Innate’ is that which is natural and inherent. ‘Traditions’ are those teachings that are passed down from one generation to the next. Our innate physiological design offers us a map to health and wellness. We THRIVE when we follow that which has been laid out for us. Traditional medicinal knowledge is stored within our blood memory, within the Earth, Air, Water and Fire. The more we heal ourselves from the destructive programming we have all received, the more -access- we have to this knowledge. It is from these understandings that I call humanity’s traditions our INNATE TRADITIONS.
To be able to carry forth our life-sustaining ‘innate traditions,’ I see we are at a specific juncture in our collective evolution as humankind—Where what we know in our hearts needs to align with what we know in our minds.
Humankind’s ancestors have always understood that: LIFE WITHIN THE WOMB AND EARLY CHILDHOOD DEEPLY MATTERS. Meaning that: Our earliest imprintings that will effect us for the whole of our Lives, happen before we are even born and during our first few years outside of the womb—particularly until the age of 7. The field of Pre and Perinatal Psychology—concerned with these earliest life experiences and their long-term impact on our mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health—confirms this which we have always known.
We understand intuitively—and ALL traditional medicine systems understand AND practice—that to be healthy, our mind, body, emotions and spirit need tending to. The emerging science of Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is confirming this: When our physical needs are met (including: nutrient dense diets, adequate rest/sleep and exercise), this positively impacts our Endocrine System, Nervous System and Neurological System. When our emotional needs are met (including: security, attention, connectedness, community, achievement, loving care, meaning/purpose, encouragement), this positively impacts our Immune System and Cardiovascular System.
Traditional ceremony CROSS-CULTURALLY has always tended to INTERGENERATIONAL HEALING—so as to not perpetuate intergenerational trauma. The science of Epigenetics now confirms for us how certain genes are ‘turned on or turned off’ by the trauma OR by the healing we experience—expressing as sickness or health in our bodies and lives.
As modern-day midwives, we often study Physiology and Anatomy. The potential of this study, is that when we truly understand our physiologic design—we are able to support the PHYSIOLOGIC process of labor and birth. Supporting a physiologic labor and birth is what grandmother midwives have always done—Trusting in the innate human capacities of Mother and baby, and safeguarding birth by not disrupting or unnecessarily intervening.
Likewise, INNATE Postpartum Care- Certification Training teaches the science behind that which our ancestors’ have always known: Postpartum Care is a necessity—not a luxury—and is essential for women’s long term health and vitality.
Science is confirming that which humankind has always known.
Why is it part of our collective evolution to confirm in our MINDS—that which our HEARTS already know?
Because Human’s neocortex (the logical/rational part of the brain) is SO STRONG and SO POWERFUL that we are able to SHUT DOWN our capacities to sustain life.
When our neo-cortex is stimulated during labor and birth, it has the ability to ‘stall’ and stop our labors. What causes stimulation of our neocortex in labor? ANYTHING that interrupts our intuitive connection and ability to traverse altered states of reality inherent to the childbearing continuum: bright lights, being ‘monitored,’ being observed, people talking to us rationally, feeling belittled, disrespected, violated.
Stimulation of our neocortex can inhibit our ability to produce breastmilk to feed our young. What would stimulate our neocortex in relation to nursing our babies? Sexual trauma and shame, ‘experts,’ nursing schedules, stress and worries because of work/bills/modern-world demands, lack of support for new families and on.
If our neo-cortex is so powerful that it can SHUT DOWN our ability to SURVIVE as humankind….then we better learn to USE this rational/logical part of our brain for our betterment through ‘right information,’ affirming the truths in our heart— rather then being used BY an un-informed rational/logical mind, to our own detriment.
When we understand the science behind ‘that which we have always known,’ we are aligning our minds (our neo-cortex) with our hearts (our intuition/inner-knowing). In so doing, we are developing a deeper appreciation and value for our ‘innate traditions,’ and fostering the desire to preserve and carry forth these Life-sustaining ways.
I see this as an essential step in the evolution of our consciousness.
As a midwife, I have learned that: The CHILDBEARING CONTINUUM IS A METAPHOR FOR THE ENTIRETY OF OUR HUMAN EXISTENCE.
When midwives say things like: Birth IS the Revolution and Peace on Earth Begins with Birth, these are not ‘endearing slogans.’ These are deep understandings of how the childbearing continuum INFORMS US ALL of how to live in RIGHT RELATIONSHIP with LIFE.
In human embryos, the HEART is the first functional organ that forms, beginning to beat by week 4 of development—six weeks into our pregnancies. The heart is the center of our feeling awareness. Collectively as humans, we associate our hearts with LOVE.
Seven weeks into our pregnancies—or five weeks after conception—human’s brains begin to develop. The human brain is associated with thought and consciousness.
When our brains begin to develop, the human body at this time is in a C-shaped curve: where the head is bent over the heart. Our hearts and heads are in immediate contact with one another at this time.
Our lives begin with HEART. When our head/brain begins to develop, it is in immediate contact with our hearts. It is only later, developmentally, that our hearts and minds ‘separate.’
We are emerging from a long period in our collective human history of separation of hearts and minds. Through the rise of an entire system that favors the logical/rational mind, we have learned to distrust and ignore the knowings of our hearts.
I see that we are in a time now of ALIGNING OUR HEARTS AND MINDS. We are using modern science as a TOOL to assist us in living in right-relationship with ourselves and the Earth. In this time of alignment—we are properly educating our neo-cortex with useful information, and this information affirms and confirms that which we have always known in our hearts. This alignment of heart and mind is helping us to remember the importance of valuing and honoring our innate traditions, humanity’s traditions, the traditions that unite us all.
Perhaps it is, that if we courageously do the work that is required of us all at this time, we will once again live and move from the HEART, as we were originally intended.
© Rachelle Garcia Seliga, CPM
This article is dedicated to my Dad, Jerome Seliga, lover of Life Science, in honor of his 75th birthday.
Special thanks to Jaap van der Wal, Ph.D., MD for support with the expression of this article
Image of Embryo: Source Unknown
Drawing of Heart/Mind connection by: Morgan Mo/Bunnybearrrz
Heart and Hummingbirds Image by: Iyly Kaiser
The body developed
out of us,
not we from it.
We are bees,
and our body is a honeycomb.
We made the body,
cell by cell we made it.