Right after I created the image above, a dear Soul Sister from Nashville just called to tell me she is expecting her first sweet babe. Aaaaaaah, I am so giddy with joy for them!!!! 😆
I also discovered something while sharing with her. I really, no REALLY love supporting expecting mothers. The journey of motherhood is inclusively transforming…no stone goes unturned within and without. We become womben. We touch that primal part of ourselves that once lay dormant. All at once, we seed the earth and ignite the stars. Oneness with all of existence becomes crystal clear. We don’t just give birth to our babes. We give birth to ourselves. The me in this photo would not have been claimed without the sacred birth of my two starseeds.
PLEASE BE ADVISED… This is the whole, raw, complete, beautiful, sacred truth of our birth story. No details spared!
It was 1am, Monday, December 22, 2014, on the Black New Moon of Winter Solstice. I awoke with a cramping sensation. I might be in labor, I thought, so I took note of the time and fell back to sleep. About 8 minutes later, I awoke again with the same cramping sensation. Not wanting to wake my husband, Jon, until I knew for sure, and knowing that he would need his rest to support me, I continued to rest in between rushes, keeping track of their distance apart.
Around 3am, the rushes were about 4-6 minutes apart and getting stronger, and I was having to breathe more deeply through them. Needing no further convincing, I awoke Jon, letting him know that I was in labor. I explained that I should eat something to build my strength, so he went to the kitchen to bring me some soup. While he was away, I suddenly had a craving for one of my son’s organic, whole food bear vitamins, so I called for him to bring two of them, too.
This was my second birth, and I was amazed at the deep, calm wisdom within that I felt guiding me. I welcomed the experience, knowing that every rush would bring my baby to me. I trusted my body and felt fully capable of bringing our child into the world. With my amazing, supportive, deeply loving husband by my side, I could do anything.
After gaining nourishment, I went to the bathroom while Jon prepared our bed. As I passed by the mirror, I realized I was wearing the shirt my Mom gave me just a few days prior. On the front was a huge open lotus flower. How perfect! I sat on the toilet to pee and saw that my mucus plug was making its way out. I began singing that just like a lotus flower, I, too, would ooooOpen wiiiiiide.
I walked around a bit, and by 4am, my rushes were a couple minutes apart and around 40 seconds long. I texted my midwife, Jennifer Vines, to let her know that I was in labor and inform her on the status of my rushes. She asked if I would like to have doula support or contact her as things progressed. I chose the latter. At this point, I was feeling very tired, so I asked Jon to lie down with me to see if I could rest between rushes. We spooned and he rubbed my back. I could feel him sharing loving, peaceful energy with me. So soothing… Amazingly, as if my body heard my call, my rushes spread back to 6 minutes apart for a little while, so I was able to sleep between them.
Two hours later, at 6am, my rushes got closer and intensified. I sat up recharged and ready to give birth to our baby. We called my Mom to get her up to speed, telling her she could contact my Blessing Way circle of Sisters around 7am to light their candles and send good energies…and that she should arrive around 8 to be there when our 5 year old son, Abner, was waking so she could help dress him and take him to her house just down the street. She expressed that she kept feeling that the baby would come around 11am. I then had Jon call the midwife to give her an update on my progress. She said she would begin gathering her things and her team (her daughter, Carissa, and Sandee) and head our way in a bit.
The toilet, being a place of opening and releasing, felt like a good place for me, so I decided to hang out there. All the while, Jon was right by my side supporting me, rubbing my back, thanking me and telling me how beautiful I was and how wonderful I was doing. With each rush, I would tone low, primal sounds while visualizing myself opening up like a lotus. The sounds washed through me, helping me open and relieving my discomfort. In hindsight, I imagine these sound vibrations also comforted our baby from within.
My bum began to get tired of the toilet seat, so I asked Jon to prepare a bath. He helped me up from the toilet, and we danced as he assisted me into the tub. Ahhhhhh, how wonderful the water felt. I called upon its wisdom, the support of my ancestors who gave birth before me, Source and my highest guides. The sun was rising, casting the most beautiful golden hue on the woods outside my bathtub’s picture window. I felt so much love from the sacred cedars and all the nature spirits, expressing my gratitude for them. I visualized my central channel cleared and charged with pure Source energy. I could feel it pouring in through my crown and emanating throughout my being.
Still in the bath, at 8am, my Mom arrived just as our son was waking. The midwife and her team arrived at 8:30 and finished prepping our bedroom. Sandee was diligently providing doula support and giving me water to drink between each rush. My Mom and Abner came to tell us goodbye, and they left for her house.
Feeling my rushes beginning to become stagnant, my intuition guided me to get out of the bath and back on the loo. Once there, my midwife, Jennifer knotted up a sarong to create a little tug of war for Jon and I. I began pulling on it during rushes, and after a couple went by, I suddenly heard and felt a POP, followed by waters rushing out. I then vomited, but only once. After that, my rushes reached a whole new level of intensity, like crashing waves on a stormy day, coming strong and fast. I knew then I was in transition.
Uncomfortable with the hard toilet seat at this phase, Jon assisted me to a seated position on the Gaiam ball that my intuition guided me to borrow from my Mom weeks prior. My chest was supported with pillows on our bed in front of me. It was then that I felt the urge to begin pushing, and with each rush I would circle my hips atop the ball, noticing that certain positions would bring forth more waters. I was a mammal, a powerful tigress, sounding deep and guttural. My team assured me that I was very close and doing great. Though I wanted to believe them, a part of me felt they were just saying that to make me feel better, since I pushed 3 hours with my first. I realized that doubt wasn’t helping, so I shifted back to trusting and knowing it was true, that our baby would soon be born.
In no time it seemed, I began feeling down pressure sitting on the ball, and decided to get up. My team guided me on all fours, placed the ball in front of me and draped a towel over it for me to grip. As my legs were tired, I sat back on my feet in a modified squat position and kept pushing with the rushes. Oooooooooooommmm…Ooooooooooommmmm… more sounding, more opening.
All the sudden I found myself concerned over not having paid my midwife in full, yet. I knew from reading the birthing stories in Ina May’s midwifery books that once women voiced their toils, the baby came right out. She sensed my thinking, and asked me about it, just as I was beginning to share that there was something I needed to express. Once I did, and she very kindly assured me that she was not worried about it, that it was okay, and that right now, I just needed to have this baby, I got back to the task at hand.
Just as the stories told, within 5 minutes, I felt a strong burning sensation. It was like I was giving birth through my bum hole. (People don’t talk about this much, but it’s true!) Jennifer checked me, and she said she felt the baby’s head. After a couple more pushes, she directed me to raise my bum up off my feet a bit and shared, “We’ve got the head!” On one hand I was so excited to hear his head was out, but on the other hand I was like, “Then what is the hang up?!”, because with my first, once the head was out, the rest of him just slid on out. I felt a gentle tug and immediate relief…our baby was born at 11:34am!!! Since I was facing the other direction, I turned my head and saw our precious BOY!!! Surprise, it’s a boy!!! I watched as they cleared his airways and he turned pink. The song of his cries was music to my ears.
Jon helped me to the bed, and they placed our precious baby in my arms. Infinite loooove! We went right to work on getting latched and breastfeeding. It took him a little while, but he tried diligently and got the hang of it, finally latching and drinking in my sacred, natural nourishment. The placenta was born and Jon cut the cord once it was done pumping. Abner and Mom arrived at the house to check on us, only to find that the baby had been born. They came in and greeted our new family member, Arian Om. All together, our family of four at last.
Once he was done nursing, Jennifer and her team took him to clean, weigh and dress him. I hear Jennifer calmly proclaim, “He weighs 10 lbs., 13 oz.”. “WHAT!?”, I responded. She repeated herself, and I couldn’t believe my ears. He was 22″ long, his head was over 15 inches and his chest was over 16(!!), which was why his body didn’t just sliiiiide right out. I was so amazed and happy that I had birthed that much baby without a single perineal tear. Jennifer shared that he was the biggest baby she had ever caught or even attended. She returned him to my arms quickly, so we weren’t apart for long, and it was sail away to baby bliss for me.
Here’s a little view of our precious gift, Arian Om Bray (pronounced Ah-ree-an) After just 10.5 hours, starting at 1am, Monday the 22nd, by the light of the New Black Moon, and with only 30 minutes of pushing, he emerged to grace the sacred Earth, weighing a whopping 10 lbs., 13 oz., 22 inches long, 15″ head, and over 16″ chest!
AND without a single intervention other than a quick head check and catch at the end…and a great deal of love, support, woo-ing, back rubbing, kissing, encouragement and cosmic vibes from my a-ma-zing husband. My only medicine was love and song…toning deep and primal through each of the many rushes. What an absolute blesSing, every single moment. I am so grateful for my own strength and for the commUNITY of love around me.
Since I opened up like a lotus, without a single tear, I am healing beautifully, and fully enjoying every single glance at our beautiful Arian. Boy is he hungry, too! I am one busy Mama, nursing him on demand, around the clock. What an absolute pleasure!
Any day now, I journey into the sacred labyrinth of birth, bringing forth new life for old Souls. In birthing I am reborn. I am creation unfurling. Revealing new rhythms, new music for the infinite field.
~ Jess ♥ ∞
“The shamanic way of pregnancy and birth is genetically encoded within all women. To access higher states of consciousness during pregnancy, labor, birth, and mothering is our birthrite – and global spiritual heritage. Through the doorway of higher states of consciousness we can bring souls to this Earth with the potential for realizing evolutionary solutions for the problems facing humanity now. Conscious birthing through reclaiming the arts of shamanic midwifery is a pathway to empowered physical and spiritual health for mothers, babies, and families today.”
Very early on I discovered that dating was not for me. Instead, I knew in my heart of hearts that there was someone out there I was meant to find. At age 17, I made the conscious choice to remain single (no dating) and focus my prayers and intention on welcoming that one special guy to my life. Just one year goes by and…
One chilly February night in 2002, my Mom and I stopped by to pick up our clothes at our amazing, local, eco-friendly drycleaner on 8th Avenue in Berry Hill/Melrose area, which is where we lived at the time. As we park our car for their curbside service, I look through the window front and see just two people inside — Shirley, a bright and cheery woman who almost always waited on us, and the same very attractive young guy who I had shared glances with (through the windows) for the past couple of years (this night included) but never met.
Shirley walks up to the car with her usual beaming smile and presence to assist us. A voice within me said, “Ask her about the guy in the window.” This was a huge step for me, being an old fashioned kind of girl. I always wanted the guy to come to me, but I figured hey, it couldn’t hurt to ask, right? “Shirley, who is the guy inside? I see him here all the time.” Her kind smile grew larger as she replied, “Oh honey, that’s Jon! He’s the owner’s son, so that’s why you see him here all the time. He’s had his heart broken, and I’m trying to find him a good girl. Can I give him your number?” The old fashioned girl inside me quickly pondered, “Okay God, she said it, not me. Technically you’re not the one making the move here. Shirley is making it for you. Go ahead!” I responded, “Sure, but please wait until we drive off.” As we pulled out onto 8th Avenue, heading home, I saw Jon’s beaming face as Shirley handed him a small piece of paper.
Later that night, as I sit eating dinner, the phone rings. “It’s for you,” Mom said. Could it be? He’s actually calling me the same night he got my number? I answered, and it WAS Jon. How delightfully unusual! I thanked him for calling so soon, to which he responded, “It wouldn’t be fair to make you wait.” Mmm, I melted. After a bit of great conversation, he asked if he could take me on a date, and for the first time in a year, I said yes. He asked what I would like to do. I had been wanting to see Lord of The Rings in the theater but hadn’t been yet. He said he had already been, but he would be happy to take me and see it again.
The next evening he arrived at my doorstep, and we met face to face for the very first time. Dressed to the nines in silk and linen, he pulls a beautiful bouquet of flowers from behind his back…something I had only coveted in movies but never actually experienced until then. Is this real? I was swept already.
On we drove to Hollywood 27 theater at what use to be called 100 Oaks in Berry Hill to sit…for 3+ hours…watching Lord of The Rings…not able to talk. No, actually it was perfect. I highly recommend this, in fact. Not only was the magical LOTR the perfect movie to begin our story, but we got to sit and allow our energies to dance and coalesce before we ever conversed. Oh my goodness, and once the movie was over, we engaged in the most stimulating conversation I ever had. Invigorating it was, for the first time, to speak at the depth I could with him. Once we started, we couldn’t stop. We stayed up ’til 4 o’clock, just talking…well, and a little kissing, too.
The first time we kissed, he asked first if he could kiss me (during a game of questions). I said yes, and be still my heart…his lips…our energy…time…stood…still. Countless lifetimes of connection converged in those moments. At long last we merged, two as one again.
The next day, our second date, I drove us through the Brentwood countryside. I told Jon that if I didn’t see myself potentially marrying him, he would not be in the car with me. Such a bold and brave statement surely would have scared any other away, but he said he felt the same. By the end of this day, we both expressed our love for one another.
In hindsight, it is clear that we chose to come into this beautiful blue green planet together. In the same latitudinal region, just one state between, in the same year of 1983, just one month apart, he March 8 and I April 8, were born. We each moved to South Nashville, Tennessee in 1997, I for music and he with his family’s new business, just around the corner from my home, where we eventually crossed paths, and thanks to our angel, Shirley, we met.
On the sunny day of May 8, 2004, at age 21, we were married at St. Mary’s downtown, the oldest standing church in Nashville. From our first date (which was also our first meeting), we have never desired to part and have scarcely left one another’s side. The vortex of spiritual growth we have experienced since our reunion here on Earth has been and continues to be unbridled.
Just under a month before our 5 year anniversary, April 16, 2009, our precious son was born (our birth dates combine to make his… 8+8=16), and now, after 10 years of marriage, we welcome another sacred Soul to our family. I am more in love with my hubby and flame each and every moment we journey together. Our combined manifestation potential is infinite (more stories to come about this, including Local Living Farm in our community of Antioch). In his arms, wherever we are, is my favorite place in the omniverse. Love like ours, divine masculine and feminine in union within each of us, is surely meant to resonate upon this planet at this time. I am holistically and infinitely grateful for our eternal love.
Yesterday, hubby and I enjoyed a precious, Soul-quenching day, just the two of us. Late afternoon, we stepped out our back door to make music together and discovered a praying mantis floating in our newfie’s water bowl. Being the first out the door, Jon immediately rescued him, placing him tenderly on the wisteria vine in hopes of drying out his drowning body and recovering the use of his limbs.
As I began to sing a gentle song of love and wellness to sacred mantis, he looked away to the leaf just passed his head. There I discovered a tiny perfectly shaped heart eaten out of the leaf. I felt his returning love and gratitude, and he turned his head to look right at me as I continued to sing and connect with his Spirit. I knew our encounter was no accident, that there was a message, a meaning.
Hubby and I enjoyed a beautiful sunset, playing and singing together, and as we entered back into our abode, we saw the mantis had fully recovered. Mantis’ message was divinely timed, as Spirit always is, and was perfect confirmation of my recent embrace of hibernation and reflection for creative Soul renewal.
“Usually the Praying Mantis makes an appearance when we’ve flooded our lives with so much business, activity, or chaos that we can no longer hear the still small voice within us. Taking a step back and some simple meditation would be in order here because the external din we’ve created needs to be quieted so that we can come back to our own truth. The Praying Mantis always comes to us when we need peace, quiet and calm in our lives. […] Even within this calm and serene environment you are capable of quick and decisive action when opportunity presents itself.” (http://spirit-animals.com/praying-mantis)
In the past, it has been difficult for me to allow myself to rest, to let go of the pull to always be productive and creating, working toward some desired goal. This year, I embrace my resting cycle without guilt, and in doing so, I see that the seeds I sewed during my natural times of energetic action, now blossom at my doorstep as I rest…a phenomenon I always believed possible but never truly made space for until now.
The past two years, the bear has visited my dreams. Last year, they were trying to eat me…a clear sign of the need to learn to honor my resting cycle. This year, from my space of acceptance and allowing, the bear returns — this time, following me around like a puppy dog…a sign of lesson learned and confirmation of my growth.
I am truly enjoying this time of less activity and more rest ~ less productivity and more play ~ less seeking and more finding ~ less projection and more reflection ~ more receiving ~ more blissful connection with those who mean the most. I’m all aglow with this new season in life, in the moment, relaxed and open for whatever and wherever the great mystery leads me.
The voice of the sea is singing to me. She beckons my Soul, and I answer the call. The time has come to surrender, swept in the expansiveness of her wisdom and emerge a new tide to shore ~ I in her and she in me, forevermore. ~ JB
I am officially unplugged for my journey to sea till October 10th.
Visit me, right after I return, at the First Annual Southeast Nashville Festival for Music and Arts, October 11th, 10am – 4pm, inside the Global Mall in Antioch, TN, for a Soul-quenching personal ManifeStation Sound Journey by donation. I can’t wait to open my Heart and Soul in service to my community in this way!
Deep Peace, Infinite Love and Bliss-full Joy to All!
25 weeks ~ This journey of sacred partnership between Mother and Child is one of the most beautiful gifts this life in form offers. The growth my Spirit calls for, this one carries. The experience this Soul calls for, I carry. I am never truly alone and feel mutual support all-ways. We sing together in delightful and magnified co-creation enveloped in love eternal.
Countless blossoms of beauty and emergence have come to fruition during these 40 days of daily spontaneous vocal offerings. I am grateful for every Soul who sings themselves and the world awake. May we all remember the power of heart and soul singing in our every day lives.
Inspired by my current pregnancy, one of our latest A.muse.in’ Harmony group experiences, “Awaken Your Sacred Voice ~ Pregnancy, Birthing and Beyond” helps expecting parents connect with the power of their own voice for wellness, labor support and soulful parenting. If this sings to you, connect with us today!
As a Soul singing, baby wearing Mama, I can personally attest to the power of this, but the research to back it up is fantastic to see!
The song of my precious unborn began coming through me more fully yesterday morning as I awoke. As I sang the melody, I felt its significance and silently asked, “Is it you?” My confirmation was the little dance I felt inside my womb.
This Soul song connection happened intuitively during the pregnancy with my first child, and it was some time later when I discovered the tradition of the Himba tribe of Africa (most reported, but is a tradition in some other tribal cultures as well)…each child having their own unique song, discovered and taught to the village by the Mother, so that in times of celebration or dis-ease, the community could sing that Soul’s song, helping them remember their true vibration.
Whether he is not feeling well, or I am helping him ease back into the world from slumber, I have seen the way my son lights up each time I sing “his song”. I feel a great calling to help not only keep this tradition alive but thriving. What a beautiful way to deeply connect with our children, heart and Soul, and what a wonderful way to embrace true connection and support within our communities, throughout our lives.
EXPECTING PARENTS ~ Whether you wish to conceive or are already along in your pregnancy, I would love to help you connect with your own innate ability to discover and sing your child’s Soul song. It would be my honor to assist you privately or by attending and sharing Soul song ceremony at your Blessing Way.
PREGNANCY AND BIRTHING PROFESSIONALS ~ I now offer a group experience for expectant parents, “Awaken Your Sacred Voice ~ Pregnancy, Birthing and Beyond”. Together, in a safe and sacred space, we honor each other and the journey of parenthood…from discovering your child’s Soul song to the use of singing and sounding to assist in birthing and beyond.
“You may not have grown up in an African tribe that sings your song to you at crucial life transitions, but life is always reminding you when you are in tune with yourself and when you are not. When you feel good, what you are doing matches your song, and when you feel awful, it doesn’t. In the end, we shall all recognize our song and sing it well. You may feel a little warbly at the moment, but so have all the great singers. Just keep singing and you’ll find your way home.”
(many sources ~ origin of quote unknown)
Day 10 ~ On our sunset drive to market, I sang a song of self-love…so grateful for my life.
Day 11 ~ While enjoying some early morning sharing @ my Mom’s, I felt my late Grandmother’s (Mamo’s) presence. She has always been an inspiration to me and is now one of my main spirit guides. I sang a song of love and thanks to her and all the ancestors.
Day 12 ~ Sang li’l Abner up this morning with “his” song and an extra spontaneous melody of love. Nothing like his smile!
My spontaneous vocal offerings for the 2nd annual “Sing Myself AWAKE” for 40 days with Miranda Rondeau…
Day 8 ~ I sang a song of love and gratitude to a beautiful Grandmother tree while my son was playing at the park. Everywhere we walked, there were feathers. We offered thanks for nature’s gifts and brought a few home for our altars.
Day 9 ~ I sang an infusion of love and joy into the bowl of cereal I made my son. My reward: a smile, a long hug and an I love you…priceless!
My spontaneous vocal offerings for Sing Myself AWAKE with Miranda Rondeau…
Day 6 ~ I shared a spontaneous song with my son. Intention: FUN! It was in a flash moment, so no video was captured.
Day 7 ~ After playing with new laptop video methods today (none of which worked out), I got out my trusty camera and created a vocal offering for the joy of manifestation for all beings…inspired by this 40 day journey.
My spontaneous vocal offering for the 2nd annual “Sing Myself AWAKE” for 40 days with Miranda Rondeau…
I am a bit low-tech, without a smart phone to easily take video johnny on the spot, and making one with my camera is a bit of a production, but since this began, I have found myself with more and more spontaneous opportunities to share vocal offerings. The more I sing, the more beauty manifests in my life.
Yesterday, for DAY 5, I sang a song of peace (as invited) and gratitude (since I was singing in the space I am soon to begin my offerings). Blessings abound, and I know “Sing Myself Awake for 40 days” has been a huge catalyst. Infinite thanks and returns to you, Miranda!
And we all have music makers built in…our very own voices! Set an intention, visualize, imagine and feel its existence and sing it out. Your vibrational offering will not only shift your reality, but it will benefit the whole world. There are no limits here. If you can dream it, you can create it. What will you manifest?
My spontaneous vocal offerings for the 2nd annual “Sing Myself AWAKE” for 40 days with Miranda Rondeau…
Day 3 ~ was busy and beautiful. A recording didn’t happen, but as I washed and massaged my dancing feet in the final hour of the day, I connected with Source and sang a sweet melody as the water drained away on its journey.
Day 4 ~ Once again, not captured on video, but I got the most amazing gift today after some SUP (stand up paddle board) fun…to sing and drum over three amazing women. Intentions (set by them) ~ love, meta (kindness, compassion) and courage. We each hugged afterward and after the final offering, I was given a beautiful message of encouragement, we both cried and a group hug commenced. AND I was offered a space to do my practice. What a magnificent day! I am even more on fire with passion for my path of service.
You won’t want to miss it, so mark your calendars, Nashville! Song of the New Earth will be screening at Unity of Music City on Sunday, October 12th, at 2pm, followed by a Q+A with Director Ward Serrill and Producer Sophie Jane Mortimer. Hope to see you there!
Song of the New Earth profiles the ardent quest of sound healer, psychotherapist and sonic shaman Tom Kenyon to integrate modern science and ancient mysticism through the power of sound. His rare ability to brilliantly decipher the healing science of sound results in a mesmerizing, and transformational documentary feature film.
As an aspiring country musician, Kenyon was on way to fame and fortune in Nashville when a series of mystical experiences rocked his world. Desperate to understand his experience, he fervently dove into the study of neurophysiology to explain his unexplainable spiritual insights and continued his search through studying Tibetan Buddhism, Yoga, Taoism, mystical Christianity, Shamanism, Egyptian alchemy and more.
From his home in the San Juan Islands to Tibetan nunneries in the Himalayas, from cathedrals and mysterious caves in southern France to the golden-chandeliered symphony halls of Vienna, Song of the New Earth explores the cutting edge scientific research proving that sound shifts brain states and can promote dramatic healing not only for ourselves but for our precious planet earth. With his wife Judi, often by his side, Kenyon explains how sound vibration speaks to our souls and bodies by opening a door that bridges our cognitive thinking; catapulting us towards insights into the miraculous. A transcendent, celestial experience that transports viewers through Kenyon’s rare, divine gift.
From an award winning production team including Ward Serrill (The Heart of the Game, Miramax), editor Eric Frith (Eden), New York Times animator Drew Christie and Producer Betsy Chasse, (co-producer for What the Bleep Do We Know!?).