Findhorn, September 2016
Birth should not be taken out of the context of Life. Birth is like a hologram, it reflects everything that happened in a woman’s life. It reflects her cultural background, her family history, her relationships with men, with the world in general and with herself.
Which brings me to my second main point:
Most birth complications are preventable. If the roots of possible complications are not nutritional or mechanical in nature, due to some specific injury or medical condition, then, most likely, it will be of an emotional nature. We have a good chance of finding the roots of upcoming complications in a pregnant woman’s behavioral patterns, in her belief system, her female lineage history, and in her sexual history. If we look at her holistically, we can help her take care of those unresolved issues that are lingering around her and then complications in birth simply don’t arise.
In preparation for birth, it’s important to look at things like: is she ready to have a baby or hesitant; if she is hesitant, then why?; does she have enough support in her life, - if she doesn’t, - then, why? does she love herself, her baby, the father of the baby. If not, then, why? What kind of family dynamic did she grow up with, and mainly how she, herself, was born. As it turns out, all of those things contribute to the quality of her experience in the delivery of her baby.
I have been in service to the Birthing Field for the last 34 years and I am speaking from my personal experience with thousands of women around the world. So, why do we have complications in birth? They are really against the common sense of Nature. Nature is very logical. The Power, which created life on this planet, whatever we chose to call it, is pretty intelligent. Our bodies are extremely sophisticated, way beyond our comprehension. That Power didn’t just forget to install a simple way of self-replication, which is generously provided for every species, including humans. Our bodies have everything they need to successfully thrive on this planet. Procreation can not be a war against Nature. According to the Great Law of Life, fighting against the body in birth is a great violation! We took birth out of the context of Life, and we are paying for it dearly. There were reasons for it:
Thousands of years ago, our bodies were resilient, strong, able to endure a wide range of temperatures, eat very moderate amounts of seasonal foods, able to climb trees, run long distances all day. Over a period of a few millennia, we have changed in many ways and lost many of our physical abilities. Humankind got engaged in the perpetual activity of self-destruction about six thousand years ago. Men started behaving like no other species on Earth - killing and enslaving each other. Archeologists say, there is no empirical evidence of war activity prior to 6 thousand years ago, they find just some household and religious items. We don’t know what happened back then, when humans turned against each other. We can only speculate about it.
But it’s not really relevant. It would be great to know our real history, but it won’t help us to get out of this drama. History shows that knowing history doesn’t prevent it from repeating itself. I believe, this is when women lost their ability to give birth as Nature intended, when the constant stress of expecting violence interfered with the flow of female hormones in labor. Right now, what is most relevant for us is not to look back, trying to explain why exactly we are in such a mess, but to create new ways of looking forward. If we want to learn to thrive as a species on this planet, we have to let go of our addiction to pain. This is where I came into working with the Birthing Field. 34 years ago I realized that the only way to create a different quality of Life, is to delete the notion that women should suffer in childbirth. Because that is where our addiction to suffering starts.
It is very understandable even from what we do know. For thousands of years, women’s lives were pretty hard, due to wars, famine, diseases, domestic violence, subservient social position, - all of it interfered with the natural ability to relax in labor. Women were rarely treated well in recorded history. They were routinely sold into marriage, raped, and disrespected in every way. Women were not educated and had no voting power until recently in the Western countries. Given our understanding of neurobiology, we know that all of this abuse is within a woman's genetic memory, it's in our bones and blood, our family lineage. We got it from our foremothers, as they got it from theirs,- our collective subconscious still carries the agony from being burnt at the stake, burying our babies because there was no food or water for them, being gang raped by the soldiers and beaten by our fathers and husbands, memories of having to hide our pregnancies from the men we loved, only because we were obligated to have a joyless marriage with men we didn’t. And for thousands of years, we lived in fear of a distant and punitive God. I estimate the value of any culture or religion by the place it assigns to women and children. The picture is not very bright. Most of the traditions around the world are not very compassionate to women and children.
As a result of our bloody history, women forgot how to give birth. There is too much stress hormone in our collective blood stream. Not enough dopamine and oxytocin for an easy, natural delivery, as Nature intended.
In Service to the Greater Good of Humanity, I can honestly testify, with a clear mind, that there is no way around it, - the pivotal point in the effort to improve the quality of life on this planet is through reclaiming our people-making Power. It is in the creation of a healthy environment for women to carry the new generation of human beings gracefully through the entire formative period, starting with a few months prior to conception and through the few first years of life. This will establish the proper basic settings in our collective nervous system to finally experience a healthy, happy, creative life, so we can finally learn to love each other.
Our ABILITY to THRIVE and LOVE is either established during the formative period or not. If it is not established early, it’s very, very difficult to learn it later. Sometimes, impossible. And the cost of our collective inability to love is obvious,- it’s a very big mess we, the people, have created on this planet.
So, what exactly is stopping us from being able to love? On one hand, love is our natural state of being. When babies don’t experience sensory overload during their formative period, they are very relaxed, open and loving. It’s plainly visible. Of course, every rule has an exception, but we are not discussing exceptions right now.
On the other hand, love is the greatest mystery, never being experienced by the great majority of our population. One of the difficulties of talking about love, is that in English, it’s just one word, describing love of chicken soup, or activity, or a person. We don’t have a mentality or a vocabulary to understand that great mystery. Love is a very new notion on our planet of tears. There are also many feelings and sensations that can be mistaken for love. Like lust, for example. Or simply being comfortable with someone, or the need to be ‘completed’ by somebody else. There is a lot of confusion on that subject. Everybody wants it, but very few actually have it.
If you have a question ‘Why are we talking about love at a birth conference?’ I’ll explain: from everything I understand about birth at this point, love is the main ingredient that allows birth to happen beautifully, as Nature intended. It probably has to do with a woman’s capacity for producing sufficient amount of Oxytocin, because the ability to love has it’s hormonal formula.
But as I mentioned before, there are many flavors of Love and love-like substitutes, some of which are actually counter indicated for a good birth, because they are way too stressful.
From what I see, there are four main types of ‘Love' between partners. I’m not looking at all types of Love right now, those are many; but right now, in the context of childbirth, I’m looking at the love between the parents of a new baby:
1. unconditional love, of course
2. loving oneself within one’s relationship with another person,- when one loves the way he or she feels when they are with their partner. Which means that they don’t really know that other person they think they love, nor they are very interested in getting to know them. It’s a one-way interaction.
3. loving an 'idea' of someone - which means that it’s not as self-centered as the second type, but is also a one-way interaction, when the beloved is not really seen for who they truly are, but being objectified and projected upon of what one desires them to be.
4. love under social obligation. A very popular form of love, as a specific form of comfort zone, a habit of a sort, when social structure requires loving connection, but if given a choice it would not be sustainable on it’s own. Again, these are the four types of loving relationships between sexual partners, not all the types of relationships.
The first one, the unconditional love, is a constant, self-sustainable flood of oxytocin and dopamine, the other three are associated with spikes of stress hormones, literally, a form of chemical dependency, when the internal chemistry depends on the partner being reliably available, with expected behaviors, predictable, and in close proximity. When they are leaving or ‘mis-behaving’, it causes a severe withdrawal. But even when they are not leaving, it's still pretty stressful, because, on some level, they both understand that it's not really sustainable to be caught in this dynamic. When people are under an obligation to fulfill somebody else's expectations, mostly, at the expense of their happiness, it's bound to accumulate high levels of resentment, which can escalate into an explosion of epic proportions at any moment. It is an addiction of a sort, with everything it implies - control issues, lack of trust on one side, and depression on the other.
In childbirth, anything less than an unconditional love will create a pause in the process of opening. If there are lots of issues around love, there will be lots of pauses.
So, the difference between the stressful types of loving and unconditional love is mainly in how it affects both people and their environment. Unconditional love is a constant, strong flow of energy. The wellbeing of a person who is capable of it, does not depend on where that other person is, what they do or don’t do. It’s not even about any specific circumstances, it’s about the innate ability to experience that feeling. The greatest gift of the ability to love is a reward in it’s own right. It allows people to see clearly and accept others just the way they are, without demands of neediness for somebody to be different. When a woman can love like that, she is able to surrender and open in birth from a place of deep sensuality, confidence and courage.
It makes women stronger, healthier, much more creative, independent, perceptive, etc. In the hierarchy of human experiences, the ability to love is on the very top and is also known by another name - Enlightenment. All the other kinds of love, leave women in a turmoil, in different degrees of depression, uncertainty, indecisiveness, low self esteem, etc. It’s very difficult to give birth without Love, as it’s hard to thrive in life without it, in general.
A woman has a much greater chance for a short and easy delivery if she is giving birth from a place of complete alignment within her own systems. Of course, there are no guarantees, there are many other dimensions that may interfere, but, again, I’m not talking about the exceptions right now.
So, what does it mean, - alignment within her own systems? I mean that all of her three parts of the brain, -cortex, limbic and reptilian, responsible respectively for mental, emotional and physiological functions, are on the same page about having this baby and neither one of the three objects to it.
Very often we have women really fragmented about being pregnant. For example a woman may believe that she wants a baby, - and in her heart and in her mind it can be very true. But her body might be completely terrified of it, due to her own birth trauma.
A woman learns about giving birth by being born. Her own birth is registered deep in her cellular memory. It’s called Limbic Imprint. It’s an innate function of the nervous system to automatically absorb and memorize all of the sensory experiences during our formative period, starting from the early stages of gestation.
A quick overview: the Reptilian brain governs our physiology, the pre-cognitive function of the body. It digests food, pumps the blood, governs breathing, elimination, sex drive, etc. It’s our ‘inner child and inner teenager’, with all the basic physical needs: to eat, rest, procreate, to feel physically safe. It’s our raw, primal instincts and surviving power.
Cortex - is our mental power, logic, skills, our ability to plan, organize, communicate, be responsible, - it’s our ‘inner adult’. The needs of the cortex are: certainty, financial security, predictability, organizational structure, loyalty, respect, etc.
The Limbic system of the brain non-cognitively governs our emotions and feelings. Until it’s activated as our inner ‘elder’, the wise one, it’s left to act out our original limbic imprint, which we get from the formative period, whatever it was we were conditioned into. The needs of the Limbic brain are intimacy, joy and Love.
When the needs of any of these parts of the brain are consistently not met, that part starts acting out,