Jeannine Parvati Baker
At birth, we do not distract ourselves with a machine that goes ‘ping,’ or with a gloved hand to examine our progress. Instead we ask our babies, how do you want to be born? Then listen and arrange ourselves to meet their needs and expectations. After birth comes the same question again. “How do you want to be in these arms?” How do I nurse you? I ask my baby. I’m here to serve my baby. This is the only post-partum they will ever have. They are the priority. There are many wisdom traditions that understand the importance of privacy, of having the baby, the mother and the father being, as a holy trinity. And to celebrate together by focusing on the needs of this baby as they continually honor each other for making this ordinary miracle possible.
M: What is the greatest challenge for women today?
J: The greatest challenge for women today is to be who we really are. Women have a lot of expectations given to them by our family of origin and by our culture. And yet we are continually evolving to be all of the wisdom of the past, and move beyond to who we can be. This new potential is something we’re inventing now.
M: I think the role of women is changing dramatically. And yet, it is not.
J: His-storically it is changing dramatically. Her-storically it is the same. We all come from the same place. And yet, in this culture, we confuse ourselves.
The Earth needs women. We need to come out of our hi-tech offices or own little kitchens and share some of the feminine qualities we embody so all can regain balance. In this millennium we’re able to extend beyond this safe circumference or sometimes unsafe boundary of our own self, and connect with others. It’s through our children that we carry forth this wisdom.
Many of us have been confused, thinking we had to cultivate an external career. When I got real quiet and listened inside, the Earth told me what it wants. My career is to focus on my babies, my children, and make that the priority. Having done that I now have some credibility when I share with others how ecstatic it is to surrender to being a full woman. Which in my experience means expressing all aspects of my fertility.
M: I’ve never heard anyone speak about fertility the way you do. The subject doesn’t seem to exist in our culture. Why?
J: It’s not only the vested interest of corporate America, that multi billion dollar industry controlling women’s fertility or the abortion industry. It’s not only out there, it’s something inside of us that is blocked. I experience some fear when I approach that awesome responsibility of knowing that my loving one man might result in a new life that will transform me, that will turn me inside out. That will show me literally the stuff I am made, beyond how huge my own ego is. And show me how powerful my desires are. That is scary. But there is a primal power that comes to women when we consciously conceive babies. We are unprepared for that. My calling is to work with young women so that they understand that this is such a celebration, to become fertile and to know ourselves.
This is the world’s best kept secret, the ecstatic journey to self knowing. I am so grateful that I am a woman and I can co-create life, carry those fruits of my loving beneath my heart for nine months. It’s allowed me to look at somebody who has real needs and serve them.
M: Can young women hear what you are saying?
J: Yes, they can. I love to go to conferences where we invite the young women with their mothers to attend. We have so much fun and as we’re exploring our stories around fertility, the circle is like a living oracle. These young women have so much wisdom inside. To have the question placed to them: do you want to have babies? When do you imagine you’ll have babies? What is your future family going to look like? Many have never been asked these questions. Instead, fertility is looked at as some offensive habit to breed that must be controlled. Parents are more concerned with preventing a pregnancy than allowing their daughters to experience the fullest ecstasy that’s possible when we first get to know ourselves as women.
Fertility is creative energy. Sometimes we’re fertile, sometimes we’re not. Sometimes we are creative and sometimes we’re not. Sometimes we choose it to be in the form of a baby to show the world what our love looks like and other times it may come out in acts of kindness, service. It may be a creative project of love in the form of art. There are multiple ways that women can express their creative fertility. I approach young women with an invitation. Let’s turn the angle of the mind to see that fertility is actually the way back home, to our authentic nature.