After having been a New York City public school teacher for over a decade (and now an adjunct lecturer), I have come to think of Labor Day as the day that signals going back to work–the beginning of my labors for the school year.
The first Labor Day was celebrated in 1882 as a means of exhibiting to the public “‘the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations’ of the community” (Wikipedia). But as I do more exploration of womb work and the truths of the feminine energies being revitalized on the planet, the more I identify with labor of another kind. Each of us was born of an act of labor of our mothers (even inducement is a form of labor). And every woman carries within her memories and her cells and her soul the birth of each of her children. I have never met any woman who bore children who couldn’t recount her own version of the events–even if it was they knocked me out and when I woke up, my child was there.
Each of us carries within our cells and our psyche and our soul, the memories of birth. This is why many types of rebirthing ceremonies are so popular. We want to revisit these authentic birth experiences that rush up from our depths when we make the intention and the ritual to call upon them. Often people can recount circumstances surrounding their birth that they have no prior knowledge about during such ceremonies and the information can be invaluable.
Scientists, through the study of epigenetics, are discovering just how much can be transmitted to the growing child during pregnancy. A mother’s fear, a traumatic event, feelings of peace and contentment or whatever else is happening physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually to a woman during her pregnancy can also pass to the child. This means that the climate around gestation and birth is more significant and impactful than we may have previously realized.
This is not to put blame of any kind on pregnant women or perhaps those around them or even the society we live in now. But as we move forward, calling in this New Earth that we desire, we must take this new information into account in the way we plan for, carry and birth children. What can we do as a collective to ensure that mothers and babies are cared for and protected during this critical time?
Actually, there is plenty we can do, which may be the source of another post. Right now I am more concerned with what we each can do to honor “the work” our mothers put into bringing us into the world (or how we brought our children into the world) and how we can release any negative imprints we may have gained from the process of gestation or birthing.
Here are a few steps you can take to better understand your own and your mom’s labor experience and heal from it. Not everyone will be able, for a variety of reasons, to do these exercise by connecting their mom on the physical plane. If you can’t or don’t feel comfortable talking directly to your mother, you can reach her on the spiritual plane through meditation and visualization.
1. Connect with your mom and find out more about your conception, gestation and birth.
A. Ask your mom about how you were conceived. Was you conception planned or unplanned? What was the relationship between your parents? Was it a love match or were there difficulties? How did each of your parents feel about your conception? Did anything remarkable happen during your gestation? Did anything traumatic happen during her pregnancy? Was she generally happy or depressed? How did she feel about the impending birth?
B. Ask your mom about your birth? Where was your mom when she went into labor? How was she feeling during the birth? Was she made comfortable or uncomfortable by those attending her? How long was her labor? What were her first thoughts when she saw you?
Recognize that whatever information you get, whether in person or on the spirit plane may not be pretty. Even a planned pregnancy conceived in love may come with complications, anxiety, hardship or other circumstances. The point here is to gain information that can help you understand and perhaps release energies that may have been with you for a very long time. Accept what comes through, even if it is difficult to “hear” or “know” about.
2. Express gratitude. Thank your mom for your life. Again, this can be done on the physical or spiritual planes. If you feel uncomfortable expressing this sentiment, you can still show gratitude for your life to the Great Mother.
Divine Mother, thank you for my life . . .
You do not have to be thankful for the situation into which you were born or even raised, but for the mere fact of your birth, which enables you to be here now at this glorious time on Earth where all possibilities are open to us for love and life and healing.
3. Release the energies of your birth experience through a very simple rebirthing process. Clear a space on the floor where you can lie down comfortably. Gather a pillow, a couple of blankets in which to cocoon yourself. Light a candle and ask for Divine Mother and your birth mother to be present with you on the spiritual plane. State your intent to shed any energies surrounding your birth that are heavy or unwanted or impacting your present life in negative ways. This release should occur, not just on a surface level,but down to the DNA and genetic codes influenced by birth energies.
Cocoon yourself in the fetal position under your blankets, feeling warm, protected, loved and cared for. Nestle deep, as if Mother Earth herself is about to birth you. If any heavy or negative feelings arise, give them to Mother Earth for transmutation and healing.
When you are ready, slowly allow yourself to emerge from your haven, head first if you wish. Birth yourself with the intention of shedding any energies or memories or trauma associated with your actual birth as you shed your coverings. Bring with you only feelings of peace, love, contentment, joy and anticipation for the life you have been given. Continue to lie on the floor in whatever position you feel comfortable, asking Divine Mother for grace. Feel her arms wrap around you and hold you dearly. Know that she is here for you whenever you call on her.
When you feel called, you can get up, drink some water and record about your experience in words, artwork musically or through dance. The idea is to tap into the newly cleared and freed sacral (womb or hara) energies and to anchor new healthier energies in this space. Again, Happy Labor Day to you, no matter how you celebrate it. If you give the rebirthing process a try, please let me know how it goes for you in the comments below!