Hello beautiful Soul. Today let’s delve into the fascinating topic of conscious parenting and how you can make a difference in your child’s life by making a difference in your own, first.
Although I am not a mother yet, I understand just how powerful that role is and I want you to take that power in your stride as well. This post does focus primarily on motherhood. However, by no means is it undermining the importance of fatherhood during those early stages. So fathers, or fathers to be, feel free to read on. This will be helpful for you as well.
You will learn how emotions, beliefs and behaviours can be passed on from generation to generation, why that happens and what you can do to provide the best emotional environment for your child before & after birth to kick-start his/her journey on this beautiful blue planet of ours.
If you understand that major changes start at home, this article is for you. In fact this post is for anyone who strives to be a better version of themselves, so they can have a positive impact on their world regardless of their gender or relationship status.
Are you in? All right let’s dive in then!
EPIGENETICS AND WHY ENVIRONMENT MATTERS
Epi- what? I hear some of you say. Let me explain in simpler terms.
Science is rapidly evolving, embracing new paradigms and ways of understanding the world. Epigenetics is in itself one of the greatest, empowering scientific discoveries of our times. If you are not familiar with it yet, by definition it means beyond or above genetics.
Not so long ago, we believed that our genome or DNA pretty much controlled our existence. We thought that it was all written in our genes. And, that, my dear friend, could not be further from the truth. Recent research suggests that flawed genes cause less than 1% of all diseases. This is such an empowering realisation, because it means that we have much more control over our health than we thought up until now
To put things simply: think of your genome (DNA) as the hardware of your computer and of your epigenome (the chemical components surrounding your DNA) as the software that tells the hardware what to do.
Without the software, the hardware is pretty useless right? Well the same goes for your DNA. In other words, your epigenome determines which genes are expressed and which are not. Under the right circumstances, some genes will be expressed and in others, they will be silenced. Simply put: your software scans your environment before telling your hardware how to operate.
Take identical twins who are born with the exact same genetic makeup, for example. As they age, their environment begins to differ and their epigenetic information changes. In adulthood, they become increasingly different from one another and, in some cases, they can end up looking like day and night as they grow older (this short clip will give you a good explanation).
As you have probably gathered by now, environment is key. By environment I am referring to both the physical and the emotional. In other words your diet, lifestyle, thoughts, feelings, emotions and beliefs greatly affect your biology.
ON INHERITING EPIGENETIC INFORMATION
Now, it is important to understand that epigenetic information can also be passed down from generation to generation. In other words, you do not only inherit some of your ancestors basic hardware (genome), you also inherit some of the software they used to navigate their own complex world (epigenome). Yes, that's right, emotions, beliefs and behaviours can be passed on as well.
Both the sperm and the egg come with their own “software information”, that is to say “tags” that have turned on and off certain genes, for the purpose of adaptation. This is done through a process known as methylation. Through this process inherited emotional trauma, for example, can leave molecular scars, which are literally tagged on to the DNA.
Therefore, as much as you can inherit your grandmother's physical traits, you can also inherit the depression she suffered as a result of being abandoned at birth. Similarly, if she was adopted by loving and caring parents, you might inherit the positive traits she gained as a consequence of that experience.
This is nature's intent to help us adapt to our environment and survive as a species. We inherit the strengths our grandparents and parents acquired through experience and we also inherit some of the emotional trauma they were unable to overcome, so we can overcome it.
To the unconscious mind (your 95%) and from a biological standpoint, there is no such thing as a good or bad experience. An experience is just an experience. This is not a curse, but a way for the family clan to grow and strive. It is key to our evolution as a species.
Understanding all of this, is also becoming aware that the way we choose to live our own life and deal with our own difficulties, will have an impact on future generations.
LIFE PRIOR TO CONCEPTION:
Your baby’s journey starts even before that magical night he/she was conceived.
That means that as you go through life and evolve, the epigenetic information you are potentially passing on evolves with you. Simply put: you have a say in it all. So, when you choose to self-actualise and grow through awareness, you are not only doing yourself a favour, you are benefiting your child as well.
The tools you use to face your own difficulties, your degree of self-awareness, how in touch you are with your emotions and needs, the relationship you establish as a couple plays a crucial role in your future child’s personality.
As cell biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton puts it in his wonderful book, The Biology of Belief: "Research reveals that parents act as genetic engineers for their children in the months before conception (...) In the final stages of egg and sperm maturation, a process called genomic imprinting adjusts the activity of specific groups of genes that will shape the characteristics of the child yet to be conceived. Research suggests that what is going on in the life of the parents during that process has a profound influence on the mind and body of their child (...)"
Pre-conception experiences can affect the non DNA information that is being passed on and can manifest later on in life as behavioural patterns such as relationship issues, money issues, problems around conceiving and difficult social interactions, as well as physical symptoms and illnesses.
At this point, I would like to stress that this not about judging yourself for the “mistakes” you might be thinking you made at that point. I know how critical parents can be towards themselves. Please do not fall into that trap. Remember that understanding is key to transcending and I will be talking more about that too.
For now, let’s look at what happens in the womb, shall we?
THE WOMB: OUR VERY FIRST ENVIRONMENT
Gone are the days when we thought the foetus was a blank page and that its history would be written after birth.
As we have seen, not only does the baby inherit genetic information at conception, but it is also given its parent’s epigenetic information through the methylation process. It is interesting to know that methylation patterns are largely reprogrammed during the very first stages of pregnancy. That is why it so important to understand what our parents’ emotional circumstances were when they conceived us, to better understand ourselves.
How they felt, and especially how our mother felt, will largely determine the software we downloaded as a result. And, the same will apply to the information your child will receive from you. By being conscious and aware of your own emotional environment, you can re-write the information your child might have received otherwise.
Recent studies are showing that the foetus' nervous system registers all the experiences it goes through whilst in the uterus and these can make up for up to half of the baby's personality at birth.
I cannot stress this enough: as a parent it is important to understand how your emotional environment affects your child’s wellbeing. It is not just what you do on a physical level that matters.
As Dr. Bruce Lipton puts it: “The developing child receives far more than nutrients from the mother’s blood. Along with nutrients, the foetus absorbs excess glucose if the mother is diabetic and excess cortisol and other fight-flight hormones, if the mother is chronically stressed.”
In a conference of his I recently attended in London, he played an impactful video from an Italian conscious parenting organisation. In the short clip, you could see two parents having a loud argument, while the mother was going through a sonogram. The foetus jumped when the argument started and it literally arched its body and jumped up, as if it were on a trampoline, at the sound of shattering of glass.
The baby feels and experiences absolutely everything the mother is going through. That is why her role is so important. However, the father’s responsibility is just as crucial. To quote Dr. Lipton again: “Mothers and fathers are in the conception and pregnancy together, even though it is the mother who carries the child in the womb. What the father does profoundly affects the mother, which in turn affects the child.”
The father’s role is to make sure the mother feels safe, supported and protected so she can provide the best emotional environment for her child. If he is unable to do that and the mother starts questioning her own ability to survive, this will profoundly change the interaction between the mother and the unborn baby.
I suspect this has already given you room for thought and I will not extend myself in details. There is plenty of available material out there for you to continue delving in to all of this and I shall leave a list of helpful resources below.
UNDERSTANDING IS KEY TO TRANSCENDING:
Dear parents out there, once again please note that this is not about feeling guilty for how you may or may have not acted up until now.
There is a clear distinction between the word blame and responsibility. Taking responsibility is empowering us to change what we don't like or didn’t know beforehand. And, the best gift we can give our children is to learn from our mistakes and use them to transcend our current paradigm, by taking care of our own emotional environment, which is theirs by extension.
Just to give you an Idea, BioNeuroEmotion (BNE) practitioners rarely see children. If the child has an issue, we always ask to see the parents, because after thousands of case studies, we have seen that the root cause lies in their emotional environment. Your child’s emotional environment is the one you provide for them, through the way you choose to experience life and deal with the difficulties that come up for you.
Any improvement you make in your own life will automatically benefit you child at whatever stage of their childhood.
It is about being mindful of how we choose to experience our lives at present. A "mistake" is just another experience that gives us the opportunity to grow and learn. The more we give ourselves those opportunities, the greater humanity will benefit as a whole. This is not about being perfect. This is about being honest and real with ourselves, so we can blossom and our children can grow up in a better world.
If your adult child asks you about what was going on when you were pregnant and it was not as rosy as you would like them to think, be honest with them so they can understand why they might be feeling a certain way. Don’t hide those truths from them, as painful as they might feel to you. Transcendence can only happen through awareness. Also have that conversation with your own parents. It’s incredibly cathartic.
And if right now you are pregnant, really make sure you nurture yourself and listen to your needs first. If you do not feel supported and/or safe, ask yourself why? Take responsibility for where you are now, so you can empower yourself to change what you do not like by being coherent, expressing your emotions and needs to your partner, allowing him/her to support you and seeking the appropriate help if you feel the need to. Do it for you first, knowing that your child will be happier as a consequence.
Dearest mothers out there, please bear in mind that your role is of vital importance. Motherhood is a powerful gift as well as a responsibility, and the universe chose you because you are more than capable of pulling it off.
So, when it does get hard, always remember that nature gave you the right tools to do a great job. And those tools, beautiful soul, are to be found within. Be kind and honest with yourself at the same time. Take care of yourself and respect your boundaries. Your children will be the first to benefit from your coherent choices because, to quote Dr. Lipton one last time: "conscious parenting is a new step in the evolution of our species."
And there you have it dear soul. I hope you enjoyed the read and if you have any questions or thoughts you would like to share, please do not hesitate to pop them in the comment section below. I would love to connect further with you that way!
With all my love,
As a BNE practitioner I help consciously aware people identify the emotional root cause of any re-occurring pattern, issue or physical ailment they might have, so they can shift their perception and show up as their best selves. Should this resonate, you can find out more about my work here.
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Hi, I´m Dannie
A fellow soul seeker, blogger & certified BioNeuroEmotion® (BNE) practitioner who is passionate about growing, self actualising & learning in order to lead a more coherent/conscious life and help others do the same.