During my first pregnancy, I was working as a personal assistant within a law firm in London, next to the river Thames. During my one-hour lunch break, I used to go for a walk on South Bank. I loved standing in front of the river, admiring the tranquil water. For about ten minutes, I would visualize my future contractions while observing the little waves. I would visualize a fabric doll with long legs, light and flexible, floating on the waves’ crest, coming and going effortlessly. I was preparing my body to handle the physical pain of the contractions. I was training my mind to be aware of the impermanence of such pain.
A few months afterwards, when I started experiencing contractions on the evening my first baby was born, I made the conscious effort to remember the way my imaginary fabric doll gracefully danced on the waves. I gave birth to my daughter without epidural nor episiotomy.