Birthing the Self

Artwork by J. Gaddis

Artwork by J. Gaddis

Any serious practitioner on the spiritual path knows that in order to grow and evolve you must also die.

For some of us, that means experiencing many metaphorical deaths and re-births throughout our entire life.

Death and birth is just the way of Life.

Resisting this creates suffering. Fighting nature’s rhythms only adds more pain to the path.

In my relentless (and even neurotic at times) quest to wake up, I have experienced some of these deaths and re-births, with the latest one being the most significant to date.

And for the past many months I have experienced something very new in the midst of the death/rebirth cycle I find myself in.

Here are three key insights about what I’m learning.

Insight number 1. Freedom in the unknown

As of late, I have not been active on my blog or my email list.

I find myself at a loss for words. Not much to say, offer, or share. I am steeped in being a student right now. Listening. Listening.

I have felt very little inspiration to write. I get in front of the computer and there’s just nothing to say. Blank.

In the past I would have overridden this and forced words. Made something happen.

Instead, I’ve been cocooning, going inward, getting very quiet, and listening. Seeing a few clients here and there, running the MLT, and parenting non-stop in a chop wood carry water way.

Mostly, I’ve been experiencing a simple gratitude, a quiet emptiness, and a relaxation into this unknown phase of my life (with occasional dips into depression or tiny bites of terror). When afraid, I even slip back into magical thinking and want someone or something to save me from this blank screen.

Historically when not much is going on I would have made that wrong. But now, I’m slowly experiencing the freedom in this unknown void.

Insight number 2. Live as I parent

The other day I said to my wife after 3 weeks of being sick, “I’m not sure how to live my life from this new, emerging place.”

Her reply,

“I don’t buy that. Look at how you parent our kids.”

“What do you mean?” I replied.

“Well, you are showing up in a simple yet powerful way and you aren’t even trying. You are not trying to get anything, achieve status, or be somebody. You are just doing it. Seems pretty effortless to me. And look how our kids respond.”

“Right,” I replied. Of course. Duh.

After sitting with this some, I am realizing that I’m parenting my kids from a place of ease, relaxation, an non-doing. I am parenting my kids the way I want to live my life!

Whoah. Ding!

Now, can I translate that to my life, my relationships, my career, and offering my gifts to the world?

I know I can and will but I feel shaky with my new legs and new eyes. I’m not totally trusting myself.

Big insight number 3: I’m birthing me

As many of you know the past year has been a long, slow, often painful dying process for me. The old me struggling to gain a foothold as my old core strategies and identity no longer work.

And, as with any huge ego death always comes a birth.

I have not known what this birth is and have tried many times to fast forward the process and figure it out.

During a recent therapy session I brought in the core tension I feel between surrendering to spirit and actually doing something with myself. I hold that tension in and near my sacrum.

My therapist had her hands on my low belly and sacrum.

Boom. We both got it at the same time.

The insight came immediately.

What I’m giving birth to is… myself.

The realization that I’m giving birth to me was so simple, like a leaf dropping to the ground. It was just there, in it’s entirety, complete.

An ah ha moment that happened from deep within me.

Silly me–I had it in my mind that I was giving birth to an idea, a new brand, or some new career path.

Of course, birthing the Self also means surrendering completely to this emerging me, that is deep beyond ego.

Feels scary good.

Big changes are afoot and I stand exhausted, ready  yet apprehensive, vulnerable.

So much more to come, so little I know.


  • Owen

    Reply Reply February 25, 2011

    The one thing I know about my own birthing process (which is still unfolding) is the paradox. Birth is messy and Beautiful. Welcome to the beautiful new messy birth.

  • Vesario

    Reply Reply February 25, 2011

    The Truth always lives in the body, it knows the natural cycle of contract and release, death and rebirth. Allowing the mind to be in service to the body is the most loving act we can give ourselves. Welcome to the language of your soul……

  • Ramiel

    Reply Reply February 25, 2011

    Swadhisthana (Sanskrit: स्वाधिष्ठान, Svādhiṣṭhāna) called 'One's own abode' is the second chakra at sacrum.

    • Jayson

      Reply Reply March 1, 2011

      wow. didn't know that. thank you

  • Erintherapy

    Reply Reply February 25, 2011

    It occurs to me like there is nothing to DO. No practicing standing on shaky legs. You don't push or pull the new baby to be born… No drugs or forceps. You just wait, trusting that baby will come out in its own perfect time. Then you interact with it on ITS level, hoping that its entry into this world will be as gentle as possible for it.
    What a gift and skill/talent that your wife pointed out… Somehow, you are naturally parenting your children this way. Applying that way of parenting to yourself… Your wife is a genius :-). I'm so glad you were able to see and take in what she said.
    –So gently and deeply impacting for me to read your words. Thank you for sharing!!!
    —Erin Brandt

  • mary

    Reply Reply February 25, 2011

    happy birthing! <3

  • Joshua

    Reply Reply February 25, 2011

    Hey bro,

    This post really resonates with me right now. I am getting ready to head out to a few hours of silenece in nature for the afternoon and I have a feeling that when I get back, I am going to be ready to give birth to a new self as well. The labor pains have begun and like you, I've been going back and forth between letting go and not letting go to allow the new to arrise. (even though I made the plunge in to financial independence and left the old “j o b” a month ago).

    Thanks for sharing.

    Joshua Gribschaw-Beck

    • Jaysongaddis

      Reply Reply March 1, 2011

      thanks man

  • Sepia Prince

    Reply Reply February 25, 2011

    Well, it's obvious that your wife recognizes the effortlessness in your parenting. Surely, the product of this latest death and rebirth phase will result in freshness on this website and I surely am glad to witness your latest transformation.

    “Death and birth is just the way of Life.” – I concur.

    • Jayson

      Reply Reply March 1, 2011

      ha ha. good to see you in here again man

  • Tosh Hyodo

    Reply Reply March 25, 2011

    As human beings we who are on a spiritual journey toggle between speaking from I Am to speaking from ego. It's interesting to read your blog and see as you toggle back and forth! Being in a void, and able to relax into it and even enjoy it, is speaking from I Am. Being scared and shakey is speaking from ego. I Am is larger than ego, so it can contain ego. We don't have to destroy ego, it's impossible anyway as long as we are in these bodies. But I Am is bigger than ego, so whatever ego wants to say is okay and that's why I enjoy your blogs so much – you just say it like it is, whether it is ego or I Am speaking, it's always an honest and transparent sharing of your experience right now. – Tosh Hyodo, http://www.YourHeartUniverse.c

    • Jayson

      Reply Reply March 28, 2011

      Thanks Tosh. great observations. Yes yes.

  • Bahop

    Reply Reply June 29, 2011

    I honor you for sharing this journey from a vulnerable place.  it's been my experience that getting comfortable there & staying mindful in that space is the only way to 'hear/see/know' what comes next…  

    can't say it better than the greats;

    “…die before you die, there is no chance after…”  c.s. lewis

    “…he not busy being born is busy dying…”   bob dylan

  • Jayson

    Reply Reply July 8, 2011

    Thanks Bahop. love the quotes.

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