November 15th, 2008: I awoke at 5:18 a.m. this morning and glanced at the clock. “Oh,” I realized. “In nineteen more minutes I will have been born 62 years ago.”
It’s true! Today is my 62nd birthday, and my gift for everyone is my birth story; meaning, what I experienced at the time of my birth. Most people don’t have memory of their birth although they may have heard stories from their mother—if she remembered—or a family member at the delivery. My memory came back to me during a workshop that involved strong breath work. It unfolded in three distinct parts. At first I remembered the brilliance of light as I crowned and my body surged out of the birth canal into the world. “I got here!” was my thought. I knew that I had reached my goal. I knew that being birthed was essential and that I had done it. Then—and perhaps most magical—once my entire body was free from my mother and I was completely surrounded by air cooler than her body, I realized that I had a body and I understood my body’s shape. I had extensions: arms, legs, head. I had a central area that held the extensions. I felt them all at once and saw their shape as a hologram in my head. It’s like I saw a picture of me that was defined by the temperature edges of my skin. It was my first awareness of my body: total, defined and here. The third amazement passed through me: I was in awe of how physical it was to be born. I remembered the pushing and the heat and the lubrication; the churn and muscle and thrust of birth. I was astonished at how body-based the birth process was. I got here. I have a very defined shape. I pushed through flesh. Those were my first thoughts in my first minutes of life. I don’t remember more as I settled into being a tiny baby, just born.
These memories are sent to all of you as a celebration of our all being born. We all got here. We all are here. What a privilege! As one of my first meditation teachers used to say, “Thank you for incarnating with me.”