Becoming a mother changes how we view the world.
With our sweet little bundle arrived, it can suddenly feel urgent to create a brand new world for our children to live into. Seemingly strange, motherhood simultaneously kicks our drive to make a difference into high gear, while at the same time putting our foot on the brake -with the round the clock responsibilities of motherhood.
While both of my children are now in school I must admit that throughout my 10 years as a stay at home mom, whilst fully engaged with my passions -I often felt perplexed by my seemingly contradictory urges to fully embody my role as a nurturer and at the same time fulfill my dreams, passions and purpose as a woman.
It was a conflicted time for me as I lived with the story that my work compromised my mothering and that my mothering compromised my work. I often felt like I wasn’t doing a very good job of anything. Unable to give myself fully to either and in many ways living only to a fraction of my capacity.
But a story is all that it was. A collective pattern and mindset (one that I believe is part of the collective feminine pain body) bullying us into believing that we can’t have it all (and shouldn’t). Battering us into believing that we are required to give our selfhood over to motherhood and simply put our lives on hold- if we are to be a good mother.
It’s bruising and it’s a lie.
I believe the truth is that we are called as mothers to gather resources and do whatever it takes to conjure up more energy (than we’ve ever had) and to give more fully of our whole selves. We are called to model living fully self expressed in the truth of who we are, so that our children can naturally and easily do it too.
It is a truth that my husband gently reminds me of, when I feel guilty for swinging too far from a lifestyle that I personally feel is in the best interests of my family- and yes, of course there are seasons like that when you dare to defy the traditional role of a mother- you’ll feel like a shit mom, and sometimes you’ll be one- despite your best intentions you are only human and we are all learning as we go.
While it isn’t always easy, it is worth figuring out how to live harmoniously and in consensus with both our soul’s drive to create and our children’s inherent needs. I believe that we are the ones who will recreate the story and create a new blueprint for motherhood.
We are finding our way….
Feelings and urges are meant to be expressed, not suppressed (the latter of which of course which only adds fuel to the fire of the passions we are trying to put out or starve).
By virtue of having a desire, our soul is speaking to us of a yet unmet need. You can’t argue with a feeling, it just is. It must be felt, acknowledged, released or expressed. Either way, it is coming out- whether destructive or creative. We get to decide -if we choose to look at it.
And you can’t argue with reality either. If it is universal that women give birth to creative power, while also giving birth to a child (many women can attest that this heightened creativity begins as early as pregnancy), then could it be that we are wired this way for good reason?
Who better than a mother high on love hormones to recreate the world?
Is it possible that it is within the divine plan, that a strong desire to manifest is also birthed inside a woman as she becomes a mother? Could our creative urges be divinely inspired?
With all of my being, I believe that childbirth is a woman’s vision quest and that not only are we downloaded with a blueprint for how we are to parent, but that we are also given a vision for birthing a new humanity through mothering.
This inner drive need not be misconstrued as a force that calls us away from conscious mothering, but rather acknowledged as one that calls us more fully into mothering with intention and living our divine life purpose (of which motherhood is part of the practice).
It is all how you look at it.
In the famous words of Wayne Dyer, “when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”.
How would you live differently if you thought of motherhood as the catalyst for your calling?
Learn how to create a feminine based business here!
“The fastest way to change society is to mobilize the women of the world. “Charles Malik
If I had one wish for humanity, I would want our generation of women to leave a new legacy in childbirth.
And I would want all of us; mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, sisters, brothers, aunties, uncles, cousins and neighbors to be part of the conversation -because the way that women give birth today affects the future for all of us.
What I mean by that is -the way that we give birth to our children sets the tone for how they will relate to life -fostering a blueprint for the kind of world they will go on to create- not only for the coming generations, but in terms of how they will go on to care for our own generation as we embark upon our elder years.
Are we becoming hardwired for pain?
We are literally being wired at birth for pain and it’s making life harder than it need to be, for all of us.
According to research coming out of the field of pre and perinatal psychology, as adults we continue to relive many of the same patterns of pain, suffering and abandonment that we experienced at birth and during childhood (later projecting these hardships into each and every new life experience until the unconscious beliefs patterns are finally resolved or healed).
Have you ever wondered what impact it has on the soul’s essence, when our very first experience of what it means to be human – our first impression of what life on earth holds for us- is met with pain and suffering?
Today many if not most of our children are born in some type of fear, pain or trauma (think drugs, forceps, c-section, hands pulling on their neck and head, vacuum extractor, fetal scalp electrode, resuscitation, being handled poorly, being taken away from mother, weighing on cold scale, loud jarring noises, circumcision etc.).
According to Bruce Lipton, cellular biologist and author of the Biology of Belief, this unresolved pain and trauma closes down our babies ability to live fully open and in growth mode. Instead we become wired for constriction and living in protection mode- a state that keeps us from being able to fully grow into our brilliance and from expressing our gifts in the world without the difficulty of unconscious negative and self limiting childhood patterning getting in the way.
How we are born is shaping the way that we live and die: institutionalized…
Today most of us were born in institutions (hospitals), raised in them (think schools), live in them (old age) and die in them (full circle), but what about taking our lives and communities back into our own hands, starting with birth?
What if instead we embraced birth as a community and supported women to rise up and reclaim their immense feminine power to vision, nurture and to protect the coming generations, so that they could feel empowered to explore pregnancy, birth and motherhood without feeling fearful, alienated and self-consciousness about their capability to birth naturally, breastfeed and nurture their babies?
As a community we need to come together to take a stand for gentle birth practices so that our babies do not suffer- because if we don’t, who will? Mothers can’t do this alone. They need the support of their families and communities if they are to take a different path.
But, can we really trust and reclaim birth at this point- or is it just a pipe dream that birth even has the potential to be so much more than just something we ‘have to do’ to have a baby?
If we want to find out, we are going to have to not only rediscover birth, but also reclaim responsibility and our trust in life as a community of people.
Reclaiming birth from the ‘experts’
It’s time to take birth back from the territory of experts and back into the heart and hands of our families and communities.
But are we qualified? Isn’t birth dangerous without medical intervention?
The truth is, I believe that we can trust birth if we don’t interfere with it.
According to some leading thinkers in birth physiology, most of the pain and suffering in modern childbirth is created by fear, irreverent use of technology and it’s accompanying cascade of interventions -but trauma is not itself intrinsic to childbirth.
The more I witnessed the difference between unattended births, homebirths with Midwives and hospital births (as a Doula) and continued to study birth physiology – the interplay of hormones, body structures (tissues, ligaments and bones), instincts, consciousness (internal environment) and the birth space (external environment) for their effect on labour and birth- the more I have come to understand that to be true.
While exploring childbirth history I also came to discover that the beliefs we carry about birth are based on misunderstandings with many crucial pieces of the puzzle missing.
Sure it is true that many women died in childbirth due to infection before the advent of antibiotics, but what you might not know is that doctors used to place their fingers into the birthing woman’s vagina after coming directly from the morgue where they had been performing autopsies on victims of puerperal fever (without washing their hands in between).
Clearly, birth isn’t uniquely prone to infection, but it is what we do to birth (and where we give birth) that makes us susceptible to certain scenarios and health concerns.
When we look at birth from a systems perspective it becomes apparent that it is the structures of the system itself that perpetuates the need for surgery and technology. As just one example, doctors who attend most of the births that take place in North America are obstetricians- doctors who specialize in surgery – and so it is natural that they should have a conscious or unconscious drive to use their skills in surgical birth -it is what they went to school to learn and were trained for.
Increasing Cesarean rates reflect just how distant we have become from trusting the inherent wisdom of our own bodies. In 1965 the cesarean rate was 4.5 % and now it ranges up to 60% (and beyond) in some hospitals.
With 60% c-section rates becoming ‘normal’ we have to wonder- have women become incapable of giving birth?
Research from the physiological birth sciences, much of which is outlined beautifully in Dr. Sarah Buckley’s article ‘the hormonal blueprint of labour‘, shows that we women are in fact very well equipped to give birth.
So what on earth is going on then?
According to obstetrician Michel Odent who coined the words ‘undisturbed birth’- interference in childbirth with unnecessary protocol and inhibitory birth environments keeps the consciousness of the labouring woman from being able to descend into an instinctive and primal awareness of how to open to the birth experience.
He insists that safe birth practices must be centered around facilitating birth physiology (not the other way around with labour boxed into birth practices and parameters that are convenient or comfortable for the care provider).
From the physiological birth paradigm, what we don’t do and how we approach and prepare the birthing environment is what prevents birth complications- not one simplified squeaky clean hospital or home birth protocol applied to all labours.
Thanks to the research of Dr. Sarah Buckley and Dr. Michel Odent we now have a new lens with which to view childbirth- the physiological paradigm where labours and birth are not interfered with as a matter of course.
Unfortunately women seeking care under the physiological paradigm are often hard-pressed to get it where even midwifery care is regulated and medicalized.
Birth freedom: How to make the shift
It seems that we are losing our basic womanly right to birth where we want, with whom we want and without intervention- but are we taking notice and who is responsible?
What we need now is to create a whole new paradigm of childbirth if we want to preserve our daughter’s birth freedom.
The more we make a study of birth physiology, the more apparent it will become that undisturbed birth is safe when women are healthy.
As pregnant and experienced birthing mothers and grandmothers we need to become responsible for reclaiming birth wisdom for our daughters and grand daughters– so that they are not misled by the paradigm of fear in birth.
How are they to know any different if we don’t show them? How will they remember birth wisdom if we don’t reclaim it for ourselves?
What kind of future will we create for our grandchildren if we continue to allow mother’s and babies to be drugged up, under nurtured and harmed by dangerous birth practices?
If our daughters and grand babies have to face the same conditions or worse in 20 years, then not only did we their mother’s and grandmothers suffer in vain -but the truth is we are the ones responsible.
In the words of wise women, Jeannine Parvati Baker, “When we take our journey in life, inevitability we’re gonna trip on a rock, here or there. We must as a people, stop, pick up that rock, and remove it from the path, so that those who come behind us won’t trip also. If we neglect to stop and pick up that rock in the road, anyone who follows after us and hurts themselves…. it becomes our responsibility to care for them…..by picking the road clean of obstacles, our sisters, our daughters, our granddaughters who come behind us will have a clear road to birth”.
Today we have made birth the territory of ‘experts’ and ‘authority’. The information that is being passed down to us from the experts, namely that birth is dangerous and that it requires medical intervention is actually the truth -when we interfere with it.
We need to start asking: How much safer could birth be, if we simply created the right conditions for birth and then left it alone?
We need to return to a study of the basic needs of the labouring woman if we want childbirth practices to be centered on the well being of mother’s and babies- that is self evident.
We must also think critically about modern birthing practices. Who or what are they intended to serve (hospital systems and structures, big pharma, big egos, the clocks, convenience etc.)? Do modern birthing practices create the very conditions they profess to solve?
Mother as expert…
So who can we turn to when we want to know the truth about unhindered childbirth, and about how to create the kind of conditions that are needed in the birth environment to prevent interference with the natural and normal physiology of a healthy labouring woman?
If we want to know how to create an undisturbed birth, the only logical way to do that is to learn from the people who have done it themselves and who are still doing it – not from ‘experts’ who have never themselves experienced or facilitated an undisturbed birth.
A quick google search of the words ‘undisturbed birth‘, ‘waterbirth‘, ‘lotus birth’, ‘unassisted birth‘, ‘ecstatic birth‘, ‘Sacred Birthing’ or ‘orgasmic birth‘ will surely lead you toward the wisdom of the kind of people who really trust birth.
In contrast, there is a huge volume of fear based information about birth coming at us from every angle (caregivers, TV shows, media, internet).
If we want to create a different kind of birth experience than what is commonly experienced today, we have to switch stations altogether (away from experts) and turn up the volume on the real experts -the experienced mothers who are sharing with us how they actually have facilitated safe, gentle, ecstatic and even orgasmic births!
It will only be possible for each one of us, if we turn our awareness toward voices that speak trust and then open our mind and hearts to that potential.
The truth is that nothing that we do from a place of resistance, fear or dread turns out well, so why would birth be any different? We have to start giving birth from a place of inspiration if we want to create a new birth ‘herstory’ for our daughters.
It is equally important to surround ourselves locally with people who live and breathe trust in birth- having access to a community of people who really walk their talk- women friends, Doulas and Midwives who believe in your inherent capacity as a woman to give birth and trust you to know what kind of care will best serve you.
When we make different choices in this world -ones that are apart from the mainstream, it is so essential to spend time in the presence of people who support us so that we are not swayed by the fear-based consciousness that permeates childbirth.
Personally, I want a world where my daughter is considered capable and intelligent enough to make her own decisions about her body and her baby – a world where she is free to choose who she wants council and birth support from– if she wants it at all.
Given the fact that less than 1% of women in the US give birth at home and that it still remains next to impossible to get a Midwife here in Manitoba (never mind one who is free to practice without vaginal exams and a doppler in labour), I for one refuse to stand idly and watch the last of my daughter’s birth freedoms slip away.
What about you? Are you ready to start picking up ‘the rocks in the road’ for our daughters and grandbabies?
If you want to be part of continuing the conversation about expanding birth choices for our daughters and creating solutions where challenges stand in the way, join me at the Trust Birth Conference so that we can all reclaim birthing wisdom together!
This conversation isn’t just for mothers to be, Midwives and Doulas, it is a conversation for all women. Losing our birth freedom is just one of the many freedoms that we stand to lose if we don’t take a stand for it now.
Join me at the Birth Freedom Seminar at the Trust Birth Conference. Check out this description from the website on the Birth Freedom Seminar by Carla Hartley founder of the Ancient Art Midwifery Institute!
“The Birth Freedom Seminar is about restoring Constitutional Liberty. It’s not just about birth. If they can strip away this most basic of freedoms, what else is next? If you are ready to stand up against the ever increasing theft of Constitutional Liberty, then join us for an exciting and empowering day of motivational and informative speakers. Our speakers for the day include ….long-time midwives who have served mothers even when it wasn’t politically correct, an attorney who fights on the front lines for women to have VBACS, a midwife educator who refuses to sacrifice parental freedom for expediency, and me (Carla Hartley), someone who is just bold enough to think that it is not too late to fight for freedom.” Click here to learn more.
I distinctly remember thinking when I was a child, that “if my parents would treat me with the same kindness and respect that that they treated the people outside of our family, there would be little to no conflict between us”. This I suspected would have spared me from the pain and shame they unconsciously used, to get me to comply with their preferences and expectations……I also remember vowing to myself that I would remember what it was like to be a child, and therefore would be able to communicate to my own children, in a way that was respectful to their feelings.
Yet, like all parents, I too on more occasions than I care to admit, succumb to the old ways of parenting through power struggles with my children.
The problem is not that we need to learn new parenting skills to raise our children, but rather, that we need to unlearn the “parenting program” that our parents passed down to us.
The secret of parenting is simple, and it applies as much to parenting, as it does all relationships. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. That is simply it.
If you wouldn’t say what you say to your children, in the way that you say it, to a friend, then you shouldn’t be saying it, or at the very least be saying it in the way you said it to your child!!
This is common sense! Yet we try to get around it, in our impatience, hidden agendas and fear of losing control.
Consensus Between Parent and Child
Realize that it is possible to meet both your own needs and your child’s needs without compromise. Consensus is not compromise. Consensus is looking at the big picture and coming up with a higher way or solution to meet the needs of everyone involved. Our children need us to uphold what is best for them.
Can you imagine what it must be like to live around adults?
How would you like to be “ordered around”, have your decisions made for you and physically forced against your will to eat, go to bed and stop what you are doing, at a moments notice due to the conveniences of someone else’s agenda?
This is not even to speak of the physical and emotional abuse that many children must tragically endure.
Embracing Our Children’s Innocence
Let us recognize and embrace our children’s innocence…..I am so disheartened when I hear such statements such as “children are manipulative”, “bad”, “defiant” or “destructive”.
NO! THAT IS NOT WHO THE CHILD IS!!! Those behaviors come out of unmet needs! Needs that are our responsibility as the parents.
We must embrace our children’s innocence, and recognize that the problem is not with the child, never was and never will be!
If we can assume our child is innocent, we can stop and ask what is the right response in this moment? As we interact with our children, do we react to them with our unconscious “parenting programs” or are we responding to a sentient, innocent and vulnerable human being worthy of our love, respect and care?
How can we expect respect from our children if we do not treat them with respect?
Connection fosters respect. Your children want to please you from a place of desiring to feel your joy, rather than out of fear of your disapproval or your withholding of love. This also applies to the other side of the coin.
Children act defiant, because we humans have evolved to have what Gordon Neufeld refers to as “counter will”, it is a protective instinct! So called defiant children are not bad!!! This instinct and impulse to do the opposite of what we are told, arises out of a place of protection. Protection that is, from those who would have us do something that is not in our best interests! It only arises within us when the person telling us what to do, has hidden agendas or when that person has not established a connection with us.
When parenting becomes a struggle, we must ask ourselves what is wrong with our approach to the child, not what is wrong with the child?
We must trust the innocence of our children, and trust our selves to know how to parent in the way that we would want to be parented ourselves.
Let us come back to relating to our children as a path of conscious parenting. This is our greatest practice as conscious parents, and it is the only way to transcend painful so-called misbehavior. If we focus on the behavior instead of the child, we will continue to see more of the behavior, that is a fact. While if we focus on the relationship, we will see the true essence of our child as the behavior slips away.
Relationship is everything.
It seems appropriate to leave you with the profound insights of Kahil De Brahn.
“Your children are not your children, they are sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself. They come through you, but not from you, and though they are with you, they belong not to you. You may give them your love, but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts. You may strive to be like them, but do not seek to make them like you. For life goes not backwards nor terry’s with yesterday.”
Let us bestow not only instinctual love upon our children, but also respect for who they are. Let us also stand with reverence for who they are to become, for we are very likely giving birth to souls who are much more evolved than we are! Children are our teachers. Let us embrace not only their innocence, but also their inherent wisdom. We can trust our child’s natural unfolding, as deeply as we can trust ourselves to know the difference between whether or not our actions, words and deeds as parents demonstrate love, respect and kindness. We do not have to question that. We can always feel it, within our soul’s wisdom.
Resources for Conscious Parenting:
aka:Trans generational Passage of Characteristics by Non-Genetic Means
“There is mounting evidence that programming of lifetime health by the conditions in the womb is equally, if not more important than our genes in determining how we perform mentally and physically……understanding the mechanisms that underlie programming by the quality of life in the womb, we can improve the start in life for our children and their children.” Dr. Peter W. Nathanielsz in Life in the Womb: The Origin of Health and Disease
All that I am about to share with you is based on the paradigm shifting work of cellular biologist Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D.
His book, the Biology of Belief-unleashing the power of consciousness, matter & miracles explains the principles that Lipton has coined “The New Biology”.
Before we begin to look at the practical application of the subject of the new biology and parents as genetic engineers, we must preface the principles with a brief understanding of the emerging science of epi genetics.
According to Lipton, the science of epi-genetics literally means “control above genetics”.
He goes on to say, “In the last decade, epi-genetic research has established that DNA blueprints passed down through genes are not set in concrete at birth. Genes are not destiny! Environmental influences, including nutrition, stress and emotions, can modify those genes, without changing their basic blueprint. And those modifications, epi-geneticists have discovered, can be passed on to future generations as surely as DNA blueprints are passed on to future generations via the Double Helix”.
Principles of the New Biology as Applied to Parenting
Genes are Fluid
Diseases are not the result of a single gene, but of complex interactions among multiple genes and environmental factors. The Humane Genome Project discovered that more than 80% of the presumed and required DNA does not even exist!
The project itself proved the “one gene, one protein” dogma of genetic determinism obsolete, but they didn’t tell us that part of the discovery!
Sure, they found all the genes in the human body, but what they forgot to mention was that while they expected to find at least 120, 000 genes, they found that the human genome consists of approximately 25,000 genes. More than 80% of the required DNA does not exist to account for the complexity found in human beings. Compare that with the primitive Caenorhabditis worm genome, which contains approximately 24 000 genes, in a body of exactly 969 cells and a simple brain of 302 cells!
Something is wrong with this picture!
Yet, the media and pharmaceutical cartel, continue to beat the drum of genetic determinism. We have to wonder if this withholding of information, was meant keep us thinking that we are helpless victims of ill health and disease-thus making it easy to continue marketing prescription drugs and over the counter medicines.
“The notion that genes control biology has been so frequently repeated for such a long period of time that scientists have forgotten it is a hypothesis, not a truth. In reality, the idea that genes control biology is a supposition, which has never been proven and in fact has been undermined by the latest scientific research”. (Lipton, 2005)
According to the new biology and supported by the both the philosophy and understandings of Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, our thoughts, feelings, nutrition status, environment and lifestyle during pre-conception and gestation, affect our child’s present and long term health, constitution (basis of health) and jing (vitality).
“Let go of unfounded fears and take care not to implant unnecessary fears and limiting beliefs in your children’s subconscious minds. Most of all, do not accept the fatalistic message of genetic determinism. You can help your children reach their potential and you can change your personal life. You are not “stuck” with your genes.” Dr. Bruce Lipton
Obstetric doctor, Michel Odent, is also very deeply concerned about what he calls, the “ecology of the womb” and he has dedicated a research bank to compile studies that relate to what he refers to as “primal health”. This research bank can be accessed at the Primal Health Research Bank.
With the knowledge that our womb baby’s future constitution will built up by our choices, as conscious parents we must ask ourselves “how will each decision I make impact my womb baby’s well-being,?
If we are currently desiring or planning to conceive at some point in our lives, then we must prepare our body and mind to receive this new soul, and provide the best possible conditions that we are capable of. If we are to be conscious human beings, then we must also take responsibility and choose to become informed about all aspects of our health and well-being, not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well.
Specific actions we can take right now include, eating real food as nature has supplied in its natural form, as well as reducing stressors in our daily lives while cultivating both beauty and satisfaction as much as possible in every moment.
This serves a triple purpose:
1) to serve our highest interests
2) to serve our child’s highest interests
3) to step into the role of being a model for our child
Which brings us to another principle of the new biology.
Children Live in Theta
Children live in what we adults would experience as a very relaxed and imaginary state of consciousness. Scientists refer to this brain state as “theta”. In this brain wave state, the subconscious mind is easily influenced and programmed. This explains in part why as adults, even when we consciously have different value systems than our parents, we still act out similar behaviors, patterns and limiting beliefs.
As parents we have so much power over the formation of our child’s patterns and self perception. THIS IS A HUGE RESPONSIBILITY THAT WE CANNOT TAKE LIGHTLY!!! We must remain awake to the fact that we are indeed “programming” them.
Will we use our thoughts, words and deeds to reflect back to them that they are worthy of our time, our love and our trust?
“What if we had conscious parents and teachers who served as wonderful life models, always engaging in humane and win-win relations with everyone in the community? If our subconscious mind were programmed with such healthy behaviors, we could be totally successful in our lives without ever being conscious!” Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D.
Growth vs. Protection
“The responsiveness of individuals to the environmental conditions perceived by their mothers before birth, allows them to optimize their genetic and physiologic development as they adapt to the environmental forecast.” Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D.
While this information is empowering to many, to others the idea of assuming responsibility is scary and induces feelings of fear, doubt and self blame. This is not the kind of responsibility that I am talking about. The kind of responsibility that I am referring to is the just the reverse, literally- the “ability to respond”-response “ability”.
It is actually this capability, to respond, rather than react to our circumstances that allows us to grow from our experiences. This awareness precludes the last principle of the new biology as it applies to parenting.
It is not what comes into our experience, but rather how we respond to it that determines whether or not we “grow” or “shut down” from our experiences.
Lipton refers to this as growth vs. protection. In the protection mode we are victims of our environment and susceptible to all forms of pain and suffering, while in growth mode, we evolve.
This is not to say that we do not experience pain and suffering while we remain in growth mode, but that it is out of chaos that transformation and ultimately our evolution occurs.
We must continue to expand our perceptions of ourselves and our lives if we want to experience greater levels of health, emotional and spiritual well-being.
THIS IS SUCH A POWERFUL PARADIGM! It both empowers us to make conscious choices and it allows us to expand in response to environments that are not to our liking- by choosing a perception that opens us and causes us to evolve!
This knowledge expands on Darwin’s idea of survival of the fittest and evolves it somewhat, to rather, survival of the most perception-aly flexible and emotionally resilient!
We can transmute or evolve our species through our perceptions and emotional intelligence rather than through brute physical resilience.
Back to our children….
We must model the ability to expand and be flexible about our perceptions if we want our children to be able to survive the new world. Our experience of being human at this time on the planet is in a constant state of evolution and some even say that time is speeding up! Being able to respond, rather than break down or wither in the face of change, is what our children will need to be able to do, to live into the uncertain future.
So let us rise up and assume responsibility for our health, thoughts, deeds, actions, responses and perceptions…. for that is the loving work of conscious parents. Let us program our children for success in life, whatever that means to each child.
During the birth process, we transform at the cellular level and become the archetypal bodhisattva. The process of being aware as we conceive, gestate and open our wombs to the creative force or the all that is, becomes our attunement as woman healer, giving rise to the higher functioning that we need to mentor our children into their vast potential and greatness.
Parenthood is a spiritual path and awareness is the practice.
As mothers, we have great honor and great responsibility. The consciousness and tone with which we conceive, gestate, birth and parent our children, becomes the fabric from which they create their very lives. We come to conscious awareness through mindfulness meditation, although it often looks different for the householder. “Householders are challenged to watch our natural attachments to our children and let them be manifest in their fullest and purest sense. It is a goal to revision this attachment with eternal eyes, not just with temporal sight”. (Jeannine Parvati Baker).
On the spiritual path of parenthood, we do not go to the ashram or to the monastery. We instead make our homes a Sacred Space and the practice most often looks like kneading bread, shelling chickpeas or washing dishes and sweeping the floors. We sit in awareness for 15 minutes at a time, rarely longer with little hands just begging to pull us off the meditation mat.
We breathe deeply when we notice our self about to rote respond to the discomforts, whining or misbehaviors of our children; instead we stop in that moment of awareness and we respond to a child, rather than to a behavior. We know that our relating to them comes first and that right action follows, never the other way around. We are connected so deeply to our children that we feel their pain to greater degrees even than we feel our own; and our love for them is eternally unconditional.
The actual process of opening to give birth is a gateway for complete transformation on all levels of our being. Inherent in this transformative process is the awakening of dormant capabilities that give rise to expanded states of being and self empowerment that include knowing how to raise this child. We come back to relating, just as we come back to our breath. This relating informs our way of being with our children.
As mothers we give up the freedom to live by our impulses, yet what arises in its place, is awareness and expanded states of being that could not be experienced by any other means or path!
No other practice but motherhood could conjure up the sensation of a heart beating inside our wombs or the experience of feeling love again as though for the first time; and even again with the subsequent birth of each new child coming thereafter. From feeling the life force move through our yonis as we give birth, to the awe that comes with seeing our babies for the first time outside of our bodies and simultaneously getting that, it was this baby that we nurtured in our womb for nine moons.
There are so many altered states of consciousness inherent in co creating, carrying and birthing a child; right from the time of conception and before that, as a women’s climax coaxes the sea-Men into her watery depths. The whole journey of Motherhood is an altered state of consciousness that is informed by the birth process; just as the birth process is informed by who we are, that life is. The altered states that we experience are unique to motherhood; there is no other path by which to attain such incredible states of being and awareness.
As pregnant women and mothers who have taken great care to nurture the souls that gestate or have once gestated within our wombs; we are privy to the very sacred task of mentoring the evolved souls who come to us disguised as children. Yet in the modern context of motherhood, we are often not acknowledged or celebrated and rarely apprenticed and finally initiated into the bodhisattvic path of service called motherhood.
Mother as bodhisattva, is a very real, honoring and empowering archetypal image in which to view motherhood in the modern context. The path no longer chooses us, for today we have the freedom to choose not to mother a child.
Let us acknowledge ourselves and one another for putting aside our own personal nirvanas, to instead merge in service for the highest good of our children, and subsequently for our planet. As we choose to offer ourselves up to mother in awareness, we consciously raise the consciousness of our children, and ultimately we generate the enlightenment of humanity as a whole.
Books for Embracing Childbirth as a Spiritual Path:
Prenatal Yoga and Childbirth by Jeannine Parvati Baker
Sacred Birth by Sunni Karll
CalmBirth by Robert Newman
Childbirth with Insight by Elizabeth Noble
Queen Jin’s Handbook of Pregnancy by Fred Jeremy Seligson
Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful by Gurmukh