Where do I begin? A single cell begins my life as a unique individual. Two cells, sperm and egg, meet to ignite this process. Knowing by mysterious bio-intelligence and millions of years of experience to let go of what is no longer needed and combine what is. We begin with the essentials of life.
How do I begin? Am I just a cell? The cell that begins me emerges complete with its experience from within mother, father, and cosmos. We might say that three sets of consciousness come together at the moment of conception: maternal, paternal, and whoever/whatever I may have been or experienced before. Call it karma, destiny, fate, miracle or just plain mystery. I am here. Can I celebrate this truth? Can I even acknowledge it?
We know from research in the field of prenatal and birth psychology that the conditions of our conception may affect our ability to embrace our lives, and new life, as it emerges. Our first transition is the transition into life, beginning with conception, reinforced by birth and later events.
Who am I? We may spend the first years of our lives trying to be like our parents and the remaining years attempting to be different. In the midst of that, who are we? Are we ever ourselves? What did I bring with me into this life? The question emerges again: nature vs. nurture. Obviously, both are important.
Watching a fascinating TED talk recently by medical doctor Siddhartha Mukerjee, I am reminded of the importance of both our beginnings as a cell and the environment we find ourselves in. Mukerjee points out that medicine has been influenced by the discovery of antibiotics 100 years ago to focus on finding a medicine to cure dis-ease. Sometimes that works and often it doesn’t. More recently he notes medicine has shifted its attention to the immune system as an important factor in dealing with illness. A step further takes medicine to concentrate on the cell and its environment. Returning to our source.
Returning home to our beginnings. We are cells. Communities of cells that have grown from the one cell which began us, within the environment it began in.
I am touched by this talk because it underlines the intentions of all the work I so passionately engage in: Continuum Movement, Craniosacral Biodynamics, Prenatal and Birth Therapy, Somatic Mindfulness…
My mentor, Emilie Conrad, founder of Continuum Movement, spoke of “moving medicine.” A primary intention of Continuum as I understand it is to support movement in creating a different environment, a medicine involving a different context, for our growth and development. We use breaths, vocal sounding, fluid movement and mindful awareness to inquire into what might lie beyond our patterns and habits. How can we let go of whom we think we are, how we have always functioned, our habitual behavior, allowing something else to emerge? How can we soften the inhibitors we have developed through our life experiences, returning to our essential fluid nature and its inherent resilience?
Altering our cellular environment for health. This could describe both Continuum and Craniosacral Biodynamics. Biodynamics is a gentle hands-on therapy derived from osteopathy, designed to facilitate slowing down, deepening under the conditioning of our lives, and returning to our slow, essential subtle energetic pulsings of life. The Breath of Life. Again, as we support clients settling under their reactions to the speed and stresses of life and past traumas, the context or environment within which their cells are suspended begins to change. Instead of growing in relation to conditions, cells and tissues can re-orient to the original universal or “Biodynamic” forces, which guide our early formation as little embryos in the womb, providing an ongoing energetic map beyond and prior to the conditions of our lives. Melting on the treatment table or through Continuum loosens the hold on us of the forces of our history, traumatic memories, deviations from our essential nature.
The awareness developed through Prenatal and Birth Psychology and the holding field of prenatal and birth therapies can also create a new, healthy context in which to dissolve and re-form. Therapy can be a form of re-parenting. As well as developing insight as to the early origins of our issues, we can shift our relationship to those primal conditions in which we formed. Guided in therapy to slow down, orient to resource, and attend to our current, more supportive environment, the overpowering effects of our past begin to diminish. We return to the love and intention we came in with, letting go of our attachment to what may have occluded them along the way. Our cells can shine again as we embrace life anew.
Where do we begin? Where do we begin this time?