By Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova, 2009
In one of the previous issues in this magazine, in my article ‘Limbic Imprint’, I’ve described the mechanism of the correlation between the way we were born and the quality of our emotional life as adults. Limbic imprint is an inborn capacity of the nervous system to absorb and memorize non-cognitively all of the information from the surrounding environment during the pre-verbal formative period from the moment of conception of the fetus, through 9 months of gestation, birth, and the first few years of life.
It means that if the baby was predominantly saturated with mother’s ‘Love Hormones’, Oxitocin and other dopamines, the baby grows well and feels safe about coming into this family. If, on the other hand, the baby was exposed to the stressful experiences while in utero, then had traumatic birth and baby’s needs were not properly met afterwards, that would automatically mean adopting neglect and pain as the norm by the baby’s limbic brain. Against any logic, the nervous system would register loneliness and suffering as ‘comfort zone’, as the cortex (logic) is not developed yet and cannot cognitively rationalize.
Today, I want to address the correlation between the way we are born and our addictive tendencies. Napoleon, for what he was, said in 1810: "If France would have good mothers, it will have good sons" - he understood this dynamic clearly, way before the field of pre-natal psychology was developed and neuro-biologists published huge amount of scientific research on that matter. Mr. Napoleon just used his common sense and power of observation.
It is no coincidence that the drug culture of the 1960’s exploded after medical drugs were introduced into the delivery rooms during the 1940’s. Mothers were numbed and gassed. It set up the whole generation to depend on chemicals as a way of dealing with life. The experience of drugs on a newborn and rough manipulations right after birth by masked strangers in the hospital and the deep loneliness that follows when the baby is taken away from the mother has devastating effects. These procedures come as a complete shock to a baby – numbness, disoriented disconnect from the Source from which the soul of this child just been so rudely yanked away… The biggest problem is that the nervous system registers this cocktail of sensations as ‘the life-giving’ potion.
Violence also has the same source as any form of addictive behaviors; in fact, violence is just another side of that coin. An unbearable emotional pain of lost identity and lost ‘tribe’ can become an urgent need to inflict pain onto others, onto oneself, or both.
The greatest irony is that it is our inherent desire to feel good, about ourselves and the world around us, to find that ‘paradise lost’ – the sense of belonging to some omnipresent loving Source –it is exactly what drives the unskilled search towards the quick fix…
Needless to say that babies who were not traumatized during their formative period are not prone to become violent and addictive adults. Even if later in life they experiment with drugs, they have what it takes to recover and get on with their life.
Ramana, one of the legendary yogis of India, once said that when he finally experienced Enlightenment, it lasted for 15 seconds, but it had enough of an impact on him to spend the rest of his life in devotion to this moment.
For women, this kind of experience of Enlightenment is biologically available every time they go into labor to deliver a baby. The amount of Oxytocin, the ‘love’ hormone, that her brain is capable of releasing into her blood stream would be sufficient for her to enter that ‘most wanted’ state of Enlightenment that millions of people are striving to achieve through yoga and various other spiritual practices. It is the natural ultimate high that is supposed to be our ‘basic settings’. If it was missing at the moment of ‘programming’ at birth, we are bound to long for it for the rest of our lives, never finding it...
When a woman’s body is able to do its work without interference from her own anxieties or medical interference, she is capable of experiencing a total state of bliss during delivery. Then the corresponding hormones in her system ‘dialogue’ with the baby’s hormone production - thus ‘wiring’ the baby’s ‘settings’ onto a deep sense of well-being and fearless attitude towards being alive, present in the body, and melded in deep connection with the mother, who is felt by the baby, in this case, as an enormous protective, nurturing, loving Source of Existence. That is the most basic sensation every one of us has the right to experience, because that is how a female procreational neuro-biology and hormonal landscape is supposed to function. Unfortunately, so far, it is only a privilege of so few... Because if a woman was not born well herself, her body doesn’t know how to produce enough oxytocin during delivery. The good news, it’s possible to re-train our nervous system to the sufficient production of it, without medication. There are many ways of doing it, for more info go to www.birthintobeing.com.
We have to learn to be kind to ourselves. It’s, in most cases, harder than to learn to walk or speak - being truly kind to ourselves, without enabling addictions, - it is sometimes the biggest taboo in our nervous system, if it was ‘trained’ on suffering from the very beginning of times...
This is exactly why the longest journey one will ever undertake is the journey from the head to the heart. The only journey that is longer than that, is the one from our genitalia to our hearts... Because if our nervous system is disconnected from our body from the start, due to high stress levels during our formative period, we don’t have a reference point of what it is supposed to feel like – to be safe, loved, welcomed. Even if our parents loved us, it doesn’t mean that they knew how to express their love in a way that we could actually feel loved, because they, themselves, probably did not have a good role model to feel loved by their own parents… In my estimation, there are about 2-5% of people on our planet, who can say: “I felt loved as a child”... May be about 15% who can say: “I felt emotionally safe with my parents”, but feeling loved - not that many…
Now, the logical, responsible thing to do in our society – is to put birth into the context of life, so women don’t feel helpless when it comes down to pushing the baby out and don’t look for somebody else to give their power away with (whether that be a midwife, a girlfriend, a partner, or some expert in an outfit of authority, who thinks he knows about birth just because he went to school). Any female cat knows how to give birth. Any male, of any species, - doesn’t. It’s not a mental activity! A man has too many body parts missing when it comes to understanding birth. It’s as if one is trying to understand a very long and complicated plot of a psychological drama watching it on TV with muted sound – can see it, but can’t relate…
There is so much more to giving birth than the eye can see! It’s a deeply mystical, shamanic experience, that’s why it has a rank of rite of passage, initiation into Motherhood in indigenous cultures, in spite of it also being a normal anatomical function.
A woman goes through a complete metamorphosis, through the end-of-the-world-as-she-knew-it, through surrender to her own mortality and then emerges on the other end victorious, activated to the power she never knew she possessed... or she misses the whole ordeal and gets the drug and the surgery...
The main reason for complications at birth is the mother's own birth trauma; her fear - of birth, of life, of her own potential... and of course, her inability to relax in the midst of intensity of her sensations. This is where introducing the consciousness into the approach to people-making comes in. To consciously create a new human being is to be aware of all the complexities and responsibilities of such a huge task and prepare for it properly.
Giving birth - is an ultimate activation of the Divine Feminine in a woman. Afterwards, her creativity, her grasp of life's mysteries, is available to her- if she chooses to pay attention. It’s such a waste - to miss this amazing opportunity and just opt for an elective C-section! Of course, if there is a real medical indication, we are very grateful that the professional help is available in the hospital! But, still, in the normal society, C-section should not be over 10-12%, speaking very conservatively, - it’s a dangerous major abdominal surgery with huge psychological side-effects for the child, and what we have in some countries now, is C-section rates are up to 85-95%! I believe that it’s very unprofessional that doctors who are pushing for C-section are not going to the trouble of educating themselves about the consequences of this procedure on the emotional aspect of the new person’s life. The staggering stats are available from the last 15 -20 years and none of it is in the medical text books, none of the research of prenatal psychologists is in the mandatory curriculum.
We don’t have a moment to lose to wait for changes in their policies. It’s really in women’s hands to educate themselves and know what they want and what they don’t want. Babies are being born every moment! We can sit and point fingers or we can just wake up and do what’s right.
Going back to the Conscious Procreation Model, - one of its main aspects is Conscious Connection with the spirit of the unborn child before conception. With it comes in so much emotional support and oxytocin floods the body!
Afterwards, breastfeeding is a purely shamanic act, too, – a woman’s body produces the most nurturing substance in the world, out of non-existence! She calls it forth on demand! It brings an enormous oxytocin production for both, mom and the babe!
A Conscious Pro-Creation movement is marching the world! I see it happening all over the world with my own eyes. I travel a lot with my seminars and can testify - there are very few places on Earth where women are still in deep slumber. Mostly, we are on the rise, ladies!
The answer to all problems of our civilization, not only destructive addictions, but all fear-based, violent or simply stupid messes that we’ve created, - is to raise a new generation of humans who are not programmed on pain and suffering, who are free from guilt and shame from the start, and are free to live by the law of common sense and simple compassion towards each other, which is human's natural state of being. We can claim the Eden back and bring Heaven to Earth in one generation!
In the big game of life, life will never lose. It will gently follow the groove of slow natural process. Life will equally accept any outcome of any event by the power of its own logic, regardless of what people think about it. It is not going to wait for us, unless we learn to communicate with this great Power of the Divine Feminine to create Life. We can ask It to forgive us and give us another chance to create the quality of life worthy of us calling ourselves Human Beings. With or without us, life will go on. The task of making humans happy was not a part of the great design. It's our task. And when we are free from being ‘programmed’ on neglect, bliss is our natural state.
In the meantime, we need to figure out how to help those who are in the middle of this dilemma with addictions. To my understanding, the very first step in healing addictions is recognizing that there is an addictive behavior, separate from the person who is displaying such behavior. There is a huge space between the habit and the one who is having it. One doesn’t have to identify oneself with addiction. When the separation between the two is even vaguely established, it’s a life-line to understanding that there can be a choice, that one can be BIGGER and stronger than the habit.
It’s the actual mechanism of identifying with the addiction that takes away the power and doesn’t leave much hope for a positive shift. But realizing: “I am not it!” allows “I’’ to look at it from a greater perspective: that the future doesn’t have to equal the past. The past only has as much power over our behaviors as one gives to it, whether we are aware of it or not. Underneath it all, it is our direct and, really, only responsibility in this life time - to ourselves - to find our sense of connection with the Source from which we arrived here, on Earth. So we could remember why we did it.