Friday, January 29, 2016

Reopening the High School Year Book

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



It comes around every 5 years. There in the mailbox is the letter from high school:

It’s that time again! Come join us for the 2003 high school class reunion!

To which I think nothing positive in response.

Cleaning Out the Closet

After my initial awakening, I cleared out a lot of stored physical junk and other items. I classify “junk” as anything I hadn’t used within a year and/or had little if any practical value, and “other items” as things such a CDs, most of which, though I may have liked the music, I’d purchased mostly in the desire to repress various inner discomforts.

From time to time since then, I’ve done similar but on a necessarily smaller scale. And with each one of these clean-outs, there’s always a gray area. To throw, or not to throw? that is the question.

Items that fit into this category are things like my high school year book. (As the ones from all prior years are basically the same and less comprehensive, I’ve thrown them all in the garbage.) On one hand I feel like, What the hell do I need this for? I hated high school, the experience is long past, and now it just sits in a box doing nothing. It did seem, however, that I was experiencing an itch on the other hand, the hand so subtly whispering: Not yet.

So I’ve kept it.

More recently, I was having an emotionally unpleasant Dark Night of the Soul kind of day. I was lying in bed feeling ultra shitty when thoughts began coming up regarding painful high school experiences, the people involved, and my related negativity. These memories ranged from me making “small” criticisms to myself about others to, in one instance, someone triggering a major you’re-a-useless-worthless-failure trigger and causing me to feel like I wanted to both die and beat the life out of the person on the gym floor—at which point I stuffed all my emotions inside and kept my mouth shut.

It’s here when I understood the reason for my intuition’s concern as to not be hasty in tossing out my year book. I yet needed to remember, to apologize, to forgive—to let go.

The processing I came to do in the days to follow is what I’m going to teach you here.

While having your year book on hand is, of course, a major benefit to the smoothness of this process, I would recommend not jumping away too soon if you've thrown yours out. My experience has shown me that the intention to do this process is alone enough to trigger remembering. There are quite a few people I'd gone to school with yet are not in my senior year book. Some of these people I've not seen or even thought of for ages. No matter, in the days following the process onset, former classmates and unintegrated experiences began coming to mind or into my experience in ways too frequent and synchronistic to call "coincidence."

Now, if you'd like to join me, let's get started...

“The Year Book Process”

After you take your year book out and dust it off, here’s what you’re going to do:
  1. With each person in the year book, write their first and last names, then consider and write out what you would tell them if you could see them again and had no fear or shame but absolute compassion and wanted to resolve prior hurt. Be sure to include your reflection.

  2. When you’re done making your written case “against” yourself, finish off with, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.”
This process is about cleaning house—revealing and healing whatever hurts and criticism were given or received, feelings were felt, and so on. Big and small alike, it all has to come up and out.

Note that you don't actually have to tell anyone anything. Although you may find it necessary to do so in certain rare cases, what you're really doing here is mending fragments of self "in here" by integrating their associated reflections "out there."

Similarly, it is critical to acknowledge your reflection no matter how big or seemingly trivial the negativity is. If you’re hell bent on believing that Dan is a dick and that’s-that-period-end-of-story, you’re going to have a really difficult time with this. What happened “out there” is only possible because the person you’re pointing your finger at is a reflective fragment of yourself “in here.” You’re going to have to face it to heal.

Each entry is closed with what is known as the Ho'oponopono Process.

What You Should Write and What You Should Not Write

Since it’s quickest to explain, we’ll go with what you should not write, first.

What should you not write?

There is nothing you should not write.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s move on to what you should write.

As you do this work, keep in mind that you will not be sharing your writing with anyone except Mr. Paper-Shredder or Mrs. Bonfire once you’re completed (whether after each session or the whole year book). Therefore, write anything and everything. Get it all out. Don’t let it stagnate and rot. If you’re going to do this, you might as well do it fully and “correctly” (by all means, tweak this process if you find something more personally effective).

As I put this before you, I realize that some people may be overcome by feelings of shame and guilt as they do this. Keep in mind these two things:
  1. You are both light and darkness. There cannot be one without the other. Darkness is not a problem unless we make it a problem, unless we reject it or act reactively on it.

  2. You wouldn’t be ashamed if you were the only person in existence, because we learn shame from externally derived beliefs, expectations, our culture, etc. Since no one will read what you write, you should be able to say anything without shame or guilt being an issue. Give yourself permission… You might even be surprised. Perhaps the very tears you hold back by avoiding this admittance of negativity and apology are the very tears that would heal you if you honored your experience by writing it down.
The last item to point out is that you need to write whatever you feel compelled to. In my own experience, the amount I write overall can be broken down into 3 categories:
  1. The Least (If Any): This is going to be the group of students you’d known and seen the least. While it may at first appear you can skip right over them, we tend to judge everybody if only by appearance and even if we don’t put specific words to it. For these "lesser" cases, you may wish to simply verbalize the process to them. This could begin with their name and a statement such as: “I judge you solely by physical appearances because that's how I judge myself.”

  2. The Standard: This group is of the people you’d known and seen regularly. What I’ve found here, for myself at least, is that writing about 3-5 lines is adequate for most. An initial glance might suggest more, but what I’ve noticed is that even those whom I’d made a lot of criticisms of, the criticisms tended to be the same ones over and over again. Most individuals will represent just a tiny fragment of you; only on occasion will they represent more.

  3. The Most: This final group is of fellow students who did reflect a greater part of you—enemies, close friends, boy-/girlfriends, etc. While the process remains the same, the number of reflective fragments of dis-integration within any single person will be the highest. Alternately, even though some in this group may be only a fragment or two, the depth of the fragmentation may go quite deep and require a page or three of self-reflection. (There is the potential for this increased depth to show up in other groups.)
Also, you will find yourself frequently exhibiting the same judgments toward different people. This repetition is not a free pass. Do yourself the favor of writing everything out. I’ve found time and again that rewriting will trigger alternate pathways of distortion that I’d missed when beginning by writing the same of someone else.

Some Examples

Since instruction is always easier to understand with example, below I’ve included instances similar to what I’d written to three different people. Some may be shorter; some may be longer—a lot longer.

To those who find this to be difficult in terms of shame and guilt and all that hairy stuff, notice what I’m writing. It’s dark and perverse (even if many of us call it “normal”). But it is human and a part of embracing the totality of ourselves.

Realize that you’re not alone in what or how you think. We all carry these things; it’s just that people are often afraid to acknowledge it.

You see, many people pretend to be “all light and no darkness,” and a lot of these very people fool others into feeling shame and guilt because it’s not understood that “all light and no darkness” does not exist. In fact, “all light and no darkness” is only and always a facade people put up for fear of facing their own inner turmoil—they’re afraid of facing their own inner darkness so they blame everyone else.

That said, here are the examples:
  1. [Name] ---- I hated you because you thought you were such a cool guy and got all sorts of attention. Really, I was angry at myself because in my self-perception of worthlessness, I didn’t allow myself to enjoy the attention I did get. I made friends with everyone but felt little connection to any of them because I couldn’t make friends with myself. The attention and popularity were there waiting for me, but I refused to show up and own it. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.

  2. [Name] ---- I always thought you were hot. I wanted to squeeze your big boobies and have sex with you. In other words, to me you were an object. Like myself, an inert mass undeserving of love, connection, and touch. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.

  3. [Name] ---- I was fake to you. I acted like I was glad to have what you unexpectedly gave to me. I’m glad I meant something to you. Took me 12 years to get it. I suppose I didn’t get it in high school because I didn’t mean anything to myself. Thank you for seeing deeper. For caring. I’m so sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.
Again, like I said, get it all out. Take this wherever you need to. Maybe you’ll simply note the reflection in you calling someone ugly because you saw yourself as ugly; maybe you’ll see in another the reflection of a trauma you’d sustained when you were three years old and have been unconsciously blaming on others. Follow the paths which present themselves and write as dirty as you must—you are writing for you and you alone. All will be cleaned up in the end.

The Purpose of Writing It Out

Aside from any potential benefit of the Ho'oponopono Process, the act of writing itself is very healing.

This is not to suggest that we need to know proper punctuation or what predicates or past participles are. All we need to know is how to write words on paper with a pencil.

Here’s the thing: When dis-ease arises in life and we fail to immediately integrate it, we end up repressing it inside of us. We effectively say, This didn’t happen. It’s not mine. Later on (which may be no more than one second after an experience or not for 25 years), this inner hurt comes to the surface. But because we still don’t want to see or feel it, because it seems easier to us to blame it on someone or something else or pretend it’s not really there, we end up trying to relieve it in unhealthy ways. We may complain; we may try to drink it, eat it, or shop it away; we may beat our kids—anything that helps us avoid being here and now in acceptance of what discomforts us.

Contrarily, writing out our troubles heals us because writing forgoes denial, avoidance, and blame for the physically acted admittance and ownership of our dis-integration.

Writing has a way of getting far closer to truth than thought does. If you do practices like this regularly enough, you will find that it’s vastly easier to be impartial in your writing (even if it takes multiple drafts with each one becoming more objective) than it is to be impartial in your mind. Ego simply has too much control and can too persuasively gloss over critical clues as being unimportant.

So, too, with writing you can stop and focus on certain items or reference back to them later on. The primary (perhaps only) setting of the ego-mind is “run.” Thinking is running. It’s not uncommon that in order for us to fully process what we’re thinking and feeling we need to utilize the “pause,” “repeat,” “analyze,” and “be with” modes.

A Wish

Before we part ways, I want to offer my wish that “The Year Book Process” works well for you should you choose to use it.

For me, at least, I can attest that it is most certainly effective. I’ve been experiencing healing shifts which parallel the writing process. While I’ll keep mostly quiet as to how this healing is occurring for me (everyone’s will play out more or less differently), there are two things I would like to acknowledge:
  1. I feel a deeper sense of love and beauty toward everyone and life as a whole.

  2. As I skimmed through the year book before closing it for good, my fellow classmates looked like people. Not assholes, shitheads, or back-stabbing bitchs, but people. In a way impossible to truly describe, seeing them was sort of like I’d never seen them before. And why not? Each person is and was only ever me, alternately defined. By reintegrating “in here” my reflective fragments “out there,” my now-objectified awareness reveals to me only what is. Meaning: I’d only ever “known” my fellow students by a blunder of definitions; now they just are. Former splinters reintegrated back into the totality of me.

Ho’oponopono Revisited

In closing…

If I went to school with you, whether we knew each other personally or not and even if you weren’t in my senior year book, I remember you. If you hurt me, I hurt you, or we both hurt each other, even if these hurts were only internally held criticisms and judgments and the like, I haven’t forgotten. I couldn’t have.

It’s hard to forget anyone when they can’t let go of you until you let go of them.

That said, I’d just like to tell you:

I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.

[Update 2/3/2016:] A Few Steps Further

Since writing through the folks I'd been in grade and high schools with, I’ve been working on the people I'd known in college, co-workers from my various jobs, and the people I'd been involved with in other activities such as karate and boy scouts.

I'll tell you what... High School was an outstandingly terrible experience for me. Nonetheless, I feel like I sailed through the processing with relative ease.

Wasn't I surprised then when I began recalling the people I'd taken part in varying other activities with... Sailing hasn't been so smooth this time. These "reflective fragments" are revealing some huge masses of junk—stuff I hadn't even touched on previously (out of ~1000 people). Moreover, the ratio of troubles to person count is vastly higher; meaning: where in high school it may have been 1 in every 20 people whose reflection shone sharply, with these other activities it’s more like 1 in 1.2.

All of which meeeeeaaaaans...

Yep! Get to it! Whatever activities beyond school that you'd taken part in—sports, service, play, work—get processing!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Force of Attraction and Kundalini Awakening

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



The Force of Attraction

The way life-as-we-know-it works is such that we attract to ourselves that which is embedded within us. What is manifest in our physical experience is what is already within the various realms of our mind, individually and collectively. This reflective nature both allows us to see any discord between our perception and Reality so we can heal it, and it allows us to enjoy concretely what is already whole.

For instance, if we have a mental issue that causes us to hate Germans, Germans will regularly play some role in our lives. Maybe such a family moves in next door to us, maybe our company sends us to Germany on business trips, maybe our daughter tells us over dinner one night how she met this wonderful German boy at college who accidentally got her pregnant. There are infinite possibilities, all happening seamlessly and synchronistically for our higher good. (As much as we might argue otherwise.)

Of course, these circumstances could arise anyway, even if we don’t hate Germans. This is our opportunity to be at peace with and enjoy what is, no healing necessary. It’s just that what is negatively perceived is more likely to come into our lives both because the negative is what most people focus on most of the time* (no, not an easy one to admit) and because all seeming duality/separateness of life must return to wholeness.

[*No matter how airy-fairy-all-is-well we behave on the outside, if our subconscious mind is in a state of dis-integration, our life experience will remain prone to struggle and suffering. As the saying goes: Like attracts like. In most cases things only appear different because the likeness is hidden to our conscious awareness.]

If we were to honestly examine our lives, we’d see that there’s a great deal that discomforts us in our daily experience of life. While it may at times be true to say some brave souls have taken on crazy difficult life experiences for reasons only God knows, the majority of times we’ve attracted all our troubles to ourselves. They are Life’s way of saying: Hey! You’ve got this blockage. It’s right here, right now. See it. Acknowledge it. This is your opportunity to experience it fully and heal it.

Following the instance above, imagine that we hate Germans but never interact with them in any way, shape, or form. If the triggers needed for awareness had nothing to pull them, we’d never experience the discomfort indicative of our imbalances. How then could we heal?

The Kundalini Shift: Healing In Overdrive

The programs embedded within us normally play out throughout the course of our lives in such a way that we can easily continue to ignore and suppress them as well as blame the problems they cause on someone or something else. This tends to lead to a relatively steady life, where “steady” means: We’re not growing where these programs are active and nothing is really changing because we keep playing the same dramas out over and over again. Very likely, we won’t even see the programs because we simply don’t have the awareness for it or the motivation to develop that awareness if we do notice something askew.

With timing only God knows, this awareness can shift in what is often termed a “spiritual awakening,” or “waking up.” The occurrence of this prods us to change in any of a number of ways and helps us to see some of our inner junk more readily. Regardless, because the awakening is usually abrupt and reveals how falsely we’d been living—just a minor inconvenience, right?—we may still choose avoidance. Life will probably become harder because we cannot unsee, but we still have room to pretend we didn’t see.

When the inner purifier that is kundalini awakens, the force that attracts to us what we need to grow suddenly skyrockets. This means that the number of physical, mental, and emotional experiences we perceive to cause difficulty and the intensity of those experiences may both increase substantially. Fears, false beliefs, unintegrated emotional hurt—it all comes up for healing, sometimes with a nearly unbearable weight.

Kundalini is like shining a spotlight into a coal mine. The initial flood of light is blinding and usually blissful. But when the eyes adjust and we can see what such a brilliant light has revealed, well, there’s just… a lot… of filth.

Which is quite outstanding if we can willingly and promptly take full responsibility and burn through all of our issues and learn their lessons with ease.

Not so great if we can’t.

Divine Fire: Be Careful What You Wish For

I share this because sometimes the unawakened have a way of getting caught up in the egoic hoopla of bliss, joy, and inexplicability of other’s stories of their kundalini experiences. I want it! ego shouts. My life sucks! Bliss me out, baby!

Sometimes these unawakened ones will go so far as to try to force their kundalini to awaken, an experience that should come by Divine Grace only.

If I can make a strong recommendation to you assuming you’ve not had a run-in with kundalini yet, it would be this:

Be patient. Do not force your awakening.

I have no intention of discrediting the Ultimate “Ends” implicit of awakened kundalini. Nor will I attempt to deny the bliss or joy or insight or whatever other wonderful things that may arise with its release (although these things can easily become egoic attachments). But it’s important to acknowledge that playing with kundalini is playing with Divine Fire. With intensity, it seeks to purify all three places of impurity within us:
  1. Those we know about,
  2. Those we don’t know about, and
  3. Those we don’t want to know about.
And once kundalini has been “turned on,” we cannot turn it off. Any attempt would be resistance, and resistance will only make matters worse.

A Conscious Journey

Sure, it may be that kundalini sets the stage for “the peace which passeth all understanding,” just as it may bring periods of that peace throughout the unfoldment of the awakening process. But woe to the one who ignorantly believes its rising will bring endless ecstasy and the magical disappearance of all internal strife.

It could be said that awakened kundalini is a signal for the ego to put on its death grip. When the initial experience of rainbows and gumdrops fades away (assuming psychosis isn’t induced from the get-go), life can become very difficult (think: Dark Night[s] of the Soul) until an indeterminate point of inner purity and balance is attained.

We need to be making a conscious effort—physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually—to make space for kundalini if and when it should arise. We should not, however, be arrogantly forcing it to rise believing that its awakening is going to make the space for us.

We are all on an evolutionary journey, folks. A journey in which kundalini is the evolutionary impulse.

One way or another we will all “get there.” We will all have our awakening when our time is ripe.

If we think we need to force it, then we're not ready for it.

Let’s trust the process. It’s divinely planned, after all.

Resources

Here are a few kundalini-related resources I'm familiar with. If you have an interest in kundalini or you or someone you know is going through the awakening process, you may find the information contained within these resources to be quite useful.

Wikipedia: "Kundalini"

Website/Book: The Biology of Kundalini

Book: Kundalini Rising: Exploring the Energy of Awakening

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Note: This text is a modified version of a post originally published on 8/8/13 to former personal blog “Without a Story.”

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Childhood Trauma: Fetal Development and Birth

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



In the Womb

Take a few moments if you would to imagine life in a mother’s womb.

So warm and cozy. So constantly nourishing. Dark, calm, soft, snug. Peaceful.

Not that you as a fetus and soon-to-be-birthed human being realize any such things since you lack comparative references, but intuitively you know that the conditions mother provides are perfect.

Until labor begins.

Unexpected Movement and the Big Squeeze

Suddenly, your bliss is shattered as your bubble breaks and you begin moving downward.

Mother’s calm ends as well, and you sense this shift deeply. Suddenly you’re enveloped in deep concern and hurry, very possibly including some degree of fear and panic.

After a period of all sorts of stressors you’d never felt before, you’re being thrust through an opening seemingly too small.

But you do make it through… just to be welcomed into a most cruel environment…

Into the Doctor’s Arms: If It Can Traumatize, the Hospital Is Doing It.

Within moments, you shift from a state of the darkest darks to one of brilliant light. The temperature has also plummeted by roughly 25 degrees. So, too, now there is a sense of hardness where before there’d been only the soft contours of the womb.

Assuming you appear normal, you’re placed into your mother’s arms. Not that the trauma ends here, however, because there are so many people around taking pictures and cheering… at, what seems to you, your pain and suffering.

If you appear mildly abnormal, at the very least you may not be given directly to your mother. Instead, the umbilical cord is cut, you’re hung upside down by your ankles in one of the doctor’s hands, and then spanked with the doctor’s other. Should your appearance be moderately to majorly abnormal, God only knows what kinds of medical procedures and traumas ensue.

But assuming things go reasonably well and you’re handed back to your mother, sometime soon thereafter you will be taken away. Depending upon your parents beliefs, if you’re male you will be circumcised. Then you’ll be taken to some other area of the hospital for various tests.

You may even ultimately find that, until you leave the hospital you will be kept in the nursery and returned to your mother only for feeding.

Returned and abandoned over and over and over again. Hungry, fed, hungry, fed, hungry; over and over and over again.

An important note to be made here is that these traumas are compounded greatly by mothers who themselves experience crises during fetal development, are substance/pharmaceutical users/abusers, are emotionally imbalanced, require a C-section, and so forth. Also, since mother and father are perceived by the child as the male and female halves of unconditional love, although the father isn’t actually bearing the child, his role, his presence and care, is still critical to the well-being of the overall process.

Going Home

After all of perhaps two days in the hospital, you’re sent home. And thus begins the post-hospital trauma reinforcement.

Aside from any time prior, at the most impressionable you will ever be, now begins life in the real world. After spending a few meager weeks with your mother, she is, like your oft absent father, off to work while you are left in the hands of strangers at a place called “child care.”

At night you sleep alone, and at regular intervals you go to the doctor and have vaccination needles shot into you.

Mommy tells you, “It’s okay. Don’t cry. Don’t cry. There’s nothing wrong.”

To which, since you can’t speak or think in words but are highly skilled in comprehending their underlying energy, you sense: Mother is lying to me. It’s not okay. She hurts to see me have these needles and their toxic contents stuck in me. But it is Mother speaking. Mother knows best. I will learn to repress my tears when I feel pain, fear, and suffering. I will be strong. I will bear it all inside. I cannot admit that I feel something is wrong if Mother says there is not.

And on it goes. Just born, so innocent, and the subconscious traumas are forged which will haunt the child, potentially, likely, straight through to the grave.

Ending the Birth Trauma

In life as we know it, it’s simply not feasible, or necessarily possible, to remove all of the potential trauma triggers from the immediate birthing process. Nonetheless, what does occur needn’t carry nearly the load of drama that creates and reinforces the trauma as is currently par for course.

Here are some ideas for a more loving and gentle birthing experience:
  1. For the mothers: Birth your children at home with holistically trained midwife. Lighting would be dim and you might play soothing music. The child can be born into a tub or small pool of warm water. The newborn would be held by the mother immediately. The father would be present and take responsibility as necessary. These conditions and others of a similar positive nature have been shown time and again to produce the most physically, mentally, and emotionally stable people.

  2. Doctor’s must learn to treat people like people—especially extremely impressionable and fragile infants—rather than like numbered robots. Yes, the nature of science may be objectivity, and, yes, it’s tremendously difficult to open one’s heart in the midst of a disease-, pain-, and suffering-ridden hospital. But no one truly helps another if they have a closed heart, for a closed heart is a hateful heart, and a hateful heart merely perpetuates the disease, pain, and suffering one is striving to avoid.

  3. Mothers and fathers must learn to stand up for themselves and demand from government and business and the like what is in the best interest for families, immediate and of humanity. Using at least the previous 13,000 years (minus the last 50 or so) as a historical data reference, there is absolutely no reason why both parents need to work and leave their children in the hands of strangers for 8+ hours per day. This isn’t to say we need to “go pre-industrialized” or something ridiculous like that but that the path we’re plodding is bound for utter collapse. And most people know this, but most people are also still waiting for some “authority” to tell them they’ve found a “better way”… Which, if you’ve not happened to notice, they do say just this from time to time—at which point things always get worse.

  4. If you’re older, work with a therapist to help you resolve your own traumas. Everyone’s got them, it’s just that they’re usually subconscious. We therefore spend our lives unwittingly thinking, speaking, and acting based on birthing/childhood traumas rather than out of self-integrity. Likewise, it may be useful, if you are a parent, to have your child go to a therapist if he or she is willing.

  5. If you are a parent, be with your kids now, be a part of their lives, be real with them. It may be 30 years after their birth, and they most likely have traumas they’re dealing with unconsciously, but you can’t let that get in the way unless they just don’t want anything to do with you. The objective here is to do your best to love them and be there for them in whatever way they make space for you to do so… Keep in mind with this that as a parent, due to the nature of karma, your child has probably had passed on to him or her whatever you are experiencing yourself. But, again, it may well be repressed in you or expressed differently and you need to personally iron it out before attempting to clean up your relationship with your child. (In fact, it can happen that a child’s trauma clears seemingly automatically when one or both parents clean up their own similar trauma.)

Reorientation

What we must aim for now is a reorientation of everything related to fetal development, birthing, and the post-birth and early childhood experiences. They are without a doubt contained within the most pivotal time in a human’s life—excluding potential future healing (which is never a given), the peace or roughness of the earliest moments of a human’s life essentially determines the level of ease or difficulty with which that individual will live.

To start, this essentially means that we—both women and men—need to begin by changing at an individual level. Because when we educate ourselves, when we resolve harmful personal habits, when we move into integrity between true personal needs and work, relationship, etc., the very experience we create for ourselves and others—most notably, the ones we volunteer to bring into this world—become that much more grounded in love and wholeness.

Such an individual change as it accumulates with other individual’s changes in the collective consciousness will manifest, by natural law (“As within, so without; as above, so below.”), as an extraordinary alteration in The System and life itself.

This may seem a monumental task, but it can certainly be done. Indeed, it is already being done by some, and it is waiting to be done by more people still—people like me, people like you.

Resources

The Spirit Wiki: Perinatal Matrices
The linked article and related entries define and elaborate on the stages of fetal development and birthing and the potential traumas associated with each.

YouTube: Home Birthing
All the same but different, these videos provide clues as to the workings of a home birthing process while revealing how disparate their nature is—how much more gentle the process is—from hospital birthing.

VaxTruth.org: Vaccine Ingredients - A Comprehensive Guide
This link from VaxTruth.org is embedded in the text above and is one that I feel too strongly about to not call out a second time. This link provides copious information about the ingredients, or "adjuvants," found in modern-day vaccines. It provides a range of data about specific ingredients, how the ingredients interact with the body, and, mathematically (via FDA declared toxicity levels versus ppb levels of the substances as found in vaccines), how harmful these "harmless" substances actually are. (See also: Sott.net: Unvaccinated Populations Are Healthier Than the Vaccinated)

Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin by Ashley Montagu
The value of love, affection, warmth, and tactile interaction (including breast-feeding) between mother and child immediately at birth and, at the least, in a child's earliest years cannot be overstated. Touching does an outstanding job of making this point clear through the utilization of clinical experiments (both animal and human), subjective experience, and studies done on cultures ranging from the first-world to seemingly stone-age indigenous.