That’s it. I give up.


I’m a new mom to a patient, sweet, lovely, clever, funny baby boy.

He’s 5 months old. That’s how long I’ve been sleep deprived.

I realize after having him that I know next to nothing about my pelvic floor. And it turns out that having a healthy, stable, strong and toned pelvic floor helps create the correct foundation for each movement in the body. In particular, it helps during pregnancy, birth and post birth.

Which helps to explain why my body feels overly achy, tired and sore.

But allow me to backtrack, as my body isn’t exactly the topic of this blog, but merely a jumping off point.

I always knew I wanted to be a mom, but in my mind this was to happen in a future where I was “financially and emotionally stable”. This, of course, didn’t happen. Although ironically, having a baby has brought me new financial and emotional awareness. Coincidence? I think not.

In the span of one year, I got pregnant, left NYC to set roots down in Western Mass, moved in with my boyfriend and another couple who were also expecting, and gave birth to a sweet healthy cherub babe. Now, it sounds somewhat straight-forward and even planned. I assure you, none of it was. And because it was unplanned, it took me a long time to accept the changes happening in my body and in my life. This resistance, which ultimately taught me how to surrender and trust, was for a long time my own personal hell.

Thing is, I had made grand plans for myself. I was love-foolishly attached to an image of what I wanted my life to look like. I had projects on the burner, big investments that needed my attention. I had even begun to write my first book. And suddenly, I was asked to push it all aside and prepare for motherhood. The biggest mind-fuck was that I was nowhere near financial or emotional “stability”. I felt like the ultimate failure.

Eventually, I came to not only accept my fate, but trust and love it. So much so that very recently, during a middle-of-the-night wake up for potty and boob, I realized that I had received exactly what I had been asking for.

For years, I’d been praying to Spirit: “I just want to be of service.” In those exact words. My brain thought that this meant running a business or teaching or creating some kind of offering. All the successful women I looked up to at the time were doing just that: living awesome lives, creating awesome things, and getting paid lots of dough for it. Here was their common thread: they were all following their inner guide and showing up to be of service. And I was all like: Sign. Me. Up.

Which is why I was so dissapointed when I got pregnant. Suddenly this meant shacking up with a partner whom I hadn’t had intentions of moving in with and relying on him for financial support. This went against everything I wanted for myself. And furthermore- how could I be of service and live the financially independent awesome life I so deeply desired?

But here I am. I got what I asked for. A mom to a baby boy is how I am asked to be of service at this point in my life. To care for him, nourish him, and be there for him, much in the same way that so many others have been of service to me throughout my life. I recall all those times when someone was there, helping me in the middle of the night, helping to clean my provervial pee. And the love and grace with which they had done it. I recall how overwhelmingly grateful I felt, and how much love would pour from my heart as a result. This realization helped turned all of this around for me. If I can serve Luca with love and grace, especially during those times when thats the last thing I want to do, then I can fully show up to my assignment: that of being a mom.

The idea of giving up my life for my child, unable to pursue any of my projects or ideas, has also since transformed. Last week, I led the first ever Mom+Baby Qoya class. I’ve also begun working as part of the One Fire Festival production team, and during each and every conference call I’m on, he waits patiently for me to finish. I kid you not- not a single fuss. My work, in the most blessed ways, now involves things and people that welcome me and my child. Despite these blessings, I still deeply crave financial freedom, and often I find myself dwelling in fear for not being there yet.

But I digress.

What this post is really about is what I learned, and been learning, in these last couple of months. Parenthood has really shaken us up to our very core, testing us in ways nothing else has or ever could. It’s been fucking hard, often painful, and I would lie if I said that there havent been dark nights of the soul and lots of tears. That’s pretty much how the beginning of this year kicked off for me: the beginning of a death of sorts.

I keep reminding myself to accept whatever death needs to happen- after all, we’re in the middle of winter, the season of death, of letting go, of releasing. During the most trying times when I witnessed myself trying to hang on to what I wanted or what I had imagined all of this would be like, I remind myself to gracefully let go, much in the way that a leaf gracefully falls off the branch. It was during this time that I reinvigorated my conviction in myself, and my hard-core belief in Exquisite Self Care: the notion that I would be in a much better position to handle parenthood, partnerhood, and life in general if I could just take better care of myself, starting from within.

As a student of cycles and seasons, I began to see my life as yet another learning opportunity: how can I best flow within this season? I took a closer look at winter, the season associated with the water element; and water, which corresponds to emotions in our body. It suddenly became perfectly clear that this was the optimal time for me to care for my emotional body, dive deep within and do some serious inner work.

Before I knew it, I became knee-deep in inner work, so to speak. In the last month and a half, I began the Wild Woman Circle Leader Training with Chris Maddox. I’ve also been religiously listening to Marianne Williamson’s Livestream Mondays. As I began my training as a Wild Woman Circle Leader, which asks of its leaders to first and foremost dive deep into the heart, I supplemented this training with Marianne’s teachings from A Course in Miracles, which trains the mind how to listen to love (rather than listen to its very loud counter-part: fear). The cherry on top has been Meggan Jane Watterson’s online course, How to Love Yourself (And Sometimes Other People). At the core of Meggan’s work is the soul voice meditation, which taps into the same energy guidance as all the other work I’m doing.

I’m still a novice at this work. However, I’m committed to making this my way of life. Of creating time and ritual to dive within and listen to this heart of mine and the wisdom and guidance it has for me. Of this I am certain.

Which means I must commit to living my life in a very different way.

In my 20s, I was so charged up and committed to going after the things I wanted and the things I thought would make me happy, tirelessly working to make it happen. Sure, this may have resulted in me “succeeding” and adding a bunch of things to my resume. But none of it truly led me to find happiness, just to check off a bunch of stuff from my to-do list.

In my 30s, I am committed to completely and fully giving up control of my life. I no longer want to be in charge of it. This in no way means that I don’t want freedom or independence. To me, being in control of my life and experiencing freedom in my life are two completely different things.

From hereon, I am committed to asking to be led, to be guided. I will show up fully to wherever that may be (even if its 2am and im cleaning up pee and poop). Not only do I want to be of service, but I want to fully trust in Spirit to take over the wheel and show me the way. I no longer presume to know which way is the best way nor do I presume to know what things should be or look like. I give it all up. Because “my way” brings far too much luggage, far too many expectations, far too many fears and attachments, shoulds and should nots. Far too much pain and too much conflict. It’s exhausting.

As I look at my sleeping baby boy, a being so full of love and wonder, I realize that all this inner work is really my attempt to model for him how to love and trust himself. I know that my days of knowing what’s best for him are counted. There will come a time when he will turn inward and ask to be guided to what is best for him.

At which point, I will fall to my knees in gratitude, for there will be yet one more being on this planet who will know how to listen and follow his heart.


My name is Mishel Ixchel. I’m Ecuadorian-born &
NYC-bred. Western Mass is currently home, and it's also where I practice + teach the art of
Sacred Self Care.