Waking up, I see my newborn daughter Lila’s beautiful face…
Total honesty and softness…
Eyes wide with awe and curiosity, she gazes around the room.
She catches my eye, sees my smile, and smiles back at me.
My heart melts…
I love her so much.
Parenthood as Ongoing Medicine Journey
Parenthood is one of life’s built-in initiatory ceremonies.
I’m about 12 weeks in…
And so far, I’m experiencing fatherhood as profoundly heart-opening, grounding, clarifying, and activating.
Unlike other ceremonies, retreats, rituals, and initiations I’ve undertaken, the beauty of fatherhood is that it doesn’t end after a week or two.
You don’t finish your final cup of ayahuasca and then emerge starry-eyed back into status-quo society, attempting not to let the environmental gravity suck you straight back into old patterns.
Nope, when you have a child, the medicine is present every day.
A transcendent presence of Divine purity and innocence—an angel—appears out of nowhere before your very eyes…
And becomes your new best friend.
And this process is extraordinarily clarifying.
This angel is helpless. She needs you.
And at least for me, the crystal-clear feeling that arises every day when I see angelic Lila is:
“Of course I’m going to be there for you. Of course I’m going to take care of you. Of course I’m going to show up and uncompromisingly create a beautiful life for you. Nothing can stop me. I’d move mountains for you.”
It’s a daily activation, inspiration, and motivation of the highest order.
It’s an omnipresent medicine that keeps on giving.
It opens your heart in ways you didn’t anticipate…
And grounds you on Earth on a whole new level.
Service to the Whole
It connects you more deeply to our planetary reality and to the hearts of all fellow men, women, children, and animals here.
You realize and recognize more profoundly how birth unites us all…
How we all emerge from the Great Mystery, helpless and naked, into this wondrous and chaotic world…
Having a child gives rise to greater compassion for all, and a new level of readiness to serve the whole.
It sinks into your bones more deeply that, serving the whole is the only way to pass down a beautiful world to our kids and grandkids.
You’d heard this many times of course, but it becomes a visceral knowing, rather than a cliche, once you actually have ‘skin in the game.’
A Deep Reset After a ‘17 Again’ Summer
In my case, fatherhood was an instant reset.
Launching Ouroboros in 2020 had been a step into a new level of service and leadership for me; it had been a potent initiation and activation on many levels; and I had pushed myself to show up for clients as never before…
Then in the spring of 2021, the pendulum of my being seemingly began to swing ‘backwards.’
I hit a patch of burnout, felt tired of playing the teacher/mentor role, and felt irresistibly compelled to take a step back from my projects. I reduced my number of meetings/obligations to a minimum-viable level, and gave myself permission to be ‘just a dude’ for a while.
I ended up plunging deep down the rabbit hole of online poker, a game I’ve loved since I was 15…
My summer in Berlin consisted of ~4-10 daily hours of poker, plenty of chillaxation with my partner Tanja, plus a fair amount of frisbee-tossin’, cannabis-tokin’, beer-guzzlin’, and Berlin-cuisine-samplin’.
In hindsight, it seems like some residual boyish parts within my system were keen to have one ‘last hurrah.’ One 17-again-type summer prior to becoming a father, knowing on some level that I was about to cross a ‘point of no return’-type threshold of initiation.
Another way to see it is: A great paradigm shift was impending, and old mechanisms of avoidance and resistance popped up to push me to hide from the new level of responsibility for as long as possible.
Another way to see it is: That summer was nothing other than God exploring God, Perfection exploring Perfection, Mystery exploring its infinite possibilities. Just like everything else under and over the sun.
Anyway, it was a fun and relaxing summer, and I don’t regret it at all. I trust that on some level it was essential, like everything else. “We never know what things are good for.”
But, similar to other stages of my life where I’ve delved into various degrees of hedonistic bingeing, I knew on some level that it wasn’t for me—not long-term at least.
This summer of hedonism lasted right up until Lila was born.
When she arrived, everything shifted.
First and foremost, spending time with her became a new favorite, sacred pastime.
And immediately, I felt irresistibly compelled to ‘clean myself out.’
I stopped playing poker and only played a couple hours at spontaneous moments in the ~12 weeks since she was born.
I also immediately took ~3 weeks off from drinking and smoking, and have imbibed at minimal levels since then.
I started eating healthier, working out more, spending more time (barefoot) in nature, re-engaging (tactfully) with global affairs, and reading/listening to useful, illuminating, and nourishing books/podcasts/talks.
I also (re-)joined three different transformational programs (with Jiro Taylor, Bentinho Massaro, & Dane Tomas), understanding the power of connecting to a container/energy-field/community rooted in a deep intention to spiral upwards together. In joining these, I also set deep personal intentions and commitments, understanding that the power of any transformational experience is massively correlated with the depth of intention/commitment we bring to it.
I started hopping on a lot more calls, reconnecting with friends, checking in with clients, brain-jamming with collaborators.
I consciously self-facilitated a couple cannabis and (micro-dosed) psilocybin ceremonies for myself, which proved greatly clarifying, activating, inspiring, and nature-reconnecting.
In cleaning myself out, ideas and inspirations started dropping in. The Sovereign Man was one of those ideas. I’m pleased to share that The Sovereign Man starship launched on 11/11 as planned and is soaring along excellently so far. I’m honored to be journeying with 27 beautiful brothers; the container is potently ‘charged up’ and is catalyzing further level-ups for me. I shared more on this here if you’re curious.
Many other ideas, insights, visions, and puzzle pieces have been dropping in as well—gradually crystallizing, clarifying, coalescing, piecing themselves together to reveal the exciting next stages of my path.
It’s remarkable how things align and clarify automatically when we clean our lives out: When we prioritize vital, vibrant health; when we cut away distractions and addictions; when we cut out toxic relationships; when we clear out old material/energetic/digital ‘junk’ that we no longer use; when we create space for stillness and plentiful time in nature; when we seal up ‘energetic leaks’ of all kinds.
All of this literally clears accumulated heaps of ‘gunk’ out of our energy field, opening up space for new people, ideas, possibilities, inspirations, and opportunities to flow in.
In this same vein, I did a ~36-hour digital fast/cleanse a couple days ago, not using my devices or viewing any screens during that time except for one video-based workshop I wanted to be part of. I’ve done fasts/cleanses like this before, but for whatever reason this one was really a revelation. It helped me see just how much of an energy-suck the digital / online worlds can be for me if I’m not hyper-conscious of how I interact with them.
It also reminded me that breaking my digital routine to spend extended periods of time presencing in the ‘meatspace’ is exactly what I need to do to create the spaciousness that allows next-level, non-linear, quantum-leap-type insights and revelations to drop into my consciousness. As a result, Tanja and I have agreed we’ll be designating Saturdays as ‘no devices day’ indefinitely moving forward. I’m genuinely super excited about the spaciousness and new level of awareness around device-usage that this will inevitably generate.
Anywho, so that’s the story of the deep reset that has occurred for me since Lila was born. I can honestly say that I feel amazing right now—aligned, living my truth, and thriving.
Naturally, one need not wait until one has a child to initiate a deep reset; I’ve initiated many in my lifetime. If you know it’s time for a deep reset, go on a retreat, or do some fasting, or get rid of all your unused possessions, or eat genuinely nourishing food for a while, or do a digital fast/cleanse, or spend a ton of time in nature for a week, or do all these.
A Natural Transition
The transition to parenthood has felt natural and beautiful for both Tanja and I.
We had heard all sorts of horror stories about the challenges of parenthood in the early years—nightmarish accounts of zombified parents dealing with endless sleepless nights, and so forth. Such stories and a general ‘aversion to parenthood’ seem quite pervasive in our culture…
As such, it feels important to share that that has not been our experience at all.
I’ve only had maybe ~2 or 3 days where I felt fairly tired since Lila was born. Otherwise, I’ve slept well, and for the most part Tanja has too. Lila wakes us in the night sometimes, sure, but I usually fall instantly back to sleep, and Tanja breastfeeds Li then falls asleep. It hasn’t felt like a burden or big deal to either of us.
During the day, Lila is a calm, happy, excited baby. She smiles a lot and has even started dancing in a primordial way, usually when I’m playing rap music and/or rapping/freestyling to her and/or dancing for her (beloved pastimes for both of us).
She typically only cries to let us know that she is hungry or that she wants to be held. 99% of the time she stops crying as soon as she is given food or picked up and carried a bit. In the very early days she’d cry loudly while having her diaper changed, but she quickly got used to it and started to enjoy the process.
The minor annoyance of her occasional crying is utterly and completely and exponentially outweighed by the Tremendous Joy of being in her presence. I’ve known no happiness so great and effortless as gazing into her eyes as she smiles at me. She truly feels to be like a diamond-buddha, an incarnation of pure innocence and radiance. I feel all babies are this, if we see them clearly.
I strongly intuit that Lila’s calmness is directly correlated with the calmness of Tanja and I’s ‘nervous’ systems / energy fields. I suspect that creating a sacred energy field of calmness, lightness, joy, and unconditional love, beginning in the early days of pregnancy, can greatly assist the child to arrive in this world feeling relaxed and happy. I intuit that our sacred homebirth also contributed to this; we created a beautiful energy field of coziness and warmth for her birth, which would not have been possible in the white-washed, sterilized, alien-seeming environment of most modern hospitals, wherein traumatic protocols such as circumcision, over-medication, and putting newborn babies in other rooms away from their mothers, are commonplace. I also intuit that sleeping in the same bed with Lila—in the same way our ancestors did for the vast majority of human history—is a key ingredient. Lastly, I also of course directly observe how Tanja and I’s ongoing loving-energy-field-generation affects Lila; she is a mirror reflection of the lightness, laughter, calmness, teamwork, deep love, nourishing coziness, and respectfulness of our relationship.
To be fully transparent: Tanja and I did go through some intensely emotional and challenging processes during the pregnancy, and we do have moments of tension and hurt in our relationship. We’re human, too. I don’t want to imply that you have to try to vacuum-suck all the messiness out of life in order for your child to be calm and happy. Children are also resilient and adaptable. Yet I wanted to bring awareness to the energetics of birthing/parenting—an undoubtedly-impactful domain to consider.
In Sum: A Precious Gift
All in all, for me, fatherhood is an immeasurably precious gift that keeps on giving.
I literally would not trade Lila & Tanja for an entire New Earth nation-state + 100 trillion dollars to build a full-stack enlightened civilization in whatever way I wanted.
How gorgeous and clarifying that is.
It reminds me of the truly infinite worth of you, me, we, and every child of God on this planet.
And of the truly infinite worth of sharing our lives with those we love.
“Family and friends are life’s greatest treasures,” as my dad says.
And as the late Chris McCandless wrote: “Happiness is only real when shared.”
Parenthood feels like the quintessential human experience.
The ‘point’ of life becomes unmistakably apparent:
Love. Togetherness. Caring for each other. Playing together. Walking each other home.
What a magical opportunity we’ve been given, to dance this earthly dance together.
Thank you, sons and daughters of Gaia, for being exactly what you are now.
Thank you for playing your part in this ineffable ceremony of Life.
Know that you are loved.
In the same way a parent loves their child…
You are loved.
P.S. Happy Thanksgiving! Did you enjoy this post? What arose for you as you read it? Hit ‘reply’ and let me know, or comment below. I love reading your notes and shares. <3
P.P.S. If you don’t or can’t have kids in this lifetime, none of the above is intended in any way to make you feel like you’re ‘missing out.’ My feeling is that you can entirely trust your journey. Beauty and love are all around, for all of us, if we tap into them. Life-sans-kids is also miraculously awesome (I explored it for 30 years!). Plus, you probably have kids in parallel lifetimes and are enjoying it over there. ^_^
Jordan Bates is no one. He’s also a father, wizard, wisdom synthesizer, writer, trickster, rapper, artist, lover of Tao, and founder of the New Earth Vortex, Ouroboros. Find him on Instagram, Twitter, & other platforms, and view his latest books/albums/offerings here.