Sara was a forty-seven-year-old woman with waist-length salt-and-pepper braids. She’d been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant for years. As she told me her story, sitting on a grey stone step in front of a fireplace at a conference center, playing with a happy young toddler on her lap, her eyes gleamed in the firelight. “I know the very night that we conceived,” she said. “It was January 14th. My husband Alex had just come back from a weekend trip, and we had a fun, relaxed dinner together. Everything that night seemed happy and easy. When we made love that night, it was wonderful. The room seemed to me to be filled with a glow. I don’t know how, but I just knew I had conceived.”
Martha, an attorney, had a different story, “I didn’t want a kid. My OB/GYN told me I was probably sterile, I hadn’t got pregnant even though I’d rarely used birth control for many years. I’d just separated from my third husband when I missed my period, but I’m always irregular, so I thought, ‘No big deal’ and let it go. And my ex had a very low sperm count, so I was incredulous a couple of months later when a pregnancy test came back positive. I made the clinic test me three times, because I couldn’t believe it. I felt this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, because I knew I couldn’t face an abortion and I was going to have a baby whether I wanted one or not.”
The moment when a couple knows they are pregnant is usually a profound one. Suddenly there’s a new world full of potentials and possibilities. Conception may be a long-hoped-for event, as in Sara’s case. Or it may seem like an unforeseen calamity, as it was for Martha. Whichever it is, spiritual parenting demands of us that we have a very particular attitude at the instant we consciously know we have conceived.
This attitude is one of welcome. If our first flush of feeling is one of panic, of upset, of rejection, of dismay, this can imprint a subconscious pattern of rejection that endures throughout the development of our relationship with that child. If the feeling is one of rejoicing, of acceptance, of welcome, this creates a wonderful beam of energy on which the soul may travel in.
The child knows whether it is wanted or not. Just because the outer form of the child’s mind is not yet developed does not mean that a certain level of knowing is not there. In spirit we know all things. We know things that are far beyond the comprehension of our conscious mind. When our identity is in spirit, things are known to us that go far beyond the scope of the perception of our conscious mind.
So our responsibility as parents begins the moment of conscious knowledge of conception. We may feel panic, dismay or uncertainty, but this our opportunity to transcend these feelings. Whatever cartwheels our emotions might do at the instant of conscious knowing, we have the ability to keep our spirit steady, radiating welcome and acceptance for this new soul.
This is the first great blessing we can offer our baby. It is the first spiritual gift we can give, establishing a precedent for the giving of other gifts.
We give thanks that a great spirit has consented to bless the physical form of our child with its presence, that it has chosen to incarnate through us. We give thanks that our love has provided the vehicle for the induction of a spirit that has come to bless the Earth.
Easing the Transition
A soul’s transition to the physical plane is made easier if they know that the parents of the child through whom they are choosing to incarnate plan to do all that they can to make that soul’s full manifestation possible.
When you go to visit a friend or relative, how do you view the upcoming visit? If you know that you will be given a royal welcome, that everything possible will be done by the ones who are receiving you to make you feel at home, accepted, at peace, you will look forward to it. If you know that they will be grumpy, preoccupied with their own selfish concerns, unable to be conscious of the larger world around them, you will probably view the coming visit as an ordeal.
The same thing is true at the soul level. If we can make the spirit of our baby feel welcomed, it will affect the entire incarnation. This is why at the instant of conscious knowing of conception, it is vital to roll out the red carpet in consciousness!
Shedding Heredity & Environment
I heard Ned’s story at a party. “I had this rocky relationship with Nora, and I knew it could never be more than a short-term thing. She was unbelievably flaky, and I later discovered she’d tried every drug on the planet. She’d pop any pill anyone gave her in her mouth, just to see what effect it had. When she rang me and said she was pregnant, my first thought, was, ‘Oh shit, I’m going be to stuck with this loser for eighteen years.’ My second thought was, ‘I know she sleeps around, I can’t be the father.’ So I demanded a DNA test, which showed that I was. I tried to get her to have an abortion, and we made several appointments but she either changed her mind or didn’t show up. And I think she tried to have an abortion that I didn’t know about, which was unsuccessful. I knew she’d be a disaster as a mother, and that if the baby was born it was going to be up to me to parent. This wasn’t exactly the script I’d written for my life. My acting career was taking off, and I knew that a kid would make it impossible.”
What about a situation in which the earthly parents are not happy to learn that they are pregnant? What about a case in which the parents don’t want the child, and view it as an imposition, a nuisance, or a disruption?
Cassie was having an affair with a married man, Jim. She missed her period, which was always very regular. Two weeks later she had a pregnancy test and it came back positive. Jim came clean and told his wife about the situation that very day. However, Cassie had an extremely high level of anxiety about the situation. She didn’t work for the three days, walking frantically around Central Park near where she lived on 60th street in New York during the day, and pacing her apartment during sleepless nights. She was frantic.
On the fourth day, she began to bleed heavily. She’d aborted spontaneously, probably linked to her very high level of anxiety about the situation.
Sometimes a soul that is placed in such a position by the prospective parents will not complete the incarnational process. This may take the form of a spontaneous or induced abortion, or a stillbirth. But usually the soul decides to come in anyway. The incoming child can overcome many things. Many of us may have had parents who were ambivalent, hostile or indifferent to our birth. If the soul believes it can accomplish its mission despite a lack of allies, it may enter the body of the baby anyway.
If you feel ambivalent about a pregnancy, don’t make it about the baby or the other parent. Take a look at your own feelings. What fears do you have? What is the worst you think could happen? What is the best that could happen? Work these things through in your own heart, or with a counselor. A wonderful resource for sorting out these issues is The Work by Byron Katie. You can do the basic process on her web site, www.thework.org, or use her book, Loving What Is. Her favorite quote is: “When you argue with reality, you lose&emdash;but only always.”
A new baby is a big shift in your life, even if you have been wanting a child for years. It may well take time for your psyche to process and accept the reality of it. So if you’re not immediately grateful, hold the idea in a neutral space for two or three weeks, to give yourself time to get used to your new reality.
Spirit can overcome all things. It can take the most nasty, twisted, problematic situations and turn them into triumphs. If we trust our inner sensing of our divine potential, even if we get absolutely zero reinforcement for this belief from the outside world or anyone in it, our connection with spirit can make our inner beauty manifest. Our dreams of our potential can come true. We do not have to remain limited by anything. We can always transcend our background. The inherent nature of spirit transcends the ways of the Earth. As soon as we become one with spirit, we transcend our past, and future too.
Margie is one of the most even-tempered people I know. I met her when we were both volunteering for an organization that helps homeless moms with kids. Margie is relaxed and cheerful; when you look into her eyes you see someone who is truly present. She works as a housekeeper and part-time midwife, drives a twenty-year-old Buick held together by rust and wire, and never has much money. Her mother was an alcoholic and her father abused and beat her. Her mother tried to have an abortion when she discovered she was pregnant with Margie Yet Margie has lived a life of inspiring other people with her lively eyes and good humor. When she describes her childhood, there’s no emotional charge attached to the description; Margie’s just stating facts without much emotional spin to them, and no expectation of sympathy or claim of victimhood. She believes that her upbringing helped her make different choices in her own life. Her goodwill extends to her only child, a pre-teen with whom Margie is very close. Margie helps her own child, other children, and her community. The bumper sticker on the back of her car says it all: “It’s never too late for a happy childhood.”
The reality of transcendence is available to you always. If you as parents did not give thanks at first, but have come later in the pregnancy process to an understanding of the imperatives of spiritual parenting, give thanks now, now that you have come into this knowledge. This process of giving thanks for conception is possible at any time. And the flood of blessing that is released when parents become thankful for their children can flood retroactively backwards in time to heal wounds present from the time of conception.
Even if that blessing was not there in linear time, it can be implanted in spiritual time. Spiritual time does not respect the boundaries of linear time. There are no limits to spirit. When it is given free reign, when it is allowed to flood into a situation, it overflows backwards in time to bless us from the point of conception. In the enlightened moment, every other moment is enlightened. In the moment of enlightenment, every other instant of our lives, past, present and future, is bathed in radiance. It overflows to everyone we know, everyone we have ever known, every one we will know in the future.
You may have parents that never gave thanks for your incarnation. But as you allow thankfulness to flood your being, you bless your own past. In this way you allow spirit to be your true parent, touching your own birth with the hand of healing.
Welcoming the Unknown
The following exercise may be done either to welcome in the spirit of your unborn child, or to welcome your own spirit now, which will welcome your spirit all the way to the time of your physical conception&emdash;however many years ago that may have been. Make yourself comfortable, in a quiet, darkened room. Make sure you will not be disturbed for about 45 minutes. You can read this exercise to yourself, or better yet, record it and play it back to yourself. You can also obtain a downloadable audio version of the book from www.Communing.com.
You may play some background music at low volume, something that is not distracting. If you have learned a specific meditative technique, meditate for a while before you begin the exercise. You know your own patterns and habits. Do whatever is necessary to make yourself completely relaxed.
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THE DIVINE CHILD
Close your eyes. Breathe deeply. With each outbreath, visualize all the things that you worry about, that occupy your mind, that distract you from the present moment, flowing out of your body with the breath.Let your breathing become regular, and with each breath, expel a little more of the tension till your body is completely relaxed and your mind is still.
Breathe out, exhaling all the old, stale air from your lungs. Relax, and allow pure, clean, fresh air to be drawn back in. Breathe out and in several times in this manner. With each outbreath, feel the tension leave your body. As you breathe in, feel the fresh air streaming over your brain and mind, washing out all the preoccupations in your head. Let all your concerns, your worries, fade into the background. Let the cool, white, incoming air soothe your frustrations, smoothing over the rough patches in your life.
Visualize your body as being filled with green energy. This green energy is all the stored tensions that have been retained in your muscles and organs. See how this energy fills all of your limbs. Start at your feet. With each outbreath, feel the energy flowing out of your feet with the breath. Take as many outbreaths as required to clear out this green fluid from every nook and cranny of your feet.
Then go up your calves, thighs, pelvis, and work your way up. Take as much time as required to make sure that each part is completely relaxed. Turn off the tape until you have had time to release the tensions in every part of your torso. When you have completely cleared your shoulders of this fluid green energy, and each part of your body feels completely limp, see the energy that fills your head. Start at the back of your skull, and begin to expel it with each breath. Keep going till even the smallest cavities in your head have been emptied of the green energy, and no tension or tightness remains.
Finally, empty your neck and mouth of the fluid, and feel how completely relaxed your body has become.
Now let your attention review each part of your body again, to see if there are still any remaining pockets of the tension-energy. Find the subtle places where tension is still lingering, and allow it to flow easily out of you on the current of your breath.
Now as you breathe in, imagine a bright, glowing white substance, like mist. It is full of energy and life. Breathe it in, and feel
it move to every part of your body, rejuvenating and soothing your muscles, your emotions, your mind. Let it smooth over all the bumps of worry and anxiety in your experience. Forget about all the problems you usually deal with, and feel your whole being invigorated by the experience of peace and vitality that it brings.
Think back to your first meeting with a child you really loved. It may be a brother or sister, or the child of a friend, or a child you only met once, but who filled you with joy. Whatever child it is, just remember how wonderful you felt being with that child: how beautiful that child was, how innocent, how fresh, how inspiring. Think of all the positive things you felt about that child. Remember all the feelings you felt when you were around that child. Give thanks for the presence of that child on Earth, wherever it may be right now.
Now picture the soul of that child. See the essences of spirit that came to focus in that child. Picture the great and profound presence that underlies that child’s physical form. Blend with that presence. Give thanks for that presence.
Now picture that child’s face blending into your own face, the face of yourself as an infant. See yourself as full of wonder as you remember that child-being. See all the potential in yourself that you saw in that magical child. Hold this strong image of yourself blending into all that was fine and perfect in the ideal child. Feel the great soul that is you coming in to that little body. Feel that magnificent soul fill that body with vibrant light, so that every cell sings with thankfulness. Feel the presence of God touching the child’s body all around, protecting it from harm and hurt. Now imagine yourself as a younger child. Get younger and younger each moment until you see yourself at birth, and keep going. Feel what it was like to be in the womb. Feel how safe and snug it is, how secure you feel, how protected you feel from all harm. Enjoy floating in the fluid environment of this quiet place.
Keep on getting younger. Get smaller, as you go back in time to the first cells that were you, till you are only one cell. Then, from above, a bright light bursts in above you, a streak of lightning filled with love and purpose. It is spirit incarnating in your form. It fills you with purpose. Suddenly you feel you are heavenly, angelic. Experience yourself as part of both worlds: the cell, earthly, and the spirit, divine. Feel the exquisite tension of this dual nature.
Feel your soul giving thanks for the priceless opportunity to be incarnate. Your soul has been disincarnate for many years. Now at last it has the chance to be creative in form on Earth. And its first act of creation is to create you, the proto-fetus! You are the first creative act of love made manifest! You are filled with excitement and thankfulness.
Now, with this priceless knowledge firmly fixed in your awareness, this bliss of divinity, go forward in time again, as your cells grow and develop into a baby, then to birth. Bring this divine light to your own birth. Bless your birth with the wisdom and compassion of your own spirit.
Then move along to your childhood. Think of the wonderful times that you had, the achievements you were proud of. Let your divinity shine through those moments.
Now think of the worst incident you can remember as a child: the thing which terrified you the most; the most traumatic thing you experienced. Feel the way it felt. Re-experience all the agony.
Now bring your light, the light of spirit, to that situation. Comfort that grieving, ailing child. Bring the full force of your divinity to bear. Let the child feel your presence, feel that everything is all right. Smooth away the tears. Wash away the grief in the flowing river of your love. When the child is happy and comforted, move on to another such situation. Go through the process again. Comfort and sustain the child. As time goes on, you see your whole life in front of you, stage by stage. Wherever there was trauma, imagine yourself there, your divine self, with an endless supply of healing love. See how your soul guided your outer form to develop it to the point where you are today. Today you are able to see and actually experience the soul. This is the greatest miracle of all&emdash;that you can see and realize your oneness with your own divine self!
Your divinity is welcoming your body into manifestation. This divine presence embraces every stage of your life. It gives thanks for the miracle of your conception, birth and survival. You feel the immense sense of gratitude your soul felt at the instant of conception. You reach back and bless that instant now.
When you are ready to come back into your body, become aware of your breathing once again. Slowly become conscious of your inbreath and outbreath. Notice how relaxed your body feels, how refreshed you are. Become aware of the room you are in. As you get up and begin to move around, keep the feeling of thankfulness for being on Earth with you. Keep it present with you the whole day. Let it infuse all of your activities this day.
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This exercise is for use in preparing the consciousness of the adult who is initiating a connection with the child. Until our own attitude is right, our own heart is still, we do not have the ability to allow the fullness of welcome to flow through us to the baby. It is important to clear our own inner creative field of distractions, tension and limitations, otherwise part of our attention is siphoned off into these concerns, and we are not fully available to welcome our baby.
Once we have prepared our consciousness in this way, we are fully present and can bring our complete attention to bear on greeting the spirit of the incoming child. The next exercise is for use after you have completed the previous one. It focuses on the welcome itself.
The first three paragraphs of the following exercise are an abbreviated form of the relaxation technique which started off the previous one. If a period of several hours, or intense activity, elapses between using the two exercises, it is useful to use the longer form of relaxation found in the first exercise before proceeding to the second.
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WELCOMING THE SOUL
Close your eyes. Breathe deeply. With each outbreath, visualize all the things that you worry about, that occupy your mind, that distract you from the present moment, flowing out of your body with the breath.
Let your breathing become regular, and with each breath, expel a little more of the tension till your body is completely relaxed and your mind is still.
Now as you breathe in, imagine a bright, glowing white substance, like mist. It is full of energy and life. Breathe it in, and feel it move to every part of your body rejuvenating and soothing your muscles, your emotions, your mind. It smoothes over all the bumps of worry and anxiety in your experience. Forget about all the problems you usually deal with, and feel your whole being invigorated by the experience of peace and vigor that it brings.
Hold your hand over the pregnant uterus. Feel the presence of the child within. Feel the energy that emanates from the child to your hand. Feel your own spirit radiating back to the child. Feel the interplay of appreciation between the two of you.
Picture the details of the child’s body, even though it may only be a fetus a few weeks old. Picture its head, its torso, its limbs. Now picture a glowing light in the middle of its chest where its heart is. See the love that is in that heart. Your own heart starts to glow with a sympathetic resonance. Your heartbeat synchronizes with the heartbeat of the fetus.
Now picture a ray of brilliant white light reaching up from your shared glowing hearts up into the heavens. It is the beacon that will guide the spirit into the body. This is your signal to the soul that it is welcome, that you are ready and waiting for it. This brilliant light illuminates the soul’s path so that it may find the child’s body.
As the soul comes down the light-pathway to the body, a cloud of love and power descends. You can feel its presence. The baby can feel its presence. You feel your own body respond to the soul of the child with love and welcome. Thank the soul for choosing to incarnate. Give thanks for the role you played in making this incarnation possible.
As the soul blends with the child’s body, the beam of light gradually fades and becomes less focused, until it is just a glow which surrounds the baby. With this glow of protection hovering all around the child, you become aware of your breathing once again. You feel yourself breathing in and out, in and out, in and out. You have a tremendous sense of well-being. Your body feels refreshed and renewed.
Return your awareness to the room you are in. The sense of thankfulness will stay with you the whole day. At any time of this day you choose, you can feel your link to the baby as a glowing white cord that connects you. Along this cord, love and blessing flow. Every time you remember the baby throughout this day, allow your sense of thankfulness, welcome and appreciation to flow along this cord.
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It is never too late for a welcome. At whatever moment you learn to give thanks for the wonder of your own birth, for the wonder of your child’s birth, you have given spirit thanks for coming into the world. As spirit is welcomed into the world it fills the world, and the world is transformed.