Filling is not receiving.

I met a woman recently who changed my life. Not an exaggeration. The meeting was totally random but our conversation went deep, fast. She was an interesting one. A healer, spiritual type with a Harvard MBA, formerly an executive for a major corporation, currently living at a yoga retreat center in the Berkshire mountains. We spoke about balance and wholeness, and as we spoke she reflected her impression of me, noticing all the ways I appeared to be good at expressing myself in the world, being focused and productive, clearly asserting my ideas, etc. Qualities in Chinese medicine we would call 'yang' in nature. But the 'yin' stuff, not as much. Allowing, flowing, receiving. She paint

Shelf-life of a doula

Burnout rates amongst doulas are notoriously high. The shelf-life for many won't last more than a few years. Although I haven't found a formal study on this topic, most of my colleagues who attended births just a few years ago have since left the profession. And studies of burnout amongst midwives have exposed exceedingly high rates of occupational stress and career abandonment. I feel passionate about this topic because I love attending births as a doula and I didn't want to have to give it up because I got tired. As the years went by I needed to find new ways to make the work sustainable for myself. Along the way I discovered many things that I am super excited to share with you in the Sus

12 Self-care tips for doulas with kids

Doula work is demanding for anyone, with or without children. Doulas with kids however do have the added challenge of needing to care for young ones at home who can demand a nearly equal amount of attention as their clients, if not more! As a doula who doesn’t have kids yet, I’m able to leave a birth and essentially do whatever I want with my time with little care for anyone else until I’m good and ready. Because of this gap in my experience I reached out to doulas who have children to ask what they do for their self-care that is unique to their responsibilities as parents. These 12 tips are the result of their experiences. Most of them simply speak to giving yourself permission to prioritiz

What goes up...

You know the phrase, oh and that little law of physics, "what goes up must come down"? This is one of the things I was thinking about recently when it comes to doula life and self-care. There is no high like the high of birth. That special cocktail of oxytocin, endorphins and adrenaline makes any doula fall in love with their clients and leave births on a true high. Of course some births don't go as well as others, but still the adrenaline you're on just to stay the course in any birth experience certainly props you up. At least for a while. Then, inevitably, comes the down. Much of what I share in the Sustainable Doula's Guide to Self-Care, COMING SOON, helps to prevent the crash, or ease t

How could you not?

I'm on a compassion kick lately. We are so freakin' tough on ourselves, there are just moments it feels especially shocking! This will be brief but I need to say something specifically to postpartum moms who worry about how emotional they may be feeling after giving birth. Who somehow imagine that they wouldn't or shouldn't feel emotional after giving birth. To which I say, um, how could you NOT?! Let's take a look at what's just happened in your life... You've just died! (The before you became a mother part of you has anyway). You're falling in love! (There is no greater joy OR vulnerability). You're physically wounded! (C-section, tearing or not, you're literally walking around bleeding fr

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