About Core Isolation:
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 happened to you, or that did not happen when and how it was needed. We all have a need to belong, even if we are not in touch with that need.
Because many of us were conceived into unconscious, disconnected parents who were stressed, anxious, maybe traumatized, and not ready to be parents, and/or we were not welcomed, wanted or planned, 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.
Unable to Feel Connected:
There may be a strong yearning to connect and we may have loving people around us, but we 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 is 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 is a relational wound and relational wounds require relational healing, often this is more achievable within a safe therapeutic somatic healing relationship.
During the formative stage of our lives our experiences go deep forming the root of us on all levels of being – and this is true for both the good, loving experiences and the more challenging ones. These experiences are not stored in our cognitive mind, but are deep somatic imprints (physical/energetic memories) that feel true and real to us in present time when we are triggered but they are actually memories from our past. They manifest in us on the soul, spiritual, emotional, psychological, physical and relational level and impact us deeply at our core.
The Baby Within:
Every one of us has a baby within who remembers her journey into life, and I refer to her as the Little One. Our Little ones, unborn babies (those still in their mothers’ wombs) and born babies all want to connect 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 healthy blueprint inside, a natural impulse towards health and connection, and integration and presence, right from our earliest beginnings.
Causes of Core Isolation:
If you experienced early isolation because of a challenging womb environment or a traumatic event, you may have had to struggle back then to hold on to your life, or to find a way to adapt to stress and/or trauma. Early challenges for which we did not receive support and connection are isolating because we had to go 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. The widespread unconsciousness in our culture about how very conscious we are as babies is a major contributing factor in 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, are currently experiencing, and about what they need, and it’s our task to learn how to listen to them. We all have a need to tell the story of our coming in to life, and to be heard deeply. This is a natural and necessary human need and it helps us to integrate 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 true beginning of embodied 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 ones within 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 is happening to us as unborn and newborn babies and children that is causing so much enduring isolation? It can be a symptom of something that:
An example of an adult experiencing core isolation in his marriage:
James was having marital difficulties as his wife constantly complained that he was unable to show up, or take responsibility for anything, and that he was very avoidant of any kind of intimacy. James touched into deep feelings of isolation that went right back to the womb when he sensed that his mother was struggling. His response to her lack of resources was to feel that he must take care of her, and please her. This continued throughout his childhood as he held this role with his mother who constantly talked to him about all of her troubles and woes.
This was way too much for a Little one to manage. Both of his parents were very isolated people; there was an ancestral history of isolation and of not asking for support. His job was to please his mother so that he would survive, and his Little One felt that if he didn’t care for her in this way he would not make it. It is very common for us all as prenates to take on a role based on a mistaken belief, and often to feel that we won’t survive if we don’t do this job.
As James connected more with his Little One he realized that his very young self had been trying to do the very adult jobs of keeping his wife happy, and being a parent and a professional. His Little one was working so hard, without the resources to do these big adult jobs, and when we connected with his Little One he felt profoundly isolated, and was whimpering in a corner. James made loving contact with his Little One, who really liked receiving that love and attention, and 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 Little one, an internal relationship that would continue to free James’s Little one from many years of being alone, and that would eventually shift the burden of these adult jobs to where they should be, with the grown up James. As soon as we make contact with an isolated part of ourselves we are breaking the isolation, and in this case, core isolation that was laid down in the foundational period. End of example.
The roots of core isolation lie deep and can remain untouched even by intimate others. We are 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, our own and others. This unconsciousness about what babies need and when we need to begin parenting our children is a major cause of core isolation.
The Collective Babies all want to come into whole health and balance, feel safe and be present to receive the love that is here for them. We all have a blueprint inside that naturally moves us towards health and wellbeing. Experiences that we have to cope with alone during our formative period create isolation on the soul through somatic levels, which manifests in all aspects of our huwomanity.
Three Causes of Core Isolation: Prevention and Transformation Through Attuned Connection:
A traumatic or stressful pre-conception, or prenatal event and/or prenatal environment or a difficult birth can leave us feeling isolated at our core if unresolved or unacknowledged. This can affect attachment outcomes, leaving us feeling unable to receive or connect deeply.
Transformation of core/early trauma is possible for all ages through attuned somatic and relational support, usually therapeutic, that integrates early trauma and shock and that listens to the Little one within helping her/him to integrate what happened, or didn’t happen, when needed. For this early work it is best to find a somatic prenatal and birth therapist.
Prevention: Attuning to our unborn babies, honing our intuition, listening to our dreams during pregnancy as parents, and being open to connection with your unborn baby invites her/him to feel connected. Loving, welcoming and consistently connecting with pre-conceptive and unborn babies is crucial to preventing core isolation. Helping them when something in their world, or in the family field, may be affecting them is also important; 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. Children are able to process their experiences, and their feelings, and tell us their womb/birth stories through womb and birth play, with hands-on support (attuned touch, cranial sacral, tracking the energy body, tides and cycles, etc.). Play and exchange of energy is their natural language. We need to learn to listen underneath our 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 balance, is imperative for health and satisfying connection with others throughout life.
Adults can get support to connect with and listen to their Little one within so that they can deeply understand what is truly driving their lives, reconnect with their purpose for being here, and have more choice about how they want to live, and parent. It is our Little One who holds the foundational levels of core isolation imprinting. Conscious parents can look at their own early story, dynamics, attachment styles and trauma, and get some support to heal and transform those imprints before, or during, pregnancy so that they don’t unconsciously repeat their own imprints when they step into parenting.
99% of babies in the U.S.A. are born in hospitals. Early imprints from interruptions to the natural rhythms of the mom/baby dyad (medical staff, rules and structures), birth interventions such as drugs and induction, routine separation at birth, and all other early imprints show up somatically and respond well to attuned touch 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. This is because we are totally dependant 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, if it becomes unbearable for baby, s/he can dissociate (leave the body) to manage the overwhelming experience. If a baby really must be separated for life and death reasons it really helps if the parents, and close others who are attending, are telling mom and baby what is happening, and what is going to happen and why. Babies need to be included, put in the center, and treated as conscious and sentient. They are having their own experience at all times. Hospitals need to do everything they can to keep baby on mom’s body after birth, skin to skin, because that is simply the best place for them. A woman’s chest/breast area 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 all the way from procedures during pregnancy, inductions, drugs, forceps, vacuum extraction, medical staff imposing their emotions and needs, doctors schedules, beliefs and timing. 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 a medical conception before you begin your I.V.F.).page link here. 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.
Many parents have been raised to believe that their newborn needs to be in a separate bedroom. This is totally counter-intuitive and the opposite of what babies want and need. It can impede secure attachment and cause unnecessary stress, fear and disconnection leading to isolation imprinting that the baby is forced to defend against, e.g., dissociating, being a ‘good’ baby to survive, and other responses too many to mention here.
Transformation and prevention can happen when we all – 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, or at least from conception onwards. We need support, connection and parenting all the way through our 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, felt sense, messages coming from siblings and other close people, etc. 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.
When we experience our own Little One (our inner baby self) we are gifted with a felt-sense level of understanding about how conscious we were when we came here to this life. Having this somatic and spiritual knowledge means that we will automatically place our babies and their needs at the center of conception, pregnancy and birthing with a deeper sense of empathy for their whole journey. Meeting our own little one also 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, interruptions, trauma, stress, and our society’s general unconsciousness in this area of life, so that they can live a fulfilling life and have more choice, fulfillment, presence and connection and vastly reduce their isolation.
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 onwards can affect how we feel at the existence level – e.g., wanting to be here or not, feeling good about being here, having a sense of belonging, feeling present here, having a sense of choosing to be here, at peace with Source about our coming in. Being heard, held, and seen, not just emotionally and literally, but feeling met in our somatic and spiritual selves is important because we are primarily spiritual/somatic in nature, especially at the beginning of our lives. When our soul consciousness, emotions and spiritual life remain unacknowledged this can cause a deep sense of isolation for us, especially if there has been some difficulty, or even trauma, in the Source to preconception period. Stress and trauma can disconnect us from our sense of purpose and from Source, making it harder for us to land in this life, body and family. We may feel isolated and disoriented and wonder why we are here. We may feel a deep longing, or a sense of homesickness that is hard to understand, or touch in to, until we look at how our journey into this life disconnected us from ourselves, from Source, from our body and from others who were here waiting to love us. For much of my life I felt as if I had gotten off at the wrong stop, and sometimes I felt like an alien because I was so out of alignment with my presence here. This was due to my Source to pre-conception experiences that were further exacerbated by my prenatal trauma, family of origin dynamics and my parents’ unresolved traumas.
Transformation and prevention are possible through reconnecting to our Little One within and his/her soul journey. Reconnecting with our early consciousness can put us back in touch with our connection to Source and why we are here on the planet at this time, with this family. Getting a felt-sense in our body helps us to ground into the pre-body part of our existence because our pre-body experiences are all recorded in our body-system. Everything that happens to us as an energy being later lands in our body once we move into the embodiment part of our journey into life. All of our experiences are accessible and available to us through our body-system so it is essential to connect with ourselves and learn to drop in and listen. Many of us have become disconnected from our body-system and may need some help from body-oriented practitioners to reconnect and listen.
Our journey into embodiment/incarnation 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.
Connecting with the little one’s inside of our born babies and children, grounded in the knowing 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. The Collective Babies and children know when someone is open and listening to them at that deeper early level, and they will share their experiences, feelings and story. They are telling us about it every dayin their own language. When I sit with a newborn, or unborn baby, I am absolutely holding a space for the epic journey they have just taken to get here from Source to this point in their life. I know how hard it can be just to find oneself in a physical body – without anything else happening! You too can hold this space in the presence of The Collective Babies.
Healing early spiritual and emotional wounds can transform isolation into deep connection, both inside (feeling more connected to self/body/emotions/ Source) and outside (feeling connected to others, life). I have seen many babies and children settle into themselves when their early journey into life is heard with empathy and understanding, combined with somatic support. They become more present, embodied and calm with eyes wide open and ready to connect and receive.
A sense of 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. 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 level of being. When we can heal the somatic locations where we have held these traumas we can access our energy and physical bodies more fully, and allow divine love to occupy more space inside of us.
An example of breaking isolation with a newborn baby:
Five-week-old Matt and his parents came in to my office looking very frazzled. This was their first baby, and he had been crying inconsolably the whole time he was awake, ever since his birth. Matt had been conceived through In-vitro fertilization (IVF). His parents were at their wits end, and extremely sleep deprived. I held Matt in my hands, tuned in to him and his body, and as I looked at him I was totally open to hearing what he wanted to share with us. Inside myself I am saying, “You can tell me about anything here in this space,” and sometimes I say that aloud, too.
Matt was crying and looked very unhappy, and his eyes looked very boggy and watery even when he wasn’t crying. He was looking up 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 after something “up there” and at the same time they are trying to land in their body. I asked the parents to tell me if there was 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. The doctor told the parents that Matt’s brother would give Matt more of a chance of surviving. Matt and his brother were placed in the womb together and they both implanted. The parents only wanted one baby but were prepared to welcome two if necessary.
Matt’s brother left, and Matt was bereft from this loss. This had been a very challenging process for him and he had a lot of grief about losing his brother. Often with the loss of a twin it’s hard for the survivor to really embody and get present because part of their energy is pulled out towards the one who left. Matt had been alone with his grief and loss since his conception, adding deep isolation to his experience. When all of these dynamics and feelings were acknowledged Matt stopped crying immediately and then turned his head and looked me in the eyes for the first time. His eyes no longer looked boggy.
The 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. Just imagine what it would have been like for him to hold all of that 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.
The ideal scenario for Matt would have been that his parents had been aware from preconception of his consciousness and that he was being affected by everything and they would have prepared and parented him through his I.V.F. conception. This doesn’t mean that he would not have gone through some very hard times, and feelings of loss and grief, but it does mean that he would not have been alone with an intense and huge experience for the first almost year of his life in the womb. Matt was very lucky that he had parents who knew he needed help and who were able to find the right support. Matt’s trauma was quite extreme; any baby who has 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. I believe that this is a normal need we all have.
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. Let’s not leave our babies to manage alone for the first nine months in utero, and let’s learn how to continue to listen to them once they are birthed into the outside world. Let’s welcome them even before conception and let them know how much they are loved and wanted.
That we are deeply and profoundly affected for the rest of our lives by how we come into this life is deep information that can help us to heal ourselves at the core level, and to understand our children and ourselves more deeply. Core level healing is where the real change can happen; existing in core isolation is living in survival mode when you really could to be thriving.
Breaking isolation by lovingly and empathically attuning to a little one – be it your newborn, or the baby that lives inside of you, or inside of your children, is a profound act because it prevents/breaks the deepest core isolation, shines the light of love into the dark, lonely cave, and wakes up the precious soul so that it can shine out into the world and do what it came here to do feeling fully present and receptive to life on all levels.
Core isolation requires deeply gentle excavation, negotiation and attunement. Initially, working with an experienced somatic prenatal and birth therapist is recommended, one who is skilled at reaching the deeper somatic core places.
Thank you for reading. I offer free telephone consults for people who want to talk to me about this work for themselves, their children and babies, and for therapists/healers who want to refer to me, or receive supervision for the foundational developmental period.
See my website for Womb & Birth Workshops and Trainings in this field of work. I thank my teachers in this field: Ray Castellino, William Emerson, Barbara Findeisen, Wendy Anne McCarty, all of my clients and fellow students and colleagues on the path.
Cutting edge insights into:
Early Consciousness, Embodiment, Health, Resilience and Thrive-ability, Early Parenting, and Attachment.
To receive your FREE E-BOOK and my MONTHLY NEWSLETTER with new articles informing you of new articles, videos, webinars, classes and talks.
Your information is private and will never be shared with anyone.