Rituals are also a wonderful way to celebrate and teach the sacred with your child. There are years ahead of you for creating and practicing rites and rituals together. In the meanwhile, there are rituals you can create now to connect with the child within.
Sometimes all it takes is a quiet moment upon waking or before sleeping, with one hand on your belly, and one hand on your heart. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, turn your attention within, and just feel what you feel…
Consider the sacred connection being formed right now between you and the new life growing within. You are connected – on a far deeper level than through body and blood. Consider the spirit connection. Whatever your spiritual beliefs may be, consider how your souls are connected – with each other, within the bigger picture. How does this feel to you? How can you connect to the life within? How can you both connect with the world around? How can you communicate, or share feelings, or express love with each other?
Next, let us consider how the little one within relates and reacts to your state of mind. What do you think? Do your thoughts affect those around you? Can your thoughts affect the baby within?
Once upon a time, theorists like Freud said we were born as an empty slate. Now we know better. Your baby is conscious and aware now, while within you. His or her mind is active, reacting, sleeping, even dreaming.
This brings up the consideration of how what you do may affect your child. Not only your actions, and your nutritional, physical and environmental choices – but your emotions, your stress, your relaxation… yes, even your thoughts. If he or she is already aware, is he or she aware of your feelings, your emotions, your thoughts?
If your thoughts can affect your mood, your physical wellbeing, your expressed energy levels, and even those around you, let us assume it is possible that you thoughts too can affect your unborn child.
Can you always only think positive thoughts? No. Of course not. But you can work to think with clarity. Be conscious of your thoughts. The more aware you are of your thoughts, the more you are able to control them, rather than have your thoughts run wild and control your whole being.
Please consider this fully. Both your actions and your thoughts affect your child. In the womb, and then in your arms. This is a great responsibility and understanding. This means you are already being the mother in so many ways. Honor yourself by being the mother you want to be, starting now.
Conscious parenting is a choice. It is being aware of your actions, your words, even your thoughts and feelings. It is knowing you do have a choice, and choosing the loving, kind, respectful route. It is also respecting of the practical – not only what you want to do and give, but what you can. We all have our limitations and restrictions based on life situations and circumstances. All we need to remember is to do what we can. Respect and honor ourselves too. Forgiveness – including forgiving ourselves – is a wonderful lesson to teach our children. There is no perfection in this world, or rather, perfection is found from the balance of all the beautiful, individual imperfections. Too often we stress ourselves in the process of trying to live up to self or socially inflicted demands, unrealistic expectations and desires. Does this end up helping us – or the unborn child?
So though your intentions may be to do everything you possibly can to created a loving environment now for your child, this is not to say that you must protect and buffer your baby from all unwanted thoughts and have nothing but sweet, light, loving feelings. Come on, get real: that’s not possible or practical. And life is never so shallow or simple – or boring. So don’t stress it. Just be realistic, responsible and aware.
Many of us have seen situations where parents worked so hard during pregnancy to create a contrived environment – one that is shielded, safeguarded, stress free and full of positive thoughts and good vibes – and it didn’t work worth a darn. Those folks were just as likely to be the ones working with a baby who cries all the time and has trouble being comforted. Likewise, we have known the most stressed women with the most challenging situations to overcome in pregnancy, including depression and relationship woes and financial hardships – and those babies were just as likely to be peaceful and well adjusted.
So, the theory may then include this: From your real emotions and thoughts of everyday life that are inevitably shared in the womb, a child can learn the realities of life and the skills to manage life in balance. That’s an interesting consideration. This means that though it is unrealistic to think you can control your entire environment and experiences, you can control your reaction, or rather, your actions, your thoughts, your feelings, your emotions. We often let our emotions and thoughts run amuck and rule us, but with practice, we can keep them in balance. How’s that for a powerful lesson to share with our children?
Life is not all sunshine and bunnies. There are normal ups and downs. Thus the ability to manage, or rather remain in balance through these fluctuations is essential. We can begin working on – and in kind, sharing these skills – now.
What else can we share? Love! Sharing and expressing love with your baby, making certain he or she knows he or she is wanted and loved… This is huge. This does matter. Doesn’t it for you, too? We all want to be loved and belong. These are basic needs – so simple, and yet so powerfully profound.
So perhaps the most important thing to focus your thoughts and shared feelings on, then, is….love. Really, just love. Your love for that little one growing inside you. That is the message that will matter. The rest, well, that’s life. They will learn to adjust and ride the waves. And all of that is so much easier to do when we are… loved.
And so we return again to the belief that love heals all. Okay, if not all, well, at least most of it! Focus on that love. Express it. Say it. Silently or out loud. Sing it, rub it, visualize it, chant it, dance it, meditate on it. Think it and feel it. If you have had or are still having doubts for your desire or ability or love, or of parenting, be honest. Be clear. You can still love this being in that clarity. He or she will understand. Remember, in love we learn forgiveness, too.
With conscious parenting choices, you can begin now to teach our children about clarity, balance, and love.
And you, too, can learn in the process.
There are several books to consider on the topic of the thinking mind of the baby within you. These are just a few:
- The Secret Life of the Unborn Child by Thomas Verny
- Windows to the Womb by David Chamberlain
- The Mind of the Newborn Baby also by David Chamberlain