’s suggestion that I read your post on Vitamin C and early rupture of membranes. I am at 36.5 weeks now and have had two previous early rupture of membranes, so this was of great interest to me. I have since read all of your posts and have been most grateful for your perspective on birth. As I am preparing and envisioning my own impending third birth experience, I found this concept of relaxing and going in with an attitude of love and gratefulness very helpful. Thanks again, keep posting!

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