My experience giving birth to my son was beautiful. The process was a completely unmedicated water birth. Afterwards, he was diagnosed as having congenital pneumonia and rushed to the hospital intensive care unit for five days. I was distraught. I had everything about conscious parenting carefully worked out, and I envisioned the most minute details of the flow of our lives together, all in advance. This had not been part of my plan!
The trauma of the separation was intense. I clung for many months to my initial desire for things to have been otherwise. I wanted my son to have had a different start in life. I wanted to turn back the clock and somehow make things better.
It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my daughter that I sought help from a birth trauma counsellor who helped me to process what had happened. As we peeled back the layers of emotion and stories, I had several profound realisations that have stayed with me on my conscious parenting journey ever since.
First, I realised that the ability to choose our children’s pathways is not automatically given to us. Thankfully! – for how could we even begin to know what experiences their souls really need in this life? Rather, our role as conscious parents is simply to support them through whatever ups and downs they may encounter – no matter how challenging – and love them unconditionally throughout.
Second, I learned how readily I assign labels and develop my own storylines. I initially categorized Kai’s experience as “bad” and so I resisted it. As we worked through it, I played with the idea that perhaps in fact it was “good” – something he needed to experience, that would somehow serve him in the longer term. Finally, I realised it was neither good nor bad. It simply was. This was perhaps the first time in my life I had truly seen “what is” without any judgement at all.
Third, I realised that all my fears about my daughter’s birth were simply “mind junk”, and as such, I didn’t need to listen to them at all! I had thought that the intensity of my fear was related to the intensity of the love I felt, but I realised the two have completely different qualities, and come from different sources. Our fears are hard to pin down, and they change as we chase them – we sometimes struggle to define them very clearly at all. They are only in the mind. In contrast, our love is rock solid, always enduring, never changing. It is truly in the heart and in our whole being. The mind doesn’t come into this process.
Conscious parenting is for me a learning journey. I still feel fears, I still find I want to influence and shape my children’s pathways and wish I could save them from difficult experiences. I still regularly label events as being either good or bad. When I can let go of these things, I find that I can be more present and more responsive to their needs in the “what is” of the moment. As I’ve discovered on this journey, that is really what they need.
Eco Retreats Forest Retreat is a beautiful haven for conscious parents to enjoy spending quality time in nature with their children, re-build connection, and make memories that last a lifetime.