Our Birthright

In the past few weeks, I have had the privilege to provide labor support to two families who have participated in the Little Tree pregnancy program. Being with these families in the birth space reinforced for me that the model of care I am providing supports growth and connection.   This model holds the view that at our core, each of us holds wisdom and vitality.  My journey to this view and how it effects my work is deeply influenced by an educational approach: Enki Education. Below is an excerpt from an article the founder, Beth Sutton, has written about how this view impacts educating children. I drop us in the article where Sutton is describing the experience of when we connect to our inherent vitality. You can read the complete article here.

In all of these, the chatter inside fades back and the colors and smells and textures come forward; I feel connected to the world around, and the underlying pulse is a sense of wonder. And this is true even when the connection happens in moments of great effort or deep sorrow. In all, it is the body sensations that signal that “all is right with the world.”

Maybe this sense of “connected wonder” happens for you when you hear a line of a poem or a piece of music. Or maybe it rises when sitting Shiva with a dear friend who has lost her love – just simply sitting with her. Maybe it happens when the water is running over the dishes you are washing, and you notice its clear flow. Or when the falling snow catches the light. It need not be ascending Everest; the possibilities are endless and rise up moment to moment. And when we are able to let these moments touch us, there is fullness without measure, a sense of being vitally alive – whether these are noisy, fireworks moments, moments of deep silence, or even moments of frustration, anger, or sorrow.

In those moments, we are fully present. I think it is what William Blake meant when he spoke of seeing the world in a grain of sand, and heaven in a wildflower. It does not matter how smart or clever or insightful we are; it does not matter if we are artistic or athletic; it does not matter if we have physical handicaps, or sensory or emotional ones. It does not matter how talented or pretty we are. It does not matter how badly we have been wounded. This is an experience of inherent-vitality and it happens on another plane, one where nothing affects the blueness of blue or the smell of the newly tilled spring earth. In that moment, we are connected to ourselves and to the world around, and that vital life-force pulses freely through us.

This feeling of vital aliveness is not earned, it cannot be earned; it just is. It is inborn; it is the nature of being human and it is unconditional. As a result, this vital aliveness is the source, the only source, of unconditional confidence. In my life and in my work, Enki Education, underneath all else, the focus is on this; it is the fulcrum around which all else turns – this approach to life, this worldview, and this approach to raising and educating our children. It all boils down to this: we all have an inherent-vitality, a life force that, when accessed, naturally sparks a sense of wonder and connection to all. It is this vitality that births the experience of unconditional confidence, and it is from this that both compassion and wisdom flow naturally. It is our birthright. Period.

We cannot create or earn this inherent vitality any more than we “create” or earn the sun. Nor can it, by the same token, be destroyed. Still, it can be obscured, much as the sun can be blocked by cloud cover, pollution, volcanic debris, or even nuclear winter. But, none of those things alters the sun. Same here: our inherent-vitality, our inner sun, just is. Yes, it is often obscured by the difficulties of navigating the nitty gritty of human life, and still, our inherent-vitality is no more changed by this struggle than the sun is changed by clouds of any sort.

This inherent-vitality is our birthright, so by definition, this applies to everyone – ev-er-y-one! No matter our gender or race or religion or time in history, no matter our intelligence or skill or talent or even our level of compassion and generosity – or lack thereof – underneath all else, lies our inherent- vitality.

You can read the full article and the specific connections to educating children here. As it relates to my work at Little Tree, the Enki Education model and the view that we all have at our core, inherent vitality, deeply influences all I do in my midwifery care and the teaching I provide. I studied directly with Beth Sutton, the founder of Enki Education during the 15 years I homeschooled my children. And, I continue to learn from her in my role as Associate Program Director at Enki Eduction. That learning strongly influences the work I do at Little Tree as I strive to connect with my inherent vitality and to support the people I work with to have experiences of connecting with theirs – especially in the birth space.  

Save the Dates

As we begin 2020, I want to share information about some of the upcoming offerings at Little Tree. My goal is to provide opportunities to improve wellness, support growth and facilitate connection. Here is a peak at what is coming with dates and times below:

  • Bowspring classes that improve your functional movement and mind/body connection. I offer Bowspring classes during pregnancy and postpartum as well as classes for my nonpregnant clients.
  • Ayurvedic spring cleanse in March that will take your exploration of food and wellness to a new level.
  • For birth workers, I will offer my advanced training course, Core Connection, in February.
  • And Parent Chat will be staring in February as well.
  • Contact me with questions.
  • Current Bowspring class schedule is here.

Spring Cleanse – March 15, 22 and 29 4-6pm

Core Connection – advanced training for Doulas, RNs or midwives. February 15th 9:30-4:30pm

Prenatal Bowspring – series of 8 classes.

  • Saturdays 8-9am. January 25- March 14
  • Wednesdays 8:30-9:30am February 26- April 15

Postpartum Bowspring – series of 6 classes (to start after 4 weeks postpartum). Consider adding 2 private Bowspring sessions in your home at 2 and 3 weeks after birth.

  • Wednesdays 10:30-11:30am February 26-April 1

Parent Chat – An opportunity to connect with other pregnant and new parents. Topics rotate based on needs of group. Guest speakers from time to time.

  • Wednesdays starting February 26th from 9:30-10:30

General Bowspring Classes – series of 10 classes.

  • Intro to Bowspring – Fridays from 9am-10am. February 28- May 1
  • Intro to Bowspring – Tuesdays from 6pm-7pm March 10-May 12
  • Level 1 Bowspring – next in series after Intro Class.
    • Fridays from 10:15-11:15am February 28-May 1
    • Tuesdays from 7:15pm-8:15pm March 10-May12

For all Bowspring classes you will need to purchase a series of classes. Once you have done that, you can attend classes at different days and times up to the total number of classes in the series and series time frame. This way, if you miss a class, you can make it up on another day. Once people register and the schedule is set, I will post a calendar view with all dates/times.

**Precertification prices: the series of classes is based on the Amy’s Pre-certification rate of $10 per class. So a 10 week series is $100, 6 week series is $60…. and so on. Contact me to discuss cost of private and in home classes.

 

Book Club

I just finished “Babies are not Pizzas: They’re Born, not Delivered” by Rebecca Dekker RN, PhD. In this book, she shines light on the state of maternity care in our country through the sharing of her journey. She starts by sharing the story of her traumatic first labor and birth that leads her on a mission to understand and then change maternity care in the United States.

In the book, she provides the backdrop of our history around childbirth and deepens the conversation with thoughtful discussion about how we have ended up where we are. For those who don’t know, her explorations led to her blog: “Evidence Based Birth“.

As a midwife of 24 years, and a person who has personally labored and birthed in both hospitals and a birth center, this book captures so much of what I have seen and thought over the years. Her focus on culture change being an area we can impact, resonates with the work I am doing at Little Tree. With that, I am drawn to bring together others interested in impacting our birth culture, or those interested in learning more about the current state of care in metro Denver.

If you work in health care, especially related to birth, if you are pregnant, thinking about getting pregnant or just interested in conversation about this topic, join us for a book club where will will have engaging conversation about the book. We will meet:

November 4th and 18th from 6-8pm

Tea and snacks will be provided. Feel free to bring food (for yourself or to share).

This event is free and open to all.

Fall Cleanse and Core Connection

Howdy all. I have been quiet lately as I engaged in some contract work as a Labor and Delivery Nurse at Denver Health. It has been an experience full of learning, teaching and affirmation of my work at Little Tree. So much to process and I will share more soon. But in the meantime, I wanted to let you know about upcoming offerings at Little Tree.

First, is the seasonal cleanse I do each Fall and Spring. If you have never done this, or would like to do it again with a supportive group, join me in October for a reset that is healing to the gut, reduces inflammation and is so much fun. You can get more details here.

Second, for you birth workers out there, come to Core Connection, the foundational class for Little Tree’s training program. This is the work that was affirmed during my time at Denver Health. After nearly three decades of engaging in supporting people through pregnancy, labor and birthing, I am teaching birth workers how to connect deeply, access intuition and maintain wellness. More details here.

Lemon Balm – Melissa officinalis

Oh how I love this herb. It grows in my garden with little help from me. I have tucked it in beds, here and there and each spring it returns, vibrant green. Beyond providing lovely green foliage and small white flowers that the bees love, this herb has several medicinal uses.

The first way I use the Lemon Balm is in a Lemon Balm Calm tincture. I love the amber color the tincture reaches when it is done. Many in my family and at Little Tree benefit from its calming effect.

The second way I use the herb is to infuse it in a carrier oil. I then use that oil to make lotion, salve and lip balm. Lemon Balm is often recommended to treat the herpes virus (cold sores or genital). With it’s anti-inflammatory and anti-infective properties, it is also good for acne. In general skin applications, lemon balm is considered calming, soothing, healing and tightening on the skin.

Finally, the herb is lovely steeped for tea – iced in the summer and when I sip a hot cup in the cold of winter, I get visions of the vibrant, green of spring.

An easy herb for beginner gardeners to grow and make herbal concoctions from.

FDA Disclaimer: These statements and the herb discussed have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. If you have a health concern or condition, consult your healthcare provider.