The Conscious Evolution of a Possibility
Congress of International Society for Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine Jerusalem, 1989.
to a Present Reality
By Binnie A. Dansby
The quality of birth affects the quality of life, and in turn, impacts and shapes the quality of society. Birth is the cornerstone of our thoughts, it is the root of our thinking. It is the origin of our emotional response to every situation we encounter. Birth is the “source” experience in the body. . . And we were conscious at birth. Birth affects our whole subsequent mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. The decisions we make at birth are the foundation for the beliefs and patterns activated in this lifetime. Those individual attitudes and patterns translate to the attitudes and patterns displayed by nations. HOW WERE YOU TREATED AT YOUR BIRTH? WHAT DO YOU REALLY THINK ABOUT BIRTH?
I consistently observe birth as easy, satisfying and ecstatic for women irrespective of age, background, or medical history. Acceptance of the idea that ecstatic birth is possible sets in motion a process that is healing and empowering. Couples, aware that pregnancy is a time of creation and recreation, of self-discovery and transformation for everyone involved, come into alignment with all the forces necessary to go beyond their conditioning and belief systems. They gently move through resistance, and heal thoughts of fear, pain, resentment, and victimisation. They come to the birth of their child with an attitude of celebration and excitation, at one with Life as an ongoing process of birth and change. They welcome and use the powerful energies of labour rather than fearing and resisting them. My commitment is to education about the impact of conception, pregnancy, and birth, and to the evolution of our birthing practices through the transformation of our consciousness about this “source” experience.
In 1966 I gave birth to my first son. Terrified and drugged, I was not present for Dansby Kirkpatrick’s birth. I felt that I had been attacked . . . a victim. I declared, “There must be a better way. We know too much about ourselves. I’m not going to do this again, unless I find that way!” In 1968, I gave birth to Robert Kirkpatrick. I was prepared, conscious, and in charge. After 4 hours from the onset of labour, I experienced an orgasm when my baby emerged from my body. I felt so powerful and satisfied, and I still believed that somehow the Lamaze Method, psychoprophylaxis, was responsible.
In 1975, I began the profound and personal process of remembering and healing the physical, mental, and emotional experience of my own birth with Leonard Orr, the creator of the rebirthing process. In 1976, I began to work with private clients as they cleared with this powerful, transformational process. In 1977, I left my career in art and design to pursue a career in healing and transformation. In 1980, my work evolved from private counseling, breathwork, and Breathwork training to focus on pregnancy and childbirth. Paying attention to pre-natal experience and birthing practices remembered and expressed by adults in private sessions, workshops and training groups inspired me to deepen and listen to Beings in- utero and at birth under many various circumstances, i.e. home birth, both dry and in water, hospital birth in ABC rooms and in surgery for Caesarean section.
I am a devoted student of birth. Birth is the perfect metaphor for the mechanics of manifestation . . . the creative process. Some of the lessons birth has taught me are: Birth is Ecstatic . . . Ecstasy is a Conscious Choice . . . Giving Birth is the Most Natural Thing the World . . . Babies are Conscious Co-creators, Active Participants . . . The Experience of Being Birthed and Giving Birth Are the Same . . . WHAT DID YOUR MOTHER THINK ABOUT BIRTH? . . . Most people born in civilised society believe that birth hurts, that birth is not safe. The beliefs and attitudes of everyone present at a birth affect the outcome and the decisions mother and baby make. What we think, we create. Life energy added unto thought produces results in the physical universe. WHAT WE THINK ABOUT BIRTH IS WHAT WE THINK ABOUT LIFE!
The first couple I was privileged to rebirth, counsel and plan with during pregnancy was Jia and Patrick Lighthouse (aka Houser). Jeremy Lighthouse was born on 28 October 1980, the first documented waterbirth in the United States. Since that time, I have been actively involved with waterbirth practices and networking around the world. Although I believe that waterbirth is the ultimate alternative available today, my work is not about waterbirth or any particular method or way of doing things. I changed my mind and method followed. Jia changed her mind and method followed.
The real work today is discovering and defining intention, and then doing what ever it takes, using whatever means available and appropriate to bring forth Beings whose archetypal thought forms include, “I am surrounded by love and support!” . . . “I am wholly acceptable exactly as I am!” . . . “Someone is listening!” . . . “I am connected in love to all that lives!” . . . “I am an expression of love!” . . . “I am worthy of trust!” . . . “Abundance is my birthright!” . . . “My body is safe, even though I may be feeling afraid!” I believe this last declaration to be the single most important affirmation for anyone with a navel . . . especially pregnant and labouring women.
In order to achieve this result, in joy, a shift must take place. The state of being safe, supported, acceptable, heard, connected and trustworthy must be born in you . . . You, the Mother . . . You the Father . . . You, the Midwife . . . You, the Obstetrician . . . You, the Therapist and Educator . . . You, the Participant in Live. WE ARE CONSCIOUSNESS THAT CO-CREATES. When you are feeling passionate about something, whether joyous, angry, sad or excited, do you prefer to have the people around you listen carefully to you as the authority about yourself and your specific needs and desires? Or, do you want them to run about doing as they choose, trying to make it better for you? I observed time and time again the fear and beliefs of birth attendants, midwives, nurses, and doctors and the influence that that fear had on labouring women. I noticed that the more people around a woman in labour, especially ones she did not know well and trust, the longer the labour.
A woman in labour is the most sensitive of creatures. She perceives all consciousness around her and processes it through her systems, whether she is aware of it or not. As this awareness grew in me, couples I was working with began to take great care when choosing who would be present at the birth of their child. My consistent experience with these couples is, onset of active labour to birth is always 3 ½ to 4 hours. Circumstances and logistics come into alignment with intention. In a workshop with British midwives in Spring 1988, I was astonished to discover that only 3 of us, out of the 35 present, had ever attended a birth with no intervention of any kind. The other 32 were astonished that it was possible. WHO WAS THE AUTHORITY AT YOUR BIRTH? WAS YOUR MOTHER IN CHARGE? WERE YOU CONSIDERED A CONSCIOUS PARTICIPANT?
An independent midwife in England who shares my commitment and intention was with a woman who had been in labour for several hours. She was experiencing intense pain and was only 3cm dilated. The midwife filled the bathtub with warm water; sent the exhausted husband for a walk; asked the labouring woman to get in and to connect her breath through the mouth into the high chest, as I do in beginning sessions of rebirthing. From her own experience she had deep trust in the breath as a tool for release.
The midwife kept reminding the woman to breathe and that her body was safe, no matter how she might be feeling. During the time they continued this, the midwife observed sure signs of transition. She noted that the woman had been focused on the breath for 1 hour. She did an internal examination to find that the woman was fully dilated. In 20 minutes she was holding her baby. A midwife in Wales and one in Holland have reported having an identical experience after hearing about and accepting the possibility and then deepening in trust of their own knowing and the birth process.
I have learned so much with the birth professionals and pregnant women who feel, as I, that there must be a better way, and then have the courage to pursue an unorthodox course . . . listening to and trusting their hearts. They do not want to deny themselves an experience of power and influence on the very fibre of society. When a woman trusts herself, she surrounds herself with people who believe that she and her baby are the “authority” at the birth and that “she can do it”. This woman gives birth to a person who is unafraid to take responsibility, a person who trusts him or herself and the choices that they make.
Just as the technology exists to test, photograph, and study the movements and responses of the unborn, so too, the technology is available in the form of psychological and psycho-spiritual processes to contact and interact with the “unborn” in the adult. We can encounter “The One” who may have been ignored, unstimulated, even unwanted. That baby, “The One” who lives in your heart, deserves attention. When we heal and give birth to the whole, complete, forgiving, powerful, creative consciousness within us, we give birth to “The One who intended to be here in the first place”. We give birth to Original Intent . . . the Soul. Then the babies born through us and with us don’t have to forget.
I always introduce private clients, workshop and training groups to SOURCE Process & Breathwork (previously known as Healing Birth Rebirthing), the powerful personal process and philosophy which utilises the breath as a tool to release physiological and psychological stress and thought patterns. It is possible to eliminate primal trauma and transform the subconscious impression of birth into a gentle, awakening event. Depending on need and affinity, I use guided visualisations which I call deepenings, values clarification processes, Archetypal Affirmations – fundamental thought forms that evoke specific life-diminishing thoughts to be released from the consciousness, the Diagnostic Questions and the Resonance Questions – designed to evoke powerful pre and peri-natal influences and the patterns they have engendered.
As we bring forth experiences of pre and peri-natal memory, the result is a new sense of individuation, self-esteem, and self-motivation. The women who choose to do this work are inspired to respond to the child in-utero with attention, honour and respect. We don’t just create a body inside our mother’s body, we make up our minds. That relationship is the original intimacy and the basis for all our relationships. WAS ANYONE LISTENING TO YOU WHEN YOU WERE IN THE WOMB? WAS ANYONE LISTENING TO YOU AT YOUR BIRTH?
The key to intimacy is listening. When you have had a direct experience of yourself as consciousness before birth, then it is natural to listen to the unborn, as well as to speak to it and to touch it. I have many personal experiences of babies responding to my touch, playing simple games, and turning over from breech position to head down for birth. This has occurred through verbal communication – Mother to baby, the mother in conversation with someone she trusts, and also, by the Mother holding a mental picture which transmits to her baby. The process of individuation begins when connection is acknowledged and communication, verbal or non-verbal, is exchanged. An obstetrician-gynecologist in the US said to me, “I used to just catch babies. Then I became aware that babies are conscious, and I started to talk to them. When you suggested it, I started to listen, and the births are all different. My experience is different.”
The memories of birth are held in every cell of our bodies. Every spiritual path has as a purpose to bring us back to the realisation experience of our essential connection to Universal Source, oneness with all there is. Babies are being born today without the physical trauma, environmental shock, and sensory overload that make us forget, and that engender our negative beliefs about life on Earth. They are being received into the hands of welcome and love, given time and the opportunity to be recognised as an individual expression of love in the physical universe by the Mother, source of nourishment and knowledge. They never have to ask, “Who am I?” “Where is my missing Part-ner?” They are free. Connection is a certainty. We can consciously choose and create that experience.
The most important work anyone can do is to support and nurture a pregnant woman towards a conscious, gentle and pleasurable birth experience. The future depends on it. We will improve the quality of life on Planet Earth if we improve the quality of birth. Those of us in positions of advice and counsel must inform women about their choices and support them to release their old concepts about birth and to experience their power – the choice of what to think. What we see and experience is always consistent with our thoughts, both conscious and unconscious. A COURSE IN MIRACLES says that we look outside ourselves and see what we have looked inside and seen. Though a necessary function, when do we stop gathering information and welcome the state of being that will allow us to radically re-conceptualise birth and all education about birth? Our survival depends on it.
We share a common experience, you and I. We come from the warm waters inside another – part of a whole. We arrive into cold air and a plastic box outside – alone and separate. The next birth you attend, or see or hear about ask yourself, “What are the decisions this baby is making?”, or “What decisions would I make if that were happening to me, and I had just arrived in a completely different environment?” The good news is that we can change our minds and learn together what being human is all about. We are in the process of conception, gestation and birth all the time. Let’s be the parents of a new way of being. WE CAN GIVE UP OUR DEVOTION TO PAIN AND STRUGGLE, EXPAND, AND GIVE BIRTH TO OUR BABIES, OUR PROJECTS, AND OUR LIVES IN ECSTASY!
Binnie A. Dansby - © 1989