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How do you celebrate your birthday and what might this mean for your life?

As birthday wishes are still coming in several days after my birthday ( thank you everyone – it is so lovely!) I find myself reflecting about celebrating the day of our birth.  It seems we do this without that much thought of what it was actually like as a baby making that transition. Perhaps because we don’t consciously remember it as adults.  But our subconscious self remembers for sure and has encoded what it learnt into our system.   And I wonder if the subconscious memories and learnings are part of what is behind a phenomenon I have noticed.

What I have noticed is that, particularly in Western cultures, people celebrating our birthday often fall into two broad groups.

1. The proud and happy to celebrate group. This group lets everyone know it is their birthday, make time to do something special, perhaps a party and enjoy the attention and party atmosphere.

2. The keep quiet and its just another day group.  This group doesn’t want a fuss, often doesn’t tell anyone it is their birthday hope it all passes by without anybody noticing or finding out.  They may secretly dread their birthday and the pressure to celebrate even if a part of them also longs for the attention.

Of course life is busy as an adult, and people from either group may be too busy to arrange parties and special events. Yet, still.  If like me, you have have tended to fall into the latter camp for much of your life, Why is it so hard to celebrate yourself?

Yes, there may be some other factors including natural shyness and introversion but it is more than that.  Honouring yourself in a ritual is significant.  It can honour where you are at now and how far you have come.  It can be   beautiful, intimate and touching. It can be fun and joyful.  Yet it can also feel completely alien to me and extremely uncomfortable. It can feel cringey, awkward and terrifying.  You might justify or downplay your feelings - I don't have time, it's just another day, birthday parties are for kids...

This makes me wonder.  At the discomfort some people feel when you are the object of attention, when it is time to honour and value yourself.  When I see this pattern occurring, I wonder how you were born.

In the UK over 30% of women found some aspect of giving birth traumatic 1 – meaning the true figure is likely higher. Many of my clients have not realised the pain they were suffering was due to trauma. They saw trauma only as something that would occur if there had been a life-threatening incident where they nearly died. So they downplayed their suffering. But trauma happens when you experience a stressful or frightening incident where you felt out of control or overwhelmed and unable to cope.  Even if in reality you are not in danger you can still be left with trauma responses.  And whatever your mother goes through, the baby you also goes through, without an adult perspective to reason through afterwards.

If you have unresolved trauma, even if you don’t remember it, why would you want to celebrate the day it happened?

Picture this common scenario for a moment.

You are a baby, all comfortable in the womb, always warm, always fed, sounds are muffled.  Your mother’s heartbeat is a constant steady beat marking time pumping love and nutrients into your body at all times. Then everything changes.  It is time to be born. It is intense.  You feel the contractions pressing your body into new shapes and positions. You are moving towards your new world.

But your mother is scared.  There is noise. Other people are scared and you can sense it.  They are worried about you.  The secret fear is that something could go very wrong and you might die.  You don’t have the kind of identity boundary that an adult has. You don’t know you are separate from everything going on around you.  This is overwhelming.

You emerge. It is bright. It is loud. It is noisy and there are several people staring at you with concern wondering if you are OK.  You are moved through the air. You are terrified.  You are not sure what is going on. You cry.

Everyone celebrates this moment. You are here, you are alive you are well.

You are confused. You need time and quiet to process. You need your mother.

But there is more noise. You are passed around. You are dressed. You are wiped. Then there is silence. You are alone.  

You have never been on your own before and you cannot survive on your own. You are desperate. Where is your mother? Is she alive? Are you? What is this place?

Then she is there. You are held again. You relax.

Time passes.  You grow and you forget.

Only your subconscious self remembers. It holds the pattern of this memory of the world in your cells.

A response that can return with a vengeance when all the attention is on you at a special or important moment.   The buried terror threatens to resurface as a part of you relives that first time everyone was staring at you.   You freeze.  You default to the wounded baby who still resides deep inside. You can go to pieces without understanding why.

For this is an incomplete loop that will seek to complete itself. The pattern will repeat until the loop closes. Until the trauma has been resolved.

I notice with my clients the key moments in their life when this commonly surfaces. Events that mirror the energy of their birth where they react with a greater charge than the situation warrants.  This can occur in any every day situation such as going for a job opportunity, seeking a partner, making friends, trying new hobbies.

Or being comfortable being seen and celebrating your birthday.

As you read, what do you notice about your own relationship to your birthday?  Which part of this post touches you?

The good news is that although you cannot change what happened to you, you can change your relationship to it and your response to the world.  It is liberating to explore your own birth story and reveal the moments of your birth that impacted you.   When you resolve and heal these earliest traumas, when you change how you experience yourself in this world, you are powerful.  You are willing to stand and be seen and bring all of yourself to your life.  You are ready to finally live your life the way you want without hiding away.

It is my genuine hope and dream that you and everyone in the world gets to explore and heal how you were born so that you can get your soul oriented projects off the ground and live the life you feel calling to you. The world needs us all to be all of us.

To get you started you can download the Explore Your Own Birth Blueprint Workbook by clicking the button below.

 This is an intuitive journaling style workbook that delves into what you want now and helps reveal insights into the patterns you run that originate with how you were born that may both be helping or hindering you in your dreams now.

And I am running a mini course starting Saturday 6th July where we will be going through this workbook in a small intimate group so you can explore and uncover patterns in a supportive group.  For more information click here.

(1 -  https://www.makebirthbetter.org/press)
Featured photo credit  HONG FENG on Unsplash ">