Being Born

Being born was one of the great moments of your life. Not only is it an important physical event, but it is also a truly powerful process psychologically. That unborn babies have rememberable experiences, and that birth itself leaves strong memories and influences, although not yet generally accepted, appears to be well documented. Thousands of people have now recovered memories of birth through various forms of therapy, meditation and hypnosis. Some of these areas of experience suggest consciousness is in some degree continuous throughout all levels of being. (See The Secret Life Of The Unborn Child by Dr. Thomas Verny, MD., and John Kelly – Sphere Books Ltd., 1982. In USA by Summit Books 1981)

To take the path of birth in inner-directed movement may mean recovering memories of your own birth and how it influenced your development. Such memories are completely non verbal and are composed purely of physical and emotional experience and body postures and movements. Apart from personal memories though, you may discover the power of renewal and the urge to grow expressed in the symbol of birth. This symbolic way experiencing was described well by Judith – in chapter three – when she felt like a crocus flower, struggling to open. In this way you might touch resources within yourself that have the possibility for you of emerging from old and restricting emotions, habits and ways of life.

1 – If possible do this with two or three friends who are supportive and used to the action of inner-directed movement. This is not because it is unsafe to do otherwise, but because with friends you can create an excellent ‘womb’ environment.

2 – If with friends, create your ‘space’ with enough room for you all to occupy a place close together on a soft duvet or blanket on the floor. Sit together making contact through holding hands, and centre down into the mood of what you are doing. Imagine yourself slipping backwards to the time when you were in the womb. When ready break contact and take an appropriate position in the middle of the blanket. Try curling up, knees to chest. Your two or three friends should now make close physical contact and cover you with their bodies so you are comfortable but enclosed in the warmth of their physical contact.

3 – Once this has been done relax and wait for inner-directed movements to arise. There is no need to concentrate on the theme of being born. It is enough for you to have thought about this at the beginning. Now you can let go of any thoughts and wait and watch.

4 – Do not attempt to make anything happen, or perform something for your friends. If all you do is to lie there for half an hour without movement, just do that. It is a very rewarding experience just to be quiet and close to friends in this non-verbal way. But you will probably find that after a few minutes there are changes of feeling occurring within you, and waves of impulse leading to some sort of movement or expression of feelings. Let these waves roll through you. Any movements that occur will come in waves too, so drop into quiet resting between them, and let the process unfold.

5 – If practising by yourself – or alone in a group – imagine yourself going back in time and size to the point where you are in the womb ready to be born. Take up a position on your blanket that expresses this as nearly as you can. Then allow inner-directed movement as described above in 3 & 4 above.

6 – What emerges will be unique to yourself. But in general it may feel like a direct experience of your own birth and relationship with your mother. Or it may be felt as an experience of psychological birth – a leaving behind of past attitudes and ways of expressing yourself that you have outgrown. It might be that you realise that for much of your life you have hardly been alive, and at last you are born and are living.

7 – Perhaps what happened was incomplete, and you will need to use the path again to carry it further. Birth is such a major feature, you will need to come back to this theme anyway to really find the treasure of insights and energy dormant in it.

8 – Whatever has arisen it is helpful to write it down and consider if you can see any relevance to your everyday life. For instance Joe, who used this path in his forties, experienced a difficult birth. He discovered a strong feeling of not wanting to be born, of a desire to avoid life by staying in the womb. He found this of great help in understanding the way he felt about life. His birth had been two months premature, so he could understand the feelings of not being ready to be involved in life. He had always had strong feelings of not wanting to participate in what other people were doing, of wanting to withdraw at social gatherings. On practising the ‘birth’ pathway again the feeling of withdrawal gradually receded and was replaced by a readiness to be involved in life. This made an observable difference to the way he met other people and was ready to be a part of activities.

If you practised with friends or within a group, share your experience with them and talk over what relevance you feel there might be with your everyday life. Also, ask for their comments on what they felt or observed. It is important to clarify for yourself what habits of feeling or attitude your birth has left, and how you wish to change these. For instance Joe was left with the habit of withdrawing from involvement with others.

The Pathway of birth offers the discovery of change in the amount of yourself you can bring to expression in relationship and work. It develops the ability to drop the past and to leave what is outgrown behind. Facets of yourself that were never really alive before can be born and live.

Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved