Go on – Brush your shoulders off!

I remember the birthing process vividly! Well, I at least remember the birth of our daughter very clearly, it was only 3 and a half months ago. My own birth? Well, that one is a little fuzzy.

I was absolutely astounded with the entire thing. I won’t go through all the details here. You other parents know what I am talking about, it is AMAZING! But, one thing in particular has stood out to me from the moment I found out about it.

Every naturally born baby has to dance its way down the birth canal. Well maybe not the Macarena, but it does not just simply swoosh down the slide like a day at the park! I was told before our daughter came along that she would have to work her way toward the outside world one shoulder at a time…

Huh? One shoulder at a time? Yes, it is a fact that the design of the system is such that the widest part of our baby bodies cannot fit without a lot of flexibility and a spiraling turning motion. The baby usually starts face-up and has to spin, one shoulder at time to a face-down position to work it’s way to freedom.

As for me? I personally didn’t figure that part out, and was born cesarean with a nice little nick to my forearm that is still scarred up today. Ha! (Remember that part in a minute.)

Our baby girl found her way to us at 7:00 on a sunny summer Sunday morning. She did the spin-turn dance and we were elated to meet her.

Now she is trying to learn to spin again. Actually, it’s the movement of rolling over, that she is practicing. I have not seen her complete the roll as of yet. I did record 8 minutes of phone video the other night, just sure that I would capture her first real rotation.

We were told that the baby-sitter has seen her do it both ways several times… Grrr… she must be aware that her Daddy isn’t really ready for her to be mobile yet, and is kindly holding off for the moment, for me. (Ha!)

Again it’s her shoulders that are stopping her. Again it is a one-shoulder-at-a-time twisting motion that she will soon learn. I can see her trying to spin. Laying down facing the ceiling she throws her head waaay back. She leans over, very far to the side. Her bottom and legs will keep rotating around. They will end up all the way flat faced down.

It is the arm and shoulder that is the hang-up. At the beginning of the spin, it helps steady her, but eventually she’ll have to learn to tuck it down, so it’s out of the way. Or she will reach out above her head, where it won’t stop the progress.

From even before we are born, we have to practice a shifting of our shoulders.

So what! Big deal. It’s not earth shattering, right?!?!

Well, I think that it’s true that. “How some things work, is how all things work.”

Our shoulders do what? If you have to move through your own life, what do you physically use your shoulders for?

I tend to think of our shoulders as the place where we carry our heavy loads. When I buy a 40lb sack of Roxy’s food at Seven Cedars Purina Feed Store in Princeton, KS, I throw it up onto my shoulder to haul it out to the car. When we go hiking on a trail in the mountains of Colorado, or the woods of Arkansas or the Ozarks of Missouri, I hang my snacks, water and camera in a backpack strapped to my shoulders.

The shoulders are our sturdy foundation that we rely on to help us lug around our extra cargo, our stuff. I am carting things on my shoulders all the time. They are not always physical objects though.

Sure, just like a lot of people, I tend to bear a burden and walk heavy with unhealthy loads of emotional cargo. I might hold onto grudges, or keep a knapsack of future fear and worry. I probably pack a great tinderbox of frustrations ready to ignite, when I perceive the circumstances require my irrational angers!

It’s a wonder I can walk around at all, with the mile high pile of junk I rest on my own shoulders all the time. I am sure, this is the reason I get quite stuck from time to time. I can become lodged into tight immovable moments, between proverbial rocks and imaginative hard places. It’s the load I keep locked onto my shoulders that wedges me in…

God is showing me through my adorable daughter, that the grand design is for us to become flexible. The way out of a tight spot, to get unstuck, is to shift and turn and spin. I have to deeply drop my shoulder down. So deep that everything hanging from it, will fall off. I have reach high with the other, so high, that the baggage will have to be let go. I have to reach high without extra weight, straining and restricting that movement.

I have to be born again, each time I want freedom from the stalled and gridlocked moments of my life. If I want to learn to roll, just like my infant wants to roll, I must learn the same motions she is learning.

I wasn’t born in the natural way. I didn’t learn then, the flexibility I needed. I don’t know if I ever have. It must be a lesson that I’m saving for ‘someday’ to get it right. It’s okay to let go of the mountain of miscellaneous misgivings and mistakes and memories that don’t serve me well anymore. That is the only way we are allowed forward on this journey. We gotta go on and brush our shoulders off…

Only then, we can see what new worlds, possibilities and exciting moments of love await us.

Until next week, take care.

With Love


Aaron Nichols

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *