Upcoming January Workshop: “Storytelling, Healing and the Birth Worker’s Journey”

I’ve been busy lately, and I had thought I’d just skip a year of mentoring “Storytelling, Healing and the Birth Worker’s Journey.” But the more I talk to people, and the more I experience life, I realize that I need to have other people to hear not just birth stories but the birth community’s stories differently. My sanity and my ability to move around in this world increases when other people have resources to not just help themselves but to help others. This “others” category includes me. It includes having resources for families’ births that I’ve attended if needed. I too need emotional compassionate support that can help me move to a place of healing as well.

So, besides this class being for my growth, what other possible reasons would I want to mentor this class?

I’m so ready for us to dream community where we can hold one another in a way that isn’t about victimization or blame or guilt. I see others frustrated in the birth world writing articles and blogs about this and I’m raising my hand over here, shaking it, saying, “ There are resources out there for things to be different.”

I’m ready for us to dream and put into action a community that sees how they can role model healing and intuition and exploration not just for the mothers in labor but for one another. As a community it doesn’t mean that the injustices will disappear, but we will have new approaches or ideas of how to deal the them. We will have tools for prevention of trauma from disappointments of unwished for or unexpected circumstances – for the community birth workers and for the families. It doesn’t mean such things won’t happen – they will. But when they do, we can walk with the families from one moment to the next and start seeing possibility for healing and maybe all we are able to do in that moment is plant a seed that will grow for them. That they can use later in their journey to start moving towards health. Maybe all we will be able to do is say the right thing at the right time.

I’m ready for us to dream and put into action a community that creates itself and becomes aware of the underpinnings of the past for birth workers. We all have to see where we have come from as a community and what has driven our belief systems whether they are congruent with one another or not. Such awareness of where the guilt or avoidance or silence comes from should not be ignored or covered up by mundane sayings or belief systems that haven’t been explored in quite some time. In fact we may not really know how these serve the traps that prevent us from finding that place of health and balance.

I’m ready for us to create a new vocabulary of birth that has only been touched upon in most trainings and books. I’m ready to go beyond the dark mammalian, unhindered birth discussion. I’m also interested about the birth worker being added to this or any dynamic where she is aware of what drives her and how she is able to decipher in the moment or retrospect how she truly knew how to help this mother when she needed and not to just go through the motions. That we as a community develop our own intuition and introspective dialogue that leads to us being able to role model health – even in times of upheaval or dealing with disappointments. Perpetuating drama and trauma is not sustainable for long term community health.

Our journey matters and it isn’t just mattering to us. It matters to others around us. So for those looking for resources for changing the discourse of birth, I invite you to take an online Birth Story Listening course with Birthing from Within. Maybe an introductory workshop with them. But for those of you in San Diego looking for an in depth exploration of story, I have convinced myself that I’m going to do a second round of this class. And this year it won’t just be me mentoring it. It will also be mentored by those who attended last year who felt this was an important part of their journey. Let’s change birth culture, create community and find ways to hold each other that are sustainable and not draining. Let’s start by changing our story. And at this point in history, I need to do this myself more than ever. It just helps me to have others in community to hold me while I walk this path as well.

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