Conscious evolution in loving, for ourselves and future generations.
Individually and collectively, we have long endured a troubled relationship to love. Applying intention, attention, and the science of epigenetics, we can heal our internal access to love via the limbic imprint.
As a species, we have the ability to consciously evolve. We can meet the challenge of living in awareness of our interconnection, and repair the damage we have done to our planet and to ourselves. We are the nervous system— the feeling apparatus—of the Earth. We have the ability to give ourselves and future generations a blueprint of feeling totally safe, deeply loved, full of potential and completely connected.
The most well-known teacher of our time had a simple message: Love one another
But how? That requires a huge amount of trust. Another great teacher said, “Don’t be attached. Accept what comes. Examine what is.” That would also require trust—trust that whatever result may come is OK, and trust that the world is safe to be in as we are letting go. It’s easier said than done, because of the way we are imprinted as we enter the world.
I was a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) baby. Mum was happy with this, feeling empowered after the difficulties of her first birth. She had post-natal depression after her first birth, so her next pregnancy (with me) had an anxious theme. The labor was induced and Mum was told not to breastfeed, because, she was told, the hormones would be disruptive. So she ignored my cries and kept her breasts covered. Slowly and sadly, I got the message: My needs weren’t important, love is unreliable, and I was not worthy of love. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for Mum. She was just doing what she’d been told was best. In 1974, there was no Internet and women didn’t question doctor’s orders. So my primal experience of deep longing—craving love, wanting something outside of myself for validation—was hardwired into my limbic system, the part of the brain that governs the emotional body. The limbic system is our perceptual filter—the lens through which we see the world. And my experiences in infancy have influenced my life ever since.
Masculine unavailability was also imprinted, as I longed for my father throughout childhood. As a young adult with low self-esteem and a “longing habit”—my limbic imprint in action—all kinds of situations manifested where this melancholia could thrive. Traveling the world, far from family, I perpetuated this cycle for years. Long-distance relationships, where I could legitimately pine and long for love, were a personal specialty!
Through many years of seeking, I tried to address my longing for affirmation outside of myself. I tried to find my place in the sun, to accept love and feel safe to be myself. And I did. I found a way to work beyond the confines of my neural constructs, the habits of my mind—and since that time, everything has shifted. I’m happy to share my gifts and ideas with the world, and stretch all the boundaries of my previous comfort zones. I allow a flow of love like never before. Victory! Just like my VBAC birth.
Look within any life story and you’ll find patterns, ways of being that seem to appear time and time again. Familiar archetypes, recurrent themes, and behavioral and emotional tendencies are easily linked to events and circumstances in the formative, primal period—your conception, gestation, birth, and early years. More than 30 years of research in pre- and perinatal psychology (by Drs. William Emerson, Thomas Verny, David Chamberlain, and others) show us that there are very clear correlations between circumstances of birth and later behavior.
In his book Windows to the Womb, Chamberlain brings our attention to the millions of nerve connections firing throughout gestation. They double at birth, and double again in the early months of life. However, by age 1, the removal of these connections rapidly outpaces their growth, so that by age 12 the average child operates on a mere 350 million neuronal connections, which the body has tested and deemed necessary. This is the new science of epigenetics in action—the way our environments and cultures form personalities, perceptual filters, and behavioral tendencies. It explains how musical geniuses often come from parents who are musicians. Their tiny brains are steeped in music starting at conception, which means that nerve connections for the language of music are constantly stimulated, and therefore they remain strong throughout life, increasing their capacity for musical brilliance.
So it is with love. We can have an increased or decreased ability to give and receive love due to the experiences in our formative period. Embryologists have defined week nine of gestation as the starting point for the “stunning choreography” of millions of neurons firing, each with a full load of genes, producing an array of chemicals, including the “love hormone” oxytocin.
The ability to produce oxytocin later in life is determined by our relationship to it in the formative period, which is largely dependent on the state of our mother’s well-being, her feelings about the pregnancy and motherhood, and the flow of love between us and her. Oxytocin is greatly beneficial to all aspects of our relationship with love—our ability to empathize with others, be kind to ourselves, and feel safe. Even our healthy sexual functioning and ability to orgasm are deeply affected by our oxytocin levels.
The Primal Health Research Centre (the brainchild of famous French obstetrician and oxytocin expert, Michel Odent) has a data bank with hundreds of studies of the links between the “primal period” and health and behavior later in life. Likewise, the American Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health website and journals indicate that an “impaired capacity to love” has clear correlations with risk factors surrounding birth.
So what can we do if we weren’t lucky enough to arrive in a bubble of bliss? How do we release subconscious beliefs and liberate our limbic imprints? How can we “enter into the creation of our reality” and allow more comfort and ease with love and peace?
Many modalities, both modern and ancient, espouse the path to healing subconscious beliefs. The idea that we can indeed hold strong sway over our inner world is becoming quite mainstream, and more accessible to everyone every day.
To name just a few, Energy Psychology modalities such as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), and Thought Field Therapy (TFT) have their roots in ancient meridian-based therapies like traditional Chinese medicine. The common denominator underlying EP techniques involves stimulating or releasing blocked energy, whether by tapping, touching, or intention.
Psych-K is a process that initiates a whole-brain state, balancing right and left brain hemispheres while restimulating subconscious beliefs to create change in the habitual mind. Known as a “high-speed mindset change,” Psych-K was designed, in the words of its founder Robert M. Williams, M.A., “to help humanity catch up with the technological advances we have made, which outstrip the wisdom to know how to use them.”
There’s also Psychodrama and Experiential Group Therapy, an exploratory enactment modality in which many transpersonal elements come into play.
Meditative Self-Inquiry methods offered by teachers like Byron Katie and the insight meditation community dismantle the structures of held beliefs, identifying one’s own thoughts as the cause of suffering, thus effecting change.
Interpersonal Neurobiology is an emerging, multidisciplinary field that has many applications starting during the prenatal period and continuing through the aging process; it involves the integration of science and spirituality. Dr. Daniel Siegal, an author and professor of psychiatry, proposes that “Integration is at the heart of well-being.” He argues that humans have an expanded identity that acknowledges human and planetary interconnection by cultivating “mindsight” and developing integration of our individual and collective lives; he calls this “transpiration.”
ReBirthing (aka Breathwork), Primal Therapy, and Prenatal and Birth Trauma Resolution Therapy approach change by going back to the source of all perceptions, the earliest experiences of life—conception, gestation, and birth.
Having been blessed with beautiful, expansive birth experiences, I became fascinated with the evolutionary potential of birth. I discovered the Russian visionary Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova and the Birth Into Being method she created during her 30 years of working with conscious procreation. It involves a range of processes that utilize concepts of neuroplasticity and epigenetics to create new cellular memories, strengthen neural pathways to allow love in, and foster a deep sense of well-being, safety, and personal empowerment. Without indulging in what was, you simply create a new memory. Think of it as an alternative route for the emotional body, or a parallel reality for the nervous system to adhere to. Using a multi-sensory approach it is possible to revise the subconscious emotional comfort zone with current, conscious intention.
This “in the body” experience of being conceived, gestated, and born in love and ecstasy can have a profound impact on one’s experience of life, love, and creativity. Limbic Imprint ReCoding is wonderful for preconception or pregnant couples, and anyone seeking deeper understanding of their recurrent patterns, ready to shift inhibiting or imbalanced beliefs that obscure the truth of themselves or their life’s purpose. It lets us create the life we say we want—free of the neural constructs of our past. In the big picture, we can create an upgraded version of our species by healing ourselves and then bringing in the next generation without trauma.
Author Bruce Lipton says, “Conscious parenting is the rule of the day to help us evolve from the planetary mess we are in.” Addressing the gap between the way we were parented and the way we wish to parent is an integral part of the Conscious Parenting path. Likewise, we must parent our inner children in the way we wish we had been parented, unobstructing the flow of life force, and loosening up the limbic system to allow love in. These steps are vital if we wish to embody conscious evolution.
This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #52.