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Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Boy do they ever.

Earlier this month I took a fantastic labor doula training with Rena Koerner, and started my labor doula certification process again. I feel better prepared, with a better understanding of the physiology and psychology of birth, which is just huge when you consider that as a doula you’re a part of what is one of the most important events of a person’s life. Several people’s lives, really, the birthing parent, their partner, and the baby!

But the sad truth is, I just can’t afford to also retrain/recertify in postpartum right now. I want to, but I spent so much money on trainings with T-O-O-T-S-N-B-N* last year, there’s just nothing left. Which frankly, really SUCKS.  I just feel like there’s a lot more to learn so I’m trying to get in to skills workshops as I can. TO that end, I took advantage of a one day training with Giuditta Tornetta here in LA today, an advanced pp skills workshop. It really shifted a lot of my paradigms around new babies and their parents. She reframed so much for me.

I think the biggest thing I took away from today’s workshop was just a sense of reconnection to the humanity of it all. The spiritual and emotional sides of birth-work. The fact that babies are tiny humans and the importance of respect and connection in the way we relate with the people we serve. Which was always why I wanted to be a doula in the first place.

I think it’s not surprising that I completely lost my desire to make art and sunk into such a deep depression last year, it was kind of like I cut myself off entirely from everything rich and soulful and real, in some attempt to make myself over into… hell I have no idea what. But I see the connection and I’m glad to see it. It reminds me that I have a choice about who I want to be and what I want to bring to this work.  It reminds me that there’s something a lot deeper and I just forgot that I could tap into it if I wanted.

I feel so humbled and grateful to have essentially a second chance, to start over, and to be making connections with such amazing people in my local birth community.

(*the other organization that shall not be named)

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We just wrapped up a weeklong visit with my mom, and we had a houseguest for a few days before that, so everyone here at the little white house on the hill is adjusting to having the house back to some degree of normal this morning. It’s been a busy week+ full of doctor’s appointments and vet appointments, plus all of the regular outings that one tends to enjoy to the utmost when company is in town.

I’m definitely just enjoying a chance to sit quietly in my pajamas and enjoy the stillness and some good coffee this morning. The kitties are curled into circles, snoring gently in their usual spots in the morning sunshine.

The @!#% Churchmouse Yarns linen stitch scarf is still in progress. So close to finishing. Soo close. Like, another inch and a half and I can cast off. It is looking doubtful that the birthday recipient will be receiving it on their actual natal day unless I can sneak in a hardcore marathon of The Wire this weekend.

I want to talk about politics and the world, but, I’m so heartsore about politics and the world right now.

The March on Washington was inspiring. The March here in LA was incredible, though we were not there in our pink hats due to sudden Cat Emergency Surgery. With 750,000 marchers, I don’t think our two bodies were missed, though I certainly missed being there. We’ll get the next one. I am pretty sure there will be plenty of marches in the next 4 years.

My heart is breaking today for the people who have been denied safety on our shores, for the visa holders who were so close to security and who are now detained in airports or seeking another safe haven for their families. For the families who are separated so cruelly.

This is not the America I want to live in. But it is the America I live in.

And so it goes, this weird mix of normal life, snoozy cats, birds, yarn, arguing about whose turn it is to wash the dinner dishes, and watching my country descend into madness. How’s your weekend so far?

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October might be shaping up to be a little bit crazy! Along with getting married (!!!) and having a honeymoon, I’ll be attending the ProDoula Conference in Kansas City and expanding my professional world a little bit. So of course, October seems like the perfect time to schedule in (on top of folding 1001 origami cranes and crafting all the other wedding decorations) participating in a planner challenge. If you’re interested in playing along at home, the challenge is being hosted over on Instagram by @boho.berry, @prettyprintsandpaper, and @tinyrayofsunshine. You can find and follow at @PlanWithMeChallenge.

Because you definitely need to plan this much shit out.

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I have to admit that I’m a little bit of a planner junkie, and finding the right system is something I’m always refining. I also really suck at sticking to it so I’m taking the next 90 days and focusing on making it a daily habit. Pretty sure my doula business, certifications, and other projects will thank me. Finding a planner setup that I like has been a slog. I’ve tried SO many planners (please don’t recommend any, I promise you that if it’s a popular planner on the market, it’s 99% sure that I’ve already tried it) and I think I finally found my Holy Grail system of both short and long term planning.

I’m a big fan of the Bullet Journal system but I absolutely suck at doing my daily planning in the BuJo because I get really distracted by all the things. I like going back to read collections and look at the shiny future planning and project tracking. Love the doodles and decorating and creative aspect you can work in if you choose. It’s really hard not to get enthralled by the shiny in my BuJo. Easier to migrate the details (like people’s birthdays) over to a smaller planner for the daily.

The Daily Action Planner is simple, doesn’t include a lot of fluff and nonsense, has monthly, weekly, and daily spreads, easy tabs, plenty of room for a daily brain dump, and no wasted space on things I don’t want. It is a nice A5 size, plenty of room but not too much room. This notebook lets me focus on taking action and accomplishing tasks in the short term and that’s super helpful.

Carrying multiple notebooks is a pain in the ass though, and to that end I love the idea of using a modular Traveler’s Notebook system to keep it under control. After much research, I’ve decided that the Chic Sparrow “Mr. Darcy (size A5, in burgundy)” is the best option to keep my DAP notebook, BuJo, and other smaller modules collected. I have promised myself that if I keep this up for 90 days, I get to buy Mr. Darcy as a reward in January.

After the apathy and depression and disorganization of the last few years, after the chaos of trying to run Honey&Ollie, work the Faire circuit, and get the doula thing off the ground, it feels good to feel like some of the brain fog is lifting. I guess some of us need a little external organizational assistance in our lives to get shit done.

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And with a wedding in 2 and a half weeks, I have a LOT of shit to get done!

 

 

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Has it been over a year since I wrote a blog here? Holy cow, it has. What happened???

So much has happened.

I think for purposes of this blog, it’s safe to say that primarily a crippling depression happened. That seems to happen every few years. By now I’ve learned that it always goes away, one day the sun comes out again, but it can be hard while I’m in the middle of it. I’ve been doing a lot of emotional and energetic healing. 

I decided to take a year off of the Faire and festival circuit. My last show was Thanksgiving weekend. I came home from that, unloaded the boxes into my garage, cried, and shut the door on my studio for 6 months. Literally. I sat at the bench and worked on a piece of jewelry for the first time since before Thanksgiving, yesterday.

It felt good.

I’m clearing out a backlog of repairs and overdue club packages – sorry about that. It happened. I have no excuses. I’m working on getting it all cleaned up.

I have no excuses but did I mention the crippling depression, anxiety, and a complete shut-down of pretty much everything that makes my life feel happy and worth living? It’s been going on since before we moved down off the mountain, but the last 6 months have been particularly bad. Like walking through fog and quicksand. We decided that this whole Northern California experiment was going tits up in a bad way. I can’t live 300 miles away from my partner ⅔ of the time and he has to work where the movies are.  Captain Sexypants and I had a come to Jesus chat and it was unanimously decided that we will be relocating back down to Los Angeles this summer. I’m so relieved I can’t even tell you. That was the first lifting I’ve felt in months.

It’s hard to blog when you have brain fog and feel shrouded in sadness. I could really only focus on one thing at a time and I couldn’t maintain here and build my doula business at the same time. Did I mention, I became a birth and postpartum doula earlier this year? I did! I love it. But it has been taking up what little available brain space I’ve got, that’s for sure.

My hope is that I will be able to more gracefully balance the two loves of my life – birth and art – going forward. I won’t be taking on much by way of shows on the traveling circuit for the remainder of 2016 OR in 2017. I’ll keep you posted, there are a couple of shows I might try to do but it’s hard to travel when you’re on call for babies! I’ll be keeping the online shop open though, whether we’re on the road or not. New stuff soon, I hope! 

I missed blogging here. I missed making jewelry. I miss making art.

I missed being myself, here, and I missed having a space where I could write freely without keeping it topical and focused on one thing all the time. Not that I ever LOST this space, I just couldn’t bring myself to use it for a while. 

Feeling a little better, now.

I have a lot to catch everyone up on, and not all of it is sad. Dust off the page, take the sheets off the couch, because I’m home.

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