‘While attending a training by Thomas Harms on how to cope with babies with colic (meaning babies who fuss and cry much more than is usual), I put myself forward for a demonstration. Thomas demonstrates how he works with the mother and asks me to tell him about my situation. A baby doll on my lap is an excellent tool for helping me imagine myself as the mother of an inconsolably crying baby. He asks me to focus on the movement of my breath in my lower abdomen. Then he asks if there is anywhere on my body where I would welcome the feel of a hand. I don’t have to think twice: between my shoulder blades. He puts his hand on the spot I requested and asks, ‘Is this the right place? Is the pressure as you’d like it? ‘ At his direction, I keep adjusting until it’s just right, and then he places his other hand on my upper arm. At that moment, everything inside starts to vibrate, and I am struck by a deeply soothing sensation of being supported. It feels so good that everything else: the worries about my child and the story about the crying, fades in importance. It is now much easier for me to be inside myself, and to be with my baby. Slowly, my weight starts sinking into my pelvis.’
This chapter talks about the energy of the first chakra, your Root Chakra. It symbolises grounding, otherwise known as rooting- hence the name.
The Root Chakra
This chakra is the energy centre just in front of your tailbone. A chakra is not an actual point, but more like a light or a source of warmth: it radiates to everything around it. The colour associated with this chakra is red, and its primary theme is security. This is your baby’s first need, and also the theme that helps your baby to attach in a healthy way.
Additionally, the Root Chakra deals with all things material: your house, your job, your finances, your relationship. If any of those undergo changes that result in uncertainty, the intensity of the energy in your Root Chakra will diminish. Examples are loss of employment, not being able to pay the rent, or that time during a move when your current residence is being cleared out, while your new residence is not yet furnished. These are all times when your Root Chakra will demand attention.
Having a child can also cause quite a bit of uncertainty. For instance, are you and your partner equally happy with this change in your life? Do you worry about the financial consequences, or to what the changes in your life could lead?
When you resonate strongly in this chakra, you will feel grounded, as if you are anchored to the earth. You can enhance this sense of being anchored by imagining that you have roots, growing deep into the earth. A great way to experience this is through the following exercise.
You will need two people for this exercise. One person sits on the floor, with the other person behind them. The person sitting on the ground imagines themselves to be a tree.
Pour all your attention into the beautiful, sturdy trunk, and the branches, and the foliage reaching into the sky. Imagine a healthy tree, branching and fanning out, brimming with leaves. How far does the tree go up into the sky?
Next, the person standing puts their hands under the armpits of the person sitting down, and lifts them off the ground. Notice how easily you can lift your pelvis off the floor. Is it lighter or heavier than you expected?
Then, the seated person directs their attention to the trunk again, and follows the focus down with the roots, and deep into the earth. Here too, the tree branches out. Imagine this: how deep do the roots go down?
The person standing grabs the seated person under the armpits again and lifts them up. Notice what happens this time. Is the lifting lighter or heavier than you expected? What do you notice about the difference between those two experiences? Then switch roles, so that you each have the opportunity to experience both roles. And then discuss your experiences during this exercise.
Being grounded is one of the elements that will help form the bond between you and your child. Another important element is love, which will be discussed in the next chapter. The name for healthy, proper attachment is secure attachment. This highlights the importance of your baby’s sense of security for a healthy attachment. Your child feels so safe and secure around you that they can play independently for a long period of time. Once your child starts moving about, they will move away from you, and only check occasionally to see if you are still around. This period of time will steadily increase, as will the distance. A securely attached child comes back to you to refuel from time to time. A securely attached child falls asleep easily.
Other forms of attachment The term insecure attachment refers to a child who has not formed a healthy attachment. Children who have avoidant attachment actually act very independently. They seek little contact with their parent and move away from them sooner and further. Children with anxious attachment, on the other hand, are highly dependent. They constantly seek contact with the parent, who responds unpredictably.
I myself had an avoidant attachment, something I only became aware of recently. This type of attachment will make the child suspicious of the rest of the world. I was actually quite distant, without realising that it didn’t have to be this way. I was unable to build deep, intense, and intimate relationships with friends and partners. My mother had been unable to give me this sense of basic security, possibly because she had not experienced it either. But I think that the implication is that I have been unable to pass it on to my daughter, which means that she, in turn, also has insecure attachment. And so on from generation to generation, unless you develop an awareness of it. It is like waking up to something that is part of your nature, but which you have forgotten, or did not get a chance to develop. What do you know about your attachment? Which is your attachment?
What I mentioned at the start of this chapter is something that happens when there is a secure attachment between mother and child. I sensed this immediately. This is what it should have felt like when I was a baby, lying in my mother’s arms.
It feels so intense and wonderful that I want to stay this way, next to Thomas Harms, forever. I jokingly ask Thomas if I can take him home with me. Thomas says: “You can do that by recalling my hand in your imagination and feeling it on your back. Connect with that feeling again, recall the sensation from your memory of this moment.” This feeling is not entirely new to me. I have felt it before, 12 years ago, and back then it felt just as intense. At that stage, I was aware that this was something very important for me, so I started looking for ways to experience that feeling again, to make it my own and take it with me in my life as a baseline. It is wonderful to find that it is just right there waiting for you, if only you open up to connecting with it from a place of groundedness.