dear DONA, can i be a doula please?

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yesterday marked somewhat of an achievement for me. it also happened to be the day we received 2o dollars in the mail from my mother. this could only lead to one thing in our household: achievement + $20 = celebratory tacos.

baby belly, meet tacos. tacos, meet baby belly. oh that’s right! you’ve met before. 

yesterday, after almost 2 years of working on my certification materials, i sent off my application to become a certified doula by DONA International.

i have been working towards this for a long time. little by little i got it done and honestly it shouldn’t have taken me this long because i had the actual work part of it done a long time ago. i just had to find time to sit down and compile it all into papers and lists and what not. one of my problems is that i put the things that i need to do for myself last.

but i’m not going to dwell on it because the bottom line is, i done put that sucker in the mail yesterday. and now i just wait to hear if i fulfilled all the requirements in a satisfactory manner.

which is going to be a bit nerve-wracking.

i’m already waiting to hear if i passed one certification and now i’ll be waiting on this one. oh yeah, and i’m starting two new certifications in about 2 weeks. i’ve put a lot of myself into this for the past 3 years and i’m investing a lot of my future in it too. what if i get my packet back and stamped on the outside says “probably the worst doula candidate we’ve ever seen. please don’t do this anymore” ?

there’s a lot of fear wrapped up in this for me.

i have fear surrounding my ability to do birth work after the birth of my own amazing little second human. will there be enough space for me? everybody wants to be a doula now! there will probably be 50 newly trained doulas running around my town by the time i’m ready to take births again. and by the way both those last two sentences are written from a positive spot. i think it’s awesome and right that so many women want to be doulas. it’s my hope for female culture that we reclaim the knowledge of childbirth as a collective. and doulas do run around town. it’s what we do for our clients. we go to them, to their houses, to their hospitals, to their doctor’s appointments. we’re a group on the go. but will there be a space for me when i’m back on the scene?

will there be space in my own life for birth work? i worry about finding time to support clients in a way they deserve while basking in babydom and being present in my own life.

well, the answer is i don’t know what i don’t know. i can only have faith. i can only have faith in myself and in whatever future is out there for me. and i can voice these fears because i know they are not realities. they are just fears of things that have not yet come to pass. one of the main things i do as a doula is hold space for others. i’m going to have to learn to hold space for myself.  i will have to hold space in my life and in my thoughts.

this will need to be mantra: my life and my world are big enough to accommodate me and my dreams. 

sooooo this is all a really long-winded way of saying wish me luck with this approval and with navigating this area of life in an unknown future.

ALSO, this was a really long-winded way of telling you that those tacos were damn good and thanks to my momma for the taco funds!

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story bored

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and here’s a post where i write about something i’m really passionate about.

you may or may not have read my last life{dot}next retreat post. irregardless, you should know that i’ve been counting down the months until i’d be able to attend my next one. it’s set to begin 2.26.14. i am beyond stoked.

these retreats have been lifelines to me. i started attending them when i was beginning to believe that maybe following my dreams was out of my reach. i had begun to think that others got to follow their passion but not someone like me. the life(dot)next retreats helped me believe in myself and trust in my path again.

the community and conversation of the retreats help me think about the possibilities of my life. they’ve helped me to see life with more potential as i get older, not less.

and i’m going to admit to the fact that i’m still a little bit in denial that very soon the sun is going to disappear from my life for months and i will exist in a grey haze that is ohio for winter so taking off for someplace that is 80 and sunny just when i’m about to go bat shit crazy from it all sounds rather appealing, right?

the theme of this retreat is Flexing the Story. as soon as i heard that i was in. this is something i’ve been working on personally for some time. life is all about the stories we tell to ourselves and other people. when i focus on telling myself positive stories { i.e. yes, you can do this. you are smart and capable of figuring anything out as you go } my life is much smoother than when i tell myself negative stories { i.e. other people may follow their dreams but not you, elaine }. i really want the tools that this retreat will give me to further craft my story.

ladies, if you’ve been looking to get an inspiration infusion in your life then consider the retreat. if you think the retreat sounds wonderful but not your cup o’ tea then take a minute to square up against what is holding you back from doing something of this nature. consider it again. take a leap for the sake of growth. do you wanna come?

maybe you think the retreat sounds like a grand adventure, just not for you? then sponsor me! 

i know. i just panhandled. but seriously, someone should sponsor me because this momma is flat broke. partial donations will be accepted!

because, guess what. i’ve been following my dreams just like the retreats told me i should and in this world that comes with a price. i’m looking at it as an investment at the moment: very few returns in the beginning but a big payoff in the long-term.