Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Babies & Nature Exploration

Our vibrant and gorgeous son, Cedar, was born on September 21st, 2009, in our bedroom with only his parents present. My labor and birth totally rawked my world, and catapulted me right into my first Mama Superhero experience. Click here to read my birth story.

Cedar is already two months... Wow. Time is nonexistent when I immerse myself in the flow of my newborn. He is an amazing little boy. Strong and coordinated (he already seems to be very close to crawling!), very expressive, totally gorgeous, and highly proficient at his current favorite activities – nursing, sleeping and peeing/pooping :)

One of the most satisfying things about being with Cedar all day is knowing that every single moment, every single experience I facilitate for him is affecting him in profound ways. I do my best to look at the world from his perspective as often as possible, which really assists me in facilitating the healthiest experiences for his development. I especially pay attention to this during his “quiet alert” times... according to “Kids Learn From the Inside Out: How to Enhance the Human Matrix” (totally awesome book, I recommend every parent and parent-to-be read it!), “quiet alert” is one of the six modes of activity/rest that infants move between, and the mode where they absorb and learn the most from their environment.

One thing I have highly enjoyed is facilitating his early familiarity with nature. I feel very strongly about the importance of establishing very early on his comfort and enjoyment in nature – the REAL world – as I believe this will be one of the most empowering attributes he can have throughout his life. I am very aware of what is happening in our world right now, and see clearly that the shaky foundations of the unsustainable, unconsciously man-made world are crumbling. The signs are everywhere, for those who are ready and willing to see. And in these changing times, those of us with the skills to thrive in natural environments are really much better off than everyone else... I believe some of the most important skills of the future include our ability to thrive on wild foods (and recognize/identify them when we see them), our comfort with the natural seasonal temperature changes (our culture has been very much weakened by the constant indoor “climate controlled” environments that disconnect us from the reality of our local environment), and skills like growing our own food in a way that nourishes us deeply, and being able to build structures to live in out of earth materials. Infinite sustainability is the way of the future... simply because if things remained unsustainable, there would be no future on our planet. Soon we will have no choice. We can change with the times kicking and screaming, clinging to the false world that we've been domesticated into being dependent on.... or we can transition with ease, comfort, and joyfulness that we're finally returning to the way of living that creates and maintains true health and happiness. And with the “economy” crisis (which is just another sign of the crumbling unsustainable fake world), having the skills and understanding to be able to thrive with much less reliance on the current monetary system may be one of the most freeing, empowering things possible.

Even this early in Cedar's life, I know how much every experience is affecting him and wiring his brain, especially the repetitive, daily experiences we facilitate for him during his most alert moments. We placed him naked in the grass (a soft, cozy part) for the first time on the third day of his life. We take him for walks outside every day... we happen to be living on 5 acres of land at the moment, which is a perfect playground for his growth. We watch the sunrise and the sunset together. Lately he's started learning how to control his hands and grab or bat different objects... and I've held him next to our juniper trees, and he either contemplates them for a long time, or sometimes bats the branches! We keep the windows open in our home, and the sounds of nature are constantly in the background of our lives... the morning crow songs, our neighbor's donkeys, dogs, cows, etc! He's naked most of the time right now (we're doing elimination communication instead of using diapers, and right now if we put any clothes on him, he would really just pee or poop in them... :)), so he sunbathes regularly and feels the wind against his skin.

All this is so much fun for me, and it's greatly benefiting me as well! I find that I've been outside a LOT more than when I was by myself, because I have a much bigger reason than just me to be outside! I'm also adapting to nature in ways far beyond ever before... I can now comfortably walk barefoot in our wild, un-mowed grass, allowing the tall grass to tickle my legs and various sharp things to poke at my feet for great reflexology/foot stimulation! Wild foods have become a much larger part of my diet, because I know that everything I eat is being transformed into my breastmilk, and the subtle vibrations (and nutrients) of each food I eat is being transferred to Cedar every day, setting him up to be well adapted to these foods when he starts eating solid food. I'm also eating more wild foods with the aspiration of becoming even stronger and more energetic, to be more fully available for my very important, full-on mothering responsibility! I feel a much deeper sense of purpose than ever before in my life, because this matters to me more than anything else I've done before. Because of this, I'm taking better care of myself. I'm breathing deeper, stretching regularly, eating better, going to bed early, waking up at dawn, and being more conscious than ever of my thoughts and feelings and what I'm creating with them.

One of the most wonderful things to me so far about parenting is that babies really do change every day, subtly but noticeably. This makes every day a brand new adventure! I delight in all the small things I notice changing in Cedar. The new sounds and “words” he uses, his increasing clarity in communicating his requirements (including telling me when he needs to pee!), noticing him noticing new things, new physical capabilities and movement patterns, and much much more. Babies change so quickly. I choose to savor every moment.

I post lots of pictures and updates on Facebook. If you're interested in more regular updates on our family, friend me!

More to come soon, as autumn here in Texas extends nearly to December (it's still warm during the day here! Woohoo!) and we begin to move into the cozy colder months... I plan on writing more about various other things we're doing, including elimination communication/natural infant hygiene/un-diapering (lots of people seem interested in this!)... and I'm sure I'll share various insights on breastfeeding, bed sharing, carrying Cedar nearly everywhere with us, the importance of floor time for practice belly crawling (essential for EVERY other development that comes afterward, including all physical coordination and mental abilities!), responding promptly to his signals (and figuring out what they mean!), the effects the foods I eat have on him (and me :)), and much more.

In the meantime, enjoy reading my massively transformative, unassisted home birth story (link above)... I loved writing it! Oh yeah, and here are some photos of Cedar to convince you to friend me on Facebook so you can see lots more :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

My Blissful Pregnancy & Cedar's Glorious Birth

I gave birth to my first child, a radiant little boy named Cedar, on the glorious morning of the Autumn Equinox. As I write this, he has been enjoying his cozy life full of love and new sensations and experiences, for over a month. During this time I have often reflected on my pregnancy and birth experiences, unique and profound as they were. I’ve known that I’ll have to write about them, and yet there is SO MUCH to say. During my whole pregnancy, and now also as I take my first steps into motherhood, I have been rethinking everything related to these topics, and finding new empowering realities which serve to cultivate a much more fulfilling, blissful, ecstatic experience of my role as a mother with my precious child, than the commonly accepted, life-diminishing beliefs about pregnancy, birth and motherhood.

The story of my pregnancy and birth is a story about Trust. My birth story is also a story about courage and commitment. I am a person who thrives on doing things in radical ways, which to me means I tend to make choices with maximum possible potential for evolutionary experiences and new peak levels of joy and empowerment.

So I’ll begin with how my pregnancy unfolded. First of all, I have been a raw vegan superfoodist for about 8 years. This is a foreign concept to most people at this time, and for me at this point, I’ve been doing it for so long that it’s totally normal. So naturally, I was a raw vegan superfoodist during my pregnancy. I am sure this had a significant influence on my “unusual” level of comfort and ease during my pregnancy. I had no cravings for unhealthy foods (which are caused by nutrient cravings, if someone’s food choices aren’t meeting the additional nutrient requirements of pregnancy), no “mood swings” (although I felt my feelings much more fully and deeply!), and my increasingly full and round “baby belly” was quite comfortable for me, even in my 3rd trimester in the hot Texas summer! I was physically active, dancing and taking walks, right up until the day of my labor. The changes in my hormones created a wonderful shift in my brain waves, resulting in spontaneous states of meditation, and other blissfully altered states of consciousness. This provided an opportunity for me to cultivate subtle, telepathic channels of communication with my baby. I even received his name, Cedar Kumara, when I “asked” him his name during an especially deep meditation/communication about halfway through my pregnancy!

I knew he was a boy since nearly the beginning, without having to check with an ultrasound. I actually felt no desire or requirement for ANY pre-natal care with a doctor or midwife the entire time, preferring tuning into my innate knowing of everything important, which I discovered that I definitely have! I deeply desired to experience pregnancy and birth in the most intimate way possible, to find out how many of my previously dormant superpowers I could activate during this profound window of opportunity that women usually have only a few times in their lives. I never checked my baby’s position when nearing my due date, preferring to mentally communicate with my baby about why coming out headfirst will be the most comfortable, desirable experience for him. I never bothered having my nutrient levels checked (I trusted my natural food desires to show me which nutrients I required more of at any given time), checked measurements, or any of the other standard pre-natal procedures.

What I did do a lot of during my pregnancy, is contemplate all aspects of my life in great detail. I was very aware that as I was preparing to give birth to Cedar, I was also preparing for my own Rebirth as his mother. I felt myself transitioning to an entire new phase of my life, and nothing would ever be the same. I purified my consciousness of outdated things, thoughts, beliefs and activities. I imagined what my life would be like with Cedar here, in as much detail as possible. For me, pregnancy was an exciting opportunity for purification and transformation, into a much more evolved, responsible, powerful and caring expression of myself.

Back to the theme of Trust… my pregnancy was a gradual evolution of my trust in myself, my body, and God. Before I was pregnant, I hardly “knew” anything about pregnancy and birth. During my pregnancy, I read a lot of books about natural, spiritual pregnancy and childbirth. The more I read, the more I realized I already know all about this topic, deep inside my cells, within my divine blueprint as a woman. My confidence increased more and more. Right from the start, having a home birth was my default choice (my mother birthed me and my sisters at home, so I was already comfortable with home births as the normal way of things). For a long time, I contemplated whether to have a midwife at my birth, or just do it myself. As my pregnancy progressed, something kept me from contacting a midwife. When I found out that most midwives require the pregnant mother have at least SOME pre-natal care with her beforehand, and I felt no motivation to do this, I realized then that I had a deep desire for the empowerment, trust, courage, and personal responsibility of having an unassisted birth, and how having this experience would transform my perception of myself…

Cedar’s Birth… A Story of Trust, Courage & Commitment:

I was two weeks past my due date. I had intuitively felt for a while that my official due date was too soon for us, and our big day would come sometime afterward, so I felt very relaxed about this. One night, I woke up at 3AM, to the subtle yet distinctly clear pulsing of my first contractions/expansions/waves. For the next two hours, I enjoyed these rhythmic waves during the peaceful serenity of night, allowing myself to fully integrate what this means… the time has finally come!!! I will soon see my very own child, face to face, hear his voice and feel his skin! Is this real?!? I woke Isaac up when I was ready. We celebrated… we hugged and expressed our joy at the inevitable forthcoming BIRTH of our child!! Then we took a nap :)

I had no idea how long my labor would be. I thought it might be pretty short, which is a common experience for raw vegan women. And yet, the hours were passing, my expansions still continuous, and slowly, gradually increasing in intensity. 12 hours later, at 3 in the afternoon… it was hot outside… and inside. Ooh.. things were becoming pretty intense. How much longer could I do this? The evening came, and nighttime set in. My experience began to get very psychedelic. My expansions became unbearably intense… well, my mind thought so. I encountered the Dark Night, a primal confrontation with doubt, fear, and a deep belief in limitation that I didn’t know was in me. Could I really do this? How much longer would it be? Was I going to “run out” of energy and pass out?? Isaac and my mother were the two people I chose to attend my birth… Isaac to be by my side the whole time, and my mom in the other room as a backup in case things became really intense (which they did). Their support and encouragement during this time meant everything to me. They helped me do the impossible… to keep going, keep allowing, and keep trusting. This was becoming a marathon labor, and I did my best to rest between expansions. It was now the middle of the night again… I went back and forth between my bed and our bathtub full of warm spring water. My body went back and forth between hot and cold. I remember leaning on my bathroom counter to ride another wave, and looking at my face in the mirror… I looked completely different, my eyes and face revealing the shamanic dimension I now occupied.

At some point, the pushing began. I didn’t actually do any pushing… the pushing HAPPENED THROUGH ME. It was the most powerful force in the universe, and it would come in through the top of my head, down my spine, and my muscles would then spontaneously push my baby further down my birth canal! The only part of this process I had any control over were my thoughts/attention, breathing, and vocalizations. I sang as I pushed, in low tones to move my energy downward. I was told afterward that I pushed for two and a half hours! It seemed like his head was in my birth canal for an amazingly long period of time… I would feel with my fingers to find his head, and it kept feeling so far back still, and I felt myself stretching SO HUGE already! Also, while his head was in my birth canal, he must have been moving his facial features, because I kept feeling the most amazing and surprising little sensations! Then during the span of a few pushes, Isaac told me his head was out! I felt a burst of energy and power… I thought, Wow, I am really going to finish this!!! Two more pushes, and his wet little body slipped out, right into Isaac’s hands. My entire body felt the most gigantic, all-encompassing feeling of relief and satisfaction EVER. I heard a brand new voice announce his arrival. A massive wave of victorious joy poured through my whole body. “Look, Courtney!” Isaac called. I turned around. My little boy was in his hands, moving his body and making little sounds. “Ohhh… he is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen!!” We went immediately into the bathroom and into our bathtub. My placenta came out only a minute or so later. My birth was complete. I actually did it. Then I passed out.

I woke up on the bathroom floor. Isaac and my mom had caught me. I was able to crawl into my bedroom, and I laid on the floor cradled by mom and my dad (who had recently arrived with a case of coconuts). “Just hold me… like you did when I was born” I said a few times. I heard my little boy’s voice coming from the tub in the bathroom, and I felt waves of warmth pour through my body, and the most profound love I have ever felt. I had just been Reborn. I was brand new. And my child was brand new. We were brand new together!! Isaac brought our baby into our room and we snuggled up on the floor together, naked and wet, wrapped in towels. I was in awe, and in love. This was the best day of my entire life so far! And the first day of my new life.

Post-Partum Bliss:

Cedar was born with the dawn of this new day, at exactly 7AM on September 21st, the Autumn Equinox. I was in continuous labor for 28 hours. I was surprised to discover my perineum remained fully intact… I really did stretch that far! I’m sure it had much to do with my pushing/birth position (hands and knees/squatting) and my controlled breathing during pushes.

My mom stayed at our house to help out for the first week after our birth. Cedar was a lotus birth, which means we kept his umbilical cord and placenta attached until they fell off naturally… check out for more about this wonderful gift you can give your child! He was attached for his first 5 days, which had the extra side benefit of making it inconvenient for me to get out of bed, keeping me resting as much as possible :) We got around to weighing him a week after his birth; he was a healthy, radiant 8-pound little boy, and becomes healthier and more radiant daily! For the first week after our birth, I focused on deep replenishment and bonding… resting, sleeping, nourishing food, hydrating beverages, and establishing my nursing relationship with my little one (he quickly became an enthusiastic little suckler, and when my milk came in on the third day, it came in massive abundance!). I had gone 28 hours with no actual sleep, very little food (all I could get down the whole time was water, raspberry/nettle tea with honey, coconut water with grass powder, and a spirulina/honey/coconut oil superfood mixture), while engaging in the most physically demanding act I have ever done. Taking great care of myself afterward made all the difference… a week after my birth I felt wonderful, actually the best I had ever remembered feeling!

My labor and birth went differently than I expected. I had planned on a water birth, and as I rode the intense waves of labor, I discovered that my tub was too small and hard for the high level of comfort I required. The challenging moments were immense, and taught me about the power of REAL commitment. The joyful moments were ecstatic and victorious, and set the tone for cultivating my ever expanding joy of mothering Cedar. I am deeply grateful for my whole experience. My labor and birth was the most empowering, transformative experience of my life so far.

If my story was inspiring or empowering for you, it has served my purpose in sharing it. I fondly imagine a time very soon when all women will take personal responsibility for their journey into motherhood, the rite of initiation that birth represents, and forge the path of a new paradigm of mothering: continuous conscious awareness, willingness to personally evolve in every way, and the daily celebration of the ecstatic joy of being alive.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Children & Evolution

I believe the most important thing about raising children is how completely we can allow ourselves to be affected and transformed by them (as we, in turn, care for and guide them). This may also be the most powerful thing we can do for our rapid personal & planetary evolution...

I first had this thought near the beginning of my pregnancy, when I was experiencing subtle yet immersive waves of nausea, off and on for a few weeks. People have commonly referred to this as “morning sickness”, dismissed it as an insignificant event caused by hormonal changes, and have been advised to eat more food to stop the nausea. What??! I think this is the worst advice ever, and this perspective robs us of a very significant, purposeful experience.

My experience of allowing myself to deeply relax into the nausea I was feeling, somehow brought me consistently into a deep meditative state (and I actually began enjoying these times!). I felt my thoughts and feelings being purified at deeper levels than ever. And I understood the purpose of this very common experience in the first trimester of many pregnancies:

If you believe (I definitely do) that when you become pregnant and the spirit/presence of your child first begins residing in your “space”/auric field, this spirit has come from a very pure place and still has direct, tangible awareness of our Creator. The immensely pure frequency of this being then comes to share the same space as another being; this other being (the mother) has been in physical embodiment for a little while... probably long enough to have accumulated some (or a lot of) limiting, false beliefs about herself and the world around her. The initial contact of the energy fields of these two beings with differences in frequency creates effects on both of them... they affect each other, and each adjusts their frequency to more comfortably share space with the other.

If we believe this to be true, it means we have a significant opportunity as mothers. We can choose to be affected by our child's presence, and receive the gift of our rapidly accelerated personal evolution; rather than affecting them so much with whatever false and limiting beliefs may still be dirtying up our energy spaces. We will certainly still affect them (and they may have chosen us as parents for the specific way we'll likely affect them); I believe the key is to view it as an exchange, a giving and receiving, instead of a one-way input of the parents “teaching” the child about the world. Our children quite possibly have more to teach us than we have to teach them!

In this way, conscious pregnancy can be a powerful evolutionary tool. We have 9 whole months to allow ourselves to be purified and transformed down to the core of our beings (to whatever degree we're capable of being transformed at that time); IF we can recognize and embrace this as a possibility.

I am now in my 9th month of pregnancy, our birth-day coming up so very soon, and I plan on taking this same perspective and approach into my child-raising... and the truth is that as I “raise” my child into acclimating comfortably into our world, my child will be “raising” me as well, into a much more conscious, loving, joyful, empowered expression of myself!

As parents, our encouragement and support of the purity, genius and abundant joy our children bring with them, may be the most significant contribution we can make to the rapid healing and upliftment of our planet and all its inhabitants.

Raw Pregnancy & Parenting

I originally posted this blog and the following two blogs as a guest blogger on Lovingraw's Raw Rockstar Community, and I created this blog site to have a place to compile all my entries from LovingRaw, as well as any others I choose to write, on the subject of my new family and our superhero adventures!

This blog post was written at the beginning of September 2009...

Probably the best place to start is to tell you a little bit about myself, as it relates to the subject my blogs will be centered on: Raw Parenting... or in a much broader sense (of which raw is definitely part of), raising children in a way that retains and enhances their joyful, strong nature as sovereign creative beings.

So much of my thought is directed towards this topic lately. Here's why:

Raw veganism as a lifestyle is nothing new to me. My personal eating style has been mostly raw vegan since January 2001, so nearly 9 years at this point. It is second nature to me... It has become “normal” to my worldview and everyday experience.

What IS brand new to me is parenting. I am currently in my 9th month of pregnancy with my first child, who is due to enter our world right around the time this blog will be published (my due date is 9-9-09)! I am in awe, gratitude and immense joy about this huge new phase in my life, and the all-encompassing importance of the task appointed to me as a mother.

I've always been aware that my style of thinking and living is “radical” compared to mainstream practices. I was raised in a way that was radical at that time in our culture. I was born at home, unschooled, and generally encouraged to learn about our world through pursuing my interests at all times, with no “rules and regulations” and “shoulds” about how to live my life. What was of highest importance to my parents is that I think things through before making choices, be responsible for the results of my choices, communicate clearly, and trust my heart about all things.

Now that I'm near the “grand finale” of my pregnancy (cosmic, sacred, ecstatic BIRTH!), and considering my highest choices for my approach to raising my child, I'm even more “radical” than I originally thought!

As you read my blog, you will be embarking on an adventure of discovery with me. The purpose of my adventure is to nourish a specific state of beingness: what paths will I take, what choices will I make, that will result in my family's deep and overflowing joy, conscious awareness of our powerful creative selves, living as fully sovereign beings, as a great blessing and benefit to all humanity and all life on Earth.

And my purpose in sharing my adventure with you is to light a new path of possibility, and stimulate new thought pathways, for those of you who feel the calling in your hearts to do your part in raising the generation of Man who will naturally, simply by the purity and sovereignty of their nature, restore Paradise on Earth.

I also have a LOT to say about my experience of my pregnancy, which has been joyful, comfortable, spiritual, and deeply transformative for me. I even began writing a book which I will finish at whatever moment is appropriate! Read a preview/excerpt here.

I am also enthusiastic about sharing lots of outrageous recipes with you! I came up with quite a few cosmically delicious, nourishing and easy recipes during my pregnancy which I know many pregnant women will greatly appreciate!

Here are some examples of the delicious raw vegan concoctions I've enjoyed during my pregnancy:

* Raw Chocolate Mousse
* Strawberry Lemonade (great during my 3rd/hottest trimester in the hot Texas summer!)
* Sea Chowder
* “Scrambled EGGS”
* Cheezy BBQ Jicama Fries

Who needs junk foods when you have things like this?! There are always super nutrient rich options for ANY pregnancy “craving”!

Thank you for enjoying our contributions. More to come very soon!!

A photo of me in my final month of pregnancy...