As we live this journey, the best advice I have is to continually come back to your breath. Those of you who have labored and birthed babies know the anchor and ground your breath can provide. Those with mind/body practices have experienced the same. We need to be grounded, we need to be present, so we can respond with compassion to what is unfolding around us.
To support our mind/body wellness, I continue to teach online Bowspring classes. In the next two months I will be teaching:
BIRTH JUSTICE FUND:
As you know, Little Tree launched a Birth Justice Fund in October and the response from our community has been amazing. With the initial announcement, we raised $800. Thank you to those who contributed. There are more details about the fund here. Please continue to contribute as you can and encourage people to apply.
IN OTHER NEWS:
I have closed my brick and mortar office and now provide all services at people’s homes or in the Little Tree Mobile Clinic. Starting in November, once per week, Little Tree Mobile Clinic will be parked at a church in my neighborhood (Northwest Denver) to provide care to patients outside my service area or those who prefer to come to me. The Clinic has adequate ventilation and space for social distancing. We can discuss specific location when you schedule an appointment. Here is more info about the Little Tree Mobile Clinic.
I really don’t think life is about the I-could-have-beens. Life is only about the I-tried-to-do. I don’t mind the failure but I can’t imagine that I’d forgive myself if I didn’t try. -NIKKI GIOVANNI
I want to be an agent of change and so, like many of you, I have been asking the question, “what can I do?” Each of us will find our own answer, but here is some of what I am doing. First, I joined a group of other white people who are taking steps to manifest change. One of the people in the group recommended this online program called DoTheWork. It is a day by day program with content that educates and impacts our minds and hearts. To give you an idea of what it entails, here is one of the recommended articles.
Since the stay at home order began I have been teaching online Bowspring classes almost every day. With those classes I have learned and taught, this grounding, strengthening practice and it has been an anchor. For me and the students. And we all want to keep going.
With that, I will be starting another 4 week series of classes on July 6th. We meet each weekday from 7:30-8:30am. If you haven’t taken any of my classes, the best place to start is with the Intro to the Bowspring classes that meets on Mondays and Thursdays. On the other days, we advance the practice.
If you are pregnant or have recently given birth, you can also join the Intro class. However, I would love to again offer a class specifically for pregnant people – if you would like to take a Prenatal Bowspring class, let me know what days/times would be best for you.
I did another of what I am calling “yard visits” today. I drove up to Boulder and with the Flat Irons as a backdrop, I set up my equipment; a soft mat under a tree for when we would check on belly and baby, and a plastic bin with my equipment and supplies. Then I took a seat on a stool about 8 feet away from my patient. The distance felt foreign, but much, much smaller than the distance I have felt via telehealth visits. As we talked about the discomforts she was having in her body, I watched how she moved and where she pointed. When we explored how things were going emotionally, I could better appreciate her facial expressions and body language. I could sense what was going on energetically. Through these observations – of mind, body and heart – I provided care that was individualized and connected.
When we transitioned to the hands on portion of her visit, I put on my PPE, and she lay down on the soft mat. She smiled as she felt the warmth the sunshine had brought to the mat. As a breeze blew around us, I felt her belly and baby, confirming what she already knew – baby head down with knees poking out. The baby’s heart beat was strong and brought another smile to her face – I listened a bit longer and said hello to the baby. When I did her lab draw she said, “Wow, I never imagined I would be looking up at the blue sky through a tree as I got my blood drawn”. When done with the physical checks and lab work, we returned to our distance and wrapped up our visit. As I drove away, I felt clear that we had done something more than “bare minimum checkup”. Yes, we did the checkup, but more than that, we connected. At this time, and always, finding ways to enhance connection is front and center in my priorities. I hope each of you find meaningful connection as we journey through this time of separation.
As we walk through these uncertain times, I want to update you on the things I am doing to support your wellness along the journey. First, I am now offering all my health care services (and some expanded options) via a mobile unit. I give specific details of why and how here, but in brief, I will come to your location to provide care. We will do the “talking part” of your visit outside with appropriate social distance (or via telehealth) and I will provide the brief close contact care in your yard, or as needed, in my mobile clinic. I will continue to provide prenatal, postnatal and general women’s health care. I will also provide care for the newborn for the first month. Call or email if you would like to discuss further.
Second is Bowspring classes. It has been inspiring and challenging to teach online Bowspring classes. We are into our 5th week and I am going to adjust the classes to meet the needs and levels of those interested. I will now be offering 4 different classes: Intro, Elementals, Level 1 and Prenatal. You can see the schedule here. If you want to join the classes and these times won’t work, email me ASAP so we can pick times that work for most. Also, as the weather warms ups, I will be looking at doing some classes outside… haven’t quite figured out the details on that, but look for that in May.
Nancy Goodman, LCSW provides counseling through her practice, A Parent Connection. She sent this suggested activity via email today, and it resonates with me as a mindful way for us to grow during this time. I thought some of you might find it supportive. I share it here with her permission.
As we continue to live in this odd, unsustainable time, we have a unique opportunity to learn some things about ourselves. To that end, here’s a writing suggestion for you to work on over the next few weeks or however long this lasts. It is designed to be a work-in-progress kind of writing exercise, so maybe keep it somewhere where you can add to it every few days or every week.
I’m picturing one page, front and back. On each side, draw a line down the middle so you have 4 columns total, then label the columns:
There may be overlaps, but each column title might bring to mind different aspects of all this. Judgment-free is key! No one has to know what you like and don’t like about our current situation. You will not be publicly shamed for being bummed that you have to work while others wish they could, or if you frankly despise having to being around children all day and night or if you are in heaven and could live like this for the rest of your life.
The exercise is for you to get clarity about who you are and what is meaningful to you, what is hard for you, what you need and what you really don’t want. My hope is that when we all start to create a new normal, that we do it consciously.
The human tendency will be to fall back into the way we’ve always done things or to mindlessly run out to get what we haven’t been able to have, whether we really want it back or not. (I just keep picturing millions of Americans flocking to Disneyland the moment it opens just because they can!) Not that there’s anything wrong with that–unless we do it unconsciously because we don’t have our more personal vision to pick from.
If we take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime time as something that has created a quasi-clean slate in many of our lives, we can choose a little more consciously to:
…work more, or work differently, or work less…to spend different kinds of time with friends and family…to learn more online or be online significantly less…to garden more or shop more efficiently less often or cook more or eat out more…we might walk the dog somewhere new from now on because we see more or less of the neighbors…we might be ready to quit this job and look for a new one or we may have to look for a new one and so look for something more fitting…we might realize we need marriage counseling or parenting coaching…we might want to spend more time alone in the basement or more time living together in the main part of the house….we might decide we will be more fulfilled if we are more involved in our community from now on or might realize that we’ve been spread too thin and are much higher functioning when we lay low.
Big changes, little changes. Now’s the time for awareness about all that. The more ideas we have now, the easier and more committed we might be in a few weeks or so when things start to open up and either suck us or invite us back in again.