Rebirth: The Journey of Awakening

Ginko biloba sprout - lan new tree encoded in the seed.
Our memory is not only the home of our life story. It holds a key to the essence of who we are.

The wholeness of our souls continually beckons us through disturbing feelings and events to awaken to the unmet potentials within us - as maturing individuals, as a rapidly changing culture and as an evolving human species.

When we are willing to remember and release the unconscious feelings about what happened to us as we incarnated into this world, we become empowered to redesign the most fundamental emotional, spiritual, physical and relationship patterns that govern our lives.

The primal imprint of birth contains all the intense experiences necessary to form the blueprint of the major challenges and gifts for each soul's journey through this life time. This is the foundation of how we learn to love and be loved, created as we form our bodies within the womb and through the experiences of how we are received as we come out into the world (see Birth:The Primal Imprint).

As we rebirth ourselves through the processes of conscious awakening, we remember and reconfigure these, our most fundamental beliefs and behaviors. In this context, rebirthing is not a specific therapeutic technique, but an honoring of the transformational power inherent in each stage of human development. It is a way of living life, embracing the journey of awakening to reclaim our essential wholeness.

What Happens As We Rebirth Ourselves?
It can literally feel like being re-born. What becomes available are:

  • Often intense, ecstatic feelings of liberation and love, a sense of wholeness and lightness as the past is shed.
  • There is a sense of genuine openness and vulnerability, not the "I am about to be hurt" kind of feeling people often call vulnerability; more of a return to innocence.
  • The world begins anew and life feels fresh, exciting and to varying degrees, full of possibilities.
  • Relationships become the playground for conscious connection and sharing.
  • One's relationship to time changes, coming into accord with the magic of the moment and the true flow of the energy.
  • As the anesthetics wear off, deep feeling, passion, pleasure and spontaneity return to the body and soul.
  • The conflict, blame and separation from mother and father (and the feminine and the masculine) evolves into understanding, compassion, forgiveness and balance.
  • There is a shift away from the wounded child and adolescent patterns to more mature, spontaneous responsibility and emotional freedom.
  • The sacredness and playfulness of sexuality can be reclaimed.
  • Adventure replaces struggle.
  • Inner security dissolves fear.
  • Gratitude, appreciation and joy become a way of life.
  • There is a longing to return to the magical enchantment of nature and to explore the mysteries of life.
  • True imagination becomes the source of the future we grow into.
  • The profound peace embedded in the core of our being allows an ever deepening surrender into the stillness at the heart of creation.
  • There is a natural desire to share this wisdom with others and to be of service in the community.
Sprouts emerging from the darkness
How Do We Remember?
Recent research into memory has revealed that it is not the static, swear-on-the-bible truth that we thought it was. Our recollections of past events is now known to alter over time, effected by stress, changes in brain chemistry and nutrition. Recently it has been discovered that memory also continually changes in the light of current beliefs, strong emotions and life experiences.

The scientific and medical professions still would have us believe that memory is a function of brain structure and that it is not possible for us to remember being a baby, as the infant's brain has not developed enough neural networks to process such information.

The pioneering work of Stanislav and Christina Grof and Leonard Orr into breathwork in the 1960's opened the way for people to access these prenatal memories directly. Through the use of specific, deep breathing techniques, intense music and processes such as movement, focused bodywork and making sounds, people are able to remember experiences which defy medical science's explanations of what a baby can recall. Often people's remembered experiences have been later validated by family members.

This work is similar to the ancient tradition of shamanic journeying, where the individual's consciousness acquires wisdom through spiritual dimensions of awareness, emotions and sensations in the body rather than knowing through the accumulated, cognitive, brain centered memory. In these realms, time is no longer experienced as a linear phenomenon. Rather one is within the time frame of the event as if it is happening in the present. This is not like witnessing the event; it is re-living the full feelings, beliefs, body sensations, sounds and smells that were present when the experience originally happened.

This cellular memory can also spontaneously arise during deep tissue massage, bioenergetic exercises, other somatic therapies and in states of deep sexual arousal. Anecdotal evidence has been reported by the recipients of transplants who appeared to have inherited the tastes and habits of the organ donor. Then there is genetic memory encoded in our DNA - the instinctual or racial memory.

Many ancient cultures understand the continuum of awareness beyond the physical body, as do many religions and spiritual doctrines. People who have experienced non ordinary states of consciousness report that there are vast realms of possible existence beyond the ego encapsulated, physical form so identified with in technological cultures.

Whatever the mechanism of memory, studies have shown that emotional experiences are likely to be recalled more often and with more clarity and detail than any other events. It is through the emotional memory that the greatest healing and awakening also happens. It has also been discovered that thoughts are outcomes of feelings (our emotions create our beliefs and ideas) and they are the primary modality of interacting with the world.

Mossy sprout
Who Am I?  Why Am I Here?
As we search for meaning in our lives and for the means to allay suffering, these core questions usually come up. The heart of all rebirth work is to awaken consciousness so that you can experience the answers to these questions by remembering how you were created.

From the moment of conception on, the consciousness of the fetus absorbs, not only the mother's nourishment, but all her emotional, mental, spiritual and relationship experiences and beliefs, including those of her present and past family and her culture. The growing baby has no filters to prevent this process. We absorb everything.

When the mother is stressed or ill during pregnancy, the baby's development and brain structure is directly affected. The child creates a brain which is either predisposed to learn and be creative or to come out prepared to fight and defend itself. If the infant suffers a traumatic pregnancy and birth, it's brain and body are is significantly slower to develop than a child having a healthy gestation and a natural, gentle birth.

Just as a person will go unconscious when there is extreme shock and physical or emotional trauma, there are biological mechanisms to shut down the baby's capacity to feel when the pain becomes too great. When the infant has a difficult time being born, is separated from their mother following the birth (for any length of time), is roughly handled and left to cry, the trauma of birth becomes deeply impacted and the child makes all kinds of infantile misconceptions about themselves, their mother and the world.

In the tender years following birth, babies have an intrinsic need to be consciously touched and held, to be seen and to hear the sweet sounds of their parents voices. This gives them a secure grounding in this reality and reassures them that they have a place and a purpose here.

They need to both give and receive unconditional love. Few families have any history or understanding of this quality of love and are therefore unable to pass this on to the infant. The little one has no way to process this lack. With the absence of a clear mirror, the connection with the essential, expanded, loving Self becomes corroded and a personality is formed in the reflection of the parents and family, a little self.

These unknown imprints form the template of our current identity and behaviors and are re-enacted whenever there is a resonate similarity between current events and past unconscious emotional distress, shock, traumas and injuries (see Emotional Patterns and Repeating Behaviors).

Maidenhair Fern tender new growth

Processes of Change.
Memories are only the doorway to conscious growth. The key is learning how to learn from past experiences and create new feelings.

Our personal identity tends to be based on what we remember - an accumulation of this life's roles and imprinted patterns within our cultural mosaic.

Unless we are willing to thaw out the frozen places in our unconscious and learn to develop emotional and spiritual spontaneity, our personal maturation and evolution as a species is thwarted. This means diving into the unknown, going beyond our comfortable parameters of experience and knowledge. You can start the exploration anywhere - with current life challenges, past life images, future worries, where ever energy is constricted. See What Happens in Sessions?

When the initial exploration of the past uncovers amazing events and phenomenally intense episodes, there is a tendency to identify with the experience. This is particularly alluring when the memory holds a position of power, for example a past life as a warrior, or one of extreme victimization, such as a witch burnt at the stake. The key to dynamic consciousness is not to replace one identity with another.

Each time we re-experience the past and release stuck feelings and energies, we need to bring new understanding and healthy new perspectives to these patterns so that we reconfigure our relationship to the events, ourselves and to the present. The primal longing to be seen dissolves as we see and embrace the disowned and forgotten parts of ourselves. The soul feeling abandoned is reconnected with the source of love. The eternal rage against life is met and answered, with compassion and honesty.

As the angry, demanding, rebellious child is embraced and held, there grows a sense of safety and grounded power. By waking the anesthetized, apathetic places in our body and psyche, we begin to feel again and rediscover passion. When the lost, hurt child within us is found, a sense of belonging begins to blossom. These processes constellate the loving, good parent role within us and allow the adolescent to mature emotionally. We discover what it really means to be an adult.

Tree fern frond
Mature Self Becomes the Guide.
As we reclaim our authentic, essential selves, we grow true to our soul's callings, intrinsically reconnected to our natural, mature place within the tapestry of life on this planet.

Over time, there is a purity of purpose which emerges as we learn to follow the inner guidance of our spiritual essence.

Some call this the soul, others the higher Self. The critical, demanding, compulsive voices of parents and teachers imbedded in the psyche of the child are replaced with a gentle higher authority which transcends right and wrong. It guides us with possibilities, appropriate responses and an ever expanding appreciation of relationships and loving behavior.

The most important and profound relationship to change is the one with our mother, because it holds our core bonding template. As you release the pains of the past, you are held by your guide and the pathways to Divine Mother are reopened. This reconnects us to the true source of healing - the consciousness of that which made us. It often feels that grace floods us and we are finally able to understand and forgive our mother and others who have seemingly hurt us. People often report that their external relationships with those concerned simultaneously shift to reflect this new awareness.

If we are willing to go even deeper at this point, there follows the natural and profound reconnection with the Earth as out true mother. The ramifications of such experiences often go far beyond the understanding of the average mind. Anxiety, fear, the turmoil of a lifetime of separation dissolves in the embrace of the loving consciousness of the Earth and the Creator. Herein lies the peace our souls crave and the answers to all our worldly and spiritual concerns.

At maturity, the Earth replaces the biological mother as the primary source of nourishment, comfort and guidance. Our bodies are experienced as one with her body, cultivating respect, balance and acceptance of our ecological responsibilities as a natural extension of ourselves. Awareness of our human/spiritual nature within the wondrously complex cycle of life is engendered as is our rightful place within the organic web of life.

As mature, soul connected human beings, we can respond with enthusiasm to the environmental challenges facing us by accessing the wisdom of Life directly and networking to share solutions. Community becomes a natural state of collaboration rather than something we have to make happen. We become capable of responding to the need to care for our elderly, our children, the sick and our returned soldiers. Being in nature is no longer a recreational pursuit, it is as vital a breathing clean air. Each decision we make takes on a personal quality of integral consequence, of appreciating the magnitude of the ripples that flow out from us with all our choices.

Begonia tender new growth
By learning how to release accumulated identities and unconscious unexpressed feelings, openings are created for the re-emergence of our expanded consciousness, one that is based in infinite,experiences and multi-dimensional imagination and reflects the wholeness of our essence. This is a part of metacognition, the active control over the processes of thinking and learning, developing the awareness of how we change.

There was a period in my life when I was living in the forests of Maui when I awoke each day with the image of a blank canvas. I discovered that I had been habitually saying "no" to way too many invitations in life through an unconscious fear of the unknown. So I began my days with a ritual recognition of the potential to create my life anew and to live life with a "Yes", until it turned into a "No". My life became really interesting after that!

There is a wondrous creative power in imagination, the ability to feel, see and create new futures. This is not just a form of positive affirmation but the manifestation of Life's evolutionary experiment. In the heart of our expanded Self, there lies infinite possibilities of experience and potential ways of being. Each of us holds a kernel of the future which sprouts, as we do the work of reclaiming our forgotten past and owning the power of our projections on others and the world outside.

There is a relaxation that happens as we shift to an expanded perspective about life and our own suffering. One view maintains that our soul chose exactly the quality of parents and family situation to incarnate into that which would provide the necessary nourishment, limitations and resistance for our evolution in this life. Perhaps the concentration of anguish of our births at this time in history will propel us forward through the evolutionary process to an entirely new species of conscious human beings, a rebirth on a racial and species scale.

Like the diurnal patterns of Earth's rotation, there are natural times to fall asleep and times when the energy of Life calls us to awaken. We can fall asleep and let the power for our lives be centralized in external authorities or we can wake up and live from our own center. The current crisis of the disintegration of the western techno culture suggests that now is a really good time to Wake Up!

There are no limits of just how awake we can become - perhaps it is possible to be fully awake even as we sleep or as the great yogis practice, to become enlightened in the midst of great suffering.

Each time we dive into the unknown, into the anguish of the human condition, into our childish hurt places and are reborn, we unlock ever greater spiritual and human passion, power and love. It is a journey into being reborn each moment, fully present, open to the majesty and wonder of existence, our love and our precious planet.


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