Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Birthing Process!

I hope your 2011 is off to a great start! I know mine sure has! I really really feel that this year is going to be special in so many ways. Each of us has had goals and aspirations and I feel quite strongly that now is the time for many of our dreams to take flight. So let’s stand back and watch each other soar!

I recall when I graduated from college in 1993, I bought my then dream car – a BHAC! What’s BHAC you ask? Well, keep reading. My closest friends from college could tell you that for the 2 years leading up to graduation, all I spoke about was a BHAC! I never owned a car before. All I could do was dream about graduating and going to work for a Big 6 accounting firm, even with my humble grade point average. The finances weren’t there. The grades weren’t there. But I had a dream – an awesome dream.

And would you believe it? 2 years after I spoke about my BHAC and working for a Big 6 firm, I realized my awesome dream! Oh, I forgot to tell you what that BHAC is – it’s a Black Honda Accord Coupe! That was my dream car in college! And I bought it just exactly as I envisioned I would.
Why do I share that story? It is to tell you that your dreams are conceived in your head – however ridiculous they may seem. But they’re your dreams and no one else’s. As you nurture these dreams, somehow, in the fullness of time, they are birthed! Yes, they are born. So a silly story about a BHAC is really a profound life lesson from which we can all learn.
Just yesterday evening I had conversation with a close friend of mine – one who I think of more as a brother than a friend. I shared with him my genuine excitement about 2011. I told him about The Upbeat Dad Community Forum that I wrote about on Monday's post. It will be held Thursday, February 10 in South Florida. Then I spoke with him in general about the new things that we’re doing at The Upbeat Dad and just my overall enthusiasm about finally seeing with my eyes what I’ve seen in my head for years. I spoke for about 10 minutes just updating him on all of these things.

Then when he began speaking, my lips were sealed. As he continued speaking I could only think of the old TV ad about E.F. Hutton – remember that? “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen!” If you get to know me, one thing you’ll know is that I love to talk – and not just idle chatter. Motivational speaker Jim Rohn says, “I like to talk about things that matter with people who care.” That’s me. The persona you know from reading the blog is me in my full essence. I always have much to say.
But can I tell you something? I absolutely love to listen to people. I even taught a seminar sometime ago called The Art of Effective Listening. I love to keep silent and listen to wisdom come from the mouth of one who knows just what (s)he is talking about. When my friend began speaking, I quickly took out my electronic notepad (my Blackberry) and had to capture the wise words that he shared.
As I took those notes, the last thing on my mind was that I would end up doing a blog post based on that talk – I just needed to capture that information for myself. What he shared with me yesterday is what I’ll share with you now. It’s that profound.
The title of this post is The Birthing Process. As I shared with him how I’ve gotten to the point of launching The Upbeat Dad, I told him that way back in 1995, I first had a glimpse of starting a worldwide organization to positively impact the lives of others. I also reminded him of some of the challenges encountered along the way (he already knew of many of them). But despite the challenges as time has transpired, I have always had the vision. And now finally today I’m beginning to see much of what I had a glimpse of over 15 years ago.
He told me this, “What you’ve experienced the last 15 years is a pregnancy.” A pregnancy? But I’m a dude! I’m a man! “Yes, Rodrick,” he replied, “you’ve been pregnant and all that’s happening now is that you’re giving birth.”
Before I say anything further, I hope you realize why I’m sharing this post with you today. Some of you are pregnant right now and you don’t know it yet; some perhaps in a literal sense, but most in a figurative sense. My desire as I write this is to help you to recognize your pregnancy and value that which you carry in your womb because it is precious.
Now back to the story: I wrote down some specific things that he mentioned. It wasn’t long before I concurred with him that in fact I have been pregnant. He spoke of my wife. Just last August, we welcomed our wonderful baby son into the world. As a matter of fact, at 3:18 PM today, the 5th, he’ll officially be 5 months old.
We found out on my birthday, December 22, 2009, that we were expecting. Little did we know that she conceived in late November. But before long, we knew it. Our doctor knew it. And those we chose to share the news with knew it. But after a few months, she started to show, so it was obvious to anyone who saw her.

As time transpired, things she normally did were not so easily done anymore. Getting dressed, standing up, walking – all these things increasingly became a chore. As all this transpired, our little son was growing. First he was practically the size of a grain of sand, then a pea, then an apple, then bigger and bigger.
While all of these changes were taking place both with my wife and our unborn son, the inevitable due date was coming up. No matter what happened, he was on his way into the world and all we could do was prepare and make room for him.
My friend then made a powerful statement to me that just made my jaw drop in awe. Here’s that statement, “When a woman reaches full term, her womb is stretched to its capacity. It can no longer contain the baby. Therefore she begins to feel discomfort. Then she experiences increasingly intense labor pains. And then the baby moves through the birth canal and is born. In the fullness of time, the world sees with their eyes what 9 months before no one knew was there.” Wow! I could not add any more words to that profound statement.
You see, my friends, our dreams are conceived inside of us. Sometimes we do not realize that they are there. But it doesn’t mean that they’re not. Then we realize and acknowledge then they’re deep within us. We could be living in a house with loved ones and they have no clue that there is something conceived and living on the inside of us. But that which is conceived is real and it is living.
My wife took prenatal vitamins to feed our little baby as she carried him. As you nurture your dream, you need to feed it the right nutrients so that it can grow in its own natural process and time. Over time, as it grows, you do begin to experience some discomfort because you’re not used to carrying this extra weight. It becomes a burden – one that you know must be released. You want to release it but it’s not yet “the fullness of time.” So you wait in anticipation and at times, with some frustration.
Did you know that there’s a certain point before which a fetus cannot survive outside of the womb? In our own lives, sometimes we try to give birth to our dreams but somehow those plans quickly fizzle and fade away. That’s because it wasn’t time to give birth just yet. But the inevitable due date awaits. There is a due date for the dreams conceived on the inside of you. That due date is as sure as the rising of the sun – it is inevitable. Your responsibility therefore, is to nurture your dreams until they become reality.
I hope you get the profound picture that I’ve sought to paint in this post. You are loaded with potential. And I really hope that this year, 2011, you will embrace the dream that lives on the inside of you. As you nurture this dream, it grows continually. Yes, there are times when it becomes painful to carry. And yes, there comes the time when it appears too much to bear. But hold on –could it be that you’re giving birth to it?

My mom always says, “The darkest part of the night is just before the dawn.” Your dreams for your family and for your career are within your grasp. But you can only realize your dreams through the painful but necessary birthing process.

Perhaps 2011 is your year to give birth! Perhaps your labor pains have been disguised as you becoming a victim of the economic downturn and your finances appear to have been cut off. Perhaps your labor pains have been disguised as a bad divorce; or as out of control children.

But take heart – as any loving mother will tell you, when that lovely baby is born, you quickly forget about the pain and discomfort as you hold that bundle of joy in your arms. It makes the labor and the pain worth it all. My wife has little recollection of the many hours that she spent in labor. She only knows that she has a wonderful, healthy, happy baby boy and that’s all that matters.
Your dreams are in the birth canal my friend. The head is crowning. In a very short while, you and the world will see with your eyes what you've already seen in your head. And as you give birth, just know that though your baby is conceived within you and begins to grow in your womb, in order for it to grow into all that it can be, it must be released through the birthing process.

I can’t wait to hear of how your lives have been changed as you give birth this year. I hope that you embrace this very life transforming message because it’s very real. And I hope that you and your baby will impact the world in a positive way.
Enjoy giving birth! We’ll see you soon.
The Upbeat Dad


  1. What a beautiful depiction of a truly powerful reality. In the fulness of time right things are born. it seems that you have given birth to a powerful idea that will have to be nurtured and cared for as it grows into what it is destined to be. You have been selected for a huge role and you must carry out the mandate given to you

  2. I just love this inspirational blog. Very uplifing and empowering, and packed with lots of important life lessons!!!

  3. Thank you for all of the advice and encouragement. It's not easy being a divorced dad right now...