This morning I watched Dr. Gabor Mate ("Love is not Enough") explain that Babies are 'directly shaped by the emotional availability of the parents' and "babies need caregivers who are non-stressed, non-depressed, emotionally available and consistently available".
Last week I was tenderly exploring with my own mum about how our bonding and lives were impacted by a series of traumatic events including postnatal illness, anxiety, financial stress, hospitalization for both of us, difficult operations and separation during my baby-hood and pre-school years which directly impacted our attachment, our stress levels and our perception of the world and relationships.
Sometimes we can't help the early circumstances and have to drop any blame, compassionately surrender and accept 'it's just life', be kind to each other and remember we are all trying to do our best. It's taken me 40 years to get to this deeper place of understanding, and begin to recognise and dissolve many of my highly primed fight or flight survival strategies. The impact of stress and trauma is both intergenrational and long lasting - taking care of our mental and emotional health is vital for ourselves and future generations.
As Gabor Mate explains, our earliest neuro wiring impacts our lives. I agree, and even though I have done 20 years of exploratory self development work, and know that the brain is forever capable of re-writing, pruning, and growing new circuitry which enables new responses, and I also acknowledge it's also hard work to change these early patterns.
Yet being able to access feeling safety, peace, pleasure, relaxation, connection, intimacy, kindness, and really BE there for ourselves, our babies and loved ones is absolutely worth it.
If my own experiences of stress and trauma and my subsequent work with women during pregnancy and birth is anything to learn from, it has shown me that stress reduction, relaxation, rest, repair, intimacy, creativity and all aspects of self-care and are crucial to support us as we raise families. Especially in these increasingly stressful times.
In 2014 I came across Yoga Nidra Sleep Meditation as a way of building inner safety, cultivating deeper rest, relaxation, stress reduction, rewiring the brain and resetting responses. Here is a link to access a full 30 minute yoga nidra sleep meditation from a session I ran with women a few years ago based on the work of Karen Brody.
Gabo Mate Video "Love is not Enough":