Friday, October 21, 2011


Good Morning Birth Peeps,
This morning I received a thoughtful email from Katherine who was wondering about how "Refusal of the Call" played into Answering our Calls during the childbearing year. The "Refusal of the Call" is an important and necessary part of the hero's journey, it is an inevitable part.

As I have explained, the Call to Love, to Remember Who we are and live our authentic life, is coming all the time. It is not One Call, but a steady stream of Invitations. Most of the time--using the analogy of our phone technology--we have our inner Ear turned off, turned outward to the world, or put on our "Call Waiting." Why is this? Think about it in relation to your own life. What would change, what would it mean about you IF you actually answered the Call from Love to Love in your ordinary life? The Ego and the Judge Voice within begin to chatter and keep you in your former place -- of safety, following some Rule... protecting your boundaries...

At some point, a Call gets through and when it does it excites our passion, it wakes us up. We have a new vision. At first all we can see is what we will "get."

But then when the striving to achieve the goal begins, we realize the price, the work, both inner and in the physical world it may and will take to even strive for the goal.... and it might all be in vain. We might not be able to achieve it anyway...

And then the Voices of Doubt, which is the inner Voice of the Judge whose job it is to keep us in our old place, not take too many risks, stay in line, and avoid failing (again)--begins talking us (the inner Child) down off the high mesa where we actually saw a new possibility. 

And this is the necessary part of the Call, the Refusal of the Call.

I have to return to the archetypal world of characters to explain this, it is how I understand it. It is the inner-Child who first hears the Call, who sees the new vision or remembers her purpose. It is the inner-Child, not the Adult archetype, that actually begins the hero's journey. It is through completing the arduous tasks of the journey that she becomes "more adult." With this in mind, it makes sense that the Child, at first excited when quickened by the Call--suddenly realizes, "Wait a minute! If I answer this Call, I will have to 'leave home,' What if I don't know enough? I am not ready. I need to study more first, get bigger, get a map..." Whatever it is... if the Child begins the journey without it, she may indeed be overcome, unprepared and fail in some way that she senses would be harmful.

So the Child hesitates; she Refuses the Call, at least for now. There is also a bit of the Love Warrior here ... foreseeing or overseeing Tasks of Preparation so this Child-Warrior will have a chance at succeeding.

I don't like to romanticize or over-simplify the real inner-work of the hero's journey. This Refusal is not a cop-out, it is not a failure in itself. This Refusal can be a process that takes a few days or weeks of "reconsidering" while weighing the risks and benefits and making a plan. Sometimes it looks like the would-be hero has fizzled altogether; before the hero can undertake her Vision or what she was born to do, she may need a decade of undoing old agreements or learning new tasks.

But now we return to our topic, Birth as a Hero's Journey. If our imaginary would-be hero is a pregnant woman, she doesn't have a decade to sort it out. She has a Vision, she hears a Call.... and there are mere months to Answer, to Prepare, to make the Descent Into Laborland.... 

This is our Question, Birth Peeps. This is Our Call.
How do we Mentor the initiates who hear a Call, how do we assist them through their Tasks of the Refusal so they don't miss this golden opportunity. Birth is a profound rite of passage, it only comes once or a few times in a life time. We also need to really look into WHY it is a profound rite of passage, and not let ourselves be lulled asleep with the comforting and familiar cliche phrase.

I am enjoying the emails I am receiving from those of you who are writing and living your Heart's Question. Those of you who have taken up the practice of the Heart's Question, or your Deepest Question, will Refuse your Call at least once if not a dozen times today. Good... use your Refusal to examine the Refusal. When you understand your own process of Refusal deeply, you will have the Wisdom and compassion to help the initiates who come your way to understand their own.

In-Love with my own Refusals,
I am,


  1. Dear Pam,
    Your response shed light on why I needed to ask this question in the first place, thank you for that. Out of fear, my Judge has been making one last attempt (wouldn't it be nice if it truly was the last attempt?!?) to keep me from answering the Call as I exit the labyrinth, and your response helped me see that with even more clarity than what I had already been noticing in the past few weeks.

    In gratitude for the profound impact your teachings have had on my life- the last few years and the future, In love, Katherine

  2. Yes! Thank you for this. The refusal happens all the time for non-stop!

    I am thinking of an analogy of txt messages, emails, the ringing of the phone, the knock at the door...would rather just hide out at not answer! and at work, and having to muster up some sort of semblance of a being a living, breathing real-life mentor/somewhat-enlightened, hell: even a just a decent human being - and oh, how I often don't want to do that. And also? oh how I often seem to fail pitifully!