Born to Shine
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
Born to ShineHold on to your essential spirit.
As long as I live, I will never forget the moment my son was born. My wife, Monica, and I chose to have a home birth supported by midwives and nurses so that we could welcome our child in our own loving, familiar space. More significantly, it was my honor to be my wife’s primary doula (birth coach) and support. We almost never lost physical contact once the contractions began in our living room that afternoon. There in the loving energy and setting of our bedroom, my wife courageously and gracefully delivered our baby boy into the world later that night. It was mind-blowing, terrifying, horrific, amazing, awesome, beautiful, and astonishing. It was the most magnificent experience of my life.
Just moments later—not even a minute after Narayan came into the world—he was in our arms. Lying on Monica’s chest with my hand on his tiny back, he turned his head toward me as if he recognized my voice and opened his eyes for the first time. I can’t know what it was that he intended or understood in that moment, but I do know what I felt. It was bigger than words can express, a love and connection so overwhelming and pure that it defies all speech, science, and religion. Nothing existed but that moment, and in that moment lived all moments.
The story of Narayan’s birth spread quickly to our immediate families in New Mexico and Canada, and then on to our extended families in South Dakota, Africa, New Zealand, and beyond. The focus of the great news was a photo. It seemed that from the very first day he had begun to smile, but on the morning of Narayan’s fourth day, his smile was clear and so obvious it was unmistakable. His expression was so content, so joyful, that we knew it was more than “gas” or an accident. Even though many people have said that babies don’t smile until they’re older, Narayan kept on smiling, and we captured it in a picture for all the world to see. The response was amazing.
People circulated the photo via e-mail, and many displayed it in their offices or put it on their cell phones. Even my friend and colleague Dr. Christiane Northrup began showing people the image in some of her presentations! One friend told me that whenever she felt sad or stressed-out, she’d just look at Narayan’s smiling face and her mood would improve. Individuals I’d never met were actually using the photo to motivate themselves and feel uplifted.
Why all this fuss about a picture? And what does all this have to do with you?
The photo revealed two simple things: First, that a person’s personality (such as Narayan’s, which is still sunny and full of smiles) is clear from the very beginning. Second, it showed that the natural essence a person is born with is so pure, so beautiful, and so true that when we simply witness that essence of another, it connects us more deeply to ourselves, as well as to something greater. Some call it God, and others refer to it as the mystery of life. Most of us can agree to call it our Original Source. When we touch that pure source, all of our everyday troubles melt away. We are healed by authenticity—what is real and genuine—and that’s why the photo of a smiling four-day-old baby could inspire and heal so many. The beauty of your essence never changes. Those who live and express their essence are beautiful, no matter what they look like.
It’s hard to imagine, but if you have any recollection of being a young child or if you’ve raised a child, you know that we all come into this world with everything we need to be happy and free. No one has to teach children how to play or be curious or full of energy. They show up like that. The essence of self is in place from day one and contains all the energy, wisdom, talent, and drive a person needs to live fully and well. Much the same can be said of caring for animals and plants. The challenge in raising children lies not in what you give them, but in being careful about what you take away.
During a recent workshop I led, I asked the group, “Do any of you remember what you used to love to do as a child, and has it remained a passion to this day?” Most people could think of something they loved to do when they were young, such as paint, ride horses, play basketball, knit, look for stones in nature, write, and so on. I try to emphasize that those natural tendencies are examples of their Essential Self. When people talk about these essential elements, they light up with the joy of the memory and energy of enthusiasm. If we can spend more time doing the things we love, we can find our way back to the center of self again.
Everything from the music that soothes you to the type of ice cream you like and the spiritual practices that work for you is imprinted in your essence. Don’t be fooled by family or community. Often than not, when you feel like you don’t fit in, the answer isn’t to try harder, but to find your own way with balance and respect for the people, places, and things you love.
When you express your truth through your choices, health and happiness will follow. Quite literally, a life disconnected from the Essential Self is one doomed to stress, unhappiness, and poor health. The energy of the self is a very real life force that infuses the entire human system, uniting body, mind, and emotion. When the essence of self is not honored, the energy for living is diminished. This is when the roots of Inspiration Deficit Disorder begin to take hold. The lesson of the child and the Essential Self is that your greatest joy and vitality lie in honoring what makes you unique. Your tendencies, preferences, and passions are your links to your best experience of life. They are your way back to Original Source.