If you know me or have been following my blog, you know that there is an enormous amount of change happening in my life just now. You may even know that this is not unusual for me. Perhaps, this is why my specialty with clients has become facilitating your journey through whatever change and transition your life may present to you.
I have encountered so many people lately going through major shifts in their lives. Maybe you are one of them. As I answer questions and review the applications of potential trainees for my new trainings starting in November, I repeatedly encounter the challenges that arise when we consider or intend to make a new beginning.
Each time we start something new in our lives, it is as if we are going through a birth. Our tendency at such times is to re-enact how we actually came into this life when we were born.
You may wonder how we could re-enact our birth later in life. “I don’t even remember my birth!” you might say. Your body, however, remembers what you may not be aware of consciously.
How do you do transition and change? Do you embrace it with open arms? Do you get excited thinking about it ahead of time, then find yourself struggling to stay present when it actually happens. Or do you want to run away from the new event, or to resist it in some other way?
The Imprint of Birth
Research in Prenatal and Birth Psychology demonstrates that babies born early tend to be early for events throughout their lives. Those who had an unusual presentation at birth, like a breech (foot or butt first) position, tend to enter into new situations in a unique or unusual way. When our birth was accompanied by anesthesia or pain killers, we tend to go into a fog or use drugs when facing stressful or new challenges.
Even if your birth was “normal,” you may find yourself unable to ask for or receive support as you enter a new birth in your life. You might ask how much support your mother received while pregnant and during your birth.
Our modern, western culture tends to not provide adequate support for pregnant and birthing women. New mothers need to know that they are safe, that they do not need to perform for anyone, that they are surrounded by trusted friends, family, and other allies, rather than by strangers. The very act of rushing to hospital interrupts labor and can undermine a new mother’s confidence.
The baby inside may also experience interruption, stress, and the transference of authority to strangers. A baby’s experience at birth sets a strong imprint in both body and psyche that can have lifelong effects.
Awareness is Key
There is much more that could be discussed on the topic of how our birth affects us throughout our lives. For now, I suggest taking some time to consider how you do change and transition in your life. How do you feel and act when encountering new beginnings, and the inevitable endings that go along with them? Think about the times in your life when you have moved, started a new job or relationship, or even entered a new class in school. Write down what you remember of these events in your life. What kinds of emotions did you feel? Did you find ways to distract yourself? How did you help yourself cope with the stress of change? And how do you cope with this in your life now?
Are you encountering a change or considering something new in your life? What holds you back from jumping in, if you are not? What impels you to leap forward, if you do?
As you move through transitions in your life, how do you do them? How do you feel when you get up in the morning? Are you groggy and need to move slowly for awhile? Do you jump out of bed full of enthusiasm for each new day? What happens next? How long does your grogginess or enthusiasm last? How do you get out the door when going somewhere? Do you get stuck somewhere along the way? Many of us experience a sense of frustration as we always find ourselves stuck or as if we are pushing against a hard wall. These feelings can be an expression of birth memories manifesting in our daily lives. In that birth is our first major transition in life, its patterns tend to present in times of transition and change.
I invite you to be curious about this process in your own life, and in those around you. The first step in changing a pattern is becoming aware of it. Once a pattern is no longer unconscious, we have more ability to do something different. If you are holding back from starting something new in your life, I encourage you to investigate if you are engaging in a pattern. Now is the time to shine the light of your awareness on such patterns, and so free yourself to pursue what is important to you. I welcome you to this new phase of your life, whatever that may look like for you.