Gulara is a mother of two, a writer and a healer who specialises in helping women recover from deep childhood and sexual trauma. She talks to BirthEssence about the inner work she did on her journey to becoming a mother and how it has transformed how she shows up in the world.
(Photo Credit Khalid Zeynalov)
Notes: ( Scroll down to find links to the tools mentioned in the interview at the end of the notes)
Originally from Azerbajan, Gulara came to the UK over a decade ago and embarked on an epic healing journey from a traumatic childhood. Now a therapist herself she talks about the tools she used on her journey to health and well being and particularly how she transformed her experience of birth as she became a mother to her two children now 4 and 6.
2.50 Her first pregnancy was deemed to be high risk and was highly stressful. Gulara needed to release the ‘gunk’ from her system. Although she used three of her top healing tools to prepare, her first birth was still traumatic and she feels that she had no idea how much work there was for her to do. This led to more work to prepare for her second child to releasee the trauma from her first birth as well as going on a deeper journey of healing. One significant result was that Gulara was able to speak up for herself and her choices in her second birth e.g. no induction and eventually chose home birth. Despite this changing to an emergency c- section Gulara experienced this birth in a totally different and positive way, being well cared for throughout which was a huge turnaround just in itself.
5.25 How to choose from the plethora of tools? Gulara says trust your gut. Set an intention to find the tool that works for you. Sometimes it’s the tool you already know the best. Sometimes it’s new. Find something easy and simple. Gulara used tools that could excavate patterns that were set in the womb or before conscious memory. The openness of transition to motherhood brings up many unresolved traumas and Gulara encourages you to go deeper to clear this.
7.10 Some memories that are blocking you may not be seen as trauma by the adult you but were experienced as such to you as a child. Whatever has affected you and set a pattern down can be looked at. Trauma doesn’t have to be traumatic such as a pattern of not standing up to authority was a pattern Gulara developed in childhood that played out in her first birth and took some unpicking before she could speak up and ask for what she wanted in her second birth.
8.24 Gulara’s three top tools. Firstly, there is no ultimate one top tool for everyone. The one you find that works for you is the right one.
1 The Journey™ This is a process of uncovering buried memories that you are holding in your body that are creating imbalance or illness. You clear the emotional charge from your system so the world changes how it responds to you. For example, If you are holding anger under the surface, a doctor may respond to that anger inside you even if it is not expressed. Clear it and reconnect with the same consultant and you will notice a difference as there is not the charge to react to. Also described as a forgiveness-based mindfulness technique- a description of the process you undertake during ‘A Journey’
12.29 Tip: Take enough time in advance to invest in clearing work also so you can enjoy the pregnancy.
14.07 Tool 2. The Compassion Key® – a new technique with ancient origins. ‘Simply magic,’ this tool works to clear imprints and patterning from your system. You can as with The Journey , take your existing condition and clear right back to the root cause. It is highly flexible in its application including switching between timelines and your life can transform in ways that you couldn’t even imagine. We love tools that are deceptively simple with immense healing properties. Using the vibration of compassion energy to dissolve imprints is simple and powerful.
18.11 3.The NPA Process ( Non Personal Awareness) This tool turns healing on its head as you don’t always need to uncover the memory yet it will also clear the root cause. It is a 6 line spoken word process that stops you taking things personally. Gulara’s describes how when we have stuck energy in our mind or body and we tune into that energy and find a word or label to describe that which we run through the process and it unravels it beautifully. Absolutely magical tool she uses pretty much every day. Can be subtle and you don’t even realise how much you have changed over time as it can take 30 seconds then you show up differently.
20.29 A Prayer for everyone to be able to access this power of shifts so quickly.
NPA you can do any time anywhere. A tool that is with you in a critical moment such as in birth situation if you were panicking you could take the panic through the 6 line process and shift it. ( Here is a blog where I talk about doing exactly that as I shift my fear of not coping with the pain in just seconds)
A great tool that I would love Doulas and midwives to have and be able to support birthing women and this is part of Charlotte’s vision for the future.
22.10 Suggestions to a woman becoming a mother. Clear your imprints and do as much clearing as you can while pregnant, it will pay off. When Gulara is balanced and well in herself everyone in her family benefits as well as her. She notices her second child was much calmer as a baby and part of this is that she was in a much calmer place during the pregnancy. Before During and After! There is not an end it is a journey and it is worth doing.
23.43 Digging into these imprints and pain will not harm the baby as they are already there and so when you become free you set them free too. They are in your energy field so they carry what you hold in your body. They often take this on and by clearing it you are not passing it on. It will serve you and you will feel more resourced to look after your baby which is a big journey already and also it will serve your baby.
24.55 Gulara finds everything awe inspiring about birth. You have no idea until you have a baby how much it changes you. It is a beautiful journey. Her son was her messenger of love, arriving on Valentines day. This was not an external love but an invitation to love herself to become a better mother and this was a big gift.
26.58 Gulara absorbed the patterns from her childhood about giving too much to be a good mother and then she has been learning to receive and putting boundaries for ‘me time’ that recharges her and this has become an important part of being a mother.
27.53 What breaks Gulara’s heart is the way women are treated as she was in the hospital where her body and her autonomy was undermined. The casual language that is used is upsetting for example classing Gulara as ‘not normal.’
30.10 In contrast, Gulara’s home birth team was wonderful. A team of cheerleaders ( The Birmingham Women'sand children's home birth team)
32.01 Takeaway Number One: This is self-care. Not just a one off massage, though this is lovely but also how do you talk to yourself and treat yourself. If you notice something is a bit off don’t just say never mind this is just little, pay attention to how you treat yourself and particularly when it is hard or you are triggered. Be supported to overcome these patterns when you notice them. Make the self-care not just one off. Continuous support is so much more beneficial. Gulara didn’t want to leave a stone unturned after her first birth as she saw how much her internal patterning and programming was playing out in the birth experience and this is what made the difference in the second experience of pregnancy and birth. Her second baby also fed better, slept better, it was much more easeful and joyful and she thinks this is in part from the work she did on herself.
34.51 Offering hope to women who have had a poor birth experience. It is never too late to work on an experience. If a pattern shows up in birth, chances are it has been there a long time and will be showing up else where and the root is often in your own childhood and so the clearing work is always beneficial as it will be impacting in other areas of your life that are ongoing. It will also change how you feel about the birth that you already had. When you release in one area, other areas of your life improve too. Coming to peace with what happened is important.
There is no destination, it is a process of growing and we reach limits of each layer of growth and then reach further. I move faster and with more ease when I release what is holding me back.
Joel Young, the founder of NPA talks of this as growing like a tree with its rings and it is always still a tree as it grows through its formed and these tools make the process of growing more enjoyable
38.04 Finally, this journey is fun! And fascinating. Gulara remembers feeling skinned alive and raw from more traditional therapies where she had opened up something but not felt so much resolution from this. With the tools discussed here she knows that when she opens up something she feels healed afterwards not that she has just rehashed the old events, she has found some peace and resolution.
40.09 Thank you for paving this way for me as Gulara tells of her being my private client and says “Charlotte has been a tremendous support and that I have grown and then wanted to help others and you are a source of inspiration and your skills are magic and highly recommended and Charlotte changed my life.”
Links to the Tools and Resources mentioned:
Gulara Vincent, PhD, is a healer and writer, who helps women to heal from sexual trauma. In her 1:1 sessions, she truly listens to her client’s stories and lovingly helps them script a new path – one paved with deep healing and empowerment. Her natural warmth and compassion creates a safe space for women to express long-held feelings of unworthiness and negativity. Gulara's work aims to dissolve these limiting beliefs and inspire a life lived with freedom, ease and grace. Here's how you can connect with her:
Today I welcome writer and law lecturer Dr Gulara Vincent to the BirthEssence Blog with a guest post about how completing unfinished business helped her transform her birth experience.
‘Unfinished business’ from the past can block your dreams. I learnt this lesson the hard-way through childbirth, and here’s how my journey began.
In November 2012, I was attending a Journey reunion in Birmingham. I was really into the Journey, a method of cellular healing developed by Brandon Bays, and these meetings gave me an opportunity to meet other people who knew this method too. We took turns to swap and give each other some free support. Each meeting had a practitioner who told us about their Journey path: what brought them here and how the Journey transformed their lives. As I sat on a chair listening to the speaker that day, I stroked my belly feeling slight movements of my baby. I was 18 weeks pregnant with a long-awaited baby. The speaker’s voice soothed me, and watching her face framed with long dark hair, I softened in response.
That speaker was Charlotte Kanyi.
I am not going to recount her story here because it’s hers to tell, but it touched me so much that I approached her during the break and started talking about her business. I had seen her business cards on the stalls during every re-union, and even took it home on one or two occasions, but never dared to speak to her before.
‘I have some anxiety around childbirth,’ I said. By then I’d been attending workshops in Stroud to do some ‘birth works’, a process which explored our own birth experience and also explained how birth impacts the child. It was in one of those workshops that the facilitator explained that women who have past sexual trauma may struggle giving birth naturally. The cells remember the invasion and may clamp up in response to the pain caused by a child trying to exit. To me, this was not the time to deal with past sexual trauma. My focus was on delivering my baby into the world, not dwelling on painful memories. It was better left untouched for now, I told myself, even though deep down I was still worried that past trauma can impact my chances of giving birth as naturally as possible.
‘I’d like to have a session before I give birth,’ I said to Charlotte tentatively.
‘If there’s anxiety, it’s best to clear it sooner than later. You don’t want to carry it throughout your pregnancy because the baby is aware of it too,’ she said.
Her words made sense, but I didn’t follow her advice on that day.
Soon enough though, life presented me with plenty more worries. I was classed as ‘high risk’ and a consultant at the Women’s Hospital saw me every two weeks. Each time, he looked for what was wrong. And of course, if you look hard enough, there’s always something to find.
‘Your baby’s head is quite big, and this is a big baby,’ the consultant said every time I met him. ‘You may need to deliver via C-section. And there seems to be too much liquid around the baby. We may need to pass tubes through his nose to make sure that his lungs are free and he can breathe properly.’
The idea of tubes being passed through the nose of my new-born baby was so distressing that I found Charlotte’s card and gave her a call. A few days later, I was sitting on a couch in her front room shaking uncontrollably as an avalanche of memories overwhelmed me. By the end of the session, I felt calmer and more at peace. Miraculously, the next time I saw the consultant, he said that the liquid levels around the baby were normal and there was no need for intervention.
I started seeing Charlotte regularly. Life kept throwing at me opportunities for
distress growth. I was severely traumatised by the intervention of midwives during the induction, and the emergency C-section left me reeling with disappointment. I cried for days after the birth, and all the stress and tension culminated in two painful episodes of mastitis. I worried about everything all the time. The more I worked with Charlotte, the lighter I felt.
A little over a year later, I was pregnant again. This time, I had no second thoughts about diving in at the deep end to clear any ‘unfinished business’ which could impact my pregnancy and delivery. We worked to clear my past sexual trauma; the trauma caused by my son’s birth; fears around speaking up and standing up for myself when I was at the Women’s Hospital – the list went on and on. I remember vividly the first time Charlotte suggested that I could refuse to follow medical advice and even have a homebirth. Horrified at the idea, I gawked at her ready to run for my life. It took one session to clear that fear, and I came to realise that a home birth was the best option for me. I hired a doula and the home birth team at the Women’s Hospital transformed my experience of the last pregnancy and childbirth – there were no invasive scans with consultants looking for faults. Instead, there was a team of gentle loving women who saw natural birth after C-section as absolutely normal and even desirable. I felt like I had a personal cheering squad and their love and support were healing and nourishing.
When the big day arrived and I went into labour on the due date, I had a birthing pool in my front room. The birth team came to support me and my husband was there to hold me in the water. My labour was beautiful, almost ecstatic, and although I ended up having another emergency C-section, the birth experience itself was at the opposite end of the spectrum to my son’s birth; I was calm, confident, supported and in control.
In short, I’m living testament that when we shed off our emotional baggage, our experiences transform. Childbirth is no exception.
Dr Gulara Vincent is a writer, university law lecturer and a Momentum Mentor for Writers. When not writing or teaching, she helps women writers to release their inner fears and emotional blocks so that they can have a successful writing career.