By Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova
In one of the previous issues of this magazine, in my article “Limbic Imprint,” I described the mechanism of correlation between the way we were born and the quality of our emotional life as adults. Limbic imprint is an inborn capacity of the nervous system to absorb and memorize noncognitively all of the information from the surrounding environment during the preverbal formative period from conception, through gestation, birth, and the first few years of life.
It means that if the baby was predominantly saturated with the mother’s “love hormones,” oxitocin and other dopamines, the baby grows well and feels safe about coming into this family. If, on the other hand, the baby was exposed to predominantly stressful experiences, that would mean adopting negative sensory overload as the norm by the baby’s limbic brain and nervous system. Against any logic, loneliness and suffering would register as the “comfort zone,” as the cortex (logic) is not developed yet and cannot cognitively rationalize that it’s not a desirable experience.
It is no coincidence that the drug culture of the 1960s exploded after drugs were introduced into delivery rooms during the 1940s. It set up the whole generation to depend on chemicals as a way of dealing with life. The greatest irony is that our inherent desire to feel good, about ourselves and the world around us, to find that “paradise lost”—the sense of belonging to some omnipresent loving Source—is exactly what drives the unskilled search toward the quick fix of addictive behaviors.
Ramana, one of the legendary yogis of India, once said that when he experienced enlightenment, it lasted for 15 seconds, but it had enough impact on him that he would spend the rest of his life in devotion to this moment. For women, this kind of experience of enlightenment is biologically available every time they go into labor to deliver a baby. The amount of oxytocin her brain is capable of releasing would be sufficient for her to enter that state of being. It is the natural bliss that is supposed to become the baby’s emotional “basic settings.” When a woman’s body is doing its work without interference from her own anxiety, she is capable of experiencing pure ecstasy during delivery. Her hormones “dialogue” with the baby’s hormones, “wiring” the baby’s “settings” into a deep sense of well-being and fearless attitude toward life and melded in sweet connection with the mother, who is felt by the baby as a nurturing, loving source of existence. That is the most basic sensation every one of us has the right to experience at birth, because that is how the female procreational neurobiology and hormonal landscape are supposed to function.
Unfortunately, so far, it is only a privilege of so few. Because if a woman was not born well herself, her body doesn’t know that it knows how to produce enough oxytocin during delivery. The good news is that it’s possible to retrain our nervous systems to the sufficient production of oxytocin by writing a new script for our own birth and triggering the creation of new reference points that include feelings of safety and nurture.
We can learn to be truly kind to ourselves. In most cases, it’s harder than learning to walk or speak if we were imprinted on suffering from the beginning of times. This is exactly why the longest journey one will ever undertake is the journey from the head to the heart. Because if the feelings are emotionally disconnected from physiology, one cannot tell the difference between love and lust, with no reference point of what it’s supposed to feel like—to be safe, loved, respected.
For those adults who are already born into less than blissful circumstances, I offer my “Limbic Imprint Recoding” workshops, designed to create new “reference points” in our nervous systems. It is for anyone, women and men, who wants to feel vibrant, creative, and is searching for ways of expanding their capacity for joy, deep sense of well-being, intimacy, and gratitude for being alive. It is for those who are interested in healing their emotional body from the time they were conceived or from giving birth. To summarize: It is for those who are looking to harmonize their creative flow, whether they are pregnant with an art project or a child.
We need to put birth into the context of life, so women don’t feel helpless when it comes to delivery and don’t look for somebody to give their power away (a midwife, a partner, or some expert, who thinks he knows about birth just because he went to school).
There is so much more to giving birth than the eye can see! It’s a deeply mystical, shamanic experience; that’s why it has a rank of rite of passage, an initiation into motherhood in indigenous cultures, in spite of its also being a normal anatomical function.
It is an ultimate activation of the divine feminine in a woman. Afterward, her creativity, grasp of life’s mysteries, are available to her—if she chooses to pay attention. Of course, if there is a real medical indication, we are very grateful that professional help is available in the hospitals! But in a healthy society, the incidence of C-section should not be over 10 percent to 12 percent, speaking very conservatively; it’s a dangerous major abdominal surgery with lots of negative psychological side effects for both the mother and child. In some countries C-section rates are now up to 85 percent to 95 percent!
It’s in women’s hands to educate themselves and know what they can do. And breastfeeding is a purely shamanic act, too—a woman’s body produces on demand the most nurturing substance in the world, out of nonexistence! It brings an enormous oxytocin production for both mom and the babe!
The Conscious Procreation movement is marching the world! It is an answer to fear-based, violent, addictive lifestyles—to raise a new generation of humans who are not programmed on pain and suffering and are free to live by the law of common sense and simple compassion toward each other, which is a human’s natural state of being.
For more info on Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova and her workshops visit www.birthintobeing.com.