Shamanic Wisdom for Pregnancy and Parenthood

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Anna Cariad-Barrett explores the shamanic journey of pregnancy and parenthood, and offers techniques and ceremonies to honor the transformation of becoming a parent. She includes teachings appropriate to each stage of pregnancy, and shows how to reclaim and reconnect all the experiences of parenthood to give birth our most authentic selves.

Shamanic Wisdom for Pregnancy and Parenthood

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A guide to consciously exploring and honoring the spiritual and emotional journey of becoming a parent

• Provides tools and meditations to engage the sacred wisdom-keeper within and create personal shamanic medicine to support you and your family

• Discusses the shamanic perspective on miscarriage, fertility issues, postpartum stress, blended families, and adoption as a form of birthing through the heart

• Provides shamanic teachings and techniques for conception, each trimester of pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period

The journey into parenthood transforms us, whether our children are biological, adopted, in spirit, or not yet conceived. As we give birth through heart or body, we not only shape-shift into mothers and fathers, but also gain access to the deep inner well of spiritual wisdom that opens with initiation into parenthood.

In this guide to consciously exploring the shamanic journey of pregnancy and parenthood, Anna Cariad-Barrett offers techniques and ceremonies to honor the transformation of becoming a parent and engage the sacred wisdom-keeper within. She provides tools and meditations to create personal shamanic medicine to support you and your family on this journey as well as connect with the wisdom of nature, expand your intuition, and explore altered states of consciousness. Restoring honor to the shadow side of parenthood, the author discusses the shamanic perspective on miscarriage, fertility, sexuality, postpartum stress and depression, blended families, and adoption as a form of birthing through the heart. She explains how to heal any deep psychic wounds from your birth family and transform negative beliefs you may hold about parenthood. She provides chapters on each trimester of pregnancy, offering specific teachings and techniques appropriate to each stage as well as conception, birth, and the postpartum period.

Whether you are preparing to welcome your first child or seeking spiritual support for the multidimensional experience of being a parent, the author shows how to reclaim and reconnect all the experiences of parenthood and how, through this rite of passage, we give birth to our most authentic selves.

Additional Information

Release Date Jan 27, 2017
Edition No
ISBN 159143243X
Author Sort Order 2234:1
Author Anna Cariad-Barrett, DMin
Contributors List No
Illustrations Note No
Excerpt 3

Rebirthing into Parenthood

Endings and Beginnings


What Am I Dying To So That I May Birth?

Welcoming a child into our lives is a creative process. Both death and life are key ingredients in creativity. Creativity is a dynamic process in which the duality of opposites is resolved in sacred union. As we reconcile the opposites within ourselves, a new spark of life, innovation, and new possibilities are formed. The conception of a child illuminates this principle beautifully. Within us, through a dynamic, sensual, lifefilled dance with the sacred other (our partner) we reconcile sperm and egg into something entirely new: the sacred child. Whether through our hearts or our bodies as we conceive, gestate, and birth the dream of our child into the world--this creative process is not all love, bliss, light, and life. It’s also dark at times, unknown, challenging, and full of endings and leave-takings.

Birthing the dream of parenting into reality is a substantive process that should not be overlooked or glossed over. Significant personal changes, questioning, and emotional processing are taking place--even for individuals who are positive and ready to become parents. As you prepare to open your heart and body as a sacred space for new life, it is essential to prepare and nourish the ground of your being--just as you do in your garden each year before planting. This is an excellent analogy for the time in which we are preparing to conceive--or plant
the seeds of our children. By creating a conscious focus on our human development and growth, we can build a positive experience of preparation and transition. What steps do you need to take to prepare the ground of your psyche, heart, body, soul, home, relationship, career, and
other facets of yourself?

When we expect fathers and mothers to remain in a constant state of bliss, we rob them of the full picture of what it means to be creative: opening and shifting within to build a supportive space for new life to take root. We also set ourselves up with artificial expectations of what it means to be a successful parent. We transform and change shape as human beings. It is necessary for us to update our priorities, evolving our sense of self, work, and purpose. We say goodbye to much of our free time, hobbies, old relationships, and the ability to keep things ordered and controlled. Our bodies, our sexuality, our relationships, our roles, our vocations transform. We make space within our psyches for new aspects of ourselves to be birthed: expanded patience, compassion, joy, flexibility, commitment, and devotion. We birth our unique mother and father essences. When we are tired, our backs are up against the wall, and we are looking into the eyes of our little one, we discover our heart now lives outside our bodies. We realize what really matters now and what doesn’t. We let go, we rebirth, we evolve, and we embrace the new.

In this culture we emphasize embracing all the new of parenting but forget to honor the conscious process of releasing that which is outmoded in our lives. As we prepare to become parents, it is highly supportive to create a space for a conscious process of acknowledging what we are choosing to say goodbye to in order to move forward into our dreams. What we need to release and what this process looks like is different for each person. It doesn’t make you a bad mother or father to grieve what is changing in your life. The fact that someone beautiful and amazing is coming into your life, and you are receiving the gift of becoming a parent, does not negate the reality that you are also experiencing huge personal change.

What are you dying to in order to birth your dreams? How can this process be intentional, conscious, honoring, and sacred? The more that you bring conscious awareness to what is changing form in your life, the better you are able to give yourself the support you need, creating a leave-taking filled with grace and integrity. If we refuse to acknowledge what is transforming within us, we can feel robbed of these parts of ourselves and project this outwardly onto our partners and children or internalize it as depression and low self-esteem. In order to fully embrace our children, our co-parents, and ourselves as parents, we need to honor that which we are letting go. We need to come to terms and make peace with the change we are experiencing. In this way, change becomes a process of positive evolution that empowers us, as opposed to a violation we resent. This is a key component for providing more comprehensive support for both parents during the postpartum period and first years of a baby’s life.

EXERCISE

Ceremony for Consciously Rebirthing the Parent Heart

Create a sacred space for a simple ceremony that you design. Honor with gratitude the parts of your life that you are ready to release. Acknowledge the emotions that go along with this change. This could take the form of writing them down on pieces of paper and burning them in a fire. Many prairie ecosystems will only bloom once a wildfire has moved through. How can this be a conscious process of beauty that you co-create?

Then call in the new that is ready to bloom in your life: the new person, new love, evolving roles, and purpose. Speak into how you are rebirthing as a human being and the new capacity for love, life, and creation you are building within yourself. This could take the

form of taking the ashes from what you have let go and adding it to compost for a new blossoming plant that you place in the ground. The plant needs the foundation and nourishment of the composted ashes of the world to sustain and support it. Both are sacred and dance together in this human journey of the heart.
Back Cover Spirituality/Parenting

“Anna walks us through each trimester like no other book has done and provides simple tools to bring great abundance to our journey. She reminds us of the importance of being in a partnership and making our relationship a priority. This book is a must-read.”
--Sarah Longacre, founder and owner of Blooma, prenatal yoga instructor, and birth doula

The journey into parenthood transforms us, whether our children are biological, adopted, in spirit, or not yet conceived. As we give birth through heart or body, we not only shape-shift into mothers and fathers but also gain access to the deep inner well of spiritual wisdom that opens with initiation into parenthood.

In this guide to consciously exploring the shamanic journey of pregnancy and parenthood, Anna Cariad-Barrett offers techniques and ceremonies to honor the transformation of becoming a parent and engage the sacred wisdomkeeper within. She provides tools and meditations to create personal shamanic medicine to support you and your family on this journey as well as connect with the wisdom of nature, expand your intuition, and explore altered states of consciousness. Restoring honor to the shadow side of parenthood, the author discusses the shamanic perspective on sexuality, fertility, miscarriage, postpartum stress and depression, blended families, and adoption as a form of birthing through the heart. She explains how to heal any deep psychic wounds from your birth family and transform negative beliefs you may hold about parenthood. She provides chapters on each trimester of pregnancy, offering specific teachings and techniques appropriate to each stage as well as conception, birth, and the postpartum period.

Whether you are preparing to welcome your first child or seeking spiritual support for the multidimensional experience of being a parent, the author shows how to reclaim and reconnect all the experiences of parenthood and how, through this rite of passage, we give birth to our most authentic selves.

ANNA CARIAD-BARRETT, DMin, is a psychospiritual counselor, shamanic minister, and teacher with degrees in shamanic psychospiritual studies, marriage and family therapy, and family social science. The coauthor of Sacred Medicine of Bee, Butterfly, Earthworm, and Spider, she is a faculty member at Venus Rising University and teaches workshops around the country. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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