I never had anything to do with children. I don’t believe I had even held a baby until I held my new born daughter. I have always preferred animals. But my destiny was to become a mother. It so happened that I was married when I fell pregnant while on oral contraceptives. I had been suffering from nausea for about a week when finally I went to the doctor and he said pee in the bottle. Which I did, not believing even then that the test could be positive. It turned blue before my eyes and I burst into tears. Not tears of joy, but of shock.
I never had a picture of me as a mother. It didn’t live in my worldview. Never. Not even for a nanosecond. So the shock was pretty deep.
Yet here I was pregnant. Because there was a possibility the pregnancy was ectopic, I was rushed off that same day for a scan. Nope. Normal pregnancy. Loud and clear. I am not anti abortion, but termination was not an option for me. We talked about it, but as an abstraction, not a seriously considered conversation.
My daughter from the outset taught me that she was in charge of her destiny. She remained in the breech position for the entire time. Her head in the upper right part of my stomach. I tried everything to get her to turn, from standing on my head, to acupuncture. I was attached to a natural birth. I even sacked my obstetrician because he was inclined at 12 weeks, to schedule me for a caesarian. Out of laziness and not for any medical reasons apparent at that time. I found a great obstetrician who was an older country doctor. Thank goodness, because he was happy to consider a trial of labor.
Two weeks before due, and on a very hot and humid Saturday in February, it all started. On her schedule of course. My waters broke, and early labor commenced. The doctor and I decided that the risk of a natural birth with my size and a breech baby was too high, so at 4 minutes to 10 on the 16th February 1991, my daughter was born by C section. She was tiny. Just 5 lbs. And delicate. And present. I am sure I am not the only parent that has looked into their new born child’s eyes and seen the wisdom of ages starting back at them. All knowing, all present, all peaceful. Truly a humbling experience.
We discovered that the reason she had remained breech and in the same position was because my uterus was heart shaped. Literally. It had a septum or panel dividing it into two lobes. My vessel for holding a child in utero was in the shape of a heart. There is a metaphor here worth holding close.
We spent 3 days naming her, because the names we had originally chosen were not who she was. I had all of these strong warrior woman names, and she was the essence of feminine beauty. The naming was very important. There was an alchemy to it that I know more about now than I did then. I did know that the name we chose for her was right. Natalie Newby. No middle name. I was even happy for her to have her fathers name, because it resonated with her spirit. This has proved deeply accurate, as Natalie shares the Maori blood of her father, and just about everything else of his as well, except his height. (He is 6’3, and I am 5’1).
Just as I did not expect to be a mother, I did not expect to spend all but the first two years as a single mum. I don’t recommend it. Its hard work, especially when you are also the main income earner. But it was worth it.
Here is the mystery. The real mystery. I knew, intuitively, how to be a mother. Not instinctively, but from a deep and profound well of knowing. I have observed since that many women do not have direct access to this knowing. But I did. It was effortless.
From the moment she was born I got that she was her own spirit. She had been teaching me from the day she made her presence known. She had her own song, her own expression. It was not mine. Nor was it right for me to try to mold her in my image. The opposite actually. I knew intuitively that my job was one of the most sacred roles in Universe. To be a steward for a child. To hold a space where a child is able to grow into everything that is already encoded within them. To purify the space, to keep my grubby little fingers off.
Family and friends watched me be a mother with incredulous amazement. I too was surprised to the core. I found the tuning in to her needs as easy as breathing. That is not to say I was perfect. Hmm..no…that would not be me. There was a day I remember where I was so close to losing it, where I looked into the abyss of what is possible when a sleep deprived, angry mother is at her wits end. So close to doing something terrible. Only by the grace of something did I return to sanity and pull back from that very dark abyss.
Now, 20 years later, I have a beautiful young woman for a daughter. We are great friends. We have an amazing close and rich relationship. I knew as the years unfolded that my role was to change. That finally it would be about me providing a space where she could come to me and speak about anything at all…without fear of shame or humiliation. Anything. At all.
I would be a lesser person without my daughter. In ways I cannot begin to articulate. She opened my heart, and kept it open. I would be an empty shell.
I still do not have any sort of attraction to babies in prams. Nope…none at all. Not interested. I am not interested in being a grandmother, although that is likely to happen. So I have, for a very long time, denied the side of me that is a mother. It has been as if it was an element of me that lived over there. Outside of me. Alien.
For the last 7 months, since January of 2011, I have been working with people to bring to life their deeply held impulse. You know, when you get a hit that cannot be ignored, that you need to do something? The impulse usually drops into us out of the blue. And it is pure.
Then we take it and make it something else. We start to mold it in our image, or in the image that the world says we are supposed to mold it. The form then takes over. It may even take over to reach a place where the impulse and the form do not even look alike. One day we wake up and go…how the hell did I get here? This is nothing like what I felt when I had that original impulse. Both the expression of the impulse and I are miserable.
My role has been to support people to get back to the integrity of the original impulse. To let go of form. I find this easy to do. The form emerges naturally if you let it. And there is a flow and ease to the process that is deeply organic.
Last week, while I was swimming laps, it suddenly occurred to me that this is the archetype of the mother. This is it. This is was I do naturally. This was a big aah moment.
I have the ability to tune into the source code of the impulse, or what is needing to be unique expressed and honoured, and to hold the integrity of that. To stop our ego’s from getting their grubby little fingers all over the purity of the impulse as most of us do.
This is the sacred mother archetype. Or one expression of her. I can do this in my sleep.
Oh my god, I am mother. I always have been. A sacred mother. The chalice, or crucible. The keeper of the integrity of the source code. This is part of me. Who would have thought? I hear Gods laughing. Finally she gets it. Took 20 years, but finally.
What a privilege. For we have some real work to do, those of us who embody the sacred mother. There are many precious babies (literally and metaphorically) that are being incubated and needing the stewarding of a sacred mother. Being keepers of the integrity of the source code impulse is a very significant role. I am deeply honoured to be gifted with this task, as I join with other sacred mothers (male and female) from around the world being called to steward the new. For indeed we have much to do. For too long have we been drinking the kool-aid of seduction, manipulation and surrogacy. It is time to honour integrity of source. And for that, we need the sacred mother to hold the crucible of the impulse with heart, allowing it to manifest uncontaminated.