In a state of core isolation we can feel as if our most vital self is hiding in a dark cave within, waiting for someone to come and get us, whilst we quietly and desperately yearn for a connection that never seems to reach us. Core isolation is caused by a challenging event, trauma, circumstance or environment that occurred during the foundational developmental period from preconception through infancy. Isolation originating in this period can feel like “this is just how I am” or “this is just how it is” when, in fact, it is about something that either happened to you, or that did not happen when and how it was needed. We all have a need to belong and feel connected even if we are not consciously in touch with that need.
Many of us were conceived into unconscious, disconnected parents who were stressed, anxious, carrying unresolved trauma and were not ready to be parents. In addition, we may not have been welcomed, wanted or planned so we have, at our core, feelings of isolation that are coupled with mistaken beliefs such as:
Can you hear the isolation inherent in each of these? These are deep, somatic and debilitating mistaken beliefs that are all too common and that can transform when they are more deeply and somatically understood, embraced and safely presenced by another. They are mistaken only because we are not isolated, we just feel that way. Our circumstances and culture unconsciously contrive to create this experience.
Once we have core isolation imprinting we may feel a strong and natural yearning to connect and we may have loving people around us, but are unable to feel the love touch us deep inside. It can feel as if there is something between us and others that prevents us from receiving what’s being given, or even from perceiving that there is love here for us because we can’t see or feel it. We can heal and transform core isolation – with help. We need help because it’s a relational wound and relational wounds require relational healing. I recommend this kind of healing happen within a safe somatic therapeutic healing relationship.
During the foundational period our experiences go very deep, forming our roots on all levels of being, both the good, loving experiences and the more challenging ones. They form our core imprinting and can be re-patterned to a certain extent. These experiences are not stored in our cognitive mind, but are deep somatic imprints (physical/energetic memories) imprinted into our very fiber. These kinds of imprints can feel true and real to us in present time when we are triggered but they are actually memories from our past. They manifest on the soul, spiritual, emotional, psychological, physical and relational levels.
We all have a baby within who remembers her journey into life and I refer to her as the Little One. Little Ones, unborn babies (those still in their mothers’ womb) and born babies all want to feel connected and welcomed, and to be lovingly held and heard with attunement because they are conscious and sentient. This loving contact is what supports healthy development, integration of their experiences, and the feeling that they are held in love and the warmth of connection. The Little One within, unborn and born babies will be referred to here as The Collective Baby because they all have the same needs. Everyone has a blueprint inside that provides a natural impulse towards health and connection, balance, integration and presence right from our earliest beginnings.
A challenging womb environment or a traumatic event experienced alone, without conscious connection to another, can cause us to struggle or to have to find a way to adapt to stress and/or trauma. Early challenges during which there was no support and connection are isolating because we went through them alone. In the womb we find astonishing ways to use our limited resources to survive trauma, stress and challenges. These kinds of experiences can hold deep inside of us and, absolutely, can be transformed at any time afterwards. There is widespread unconsciousness in our culture about how very conscious and sentient we are as babies, creating a lack of connection and parenting of our prenatal babies and this is what causes core isolation.
Babies need love and support long before we can look into their eyes and hold them in our arms at birth. The Collective Babies are talking to us constantly, in their own language, about what they have experienced and are currently experiencing, and about what they need. It’s our task to learn how to listen to them and parent them earlier. Everyone has a need to tell their coming in to life story and to be heard deeply. This is a natural and necessary need and being heard in connection helps us to integrate our experiences and feel a sense of belonging. Everyone needs to be included, loved and seen during this most extraordinary and foundational time of life when we are learning about people, the planet, relationships, sexuality, and what to expect here. We need conscious early parenting! This means being welcomed, invited, loved and included from preconception – the real beginning of life.
Core isolation can be transformed into deep connection. Gentle, loving contact with the isolated part/s of us can be profound and life changing. Isolation is an unnatural state because humans are fundamentally about connection. In my offices I’m daily in contact with isolated Little One’s inside born babies, adults and children who have never been truly seen and heard, or had a chance to unwind from stress or trauma that happened early in their lives. What’s happening to us as unborn and newborn babies and children that is causing so much enduring isolation? Core isolation can be a symptom of something that:
All four of the above points can be healed and early trauma can be integrated, supporting us to land more fully in our body. Healing can happen before birth and at any time after birth, although the earlier the better.
James was having marital difficulties with his husband who was constantly complaining that James was unable to show up emotionally or share his inner life. He also felt that James didn’t take responsibility for anything, and that he was avoidant of intimacy. In a somatic session James touched into deep feelings of isolation that went right back to his time in the womb when he sensed that his mother was struggling and low on resources. His response to her lack of emotional and actual resources, and support, was to feel that he must take care of her. This dynamic also expressed itself in his needing to please her.
In his focus to care for his mother James left himself out emotionally, and his mother was unable to include his emotional life in their relationship. When we feel our mother doesn’t have enough resources or support to ‘make it’, if she is not thriving and perhaps is in survival mode herself, we can respond by trying to make up for her deficits. This is because if she doesn’t make it, we won’t survive either; it is a matter of survival. James’s prenatal survival imprinting continued throughout his childhood and his mother fed this dynamic by inappropriately talking to him about all of her troubles and woes.
This was way too much for Little James to manage, he didn’t have the resources to support an adult especially one on whom he was dependent. Both of his parents were very isolated people; there was an ancestral history of isolation and of not asking for support. His job in the family was to please his mother so that he would survive. His Little One continued to feel that if he didn’t take care of his mother, he wouldn’t make it.
In his sessions with me James connected with his Little One and realized that he had been trying to do the very adult jobs of keeping his husband happy, being a parent and a professional. His Little One was working so hard without the resources to do these big adult jobs, and this can be exhausting. James habitually and unconsciously excluded his own needs and emotional life in all of his relationships, inadvertently maintaining his core isolation. We connected with James’s Little One and discovered that he felt profoundly isolated and was whimpering in a dark, cold corner. With support James negotiated coming into loving empathic contact with his Little One who immediately liked receiving the love and attention. James felt his whole heart area open up and was engulfed by a feeling of bliss.
This was the beginning of a beautiful new relationship between James’s adult self and his Little One, a growing internal attachment relationship. This new connection inside was freeing James’s Little One from many years of being alone, isolated and working hard on jobs that were too big for him. As James nurtured his relationship with his Little One, he gradually shifted the burden of being the caretaker away from him. He developed some new adult resources so that he was able to include his own needs and feelings in relationships. His Little One eventually let go of needing to take care of everyone for fear he wouldn’t survive, and allowed adult James to manage his relationships. End of example
As soon as we make contact with an isolated young part inside, we are breaking isolation. One of the great advantages of conscious early parenting beginning during the preconception period is that we can prevent core isolation in the foundational period. The roots of core isolation are deep, and in our day-to-day lives can remain untouched even by our intimate others. We’re not creating isolation in our babies on purpose; we are in the unconscious grip of a culture-wide unconsciousness about the existence of early consciousness and sentience, our own and that of others. In addition, our unconsciousness about what babies need and about when we need to begin parenting our children is another major cause of core isolation. I recommend that parenting begin a year before conception with a preparation phase that includes connecting with incoming babies.
Our blueprint naturally inclines us towards wholeness, health and balance and this is what needs support during the creation journey. We want to be present to receive the love that is here for us, to feel connected and safe and welcomed. We are primarily souls having an embodied experience; early support and parenting is crucial for us to have a coherent sense of our embodied selves that nurtures our connection to divine and Gaia during our temporary stay here.
A traumatic or stressful pre-conception or prenatal event, a challenging prenatal environment and a difficult birth can leave us feeling isolated at our core if they stay unresolved or unacknowledged. This can affect attachment outcomes leaving us feeling unable to receive from our loved one’s or to connect deeply.
Transformation of core/early trauma is possible for all ages through attuned, empathic somatic and relational support that integrates early trauma and shock and listens to the Little One. For this early work it may be best to find a somatic prenatal and birth therapist although conscious mindful parents can also be effective in helping their children with loving empathy and deep listening.
Prevention of Core Isolation: Conscious early parenting, ideally beginning during the preconception period, creates connection rather than isolation. Authentic loving relationship and strong healthy attachment as early as possible is the remedy. Attuning to our unborn babies, honing our intuition, listening to our dreams during pregnancy as parents, and being open to connection with our unborn baby invites her/him to feel connected, welcome and wanted. Loving, welcoming and consistently connecting with pre-conceptive and unborn babies is crucial to preventing core isolation. Parenting our children needs to happen much earlier than has previously been understood. Helping incoming souls when something during their creation journey, or in the family field, may be a challenge is easier to do when there is already an established connection; this is the essence of conscious early parenting.
Born babies speak to us somatically through emotional crying, showing us how they are feeling in their eyes, movements and postures, and by sharing energy, sounds and emotions. Children are able to process their experiences and feelings, and tell us their womb/birth stories through womb and birth play, with hands-on support (attuned touch, cranial sacral, tracking the Soul Body, cycles, transitions, etc.). Play and exchange of energy is the natural language of children. Parents can learn to listen underneath their child’s behavior; this is where the deeper information resides and where we can truly hear about our child’s core issues. Learning how to listen to our babies and children, and supporting them to come into wholeness, is imperative for health and satisfying connection with others throughout life.
Adults can connect with and listen to their Little One inside to deeply understand what’s truly driving their lives, to reconnect with their soul’s purpose, and to have more choice in living, relating and parenting. Core isolation happens in the foundational period: it’s our Little One who holds core isolation imprinting. Conscious parents can get support to look at their own early imprints, dynamics, attachment styles and trauma to heal and transform foundational imprints before, or during, pregnancy. This work prevents us from unconsciously repeating our imprints when we step into parenting and ideally would be done before conception, but can be done at any point in parenting.
99% of babies in the U.S.A. are born in hospitals. Many early imprints come from disruption of the natural rhythms of the mom/baby dyad by medical staff, rules and structures, birth interventions such as drugs, forceps, vacuum extraction and induction, routine separation at birth and premature cutting of the umbilical cord. Early imprints show up somatically and respond well to attuned touch, energy healing and sensitive listening by an experienced practitioner and sensitive, empathic parents. Healing is possible at any stage from preconception onwards.
Our primary instinctual survival-level need is for connection; as babies we are wired to feel life threatened if separated from our primary caregiver. We’re totally dependent on our primary caregivers and are wired to know instinctively that without them we will die. Consequently, routine separation of babies from their mothers at birth in hospitals can feel life threatening for babies and increases their cortisol levels (the stress hormone). Routine removal of baby for washing and other procedures may cause unnecessary stress and disruption. Babies can dissociate (leave their body) to manage the overwhelming experience of separation, often with no explanation to baby. If a baby must be separated it helps if the parents, and close others who are attending, are telling baby what’s happening, what’s going to happen and that they will see their parents again. Babies need to be included, put in the center, and treated as conscious and sentient because they’re having their own experience at all times. The ideal place for baby is skin to skin on mom’s chest which is designed to respond to her baby’s temperature! All hospital procedures could be carried out with baby on mom at all times, or in contact with her at minimum, e.g. during weighing. Routine hospital procedures should never take priority over the needs of the mom/baby dyad.
Interruptions to the natural birthing process can be stressful for the mom/baby dyad. A laboring mom and baby need quiet, intimacy and respectful consistently present attendants with no agenda except to support the dyad in their own timing and experience, and to provide medical care only if absolutely necessary. Mom and baby need to be trusted and respected.
Assisted Reproductive Technology can add to isolation imprinting for our babies (see my article on In-Vitro Fertilization for some great ways to mitigate the affects of stress and trauma during an assisted conception before you begin your I.V.F.). Our awareness of our baby’s consciousness at all times no matter how we bring them into life is crucial for the prevention of core isolation and the nurturing of secure attachment.
Transformation and prevention can happen when parents, caregivers, hospital staff, obstetricians, gynecologists, labor and delivery nurses, grandparents, midwives, doulas, childbirth educators, therapist and healers, etc. – embrace that we are conscious, extremely vulnerable, sentient beings even before conception. We need support, connection and parenting all the way through our creation journey. Babies are having their own experience and need to be included, loved, parented and considered at every point in their journey. New parents can provide this for their incoming children by parenting them from preconception onwards. Ideally, preparation for conscious parenting/conception would begin nine months before conception – sign up on my website for my E-Book The Nine Principles of Conscious Early Parenting or contact me for a copy.
Many mothers are naturally in touch with their baby before conception through dreams, intuition, mediation, felt sense and messages from siblings and other close people. Prenatal attachment (two-way connection and communication between baby and her parents) builds a strong attachment between mom and baby before birthing. This connection makes mom the authority on her baby because she alone can connect with her intimately and know how she is doing inside. A mother has a connection with her baby like no other person and she also has heightened momma intuition once she enters into becoming a mother at preconception or during pregnancy. Two-way prenatal attachment puts a mom/baby dyad in a very empowering position throughout and positively effects birthing outcomes. It develops a mom’s connection to herself and strengthens her trust in her intuition and momma instincts.
Experiencing our own Little One as adults’ gifts us with a felt-sense understanding of early consciousness and how it feels to come into life. Having this somatic and soul knowledge positively affects how we parent our incoming souls. We will place their needs at the center of conception, pregnancy and birthing with a deeper sense of empathy. Connecting with our own Little One gives us an understanding of the need to create an optimal growing environment for our baby, and a way to think about how we can best achieve that. In our current cultural milieu adults, children and babies need help to heal from early separation, disruptions, trauma, stress, and our society’s general unconsciousness in this area of life, so that they can feel whole and have more choice, fulfillment, presence and connection.
Birthing parents can seek empowering support for their births from midwives and doulas working from an attachment-based model. Many medical procedures can be carried out with baby in the arms of a parent, or skin-to-skin. In this way, attachment, safety, gentleness, consciousness and calmness are paramount, instead of procedures, schedules and technology. Learn to listen to your own instincts, body and intuition first.
An absence of mirroring and attunement of our soul’s embodiment journey from Source through preconception, conception, our nine months in the womb and birth affects whether we want to be here or not, have a sense of belonging, feel present and are able to fully embody. For us to have wholeness, balance and presence we need to be heard, held and seen. The impact of disruptions during our creation journey are vastly reduced by the continuity of a loving consistent relationship with authentic parents. Feeling met somatically, and as a soul, are important because we are primarily spiritual in nature – a soul having an embodied experience. At the beginning of our lives in particular we are more energy/soul and somatic in nature. When our soul consciousness, emotions and spiritual life remain unacknowledged during our creation journey this can cause a deep sense of isolation for us, especially if there has been some difficulty or even trauma.
Stress and trauma disconnect us from ourselves and make it harder to land in ourselves and our new life, body and family. We may feel isolated and disoriented and wonder why we are here. Perhaps we feel a deep longing, or a sense of homesickness that is hard to understand until we look at how our journey into this life disconnected us from ourselves and from others who were here waiting and ready to love us. Disconnect and overwhelm make it almost impossible for us to receive the love that is here for us. Unresolved and challenging Source to pre-conception experiences can be exacerbated by later prenatal trauma, family of origin dynamics and our parents’ unresolved traumas.
Transformation and prevention are possible for adults through reconnection with our Little One and his/her soul journey. Reconnecting with our early consciousness can put us back in touch with our connection to Source and our purpose on the planet at this time, with this family. Cultivating our felt-sense and reconnecting with our Soul Body, where all of our memories are stored, helps us to ground, center and embody. Getting support to integrate and resolve our early experiences brings health, balance and wholeness. Everything that happens to us in the preconception phase as an energy being lands in our Soul Body and those memories are accessible though somatic modalities or with trained pre- and perinatal practitioners. It’s essential to connect with ourselves and learn to drop in and listen to our Soul Body because it is our deepest and most important resource in all aspects of life. Many of us have become disconnected from our Soul Body and may need some help from body-oriented practitioners and practices to reconnect and learn to listen.
Our embodiment journey can be thwarted by difficulty, interruptions and unresolved trauma. We need support and a place to be heard where we can unwind towards integration, deeper presence and fuller embodiment. It’s important for parents who want to practice conscious early parenting to know that connection with their baby from preconception onwards prevents isolation during this phase of their journey and nurtures secure attachment. Attachment dynamics are already being laid down during this phase, so consistent connection with parents at that time is positively impactful.
Connecting with the Little One’s inside of our born babies and children, grounded in the knowledge of their consciousness, will break their isolation. We are meeting their need to be heard and to tell their story and feel connected in that early part of themselves to the people who matter most. Disruptions met with love, gentleness and authenticity can be healed. The Collective Babies, and also children, know when someone is open and listening to them at that deeper level, and they will share their experiences, feelings and story. They are telling us about it every day in their own language. When sitting with a newborn, or unborn baby, hold an open and curious space for the epic journey they have taken to get here from Source to this point in their life. Expect to be amazed.
Healing, connection, love and empathy transform isolation into deep connection, both inside (feeling more connected to self/body/emotions/ Source) and outside (feeling connected to others, life). Bringing our understanding that babies are conscious to our parenting makes room for them to show up more. Babies and children settle into themselves when their journey into life is heard and this is combined with somatic support. They become more present, embodied and calm with eyes wide open and ready to connect and receive.
Being in touch with our purpose is important for many people as it can feel very lonely to be here and not know why; it may feel pointless and frustrating, as well as isolating. Reconnecting with our Little One can get us back in touch with our sense of purpose and meaning. Healing from trauma in the Source to preconception period can help us to reconnect to our soul. When we heal early trauma we can have more access to our Soul Body and invite divine love to occupy more space inside of us.
Five-week-old Matt and his parents came in to my office looking very frazzled. This was their first baby and Matt had been screaming and crying inconsolably the whole time he was awake ever since his birth. His parents were at their wits end and extremely sleep deprived. Matt had been conceived through In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF). I held him and tuned in and I was totally open to hearing what he wanted to share with us. Inside myself I was saying, “You can tell me about anything here in this space,” and sometimes I say that aloud to a baby or child.
Matt looked very unhappy and his eyes looked very boggy and watery even though he wasn’t crying. He was looking up and to his right as if he had a connection with something or someone up there that was upsetting him. I have seen this look many times in babies; it’s as if their energy is going out and up towards something “up there” and at the same time they’re working to land in their body. I sensed much grief and longing in Matt and I asked the parents if there had been another one with him in the womb. Their story unfolded as they shared that after the assisted conception there was a brother who was chosen by the doctor to be placed in the womb with Matt. Their doctor told them that Matt’s brother would give Matt a higher chance of surviving. Matt and his brother were placed in the womb together and they both implanted. The parents only wanted one baby but welcomed both boys.
Matt’s brother left and as the story unfolded in the session, we learned that Matt was bereft about losing his sibling. This had been a very challenging process and he had a lot of grief. Often with the loss of a twin it’s hard for the survivor to fully embody and get present because part of their energy is going out towards the one who left. Matt had been alone with his grief and loss since his brother left. No one knew how much it was affecting him back then, and deep isolation was added to an already challenging experience. When all of the dynamics in the conception and Matt’s feelings were acknowledged he, for the first time in the session, turned his head and looked me in the eyes. His eyes no longer looked boggy and he was very present.
Matt’s non-stop inconsolable crying stopped completely for the whole of the following week! We had two more session in which we helped him with other aspects of the In-Vitro Fertilization process that were very hard for him and he has been doing great ever since. Imagine what it had been like for him to hold all that happened on his own for 9-10 months in the womb. It was way too much to bear alone and could have resulted in lifelong core isolation, and other issues, if his parents hadn’t sought help for their family.
The ideal scenario for Matt would have been that his parents were aware from preconception of his consciousness and sentience and that he was having his own experience. They would have prepared and parented him through his I.V.F. conception by providing loving authentic connection and empathic listening. This doesn’t mean that there weren’t going to be some very hard times to navigate, and some big feelings of loss and grief to handle. If Matt was being parented during those experiences he wouldn’t have been isolated and alone with them for the first year of his life. Matt was very lucky that he had parents who knew he needed help and who were able to find the right support.
Any baby who has come to a new family, been in the womb for nine-ten months and navigated the birth canal could use some support to integrate their experiences and tell their story to empathic loving parents. It’s normal for us all to need this after such an epic creation journey, and if there were experiences that happened in isolation this can be broke, heard and healed early.
Our first nine months are the most formative of our whole life! We are laying down our emotional, spiritual, psychological, somatic and attachment imprints and beliefs as we grow our foundation and embody into the physical realm, into this world, and into our new family. This is a phenomenal and multi-layered developmental period for all of us, like no other time in our lives.
Parenting our babies much earlier in their creation journey is important so that they feel love and connection throughout all of their experiences. Our babies need to know how much they are loved and wanted and that they’re not alone. Authentic relationship and consistent connection vastly reduce the effects of early trauma and challenges and prevent core isolation which, if not lovingly broken through empathic connection with another, can abide for a lifetime.
Knowing that we’re conscious and sentient and deeply and profoundly affected for the rest of our lives by how we come in creates opportunities for us to heal ourselves and to nurture our children earlier. Parents can create an optimal environment for their babies when they heal their own early imprints and break core isolation laid down in their foundational period. When we get support for healing ourselves at our core, we’re giving a gift to our children, as well as to ourselves, of more life, presence and connection. Core level healing is where real change can happen. Core isolation requires deeply gentle excavation, negotiation and attunement. Initially, working with a somatic prenatal and birth therapist who is experienced in early imprinting is recommended.
Parenting incoming souls, loving them into life, prevents core isolation. Preventing core isolation through consistent loving and empathic attunement is a profound act. Contacting an isolated Little One shines the light of love into their dark, lonely cave and wakes up the precious soul so that it can shine out into the world and meet its purpose feeling fully present and receptive to life on all levels.
© Karen Melton – All rights reserved
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